To select which type of railway to convert to, click and hold the railway build button in the main menu.
After selecting an option, one of the following toolbars will appear:
The convert rail button will activate a drag-and-drop tool that allows you to convert one type of rail to another (rail -> monorail -> maglev -> rail). This tool can be used on rail, depots, bridges, tunnels, stations and waypoints.
- Bridges and tunnels: choose one end of it.
- Station: you have to convert each tile of one platform. You can mix the railtypes within one station (Nonuniform stations).
- Be sure that the line is free from trains. Trains you already have running should be sent to the depot and then sold (except when you convert from normal railway to electrified railway).
- You can convert rails under trains from normal railway to electrified railway. It doesn't need to be empty.
- You can convert only to those types that are available.
In OpenTTD there can be only one type of track on each tile (except the normal railway and electrified railway) so it is possible that you have to rebuild your railways first if you would like to mix the type of your close diagonal railway lines.
- To save time converting a train with lots of orders from one railtype to another, send your train to a depot of the old type and sell it. While the depot window is still open, convert the depot to the new railtype, and the next train you build will have all the orders of your previous train. The depot window must remain open throughout this operation. Note that you can only convert one train at a time using this method, but you may also convert the empty depot back to the old railtype so you can convert another train using the same depot.
- For converting to a compatible railtype (e.g. electrified railway), updating trains is not immediately necessary as steam and diesel trains run perfectly on electrified rails. Electrified trains, however, will not pass over non-electrified tiles.
- Vehicle replacement (Autoreplace) doesn't work cross-depot.
- You can use the go to depot order for all trains that use the line you would like to convert or use the vehicle list where you can send all (or grouped) trains to the nearest depot.
- What to do if you want to convert your entire rail system from steel rail to electric? When you have spent 70+ years building out your railway system, there comes a time around 2020 (or sooner) when the diesel locomotives just aren't reliable enough. Switching to the more reliable and faster electric locomotives requires an electrified railway system. Here is one quick option: Zoom so the entire map shows on the screen. Bring up the Electrified Railroad Construction menu and click the Convert tool. Place the cursor in the left corner and while holding down the mouse button, drag the cursor to the right corner so the entire map is highlighted with the grid. Release the mouse button and voila, your entire steel rail system has been upgraded to electric. All rails, stations and depots will be upgraded. All of your existing trains will continue to run on the electrified rail, so no worries there. One problem you may run into is that monorail is also converted to electrified rail. In my case, it was much easier to convert the monorail back to monorail rather than try to convert the entire steel rail system by hand. In retrospect, it would be best to perform the upgrade from steel to electrified rail before building out any monorail.