Posted on Leave a comment

Donut Island! The New “Let’s Play”

let's play railway simulator game a-train 9 v4

Welcome to the start of our latest “Let’s Play” for A-Train 9 Donut Island

Based on a winning entry ion our recent design competition, Donut Island is a small space with one major city and an otherwise barren island – well almost barren with a shunting/marshalling yard near the coat. What can we do with this I wonder? We hope you enjoy this video series. We will be publishing them here approximately once per week  for hopefully 5-10 weeks. 🙂

Posted on Leave a comment

Let’s Play A-Train 9 Japan Rail Simulator Part One. Create A New World

Image for video one of A-train let's play series

Welcome to the new Let’s Play series for A-train 9 Japan Rail Simulator.

The idea with this series is to give players a run through every major element of the game, and some not so major. There will be an element of tutorial in the series, though with a game as rich and deep as this, there is always some new twist for even the most experienced player to learn.

Although the ability to create your own world has been in A-Train 9 since release, the process of creating one is still one of the most asked after tutorials we get.

There are two main stages to the process. The ability for the game to auto-generate terrain to a complexity that the player would like, then secondly the chance to manipulate this in detail, alter the land yourself, and add game-play elements.

In this first tutorial we look at the auto generate terrain function. How to get into the game and have it create the outline of a new world to the players rough specification.

This series will continue with updates at least once per week for the next few months. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any content requests in the comments below. While we have an idea of the topics we are going to cover we are also keen to take the lead from our community and we’ll be glad to add tutorials and videos that you might request.

Posted on Leave a comment

Let’s Play A-Train Railway Simulator Part 5

Degica presents a-train railway simulator

“Go West Young Man”. Well that’s the famous phrase, and my expansion to the West comes across more issues. Getting round a curve I leave myself with to tight a track to lay, and have to delete it (at a cost), then my attempt at double laying is not as precise as I’d like it, maybe something I could fix off camera?

Looking at my cash flow, the amount I can safely invest in future expansion is getting a little low. At some point I might have to look at speculating in the stock market to raise a little more. Overall, I feel I might need to develop a “rhythm” to the expansion, lay the track, follow up with bus commuter routes, wait for the AI to do a little development infil of its own, then look on to the next area, always keeping an eye on the reserves. There will be a big Tax bill coming for my railways company in a couple of months. I need to be able to cover that.

Posted on Leave a comment

Let’s Play A-Train Railway Simulator Part 4

A-Train - time for A Bus

It’s been a long time coming, apologies for that. Here is part 4 of the “Let’s Play”. Already I’m feeling the pinch as to the right (shall we call that East here) the AI has built up the area making new track laying in the future an expensive proposition. Demolish? Go under or go around?

But my main issue is that the AI is not infilling as fast as I’m expanding, but that is also my fault. I need to have a better low level transport infrastructure  around the existing CBD areas, and for that a bus route is in order

Posted on Leave a comment

Let’s Play A-Train Railway Simulator Part 2

The balance between preparing for future growth and managing cash flow in A-Train Railway Simulator

Just a quick recap. We set up a basic line from a factory to a resource depot serving one of the many small hamlets that are part of this map. It’s a twin line – one for freight the other for passengers.


Early on in the game, when cash is short, there are some decisions to make regarding the scale of the capital assets you buy. It would be ideal to be able to afford a large multi platform station and several factories in a central position then spread a network out from that point.

In gameplay however, this is rarely possible to begin with. Not only do the larger factories, depots and stations cost a lot more to build, they also take more to maintain on a monthly basis. Interesting gameplay decisions are how to balance what you can afford now with what you would like to have in the future.

If a player chooses not to use the “reserve land” function (new to this version of A-Train) then the AI may well spoil your future plans for expanding your initial buildings by adding its own infrastructure around them. While you can “build over” AI placed buildings, the cost of doing so is very high, and not something that most players would consider until well into the game when a good cash flow is established

Posted on Leave a comment

Let’s Play A-Train Railway Simulator Part One

The first line is laid in Mytown

Getting Started

Town Planning In A-Train Railway Simulator.

Another day in sunny “Mytown”, and it’s pretty clear from the start that things could be better.

Sure the weather is good, the night and day cycle sometimes brings rain, and in the Winter sometimes snow with it, but today is bright and sunny. It’s a good day for planning a railway.

First things first. While I don’t actually get angry phone calls from the residents of Mytown, I’m pretty sure that, if I could, some of them would be pretty mad.

Why? Well, the transport isn’t all it should be, and that’s a problem.

Due to socio-economic factors in the dim distant past, Mytown has grown up in several distinct areas, often several miles apart, and the public transport network between them is pretty much none existent.

Imagine the problems this causes. Getting to work, seeing your friends and relations, even just getting out of town for a vacation.

Maybe the reason no-one complains is because no-one ever sees me around in this disjointed town to give me a piece of their mind. That’s one advantage I suppose. The life of a town planner.

Of course, I need to fix this, and, while I wish I could just join everything up straight away, that isn’t possible. I have to work to a budget, and the thing about Mytown is – it’s enormous. Connecting it all up in a way that would also allow for sustainable growth would take my entire town budget many times over. So planning is important.

Starting Small

Let’s start by joining two of the biggest areas together with sensible road and rail networks.

Starting Small

If I’m lucky that will keep the people happy, earn some more cash which in turn will fund more projects to connect more areas and allow for more growth. I can see this being a long term project.

Hang on, the phone is ringing. “Hello”. Sorry, I’ll have to go now, it’s my stock-broker, he wants to know if I’d be interested in investing some of the capital I have in a “sure fire” share deal he’s got. I could certainly do with some more money, this work is going to cost serious cash.