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by Greens01

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Strategy Guide by Greens01

Updated: 06/10/2015

The East-West duel takes centre stage in the USA scenario

East meets West

Rail Nation USA scenario have an USA-theme. Although you have a choice to start in the East (red) or the West (blue), the game-play does not differ from the rest of the servers.

Terms and Condition
Note: Travian Games does not control its content, and is by no means affiliated with the site or its owner. This guide and its contents are protected under international copyright law. I reserve all rights for its use. To copy these outside of the website of www.gamefaq.com and www.neoseeker.com is forbidden. Copyright 2015-2017© Marcel Groenewald.

This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. Using the contents of this guide for making money (commercial service or charge any costs from users) is strictly forbidden.
It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

RAILNATION: Strategy browser game: www.railnation.com
*Publisher: Travian Game GmbH
*Developer: Bright Future GmbH
*Type: Free Browser game: www.railnation.com

Game Data
*Engine upgrades: 113
*Station buildings: 11 with 294 level upgrades in total
*50 cities per map 1708 industries per map
*25 Players per association
*120 workers to bid on
*500 Avatar graphics to update your profile

Using this guide

Some of the images displayed here has been downloaded for free from www.railnation.com.

This guide is not an exact way to play the game, but a collection of ideas and opinions from players who has played Train Nation. It might contain mistakes that can has a negative effect on your game. Under the different topics you will find references that take you back and fro through the guide on different criteria on a specific subject. The objective of this guide is to give you general ideas on how to improve your gaming skills. You may copy text only for home use. Terms and conditions apply: Copyright 2013-2015© Marcel Groenewald


Rail Nation is an online strategy railway-game where gamers can start their own railway company. Rail Nation can be played free in all common browsers. Gamers compete in real time for 3 months through 6 different eras against other players all over the world to become the winner of the server. The sole player or group of players in an association with the most points win by investing in industries, upgrade station buildings and deliver needed goods to the city. Associations, friendly and rivals, have to work in harmony to deliver the goods in demand for their city to thrive and grow quick. At a small amount of cash, gamers can get a premium account to benefit from all sorts of different amenities. Rail Nation has many surprising aspects to determine which route your game will take you. This guide will give you advice on how avoid common mistakes, tips on how you to invest correctly and which engines to prefer.

Solving Log in Issues

Rail Nation has known issues with long log in times. Here is some tips to help overcome these problems.

  • Clear the cache, delete cookies and restart your Pc.
  • Rail Nation uses cookies and the latest Flash player. Set your browser to keep the cookies when you exit the browser. This helps to shorten your log in time the next time you want to play.
  • You can also try different browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, etc.

Remember that after clearing the cache and cookies, your browser will take long to log on again, depending on your internet speed. After that you should have no problem to log in within a minute.



The Plus account is a very good way to get a headstart. To get it, you have to use real money / credit card. You can win one day Plus account and gold in competions. The Plus account includes the Reseacher, Time Table and quick service tabs for all trains. It adds also a 5% interest on your bank account. Each subscribtion runs for 7days. The Starter package is a one-time purchase that fills your reseach bar immediately, level up the Laboratory, Engine House and Bank by one; gives two extra coal, grain and wood wagons. Your prestige has to be under 600.

TIP: To prolong your minimum-prestige-condition for better use of your bonus package, do not collect your prestige medals at the trophy on the top right hand side of your screen.


You can personalise your look to present yourself to the world of Train Nation.

Every era has new goodies to buy to update your look to the present era. Click on the Department Store to select new goodies for your Avatar.

World Map

Choose location for your head office

You can change the option that the game offers where to start your game. Many gamers that plays together, on one server choose to play again as the same team on a new server. Find the player or city you want to be with. When the game wont allow you to connect to a city,due to overcrowding, choose one next to it and lay tracks to it. After you had migrated to your initial city,of choice, change your headquarters in your Profile to your city you wish to be your home city.

World Map

The cities that appear on the map has no railway routes at first. Only 3 industries (wood, Grain and Coal) will be available to every city when the server starts. The routes that appear as dirt tracks (in later eras it changes to tarmac roads) needs to be connected with railway tracks in order to send and receive goods. As the game progresses, new industries will sprung up random at the empty plots.These new industries are sometimes shared by other cities that require the same goods which can cause intense competition between rival associations. Lay routes in advance to these factories and buy wagons for the specific goods to have an advantage over your rivals. You can lay down routes to connect to other cities and take part in that city's growth. ('read more: 1. New Engines; 2. Investing; 3. Track production 4. Integration)


When an industry received enough goods to sustain manufacturing of articles, it becomes integrated. This is shown by the green and orange arrows with a chain through it. The waiting time is shorter and you get rewarded a bonus for goods delivered. Hover your pointer over the integrated icon to see the pop up menu.

Higher profit per route (Integration)
Some factories require goods from other industries to manufacture articles (integration); e.g. Leather needs cattle; Cattle needs Grain. If Leather is your Required Good (RG) needed at the city and pays $180 / ton or $15000 / hour, first deliver Grain---> Cattle; pick up Cattle ---> Leather, load Leather ---> City (read: Goods of the eras) to complete your route. Arrange this scheduled stops to the shortest time
You should now have pushed up the profit / per hour in comparison with a single straight route. Where a long waiting time applies at industries, these stopping intervals will indeed lower your profit rate. In such cases try to eliminate some of the stops until you are satisfied with the results. Click on the green or orange arrows to change the total of waggons you want to allocate for a specific good if you want to keep a space open for other goods you want to pick up or deliver goods elsewhere on the same route with the same engine.


You can check for upcoming competitions at the Planning office. Plan ahead as each competition demands different goals. At the banner on top of the city's competition, look for the counter located at the top right . This indicates how many wagons needs to be off loaded in the remaining time to complete the competition succesful. The status bar have to be green to win the competition

NOTE: Your engines have to be already running on the right tracks. The system will not place your trains automatically in the competition, even if you had entered with gold. Its a common mistake to enter the competition without being on the actual route. You have to schedule your trains on that route to be succesful. You will get paid for each succesful delivery of goods from your train while participating. Use a direct route without stopping intervals to stay ahead. Make sure about the waiting-time delays at the industry of competition. Use the fastest route and schedule to compete succesfull. When you have finished the competition, make sure to return your trains to their usual daily schedules if necessary.

Competition in other cities
You will need three tracks between that city and industries around it (e.g. Coal, Wood and Grain). After a while, the system link the new city to your account and generate competitions for that city as well that will shows automatically.


Warehouse is basically a new type of industry. There are only 11 (eleven) on the map. Every unlocked good on the map can be delivered to the warehouse or picked up at it but you cannot pick up a good and then deliver it back to the same warehouse, you can however pick up a good and deliver it to another warehouse. You can haul as many goods as you want to the warehouse, but you can pick up only one type of good. The good you are picking up has to be different than the one(s) you delivered. As warehouse is considered another type of industry you can invest into it, your investments will count for every good in the industry, you can also set up integration and profit from it the same you do in other industries. When you have the warehouse connected to your rail network, you can buy all wagons unlocked on the map even if the industry itself is not connected to your rail network.
Same as industries, warehouses have levels and the higher those levels are, the more capacity the warehouse will have. Generally, the profit from delivering goods to a warehouse are higher than delivering to cities or other industries.


When the server starts at Era 1, you will have the option to transport grain, coal and wood to your city. If you are not familiar with the game, do the tutorial tasks given by the conductor, L. Smith. If you choose to skip this tutorial, all the tasks given will be completed immediately. It is strongly recommended that you finish the tasks to get familiar with the game. Start by connecting each of the 3 closest different industries to the city. These 3 initial routes will be the foundation of your income. Try to invest in your station at every chance. Upgrade the Laboratory to speed up the rate of research points. Engines and waggons are your means of income. The more engines you own, the higher your hourly income will be. This makes the Engine house the most valued building in the Station area. If possible don't sell wagons as you will need them for the end game.


The game has 6 eras which is divided into the developing stages of the history of the railroad. Wagons get more expensive with each era. You will only be able to haul the previous Era's goods until the coupling is fitted to the engine of the older engine types : more in in Laboratory

Tip: At the break of the new era, keep your bank account filled to the brim. You want to buy the new engines and wagons of the next Era to haul the new goods and lay down new routes.

  • At the start of every new era, your Engine house's level is raised to buy more engines.To buy extra engines, you have to upgrade your engine house or sell your older engines. You do not loose your current engines and wagons when entering the New Era, but you have to research the coupling to connect the new era's wagons with the previous era's Engines
  • A new tree become available to research more modern engines that become available after you had research them.
  • Your Avatar has new items to update your profile picture with the modern time of the new era.

At the end of era 6 the End game starts and the top 10 cities will start developing mega cities.


In order to compete in the endgame, your city has to be one of the ten mega cities.Each association hauling particular items needs to supply some stock to keep the wait times manageable for their association which may take co-ordination. The easiest way is for people to always haul some stock to the industry while hauling required goods back to the city. Hauling stock to an industry does nothing, unless someone from your association is hauling the required good home. You can't assign one association to haul stock and another to haul the good to the town. The two associations can't share the stock wait time benefits. read more: 1. Association; 2. Integration


Each city level requires a certain level industry to sustain the city's needs. Example: Cotton had to grow to level 3 before its large enough to supply enough cotton to fill the requirements for city growth. If players push the "occupancy" level of the Cotton harbor up to 300 percent and hold it there steady, they will be able to get level 3 Cotton harbor within 12 hours. This strategy should level a city within 24 hours." (Credit: Wijo).

The cities that reached maximum roof level of an era, will get the first next 3 era goods when it starts, so they do not need to level again to obtain these new goods. This level limit allows other cities to narrow the gap between the top cities

When a city level up, new industries become available. These goods will replace some of the Required Goods (RG) that is needed at the City. It requires new routes to be connected between these industries and cities. New industries need raw material and goods from other factories to produce goods (occupancy rate).

Pushing for Green status bars
At some stage, all players from your city will be required to haul only the required goods to level the city. Check your '''City's forum''' for updates. You will have a (sometime) frustrating task of all engines to haul only the Required goods (RG) direct to the city to get the bars into green before the counter resets. You will sacrifice profits and miss out on competitions to achieve this goal. You will assist other associations in hauling their goods also. If you push your trains to the limit, you will have the benefit of a higher city level soon to have new goods available at very high profit margins.


You can start investing in industries once you have connected it to the city with rails. Invest in industries to reduce waiting time for better profit per hour, but do not over invest; rather spent the credits on your upgrades at the station buildings. Prestige points will be awarded for the amount invested when that industry level up. You have to check regular on each industry how much your prestige reward is, since other players or Association could have outbid you on the ranks.

New Investment

Taking over an industry reduces waiting time You can take over the majority ownership of an industry by investing 50% or more to reduce waiting time by 25%. If you are playing as teams in a city, take care not to over invest and accidentally take away the ownership of a friendly association (some associations from your own city works together with you by assisting in transporting the RG) . Look for the red X over the shield that indicates your next investment will take away the majority from the current association. Consult with that association's members to avoid bad vibes between you and other players


Go to your planning office to see which worker is available for auction. Your association members can all participate in the bet to have a worker for your association. Each worker has different attributes from which all the members of the association will benefit. If you placed a bet on a worker, notify your members to help securing the bet.


Prestige is earned by collecting medals; upgrade station buildings; invest in industries, successfully compete in competitions and collecting medals.The higher your prestige, the better prizes you won at the Lottery.

You get more prestige in the end game than your get in 6 eras. Players move up the rankings by getting prestige for delivering the required goods (RG's) to the city. At midnight you get prestige awarded for all the RG's that you have delivered. You will still get money for delivering non required goods to the city but no prestige. Cities only grow (...more in 'City Growth") with Required Goods (RG) sent to it: Grain feeds Cattle; Coal feeds Iron Works; Wood feeds Sawmills; Cotton feed Threads; etc. Work on linking to the closest Required Good (RG) to your rail network. (Credit: Bearwolf)


The Association that ends no 1 in the end game wins . A percentage of members prestige add up to the rank of an Association. When a player leave the association, the points generated by that player the past 24 hours, will be lost. If you are new at the game, join an association and invite game-friends to give advice and guidance. Make sure the leader of your association states clearly which chain of industries they specialise in (wood; coal; grain; etc.). It is in these industries your association will invest to gain majority ownership and be awarded the waiting time-bonus. The Association / player with the highest investment, has the less waiting time. Your investments are also shared with your Association to get majority shares over an industry.

It is important to avoid bad competition with friendly associations of your city (..read new investment). It could hurt your city's growth if deliveries is delayed /not delivered. It is best to have one Mega-Corp in one city. Mega-Corps has the majority power to invest in industries. it reduces the competition for goods.Consult with the other associations of your city to get conclusion on who deliver what. Work with your team-mates and upgrade your association's headquarters to have more active members.Tick the empty box in the middle bottom of screen after you had selected your city to see all the associations in the city of choice. Have a strategy ready to develop your city into a mega city that can compete in the end-game.(read more: City Growth).


Study the properties of the different engines. They are all good in their own right. While one engine might be weak and slow, it can be cheap and the service cost low. Placing an engine on the correct route, can produce a high turnover.

Read: Engines to use

Era 1 | Era 2 | Era 3 | Era 4 | Era 5 | Era 6 | Era 7 |

Era 1






Red Kite

Era 2



Black bear





Era 3








Era 4







Era 5








Era 6








Era 7



Era 1

Era 1

Era 2

Era 2

Era 3

Era 3

Era 4

Era 4

Era 5

Era 5

Era 6

Era 6


Here you'll find all the buildings that has an effect on your game.

The higher the level of your station buildings, the better the prestige. Your main buildings you need to upgrade is the Engine House, Laboratory and the Bank to stay ahead in the game. When an upgrade of the Station building has completed, it rewards you with prestige. Try to invest in the station area at every chance and never underestimate the importance of research as you get better trains quicker. If possible don't sell wagons as you will need them for the end game. When researching you do not have to research everything to move onto the next train.


Upgrade your bank to make sure you do not loose income from the result of "overflowing" your limit when you are offline.

Each level has a maximum amount of cash can host. In order to upgrade station buildings, you have to have the required amount cash ready. If it exceeds your bank limit, you have to first upgrade the bank to host the required level.

Construction Yard

Upgrading the yard shorten the building time of all the station buildings.

Engine House

Upgrade your engine house as soon as possible and at every chance for maximum engine room per level

Engines are needed to generate your main income, therefore the most valued building in the game. The engine house limits the maximum amount of engines you can have per Era (read more: Laboratory)

Total engines per era
Era 1: 7
Era 2: 11
Era 3: 15
Era 4: 19
Era 5: 22
Era 6: 25



Update: 2015-06-03

Read Engines of the Era for more engine details


Use the Swallow (fully upgraded) from era 1 until you can get Falcon.

Your income is very low in Era 1. The Raven is slow and x7 more expensive to repair. Between the Falcon and Swallow, the Rhino is a good alternative.

Get all the upgrades for the Falcon and stick with it until era 2. The Falcon the most profitable engine of its era.

The Swallow is the engine with which you'll start at Era 1. and is most suitable for short tracks
It pulls two wagons, has a medium acceleration. You can use it best to transport wood, grain, coal and iron.

Swallow Upgrade: Large steam dome (+1 Tractive force), Inlet pipe (+2 Acceleration), Steam header (+10km/h Speed) and Safety valve (+20% Reliability).

The Falcon has a medium speed and high acceleration and can pull up to three wagons.

Falcon Upgrade: Flux compensator (+1 Tractive force), Heat controller (+3 Acceleration), Coupling wheel set (+20km/h Speed) and a Control system (+1 Acceleration).


The engines and services costs in next eras are much higher.

Go to The Panther to get to The Lynx.

You have to keep an eye on your bank balance from here onwards. Industries are getting further away from the city; therefore you had to adopt a plan to gain good profit.

Keep the Falcon until you have fully research the Lynx. The Panther is a good money maker over long distance due to its stronger traction force.

The Bat is a good engine to start hauling new goods for cash if you had missed out on the Falcon. If you can, put all research points in the shortest way to buy the Falcon as soon as possible.

The Bat is the first engine of era 2 and can pull up to five wagons.

Bat upgrades: Preheating fan (+1 Tractive force), Barnes lever (+2 Acceleration), Driver's brake valve (+15km/h Speed) and Emanation (+1 Acceleration).

The Lynx can pull up to three wagons.

Lynx upgrade: A Waggon axle (+2 Tractive force), Kylchap (+2 Acceleration), Pulverised coal firing (+2 Acceleration), Corrugated plate (+20% Reliability), Driving wheel small (+15km/h Speed), Driving wheel medium (+10km/h Speed).


The Odin is the first engine of era 3.

Go to Morpheus and update it fully and then research the coupler.

The Morph uses 2 engine slots in the Engine in your Engine House It can pull up to ten wagons.

Morpheus upgrades. A Transmission housing (+3 Tractive force), Traction motor (+2 Acceleration), Engine (+30km/h Speed), Alternator (+20km/h Speed) and a Central buffer coupling

At industries with long waiting time the profit per hour is higher when you use less trains with more wagons to haul the goods from the an industry due to fewer trains waiting to be loaded.


The Apollo is the first engine of era 4.

Use the path to Poseidon and then research the coupler

The Poseidon engine can pull up to eighteen wagons and uses three slots in the engine house

The Poseidon upgrades: A Transsmission housing (+4 Tractive force), Motor (+4 Acceleration), Traction motor (+3 Acceleration), Alternator (+20km/h Speed), Shaw bumper (+20km/h Speed), Sound reduction (+20% Reliability) and a Trumpet coupling


The Unicorn is the first engine of era 5

Start with the path at Unicorn and go to the Centaur and then research the coupler.

The Centaur takes four slots in the engine house and can pull up to twenty eight wagons

The Centaur upgrades: A Titan gear wheels (+4 Tractive force), Spring cups (+4 Tractive force), Transformer (+3 Acceleration), Flange oil (+2 Acceleration), Shaw bumper (+15km/h Speed), Traction motor (+25km/h Speed), Electronics (+15% Reliability), Air suspension (+5% Reliability) and a Hopper coupling


The Ogre is the first engine of era 6.
1.Take line B through Pegasus to get to Olympus. The Pegasus has a very low acceleration and can pull up to twelve wagons
2.Take Line C and get Lyndworms then go for Olympus. The Lindworm has a medium acceleration and can pull thirteen wagons.

The Olympus is the final engine and takes five slots in the engine house

It pull sixty five wagons. It's a great engine during the end game.

The Olympus upgrades. A Traction motor (+15 Tractive force), Support struts (+5 Tractive force), IGBT inverter (+5 Acceleration), Commutator (+2 Acceleration), Plasma converter (+30km/h Speed), Control computer (+20km/h Speed), Axis stabiliser (+20% Reliability) and a Improved suspension (+15% Reliability).

Its your decision if you like more engines or more wagons. I prefer more wagons and less engines. The lesser engines the less to service and to allocate routes for but it's your call.

For more details on engines of an era from Rail Nation go to http://answers.rail-nation.com/ and select Engines

Update: 2015-06-03


Generates time-based prestige and add percentage extra income to the Restaurant and Shopping Centre


Upgrade the hotel to earn bonus on prestige for passengers if you in business (specialise) of transporting passengers.


Upgrades increases the rate that research points are generates. (... read more: Engines to use)

TIP: In Era 1 get your restaurant to level 20 and your Laboratory to level12.

When applying this strategy, you should have no problem doing the 3 lab upgrades each era needed to ensure you research the top train and coupling as long as you have a plus account. Premium feature activate Researcher that reduces the time to generate research points by 25% !

Lab Levels needed to reach Coupling

1. Without Plus Account
Era 1: Level 12 (RP total: 260)

Era 2: Level 14 (RP total: 331)

Era 3: Level 17 (RP total: 376)

Era 4: Level 20 (RP total: 530)

Era 5: Level 25 (RP total: 731)

2. With PLUS Account (Increased rate of research)
Era 1: Level 9 (RP total: 260)

Era 2: Level 11 (RP total: 331)

Era 3: Level 12 (RP total: 376)

Era 4: Level 17 (RP total: 530)

Era 5: Level 22 (RP total: 731) Contribute by: Chienna


1. New Engines

New Train

Do not research everything on an engine at the research tree to unlock the next engine. The solid lines are needed to move on to the next engine. You want to buy the better one of choice as soon as possible. Count the research points needed to get to your goal and take the route that uses lesser points to complete the research.

A good engine depends on what you are hauling. For short trips acceleration is good. On long trips speed and wagon count are good. You have to look at everything. A train hauling 3 wagons at 120 km / hour hauls the same as 6 wagons at 60 km / hour. If acceleration is slow on a short trip you may only reach top speed for a few seconds. On a long trip with fast acceleration and slow speed you will get to top speed but will go slow for a long time. (...read also *Research). Sometimes you have to make a decision which route and which engine first you want to research. Take time to know the engines and their capabilties. Weigh your options and take in consideration that these engines you had researched, have to carry you through the next era. You do not want to end up on a branch of the research tree for engines that does not meet your requirements

2. Research Tree

A new era starts with a new research tree. You are still able to research the old engines, but they are not as good as the next era. The first engine in the next era is not as 'strong' at the last one from the previous era, but research makes them better. The engine at the end of the research tree of the previous era is the best of the best from the previous era. The new engines are more expensive, but worth to invest in research. Although they are not as good as the older ones, you can still make a profit in transporting new goods. With the next era's engines you'll be able to transport the (RG) Required Goods that come with the new era. You will not be able to transport the new goods with engines from the previous era unless you had research and fitted the coupling needed for the next era's wagons. By counting the research points to your next engine of choice, you can work out a strategy to finish the research earlier. Take note that some branches (A or B) split into routes that can takes more points to complete the research of an engine of choice.

The blue labels are open for research. When researching you do not have to research every label to move onto the next train. Follow the solid line to the next blue label of choice. When a blue label's research has completed, it will turn green and become available to buy.
When entering a New Era, you keep your older engine types, but in order to haul the newer goods of the next Era, you have to upgrade the new Coupling to your older engines. The next Era's engines are already equipped with the coupling. When you are not being able to research the new coupling before the new Era begins, save your research point for the next Era's engines

License Trade

Upgrade the building to have up to 4 licenses.

You are entitled to have one license to get bonus money per wagon of goods delivered for which the license is granted; e.g. Coal License give 25$ extra for every wagon of coal delivered: Price per wagon coal is $80 + $25 bonus from license = $105 / wagon.
You can discard of a license to make space for another one.

Licenses can be won at competitions or bid for at your Planning office. It is valid only for 48 hours. Work out the rate of income per hour that the license will produce to your wagons it applies. Note that two of the same licenses does not double the rate of income Only one will be awarded by the system. Take care not to overbid.by taking the travel time and waiting time of trains into equation when bidding on a license. Goods value fluctuate quick- what seems to be of high profit now, can turns into a few hours to the bottom low.


The higher your prestige level is, the better prizes you'll win at the daily draw.

From level 2 you can win a bonus engine and bigger prices.

You can win a bonus engine that does not add to your engine house's limit.

You can won only 1 engine per era at the Lottery. After winning the bonus engine, you can only win other prizes until the next era. When you win an engine at the Lottery, it stays with you through the game. You have to research the coupling for it to haul the next era's good. A bonus engine cannot be sold but you can leave it or place it in the the museum.

In the latest edition of Rail Nation you can buy 3 Lotto tickets at a time.

You cannot 'stack' Lottery tickets. You have to use it immediately. Once the daily cycle has completed it will stop until you had retrieved your ticket. If you have extra gold, you can buy extra tickets to win cash, gold or coins. Collect the Bronze, Silver and Gold coin to exchange for huge amounts of cash, prestige or research points.

Lottery Levels

Level 2 at 1000 Prestige

Level 2 at 3500 Prestige

Level 4 at 8000 Prestige

Level 5 at 60000 Prestige

Updated: 2015-05-29


Generates time-based extra income and no prestige.


Each level of the hotel adds a higher percentage to the income.

TIP: Upgrade your restaurant to level 20 in Era 1 to generate enough money for the 3 Lab upgrades needed each era.