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With $100000 in the bank after taking out loans and selling stocks, it's time to start a railroad! Choose from 4 scenarios across two continents with randomly generated resources, and design your own railroad that moves people and goods across the country. Use the revenue to continue expanding, while keeping control of your company and appeasing your stock holders with growth and revenues. Play the stock market with company assets. Drive your competitors out of business with buyouts and rate wars. Multiple types of resources to carry (roughly grouped as slow freight, fast freight, passengers, mail) and convert, own facilities to maximize profit (buy a steel mill and the conversion from iron ore to steel makes money for YOU). Use the latest available technology to your advantage (new locomotives). Your objective is to retire with a huge bonus (based on your company's assets) and become the President or the Prime Minister (depending on which continent).

The game is essentially a bird's-eye-view real-time strategy game with aspects of building and stock market manipulation. Each fiscal period is 2-years, which corresponds to 1-day of track time. Build different sizes of stations to take care of different local needs, create trains that switch consists at different stations and maximize throughput. Upgrade/retire/modify trains as times change. The faster the trains arrive, the more money they earn. Multiple options will keep you busy as each game is different.


Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon DOS Credits
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon DOS Taking a look at the loading of the wagons.
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon DOS first track...
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon DOS Income statement

Promo Images

Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon Other
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon Magazine Advertisement Part 3
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon Magazine Advertisement
Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "铁路大亨" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Tielu Daheng" -- Simplified Chinese title
  • "Sid Meier's レイルロードタイクーン" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Golden Age of Railroad" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

This game cost me *years* of my free time! ex_navynuke! (48) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
A rare example of how hard it is being a Capitalist! Truly worthy of being called a Sim Legend! Indra was here (20853) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Fun and highly addictive with lots of replay value anton treuenfels (37) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
One of the best games Sid ever made! William Shawn McDonie (1180) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

Critic Reviews

Dragon Jan, 1991 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
100 aktuelle PC-Spiele 1990 10 out of 10 100
The Games Machine (UK) Jun, 1990 95 out of 100 95
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Jul, 1990 94 out of 100 94
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Aug, 1990 943 out of 1000 94
Power Play Jul, 1990 92 out of 100 92
Zero Jul, 1990 83 out of 100 83
Retro Archives Jul 25, 2018 16.5 out of 20 82
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Jul, 1990 9.8 out of 12 82
PC Format (UK) Dec, 1995 78 out of 100 78


Topic # Posts Last Post
Have media; trying to figure out edition 2 Kabushi (257599)
Dec 15, 2017


1001 Video Games

Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Railroad Tycoon was inspired by the Avalon Hill boardgame 1830. SimTex later adapted 1830 for Avalon Hill. Not long after, SimTex was acquired by MicroProse, and became MicroProse Texas.

Deluxe edition

In 1993 MicroProse released a Deluxe version, which added higher resolution screen, support for more trains, and more scenarios.

Freeware release

The entire game was released for a download to promote Railroad Tycoon 3. The link.


The Amiga version was one of the few non-Flight-Sim games to use the Numeric Keypad significantly - which unfortunately meant that it couldn't be played on the Amiga 600 model, which was launched in the UK in 1992 (one of three entry-level Amigas launched in little over a year!), and had no keypad in the interest of saving space and cost. Subsequent budget reissues of the game did not resolve this issue.


The game was originally titled Golden Age of Railroads. Then MicroProse decided it doesn't emphasize the business aspects, and changed the name to the present form.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • September 1990 (Issue #74) – Overall Game of the Year
    • April 1992 (Issue #93) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #41 overall in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • EMAP Image's Golden Joystick 1991
    • April 1991: PC Game of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #27 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1991 - Best Computer Game in 1990 (DOS version)
    • Issue 01/1991 - Best Strategy Game in 1990 (DOS version)
    • Issue 01/1991 - Best Game Idea in 1990
  • ST Format
    • January 1993 (issue #42) - #50 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list
Information also contributed by Kasey Chang, Martin Smith, PCGamer77 and Scott Monster
Brian Hirt (10020) added Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (DOS) on Mar 03, 1999
Other platforms contributed by Rebound Boy (19579), Kabushi (257599), Pseudo_Intellectual (64350), Terok Nor (32356) and Unicorn Lynx (181445)
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