RailWorks is the official successor to Rail Simulator, announced by Tim Gatland on 26 March 2009 on the official Rail Simulator website. The game was released online on 12 June 2009 and in stores on 3 July 2009 in the DVD-Rom format.
RailWorks is an upgrade to Rail Simulator, containing new rolling stock, tools that had to be separately downloaded, significant graphical advancements such as modification of the existing content, bug fixes, backwards compatibility and the ability to trade elements from the virtual world with other users online. RailWorks will be a universal platform containing all content from the original European release and US release. RailWorks will also make use of Valve's Steam platform to simplify the processes of support and upgrading the product.
An interview posted on the Rail Simulator website describes how RailWorks will differ from its predecessor. RailWorks provides a single common platform for users across the globe, a more powerful system for upgrades, maintenance and additional features in the future. Later on it was announced by Paul Jackson of the newly re-developed company that the physics engine has been modified and a new feature allows numbers of stock to be directly input onto the targeted item. RailWorks will contain all routes from the original release, Bath–Templecombe, Oxford –Paddington, York-Newcastle, Hagen-Siegen and Barstow-San Bernardino. The Hagen-Siegen route has been completely revised along with the others featuring noticeable improvements. It has also been stated that the original expansion packs for Rail Simulator will be able to be installed for use with RailWorks.
There will be new "fictional" routes in Rail works with Hedborough North, the British one being a 60s/70s harbour, the German one a northern lakelands setting known as the Seebergbahn and the Castle Rock Railroad, a Denver- Monument route for America. RailWorks will contain all previous rolling stock but will feature three new locomotives, British Rail Class 37, the EMD F7 and the DB Class V 200, plus a handful of new stock and the locomotive reskins from the official website that were originally meant to be downloaded separately. RailWorks will also add new scenarios to all original routes.