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The Care & Feeding of Your New Steam Train

So you’ve acquired a steam train! Congratulations! They can be finicky and unpredictable, but this guide should help you with the most critical points of concern. We appreciate your time and attention and should you have any further concerns with your new acquisition, you can forward your questions to the engine, where they’ll fuel the onward journey into the unknown!

Don’t feed your train after midnight.

Everything has an appetite. It’s best to learn and respect that from the outset. You may think “okay, it’s a steam train, it needs coal,” but your new vehicle is going to require something a little more than that. Exactly what that is, we cannot say—every train is unique, and yours especially so. The more you travel together, the more you will know exactly what it (what she) needs. But not after midnight. Never after midnight. Just don’t.

Don’t worry about that extra car (or four)!

Sometimes you need more space—and we’re not talking legroom! Your new steam train is happy to accommodate you and your needs! She knows when your new passengers need more storage space, broader polar landscapes, or even an extra giant redwood or two to climb into. Whatever you need, the train can provide. You’ll quickly learn that some passengers need their own space, separate from other passengers. Really, really, really separate. Your train can handle it! Don’t worry!

Regularly clean the cow catcher.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, especially during these strange times (as if times are ever not strange, oh friend). The speeds this train reaches may be excessive at times and you never know exactly what’s on the tracks. Your cow catcher is one of your most important Train Features™, and keeping it clean and in working order is of vital importance. You never know when you’ll find an alien in it.

Only explore the caboose in daylight hours.

The caboose is filled with wonders, but none of these should be seen when the sun isn’t in the sky. When the sun goes down, we cannot be responsible for what happens within the confines of the caboose. You might trip over something and break a jar, and what then? These aren’t normal jars, my friend—you have no idea what might spill out. Supernumerary rainbows, a fully formed bat-girl, or maybe the month of February in the year 1164. But where in the world? That’s the right question. You won’t know in the dark of night.

There’s a disembodied hand in the engine car—and that’s perfectly normal!

Every train has a spirit, and some spirits are more unusual than others. Your train carries a disembodied hand. The hand carries a gold necklace, which in turn carries a gold cross. Don’t even consider pawning the necklace—you won’t like what happens when it is parted from the train. Leave the hand exactly where is it, with its cross. It won’t bother you, if you don’t bother it. You might imagine the hand was removed from its body with great upset and trauma, and you’d be right! You might imagine that the spirit of the person who owned that hand has now haunted the train. You’d be right again—but we like to call it “infused.” Your train is infused with the spirit of a nineteenth-century nun, who also may be an aspect of Fate. This is perfectly normal, considering where you’re headed.

Safe journeys, new train owner! Keep those limbs inside the windows at all times. You never know where your next stop will be.

(If, by chance, you haven’t yet acquired your steam train, it’s never too late to do so! It will be delivered straight to your mailbox for unpacking and exploration!)

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