On newer operating systems (Windows 7) making Railroad Tycoon 2 run in windowed mode doesn’t work unless you follow a few extra steps:
- Change your color quality to 16bit. Right click on you desktop, select properties and go to the settings tab. Here set your color quality to 16bit.
- Change your screen resolution to larger than 1152 x 864. The game requires your screen resolution to be larger than 1152 x 864 in order for game to switch to windowed mode. To change your screen resolution right click on you desktop, select properties and go to the settings tab, then slide the resolution until it is larger than 1152 x 864.
- Deselect fullscreen in the in-game settings. Start Railroad Tycoon 2 and start a new map or load an old save file (doesn’t matter which one). On the left, above the mini map and the save menu icons, click on the icon with the sliders (settings) and deselect full screen.
If you follow these steps you should get the game to switch to windowed mode. From what I’ve seen using -w or -windowed command line switches does not work, you must lower the color quality. If you have trouble getting this to work, or have found other solutions, especially for Windows 8, please post in the comments below!