After gaming for close to 10 hours at the local 'Games Day' we decided to go for pizza. After eating we played two games of Santa Fe Rails. (the waitress kicked us out just as we were wrapping up at 3:30AM)
The first game went fairly quick... lots of 2X cards played. Only two Short Line companies came up before the game ended. I played a little conservatively, but still won. By a single point! Trent tried a money win... going for bonuses early on. I would have had more points, but the red and green lines looped back on themselves and there weren't enough branch cards left to keep them alive.
The second game was very strange. All of the yellow and white track got played before two of the other major rail lines were even started. Everyone played more conservative and tried to plan most of their bonus multipliers well in advance (except Trent, who went for a money win... this time it worked). All of the Short Lines came into play and we only had one card left in the city draw deck when the game ended.
It looks like going for bonuses is the way to go when everyone is holding back on their 2X cards (and other specials). The scores were much higher in the second game too... a lot more city cards were played.
Lessons to be learned: If a game is playing out quick, with lots of 2X cards being played, let your opponents build your track for you and get lots of city cards on the table. If a game looks like it's going to last longer, try for as many bonus payouts as you can, use the 2X cards sparingly, and maximise your city placement.