|Research Points Needed||240|
|Leads To||Steam Locomotive|
Plateways are iron tracks that allow more efficient transportation of ore or coal, increasing a mine’s output.
With industry comes the demand for materials and fuels to sustain it, and the need for improved transport to carry them. One answer lies in putting carts on cast iron channels called plateways, laid out as tracks that guide the vehicles. These sturdy plateways are laid on level routes as far as possible, allowing horses to pull heavy loads for great distances. Plateways make mining and industry more efficient by delivering bulk raw materials.
Historically, movement of iron ore and coal without using rivers or canals was costly and slow. Horse-drawn wagons ran along wooden rails, but these regularly broke under the strain. Cast iron provided the answer in the form of L-shaped iron rails; the upright guided the cart wheels. This system worked well enough, but the carts were easily derailed by stones. This was not an uncommon problem when iron ore and other stony products were being carried. The weight of carts could also crack the cast iron used. Both these problems were solved by the introduction of wrought iron rails, but the concept of a plateway is a direct ancestor of the modern rail network.
Plateways generate more income from mines. While not as common as some other buildings, gold mines generate a tremendous amount of wealth, so even a 10% increase can be significant for factions controlling multiple gold mines. Iron mines also benefit from the wealth increase, though as the funds they provide are much smaller, this technology does not benefit them as much.
As this technology does not lead to any new buildings, there's little immediate benefit to researching it for factions that control few mines. It does lead to the Steam Locomotive technology, however.