In this system each player uses a colored crayon on a laminated map to show the existence of their rail network throughout regions. (This contrasts with other games where rails either connect a network of dots or centers of hexagons.)
In each turn each player is first given the opportunity to build track by making marks within regions to show the existence of their network within the regions. The player must pay the bank. Cost is determined by the dominant terrain of a region:
- Urban or Plains $1
- Foreign or Hills $2
- Highlands $3
- Lakes or Mountains $4
- Alps $5
If more than two regions are marked in a turn then the cost increases drastically:
- One or Two regions marked then cost is normal
- Three regions marked then cost of all three marks is doubled
- Four regions marked then cost of all four marks is tripled
- Five regions marked then cost of all five marks is quadrupled
After all players have been given the opportunity to build track then contracts for connecting two given cities are awarded. Cards showing available contracts are known in advance.
In the TrainSport games the contracts are competed for by all players and are awarded to the player who can fulfill them in the most efficient manner. In the ConTrack games each player has their own group of five contracts all of which must be fulfilled simultaneously.
Fulfilled contracts pay the player based on the distance between each pair of cities. Unfulfilled contracts remain for the next turn.