While entertaining to begin with, Sid Meier’s Railroads on PC was far too simplistic and repetitive to hold my attention for any length of time. After a couple of hours I had seen virtually everything the game had to offer, so I created my own in-game persona in an attempt to rekindle my interest. With that, I present to you Josiah Chufflebottom – Victorian industrialist and railway mogul extraordinaire.
Chufflebottom was an intriguing fellow; a blustering, ruddy-faced entrepreneur with a unique talent for creating railroads. While his competitors in Sid Meier’s Railroads spent years painstakingly designing their railroads and employed hundreds of workers to lay miles of track, all Josiah had to do was state the start and end location of his railroad and it would magically appear across the country, automatically spanning rivers and valleys and weaving through woods and mountains. Even cities bounded aside at the appearance of Josiah’s railroads. ‘My rails are king and the world bends to their will,’ declared Josiah through his handlebar moustache, thumbs thrust under his crimson trouser braces.
Commencing his rail-building venture with a small passenger train between London and Hastings, Chufflebottom quickly gained economic control of the entire south coast of England. Towns moulded themselves around Chufflebottom’s rail system, growing from tiny fishing villages into sprawling metropolises. It didn’t seem to matter how bewildering the layout of his tracks were, or how many trains Josiah would cram onto a single line, they all reached their destinations with ease, mysteriously passing through one another like ghosts if the tracks became too crowded.