The Railroad are an underground organisation fighting for the rights and the freedom of the synthetic humans. Some of the members are liberated synths and some of them are humans, but all of them share the same ideology in relation to the synths: that they have the right to their own lives, free from their makers. To find the Railroad, you need to follow the Freedom Trail until you reach the church, go down into the basement and enter the password to gain access to the secret base. From then on, you will be able to fast travel straight into and out of the underground base to save you from having to keep going upstairs and outside.
Desdemona is the leader of the Railroad and makes all of the decisions about what the Railroad do and what their direction should be. She has been criticised by some of the other members for being too emotional to be a good leader, as she sends agents on missions that appear to hold too much of a risk compared to the payout. When you first meet her, she appears to be quite stand-offish (her agents point a gun at you on her orders) but she quickly accepts any help you have to offer and wants you to commit to the Railroad. Obviously any allegiance with the Brotherhood of Steel wouldn’t go down well if Desdemona heard about it, but she’s also not keen on the Minute men either, if you are the general of the Minute men when you start engaging with the Railroad. At some point she will ask you to either side with the Railroad or the Minute men, presumably if you chose to side with the Minute men, that would mean your allegiance with the Railroad would terminate and they might turn against you. Desdemona expects commitment from you, which includes total dedication to the Railroad and their cause.
Deacon is quite a complex character, when you first meet the Railroad he devises a plan to get you promoted from ‘tourist’, which means a volunteer citizen, to a proper Railroad agent. If you accompany Deacon on this mission, you can join the Railroad as an agent and Deacon becomes available to be your companion. When you spend more time with Deacon, he pulls you aside and tells you that he is in fact a synth and he gives you his recall code, which will give you vital information in return for a complete wipe of his memories. He advises you to only use it if necessary and even suggests that he wants the code back in case you read it out accidentally. Deacon tells you that he was one of the first synths with which a total cerebral reset was implemented, meaning he doesn’t possess any of the false memories that a normal synth would, he has no memories at all of his early life. However Deacon it turns out, consistently lies to you and it is up to you as a player to try and determine whether to persuade the truth out of him, usually by confronting him and calling him a liar. Your relationship with Deacon is quite a funny one, as you can never really know when he is telling the truth or not, I get the impression that he is testing your reaction to some important truths and therefore he has to throw some lies in there as well to protect himself. This is quite reasonable considering the people from the Commonwealth don’t have a positive view of synths as many of their population have been kidnapped and replaced by synthetic humans as an experiment.
Glory is one of the liberated synths who is now fighting for the freedom of the other synths as a Railroad agent. She is not afraid of combat, something you find out when you both get sent to a mission by mistake and end up taking on some Generation 1 synths together. She doesn’t really like being questioned a lot about her past, apparently the one question nearly all the synths get asked is if they can actually remember anything about the Institute, which is who made them. She doesn’t like to be associated with the Institute as she is so clearly fighting against them, however this is understandable considering the reaction she must have got from the Commonwealth population if/when they found out she was a synth. Unlike the members of the Brotherhood of Steel who seem put out that you get promoted up their ranks straight away, Glory doesn’t seem to bear you any ill will in relation to your appointment as an agent. The Railroad seems to operate on mutual respect and dedication to their common goal and this seems like a much healthier way to run an organisation than the brutal ranking of the Brotherhood.
Tinker Tom is the computer scientist of the Railroad, he is the one of the characters you can go to if you need help building the teleporter for when you want to get into the Institute. He seems a little bit crazy (and his voice really reminds me of Cat in Red Dwarf) but he always seems to get the result, he will also send you on some side missions of his own to get some surveillance technology in place around the Commonwealth. It is Tinker Tom’s efforts that puts you in touch with the Railroad’s man on the inside of the Institute who they have given the code name ‘Patriot’. Tinker Tom doesn’t really make his opinions on the synths known as much as some of the other members, which leads me to believe that he might not be one. But he still appears to be dedicated to the common goal of the Railroad.
Dr Carrington is the second in command after Desdemona, but he is under the impression that he would make a better leader than her because he is capable of making the hard decisions that would mean less Railroad agents are put in what he sees as unnecessary danger. Carrington sends you on some of his own missions, which involves securing dead drops and finding out about the fate of other Railroad agents. He’s also really useful if you are vulnerable to damage, radiation and chem addiction as he will fix all three for you for some caps (the currency in Fallout 4 is bottlecaps). Despite his opinion of Desdemona, Dr Carrington seems to be totally committed to the cause of the Railroad, however he doesn’t appear to trust you from the beginning. It takes some successful persuasion efforts to start winning him over (not sure if this is because I’m a female character with some extra charisma perks) but he still seems to be slightly edgy towards you.
Overall the Railroad seems like an organisation that are fighting for a good cause, despite the complications associated with synthetic humans and their rights. There is a piece of dialogue, which I think occurs when you first met Desdemona, when she describes how the Institute sees synths as property. I chose the response which likens the way the Institute think to slavery, which is actually quite a good point. Although the synths are artificial, they have been constructed to replicate human life as closely as possible, which means that they appear to have (or maybe they really to have) emotions, they can express humour and they can even be sarcastic. With such a closeness to human life, these synths must be at least considered as beings capable of having a life without the Institute controlling them. Between the Brotherhood of Steel and the Railroad I have decided that the Railroad’s revolutionary ideology suits me a lot better. Yes the synths are artificial and yes my character does have kill a lot of real people in the form of raiders, so the case is naturally very complex. Why should the super mutants and the raiders be killed and the synthetic humans be left alive when they can just as equally pose a threat to the innocent citizens of the Commonwealth? Who am I to make a decision on the synthetic humans when I don’t know the full story behind them? All I can do, is to continue to negotiate my way through the world of Fallout 4 and make judgements based on the synthetic humans I encounter on my way.