Game description from the publisher:
In Empire Express, designed to be an easy-to-play introduction to the Empire Builder series of games, players create competing railroad empires by drawing railroad tracks with crayons upon an erasable board. You win if you utilize your network of rail lines to acquire and deliver goods efficiently to accumulate the largest personal fortune!
The base game provides pre-programmed routes on a board depicting a north-eastern portion of the U.S. with demand cards providing players with an easy way to learn the system through play. Players start with the bare bones of a railroad: an empty train and track connecting some cities. Each turn you and your fellow players take turns building track, operating trains, and delivering loads. The bank will pay you for each delivered load.
With the starting route guided by the board, only two loads per card, and a visual pick-up and delivery guide on every card, the learning curve is greatly shortened.