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Sid Meier's Railroads!

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Sid Meier's Railroads!
Cover art by Michel Bohbot[1]
Developer(s)Firaxis Games
Feral Interactive (OS X, Android, iOS)[2]
Feral Interactive (OS X, Android, iOS)
Designer(s)Sid Meier
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android
  • NA: October 18, 2006
  • PAL: October 27, 2006
  • WW: November 1, 2012
iOS, Android
  • WW: April 5, 2023
Genre(s)Business simulation game
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Sid Meier's Railroads! is a business simulation game developed by Firaxis Games on the Gamebryo game engine that was released in October 2006 and is the sequel to Railroad Tycoon 3. Although Sid Meier created the original Railroad Tycoon, subsequent versions were developed by PopTop Software. Railroads! was the first game in the series since the original to have direct input from Sid Meier himself. After a visit to Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany, Meier was inspired to reinvent his original creation.[3] A version for the Mac OS X was published by Feral Interactive on November 1, 2012, under the latter's Feral Legends label.[2] A mobile version was released in April 2023.[4]



Railroads! is fully three-dimensional and geared more toward head-to-head real-time strategy than the previous versions,[citation needed] resulting in it being less suited to single player play, and a less realistic simulation of railway operation. The terrain is more compressed in this game; there are few areas where players are allowed a long, straight run of track without earthworks or a bridge, meaning that terrain (such as hills, mountains, rivers and inlets) plays a more important role, at least in the early stages of a game.

A train transporting cargo.

The game is heavily focused on economics – players have to build and sustain entire industries using the railroads they develop. Gameplay changes from previous editions of Railroad Tycoon include a system where new technology is first auctioned to the highest bidder. This gives the player a ten-year exclusive use of that technology. Similarly, individual industries are also put up for auction amongst players.[5] However, the game does not have the dynamic pricing of goods across the entire map or cargo that can find alternate means of transportation if no train service is provided that were features of Railroad Tycoon III, and other simplifications compared to previous Railroad Tycoon games are that there is no separation of individual money from company money, nor the ability to raise money on an in-game bond market. Tracklaying is automated and much easier than other editions of Railroad Tycoon.[6] When combined with the more "compressed" terrain, it allows for tactical placement of track to obstruct and frustrate opponents. However, players are limited to laying track in a contiguous system, which in turn reduces the impact of there being no network effects in the economics of the game. Another limitation is that trains do not keep to the right on a stretch of double track, meaning unrealistic blocking of the track by one's own trains is common if more than one train is allowed on a stretch of track.

Industries vary depending on the location and timeframe. European scenarios include Wine, Beer, and Dairy Products while Western United States scenarios focus on Oil and Gold.

The game also allows head-to-head play over a LAN and, prior to 2013 when GameSpy ceased online hosting services for multiplayer games, the Internet, supporting up to four players per game, either human or artificial intelligence.[7]



Like the previous versions, Railroads! offers various historical scenarios, in regions such as the Southwestern United States, the Pacific Northwest, the United Kingdom, France, Eastern Europe, and Germany. In these scenarios (fifteen in all), the game allows the user to take on the role of various famous railway tycoons and robber barons from the past, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan.[citation needed]

With the introduction of patch 1.1 a map editor could be enabled by editing one of the game's .ini files,[8] allowing for the creation of custom maps by users.[9][10]

Critical reception


The game received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[11]

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated Sid Meier's Railroads! for "Simulation Game of the Year" at the 10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards.[22]

See also



  1. ^ "Michel Bohbot". Michael Bohbot. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Now Boarding: Sid Meier's Railroads! Out Now on Mac!". Feral Interactive. November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  3. ^ SidMeiersRailroads (October 24, 2006). "Interview with Sid Meier" (Video). YouTube. Google. Archived from the original on December 14, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  4. ^ "Sid Meier's Railroads Released for IOS and Android".
  5. ^ a b Mueller, Greg (October 18, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads! Review". GameSpot. Fandom. Archived from the original on December 6, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  6. ^ Adams, Dan (August 14, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads! (Preview)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Juba, Joe (December 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads!". Game Informer. No. 164. GameStop. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006. Retrieved October 24, 2006.
  8. ^ "Sid Meier's Railroads! 1.1 Patch". 2K Games. Archived from the original on March 6, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  9. ^ "Custom Maps". Map Database. 8 July 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  10. ^ "Railroads:Custom Maps". Sid Meier's Railroads.
  11. ^ a b "Sid Meier's Railroads! for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Fandom. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Review: Sid Meier's Railroads!". Computer Games Magazine. No. 194. theGlobe.com. January 2007. p. 50.
  13. ^ Edge staff (Christmas 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads!". Edge. No. 170. Future plc. p. 88.
  14. ^ Rossignol, Jim (November 3, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads! [date mislabeled as "November 16, 2006"]". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on May 8, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  15. ^ Rausch, Allen; Villoria, Gerald (October 24, 2006). "GameSpy: Sid Meier's Railroads!". GameSpy. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  16. ^ Brodie, Joel (January 4, 2007). "Sid Meier's Railroads! Review". Gamezebo. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  17. ^ Hollingshead, Anise (November 5, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads! - PC - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 1, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  18. ^ Adams, Dan (October 24, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads! Review". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  19. ^ Lewis, Cameron (January 2007). "Sid Meier's Railroads!". Maximum PC. Future US. Archived from the original on May 14, 2007. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  20. ^ "Sid Meier's Railroads!". PC Gamer. Vol. 14, no. 1. Future US. January 2007. p. 62.
  21. ^ Wapshott, Tim (November 4, 2006). "Sid Meier's Railroads!". The Times. Retrieved October 15, 2022.(subscription required)
  22. ^ "2007 Awards Category Details Simulation Game of the Year". interactive.org. Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 8 November 2023.