The Best Train Board Games

Ticket to Ride: Rails & Sails

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Overview of the game The Adventurers of Rail, Around the World


A game that allows you to discover cities around the world, and connect them to each other
Players can choose the destinations
It is possible to take back train car or ship that have already been discarded


It’s not easy to understand the rules at first sight, especially for beginners
A game can last up to 2 hours, and even longer


  • Brand: Days of Wonder
  • Number of players: 2 to 5 players
  • Age: 10 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 1 to 2 hours
  • Type of game: strategy, construction, discovery

This is a travel and discovery game where players will have to build roads all over the world. Sometimes they will connect 2 cities by rail or by sea. They can also build ports. The objective is to obtain the highest number of points through all these actions. At the start, each player is entitled to 3 Train Card cards, 7 Ship cards, 5 Destination cards, 25 Train Car tokens, and 50 Ship tokens.

Among the 5 Destination cards, the player keeps at least 3 and they discard the others. During their turn, they have the choice between taking Transport cards, building a road, drawing other Destination cards, building a port or exchanging the tokens they do not need with those in the supply.

A player earns points, depending on the length of the route they have taken. If they have a Destination card, but have failed to connect the towns together, they lose points: The game comes to an end, when a player has only 6 tokens left. Everyone then plays for 2 rounds, and the game is over. Whoever has the most points is declared the winner.

Our advice: The choice of Destination cards must be made taking into account the availability of routes. Indeed, it is impossible to put train cars where there are already opposing tokens. It is best to get rid of uncompleted Destination cards before the end of the game.

String Railway

String Railway Game Overview


A construction game with an innovative mechanism
Several variants to prevent the game from becoming repetitive
Simplified set-up


The strings may be moved during the game
Setup varies depending on the number of players


  • Brand: Asmodee
  • Number of players: 2 to 5 players 
  • Age: 8 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 30 minutes
  • Type of game: strategy, construction, development

Each player puts themselves in the shoes of the boss of a railway company. The principle is to develop a network of stations by connecting them with railways. In this game, the tracks are in the form of strings. The goal is to collect the highest number of victory points through the stations and tracks.

At the beginning, each player receives a station, 5 tracks including 4 small and 1 large, 4 control tokens. During a turn, the player performs 4 actions, they take a Station card and place it on the board, making sure it doesn’t touch a string or another station. Then they place one of the strings they received. Finally, they count their points: according to the string placed and the station. It is after all of that that they hand over the turn to the next player.

When all the players have placed the 5 paths (strings) received at the start, the game ends. Each person adds up the points they have obtained in each round. Whoever has earned the most points wins the game. The Station cards include instructions concerning the points to be won. Some dictate specific actions, such as drawing another card.

Our opinion: The strategy is in the way of placing the stations. Note that the victory points depend on certain parameters indicated on the card. There are stations that lose or gain points, if the competitors reach them.

Aramini Circus


Simple mechanism, for fun games
Easy set up
All the elements are in the form of cards, which can be transported everywhere pretty easily


Wagon alignment requires large space
The rules have subtleties, which are not easy to understand at first


  • Brand: Iello
  • Number of players: 2 to 4 players
  • Age: 8 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Type of game: strategy, logic, association

Players are traveling circus owners. They travel from town to town by train, transporting their animals. The animals earn points and can be exchanged for wagons depending on the specifications indicated. The objective is to be the first to reach the score necessary to win the game.

Each player starts with a Locomotive card, an Exchange token, 5 Animal cards. The ringmaster token passes from player to player over the turns. It allows the one who has it to perform one more action compared to others. During their turn, the player takes the top Animal card from the draw pile, or a card from the discard pile if they need it. 

By discarding Animal cards, they can take a wagon. The Exchange token is used to acquire an Animal Joker. It can be exchanged with that of another player. The wagons are to be connected to the Locomotive. Then come the other wagons, respecting the color or the value. Only wagons associated with the Locomotive are worth points. The players load the animals mentioned on the card into the wagons. When a player reaches the indicated score, they win the game.

Our advice: The wagons cannot be randomly connected, the value or the color must be kept in mind. The player must keep a close eye on their waiting wagons. they cannot miss the opportunity to connect them to the train.

Tokyo Train

Tokyo Train Game Cards


An atmospheric game with an innovative mechanism
Can liven up evenings with friends, or be played with the family
The setup is simple, and the rules understandable for all players


Staying calm in front of stubborn tourists isn’t so easy
After the 16 Compartment cards, the atmosphere is no longer the same


  • Brand: Slim range
  • Number of players: 4 to 8 players
  • Age: 8 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 20 minutes
  • Type of game: atmosphere, communication, gesticulation

On the Tokyo train, the Japanese station master and a tourist struggle to put the tourists in their place. They will therefore collaborate by communicating with gestures to keep everything in order inside the train. players will play in teams of 2. The first group to place the order earns 1 point. At the end of the 7 rounds that make up the game, the team with the most points wins the game.

A team consists of a Japanese station master and a tourist. They are seated facing each other. This is valid for all teams. The Tourist cards are placed according to the position indicated in a first Compartment card. A second Compartment card shows the final position. The principle is to change the Tourists of place to obtain the final diagram.

During a round, the teams play at the same time. The station master explains to the tourist, by gesturing how to place the Tourist cards. They make vertical and horizontal movements with their arms to make themselves understood. The successful team shouts “Tokyo Train!” and earns 1 point. Another round begins, and so on, until the seventh round.

Our opinion: In order for your gestures to be understood, you need to stay calm and focused. However, the crazy atmosphere can put the most patient players to the test.

Colt Express

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Colt Express Game Overview


A game with an original mechanism
Immersion in the universe of the Far West
Players have a choice of several actions


The process is a bit complicated for beginners
Not recommended for people who are too sensitive


  • Brand: Ludonaute
  • Number of players: 2 to 6 players
  • Age: 10 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 40 minutes
  • Type of game: shooting, strategy, robbery

Each player represents a Wild West Bandit who makes plans to attack a train. The principle is to steal the passengers’ items and to become the richest Bandit. Each player takes a Bandit token, a Character card, 10 Action cards, 6 Bullet cards. At the start, the players take turns taking 6 of their cards.

A player has the choice between choosing an Action card and placing it on the table face up, or taking 3 new Action cards from the draw pile. In the Action Phase, everyone performs what they have resolved to do, according to the card they have placed in the middle. The programmed Actions must be carried out. The card is then returned to its owner.

A round takes place in this way, and the game includes 5 rounds. At the end of the 5 rounds, the richest player wins the game. Action cards indicate a movement through the cars, a change of floor (between the roof and the interior of a car), a shot, a robbery, a punch, or an encounter with the Marshal. A Bandit must run away from the marshal, and receive a neutral Bullet.

Our opinion: The player has the choice between several actions. However, they may be surprised by other events, such as a Marshal’s Revenge, Passenger Rebellion, Angry Marshal, etc.

Mexican Train

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Simple view of the Mexican Train


A game of dominoes with an innovative concept
Fun for all ages
Colorful and well-designed game elements


There is a bit of vagueness in the rules of the game
The storage of the dominoes is not obvious after the games


  • Brand: Tactic
  • Number of players: 2 to 8 players
  • Age: 7 years and over
  • Duration of a game: 30 minutes
  • Type of game: domino, strategy, numbers

The game consists of aligning the dominoes so as to match the numbers. During the game, players have the opportunity to form a Personal Train. A Mexican Train can also be formed. The game always begins with a double 12 domino placed first, in the middle of the table. Each player places a domino of the same number on it.

A personal Train belongs to a single player, provided that this player still has a playable domino. No one else is allowed to play on it, until its owner places a train marker on it. This means that the train is open to the public. One player can start the Mexican Train, and everyone else can add their dominoes to it.

A Train is a succession of dominoes started from a middle domino. At any time, the player can remove the marker from their train to make it private again. When the deck is empty and a player has no more dominoes, the game is over. Each player records the total of their remaining dominoes. When the game ends, whoever has the fewest points is the big winner.Our advice: To start a Personal Train, it is in the player’s interest to have the dominoes to be placed. This poses a risk if they run out of playable dominoes, as the public train becomes an open door for others.

Comparison Table

 Ticket to Ride: Rails & SailsString RailwayAramini CircusTokyo TrainColt ExpressMexican Train
Numbers of players2 to 52 to 52 to 44 to 82 to 62 to 8
Age10 years and over8 years and over8 years and over8 years and over10 years and over7 years and over
Duration of a game1 to 2 hours30 mins30 to 45 mins20 mins40 mins30 mins
Type of gamestrategy, construction, discoverystrategy, construction, developmentstrategy, logic, associationatmosphere, communication, gesticulationshooting, strategy, robberydomino, strategy, numbers