| ||For an overview of railway rifle models in the Fallout series of games, see railway rifle.|
The railway rifle fires railway spikes as projectiles in the same manner as a crossbow or a flechette gun. These are rarely found as ammunition, but are cheap to buy and may be recovered from enemies slain using the weapon. In exchange, the railway rifle has become enormously more powerful from its last iteration while retaining its ability to do extreme damage to limbs--sometimes even pinning detached ones to walls.
The railway rifle is most effective in VATS at close to mid ranges, although its range is somewhat increased from its last incarnation and can be greatly increased with modification. The reason that the rifle is more effective in VATS is that the nails seems to have a slight traveltime which makes it harder to hit enemies further away. This travel time reduces the efficiency of the railway rifle as a sniper weapon. However, a scoped railway rifle can still be a devastating sniper weapon for use against unaware enemies because of its massive damage and the fact that it is almost completely silent.
In addition, a train whistle can be heard when reloading the weapon.
- Big John's salvage - inside Big John's fallout shelter, which is in a blue overturned railway car just behind his house. In order to enter the shelter's trapdoor, the power must be switched on. The power switch is near the automobile-powered main gate to the salvage yard, attached to a power cable that runs to the blue railway car. After hitting the switch, access the trapdoor by jumping on top of the car.
- Potential reward for completing the Railroad quest Underground Undercover and starting Precipice of War.
- Bedford Station - Inside a blue railway car attached to a locomotive. Appears at Level 20.
- Carried by Desdemona during the quest Tactical Thinking.
- Carried by Tinker Tom during the quest End of the Line.
- Carried by generic Railroad agents.
- Railway rifles only spawn when the Sole Survivor is above level 20, with the exception of the one carried by Desdemona during the quest Tactical Thinking.
- The railway rifle was brought back from Fallout 3, and shares a similar appearance to the original.
- The limb-pinning effect affects heads. Also, the pinning does not always happen in outdoor areas. In V.A.T.S. the camera will follow the flying limb or head for quite a ways before giving up.
- Very often there are spikes stuck in walls and bodies after a fight. These spikes are irretrievable.
- The rifle appears to be semi-automatic since the Sole Survivor doesn't cock it before or after each shot.
- Railway spikes can be retrieved from the corpse of a hostile target.
- Completion of the quest "Underground Undercover" will add legendary variants of the railway rifle as loot on legendary enemies.
- The standard receiver for the railway rifle is mislabelled as the automatic piston receiver in the console.