Players are investors who risk their businesses and money on this new technology, as they build railway links through the mountains and over the rivers of historic New England.
New England Railways puts players in the roles of those who built the railroads that linked the booming industries of 1800s New England -- from the shipbuilders of Connecticut to the forests of Maine; from the fisheries of Massachusetts through the mountains of New Hampshire and on to the foundries of Albany.
Railroads are expensive propositions. Indeed, players must borrow money from banks to amass the necessary capital to build these railways. Can they make a profit while paying the interest on these loans, and indeed, even while paying them off?
This is also a game of walking a financial tightrope, maintaining a careful cash flow from the railroad's profits, thus enriching the players, while constantly and vigilantly servicing those bank loans. The risks are huge and some overly brash investors will rapidly find themselves in a quicksand of debt; while other, more careful players will reap handsome profits.