Field Photographer Friday is a weekly look at the lore and history behind locations around World of Warcraft. This week, we're taking a look at the Deeprun Tram!
Spanning between the two Alliance cities of Ironforge and Stormwind, the Deeprun Tram provides transport under mountainous terrain and water that would otherwise take days to traverse (or minutes of in-game time).
Following the conflict between the Alliance and Old Horde during the Second War, the kingdom of Stormwind was badly in need of supplies and labor. King Magni Bronzebeard and his dwarves were eager to lend their help. However, it wasn’t long before Magni became frustrated with how long it took to move men and supplies through the mountains. He needed a better solution, so he enlisted the help of High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque of Gnomeregan.
Together, they drafted plans for an underground tram system that would link the two cities and expedite the movement of supplies and men. Gelbin went as far as to build a scale model out of pie tins to show off the great tram system. This model is supposedly viewable in game, inside Sector 17 area of Gnomeregan (I was unable to find it, personally). With the plans in place, it wasn’t long before the tram system was up and running, bolstering cooperation and building a permanent connection between the two cities.
Since World of Warcraft’s release, the tram has remained relatively unchanged. It is accessed on the Ironforge side through the gnome district of Tinker Town. In Stormwind, it is accessed through the Dwarven District, which sprung up around the construction of the tram.
Besides offering transportation, the Deeprun Tram plays host to two quests. In the first quest, players meet with a gnome named Monty to complete Deeprun Rat Roundup. He provides a special Rat Catcher's Flute to help you persuade rats in the tram to follow you. After returning to Monty with your conga-line of rats, he rewards you with a crate of mystery meat (which is probably not made from rats). You take this crate to his brother, Nipsy, who rewards you with some Deeprun Rat Kabob (turns out the meat was probably made from rats).
If you walk even further down the tram to the underwater area, you can sometimes find a mythical beast named Nessy. Nessy is a threshadon boss who is inaccessible to players, and an obvious reference to the Loch Ness Monster.
Leading up to the Cataclysm expansion, Magni’s daughter, Moira Thaurissan, returned to Ironforge to claim the throne after her father was petrified during an elemental-ritual gone wrong. While she ruled Ironforge only briefly, she did so with an iron fist. She barred transportation to and from the city, including closing the Deeprun Tram. This is the only time the tram has ceased operation since it was built. In an attempt to end her short reign, Varian Wrynn had SI:7 agents infiltrate Ironforge through the tram tunnel. With the tram shutdown, they had to walk the entire distance. Varian and his agents never killed Moira as they intended, but her reign was put to an end and the tram was reopened following their incursion.
The largest change to the tram came to the Stormwind side in the Mists of Pandaria expansion. During this time, the Brawler’s Guild was established and an entrepreneurial gnome named Bizmo opened his Brawlpub just off the Stormwind station. Inside the Brawlpub, Alliance heroes can square off in the arena against prominent figures from around Azeroth, all in the pursuit of more fame and prizes.
The tram is sure to remain largely unchanged in the future. It has already stood the test of time and avoided the wrath of many enemies of Azeroth, perhaps to their own peril. You cannot underestimate the power of reliable transportation in time of war, nor can you underestimate the curiosity of rat kabobs.
Additional Lore Resources for the Deeprun Tram
Recommended Reading related to the Deeprun Tram
Magni Bronzebeard - +
Gelbin Mekkatorque - +
Moira Thaurissan - +
Varian Wrynn - +
Join me every Friday as I work to expand my lore knowledge while completing the Field Photographer achievement. Read lore summaries for each location and follow up with resources where you can go more indepth! I encourage you to share your own selfies and any additional lore resources you know of in the comments below, or tweet @PrestonDvorak. Bonus points if the selfie is somewhere you shouldn’t be (such as an Alliance player in Orgrimmar)!