Open Rails

Discover > Get Started

What is Open Rails?

It is a train simulator and a hobby that offers free fun for life. Discover what you can do with Open Rails:

  • Drive steam, diesel or electric powered trains in a simulation that approaches reality
  • Perform activities to transport passengers and freight safely and on time
  • Load and unload various types of freight and pick-up fuel
  • Operate signals, switches, turn tables, transfer tables and elevators for locomotives and wagons
  • Load and unload containers at an operational terminal
  • Couple and uncouple freight cars at yards and industrial sidings
  • Drive multiple trains in a timetable driven railroad simulation
  • Observe the train inside and out and make screenshots using the 7 camera views
  • Engage in Multiplayer sessions
  • Or just sit back in a passenger car and enjoy the scenery from all over the world
  • Join an international community of like-minded people
  • Participate in forums like Elvas Tower, and many other international forums
  • Get answers and learn from other railroad enthousiasts
  • Share your knowledge, stories, photos and screenshots
  • Create your own railway routes, form the terrain with or without satellite and map data, lay tracks and roads and build the scenery
  • Build or repaint locomotives and rolling stock
  • Build new scenery objects
  • Assemble train consists out of locomotives, passenger and freight cars
  • Record and add railroad and environment sounds to enhance a realistic experience
  • Create challenging activities that measure performance in various railroad operations scenarios
  • Create timetables to simulate a railroad with multiple operational trains
  • Numerous free and payware, real-world or fantasy routes and other content
  • Various Locomotives and Rolling Stock
  • Activities for countless hours of play
  • New scenery objects like tracks, roads, houses, bridges and tunnels, cars, animals and people to use when building your own route
  • Control the power of a train and navigate challenging terrain
  • Install new content to expand your railway inventory
  • Build your own routes using the TSRE route editor and various other tools
  • Create activities that define train operations scenarios
  • Set up timetables to schedule railroad simulations with mutliple trains
  • Use of 2D and 3D grahics tools to create your own locomotives, rolling stock and scenery objects
  • Share your creations: routes, rolling stock, scenery objecst, activities and timetables with the rest of the Open Rails world
  • Help with testing and report any issues with new Open Rails software releases
  • Join the worldwide team of volunteers that continuously improves the - open source - Open Rails Train Simulator and supporting tools


Ready to Roll?

Download one or both of these routes to get started. Should you have any questions, help is available at Elvas Tower or one of the many railroad community forums.


The historic Great Zig Zag Railway climbs the spectacular Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia.

Learn the basics of driving a steam locomotive, guided by this route's tutorial activities.


The high quality BNSF Scenic Route has physics and sound optimized for Open Rails.

Drive a freight train powered by several diesel locomotives through the majestic Cascade mountains in Northern Washington State, USA.


If you still need to install the Open Rails Simulator, first



Ready for More?

Download the amazing routes available on the Content page, buy the beautiful models and content offered by Vendors, or check out numerous freely available gems created by the Virtual Railroading Community.

* Privacy Note

On first use, Open Rails reports the version that has been installed. You can configure subsequent reports using Options > Update - see the Operating Manual.