GIF of the CLI in Action

The Railway command line interface (CLI) connects your code to your Railway project from the command line.

The Railway CLI allows you to

  • Create new Railway projects from the terminal
  • Link to an existing Railway project
  • Pull down environment variables to run a service locally
  • Open an interactive shell to a database within a project


Install with Brew, NPM, Shell Script, or Scoop.

NPM (Linux, macOS, Windows)

You need to have => 16.x version of Node.js installed.

Shell Script (Linux, macOS, Windows: Git Bash)

Homebrew (Linux, macOS)

Note: This will install 2.x.x, we are working on restoring installs on Brew.

Scoop (Windows)

Use this method if you prefer to interact with Railway using a native Windows binary. In a PowerShell terminal enter the following command:

For additional documentation on Scoop, see here.


You can also download the prebuilt binary directly or build from source.


Interactive Login

Login to your Railway account. This command opens a browser tab which authenticates into an existing Railway session.

If there are any issues with browser-based login you can use the --browserless flag to authenticate.

This will print a URL and a pairing code to the terminal which you can use to authenticate (useful for SSH sessions).

Project Tokens

You can use Project Tokens to authenticate in cases where user input/interaction is not possible, such as in CI/CD pipelines.

Project tokens allow the CLI to access all the environment variables associated with a specific project and environment. Use the token by setting the RAILWAY_TOKEN environment variable and then running railway <command>.


Associate a project and environment with your current directory

Screenshot of Railway

Prompts you to select a team, project, and environment to associate with your current directory. Any future commands will be run against this project and environment.

Create a Project

Create a new project directly from the command line.

Prompts you to name your project and select a team to create the project in.

Local Development

Run code locally with the same environment variables as your Railway project.

For example, to run your Node.js project with your remote environment variables:

Local Shell

Open a new shell with Railway environment variables. Similar to railway run but opens a new shell.


Projects might have multiple environments, but by default the CLI links to the production environment. You can change the linked environment with the environment command.


Deploy the linked project directory (if running from a subdirectory, the project root is still deployed).

If there are multiple services within your project, the CLI will prompt you for a service to deploy to.

Add Database Service

Provision plugins (databases) for a project.

Prompts you to select one or more plugins to provision for your project.



Our CLI is open source. Contribute to the development of the Railway CLI by opening an issue or Pull Request on our GitHub Repo.

You can see our documentation of the CLI API here.

CLI v3 Changes

The Railway CLI recently underwent a rewrite to improve the user experience and make it easier to maintain. The biggest change is that the new v3 CLI will use the new Public API rather than undocumented routes.

The new CLI is written in Rust and is currently available via all release channels.

What's New?

  • The new CLI is written in Rust and is much faster than the previous version

  • The new CLI has interactive search for services + projects to link to

  • The new CLI now displays information about your data in cleaner, more readable tables

  • The new CLI has additional flags such as --json to output data in JSON format for scripting

  • New commands:

    • railway service helper command to link to a project's service
    • railway add now allows you to provision multiple database types at once
    • railway domain now will generate a service domain
    • railway logs now opens a direct websocket connection to the logs API and will stream logs in real time
  • Added the --json flag to output data in JSON format for scripting

  • CLI commands now allow you to explicitly specify the project and environment you want to use via flags.


  • Undocumented commands such as railway protect and railway shell will be removed. We are re-thinking how we want to handle these features and will be adding them back in the future
  • railway variables add will no longer give you the option to add a secret. We are re-thinking how we want to handle the secret flow within the CLI now since the addition of Shared Variables
  • railway down will be sunset as we are looking into better ways to handle deployments and scaling
  • railway version is being removed in favor of using -V or --version flags.
  • railway build is being removed in favor of using railway variables to output a local .env file (also the name was confusing)
  • railway init will no longer allow you to deploy a new Project with a Template. We have since re-worked the flow and realized that the Template deploy flow is best served in the dashboard

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