Trainstation 2 - a fun mobile app of acquiring and dispatching trains

If anyone fondly remembers the days of model railroads is looking for a new mobile time-waster, this free-to-play Android/iOS app is worth considering.

Basic gameplay is dispatching trains to gather materials and deliver them to contractors, also queuing up items to build in factories and upgrading your storage/city. There’s no math, profit/loss or cost/benefit analysis such as “Railroad Tycoon”, and you don’t get to design your track layout or anything (only what buildings go in your city, but the countries available (there are at least 11 plus monthly event maps) are nicely designed with nice graphical flourishes and the occasional easter egg. Each one has unique resources and job storylines.

There is some of the ad-driven, potential “spend to win” options available, but they are PURELY optional. You can be completely free-to-play and the ads only play if you choose to view them (usually doubles your rewards or speeds production).

There are frequent events with both free and paid rewards, during which you can choose to play aggressively against other players (complete more jobs or tasks for more rewards) or simply play at your own pace - you always get something for playing regularly whether it’s a new train or parts for upgrading your station or trains.

There’s both real-life historical trains and fantasy options, however in regular gameplay you don’t get to choose what you get - some are given out by completing jobs, others you spend in-game items earned through gameplay for a “roulette wheel” chance at a good locomotive. Duplicates can be kept or sold for upgrade parts. The events often have special locos you can earn as well, where you can pick specific ones as long as you completed enough jobs during the event.

It can be quite addictive, and is good for firing up every hour or two to queue up factories, choose which jobs to send trains on, and decide if that city upgrade is worth the cost or if it should be chucked in favor of a different offer. Or just enjoy watching the little trains go around the colorful worlds, picking up materials and dropping them off.

I would advise if you pick it up to not level too fast - The first three areas it seems to be better to unlock your basic resources and not rush to get too much XP too fast; to upgrade and acquire more trains as much as feasible before levelling up into a new region. Levelling is based on XP, not on completing a region’s storyline jobs, and pushing too fast can leave one struggling later, especially in gathering critical resources from the first two regions needed to build items for later regions (For example, needing 60 units of lumber but you didn’t acquire or upgrade any trains that can carry more than 30 at a time, meaning you have to send 2 trains or even make two separate runs to get the lumber - and you are limited in how many trains you can send out at once, which can be upgraded with time)

Anyway, I’ve been having a good time with it, brings back memories of sending model trains around the track, so figured it was worth a little write-up. Cheers!

EDIT: Here’s link to the developer’s website.

I’ve been playing it for about 2 years now – I picked it up in the early days of COVID, when I was stuck at home, bored, and depressed. I’m a lifelong train nerd, and I enjoy collecting the trains, and watching them running around on the map.