Rail Simulator (Kuju Rail Simulator) is a train simulation published by Electronic Arts (EA). It was produced by UK based Kuju Entertainment the company which developed Microsoft Train Simulator with Microsoft. After release of the UK version, EA's support and further development of the title was taken over by Rail Simulator Developments Ltd, who have continued to provide updates, fixes, official expansion packs and new content for RailSim fans. RSDL has also released a much anticipated sequel to the first game called Railworks, both online and on DVD-ROM.
Steam, diesel and electric traction trains, keyboard or mouse control of throttles, brakes and switches with three control modes for varying player skills. A variety of scenarios are available as well as an exploratory style free roam mode. Cargos and passengers are animated, and weather changes dynamically with time. The game has been criticized by reviewers for not providing enough help for newcomers to train simulation, and lack of complete instructions in the guides.
A complete tool suite is also available to customise content, allowing terrain modeling either by hand using provided tools or via the import of DEM data from NASA; track construction based on a system of straights and arcs, allowing infinitely possible junction configurations, and scenery placement. A scenario editor allows the creation of tasks such as picking up passengers, hauling cargo and shunting wagons around yards. These tools also allow players to build unlimited sizes of layouts, create their own scenery and rolling stock and modifiy the provided content by adding features or reskins.
Since release Kuju Rail Simulator received generally positive reviews from reviewers. IGN awarded 7.0 out of 10, praising the title's attention to its source material. Some jaggy graphics were criticized (with foliage going through the cab instead of bouncing off the windshield, for example) and the fact that only true rail fanatics could ever get any fun out of KRS. The lack of any in-game tutorials was mentioned, with "members of the community making video walk-throughs, while lamenting the lack of a thick, fully printed manual.
With the release of Rail Simulator in October 2007, Kuju Entertainment finished development and disbanded the RailSim team turning its attention to the next project. Knowing the potential of the RailSim engine, and with backing from Fund4Games who own the rights to the simulator, a new company was set up from some of the core members of the initial development team with the specific aim of fulfilling continued development of the brand and supporting users and 3rd party developers with add-on projects. This company was called Rail Simulator Developments Ltd (RSDL). RSDL have produced two patches to the core simulator (Upgrade Mk1 and Mk2), developed and released add-ons, helped the release of 3rd party products, and visited exhibitions to promote the simulation and provide for support users via several community websites.
In April 2009, a take over of RSDL was announced, with the development switching to a new version of the software called Railworks which would be released on Steam. This change heralded a break from EA being the publisher in Europe and rights over the source code for Rail Simulator being transferred to single ownership by RailSimulator.com.