Puffing Billy®

The Puffing Billy® Tournament (PBT), named after the first patented locomotive, is sanctioned by the Train Gamers Association (TGA), and these tournaments are held at gaming conventions all over the country. The goal of the tournament is to encourage the play of train games.

To qualify for the PBT, you simply have to play at least one train game. As you play additional train games throughout the weekend, we tabulate your results in each of the different categories into which these games have been divided. This is handled automatically. You can show up at Puffing Billy headquarters a few minutes before any scheduled slot, and you can always get into a train game. We’d also be glad to teach you a game if you’ve never played before. Your best score in each category will count toward your total Puffing Billy® score.

You do not need to be a member of the Train Gamers Association to participate in the Puffing Billy® Tournament, although we certainly encourage you to consider joining. TGA members receive special benefits for participating in PBTs around the country. If you are interested in joining, please ask at the PBT headquarters. You are not required to participate in the PBT in order to play a train game, or to win an individual train game tournament. But we hope the excitement of the PBT will add to your convention enjoyment!

Following is a brief explanation of the tournament scoring and categories. Good Luck!


  • Category 1: Ticket to Ride (all board game variants)
  • Category 2: Empire Builder (all variants)
  • Category 3: 18XX (all variants)
  • Category 4: Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Freight Train, Ticket to Ride card game, Railways of the World card game, Station Master, Hell Rails, Days of Steam; First Train to Nuremberg, Trans America, Trans Europe, all other card games & Alan Moon designed games
  • Category 5: On the Underground, Metro, Cable Car, Streetcar, Linnie I, Chicago Express, Steel Driver, Trainsport, Circus Train, Railway Rivals, Dampfross, Paris Connections, Spectral Rails, Stephenson’s Rocket, & all other 2-hour games
  • Category 6: Railways of the World (all board game variants), Rails of New England, Brass, Age of Industry
  • Category 7: Express, Settlers of America, & all other 3-hour games
  • Category 8: Silverton, Steam, Age of Steam (all variants)
  • Category 9: Rail Baron, Baltimore & Ohio, & all other 4-hour or longer games


Your PBT score for an individual game is based on where you finish. First place receives a base of 3 points, second place gets 2 base points, third place gets 1 base point, and fourth place gets 0 base points. In addition, second through fourth place receives a bonus score based on how close they were to first place, and the winner receives a bonus based on the scores of all other players. Only the first four positions on the board are awarded points (for purposes of qualification in a category).

® The name Puffing Billy Tournament is owned by the Train Gamers Association

Please direct questions to the Event Coordinator.