On Track: Behind the Scenes

On Track: Behind the Scenes

On Track new family railroad theme game by TREND

All aboard! Ride along with us for a behind-the-scenes look at our new award-winning card game On Track™. Much like the building of a railroad, this game was a total team effort, but was such a joy to put together!

To keep us “on track” we sought the insight of a railroad expert (Hi, Barb!) who works at the Minnesota Transportation Museum in nearby St. Paul, Minnesota. Her passion and enjoyment of railroads truly inspired us to make On Track full of lighthearted fun while respectfully tipping our hats to history.

Minnesota Transportation Museum model train

On Track triangle shape train card game by TREND

Why a train game?

Trains are an endearing and everlasting part of history, enjoyed by all ages. When you hear a train’s whistle or see one roaring along the tracks, it’s hard to resist counting the cars and wondering what cargo is aboard. Whether it’s the symbolic striping on a toddler’s overalls, wooden train whistles from a gift shop, playing with toy trains, creating hobby railways, or setting up a train to circle your holiday tree, it’s a safe bet that the nostalgia and wonderment of railroads have found their way into your current life.

On Track was developed to celebrate and commemorate the history of rail transportation and provide a pastime as classic and FUN as the railways it features. The theme of trains is one that bridges many ages and interests, and seemed like a natural topic for a card game that’s family-forward, competitive, and FUN!

Green line railroad artwork from On Track card game

Discovering the Details

The cards feature different sights and surprises in each environment, just like seeing out the windows of a speeding train – look closely or you’ll miss something! Each of the four players’ railways are located in a different terrain, mimicking the various landscapes railroads cross: coastlines, plains, deserts, and mountains.

Orange railroad line artwork from On Track Three Corner Card Game

Just like looking at a miniature replica of a train town, there’s a slew of cute and curious details that are super neat to spot. They are different for each of the four railroad colors. In fact, you’ll even find pieces of some of our other award-winning Three Corner™ Card Games hidden on the cards. Look closely and you’ll find echoes of enCOWnter™, sqWATCH OUT™, GNOMES vs TROLLS™, and Lava Lizards™ too.

Purple Line railroad artwork from On Track best new family card game

There’s more to delight in than just the details, of course. Planning your moves and watching your landscape come to life along your tracks becomes more and more strategic as you play. You can win with a variety of landscape shapes and layouts so you essentially build a new scene each time you play!

Train at the Minnesota Transportation Museum

4 Featured Locomotives

All aboard! Here’s a glimpse at the engines and the terminals that inspired the On Track cards.

Railroad engine artwork from On Track card game

1. Big Boy

Twenty-five Big Boy locomotives were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad. Big Boy locomotives were among the most powerful ever built, and they weighed a whopping 1.2 million pounds! (Now we know where they got their name!) The Big Boy 1404 was in service until 1961 and traveled more than 1 million miles. Put Big Boy back on the rails by playing with the Purple Line On Track cards.

Blue line engine card from On Track fun new board game for families

2. The Challenger

This locomotive “challenged” Big Boy in size and power. During Big Boy’s retirement, Challenger was the most powerful operating steam engine in the world. There were 105 Challenger’s built between 1936 and 1943. They measured about 122 feet long and weighed over 1 million pounds! If you’re up to the “challenge,” play the Blue Line On Track cards.

Orange line railroad engine card from On Track best new family card game by TREND

3. Daylight

Streamlined and sleek, Daylight engines were known for their bright orange and red colors. Their speed (they could exceed 100 mph) and smooth capabilities made them a favorite for hauling passengers. If you think you can go fast enough, take the Orange Line On Track cards for a spin!

Green line railroad engine card from On Track new card game for families

4. Royal Hudson

The Canadian Pacific’s Royal Hudson engines were known by the brass crown on the running board skirts. Revered for their successful design, these dependable and smooth operating engines were often used for high-profile passenger service, transcontinental duties, and as freight haulers. If you’re feeling up to a long haul, play the Green Line On Track cards.

4 Featured Terminals

We chose four terminals to pay tribute to in this card game. Each Terminal Card is played last, but is certainly not the least important!

Blue terminal railroad card from On Track train game

1. Coastal

The blue Terminal Card pays tribute to Grand Central Station in New York, New York. Construction finished in 1913 and took 10 years to build this iconic terminal. The vaulted ceiling reaches 125 feet high and features painted constellations. Its famous clock has always been a focal point too.

Purple line terminal card from On Track railroad train game by TREND

2. Mountain

The purple Terminal Card gives a friendly nod to Union Station in Denver, Colorado. When construction finished in 1881, it was the largest structure in the western United States. It even included a 128-foot tower! The “Travel by Train” sign was added to the station later to pay homage to the bygone era of train travel.

Green line terminal card from On Track railroad train game by TREND

3. Midwest

The green Terminal Card was modeled after Chicago's Union Station in Illinois which opened in 1925. The 10-year construction included the station itself, plus the necessary rail yards, bridges, and viaducts to separate rail traffic from city traffic. The “Great Hall” is known for its waiting room that spanned 219-feet in length with a vaulted skylight 115 feet high.

Orange line terminal card from On Track railroad train card game by TREND

4. Southwest

The orange Terminal Card is reminiscent of the Santa Fe Depot. The station was built in one year, completed in 1915, and was designed to echo California’s Spanish heritage. The well-recognized arches, towers, and beautiful tile work still remain today.

Golden spike card from On Track railroad train card game for families to play

It’s Golden!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The forming of the first transcontinental railroad in Promontory, Utah in 1869 was echoed by newspapers from the New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, the Omaha Herald, to the Daily Alta California. The feat finally connected the east and west of the United States. People rejoiced, dreaming of the produce and products that would now be available nationwide with the new possibilities of transport.

Create your own transcontinental railroad by playing the Golden Spike team game. Join your railroads at the Golden Spike Card to win!

Cow image from On Track Three Corner Card game by TREND

Extra FUN!

Discover your own facts about the railways that shaped the landscape where you live. Research local roundhouses and museums near you and pay them a visit. The stories and history behind the history of transportation will excite learners of all ages!

Locomotivate! superShapes Stickers – Large

Shop On Track Card Game and coordinating railroad stickers for a combination that can't be beat! Stickers are fun to give as prizes for the game winner, party favors, or gift add-ons for kids and adults.

Terrific Trains, Licorice scent Scratch 'n Sniff Stinky Stickers® – Mixed Shapes

Free Train Printables!

Train Time Crossword Puzzle Free Printable

Train Coloring Page Free Printable

 On Track Three Corner Card Game is fun for the whole family! It’s a Railroad Race to Victory. Tip your hat to history and ride the rails to victory. It’ll take concentration, a competitive spirit, and a bit of luck to triumph in this award-winning card game.  Ages 8 to Adult • 2–4 Players • 30–60 Minutes

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