The RUST Train Rail Network Guide

What is the Train Rail Network, and what is it used for?

The Train Rail Network is one of the most fuel-efficient, safer methods of traveling great distances across any RUST map large enough to facilitate its incorporation. It was added with the Above-ground Train Update in May of 2022. In addition to its functionality, the railing adds a beautiful aesthetic to the RUST landscape that’s hard to match.

“Safer” in RUST can mean a great many things, so to further elaborate on the intro, trains, unlike flying vehicles or even boats in some cases, are relatively immune to day-to-day roaming ammunition, require very little thought to operate and may provide defensive positions in a gunbattle, and otherwise are very intuitive to run even for the newest player.

How to Acquire a Train in RUST

Like many other vehicles in RUST, players cannot purchase or craft trains. Players can find locomotive and wagon-type trains automatically and randomly spawning across the map where train tracks are available. Being free of cost gives this vehicle type a large advantage.

For trains and train tracks to appear on a vanilla RUST server, it must have a map size of 4250 or greater. There are server console variables that RUST admins can use to increase the number of locomotives and wagon types.

Connecting and moving the train cars across the map will require obtaining one of the four locomotive engine types:

  1. Large Locomotive
  2. Covered Workcart
  3. Uncovered Workcart
  4. Underground Workcart

These locomotive and workcart engine types operate on Low Grade Fuel. Without a locomotive engine, there is no practical method for moving any wagon-type train.

Coupling and Uncoupling Trains

Locomotives have different degrees of kinetic energy output, depending on the model. The Large Locomotive type can move massive amounts of coupled train cars at a time, while all other types are highly limited in how many they can pull or push.  Weaker locomotives will be limited in their speed with each additional car coupled. The larger locomotives will also slow down with more cars, but much less so.  

If engaging a train for the first time or swiping a train already on the track, it is important to note how many redundant train cars are attached that will limit your speed if you’re just using them for transportation. To reduce redundancy and increase efficiency, go to the union point between the locomotive and the extra cars. Look at the junction that connects them and press the E key when you see the text “Uncouple” appear.

Alternatively, if your intention is to acquire resources with the trains via the Coaling Tower Event at Trainyard, simply (and preferably slowly) make your way around the map and intentionally bump into (or couple) your locomotive with stationary train cars on the rails.

The Coaling Tower at the Trainyard Monument in RUST
RUST Trainyard Coaling Tower

There will be a loud warning noise anytime you are approaching another train car or obstruction. When intentionally coupling, it is essential to ease up on the throttle and couple at the lowest possible speed.  This will reduce damage to both connecting cars, as well as reduce the risk of causing a graphical issue that can render trains useless.

Train cars will only spawn on sections of the map that display two parallel, closely laying lines of track near one another and then will only spawn on the outermost (furthest from the center map) track. When cruising along the track, if no one is actively driving the train, it will always attempt to deviate towards the non-spawning side of the track.

Parallel track lines with a large locomotive and caboose
Parallel Track Lines

Additionally, there is another locomotive type that, at this moment, is exclusively restricted to the underground rail network but will be included in our charting. While it can couple to other underground engines, there are no subterranean cargo cars.

Locomotive and Workcart Train Types

Large Locomotive

Large Locomotive
Front View of the Large Locomotive
  • Hit Points: 2000
  • Largest, most powerful engine type, capable of pulling large amounts of cars at a time. Higher fuel use per minute, but a must-use to maximize return per hour.

Covered Workcart

RUST Covered Workcart
Front View of the Covered Workcart
  • Hit Points: 1000
  • Mostly covered workcart-type engine, capable of pulling very few cars simultaneously. Greatly impacted by elevation changes.

Uncovered Workcart

RUST Uncovered Workcart
Front View of the Uncovered Workcart
  • Hit Points: 1000
  • Mostly uncovered workcart-type engine, capable of pulling very few cars simultaneously. Greatly impacted by elevation changes.

Underground Workcart

RUST Underground Workcart
Front View of the Underground Workcart
  • Hit Points: 1000
  • Mostly uncovered workcart-type engine, capable of pulling very few cars simultaneously. Only available in the underground tunnel network

Caboose and Train Car Types

Sulfur Ore Train Car

RUST Sulfur Ore Train Car
Front View of the Sulfur Ore Train Car
  • Hit Points: 750
  • A cargo train, with sulfur ore visible from the top of the train car.

Metal Ore Train Car

RUST Metal Ore Train Car
Front View of the Metal Ore Train Car
  • Hit Points: 750
  • A cargo train, with metal ore visible from the top of the train car.

Charcoal Train Car

RUST Charcoal Train Car
Front View of the Charcoal Train Car
  • Hit Points: 750
  • A cargo train, with charcoal visible from the top of the train car.

Low Grade Fuel Train Car

RUST Low Grade Fuel Train Car
Front View of the Low Grade Fuel Train Car
  • Hit Points: 750
  • Large fuel car containing Low Grade Fuel, viewable before removal via the top three hatches.

Loot Train Car

RUST Loot Train Car
Front View of the Loot Train Car
  • Hit Points: 750
  • Half-depth box car containing lootable boxes but obstructed by debris.

Lucky Caboose Casino

RUST Lucky Caboose Casino
Front View of the Lucky Caboose Casino
  • Hit Points: 750
  • Covered train car with two entrances, light switches with functioning advertisements, and onboard Blackjack, Card Table, and Slot Machines.

Underground Rail Network

As hinted, there is also an Underground Rail Network that acts in much the same way, but until as recently as November of 2023, independently of the above-ground network. This “Subway” is accessible to minimally geared players willing to brave the dark, Tunnel-Dweller-filled labyrinth. 

A view inside the Underground Rail Network in RUST
The Underground Rail Network

To access them, players can locate entrances by viewing their in-game map. All tunnel entrances are indicated by a small white circular icon with a train car emblem at its center. Some of the foot traffic entrances are built right into monuments, while others are individually placed and procedurally generated.

The Underground Workcart shown above is only available in the underground rail network and spawns exclusively in side-station cubbies labeled “Maintenance Room.”

Transition Track Tubes

Only recently were new above-below Transition Track Tubes added that bridged the gap between the above-ground rail network and the subway beneath. All Transition Track Tubes are indicated by a similar white circular icon with a dark door surrounded by cobblestone arching.

Transition Track Tubes

The Transition Track Tubes are large, 150-200 meter entrances all to themselves, usually in obscure or under-developed portions of the map. These tube entrances have relatively large no-build areas around them, expanding outward from the center of the icon on the map roughly 75 to 85 meters in every direction.

With this being an entirely new feature to the game as of the end of the year 2023, we tested some potential player theories ahead of time. Currently, Horses cannot be taken belowground through these tubes, but no other vehicle type was excluded, including all aerial types and even the snowmobile.

The larger train models pose a serious threat to players riding atop them in the underground network due to height constraints, but at this time, players are just force-crouched to avoid decapitation. This is highly subject to change.

Train Fuel System

Trains may hold up to the maximum vanilla stack size of fuel, which is 500 by default. To fuel and refuel them:

  • Have the appropriate Low Grade Fuel in your inventory.
  • Fuel can only be inserted on Engine Types.
    • For all three 1000 health variations, the fuel tank is just behind the Driver’s Cockpit, labeled FP-6.  
    • For the larger 2000 health Heavy Duty engine, the fuel tanks are large, dark cylinders that run lengthwise between the back and front wheel wells. It can also be refueled while running directly above these wells, looking at the floor.
  • Face the fuel tank in question.  
  • Press the E key on the fuel tank to open the “FUEL STORAGE” container.
  • Insert the Low Grade Fuel into the Fuel Storage slot.

Train Control System

RUST Trains, similar to those in the real world, are linear-moving large and loud vehicles found solely within the confines of the track network. Aside from their destruction, they cannot deviate from these tracks except when coming to an intersection to go left or right. Full details on how to drive one of these mechanical marvels are as follows:

  • W eases the vehicle forward
    • Pressing W once initiates the train and engages Low speed
    • Pressing W twice increases the train speed to Medium
    • Pressing W thrice increases the trains speed to High, or maximum
  • A will move the train along the left track when approaching a bisection, if held
  • D will move the train along the right track when approaching a bisection, if held
  • S accelerates the vehicle backwards.  Use additional caution as there are no effective mirrors to guide yourself by
    • Pressing S once initiates the train and engages Low speed in reverse
    • Pressing S twice increases the trains speed to Medium
    • Pressing S thrice increases the trains speed to High, or maximum
  • F turns on the Headlights for nighttime train-tracking
  • Left Mouse click engages the horn – yes, you can hold it down indefinitely
  • Spacebar ejects you from the vehicle

There are no left and right functions when not approaching a bisection of track, as the train can’t deviate from the tracks.

The W and S keys counteract one another for momentum, so if a train is moving forward on High due to pressing the W key three times, pressing the S key three times will render the train stationary after a slowdown period. If all players jump off of a train in motion, the train will coast to a complete stop by default convar setting. Removing fuel from a moving train will act as an ‘all stop’ mechanic.

Train Repair, Decay and Durability

While incredibly powerful, trains are still vulnerable like other vehicles, and other players, NPCs, collisions, and decay can damage them.


Trains in RUST can be repaired while actively wielding a Hammer and having the appropriate amount of Metal Fragments in your inventory. Each repair swing will repair up to 54 damage. Any passenger can repair the train while moving. If it was damaged at any point, it can be repaired 30 seconds after it last took damage.

When a locomotive or workcart engine type is destroyed, any fuel that may have been in the fuel tank will be lost upon destruction.

Decay Rates

The Train Rail Network has its own unique admin command convars that can be used to potentially change the decay rate for cars, as well as those unloaded and left at Trainyard. The default variable for this is set to 30 minutes while on the tracks and in a like-new spawn state or 10 minutes if we’re talking about a cargo car freshly unloaded. Server owners can alter these variables.

That being prefaced, the experienced RUST player will notice that the same train car might sit outside their base for almost an entire wipe. Emptied cars definitely do disappear within 10 minutes, but those sitting idle on the tracks can and often will linger for days, regardless of the 30-minute default setting.

Damage Chart

The train cars that exist within the world of RUST have a variety of health, depending on whether or not they’re a cargo-type or engine. Beyond that, engines vary from type to type, as does their maximum health. All calculations were done independently of each other and presented as such. 

It’s also important to note that locomotives/workcarts and their cargo cars are immune to all fire damage. 

Ammunition / ToolDamage Done PerTotal Req. for 750 HP CarsTotal Req. for 1000 HP CarsTotal Req. for 2000 HP Cars
Explosive 5.56 Rifle Ammo1075100200
HV Rocket660224
40MM HE Grenade70111529
Satchel Charge300347
Timed Explosive Charge2000+111

Frequently Asked Questions

Can trains deviate from the rail network or derail?

No, the trains must adhere to the laid-out track.  It is possible for procedurally generated entities to obstruct the track, making it impossible for a train to pass.  These entities can be rocks, telephone poles, or electrical boxes.

What happens if a player is run over by a moving train?

They will magically teleport to the beach, naked with a rock and torch.

Do Locomotives and Workcarts have lights for night operations?

Yes, the front headlights can be toggled on and off by pressing F by default.

Admin Commands & Convars

ConvarDefault ValueDescription
traincar.decayminutes30How long before a train car despawns
traincar.population2.3Population of train cars active on the server
traincar.wagons_per_engine2Ratio of wagons to train engines that spawn
traincarunloadable.decayminutesafterunload10How long before an unloadable train car despawns after being unloaded
traincouplingcontroller.max_couple_speed9Maximum difference in velocity for train cars to couple
vehicle.cinematictrainsFalseIf true, trains always explode when destroyed, and hitting a barrier always destroys the train immediately.
vehicle.killtrainsInstantly destroy all trains spawned on the map
vehicle.stop_all_trainsInstantly stop all trains moving on the map
vehicle.trainskeeprunningFalseCommand dictating whether trains stop when all passengers jump off or die

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that players will find ways to exploit this hovering death machine and bring those methods to a server near you as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that as the situation evolves, devolves, and crashes to the ground, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date on how this impacts you. Be sure to check out our Discord for our most recent updates.  Be good to each other, always.

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About No Limit Llama

An aspiring woodworker and web designer. Father, husband, and Rust veteran. Llama has written op-eds and official game documents for over two decades. The earliest writings were on Asheron’s Call, followed by World of Warcraft and eventually Rust. The vast majority of his indoor time is spent running Rust servers or helping friends with their Rust-related projects. He enjoys working around the house, continuing his education when time permits, and creating new processes to simplify activities of daily living for his friends and family. He has an incredible wife, a dog, three children, and one granddaughter.

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