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Rail Nation Guide

As any modern gamer knows, there are thousands of games out there vying for attention. Amongst Steam sales, Humble Bundle deals, and free-to-play games, it can be hard to know where to start. When you do find a title to get stuck into, the last thing you need is to spend ages figuring out how it all works. With games like Rail Nation that have many different elements to master, it can be off-putting. However, if you were to find a Rail Nation guide, you’d get a head start. Luckily for you, you’ve found exactly that. 



Rail Nation Guide – The Basics 

So, you want to start your own successful rail company? You’ve come to the right place, or rather, you’ve chosen the right game. Rail Nation is a game about creating, managing, and making a success of a vast rail network. The game is available to play for free on iOS, Android, and in most web browsers. 


With over 3 million players globally, across 19 languages, the game has been a firm success. Players must team up, as well as compete against each other, in order to be successful. Games are typically played over 1.5 – 3 months, with various rounds (epochs) in each game. As such, it requires quite a big time investment if you want to win. 


Rail Nation Guide – Getting Started

First things first, you’ll need to get set up with an account and choose a server. First, you’ll have to go over to the official Rail Nation website and register with your email address. You’ll have to fill out some basic information and then choose a password. Once you’re account is set up, you can log in. If you’re playing on mobile, you can do all this through the app once you download it. 


Next, you must pick a server to play on. You’ll find that there are several servers available, mainly based around the language there in. There is also an international server where you’ll find all kinds of languages. You’ll likely want to choose a server that’s just started (in its first epoch). This way, you can establish yourself in the game. 


Finally, you’ll need to select an avatar and the city you wish to start in. The game automatically recommends the city with the fewest players in. Again, this is so you can make your mark. However, the choice is yours. 


Rail Nation Guide – Game Basics 

At this point, the game is fairly good at guiding you through the main mechanics of the game. There are several tutorial missions you can play, each which teaches you new elements and rewards you with various prizes. 


We’ve outlined the various steps of the tutorial: 

  • Buy an engine. The very first element you need in your game is an engine. Without it, you can’t haul freight. To make your purchase, first navigate to the ‘Vehicles’ tab on the bottom of the menu. Click on ‘Buy New Engine’ and you’ll be able to buy a Swallow engine. All you need to do is click on ‘Buy Engine’ to make your purchase. Doing so nets you $10,000 and 5 prestige. Nice! 
  • Buy waggons. Next on your list of things to do is buy some waggons to transport goods. Again, head to the ‘Vehicles’ section and click on the ‘Waggons’ tab. You can purchase grain waggons with the amount of money you have. As a reward, you’ll get $2,500. 
  • Create a schedule. Once you’ve got your engine and waggons, you can set up a schedule. This is one of the game’s core mechanics, so it’s worth spending the time to figure out how it works. You’ll need to organise transport from the city to either another city or a processing industry. To do so, click on the engine symbol by your city and select ‘Schedule’. From here, you can select industries or cities to add them as stops. Your train will pick up goods at the first stop, and then offload them at the destination. 

Rail Nation Guide – Next Steps 

Now that you have the basics of the game down, it’s time to continue with some of the tutorial missions. Again, each of these will reward you with money and prestige. These are essential for progressing through the game past the tutorial. 


Upgrade your station. First, navigate to the Train Station tab in your menu. There are several buildings here which you can add and upgrade to bring advantages. For example, by increasing the level of your Engine House, you can store more engines and make more money. To upgrade it, select the building and click on ‘Upgrade’ to start construction. You’ll see a countdown for how long it takes to complete. As a reward, you’ll get another Swallow and two coal waggons. 


Set up another schedule. Now that you have a second engine and waggons, you can create another schedule. This means you start earning more money. 


Research upgrades. Research can get you some new technologies. These are essential for upgrading your engines and earning more money. Click on the ‘Research’ tab in the menu and bring up the technology tree. Here, there will be various technologies you can research in your current era. You can research the Superheated steam first, which takes research points. 


Install upgrades. Once your research project has completed, you’ll need to install your upgrade. To do so, open your list of vehicles and select an engine. From here, you can click on the ‘Upgrade’ button to install one of the listed upgrades. Simple! 


Rail Nation Guide – Final Words

So far, we’ve covered the very basics of Rail Nation. As you can see, there’s quite a lot of depth to the game, as well as many mechanics to master. You’ll need to progress each of these areas if you’re to be successful, which can take time and patience. 


In a separate guide, we covered Rail Nation hacks. You may be tempted to turn to cheats to try and get an advantage in the game. We don’t recommend this approach at all. Instead, you should play though and enjoy the game as much as possible. 



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