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Trains is a top-down managerial game. In the age of steam-powered trains, there are opportunities to make money on great railroads. It will be up to the player to take control of a train on a railroad and turn a profit. The player does this by moving the train to a loading station that will supply raw material, and stopping in front of it with the appropriate car and blowing the whistle to begin the loading process. This is then delivered to the stations of industries that need them, unloading taking place the exact same way. The faster goods are delivered, the more money is made, with extra profits available when an industry is in critical need of a supply. Meters of available industry supplies can be shown on the screen. The train itself can only be stopped and move forwards and backwards, following the path of the train track, left and right movement is used only at switches, where the track splits into two directions. Each action of train movement uses coal, multiplied by the weight of the goods being carried. Coal is resupplied at the coal yard, and is loaded into the coal car the same way as other goods, spending money in order to buy coal. If the player runs out of coal while driving the train, it will cost them twice as much to have the coal delivered to the train. Every 3 minutes, $200 is deducted from the player for payroll and any crashed train costs another $200 in penalties. Each level is a unique track design, and can take place across cities, deserts, mountains and plains. As industry supplies are managed, a track is gradually built at the edge of the screen which will lead to the next level.

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