Hatches (known formally as Track Access Hatches) are points of interest that lead to shelters; places that constitute a safe haven for the player, situated beneath Wellington Wells, away from the prying eyes of the authorities and the dangers of the night. The hatches are labeled as- and the shelters adjoin to the Wellington Underground.
The hatches were originally built to serve as access points to the Wellington Underground for maintenance workers. After the end of the German Occupation, the subway system fell into disuse and eventually, when the Executive Committee begun rebuilding and redeveloping the city, the facilities were re-purposed and converted into monitoring stations for the city's motilene distribution network, with living quarters for the workers and storage facilities included in their layout.
Hatches generate randomly on every island in Wellington Wells. There is usually at least one Hatch on every island and the larger ones can even have two. Whenever the player nears a hatch, it will be shown on the compass (if enabled) and will also be highlighted on the map if the player passes by it. Some hatches may be guarded by either Headboys or Bobbies depending on the zone, sometimes they're located behind locked doors, requiring the use of lockpicks to reach.
The Garden District hatches are usually located inside small houses with a small front porch surrounded by cobblestone walls that emit smoke from their chimneys, though in Lud's Holm, the hatch will be located by the old Lud's Holm Station, now occupied by a hoard of Plague Wastrels.
Once the player locates said hatch, they must enter it, secure the shelter by clearing out any hazards if there are any, and then power up the hatch by interacting with an electrical power switch.
- The Workbench and Chemistry Set allow the player to craft various items, including ones that cannot be crafted in the field
- The Bed allows them to sleep safely and pass time, allowing one to sleep through the night. Sleeping will replenish Fatigue and also slightly heal the player, albeit at the cost of depleting Hunger and Thirst somewhat.
- The Pneumatic Stash allows them to store their items for later retrieval. The pneumatic stash has unlimited storage capacity and any crafting components stored inside it can be used at any time, regardless of location (Except in Survival Mode)
- In addition to those, some shelters may contain Vending Machines and others can also spawn loot for the player to collect, albeit only once.
In addition to those, the shelter also serves as a fast-travel point. At any point when the player is out in town, not in combat or overburdened, they can open up the map and click on any active shelters in order to instantly travel to it. The player can also use the shelter's track access door (a large steel door) to travel from one shelter to another, assuming both shelters have been discovered and powered up.
- The shelters are actually meant to be used by Council Workers who are either stationed at the location full-time to monitor the equipment there or are too far from home to be able to get home after the end of their work shift.
- This is evidenced by the fact that some shelters have signs near their beds saying "Workers' resting area. Please be quiet!".
- The heavy use of Joy explains why no workers are ever stationed at the facilities; the Executive Committee, to drugged-up to function properly, and the Council Workers likewise, have mostly forgotten about everything.
- The shelters all adjoin to the Wellington Underground and are essentially maintenance facilities for the subway.