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Railroad Tycoon 3 this autumn

If it's on time, that is

Choo-choo! Take-Two, PopTop, Gathering and God knows who else have announced plans to release Railroad Tycoon 3 on the PC this autumn. This time, we're told, the game will be in full 3D, allowing it to get a better handle on everything from the Golden Era of Railroading to the strike and accident-prone, never-hit-a-timetable farce that counts for modern railways.

As you might expect, it's an empire-building sim, which kicks off with a small purse and a patch of dusty land, and grows to encompass things like the Eurostar bullet train. It's all about manipulating the realistic stock market, balancing the realities of the economy, short selling, hostile takeovers, mergers and all sorts of other financial posturing. To become a true Railroad Tycoon, you'll have to work hard to overcome your rivals - but at least this time it'll look great.

"The Railroad Tycoon series continues to evoke the passion people have for steam and modern day locomotives, as well as the strategy gamers' desire for a significant challenge," Gathering president Kelly Sumner commented.

The game's lead designer Phil Steinmeyer added that "Railroad Tycoon 3 takes the franchise to the next level with a cutting edge 3D engine that smoothly scales from 'eye in the sky' views of an entire continent down to super detailed close-ups of beautifully modelled trains, buildings and landscapes."