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Rail Baron is a board game for 3 to 6 players. It was one of the first board games with a railroad theme, and helped establish a sub category known as train games. Rail Baron is played on a map of the United States on which the routes of 28 historic railroads, such as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad have been marked. The map is divided into 7 regions, Northeast, Southeast, North Central, South Central, Plains, Northwest and Southwest, Major US cities which are connected by the railroads act as destinations for travel. Dots on the railroad routes represent small towns along the way, and serve as distance markers for train movement. The goal of each player is to accumulate money by moving his train token to map destinations which are generated at random via a lookup table. Large cities like New York City and Chicago are more likely to be generated as destinations than small cities. Travel from one destination to the next is accomplished by rolling dice to determine distance that can be moved. Players then move their train token along map dots toward their destination. Upon arrival at a destination, the player collects a cash payoff, and may use the money to upgrade his train engine to a faster model, or purchase a railroad. Railroad purchases are key to the game because an owner collects substantial fees from other players who ride his railroad during their movement. Meanwhile, the owner can ride his own railroads at very low cost. Thus an important decision in the game is whether to buy a variety of railroads in order to gain access to all areas of the map for oneself, or to buy railroads in a given area in order to monopolize it and collect the valuable use fees from opponents.  

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