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Screenshot of FreeTrain
GenresTransport infrastructure game
Latest release20070604
Release dateJune 4, 2007
DeveloperKohsuke Kawaguchi
Code licensesLGPL
P. languageC#
FreeTrain is a free game. This means that the source code is available to be studied, modified, and distributed. Most projects look for help with testing, documentation, graphics, etc., as well.

FreeTrain is a rail and business simulation computer game, originally created by Kohsuke Kawaguchi and inspired by the A-Train series of games. Both the source code and the graphics are licensed under a combination of the LGPL and the GPL.[1]


FreeTrain is the quintessential sandbox game. The player starts in a literal sandbox; a flat barren piece of land greets him/her when starting a new game. After that, it’s completely up to the player to create his/her world, including natural features such as mountains or lakes.

As the name of game implies, FreeTrain is all about trains. Other modes of transport can and have been implemented through plugins. Nevertheless, trains remain at the core of the game.

While the business aspect of FreeTrain is well developed, it is, unlike other similar games, completely non-competitive. The player is in control of his/her world with no rivals. And even if the player manages to go bankrupt, it doesn’t mean the end of the game.

Another aspect of FreeTrain is that it is a Japanese game. The graphics of the game depicts a Japanese scenery with paddy fields, Japanese cedar, and even Osaka Castle. The currency is the yen and the player will be dealing with fictional Japanese companies such as Itsubishi or Toyoto.


FreeTrain is written in C#/.NET and uses DirectX. It was a Windows only game till March 2008 [2]. However, with the ever increasing .NET compatibility of Mono, and a port away from DirectX and instead use SDL, the game supports now MacOS.

The game architecture is heavily plugin based, with almost all game functionality implemented by plugins.

Development is hosted by Sourceforge and modifications are done in Subversion. The project can be found at Future versions aim to include localization of the codebase which will allow multiple translations to be included. At this point it is intended for the internationalized version to officially succeed the original Japanese version.


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