Rail Route is a Train Dispatcher Simulator Railfans Love

Rail Route is a railroad dispatch strategy game for PC. Trains that travel between stations, railyards, and tracks do so at the discretion of railroad dispatchers. They use special display maps to direct traffic. This game takes most of the nuances of this real technology and has created a simulation. It uses simple mechanics to build a railroad empire. With many options, an informative tutorial, and room to expand, you’ll be keeping an eye on your fleet timetables for engaging gameplay.

My Railfan Past

One of my hobbies for years has been radio monitoring. I have listened to a variety of utility services from public safety to global aviation. One band I have relevantly been interested though is the rail band. At approximately 160-161 MHz, pretty much anybody can listen to the railroad traffic in their area. Am I losing your interest already? It sounds kind of boring, but I’ve had long evenings listening to these things for pleasure.

The rail band is usually fairly interesting, however, it can be incredibly confusing. This is why some railfans use a program to monitor something called ATCS. I’m getting to the point quickly here. ATSC is a dispatch map display that shows you what track sections in a local network are in use, which ones are slated to be used soon, and the direction of the switches as they are aligned amongst the track. It is not a universal or even accurate option, but it can tell you if a train’s about to go by your house sometimes.

Honestly, I haven’t listened to rail band in probably a year, not because I’m bored of it, but because I haven’t been able to get out and see a train in about that long. I love trains though. Really. I have been on around 10 major long-distance routes in the US and Canada and several commuter/tourist trains. I even like watching videos of trains. And whenever I get a chance to see one up close I always bust open the camera. Also, I used to live across the street from a rail crossing and I loved sitting on the porch to watch them go by–hmm, wonder why I was the only one, maybe it was the roaring freight trains at 2 in the morning. 🤷‍♂️🚂

Rail Route: It’s a Z-Train (A Fast Mover)

Alright, so there’s that nostalgic trip. I really need to tell you about this game though. Its interface may seem confusing, but after a brief tutorial, you’ll be able to figure out the rest quickly. Basically, just keep your trains running and save contract payments to build more and bigger networks.

You can manually adjust the rail switches to re-route trains, and open up tracks plus call new ones into the station. There are options to purchase expansions after you’ve been running your trains for a while. It’s not a clicker, but I bet you could leave it open on a second monitor. The main mode in this game is “endless” after all, so there’s plenty of content.

I think the main thing to acknowledge at this point, without jumping straight into the major themes of this concept, is that this is a pretty neat glimpse of what it’s like to be a train dispatcher. If you are into trains or railfanning, you’ll probably think this is kind of cool. I think a lot of gamers really like this minimalist interface also, one way or the other. In other words, this IS a GAME. This is what it looks like for the real thing as I mentioned in discussing ATSC, so I think that is a pretty interesting, and probably challenging, concept from the developer. The more you play, the more the simple glow of a string of crawling rectangles on a dark blue background is for me.

Overall, I think this can be a great game to try for puzzle lovers and train enthusiasts alike. It is on par with other transportation puzzles games like Mini Motorways and Train Valley–albeit with a more technical type of interface. If you’d like to check this game out, it’s on Steam and it’s actually available in early access right now, but I highly encourage you to check it out as its been well received: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1124180/Rail_Route/

On my end, thank you so much for reading MrDavePizza.com. If you like this review, please be sure to have a look around. I hope you enjoyed it, and enjoy your games!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top