Across the Boards: Historical Routes for the Railways of 1825

by Lou Jerkich

Part 1A: The Major Railways of Unit 1


LNWR - London and North Western Railway
GWR - Great Western Railway
GER - Great Eastern Railway
LSWR - London and South Western Railway
SECR - South Eastern and Chatham Railway
LBSC - London, Brighton and South Coast Railway

LNWR - London and North Western Railway
Formed in 1846 from the merger of three railway lines (the London and Birmingham Railway, the Grand Junction Railway, and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway), with a combined total of 420 track miles the LNWR became the largest joint stock company in the United Kingdom.  It included within itself some 45 formerly independent railways, including the world's first passenger railway, the Liverpool and Manchester, which had in 1845 become part of the Grand Junction Railway.  The LNWR had the greatest revenues of Britain's 19th century railways thanks to connecting some of England's most important cities: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.  Its main line eventually extended from London Euston Station to Carlisle, and from there to Glasgow via the Caledonian Railway.  This was the forerunner of the modern West Coast Main Line.  Branch lines extended to Cambridge, Peterborough, Oxford, and Holyhead.  It had running powers on a line to Swansea, and it also owned a railway in Ireland. Crewe served as the base for its locomotive maintenance works, while Wolverton was its facility for passenger and freight cars.  In the 1923 grouping, the LNWR became part of the London, Midland and Scottish (LMS) Railway.  For further information and links, see LNWR and LNWR map.

Bases: T16 (Wolverton) [Unit 1], Q11 (Crewe) [Unit 2]
Locations for 4 other Stations:
a. R12e (Walsall) [Unit1],
b. O9 (Liverpool) [Unit 2],
c. P4 (Holyhead PORT) [Kit R1] or N10 (Preston) [Unit 2],
d. S15 (Northampton) [Unit 1].

Main Line: London to Wolverton, Birmingham, Crewe and Carlisle
V20 (London-NW [Euston Station]), NW to U19 [47nw], W to U17 [8e], NW to T16 (Wolverton) [brown hexag], W to T14 [17e], NW to S13 (Birmingham) [50se], NW to R12e (Walsall) [167se]  NW to Q11 (Crewe) [200ne], NW to P10 [46se], NW to O9 (Liverpool) [49ne], NE to N10 (Preston) [38nw], NW to M9 (Morecombe) [brown hexag], E to M11 [7nw], NW to L10 [27se], NW to K9 [25se], NE to J10 (Carlisle) [63sw].

Main Line Branch:
A. London to Manchester: From London-NW to Crewe in Q11, and thence NE to P12 [47sw], NW to O11 (Manchester South) [50w].
B. Wolverton to Birmingham via Northampton: T16 (Wolverton) [brown hexag], NW to S15 (Northampton) [38w], W to S13 (Birmingham East) [50se], from whence NE to R14 [41ne] and W to R12 (Walsall) [167se] will connect back to the Main Line leading north to Crewe, Liverpool and Carlisle.

Branch Lines:
1. Crewe to Holyhead: Q11 (Crewe) [200ne], NW to P10 [46se], W to P8 [brown hexag], W to P6 [9e], W to P4 (Holyhead PORT) [brown hexag], and SE to Q5 (Portmadoc) [4se] {to connect to the Cambrian Railway}.
2. Crewe to Leeds: Q11 (Crewe) [200ne], NE to P12 [47sw], NE to O13 [44sw], NE to N14 (Leeds) [167nw] for connection to NER.
3. Crewe to Swansea via Shrewsbury: Q11 (Crewe) [200ne], W to Q9 [45nw], SE to R10 (Shrewsbury) [166SW], SW to S9 [25ne], W to S7 [28se], SW to T8 [28nw], W to T6 [8sw], SW to U5 [11w], SE to V6 (Swansea PORT) [brown hexag].  {South of Shrewsbury, this "Crewe to Swansea" line must use the same track as depicted for the CRC.}
4. Crewe to Bristol via Shrewsbury: Q11 (Crewe) [200ne], W to Q9 [45nw], SE to R10 (Shrewsbury) [166sw], SW to S9 [25ne], SE to T10 [8nw], SW to U9  [23sw], SW to V8 (Cardiff/Newport) [168e], E to V10 (Bristol) [51nw].  {The LNWR also had a branch to Merthyr Tydfil but the main line to Newport was east of Merthyr Tydfil.}
5. Liverpool to Manchester:  O9 (Liverpool) [49ne], E to O11 (Manchester) [50w]; continuing E to O13 [44sw] hooks into the Crewe to Leeds line, heading southwest.
6. Northampton to Peterborough: S15 (Northampton) [38w], E to S17 [47nw], E to S19 [18sw], NW to R18 [7se], E to R20 (Peterborough) [166sw].

Notes on track and stations for LNWR:
The LNWR has the longest main line in the game, and building it is very difficult since it doesn't all come together well until the grey tiles are available for Birmingham, Walsall and Liverpool.  Even then, the route cannot be duplicated very well due to the tile mix, the limitations of the hexagonal map, and the location of stations of other companies.  For example, the mainline should run from Crewe to Manchester and continue north through Preston to Carlisle.  The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway's base station in north Manchester precludes creating an easy north-south route through Manchester, so the main line I have depicted travels instead through Liverpool to Preston and beyond.

The key for a railway starting as early as the LNWR is to not waste opportunities to lay down two yellow track tiles per turn.  Building routes in such a way that there are always two non-adjacent hexags in which to lay track will meet the physical requirments of maximizing one's opportunities.  Start the first operating round by leading gentle curve tile #8e southeast out of Wolverton and pointing east.  At the same time connect Crewe to Liverpool with a tile #9se in hex P10.  (This will cost £40 due to the river there.  In addition, in order to prepare to make the most of the next Operating Round, also buy three trains of type 2.)  On Operating Round 2, finish connecting Wolverton to London by placing tile #8w in U19.  Also place tile #8e in T14 where it will join the track that leaves the west side of Wolverton to connect to the city of Birmingham-South.  The LNWR will now have three profitable routes to run: London-NW toWolverton, Wolverton to Birmingham, and Crewe to Liverpool.

On the third turn, or as soon as green tiles are available, tile #52sw should be placed in hexag R12, connecting Crewe to Walsall.  Place a station there.  This orientation will best protect the desired route through Birmingham for the use of the LNWR.  Since this counts as a tile lay, the LNWR can also place tile #3e in hexag S15 (Northampton), to begin the building of its historical route to Peterborough and ultimately even a second route to Birmingham.  Northampton should later be ugraded to green tile #12e which will permit an LNWR station to be placed there.  When russet tiles are available, Northampton should be promoted to tile #38w so that the potential for a second connection to Birmingham will exist.  Meanwhile, as soon as russet tiles become available, upgrade Walsall/Wolverhampton to #66se and Birmingham to #34se.  This will at last create an unbroken main line from London to Liverpool.  If the Midland is able to promote the Birmingham hex before the LNWR does, then it is possible for the Midland to create a direct branch line from Derby to Bristol by way of Birmingham.  Such a move, however, would make some historical LNWR and GWR routes impossible or difficult to achieve.

Subsequent yellow tile placements out of Crewe include tile #9sw in P12 which will eventually connect Crewe northeast to Manchester-East.  (Use green tile #24ne if the Midland Railway has already placed tile #8se in that hex.)  A tile #7sw placed in hexag O13 (or a #26w, assuming that the GCR has already placed tile #9e there) will then permit the LNWR to run from Crewe to Manchester.  Once russet tiles become available, Manchester can convert to tile #34e and Liverpool to #33e for some profitable runs.  The LNWR might consider placing its station in Liverpool-East at this time on the Liverpool-Manchester route.  The line northeast out of Crewe also can be further developed (#44sw in O13) so that it terminates in hex N14, the Bradford/Leeds hex.

To create the LNWR's major route to Bristol, west from Crewe place tile #7se which will point toward Shrewsbury from where a branch line can snake southwest down to Newport and Bristol via hexes S9, T10, U9, V8 and V10.  Shrewsbury can be any of the small city tiles, although #58sw alone allows track to be built toward Bristol immediately.  It then should be promoted to green #15se followed by the russet/grey 166sw when possible.  If the LNWR has built to Shrewsbury and beyond to Bristol, its Director may well want to control the Cambrian as well and use the LNWR to help it build some track.  The Cambrian line that leads from Shrewsbury to Swansea can also be an LNWR line, although it cannot be used simultaneously with the Shrewsbury to Bristol line. 

By converting tile #9se in hexag P10 to tile #24se, the LNWR can build #9e in hex P6 and reach Holyhead PORT.  If steamship line rules are being used, place a station in Holyhead.  Extending the line southeast out of Holyhead into Portmadoc will make a later connection with the Cambrian easier.  After Phase 4 permits the use of the grey tiles, some company is bound to upgrade Manchester to #50w.  If  so, then the upgrade to russet #46se in P10 and a promotion to #47sw in P12 will permit the line from Crewe to Holyhead PORT to pass through Manchester first for greater revenues.

In order to complete its main line, the LNWR must be able to place grey tiles.  Liverpool needs to promoted to grey tile #49e.  Preston to the northeast of Liverpool will by this time probably be a tile #38nw hooked into Morecambe in brown hexag M9.  Continue to Carlisle by placing tile #7nw in M11, #9se in L10, #8se in K9 and then promoting Carlisle to a city tile that connects to the LNWR route.  Ultimately, Carlisle needs a tile #63 for maximum benefit.  Some of these hexags along the way may already have track placed by other railway companies, so the LNWR may need to make a few upgrades in the track to connect Liverpool to Carlisle.   Moreover, two of the hexags are mountains that will cost £100 each.  When complete, this main line from London to Carlisle will contain 16 hexags.  Converting Walsall to grey #167se and Birmingham to grey #50se will not only increase the value of the mainline route, but it will also permit a connection from Wolverton via Northampton [#38w] to Birmingham and on to Walsall via one of tiles #7w, #27se, or #41ne in R14.

Wolverton and Crewe are the main bases for the LNWR.  Neither actually needs to be promoted to a #200 tile for the sake of the LNWR, but the 200ne tile in Crewe may add a bit of income to the cramped North Staffordshire Railway.  This tile also could be rotated to #200sw to give a direct route to Shrewsbury for the LNWR.   The station in Walsall ensures that the LNWR main line from London to Liverpool is going to be secure.  Northampton should have a station to enable the branch line to Peterborough to be run.  If steamship lines are being used, then Holyhead is the PORT that the LNWR can most easily reach and use.  Liverpool and Preston are the remaining two locations for stations.  Whichever seems most important for the LNWR should be used.

GWR - Great Western Railway
Founded by Bristol merchants in 1833 and incorporated in 1835, the Great Western Railway was built out of London by engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel with a broad seven-foot gauge.  It reached Bristol on June 30, 1841.  Afterwards, the company expanded its network through new construction and amalgamation.  Brunel also engineered the Bristol and Exeter Railway which was completed in 1844 and was at first managed by the Great Western until 1849.   After a long period of independent operation, the Bristol and Exeter was fully merged into the Great Western in January 1876.  Meanwhile, the Bristol and Gloucester reached Gloucester in 1844, followed a year later by a route opened from Swindon to Gloucester and Cheltenham.  The GWR's locomotive engineering works that became operational in 1843 were built at Swindon partly because of the junction there of the main line between London and Bristol with the branch to Gloucester and Cheltenham.  By 1867 Swindon became the central workshop for carriages and goods cars as well.  With the addition of additional railways that came to be leased to or amalgamated into the Great Western, the main line was eventually extended beyond Exeter to Plymouth, Falmouth and Penzance.  Additional branches extended track from Swindon to Weymouth and from Reading to Shrewsbury.  Another significant route was created across South Wales from Gloucester to Swansea, Milford Haven and Fishguard.  The route to South Wales from London was shortened after the building of the Severn Tunnel from Bristol to South Wales (1873-1886) eliminated the need for the roundabout way through Gloucester.  Several of the GWR routes led to or through steamship ports.  In the 1923 Groupings, the Great Western became one of the four great regional railways, with the Cambrian and Taff Vale Railways added to it.  It's lines extended some 3800 miles.  For further information on the Great Western Railway see GWR.

Bases:  V14 (Swindon) [Unit 1], plus Y6 (Exeter) [only when using Regional Kit: R2].
Locations for 5 other stations:
a. V16 (Reading),
b. V10 (Bristol) or U11 (Gloucester),
c. Y11 (Weymouth PORT),
d. V8 (Newport/Cardiff) [168e] or V6 (Swansea PORT) [Kit R1] or T2 (Fishguard PORT) [Kit R1],
e. AA1 (Falmouth PORT) [Kit R2] or Z4 (Plymouth) [Kit R2].

Main Line
London to Penzance via Exeter and Plymouth: V20 (London-West [Paddington Station]), W to V18 [23w], W to V16 (Reading) [14se], W to V14 (Swindon) [200sw], W to V12 [42e], W to V10 (Bristol) [51nw], SW to W9 [brown hexag W9], SW to X8 [47w], SW to Y7 (Exeter) [14w], SW to Z6 (Torquay) [58w], W to Z4 (Plymouth) [66w], W to Z2  (Fowey) [58e], SW to AA1 (Falmouth  PORT) [12nw], W to AA99 (Penzance) [3ne].

Branch Lines:
1. Reading to Shrewsbury: V16 (Reading) [14se], NW to U15 [9se], NW to T14 [17e], W to T12 [27ne], NE to S13 (Birmingham) [50se], W to S11 [7e], NE to R12w (Wolverhampton) [167se], W to R10 (Shrewsbury) [166sw].
2. Swindon to Birmingham: V14 (Swindon) [200sw], NW to U13 [8e], W to U11 (Gloucester) [14w], NE to T12 [27ne], NE to S13 (Birmingham West) [50se].
3. Severn Tunnel: Bristol to Newport/Cardiff: V10 (Bristol) [51nw], W to V8 (Newport/Cardiff) [168e].
4. South Wales: Bristol or Gloucester to Fishguard Port: V10 (Bristol) [51nw] to V8; or U11 (Gloucester) [14w], W to U9 [47w], SW to V8 (Newport/Cardiff) [168e], W to V6 (Swansea PORT) [brown Hexag], NW to U5 (Llanelly Halt) [11ne], W to U3 [43w], W to (Milford Haven) [brown hexag], NE to T2 (Fishguard PORT) [12se].  (Also U3 [43w] directly NW to T2 (Fishguard PORT) [12se].)
5. Fishguard PORT to Aberystwyth: T2 (Fishguard PORT) [12se], SE to U3 [43w],
6. Swindon to Weymouth via Trowbridge: V14 (Swindon) [200sw], W to V12 [42e], SW to W11 (Bath/Trowbridge) [166w], SW to X10 [60w], SE to Y11 (Weymouth PORT) [15w].
7. Trowbridge to Exeter: W11 (Bath/Trowbridge) [166w], SW to X10 [60w], W to X8 {Taunton--not shown}[47w], SW to Y7 (Exeter) [14w].
8. Taunton to Barnstaple: X8 {Taunton--not shown} [47w], W to X6 [9e], W to X4 (Barnstaple) [3e].
9. Swindon to Bristol via Bath: V14 (Swindon) [200sw], W to V12 [42e], SW to W11 (Bath/Trowbridge) [166w], NW to V10 (Bristol) [51e].

The Great Western main line and the many branches I've shown attempt as best as possible within the limits of the 1825 Unit 1 mapboard to conform to historical routes.  It is, however, quite an undertaking to create these routes to their full extent in an actual game.  Any attempt to do so must involve planning ahead for it by maximizing the opportunities to lay two yellow tiles per turn.  When using the Regional Kit R2 which adds Devon and Cornwall, this becomes a bit easier due to the addition of the extra GWR home base starting at Exeter.  Nevertheless, the creation of the GWR historical routes requires the GWR player to focus on those routes to the exclusion of other routes which might at times be more profitable to the company.

From Swindon and Exeter track can be laid in various directions.  From Swindon in V14 one straight length of tile #9e in V12 will connect to Bristol in V10  Another tile #9sw in hexag X8 will connect Bristol to Exeter hex in Y7.  Tile #4e is needed in V16 (Reading) so as to continue east into V18 with tile #9w which then reaches London-West (Paddington Station).  Reading will eventually promote to tile #14se.  The choice of city tile in Exeter (Y7) will depend on where next from Exeter the GWR Director plans to build.

From Exeter the route to Penzance requires two tile #58s to be used.  One will be in hexag Z6 (Torquay) and the other in Z2 (Fowey).  In between is Z4 (Plymouth/Devonport) which develops similarly to Newport/Cardiff in V8.  In Z4 use green tile #52nw initially, and then russet tile #66w to build the through route into Foway.  From Foway in Z2 continue with tile #6ne into AA1 (Falmouth) and place a station there.  Falmouth can be upgraded to green tile #12nw.  Finally we come to AA99 in which tile #3e reaches Penzance.

The Reading to Shrewsbury Branch Line cannot be completed until grey tiles are available due to the connection at Birmingham.  Reading in hexag V16 needss to be promoted to green tile #14se to begin this route.  It proceeds northwest to hexags U15 and T14 using respectively tiles #9se and #8w.  The latter may need to be green tile #17e if the LNWR has already placed tile #8e in T14.  A yellow tile #7e in hexag T12 completes the link to Birmingham West in hexag S13 provided that it is a grey tile #50e.  If so, the line may continue west into hexag S11 with tile #7e to reach Wolverhampton in hexag R12.  This may be either russet tile #66se or grey tile #167se.  From here the route easily continues west into R10 (Shrewsbury), which can be any appropriate city tile that can be promoted to grey/russet tile #166sw.

Another route to Birmingham for the GWR is to build from Swindon in V14 northwest to U13 using tile #8w and then to Gloucester in hexag U11.  A tile #5e there can be upgraded also to tile #14w.  In either case, track tile #9sw can be built from there northeast across T12 to reach Birmingham West in S13, provided that the latter has been upgraded to grey tile #50se.  If the line from reading to Shrewsbury has reached T12 previously, then that hex must be promoted to tile #27ne.  This portion of the line from Gloucester to Birmingham may later be used by the MR in order for the Midland to reach its branch destination of Bristol.

From Gloucester in U11 the GWR can build a line to Newport/Cardiff in hexag V8.  It leaves tile #14w in Gloucester, taking tile #8sw through U9 to reach V8.  U9 may also become green tile #24e or russet tile #47w.  In V8 tile #52w should be placed to permit the connection from Gloucester to Newport.  This can be upgraded to russet tile #66w to increase its value to £50 and then to grey tile #168 for a value of £70.  Russet tile #66w leads the GWR's route northwest out of V8 into U7 where the Taff vale Railway has its base.  However, if another company has managed to place russet tile #35nw in V8, it will be a better track tile for the purposes of allowing the GWR to more quickly build a route from Bristol to Fishguard PORT, for tile #35nw would continue the GWR's line from Gloucester on to Swansea.  When V8 is later promoted to grey tile #168e, the track from Gloucester can always continue all the way to Fishguard PORT.

Otherwise, the only way for the branch line from Bristol to Fishguard PORT to be built is for either Bristol in V10 to first become tile #38e or grey tile #51nw.  Either of those would permit a direct connection west into V8 (Newport/Cardiff) via what historically was called the Severn Tunnel.  In V8, two alternatives are then possible.  With tile #52nw (value £40), Bristol would link directly west into Newport.  An upgrade to tile #66w (value £50) would then allow the line to continue westward directly into Swansea.  Instead of tile #52nw, the GWR could use tile #10e (value £30) to connect directly to Newport.  When promoted to russet tile #37e (value £40) it gives the GWR a choice of continuing through to Swansea without counting either Newport or Cardiff which are off on side tracks, or else it could terminate its run at Newport.  Both tiles #66w and #37e promote to grey tile #168 worth £70.

From Swansea in brown hexag V6, the GWR's line is easily extended.  Place tile #8w in U5 and when occasion permits promote it to tile #11ne which places the Llanelly Halt on this stretch of GWR track.  Then continue west into U3 with tile #9e to Milford Haven in brown hexag U1.  From there the line hooks northeast into T2 (Fishguard PORT) which needs tile #5sw which can promote to tile #12se.  Hexag U3 can be upgraded to tile #23e in order to bypass Milford Haven and go directly to Fishguard PORT.  (Tile #8e in U3 would have directly curved to Fishguard PORT where tile #5sw could have completed the connection.)  If the GWR places a station in Fishguard PORT, then upgrading U3 to russet tile #43w will enable the GWR to complete track further on to Aberystwyth in hexag S5.  This is done using tile #9sw in T4 and tile #4sw in S5.

Another GWR branch connects Swindon to Weymouth via Trowbridge in W11.  Starting from the base in Swindon at hexag V14, the track heads west into V12 and branches southwest using green tile #24e or russet tile 42e.  In hexag W11, tile #2ne is necessary to make a through connection via Trowbridge southwest to hexag X10 in which tile #8se will continue the route into Y11 (Weymouth) using tile #6e or perhaps #15w if it has already been upgraded.  If previously a tile had been placed in hexag X10, such as tile #8sw, then green tile #16se can be placed there instead. (This upgrades to russet #43 ne and then to grey #60w.)  Trowbridge in W11 can grow to tile #15sw and then promote to grey/russet tile #166w which is available in phase 4.  The line from Trowbridge which runs to X10 can also branch west into X8 (Taunton) where it can be either tile #8sw or green tile #23sw or russet tile #47w.  This will lead on southwestward into Y7 (Exeter) which should have the appropriate yellow city tile or else be promoted to tile #14w.

Hexag X8 in which would be the town of Taunton (not shown on the map) is also the jumping-of point for a side route to Barnstaple at hexag X4.  Taunton could have tile #23ne, tile #20sw, or tile #47w.  Place tile #9e in X6 and then #3e in X4 to create the route.

The route from Swindon to Bath can only be built by first following the same track layout from Swindon to bath/Trowbridge as was shown in the Swindon to Weymouth route.  At Bath/Trowbridge in hexag W11, with either tile #15sw or grey/russet tile #166sw, a connection to Bristol can only occur if we can follow a sequence for Bristol that gets grey tile #51e or #51sw positioned there. The former would leave no connection possible from Bristol to Newport via the Severn Tunnel route (which requires grey tile #51nw or #51sw must be placed in Bristol) and the latter would leave no connection possible between Bristol and Gloucester.  The latter prevents the Midland route from Derby to Bristol from being realized so is not desirable.  All depends on the orientation of russet tile #38nw (which leads to grey tile #51e or #51sw).  The most desirable upgrade to tile #51se cannot be achieved ever because the promotion to #51 requires russet tile #38 which cannot be placed so as to permit location #5se fot the grey tile.

GER - Great Eastern Railway
The GER was formed in 1862 by an almagamation of the Eastern Counties Railway with a number of other railways including the Eastern Union, Norfolk, East Anglian, Newmarket, Harwich, and East Suffolk railways.  This gave the GER a monopoly on most of the traffic of East Anglia until the M&GN opened in 1893.  Its original Bishopsgate Station was replaced by the Liverpool Street Station in 1874-1875.  From the port of Harwich the GER operated a steamship service to the Low Countries.  In 1923, the GER became part of the new LNER.  For further information see GER and Great Eastern Railway.

Base:  V20 (London-East [Liverpool Street Station])
Locations for 3 other stations:
a. U25 (Harwich PORT), or T24 (Ipswich), or U23 (Colchester),
b. R24 (Norwich),
c. T20 (Cambridge).

Main LineLondon to Norwich
V20 (London-East [Liverpool Street Station]), E to V22 [brown hexag], NE to U23 (Colchester) [14e], NE to T24 (Ipswich) [15sw], NW to S23 [11ne], NE to R24 (Norwich) [38e].

Branch Lines:
1. Colchester to Harwich: U23 (Colchester) [14e], E to U25 (Harwich PORT) [brown hexag].
2. Ipswich to Great Yarmouth: T24 (Ipswich) [15sw],  NE to S25 [9sw],  NE to R26 (Great Yarmouth) [12w].
3. Norwich to Great Yarmouth:  R24 (Norwich) [38e], E to R26 (Great Yarmouth) [12w].
4. Ipswich to Cambridge:  T24 (Ipswich) [15sw], NW to S23 (Bury St. Edmunds Halt) [11ne], W to S21 (Newmarket Halt) [11nw], T20 (Cambridge) [12e].
5. Norwich to Cambridge:  R24 (Norwich) [38e], SW to S23 [11ne], W to S21 (Newmarket Halt) [11nw],  T20 (Cambridge) [12e].
6. Cambridge to London: T20 (Cambridge) [12e], SE to U21 [29sw], SW to V20 (London-NE [Liverpool Street Station]).
7. Ipswich to Peterborough: T24 (Ipswich) [15sw], NW to S23 (Bury St. Edmunds Halt) [11ne], W to S21 [11nw], NW to R20 (Peterborough) [166sw].
8. Norwich to Peterborough:  R24 (Norwich) [38e], SW to S23 [11ne], W to S21 [11nw], NW to R20 (Peterborough) [166sw].

Alternate Routes:
alt 6. Cambridge to London:  T20 (Cambridge) [12e], SE to U21 [22e], E to U23 (Colchester) [14e], SW to V22 [brown hexag], W to V20 (London-East [Liverpool Street Station]).
alt 8. Norwich to Peterborough: R24 (Norwich) [38e], W to R22 [24w], W to R20 (Peterborough) [166sw].
alt 4. Ipswich to Cambridge: T24 (Ipswich) [15sw], W to T22 [9e], W to T20 (Cambridge) [12e].

Notes on GER track building and stations:
The GER's domain of East Anglia has, aside from London, only one large city depicted on the map--Norwich.  Melton Constable can take a station token but always remains a city worth only 10.  Harwich and  Southend never change from being worth 20 each.  The remaining cities start as small towns which optionally may grow larger.  In the track development I have depicted, most of these promote to green tiles worth 30; only Norwich and Peterborough grow to a value of 40.  Available track tiles and the placement of stations will affect which lines below can be built and used in the course of a game.  In general, it is likely that at least one station will be needed in the Colchester/Ipswich/Harwich vicinity.   If there is a steampacket or port bonus for Harwich PORT, then that could use up one of the 3 variable stations.  Colchester should not be used for a station, if possible, unless needed to protect the GER's route into London-East.  Placing stations at both Harwich PORT and Colchester will leave the GER with but one additional station and could put it at a disadvantage.  If Cambridge is a #12 tile, then a GER station there will protect the route into London and block other companies from running through Cambridge to get there.  Rule 4.3.2 limiting the promotion of station tiles to stations able to be reached by a current train of the company could also dictate where a station gets built.  Ipswich, attainable by a 3-train out of London, may get a station for this reason, and is preferable to Colchester, if circumstances permit.

The shortage of #58 gentle curve town tiles may force the branch lines from Ipswich to Great Yarmouth and thence to Norwich to be created before the standard main line from Ipswich to Norwich via S23.  The shortage of #58 tiles also means that the branch to Harwich PORT will also probably not occur until Colchester (as a #4 town tile) is converted to a green #14 city tile.  Moreover, before green tiles are available, one would not want to waste track-building opportunities by dead-ending at Harwich PORT.  After green tiles appear, green upgrades of Colchester and Ipswich will enable the main line to Norwich to be created and the first three branch lines to occur naturally. 

In the game, only one train per company can use a given route into London.  In order to take advantage of multiple routes into London, the Ipswich route to Cambridge, followed by the Cambridge to London branch may be the next most profitable lines to build.  For greater flexibility, a station in Cambridge is preferable to one in London.  Note that the historical GER lines into London should all connect with the Liverpool Street Station in London-East, but for game purposes, the Cambridge connection to London is better run via U29 to London-NE.  Otherwise, what historically were two distinct routes would both have to pass through Colchester due to the brown hexag of V22 that limits routes into London-East to one line reached only through Colchester.  Nevertheless, Cambridge could be connected back to London-East by running to Colchester via U21.  There was a route of small lines that connected Cambridge to the GER mainline a bit south of Colchester, perhaps justifying this route.  But the Cambridge to London direct line, known now as the West Anglia Main Line, is preferable for depicting the historical perspective and also as a more profitable game strategy.

The presence of Halt tiles [#11] in both S23 and S21 easily enables a link to Peterborough in R20, thereby giving both Ipswich and Norwich revenue runs to that city.  Of course, because of the joint track shared by both branches, only one train per turn could be run to Peterborough or Cambridge vis S21 by the GER.  The two Halts shown (Bury St. Edmunds in S23 and Newmarket in S21) favor the Ipswich to Cambridge route.  However, if the Norwich to Peterborough train were to use the route to Peterborough more often than Ipswich-Cambridge, then the Halt tiles should be oriented S23 (Thetford) [11se] and S21 (Ely) [11sw].  (In S21, Ely was in fact a major track junction but Newmarket also drew considerable GER luxury traffic to the Newmarket Racecourse.)

Because two trains of one company cannot use the same track, in order for trains to run from both Ipswich and Norwich to either Cambridge or Peterborough, there would need to be alternate routes.  Connecting cities by a route that deviates from the historical one yet doesn't include inappropriate cities and towns is possible.  Thus Norwich can be connected to Peterborough by a route running due west from Norwich to Peterborough via hexag R22.  Historically, there appear to have been smaller connecting lines that ran between these cities that did not plunge south to Thetford and Ely first.  So a train could run between these cities while another ran from Ipswich to Cambridge or Peterborough through S23 and S21.  Similarly, to allow a train from Norwich to use S23 and S21, another route could be built due west from Ipswich to Cambridge via hexag T22 to represent the arched line of the more northern route that was actually used.  If the Halt tiles [#11] are not available, and either the Norwich-Peterborough or Ipswich-Cambridge alternate route is built, tile #25 would suffice in hexes S23 and S21 to create one of the needed "arched routes" between those cities.

LSWR - London & South Western Railway
The LSWR originated in July of 1834 as the London and Southampton Railway, which had been formed to connect those two cities by a direct route.  This was the original main line, completed in 1840. Waterloo Station, south of the Thames, was its London terminus.  Eventually the line expanded to reach all the way from London to Plymouth via Exeter.  Additional branches extended the track from Southampton to Weymouth, and from London to both Portsmouth and Reading.  The LSWR and the Midland Railway become owners in 1875 of the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway.  In the 1923 grouping the LSWR became part of the Southern Railway.  For further information see the LSWR article and the S&D article.

Base:  V20 (London-SW [Waterloo Station])
Locations for 3 other stations:
a. W19 (Kingston on Thames/Reigate),
b. X14 (Southampton PORT),
c. Y7 (Exeter); as an alternate to Exeter, use Y11 (Weymouth PORT).

A. Original Main Line: London to Southampton
V20 (London-SW [Waterloo Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/Reigate) [63sw], W to W17 (Basingstoke) [46e], W to W15 [24e], SW to X14 (Southampton) [38sw].

Branch Lines:
1. Southampton to Bournemouth and Weymouth:   X14 (Southampton PORT) [38sw], SW to Y13 (Bournemouth) [brown hexag], W to Y11 (Weymouth PORT) [15w].
2. Southampton to Gosport:  X14 (Southampton PORT) [38sw], E to X16 (Gosport) [64w].

B. South Western Main Line: London to Weymouth via Southampton (includes Original Mainline)
V20 (London-SW [Waterloo Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/Reigate) [63sw], W to W17 (Basingstoke) [46e], W to W15 [24e], SW to X14 (Southampton PORT) [38sw], SW to Y13 (Bournemouth) [brown hexag], W to Y11 (Weymouth PORT) [15w].

C. West of England Main Line: London to Exeter
V20 (London-SW [Waterloo Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/Reigate) [63sw], W to W17 (Basingstoke) [46e], W to W15 [24e], W to W13 [28sw], SW to X12 [19nw],  W to X10 [60w], SW to Y9 [8ne], W to Y7 (Exeter) [14w].

Branch Lines:
3. Southampton to Exeter:  X14 (Southampton PORT) [38sw], NW to W13 [28sw], SW to X12 [19nw],  W to X10 [60w], SW to Y9 [8ne], W to Y7 (Exeter) [14w].
4. Exeter to Barnstaple: Y7 (Exeter) [14w],  W to Y5 [40e], NW to X4 (Barnstaple) [3e].
5. Exeter to Devonport:  Y7 (Exeter) [14w],  W to Y5 [40e], SW to Z4 (Devonport/[Plymouth]) [66w].

D. Other Branch Lines:
6. London to Reading:  V20 (London-SW), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/[Woking]) [63sw], NW to V18 [23w], W to V16 (Reading) [14se].
7. London to Gosport: V20 (London-SW), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/[Woking]) [63sw], W to W17 (Basingstoke) [46e], SW to X16 (Gosport) [64w].
8. London to Portsmouth:  V20 (London-SW), SW to W19 (Kingston on Thames/[Woking]) [63sw], SW to X18 [19sw], SW to Y17 [brown hexag], NW to X16 (Portsmouth) [64w].

Notes on track routes and stations:
The LSWR absolutely must have a station in hexag W19 (Kingston on Thames/Reigate).  It is such a key hexag that no other company may place a yellow tile there.  This ensures a viable start for the LSWR.   The original main line passed through Kingston which is one of the two small towns in hexag W19.  The LSWR player is precluded from placing a tile in Brighton because that location is reserved for the LBSC.  The remaining options for the LSWR are to follow the original, historical, main line to Southampton or to head due southwest so as to reach Portsmouth.   Portsmouth can be reached faster (assuming green tiles for upgrades are in play) but the long term success of the LSWR is dependent on expansion to the west.  Therefore it is vital for the LSWR player to control the direction of track out of hexag W19.   It can be argued that placing track that leaves the W19 hex to the west so as to reach Southampton PORT quickly and place a station there is a sound approach.  Assuming that the LSWR player does want to secure routes even further west, it is therefore more important to build west than to build east or southeast from London, only to later find oneself trapped in a corner by an aggressive GWR player.  Although getting to Portsmouth is both useful and historical for the LSWR, the choice of whether to go first to Southampton or to Portsmouth will be ultimately determined by the current situation and the perceived needs of the LSWR Director.

Unfortunately, for the LSWR (as also for the GER), its home base is a station at London.  Thus its track line can only grow by one yellow tile per turn (since adjacent yellow tracks cannot be built) until the promotion of a city or two enables the building of track in multiple directions from such a location.   Before phase 2 when green track becomes available, the best options for yellow track heading southwest in a historical direction are tile #1 at Kingston (W19), west to #9e in W17, west to #8sw in W15, and southwest to #5ne in X14, which is Southampton PORT.  Placing tile #5 in Southampton oriented NE allows the yellow track to continue on its southwesterly tack.  By this point, if not sooner, the LSWR could expect phase 2 to have begun, thereby permitting it to promote Kingston (W19) to a large city tile (#14sw).  A station should be placed here immediately to ensure that the LSWR can never be blocked from passing through this hexag.  Once Kingston has been upgraded, it becomes possible to place a second yellow tile (#9ne) in hexag X18 (headed toward Portsmouth) in addition to the one placed on the southwestern main line (excluding the adjacent W17).  Every opportunity to set up a situation allowing the LSWR to place two yellow tiles in a turn will be helpful, especially since this railway will have difficulty finding many opportunities to do so, unless it also wants to aid the SECR or LBSC in track builds in the southeast corner of the map.

Depending on the trains owned by the LSWR, it is likely that promotions to green city tiles in Portsmouth/Gosport [#52se] and Southampton [#12ne] will be desirable for producing maximum income for several small trains. Once russet tiles are available these will be upgraded to #38sw at Southampton and #64w at Portsmouth/Gosport.  The upgrade at Southampton PORT permits Bournemouth to automatically be added as a branch line with an easy extension to Weymouth PORT possible using tile #6e which can be upgraded to green tile #15w.  Ultimately, with russet tiles in play, it will be possible for the LSWR to run a 6-train on the London-Kingston-Gosport-Southampton PORT-Bournemouth-Weymouth PORT route.  Another run could be made from Portsmouth to Kingston to Reading.

In a long game the LSWR may be able to continue its track-building via W13, X12, X10, and Y9 to Exeter in Y7, where its last station token should be placed if not already in use at Weymouth PORT.  From Exeter the LSWR can reach Devonport and Barnstaple (and even Plymouth and Bristol if it follows unhistorical routes).  Note that I've used Devonport instead of the historical Plymouth as one of its termini since it should historically have its own route to the hexag and not have to use the GWR's.  But on the whole, the LSWR's various main and branch lines are not very difficult to recreate in reasonable fashion in the 1825 game.

The historical routes offer many potential revenue opportunities for the LSWR.  It may, in fact, have some of the best in the game.  Only the forced slowness in its development of yellow track to the southwest will keep the LSWR from severely outpacing its competition.

SECR - South Eastern & Chatham Railway
Formed in 1836, the South Eastern Railway (SER) was compelled by Parliament to run its main line south from London Bridge to Redhill before turning east to Ashford (reached in 1842) and Dover (attained in 1844).  It built many small branch lines in Kent, including one from Ashford to Hastings in 1852.  The SER had a very hostile relationship with its neighbor to the west--the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSC).  In 1853 the East Kent Railway was formed and by 1859 with routes through northern Kent and access to London Victoria Station, it changed its name to the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR).  After struggling with financial difficulties, the LCDR arranged for joint management with the SER in 1899 to form the South Eastern and Chatham Railway.  This joint enterprise became part of the Southern Railway in the 1923 groupings, which also included the LBSC and LSWR.   For further information, see the articles on the SER and LCDR.

Base:  W23 (Ashford)
Locations for 3 other stations:
a. V20 (London-SE)
b. W25 (Dover PORT)
c. V16 (Reading); as an alternate to Reading, or perhaps London-SE, use X22 (Hastings). {But see below and also the LBSC section for possible conflicts with having a base at Hastings or Redhill.}

Main Lines:
A. (SER) London to Dover: V20 (London-SE [London Bridge Station]), SE to W21 (Tonbridge) [60se], E to W23 (Ashford) [166sw], SE to X24 [7ne], NE to W25 (Dover PORT) [brown hexag].
B. (LCDR) London to Dover (via Chatham): V20 (London-SW [London Victoria Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]) [63sw], E to W21 [60se], NE to V22 (Chatham) [brown hexag], SE to W23 (Ashford) [166sw], E to W25 (Dover PORT) [brown hexag].

Branch Lines:
1. Ashford to Hastings:  W23 (Ashford) [166sw], SW to X22 (Hastings) [12nw].
2. London to Reading: V20 (London-SW [London Charing Cross Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]) [63sw], NW to V18 [23w], W to V16 (Reading) [14se].
3. London to Hastings: V20 (London-SE), SE to W21 [60se], SE to X22 (Hastings) [12nw].

Notes on track routes and stations:
The SECR is confined to such a limited area of hexags on the 1825 map that the representation of its historical routes must perforce be abbreviated.  The SER main line originally ran from London-SE (London Bridge Station) and angled southwest to Redhill (the Kingston/Reigate hexag), following the route of the LBSC, and from there went straight east to Ashford and then on to Dover via a southwest approach.  However, given the rules of the game, the track from Redhill to the center of hexag W21 (Tonbridge) can only be used once by a train without back-tracking.  Note, however, that eventually in 1868 the SER did have a more direct route from London-SE to Ashford and Dover that did not have to go through Redhill.  (Redhill itself is located just east of Reigate.)  So I've used the later, shorter route for the SER, starting from London-SE.  In turn, I've made the LCDR start at London-SW (London Victoria Station) and then of necessity dip south into W19 before heading east to W21 and then northeast to V22 (in which Chatham would have existed).  From Chatham, for lack of any other options, the LCDR's main line must run SE to Ashford (W23) before heading east into Dover (W25).  This recreated LCDR route comes further south than historically, but such is the best one can do within the limitations of hexags and track tiles in the 1825 game if one wishes to create both of the SECR's main lines. 

The Ashford to Hastings branch line is fairly straightforward, as is the one from London to Hastings.  Strategically, the placement of a station in Hastings may be a good move because it would both block LBSC traffic and enable the London to Hastings run without requiring a station in London-SE itself.   But a station in Hastings requires leaving a station out of some other place (London-SE, Dover, or Reading).  A bitter rivalry, indeed, can arise between the SECR and the LBSC if a station is placed in Redhill (Kingston/Reigate) since each company can benefit greatly from having a link there to London-SW.  One of the historical SECR lines (built by the SER) ran from London Charing Cross Station (which I've placed in London-SW) to Redhill and thence west-northwest to Reading on the GWR's line between London and Swindon.  If the LSWR and the LBSC place station tokens in W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]), then the SECR will be unable to use this line to Reading.  Given that the SECR and the LBSC are both cramped in the southeastern part of the board, there is some incentive for them to cooperate rather than work against each other.  Both may derive greater profit this way.  To compete in a station war is to hand the game to other players running less obstructed lines.  Yet should the SECR in fact place a station in W19 at Redhill, then a station in Reading would not be necessary.

The SECR's starting point in the game is Ashford (W23), which in some ways is actually better than London-SE, since the central position of Ashford enables one station to enable several revenue runs to be created.  Assuming no other company (especially the LSWR) has built in this area previously, on its first turn the SECR should place tile #6e in Ashford, immediately connecting to Dover.  On the second turn, the SECR will be able to place two track tiles.  One (#7ne) should go in X24 out of Dover, and the other (also #7ne) will most likely be used in W21 to connect V22 (Chatham) to London-SE, although an opportunity to link across to an existing tile in Redhill (using 8ne) should probably be taken at once, especially if there is likely to be competition for stations there and most especially if it immediately will create a link to London-SW.  Because the SECR starts later in the game, green tiles should already be available by this time, and probably brown as well.  The SECR player will want to upgrade Ashford as soon as possible with a green #14se tile to improve revenues.  If #8e has been placed in W21, the #14se tile in Ashford followed by the green #16ne tile in W21 will effectively create the two main lines of the SECR, assuming it has a connection via V19 (Redhill) into London-SW.  However, if #7ne was used in W21, green #18w will enable two separate routes to connect Dover to London.

Thereafter, the track built by the SECR will depend upon available tiles and existing connections of other lines in the area, particulalry those of the LSWR and the LBSC.  In W21, both tiles #16 and #18 promote to #43w, and that in turn promotes to the grey #60 tile which allows entrance and egress to that hexag in six directions--surely a most beneficial tile for this location.  Ashford itself cannot promote to the russet #63 tile since one side is bounded by the sea, so it needs the grey-russet tile #166, available in phase 4, to permit it to have one further track connection in the direction of Hastings.  Had Ashford been promoted to the green #13 tile, track to Hastings could be placed thereafter, but two routes from London to Dover would not be possible then until the russet #38 tile was available to place in Ashford.  The SECR player may perhaps always be cramped in this corner southeast of London, but utilizing the right trains for the connections that can be made will still allow the company some decent revenues, especially if London can be used in two runs.

LBSC - London, Brighton & South Coast Railway
The London and Brighton Railway was incorporated in 1837 and in 1846 merged with the London and Croyden (founded in 1835) to create a route from London to Brighton.  The merged entity was known as the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR). In 1847 the Brighton-Portsmouth branch line was completed, followed by the Brighton-Hastings branch line in 1851.  The LBSC became part of the Southern Railway in the 1923 groupings.  Its London termini were London Bridge Station and Victoria Station.  For further information, see LB&SCR and a LBSC enthusiast site.

Base:  X20 (Brighton)
Locations for 2 other stations:  X16 (Portsmouth), X22 (Hastings).  {The latter may compete for a base with the SECR. If blocked, then use W19 (Reigate/[Redhill]).  Note that the LBSC and the SECR's predecessor, the SER, did have serious competition over Hastings.}

Main Lines:
London to Brighton: 
A. V20 (London-SW [Victoria Station]), SW to W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]) [63sw]), SE to X20 (Brighton) [51nw].
B. V20 (London-SE [London Bridge Station]), SE to W21 [60se], W to W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]) [63sw]), SE to X20 (Brighton) [51nw].

Branch Lines:
1. Hastings to Brighton:  X22 (Hastings) [12nw], W to X20 (Brighton) [51nw],
2. Brighton to Portsmouth: W to X20 (Brighton) [51nw], SW to Y19 [brown hexag], NW to X18 [19sw], W to X16 (Portsmouth) [64w].
3. London to Portsmouth (Mid-Sussex Route): V20 (London-SW [Victoria Station]), SW to W19 (Reigate/[Redhill]) [63sw], SW to X18 [19sw], SW to Y17 [brown hexag], NW to X16 (Portsmouth) [64w].

Alternate Routes:
alt B. London to Brighton: V20 (London-SE [London Bridge Station]), SE to W21 [60se], SW to X20 (Brighton) [51nw].

Notes on track routes and stations:
The LBSC Main Line used both Victoria Station (London-SW) and London Bridge Station (London-SE).  The lines south from these two termini met at Croyden and became one route going south to Redhill and then on to Brighton.  It is impossible in the game to accurately reflect this, since the line out of London-SE must first head SE to W21 and then west to Redhill in W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]).  This is more round-about than historically, but is the best that can be done.  Should station tokens of other companies block the Kingston/Reigate[Redhill] station to through traffic, then the alt B route from London-SE to Brighton via W21 is the viable alternative, although a less profitable one.

The difficulty with hexag W21 is that the necessary tile--#60-- is a grey one.  Prior to its promotion to this, the tile will not necessarily have ideal connections to suit the needs of the SECR and the LBSC.  The latter, by virtue of starting later, will likely have the greater difficulty in creating suitable historical lines unless the SECR cooperates.  Historically, these two railways were highly antagonistic, resulting in walls between the platforms at the two London stations that they both utilized.  The LBSC even built a bypass around Redhill to avoid an inferior stop compared to its competitor.  On one occasion, at Hastings, the SER (predecessor to the SECR) even tore up the track behind some LBSC trains that had arrived there, atempting to block LBSC traffic into and out of that city.

In the game, the LBSC cannot be kept from Hastings.  From a purely competitive viewpoint, the LBSC actually would be better off with a station in Redhill (blocking the SECR) rather than one at Hastings.  Nevertheless, I have placed the LBSC's extra two stations in Hastings and Portsmouth merely to reflect the ends of its south coast branches, leaving Kingston/Reigate[Redhill] in W19 open for both the LBSC and the SECR to use freely.  The third competitor in the region, the LSWR, absolutely must have access through W19 to the west or it will have no viable main line, let alone a plausible historical network.  With an LSWR (Kingston) station in that hexag, the LBSC and the SECR must leave the other station site (Reigate[Redhill]) open or one of them will be blocked there.

The Brighton to Portsmouth branch has been made to hug the coast.  In doing so, this permits the historical and slightly more direct LSBC branch line (once known as the Mid-Sussex route but now called the Arun Valley Line) from London-SW [Victoria Station] via Redhill to run on to Portsmouth through use of the #45ne tile in hexag X18 connecting direct to the Brighton-Portsmouth line in brown hexag Y17.  For lack of another good option, the LSWR's own direct line from London-SW [Waterloo Station] to Portsmouth shares most of the LBSC's northeast to southwest track in hexag X18 until it branches west into Portsmouth.

Since the LBSC is likely to be the last major company formed on the 1825 Unit 1 map, it may prove very difficult in an actual game to recreate the historical LBSC routes.  Key station points may well have been tokened already by the LSWR and the SECR, although the former has some incentive to save its stations for Southampton PORT and Exeter.   But the SECR, in the interest of besting its competition, may choose to control vital locations, such as W19 (Kingston/Reigate[Redhill]) with its own stations. 

Return to Lou's Game Corner: Rail Game Links
Originally posted August 7, 2007.  Revised with new format, 23 November 2007.  Minor corrections made 16 May 2008, 12 August 2008, and 23 July 2009.  Further modifications are possible.

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