Board games for train lovers

Train lovers can share their love of railroading with a number of popular board games. These exciting games cover several aspects of railroading. Players may race to build railroads to given destinations or to create the most profitable railways, complete with thriving towns and businesses. Train-themed board games make a great addition to family game nights. They are also ideal gifts for any train lovers in your life.

Ticket to Ride

Published by Days of Wonder, Ticket to Ride lets players compete to build connecting railroad lines all across the country. This popular board game is available in many different variations, including maps of North America, Europe and Nordic Countries. There are also expansion packs which add to the challenge. Ticket to Ride is quick to learn, yet players will develop their own favorite strategies with each replay. A game typically takes 30 to 60 minutes and games can be played with two to five players.

Steam: Rails to Riches

Steam: Rails to Riches, created by MayFair Games, lets players compete to have the most successful railroad company. Players earn points by building tracks, upgrading towns and making profitable deliveries. A double-sided game board offers two ways to play. The board featuring the United States and Canada is ideal for three to four players, while a game with more players may be better suited to the European game board. Steam is recommended for players ages 12 and up, and pieces are included for up to six players. With so many interesting angles to play, expect an average game to take at least 90 minutes.


While many train games focus on the early days of American or European railroading, Trains, by Alderac Entertainment Group, features modern Japanese railways. This exciting game lets players compete to build stations and train lines so they can transport goods and passengers. A two-sided game board sets the game in either Osaka or Tokyo. Trains can be played with two to four players and it is recommended for ages 12 and up. Average playing time for a game is 45 minutes.

Trains and Stations

Designed for players aged 14 and up, Trains and Stations takes railroad building to the next level. Players use their railways to turn a profit by making deliveries, developing buildings or setting up mining operations. They can even make money by expanding their railway and agreeing to transport other players’ goods. Each game develops its own shifting challenges, which always keeps it fresh. Trains and Stations is made for three to five players and a typical game will last for over 45 minutes.

Thomas Making Tracks

Young children, ages four and up, can also get in on the train-building fun with Thomas Making Tracks. Based on the popular Thomas the Tank Engine series, this fun game lets kids choose a train and lay tracks from its siding out to the roundhouse. No reading is required, but the game helps build pattern-matching skills. Thomas Making Tracks can be played with two to four people and a game can usually be finished in 10 to 15 minutes.

Playing these games with family and friends brings the wonder of railroading to the comfort of your own home.