Games About Trains

Giant steel behemoths, belching steam, and emitting a shrill scream as they race across the prairies. They must have been a sight to see for the first time. Now, you can see them on your gaming table.

Once settlements grew into towns and communities, people needed a way to transport and trade goods. First came the rivers, which were fine if you lived alongside one. If you were in the heartland of your country, you needed something designed to haul heavy loads over land.

Enter the steam locomotive.

Steam locomotives came to Europe and the United States in the earliest part of the 1800s. Throughout the century, bigger, faster trains were designed, and the competition to build/own those railway lines—and control the major shipping hubs—was fierce. 

Sounds like the making of some great board games to me.

NOTE: I’m intentionally excluding the 250+ 18XX games here, as they would take up the entire list.

Ticket to Ride


Lay down trains to connect cities and earn more points than your opponents in this modern-day classic.

More articlesBuy a copy

Brass: Birmingham


A complex, rewarding economic game of creating a business empire through cities, buildings, and trade routes.

More articlesBuy a copy

Colt Express


A programmed action game where you and your opponents are each trying to rob the same steam-driven locomotive at the same time.

More articlesBuy a copy

Whistle Stop


A puzzly game in which players both build and navigate an overlapping maze of hex-tiled train tracks, racing multiple locomotives across the map.

More articlesBuy a copy

First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express


In this set collection game, players draft cards from an open field over six rounds, both developing the train and the route while managing passengers, luggage, and even the occasional murder.

Read our review More articles

About the author

Tom Franklin

By day, I'm a mild-mannered IT Manager with a slight attitude. By night I play guitar & celtic bouzouki, board games, and watch British TV. I love abstracts, co-ops, worker placement and tile-laying games. Basically, any deep game with lots of interesting choices. 

You can find my middle grade book, The Pterrible Pteranodon, at your favorite online bookstore.

And despite being a DM, I have an inherent dislike of six-sided dice.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Subscribe to Meeple Mountain!

Crowdfunding Roundup

Crowdfunding Roundup header

Resources for Board Gamers

Board Game Categories