Railroad Tycoon 3

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Railroad Tycoon 3
Railroad Tycoon 3 cover art.jpg
Developer(s) PopTop Software
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers
Producer(s) Chris Lacey
Series Railroad Tycoon
Platform(s) Windows, Mac OS X
Release October 27, 2003
Genre(s) Business simulation game
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer

Railroad Tycoon 3[1] is a computer game in the Railroad Tycoon series,[2] released in 2003. The cover features a station in the background with a K4 Pacific in the foreground.

New features[edit]

The game interface is in full 3D, with free camera movement. The square grid is no longer rigid, as it was in Railroad Tycoon and Railroad Tycoon II - rail and structures can now be rotated 360 degrees.

The economic model has been reworked. In previous games, goods could only be picked up at a station, and revenue depended on the distance between stations. Carloads in Railroad Tycoon 3 slowly move across the map (representing road and water transport) along the gradient of a scalar field representing price, where supply and demand sites function as sources and sinks. Revenue depends on the price difference between pick-up and delivery. This has several effects; raw materials can find their way to industries and get processed, without any trains involved, and a train does not need to pick up goods at the source.

Other changes include: each carload of mail, passengers and troops now has a destination; car setup can be automated, so that trains always pick up the cars that yield the most revenue; warehouse buildings also appear in the game, completing the commodity market the same way as ports do; trains can pass each other on a single track (as in the original Railroad Tycoon on lowest difficulty level); no need for signal towers, as well as station improvements (post offices, restaurants etc.), are placed individually on the map; players can buy industries, and also build processing industries wherever they like; processing industries have limited capacity, but they can be upgraded.


The campaign of the game features 16 scenarios across a total of 5 continents with 7 Maps in North America, 6 Maps in Europe, 1 Map in Asia, 1 Map in Africa, and 1 Map in South America.

USA Campaign: 1840 - 1945. Scenarios: 5

Europe Campaign: 1848 - 1914 Scenarios: 5

World Campaign: 1880 - 1985 Scenarios: 3

Future Campaign: 2025 - 2080 Scenarios: 3

After you pass all scenarios on bronze or higher, you will be given the key to an anonymous city.


With nearly 60 locomotives in the game (nearly 70 in Coast to Coast expansion), the game has the most locomotives of the Railroad Tycoon franchise with locomotives from United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Poland, Russia and more even fictional locomotives like the E-88 and the TransEuro.

Critical reception[edit]

Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 80

Metacritic gave the game an 80/100 despite that some textures seem to pop in and out now and then and also the game's weird way of laying down track.[3]

Loco Commotion extra content[edit]

A train based puzzle game included on the Play Disc as a 141MB optional extra. Loco-Commotion involves solving route and shunting puzzles by moving trains at precise times over increasingly difficult environments throughout the multiple levels.

Coast to Coast expansion pack[edit]

The freeware expansion pack Coast to Coast contains some new locomotives, maps and scenarios. Among the scenarios are imperial Russia and the People's Republic of China. There are unusual scenarios as well; including one in which the United States never underwent the Revolution, instead divided into seven separate nations. With the release of the Coast to Coast Expansion pack, in addition to creating maps and scenarios, players were provided with tools to create custom logos, locomotive skins, and players.