Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

Back in the SSR

For some reason the thing that stuck in my mind most vividly from the programme The Last Days of Steam which I mentioned last week was the Strategic Steam Reserve, the fleet of steam engines that were mothballed and stored underground in case they were needed after a nuclear war.

Walking in to work today, I tried to think of fiction about this idea, but can't remember any, which seems odd considering the possibilities. Unfortunately I've obviously been reading too much fanfic, since the first thing to cross my mind when I considered writing some fiction was a Thomas the Tank Engine / When the Wind Blows crossover, with Thomas trying to keep running while the Fat Controller slowly dies of radiation poisoning... [1]

It's a real shame that according to Wikipedia Britain never actually had a strategic steam reserve - some other countries did, but not the UK, the British SSR is an urban myth. But that really shouldn't stop people writing about it, of course! Paging C. Stross of this parish...

[1] Even more unfortunately, the second thing to cross my mind was Thomas / Hogwarts Express slash - you probably need magic to keep steam trains running after a nuclear holocaust, especially if the humans are dying off, and the Express obviously is magical. I will now try to bleach my brain...

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