Online game "Rail Nation"

Rail Nation
  • Release date:
    02 July 2013
  • Game type:
  • Game website:
  • Operating system:
    Windows / MacOs
  • Minimum requirements
  • CPU:
    Dual Core 1Ghz
  • RAM:
  • Graphics card:
    DirectX 9
  • Disk space:
  • Internet:
Game screenshots

Rail Nation Game Review

Rail Nation is a free browser-based strategy game. In it, you have to develop a network of railroads on a huge map: buy and improve locomotives, assign routes for transporting various goods and passengers, build stations and lay new tracks. You can build your own empire and compete on an equal footing with the other railroad tycoons on the server. Steam engine theme is fully revealed here, so if you share Sheldon Cooper's hobby from "The Big Bang Theory", you are welcome to join in. And for those who are still undecided, let's tell more about the features of the game that make it interesting.

What is this game about?

So, we are in charge of a railroad company, but we have to start from scratch, because our depot is a wreck. But there is a starting amount of virtual currency to buy equipment. We use it in business. We will debut with a German "Swallow" hundred years ago - an old locomotive, slow, but reliable. The starting point in the construction of our future empire is the town of Millton, where the main station is located and where the unfinished tracks stretch in different directions: one leads to the farms and wheat fields, another - to coal mines, the third - to the sawmill. Transporting any of these resources is lucrative, so all that remains is to figure out which cargo will be more profitable to deliver.
This is where strategy throws up the first challenge. Each city, including the starting city, has its own needs. In order not to miscalculate the route, it is worthwhile to estimate what the locals need more. For example, they have plenty of wheat, but cotton is in short supply. If that is the case, this is the direction to go: look on the map at the nearest station where the necessary resource is extracted and send the train there. Revenue from transportation grows slowly, but at a pace sufficient to hire maintenance staff and repair rolling stock in time. There is also the mechanics of investment, which allows you to increase profits from the delivery of goods, but to invest in this business is more reasonable when you already have a few locomotives and wagons to them.

The number of opportunities is increased by the development of buildings at the central station. If, say, to invest virtual currency to improve the depot, there will be room for a second locomotive - it is already given to the plot, so the machine can immediately send a new route. Railworks upgrade allows you to lay tracks to previously inaccessible destinations, getting the opportunity to expand the list of goods - at first we transported only wood and coal, but now also wheat and beef. Have your profits reached the limit and no longer fit in your account? The problem will be solved by developing the bank to the next level. Tired of carrying ore and longing for passengers? The licensing department will issue the appropriate permit, if it can be improved. Each such building requires not only play money, but also real time, from a couple of minutes to several hours. Of course, to speed up the process helps gold - the rarest resource in the game. But there is no hurry in Rail Nation, and the gold is better kept for something more useful, like a premium car.
Another way to speed up development is to upgrade the building site, because the higher its level, the faster all the other buildings will improve. In addition, the base has buildings that bring good bonuses from the start, each of them gives a unique advantage. The market, for example, allows you to pass the mini-game with various prizes, in the lottery you can buy a ticket for gold with a chance to get something more valuable, the hotel regularly supplies us with prestige points, and the restaurant - game currency. And this whole station is just one point on the sprawling map: there are other cities within kilometers of it. Over time, the railroad empire grows so large that we have business contracts with other users, and the tracks reach major shopping centers - such as Hartfield, Longbridge, and New Wasyuki.

Where do we get new steam locomotives from?

Rail Nation uses not only economic but also historical progression. This means that the player starts in the 19th century with an ancient Prussian wagon, and as you progress, new eras open up and more modern locomotives are added to the depot. And older models are allowed to be sold so they don't take up space. But let's talk about everything in order. The building that allows you to improve your fleet is located at the central station and is called the laboratory. There's a lot of work going on to improve the vehicles: for example, you can modify the "Lastochka" boiler to carry more cargo, or increase the speed. Each such upgrade consumes science points, and they accumulate very slowly. However, here, as with the construction of the central station, available acceleration - temporary hiring of additional scientists for gold.
After researching improvements for one machine, you unlock the next one - it is usually more powerful than the previous one, but also more expensive to maintain. Each era contains about a dozen different locomotives with unique characteristics. They are bought for in-game currency, although initially in any of the eras for gold available premium model, the best in its parameters. Only pounce on all the locomotives at once makes no sense, because, unlike technology, the change of era is automatic. It is often more advantageous to wait for more modern equipment than to go through options of outdated and lose money on their purchase-sale. Here it is important to plan everything in such a way as to get the maximum profit. And the right strategy can be to use only three models from the available set: for example, during the first era it is enough to make do with only "Swallows", "Rhinoceroses" and "Falcons".

It is worth noting that the change of eras is reflected both in the appearance of the locomotives and in the design of the central station. The buildings are gradually taking on a more modern look, and the surrounding infrastructure looks less and less like a Western set. This nuance introduces visual diversity and gives a sense of progress - in addition to increased profits from transportation.

How is the social part arranged?

The essence of many online games comes down to the confrontation of the players. It's the same in Rail Nation. But this is not an action game where you cut up enemies in the arena and measure the legendary armor. It's an intellectual rivalry, not a military one. All people on the server have a common goal - to build the best railway empire on the global map. The winner is chosen at the end of the sixth era by the number of prestige points: whoever has more, takes first place. There are several ways to accumulate prestige. Besides the most obvious - transportation of cargo and passengers - you can invest in the development of small stations, improve the station at your base, collect rewards for achievements and join associations (the local equivalent of the guilds), where in exchange for donations you raise your prestige.
Another important source of prestige is competitions. They arise constantly and for any reason: it is proposed to find out who will deliver more grain in the allotted time, or participants compare income or the rate of development of the central station. It is clear that an easy way to success opens investment of real money: they can be exchanged for gold, having strengthened at the expense of this resource all indicators - at least, having bought premium equipment and having hired scientists. On the other hand, no one has canceled the importance of strategic thinking. The game is full of nuances that can only be reached with your own wits: for example, to discover the technology for coupling wagons of the first era with the locomotives of the second or to intelligently think through the routes. So everyone chooses the style of competition to their liking, and buying for rubles does not guarantee dominance over opponents.


Rail Nation is a complex and varied strategy, but it is easy to understand. Conveniently, it works from the browser and does not require much attention: enough from time to time to improve the buildings at the central station, buy locomotives, plan routes, order research in the laboratory and apply for participation in competitions, and the rest happens automatically. No one prevents you from opening the game in one of the tabs, turn off the music in the menu and go about your business. This entertainment does not offer much action, but it allows you to stretch your brain and relax for a dozen or two minutes after work or study.

December 2020