|This is a lore summary, presenting intradiegetic or in-universe information about the subject. For game characteristics and similar data, consult the table on the right.|
A railway rifle is a projectile weapon used for firing railway spikes.
One of the most unconventional weapons in the wasteland, the railway rifle is a pragmatic tool designed for using the ubiquitous railway spikes once used to fasten rails. Their availability has led to the emergence of multiple independent designs across the United States, primarily on the densely urbanized Eastern Seaboard. Commonly using compressed gas for projecting the spikes, some inventors have tried using alternate methods of propelling spikes: Seagrave Holmes of Rivet City wrote of trying to design a weapon using large rubber bands.
This weapon, essentially a gas operated semi-automatic clip-fed rifle, named for the distinctive steam locomotive sound heard when firing. Although designs vary considerably, they are all built around the idea of using high pressure steam to project a spike outwards with great force.