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Rail Nation Review: Rule the Rails

Updated on January 23, 2017
Alexandria Joy profile image

Alexandria has been playing video games since the days of the Sega Genesis. She's been writing about video games going on four years.

Travian Games’ Rail Nation is a browser based game that lets players create and manage their very own railway company. Set in a Victorian USA the game pits East against West for control of the railways across the country. The game is free to play and offers a truly unique and in-depth gaming experience.

Getting Started

To get started players create an avatar, choose a side of the country to align themselves with and then a city to set up their train station. After the start up, things start to get more complicated. A helpful tutorial walks you through all the basics of the game. However, the tutorial gets tedious fast and is comprised of a lot of text to read.

Once you finish the tutorial, the game will guide you through some more little quests as you play to teach you more about the game. There’s so much going on in this game you’ll always be learning new facets and things you can do. Once you have some routes and train schedules set up you’ll passively make money as your cargo is picked up at one destination and dropped off at another.

Real-time strategy elements bring the familiar gameplay of acquiring resources and upgrading technology in order to get those resources faster. Yet the game is also a train station simulator that allows you to set everything up and walk away while your trains keep running and come back to it later. From researching new technology to planning out the most efficient train schedules there’s a lot to keep track of.

Invest wisely to make your railway company the best.
Invest wisely to make your railway company the best. | Source

Competition and Micro-transactions

There’s a lot of competition involved in Rail Nation on different scales. The East fights for control of the country vs. the West, and city level competitions will occur over fixed periods of time. Corporations can be formed between players similar to a league and all players are ranked against one another.

The game is free to play but there are micro-transactions. Upgrades can be made instantaneously with gold bars as well as buying equipment you otherwise couldn’t afford. Because of the competitive aspect it seems possible to have an unfair advantage. However, because most of the competitions are between large groups of people any payed for advantages are likely balanced out.

Rail Nation features 50 real life cities as well as iconic American sites such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty. A plethora of realistic trains from steam to diesel are available which can be customized. You’ll progress from one era to the next and more trains, technologies and even wardrobe choices will become available.


Travian’s free-to-play browser game Rail Nation is fun, if real-time strategy train simulation is your cup of tea. It is very different from other train and browser games out there. The game has now gone mobile and expanded to include European railways too. Play Rail Nation on mobile or PC and discover the many aspects of the game for yourself.

4 stars for Rail Nation USA on PC

© 2017 Alexandria Taberski


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