1. Aim for the West Coast!
The first version released has only one map, but this version has 5 maps. The first stage is "America".
There are 10 passenger trains, 4 freight trains, and a total of 16 trains including the presidential train and the A-train.
The size of the map has become much larger. The first versions could only scroll up and down, but this version can also scroll left and right. The map size is 2,048 pixels wide and 3,200 pixels high. If you rotate the map 90 degrees counterclockwise, it will match the Americas.
The starting point of the game is New York on the East Coast. From here, cross the Americas and head for the west coast. The objective of this game is to run a presidential train from Washington DC to Los Angeles. On the way, the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains block the train's way.
2. New York-Indianapolis route opened
First, you need to make money to lay a railroad track to the west coast. In this game, the fare is determined by the distance that the passengers are transported. In other words, the longer the mileage, the more profitable the railroad.
Candidate sites for building the first station are Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Dallas. If you are playing this game for the first time, it is recommended that you build a station in the nearest Indianapolis. If you're laying railroad tracks farther than Indianapolis, you'll need a freight train.
Construction of the railroad track between New York and Indianapolis is complete. The reason for the existence of a railway line bypassing the station is to construct a new station on the New York side in the future.
In this game, passengers gather at the station over time. Therefore, it is better to operate with a certain interval between trains. I ran the train every three hours.
This is the status screen on the 7th day from the game start. The New York station has 140 passengers and the Indianapolis station has about 70 passengers. The number of passengers is increasing day by day.
3. Laying of transcontinental railway
This is the fund status screen on the 11th day from the start of the game. After three to four days, it will be profitable. With about $ 42,000 remaining, I will start laying the transcontinental railroad.
First, the freight train will start operating to carry rail materials. A station dedicated to freight trains has been built on the east coast side.
There are two transcontinental routes. The first is a northern route through the Great Lakes and along the Canadian border. The second is a southbound route via Dallas. This time, I selected the northern route. There are three obstacles on the way.
4. Cross the Rocky Mountains!
I laid the railroad tracks to the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The first obstacle is the construction of tunnels.
A-Train is not visible during tunnel excavation. There is bedrock on the mountain. You cannot dig tunnels where there are bedrock. When train A hits the bedrock, a beep sounds. Therefore, we dig a tunnel relying on sound. Be careful not to accidentally make points (railroad switch) in the tunnel.
Next, here is the second obstacle. Here, the trees are in the way, so you can't lay the railroad tracks with one stroke.
I have to laid the switchback railroad track here. If possible, make switchback railroad track in two places, because the reverse speed is half of the forward speed.
There are other routes that cross the Rocky Mountains. It is the route from Albuquerque to Salt Lake City. There is the same obstacle when choosing another route.
5. Last obstacle
I saw the west coast!! And the obstacles that were present in the first version of this game are now again. The large farm is blocking the way.
Build a station near the large farm and run passenger trains from the west coast to here. As the area around the station develops, large farm will become flat field.
The scale at which a city develops depends on the number of passengers and the distance traveled by passenger trains. Therefore, we reverse the direction of the train departing from New York Station on the east coast and head to the west coast.
A train arrived from New York, but ........
Five houses have been built, but the large farm has not changed.
I will load the save data and try again. This time, I changed the direction to build the station, and I filled the vacant lot with railway tracks.
Success!! Part of a large farm has disappeared. The 9th train running from behind is a spare train in case of failure.
6. Open! Transcontinental railway
Finally, I laid a transcontinental railway to Los Angeles on the West Coast. After connecting this track, the presidential train will automatically depart 24 hours later.
When I first played this game in 1985, I didn't know this specification. So, a presidential train that departed automatically after 24 hours encountered the accident.......
This is the whole map just before the game is cleared. The first stage is easy, so most of the map is unexplored. The town is still developing.
This is the first stage balance table. With a steady income, I could easily clear the stage.
When a presidential train arrives at a station in Los Angeles, the Stars and Stripes flag is raised.
The first stage was cleared on the 37th day. I played so slowly that I can clear this game a bit faster if I hurry. The lowest balance was $30,000.