This is one of the set designs that I illustrated for Rifts Northern Gun (NG1) published by Palladiumbooks. It was debuted in RIFTS NG Prototype and will be released in NG1.
Featured is a Northern Gun Hovertrain (NG-HCH-1228 with several NG-HCB-AD2 weapon bunker box cars and several HCB-1B Flatbed/ Passenger boxcars) being escorted by a flight of NG-11F Redhawk Power Armors and something new (undisclosed VTOL). Just as the Northern Gun uses the ships of the Great Lakes to distribute its products, conventional trains and hover trains pulling boxcars function as the ships of he land. The hovertrain is a series of independent hover platforms, each with their own hover systems but reliant on a powerful hover-locomotive for forward propulsion. The locomotive means of propulsion are four massive hover fan drives that create lift. They are so powerful that any human or D-Bees up to 11 feet tall who gets within 35 feet has a good chance of being blown off their feet and thrown back 10-40 feet. The locomotive is gigantic monster f science. Standing 39 feet tall, with a width of 44 feet and a length of 68 feet weighing I at 98 tons. The speed of a Hover-Locomotive is 250 mph maximum by itself, but is reduced to 125 mph when pulling more than three train cars or when fully loaded. Maximum hover altitude is 20 feet and reduced to 12 feet when overloaded.
When the entire arrangement gets moving, it becomes a modular transportation setup that can float over rough terrain, shallow bodies of water,(ponds, marshland and streams), obstacles, debris, crashed vehicles and even scrub and small trees that would stop conventional land-based trucks.
Hovertrains traveling back and forth inside the Ishpeming do not usually have defenses of any kind, but any leaving the Republic will always have weapon cars and or be escorted by robots, power armor or other combat vehicles. Defensive cars are floating bunkers that provide protection for the rest of the train, as well as a better –armored target to soak up incoming fire and hold the attackers’ attention. Each Defensive bunker ca may have a total of three heavy powerful weapon systems, or six medium or nice light ones. However, most cars have a mixed combination which vary in weapon systems that can consist of laser cannon turrets, Mini missile launchers, Short range missile launchers, Ion cannons, Plasma gun turrets, rail gun turrets or particle beam turrets with optional (10) member platoon troop complements.
However giant combat robots on open air, flat hover train cars are starting to replace the static weapon cars. Combat robots are, in effect, walking bunkers or tanks that can fire from the train the same as defensive bunker cars. The difference is, the combat robots can turn in any direction, have the full capabilities of their robot, and can actually step off the flat bed car when the train stops o r leap off when it is moving at 50 mph or slower, to stay behind to engage the enemy, block a path or give chase. Likewise the robots can scout ahead or position themselves, concealed among trees or behind debris or nearby buildings, and even underwater, to lay wait and ambush any would be attackers. They can then join the train at a pre-arranged location.
Escorting this Hover train is a Flight Squadron of ten NG-11F Redhawk Power Armor. Anyone with an eye for design or engineering will recognize the propulsion system and wing elements to be a clear knock off of the Coalition’s original SAMAS, but Northern Gun designers prefer the term “inspired.” The Redhawks power armors are advanced, heavily armed and agile system that is arguably superior to the original CS SAMAS suit. Having a specialized jet thruster the Redhawk propulsion can give it a higher altitude ceiling or zoom in and out of combat at greater speeds than the original CS SAMAS. Another cosmetic variation is the pair of vibro scythe blades that extend from the forearm housing. A mini missile or short range laser can be mounted on one or both arms. The Redhawks are also equipped with standard NG-202 Rail Guns and wing mounted mini-missiles launchers, thus making a flight of these power armors, formidable opposition to confront for any would-be train assailant.
In the distance an intrigued sub-adult Kilarian Dragon decides the better part of valor & discretion than to tamper with this fast paced heavy metal convoy. The Crimson Eagles are flying...