Railways of the World

Railways of the World – A Conductor’s Guide to Rules, Strategy, Instructions


Railways of the World is a board game that takes you back to the era of steam engines and the rise of railroad empires. It’s a game where players build tracks, deliver goods, and grow their railway companies to earn the most victory points. The game is known for its deep strategy and engaging gameplay, making it a favorite among board game enthusiasts.

It was first released in 2005 and has since seen several expansions and revisions, each adding new layers and challenges to the game. The game’s rich history is reflected in its detailed components and the strategic depth it offers. Whether you’re a fan of trains or just love a good strategy game, Railways of the World is a journey worth taking.

Quick Tip for Railways of the World

Always keep an eye on your opponents’ moves and adapt your strategy accordingly. Flexibility can be the key to victory!

Rules for playing Railways of the World

The rules of Railways of the World are designed to simulate the building and operation of railroad empires. Players take turns performing actions such as building track, upgrading their trains, and delivering goods. The game is played over several rounds, and each round consists of three main phases: the Auction Phase, the Rail Building Phase, and the Income Phase. During the Auction Phase, players bid for turn order, which can be crucial for strategy. In the Rail Building Phase, players spend their money to lay down tracks and connect cities. The Income Phase is where players earn money based on the goods they’ve delivered. The game ends after a set number of rounds, and the player with the most victory points, earned through building tracks, delivering goods, and completing certain bonus conditions, wins the game.

Equipment and Setup for Railways of the World

To play Railways of the World, you’ll need the game board, which represents a map with various cities and terrain, train miniatures, goods cubes, money (usually in the form of paper bills), and player markers. Each player also gets a set of track tiles that they will use to build their railway network. The setup involves placing the board in the center of the table, distributing the goods cubes to their respective cities, and giving each player their starting capital and track tiles. If you don’t have the official game, you could potentially create a DIY version with a homemade map, substitute tokens for goods, and paper for money, though the experience might not be the same.

How to Play Railways of the World and Game Mechanics

The game mechanics of Railways of the World are what make it both challenging and engaging. Here’s a breakdown of the gameplay phases:

  1. Auction Phase: Players bid for the order of play, which can greatly affect their strategy.
  2. Rail Building Phase: Players spend money to lay down tracks, aiming to connect cities and create efficient routes for delivering goods.
  3. Income Phase: Players deliver goods using their trains, earning money and victory points for each delivery.

Players must balance their spending on tracks and trains with their income from deliveries. The game encourages strategic planning and foresight, as well as the ability to adapt to changing situations.

How to Win at Railways of the World

Winning at Railways of the World requires a mix of strategy, planning, and sometimes a bit of luck. Beginners should focus on understanding the value of connecting major cities and delivering goods efficiently. Intermediate players can start to incorporate more complex strategies, such as disrupting opponents’ routes or bidding aggressively for turn order. Advanced players will often have a deep understanding of the game’s mechanics and can predict opponents’ moves, plan several turns ahead, and optimize their network for maximum victory points.

Best Strategies for playing Railways of the World game

To excel at Railways of the World, you’ll want to employ some key strategies:

  • Plan your network with future expansions in mind.
  • Keep an eye on your opponents’ actions and be ready to block or outbid them when necessary.
  • Manage your money carefully; it’s easy to run out if you’re not careful.
  • Choose your train upgrades wisely; they can greatly increase your delivery capacity.
  • Take advantage of the bonus cards that can give you extra victory points.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy, so be ready to adapt and change your tactics as the game progresses.


During the game, you might find yourself in various scenarios. For example, you might be low on cash, making it hard to build new tracks. In this case, focus on making deliveries with your existing network to build up your finances. Conversely, you might have a strong network but find that all the nearby goods have been delivered. Here, you might need to expand to new cities or disrupt your opponents’ networks to create new opportunities for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Railways of the World game

Q: How many players can play Railways of the World?
A: The game is typically for 2-6 players.

Q: How long does a typical game last?
A: A game can last between 120-180 minutes.

Q: Can I block other players’ tracks?
A: Yes, you can build your tracks in a way that makes it difficult for others to expand.

Q: Is there a solo version of the game?
A: Officially, no, but there are fan-made solo variants available online.

Q: What’s the best way to learn the game?
A: Reading the rulebook and watching tutorial videos can help, but playing the game is the best way to learn.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Here are a few more tips to help you master Railways of the World:

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the Auction Phase. Going first can give you a significant advantage.
  • Keep track of which goods are in demand and plan your deliveries accordingly.
  • Remember that building longer routes can earn you more points, but they also cost more money.

For more information on Railways of the World, check out these links:
Eagle Games – Official Railways of the World Page
YouTube – Railways of the World Gameplay Videos