The House Orien lightning rail is a marvel of magical invention. When the kingdom of Galifar was at its height, House Orien and House Cannith took on a special commission from the king. The king wanted a means to connect the farthest parts of the kingdom that could move people and goods quickly and efficiently. House Cannith created conductor stones – wondrous items that, when arranged along a route in pairs, formed a conduit through which a coach could travel at great speed. For propoulsion, it turned to Zilargo for a vehicle with a bound elemental – in this case, an air elemental to propel the coach through the conduit. When the stones mounted on a coach pass over stones arranged on the ground, a sparking effect is produced, giving the lightning rail its name.
House Cannith provided the means, while House Orien maintains and operates the lightning rail system. A limited pathway of conductor stones are laid down throughout what was once Galifar, and the current lightning rail travels over these pathways. Today, conductor-stone paths connect the nations of Aundair, Breland, Thrane, and Zilargo in the west, and Karrnath, the Talenta Plains, and the Mror Holds in the east.
The lightning rail travels at a speed of 30 miles per hour, and while compared to an airship or an elemental galleon, a lightning rail coach can appear clumsy and unwieldy. A lightning rail coach requires a crew of 10 and can carry 50 tons of cargo. A coach can also tow a large number of passenger cars (each holding up to 200 passengers) and cargo cars (each holding up to 100 tons of cargo). These trailing cars are much like mundane wagons without wheels, but with conductor stones mounted on the bottom.