I was never really into trains as a child, I mean my mother tells me I liked Thomas the Tank Engine, but that was before I was able to form complex memories, so I guess I just have to trust her on that one…
As an adult I’m still not a massive fan of trains, I lived in London for a number of years and travelled by train daily, there is no joy in trains, they are metal boxes of despair that transport people to and from work.
That said I am however a massive fan of the Railroad Tycoon series. The game comes from the brilliant Sid Meier who also brought us the Civilization series of games so comes with a pretty lofty pedigree. The game itself puts you in charge of a rail company. From there it becomes up to you how you wish to progress, passenger or cargo services, investing in industry around the main stops on your railroads. The game also boasts one of the best in game economies I’ve encountered in a Sim game to date, allowing the player to purchase and sell stocks in their own and other companies, fluctuating as the game progresses, possibly crashing, all of which will have a direct impact on your own company.
Of all the games on this list Railroad Tycoon II is by far the most complex, it’s difficult to master and can be frustratingly slow at times, however if you have the time and patience it can be infinitely rewarding.