$10.00
Information
Designer
Publisher
Year Published
1977
# of Players
3 − 6
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 3, 4 players
Recommended with 3, 4, 5, 6 players
(24 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
10 and up
Playing Time
240 minutes
User Suggested Ages
10 and up
(10 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
(6 voters) [poll]
Subdomain
(24 voters) [vote]
Category
Mechanic
Reimplemented By
Reimplements
Primary Name
Rail Baron
Alternate Names
Website
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ObjectID: 420
Description Edit | History

Rail Baron is one of the earlier train games - boardgames with a railroad theme.

Players move trains along historical USA railroad lines and collect delivery payoffs. They compete to purchase the railroads in order to assemble a network that gives access to important map destinations while simultaneously trying to prevent their opponents from doing so.

From the Box (Avalon Hill Bookshelf Game)
Only in America!

You are living in the heyday of the locomotive. You are Jay Gould. And you have just added another railroad to your vast railroad empire. Flushed with success, you now retire to the sartorial splendor of your very own Pullman Palace Car. The dream ends. You awaken to reality with the thought... "just another fantasy." Ahh, but for the grace of Avalon Hill, you dream continues.

Here, in Rail Baron, you become a latter day Gould, or a Cornelius Vanderbilt, or any of those menacingly infamous moguls whose wizardry and acumen established the criteria for which business success was to be judged in decades to come.

Rail Baron is played on a large board of the United States RR network. in fact, it comes in three separate boards. Laid end to end, it spell out America and portrays the 28 major rail lines and major cities they connected during the halcyon days of railroading.

You start with $20,000 - and a train. You make money on trips from city to city. Pretty soon you've got enough money to build up your empire (you can buy the B&O and C&O for just $44,000). More holdings bring more money your way (track rental) from your opponents.

With many new nuances of strategy, it becomes a game where fortunes see-saw until the last rail baron is bankrupt - or has accumulated the $200,000 needed to win.

All of this may take 3 to 4 hours. But it's great fun for 3 to 6 people, ages 10 & up.

Contents: United States Mapboard, rules folder, Payoff chart, 28 Rail Line Title cards, 6 Express Train cards, 6 Superchief cards, 6 sets of tokens and matching colored chips, 2 white and 1 colored dice, pack of play money.

The GENERAL Index Article List:

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More Information Edit | History

from "The Avalon Hill General Index and Company History, 1952-1980"

Rail Baron (1977) Revised 1980
Avalon Hill revised existing published design
Designed by R.J. Erickson
Development by Richard Hamblen

The most successful non-wargame AH has ever produced in terms of its appeal to wargamers and non-wargamers alike. The revision consisted of a simple correction to the payoff tables. The game did change packaging shortly after its introduction. Originally called BOXCARS, Hamblen’s addition of the Superchief and new artwork vastly improved the game.
- - - - -

Further note on the revised 1980 version: A few "distance dots" were removed from track segments in northern Virginia and in the Northeast region of the map. See images section for specifics.

Online Play:

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Versions
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Rail Baron
Nick: 
English second edition
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1980
Product Code: GA-295
Size: Avalon Hill Bookcase
1.90 pounds
English
Release Date:  
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Link Image
Rail Baron
Nick: 
English first edition
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1977
Product Code: GA-295
Size: Avalon Hill Bookcase
2.00 pounds
English
Release Date:  
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Files
Title | Hot | Recent
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Pg. 1 of 2 »
14 Remastered English Rules for Rail Baron
This is a manually re-keyed version of the rules for Rail Baron.
English
2012-07-04
15 Nothing But Rails (large map for Rail Baron)
A large 36" x 24" pdf map for use with Avalon Hill's Rail Baron board game. The map features only the rail routes needed to play the game. This PDF was created from scratch in Adobe Illustrator CS4 document (Mac) for my personal use. The map includes a couple tweaks that we used during our sessions (two bridge icons indicate where crossover routes do not junction, N&W has an extra stop). I decided to release this work to the public under a Creative Commons license for other people to use and enjoy. (v 1.4 This version increases the rail map size slightly within 36" x 24", changes the color of the US outline, fills names of regions with matching movement pip color.) NOTE: The rail symbols do not exactly match those on the deed cards provided with the game but are close enough that...
English
2012-06-24
3 PayOff Analysis Results
This is a text file with the results to an analysis of the outliers on the PayOff schedule printed with the original board-game.
English
2011-11-26
3 Spreadsheet for DIY'ing your own board
This contains two spreadsheets (zipped so that they will fit on the site). Both are copies of a spreadsheet start on the instructions page and allow someone to determine the railroad pricing and pay-off charts for a home-made board. The first spreadsheet is blank for usage, the second has all of the information from the original 1977 board input into it as an example. Only for serious DIY'ers
English
2011-11-25
3 DIY Board Notes
This text file contains the pertinent information for use in making home-made boards.
English
2011-11-25
5 Chart for Governmental Take Over! - A Rail Baron Variant
This chart gives the original price, auction price, bank price, and government price for all the railroads.
English
2010-01-24
4 Rail Baron Variant for 2 or 3 players (Government Take Over)
This is a shortened version of an article published in Avalon Hill's General, volume 28, number 3.
English
2010-01-22
20 Rail Barron Trip And Payout Manager
This is a standalone executable Java program that handles home town choice, next destination choice and trip payout in a very easy way. It saves about an hour for a 4 player game and allows you to concentrate on more enjoyable play features such as moving and purchasing. I wrote this and am willing to supply the source code to anyone on request. After download: 1)double click the file. It should run as an application. 2)tell it how many players you have 3)type in the names of the players, one in each text box 4)press the "choose home city button" for each player. Place their markers on the city given. 5)Whenever a player needs to get a new destination press the "next destination" button. It will alert you if you get to choose which region to head for, and if so it will alert you if you...
English
2008-05-04
4 Rail Baron Varient Cards
Just an attempt to speed up play a bit by allowing for more money and choice in what destinations you get. 4 copies of the card sheets should be about right (formatted for buisness card stock). Draw 3 at the start of the game and get one for each completed delivery.
English
2008-04-16
12 Rail Baron Payoff Chart.xls
Rail Baron Payoff Chart 1.0 (posted by friend of designer, with permission)
2007-06-23
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Ludology Episode 74 - Boardgame Wonderland
81:59
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2014-02-09
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