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A partially finished railroad network in Civilization V

Game Info[]

Advanced transport infrastructure. Requires Railroad technology. Replaces the road network.

  • Constructed on:
    • Any passable land tile; may pass through tiles containing other improvements
  • Effect:
    • Increased movement speed for slow units. Fast units (move 4+) move at the same speed as on roads.
    • +25% Production Production bonus for a city connected to the Capital Capital
      • This bonus is never available to the Capital Capital itself.


In Civilization V, the railroads work a little differently than they do in other games of the franchise. They are still constructed by Workers and allow units to move larger distances within a turn by negating the movement costs of terrain. However, they now have an upkeep cost: railroads cost 2 Gold Gold per tile per turn. Railroads also provide a 25% boost to Production Production in cities they connect to the Capital Capital, which effectively makes the capital ineligible for that boost.

The railroad's Production Production bonus is extended to any cities with a Harbor connection, even if a railroad doesn't reach that city, as long as the Capital Capital itself has either a Harbor or a railroad connecting it to a city with a Harbor. This is especially useful on Archipelago maps, where players often have most of their cities connected by water rather than land, and the Capital Capital itself is a coastal city. These cities will then get the 25% Production Production bonus automatically on the turn after Railroad is researched, without the player having to actually construct any railroads, and saving him or her the maintenance cost.

Note that if you build a railroad in another player's territory, that player must pay the maintenance cost for the railroad. You can take advantage of this by signing an open borders treaty with an opponent, then sending Workers into his or her lands and building railroads on as many tiles as possible. This can severely disrupt the other player's economy and does not cause diplomatic incidents with AI players, who may even propose to extend the open borders treaty.

Civilopedia entry[]

A railroad is a set of rails - usually metal - upon which a vehicle runs. The earliest railed vehicles were carts pulled by animal power; the first steam-powered locomotive appeared in England at the end of the 18th century.

An unbroken chain of Railroads allows units to move extremely quickly through tiles. Additionally, connecting cities to your capital by Railroad will give them a Production Production bonus.


  • The development of railways and their spread in Europe revolutionized warfare because of the ability to quickly and easily move troops to a threatened front.
  • Railway timetables were a significant element in logistical planning prior to World War I.
Civilization V Improvements [edit]
Standard CampFarmFishing BoatsFortLumber MillMineOffshore PlatformOil WellPasturePlantationQuarryRailroadsRoadsTrading Post
Unique Brazilwood Camp BNW-only.pngChateau BNW-only.pngFeitoria BNW-only.pngKasbah BNW-only.pngMoai1Polder GodsKings5 clear.pngTerrace Farm1
Great People AcademyCitadelCustoms HouseHoly Site GodsKings5 clear.pngLandmarkManufactory
Scenario specific Hadrian's WallMotte and BaileyPontoon BridgeTipiWajo
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear.png Valid only in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only.png Valid only in the Brave New World expansion pack.