From the publisher's website:
Railway Rivals is a railroad-themed board game designed by David Watts and popularised by Games Workshop in 1985. Players build railways and then run trains along them. The game is in two stages; in the first part players draw tracks on the card using washable finetip pens (allowing the board to be cleaned for reuse). Players have a building allowance each turn; building through difficult terrain costs more moves. Players earn money for connecting cities to their railway network, and pay other players for connecting to or building alongside their track. Once all cities are joined by railway tracks, the second part of the game starts. Players race their trains along the tracks between randomly chosen pairs of cities; just as in real life, players must pay other players to use elements of their track if they don't have a complete route of their own. The choice of routes raced is random; each city is used one or more times. Money is awarded to the trains that arrive first and second, and the player with the most money when all routes have been raced is the winner.