The 10 Best Custom Train Mods for GTA 5

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Grand Theft Auto fans have been introducing new vehicles into their favorite crime simulator ever since modding became a thing.

Whether it’s a Lamborghini supercar, a Yamaha bike, or the latest Boeing airplane, you can count on the GTA modding community to bring it to your digital doorstep.

Today we’re looking at something a little bit different: trains.

To the extreme joy of any train nerds out there, GTA 5 modders have taken the time to customize and upgrade the trains running around Los Santos and San Andreas.

Take a break from Train Simulator 2022 and hop back into GTA5 to build up steam and get these locomotives rolling.


10. Norfolk Southern Freight Train

Norfolk Southern Freight Train / GTA 5 Mod

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Anyone even a little bit familiar with US railroads will know Norfolk Southern – one of the nation’s largest rail companies, responsible for carrying raw materials and finished products along the Easternmost regions of the country.

Since Los Santos is based on Los Angeles – which sits on the West Coast of the US – adding Norfolk Southern trains to your game isn’t exactly realistic or lore-friendly.

Then again, this game lets you survive getting shot multiple times without even a band-aid, so who cares?

This locomotive’s black and white color palette will give Los Santos’ freight train a solemn and elegant look.


9. Monster Train

Monster Train / GTA 5 Mod

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Who says you can’t have a train without a railroad?

The Monster Train add-on gives you the privilege of driving your own urban locomotive, putting the power of a freight train on four wheels for a distinctive badass ride.

One look at this beast convinced me to try it out, and I wasn’t disappointed. Driving this vehicle will make you feel like you own the road. It’s empowering, to say the least.

Mad Max would be proud.


8. China Railways High-Speed Train CRH380D

China Railways High-Speed Train CRH380D / GTA 5 Mod

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High-speed trains are the crowning achievement of the railroad industry.

These futuristic-looking vehicles allow you to move at breakneck speeds with remarkable stability and comfort.

Rail transport is one of China’s most important modes of transportation, and high-speed trains have become vital for traversing the country’s vast territory.

Thanks to this mod, you’ll be able to experience one of their most famous high-speed trains – the CRH380D – without leaving Los Santos. If you like it, check out the CRH6F as well.


7. Thomas the Tank Engine

Thomas the Tank Engine / GTA 5 Mod

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You knew this was coming, didn’t you?

Thomas the Tank Engine has gone from a popular children’s show to everyone’s favorite meme mod – in any game, at any time.

Whether it’s replacing Skyrim’s world-eating dragon Alduin or carrying important merchandise through Los Santos, you can count on modders to get Thomas on the job.

Thomas was always a little engine who dreamed big, so he’ll be happy in this bustling city.


6. US Army Military Train

US Army Military Train / GTA 5 Mod

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For something a bit more serious, how about a US Army train?

In times of war, railroads are the perfect way to safely and quickly transport military equipment and personnel across large distances.

This olive-green freight train transports fuel, ammunition, and military vehicles like armored trucks and tanks – making it perfect for a heist.

If you thought hopping onto the freight train was a good way to escape a high Wanted level before, wait until you try this unlikely tank delivery system.


5. Bombardier Traxx DB 145 German Railcar

Bombardier Traxx DB 145 German Railcar / GTA 5 Mod

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After covering American and Chinese trains, it’s time to turn our eyes to Europe – specifically, we’re taking a look at the German Bombardier Traxx DB BR 145.

Also known as Alstom Traxx since 2021, the Bombardier Traxx product family is comprised of diesel-electric and electric locomotives produced by German company Bombardier Transportation, now owned by Alstom.

What I love about this train is the no-nonsense design. It’s a simple and stylish red rectangle – that’s it!

Check out this alternative Danish livery for more European goodness.


4. 1942 Borsig 14925 German Steam Train

1942 Borsig 14925 German Steam Train / GTA 5 Mod

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Another fantastic train replacer hailing from the land of Bratwurst and Biergärten is the little-known Borsig 14925.

August Borsig was a German businessman who got into the railroad craze early on. He founded one of the first German locomotive factories in 1837, contributing to the industry for over 100 years.

This classic Borsig steam locomotive is unique among GTA 5 mods, which tend to focus on more modern rail vehicles.

This mod is based on a specific model made for the Shah of Iran back in 1942. It’s a piece of history with a distinctive style can’t get anywhere else.


3. EMD F-Unit Locomotive

EMD F-Unit Locomotive / GTA 5 Mod

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Fans of acclaimed post-apocalyptic survival RPG Fallout: New Vegas might remember the NCR’s refurbished locomotives in the Boulder City train station, the Gypsum train yard, and Calville Bay.

In this mod, you’ll see them restored to how they looked before the nukes hit the US.

Like everything in the Fallout universe, these vehicles were based on locomotives carrying freight over US railways in the 70s. Specifically, they’re EMD F-units made by General Motors.

Along with the bright and beautiful Western Pacific livery, you’ll also get access to the original, rusty look from New Vegas.


2. Improved Trains

Improved Trains / GTA 5 Mod

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If you want to get the most out of these beautiful custom trains, you’ll need help from a couple of gameplay mods that change how the game spawns trains and how you interact with them.

Improved Trains focuses on adding variety to the freight trains and city trams.

This is achieved by occasionally adding extra wagons to the freight train and more cars to the tram. In addition, you might see a freight train inside the city from time to time.

The mod also introduces unique train reskins, including Union Pacific engines and Maersk container wagons.

They’ll also stop at stations in SP like they do in GTA Online.


1. Railroad Engineer

Railroad Engineer / GTA 5 Mod

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Railroad Engineer is the biggest, most in-depth train system overhaul available for GTA 5.

Once installed, trains will no longer be soulless indestructible props.

Now, you’ll be able to drive them with ease – and most importantly, it’s possible to destroy them.

The trains and trams feature realistic acceleration and braking, fully-animated doors, and little interactive details like headlights, a radio, and a horn.

If you’re not a Train Simulator fan, you’ll still enjoy blowing them up. The trains can now be stopped or even derailed with explosives, car crashes, and even just shooting them up.

Prepare for on-rails mayhem.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.