Night Train from Tamrannoch

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In the time I have lived in it’s gossamer clutches, I have seen many things come and go in Caledon. Few things however have I seen that I felt would change the fundamental nature of Caledon. I can honestly say that, having ridden the new steam train from Tamrannoch to Kittiwickshire, it is something that will change the way we all look at our fair Caledon.

As usual with such adventures here at BardHaven, my long-suffering Kirawill had to practically drag me out of Three Graces to take her on the train ride I had promised her weeks ago. Even with that promise, there were several false starts, delays and technical snafus before we finally found ourselves standing in the night air of Tamrannoch anxiously awaiting the train; packets of caramels, popcorn balls and flasks of Uisge Beatha Coffee in hand.

The train system as implemented by noted Caledonian Mr. Barney Boomslang is truly a marvel. The ride was quite seamless, and though I had a problem rezzing terrain and objects as we went, that flaw I am sure is the fault of my system and not the train itself. Even with the preponderance of gray boxes I was seeing as I flashed past them, the ride was highly enjoyable. The tracks were well arranged and logical, traversing a wide varieties of different terrain. Especially impressive were the mountain passes, as the train labored up steep inclines.

I was shocked that the Sim crossings, which I am used to sending myself and whatever vehicle I may be riding plummeting into strange extra dimensional spaces, were trouble free and terrifyingly painless. That was made all the more impressive by just how MANY Sim crossings there were. It felt as if the train went through at least half of Caledon…and half of Caledon is apparently A LOT of Sims.

That realization, I think, is the way that this new train system (and the soon to come Caledon – Winterfell Ferry) changes the way I think many of us see Caledon. Out of necessity, we tend to each see very little of Caledon really. Our own lands, those of our close friends, a few public areas…but by and large, not much more then that in a day. The train will change that. During the 20 minute trip I was struck with an overwhelming sense of the sheer size and scope of what Caledon has grown into. As one of those who still remembers first looking around Caledon when it was a single brave revolution of a Sim, that is a powerful realization indeed. What’s more, it is one I could never have gotten from a lifetime of short teleports and fractured airship flights.

As the realization of just how large and diverse Caledon has become slowly sank into my head, I found myself also deeply glad that the Guvnah in his wisdom has promised that expansion will soon come to an end, and even more fervently anticipating the day when the last new Caledon Sim is sold out.

Simply put…I feel Caledon is big enough. I think the sooner we turn our prodigious attentions to improving and protecting the lands that exist, strengthening and deepening the themes and unique customs of each individual Caledonian Sim and expanding our alliances with like minded nations such as Winterfell or Steelhead, the better.

Once the age of Caledonian Expansion is at an end, the Golden Age of Caledon will commence. Nothing made this clearer to me then a midnight train ride.

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Waiting on the Express at Tamrannoch Station (above). 

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Settled in First Class (above). 

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*COUGH* HACKHACK *COUGH* (above)

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Paying our respects in the Moors (above).

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Rocketing through Carntaigh (above)

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Through the mountain passes in Wellsian (above). 

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Ignoring tiny crossings in Tanglewood (above).

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Safely arrived in Kittiwickshire (above). 

—————-
Now playing: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Won’t Last Long
via FoxyTunes

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6 Comments

  1. This really is a wonderful new addition to Caledon. I could add more, but honestly, you’ve said it quite eloquently enough for the both of us. Well written, and thank you!

    Kira

  2. “Simply put…I feel Caledon is big enough. I think the sooner we turn our prodigious attentions to improving and protecting the lands that exist, strengthening and deepening the themes and unique customs of each individual Caledonian Sim and expanding our alliances with like minded nations such as Winterfell or Steelhead, the better.”

    Hear him! Hear him! I could not agree more.
    I have been dwelling on this subject quite a bit of late. Caledon seems a sad reflection to what it once was– as the population has grown exponentially, the adherence to theme, social customs and and architecture has grown.. well, I’ll say “elastic” to be polite. We likely have only ourselves to blame for Great War airfields, treehouses, rocketship launch sites and the like. The laissez faire approach to enforcing a theme concept has made Caledon what it is.

    Likewise, I sense a general .. “coarsening” of deportment, manners and such. A recent discovery of a transcript of my first appearance in Caledon was an eye opener for me. It has been a long while since a public event has featured such polite and courteous discourse. I suppose this isn’t shocking when the Rave replaces the Ball in publc affection.

    Sadly, where I once was content spending all my time inworld within Caledon’s borders, now I am once again eager to wander about the greater world of SL. I don’t think Cal could be replicated again, so it is quite unlikely I will move, yet, yet.. I long for simpler days. Indeed, sir, Caledon may have grown too large to maintain the critical mass of theme it once enjoyed.

    Yrs,

    H.

  3. I’d add only two additional points.

    First, I do remain worried about the train’s survival, with the continued efforts to stop it by the Tanglewoods Liberation Front from traveling through the dappled woods and great trees. I do hope accord can be reached.

    Secondly, it does strike me on occasion that I arrived–and fell in love with–a Caledon on the cusp. Apparently, the formal ball at the Governor’s Mansion, the opening of that social season, over one year ago…was, while not the last gasp of the old order, a vivid glimpse of Caledon-that-was…and the Caledon-that-came consisted of high-spirited raves, Tanglewoods itself–which opened some few short months after that particular ball, and a frenzied burst of new acquisition and expansion.

    And at least one plucky, if not always historically accurate, shapeshifter.

    I won’t say New Caledon doesn’t have problems. I’ll freely agree that many of the new sims embrace later Victoriana, and in the case of much of Penzance, my home sim, at times yes, we veer out of Victoriana entirely. I feel safe enough in admitting this, though, because what Penzance has–and other ‘New Caledon’ sims have–may make up for our stylistic flaws as we grow.

    What is that? Passion for the dream. Vitality. Earnestness if nothing else. A willingness to embrace change–which for many of us born and bred on the mainland, is a shift towards proper manners, we acknowledge this.

    Yes, we’ll make mistakes. All new things do. Didn’t Caledon Prime and Victoria City, in the beginning? And I truly believe, once each new sim finds their own road, the soul of their land, if I may wax poetic…Caledon at large will understand and accept that our eccentricity complements and completes the original ancestral lands.

    At least, that’s my hope. I could be wrong. After all, my version of Caledon? Does involve a movie studio, giant Vorpal Snow Bunnies, the house of stained glass and life next to a concert theatre. This is not your grandmother’s Caledon.

    But all things change. As I know, far too well myself.

  4. And then, there are magnificent builds in Caledon as well, I s’pose its all what you dwell on…

    You wish to see the negative, that is all you will see. However, I see a very diverse Caledon – full of life. Life is not always smooth.

    The balls of yesteryear, in the words of Barney Boomslang – were in the main – *boring*. Poorly attended, as well. Many of the people who once attended them, have long since lost interest in SL, and moved on. Some remain in Caledon, and do nothing else but show up regularly enough to pay their rent, and log right out again. You can’t base a dynamic community on that.

    Nothing to do with Caledon really, just how Second Life is. Many people have a “lifespan” for how long they stick with an online community, attrition takes its toll. This problem is worse in 3d communities, in my experience.

    So, we’ve grown from a village to a town, some long for the village again… some of us are happier with a town… I guess. Count me one for being happy with Caledon as it is now, warts and all, and looking forward to it filling its borders and moving on to the Golden Age. I would rather a few warts and the maintenance of our individuality than have a fascist-style theme enforcement. As much as it pains my artist inside to see some of the builds I do. I just move on and look at incredible builds that balance it out.

    here’s a few sterling locations to revive one’s faith in Caledon again –

    Breed Hall – http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Wellsian/60/194/25

    The Theatre in Penzance – http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Penzance/208/185/25

    The Botanical House in Caledon on Sea – http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20On%20Sea/233/197/712

    I might add that all these are done by “newbie” type people – folks who joined SL in 2006 and later. People who grew into having amazing abilities in SL. I am also amongst the “born in 2006 and later” crowd. So was Mr. Barney Boomslang.

    I personally agree that Caledon has hit critical size, but not out of any longing for yesteryear – more a concern for Desmond not being able to manage it all in the manner it is currently done, which would cut back on the personal service we all get… that would be a sad thing really. And yes, it’s almost “done”. Maybe four more full sims, max, to the south of Tammranoch.

  5. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20On%20Sea/233/197/25 is the correct URL for the Botanical House… my bad for messing up the altitude!

  6. I do agree Baron and it will be interesting to see what happens as Caledon “stabilizes” upon the completion of its expansion.

    However, I would like to say as one of the persons who worked rather hard on the “rocketship launch site” mentioned in an earlier comment, visitors will find that it is actually an informational site about Jules Verne, Edward Everett Hale’s “The Brick Moon”, and Victorian-era beliefs about space. As Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon” was published in 1865 and Hale’s story in the Atlantic Monthly in 1869, I do believe that both dates place them squarely within that time period–and thus in theme! The Cape Messmer area celebrates those visionaries and others and has become a gathering place and inspiration for many of the inventors of Caledon and the 19th c. sims–as well as those from outside of Caledon as well.


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