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The Command System is a subterranean railway bunker on Schar's World.



Station OneEdit

Station one had a spiral rail tunnel to the surface.[1]

Station FourEdit

Station four was connected to the surface by personnel and equipment elevator shafts, service-tube, transit tube[2], and a spiral non-rail tunnel.[1]

The surface entrance was a tunnel carved into a mountain. On the outside it opened onto a wide mountain-surrounded plain on a narrow point near the base of a thousand kilometre long peninsula. It tunnel opened onto a wide, mountain-encircled plain on the outside. The tunnel had a smooth floor and arched ceiling of fused rock.[2]

The first segment of the tunnel extended 50 metres and had two equipment bays. It then had a right-angled turn opening into a large gallery. The tunnel continued through multiple blast doors until it reached shafts and tunnels leading below.[2] The blast doors were a metre thick.[1]

When Schar's World became a Dra'Azon Planet of the Dead, the caretaker base was set up in the tunnel. A field was used at the entrance to keep out the elements. The first bay stored search and rescue equipment, the second contained the base's flyer, and the gallery segmented with plastic walls and converted into the accommodation unit. The tunnel beyond the gallery was closed by another plastic wall. All traces of the base was removed following the death of the caretakers and the battle in the System in 1331 CE.[2]

Access ShaftsEdit

The elevator shafts were ten kilometres deep and could be segmented by blast doors.[1]


The system was buried five kilometres deep in a granite batholith. It is several hundred kilometres long of winding 22 metre diameter tunnel pairs.[3] The tunnels extended under the surrounding oceans.[2] A transport tube system complemented the rail tunnels and was a faster way of moving personnel around.[1]


Nine stations were built. Each station was connected by hardened communication channels to transceiver sites on the surface. The trains stopped at the stations stopped at the stations to communicate with the outside world.[1]

Stations were 25 to 35 kilometres apart.[1]

The main stations were one, four and seven which contained repair and maintenance facilities.[1]

Station FourEdit

Station four was a large 300-metre long cavern twice as wide as the main tunnels. Gantries and ramps that almost reached the ceiling at either ends of the stations gave access to the upper levels of the trains. The local repair and maintenance facility was connected via train tunnels.[1]

The repair and maintenance cavern was 300 metres square and had a height of 60 metres. Giant cradle arms to lift entire trains were suspended from the ceiling. A suspended gantry bisected the cavern from a gallery on either side. A semicircular alcove overlooking the floor was carved 30 metres above the floor.[1]

Station four was 30 kilometres from station five.[1]


There were eight trains. In 1331 CE, two trains each were parked in stations one and seven, with one train each in stations two, six, eight and nine.[1] They had a top speed of over 190 km/h.[4]


Electricity was generated by geothermal shafts sunk a hundred kilometres into the crust. Backup fission reactors were placed in the lowest service levels. A reactor eight kilometres from station four was used to power the emergency ventilation fans.[1]

Stations could isolate their track sections from the power supply loop. Otherwise it was not possible to restrict power to any part of the system.[1]

Power could be activated from station one, four and seven.[1]


The system was built as a command centre in event of a nuclear war. Ironically the civilization destroyed itself with biological weapons instead.[3]

When Schar's World was made a Dra'Azon Planet of the Dead the Command System was filled with argon to aid preservation. 6000 years after this an ice age reduced temperatures so much that the natural atmosphere was let back in.[1] The System was kept in a working state.[3][1]

In 1331 CE a Culture Mind took refuge in the tunnels from Idiran pursuers.[5] Idiran troops and Kraiklyn's Free Company entered the System to recover the Mind. The System was damaged in the struggle to recover the Mind,[4] but was completely repaired by the Dra'Azon afterwards.[6]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Consider Phlebas, Chapter 10
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Consider Phlebas, Chapter 9
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Consider Phlebas, State of play: one
  4. 4.0 4.1 Consider Phlebas, Chapter 13
  5. Consider Phlebas, Chapter 2
  6. Consider Phlebas, Dramatis personae