confederate rails
an Historical Railroading Game
a Richard H. Berg Game Design
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Confederate Rails is a game that allows the players to operate the historical railways of the
Confederate States of America (CSA) during the American Civil War. Not only do they have
to deliver goods, supplies and military loads during a difficult time, but they have to adjust to a
dwindling rail network. The winner will be the player with the most money.
Number of Players . The game plays best with 3 to 5 players. It is playable with only 2, but
some of the flavor of the era is lost.
Game Length: The “War” game should take from 3 to 4 hours; much depends on how the
effects of war develop. The “Extended Game” scenario adds about 1 and 1/2 hours to play
A Note to Rail Game Old-Timers. CR is an unusual rail game in that you don’t build a rail
network; the one in place (which is the historical one) shrinks, rather than grows. The system
also contains far more “outside events” than most rail games … thanks to the war.
There are two games herein:
The War Game begins when the Civil War starts. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to play,
depending on whether or not you are familiar with the system, as well as how quickly (or
slowly) the Union defeats the Confederacy.
The Extended Game starts in the years before the war, and mostly consists of a bidding
mechanic to represent the acquisition of railroads (by the players). It adds about 1 and 1/2
hours to playing time. We recommend it mostly to players who enjoy “bidding” games; it gets
quite lively.
At certain points, the rules for one scenario vary from the other … especially for the set-up and
distribution of cards. These are so noted, below.
Confederate Rails contains:
1 game-map
40 Train pieces
1 Sheet of counters (140)
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78 Loads
20 Blue Union Occupation markers
10 Gray Confederate Troop markers
10 Yellow Civilian Passengers
6 Green Congestion markers
3 Red “New Depot” markers
10 Black Disruption markers
3 Ripped-Up Rail markers
4 decks of (165) cards:
• 24 Railroad Companies
• 12 Specials
• 33 Events
• 96 Freight Contracts
Lots of Confederate Money
1 Rules Booklet (what you’re reading now)
2 six-sided dice
The Playing Board
The board is a map covering the CSA, mostly east of the Mississippi. See the visual example,
above, for a complete symbol legend.
The Railroad Companies (RRC): The railines are each one of four different colors. The
colors have no purpose other than to differentiate between the individual lines; together with the
Line #, they allow players to see where a given line starts, goes and ends.
Example: Line #23 - the Mississippi Central - runs from Jackson (Tennessee) south, through
Jackson, Mississippi, all the way into New Orleans, and slightly beyond.
•• Several lines are interrupted by major rivers (where the actual track does not cross the
river). Such interruption indicates there was no bridge across that river, and that the freight had
to be hauled across by ferry, if a Ferry crossing is indicated as available. If not, trains may not
cross at that point. Example: A train may cross the Tennessee River from Dover to Paris (and
vice versa), but not from Johnsonville.
•• Minor rivers are always crossable, as indicated by the rail line visually crossing such river.
These are treated as “Bridged”.
•• There are no bridges across Major Rivers; all such crossings are by Ferry. Places where
there is a Ferry are indicated by an (X) on the river. Example: Mobile to Tensas.
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Play Note: The stretches of the Wilmington and Manchester (RRC #7) that run from
Lumberton to Wilmington and from Whitesville to Wilmington do not connect south of
the river. A train moving from Lumberton to Whitesville must move into Wilmington to
do so.
•• There are four Overland Transfers on the map, usable by the players to move to/from areas
for which rail was not built until the war’s end.
•• Montgomery, AL and Selma (RRCs 16 and 22)
•• Little Rock, AK, and DeValls Bluff AK (RRC 21)
•• Morgonton NC and Statesville NC (RRC 6)
•• Rutherford NC and Charlotte NC (RRC 6)
See the rules on these, below.
Historical Note. The CSA Rail Network was comprised of 113 different companies, none
of which were especially cooperative. We have eliminated several of these - mostly those
in Texas plus a few spurs of 5 or 6 miles length - and combined the rest into a gameworkable 24 Lines. In addition, certain sections of line were built during the war, and,
for game purposes, we have opted to make most of them in effect at the start of the
game. See the Historical Rail Lines note, below.
Unfinished Line: These two sections of line, outlined in hyphenated red, are not usable until
play of the appropriate Rail Construction Event card.
•• Stations . All cities and towns on the map are stations. Stations are used to regulate
movement. A station where two or more rail lines join is considered to be part of all of those
lines. Example: Corinth, MS, is part of RRC #17 as well as RRC #18.
•• Depot Stations are used to locate where Troops are to be picked up for Troops
Movement purposes. (All Depots are stations; only some stations are depots.). Depots also
double as Load Stations.
•• Victory Stations are Depots that are used to determine the level of Union advance and,
eventually, the end of the game (which occurs when the Union wins the war). There are eight (8)
Victory Stations: Atlanta, Richmond, Charleston, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Mobile,
and Vicksburg.
•• Load stations. These are stations in which loads start or finish.
Union Army Deployment Boxes. Used to note where most Union troops staged before
entering the Confederacy.
Raleigh Repair Box. Where disabled trains are repaired. It is considered part of Raleigh, but
never contributes to Congestion.
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The Playing Cards
There are four decks of cards: Railroad Companies, Specials, Contracts, and Events; the last
two spend most of the game together.
Railroad Companies (RRC)
There are 24 RRC Cards. Each RRC card represents one of the rail lines on the map. Also
listed on the card are
•• the states through which that line travels
•• the number of Stations on that line
•• the number of Load Stations, and their names, on that line
•• the number of Depots, and their names, on that line
•• the number of Victory Depots, and their names, on that line
•• the names of Stations they share with other lines.
There are 12 Special Cards, the use of which is discussed below. These are dealt out to the
players at the beginning of the game, and they may be played/used at any time.
The 96 Contract cards contain a variety of loads, from Passengers to Cannon, that the players
must carry, from one Load Station to another, for which they are paid. Each card contains
several pieces of information:
•• The general type of load, corresponding to the Load Markers
•• The actual type of goods, solely for historical flavor.
•• The Station where those goods are to be picked up (and the line it is on)
•• The Station(s) where they are to be delivered (and the lines they are on)
•• How much money - the Fee - the player receives for completing the contract by delivering
the listed goods.
Two types of Contracts - Troop Movement and the cards with a BR, for Blockade Runner) on
them - are used only in the War Game, or after the War starts in the Extended game.
Cards with the initial’s “WM” are war materials, not subject to Train Seizure.
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There are 33 Event Cards. (When playing the Extended game, these are not used until the War
starts.) Events are shuffled in with the Contracts. See the “Events” rules, below.
The Playing Pieces
Each plastic, pawn-like piece represents the locomotives - the ubiquitous 4-4-0’s with the huge
bell smokestacks - and the freight and passenger cars needed to carry the goods and personnel
on the Contracts.
•• Each Train piece is capable of carrying one Contract Load at any one time. No Trains may
carry more than one Load.
•• Players are restricted to the number of Trains with which they start the game; there is no new
construction of Trains during play. (The number of Trains pieces in the game is a strict
Play Note: Excess (and available) Train pieces may be used when a Train Seizure card is
•• In a two-player game, players may use two colors worth of Train pieces.
Historical Note: Throughout the war, the South had a horrendous shortage of both
locomotives and freight cars, compounded by an equally debilitating shortage of iron.
Load Markers
When a Contract card is drawn, place the corresponding Load counter in the designated Load
Station, indicating that load is available to be picked up. When a player is transporting a Load,
he places it under his Train as he moves it.
Play Note: Both the Confederate Troop counters and the Civilians are considered
Union Occupation Counters
These represent Union presence and control of Stations/Cities. Trains may not enter a Unionoccupied station.
Disruption Chips
These are used to denote a break in service in a line, usually because of a Raid, bridge collapse,
or other similar event.
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Congestion Markers
These indicate that that station is congested, beyond the usual heavy traffic, warehousing snafus,
high-level mismanagement, and much employee incompetence. A Congestion marker adds two
(+2) to any movement into that station.
Depot Markers
These are used for building new depots, as per the Events cards.
The game uses Confederate money in denominations of $500 and $100. There should be
plenty for play. If there isn’t, you can provide your own.
Game Terms
The following words/terms, when used, apply as follows:
DR: Acronym for dieroll. Somtimes one die (1d6) is rolled; other times two dice (2d12) are
used. These are noted on the charts. All modifiers to a dieroll (DRM) are applied before the die
is rolled.
Draw: A player blindly takes the top (face down) card from a deck.
Fee: What a player collects after he delivers a load. It also (possibly) applies to a Line Usage
Tariff; see the Movement rules.
Selects: A player specifically chooses a face-up card that has already been drawn.
Tariff: What a player pays to move his trains. It also (possibly) applies to a Line Usage Tariff;
see the Movement rules.
Players should sit around the playing board, although they are free to get up and move around,
to be sure. Select one player to be banker … don’t worry about his honesty; after all, it’s
Confederate money. The players then distribute the following,in the order listed.
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1. Money. Each player starts with $2500.
2. Who Goes First? Each player rolls one die (1d6). High roll goes first. Ties? Tied players
roll again. That player is the Initiative Player.
3. Railroad Companies (RRC) and Trains. Depending on how many players, distribute the
RRC cards, and receive Trains, as follows:
•• 2 Players. Each player gets to Select (choose) 2 RRC. The Initiative Player chooses one
RRC first, the other player the next two, and the Initiative Player the last. After that, shuffle the
RRC deck and deal each player (randomly) 10 RRC. Each player receives 7 Trains. (Use two
colors, if needed)
•• 3 Players. Each player gets to Select (choose) 1 RRC, starting with the Initaitve player, and
going clockwise. After that, shuffle the RRC deck and deal each player (randomly) 7 RRC.
Each player receives 5 Trains.
•• 4 Players. Each player gets to Select (choose) 1 RRC, starting with the Initaitve player, and
going clockwise. After that, shuffle the RRC deck and deal each player (randomly) 5 RRC.
Each player receives 4 Trains.
•• 5 Players. Each player gets to Select (choose) 1 RRC, starting with the Initaitve player, and
going clockwise. After that, shuffle the RRC deck and deal each player (randomly) 4 RRC.
Exception: the Initiative Player gets only 3 RRC cards. Each player receives 3 Trains.
Play Note #1: The 5 player distribution is not as unfair as it appears on its face. For one,
the effects of line ownership are tangential, and not of major effect. All players still have
trhe same number of trains.
Play Note #2: All RRC cards are revealed immediately and placed, info-side up, on the
4. Train Placement. Players place their trains on any station on one of their lines, so that each
line has at least one Train. As two players may place trains in the same station, this may be done
5. The Special Cards
2 Players:
3 Players:
4 Players:
5 Players:
are now shuffled and dealt out as follows:
6 cards each
4 cards each
3 cards each
2 cards each; and remove the Foreign Intervention and ThroughFreight cards. They are not used.
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These cards are kept secret by the players until actually played.
6. The Contract Deck.Shuffle all the Contracts cards (but not the Events cards). Take the first
12 cards and place them on the table, face up, in view of all the players. Place the Load
markers in the corresponding stations. These 8 contracts are available now.
7. The Event Cards. After the 12 starting Contract cards are placed on the table, take all of
the Event Cards, add to the Contract cards, and then shuffle that (huge) deck thoroughly. Place
it in the Contract/Events Available box.
You are now ready to start playing.
The players then distribute the following, in the order listed.
1. Money. Each player starts with $5000.
2. Who Goes First? Each player rolls one die (1d6). High roll goes first. Ties? Tied players
roll again. That player is the Initiative Player.
3. Railroad Companies (RRC) and Trains. Shuffle the RRC Deck. Depending on how many
players, distribute the RRC cards, and receive Trains, as follows:
•• 2 Players. Each player is dealt 6 RRC. Each player receives 7 Trains. (Use two colors, if
•• 3 Players. Each player is dealt 4 RRC. Each player receives 5 Trains.
•• 4 Players. Each player is dealt 3 RRC. Each player receives 4 Trains.
•• 5 Players. Each player is dealt 2 RRC. Each player receives 3 Trains.
Play Note: All RRC cards are revealed immediately and placed, info-side up, on the
4. Train Placement. Players place their trains on any station on one of their lines, so that each
line has at least one Train. As two players may place trains in the same station, this may be done
5. The Special Cards are now shuffled and dealt out as follows:
2 Players:
6 cards each
3 Players:
4 cards each
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4 Players:
5 Players:
3 cards each
2 cards each; and remove the Foreign Intervention and ThroughFreight cards. They are not used.
These cards are kept secret by the players until actually played.
6. The Contract Deck. Remove all the Event, Troop Movement and Blockade Runner (BR)
cards, setting them aside (temporarily). Shuffle the remaining Contract cards and deal out (to the
“board”) a number of cards equal to the number of trains on the map, placing them face-up on
the table. Place Load markers for each contract in the indicated Load Stations. These will be
the Available Contracts at the start of The Extended Game. Place the remainder of that
Contract deck in the Contract/Events Box.
7. Unused Cards. The Events, Troop Movement and BR cards are set aside; they will be used
when the War starts..
You are now ready to start playing.
The object of the game is to be the Player with the most money when the game ends. To earn
money, the players will undertake Contracts for delivery of goods and passengers from one
place to another, for which they are paid a Fee.
They will spend their hard-earned money as the game progresses on a variety of necessities:
•• Paying for Train operation
•• Possibly paying for (efficient) use of opponents’ lines
•• Repairing broken down Trains
•• Repairing rail Disruptions
•• Paying other players not to do things (fully allowed), and whatever else the cards or rules say
to do along these lines
While this is happening, the war is going on. For the most part, this will mean that the network and the ability to deliver goods - will gradually shrink. The trick is, when you have the chance,
to make sure that it’s your opponent’s network that shrinks, not yours..
The player who gets to go first does so, and play then proceeds clockwise around the table.
Each player undertakes a Player Turn, the sequence of which must be followed in the order
given, below:
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The Player Turn
When it is a player’s turn he will do the following:
A. The Railroad Company Phase. [This Phase applies only to the Extended Game.] The
player whose turn it is draws (randomly/blindly) the top card from the RRC Deck and turns it
over. Players may now Bid to purchase this RRC.
B. The Contract Phase:
Before the War Starts (Extended Game Only): The player whose turn it is draws
one card from the Contract Deck , placing that card face-up on the table. He places the
appropriate Load marker. This Contract is now available.
After the War Starts/War Game: The player whose turn it is draws two (2) cards
from the mixed/complete Contract and Events Deck.
1. If a card is a Contract, it goes to the Available Pool.
2.If it is an Event:
•• If the card has a (W), roll on the War Table
•• If the card has a (C), roll on the Congestion Table
•• Each Event is then undertaken before doing anything else.
Play Note: There are 4 cards that have both (W) and (C) indicators. When one is drawn, both
are rolled for.
C. The Freight Phase.
1. The player pays $100 for each of his Trains he wishes to move that turn.
2. The player may now move all of his paid-for Trains up to ten (10) Movement Points each.
In the process he may
•• Undertake a Contract by picking up a Load at a Station, as per a Contract; and/or
•• Deliver Freight to its designated Station. When he has done so he may collect the
Fee (from the Bank) and discard the contract (into the Discard pile) and the load marker.
?. The Special Phase. At any time during his turn, a player may interrupt the normal sequence
and play one, or more, of his Special Cards. The game stops, the card’s instructions are
completed/resolved, the card then discarded (permanently), and play continues where it left off.
In the RRC Phase (A), the player whose turn it is draws the top RRC card from the deck and
turns it face-up. Players may now bid to buy this company, starting with the player to the left of
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the drawer. Bidding continues around the table. If you pass, you are out of the bidding for that
High bid gets the company; the winner pays the bank. The minimum bid, whether starting or
upping the ante, is $100. If no one bids for a RRC, it goes to the player who drew it for $0.
A player earns money - Fees - by carrying a load on his Trains from a designated Load station
to the Load station(s) designated on the Contract for delivery. In some instances, the latter
(destination) may be a multiple choice, with the player stating upon picking up the freight, where
it will go. Once he has made that decision, it may not be changed … even if it means his losing
the contract for failure to be able to deliver.
Play Note: Given the nature of the war, that may be a very distinct possibility, so choice
delivery destinations should be made carefully.
Trains may be moved to different stations only by Movement. You may not pick them up and
place them elsewhere. (Exception: disabled Trains may be so removed to Raleigh; see below.)
A Train piece must always be in a station.
Undertaking Contracts
When a Contract is drawn and placed face-up on the table, place a Load marker
corresponding to the General Type of Load in the designated station. However, if the
designated Pick-up or Delivery Station is either occupied by the Union, or unreachable because
of Union occupation, discard the Contract (as unusable). It is still counted as drawn for that
A player undertakes a contract by moving one of his Trains to the designated Pick-up station,
or starting its turn in that station, and placing the Load makrer under his train (which costs 1
MP). The Load marker remains under the Train until it is delivered to the designated stastion, or
abandoned (see below). When it is delivered, the player
•• Collects his Fee (from the Bank)
•• Places the Contract in the Discard pile
•• Returns Load marker to that pikle
•• Continues his turn, if he has more trains to move, or that train has more MP to expend.
Picking up and delivering a load is considered part of movement; however, it costs 1 MP to do
either, in addition to the cost for moving into the station. If there is a load in a station which
contains more than one Train, the player whose turn it is has priority.
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When undertaking a contract, place it in front of you. When finished, or abandoned, place it in
the Discard Pile.
A player nay voluntarily abandon a load he is carrying at any station along the line. If he does
this, two things happen, regardless of the reason therefor:
•• Place the Load marker in the station in which it is abandoned. It may be picked up by any
player as if it were a Pick-up station.
•• The Player pays a $300 Penalty Tariff to the bank
Play Note: As the Train is “delivering” - dropping off - the abandoned Load, he must
still pay the +1MP.
If because of the progress of the War, a player finds he cannot deliver a Load (involuntary) he
has undertaken, he has two choices:
•• Abandon it, as above (including Tariff); ir
•• Drop it at any Depot (not just a station). He gets no Fee for this, but he also does not pay
any Tariff.
Non-designated Delivery Stations: Some Contracts state, for delivery, “Any station within 3
stations of a Union-occupied Station or Deployment Box.” The distance is counted from the
Union-held station/Box. However, such delivery destination cannot be on the same RRC as the
Pick-up station, unless no other station is available.
Play Note: When counting stations, as above, you can count across a Ferry crossing of a
major river..
Troop Movement Contracts
Play Note: This rule applies only to the War game, or, for the Extended game, only after
the war has started.
Troop Movement Contracts are unusual in that:
•• The player who draws this type of contract must undertake it; he must do so in an
expeditious way (use of MP and direction) as possible.
•• They have no designated Pick-up or Delivery Station;
•• Their Line Usage Tarriff (see below) is $100, not the usual $200, unless, of course, they opt
for the extra MP cost that comes with the decision to not pay the Tariff. (Again, see below.)
Pick-Up Station: When a Troop Movement Contract is drawn, the player drawing that card
must designate a Depot where these troops are to be picked up by placing the Troop marker in
that Depot. That Depot must be at least six (6) stations (not MP) distant from the nearest Union
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Occupation marker or Deployment Box. If that is not possible, select the Depot farthest from
the nearest Union Occupation marker.
Delivery Station: To fulfill the contract, the player must deliver the troops to any station (e.g.,
Humboldt TN would fulfill delivery) that is withinb three (3) stations of either a Union
Occupation marker or a Union Deployment Box.
•• The Delivery Station must be designated, and announced, when the Troops are picked up.
•• The Delivery Station may not be the same station as the Pick-up station. It may be on the
same line.
Rail Movement
When it is the Freight Phase of his turn, a player move move his Trains.
How Many Trains? How many Trains a player may move in a Turn is dependent on how
much of his money he wants to spend. It costs $100 per train to move that train in a given turn.
How Far? Each Train eligible to move may move up to ten (10) Movement Points (MP) per
turn. It does not have to use all its available MP.
Movement Points are expended as follows:
It costs one (1) MP to move to the next station on the line, except as noted below. Shared
Stations are treated as yours for MP purposes.
It costs 1 additional MP
•• To Change Lines, regardless of whether you have paid Line Usage or not. A line ios changed
when you enter a station owned totally by a RRC different from the one you were just on. This
is cumulative (for that station only) with the next +MP.
•• Enter a Station not on one of your lines if you have not paid the Line Use Tariff.
•• Cross an unbridged Major River (the cost is for the Ferry).
•• For Congestion; see below for actual MP costs.
•• Enter a station on a line with Bad Rail
Design Note: The Line Change MP cost represents the differences in gauges prevalent
throughout the rail net, as well as the predilection to not have rail line run through a city.
It costs two (2) additional MP to use a Land Transfer, for the Transfers listed above.
Example: A Train moving from Wilmington (RRC #5) to Lumberton (RRC #7), in which there
is already one Train, would pay 5 MP to do so: 2 to cross the river by Ferry, 1 to enter
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Lumberton (it would be 2 MP if the Line Usage Tariff was not paid), plus 1 for the Congestion,
and +1 to actually change lines. Note that Wilmington is not part of RRC #7’s line.
Trains may not move to the next station down the line unless they have the required MP.
The player must complete the movement of one Train before moving any other.
Historical Note: There was no through-freight system; the owners of the individual RRC
treated their lines like feudal fiefdoms, screaming “individual/states rights” every time
the government tried to change the system. Such a system created massive log-jams as
goods changed lines and, usually, cars. We also note that the average speed during the
war was about 15 MPH (often less), mostly because of the poor track.
Congestion adds cost to entering a station. There are two types of Congestion:
1. Train Congestion. The moving player spends one additional MP for each Train in a station.
Thus, a Train seeking to move into Charleston, which already has 2 trains in it, would pay 3 MP
to do so: 1 to move to Charleston, plus 2 for the two-train Congestion.
2. Snafu Congestion. When an Event card with a (C) is drawn, the player must immediately
check to see which Stations have Snafu Congestion. Consult the Snafu Congestion Table and
roll two dice (2d12). The result are the stations with Snafu Congestion. Place a “Congestion
+2” marker in those stations, after removing any such markers previously placed. A
“Congestion +2” marker adds two (+2) to the cost of entering that Station. It can be combined
with Train Congestion.
Play Note: Snafu Congestion stations last until the next diceroll for such is required. The
old ones are removed before placing the new ones.
If two (C) Event cards are drawn in one turn, roll only once.
The maximum number of Trains that may end movement in a Station is:
•• 2, for any non-Depot Station
•• 3, for any Depot.
Play Note: The 3 limit for Depots does not apply to the Raleigh Repair Box; it does apply
to Raleigh itself, which is where repaired Trains must start out.
Line Usage Tariff
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It will most assuredly happen that, to reach a destination, a player will have to use portions of an
opponent’s line. To do this, the moving player must make a choice:
•• He may choose not to pay for Line Usage. If this happens, he now pays 2 MP to enter each
station along that line (plus any applicable additional costs); or
•• He pays the owner of the line $200; he then may use the 1MP movement cost. If no one
owns the line (Extended game only), the money goes to the Bank.
There are two exceptions to the above;
1. Trains travelling Light (without any Load) do not have to pay a Line Usage Tariff; they may
still use the 1 MP cost. However, see the Train Seizure Event Card.
2. Trains carrying Troops must pay only $100.
Payment of a Line Usage Tariff entitles that Train to move to any station on that line, until it
leaves that line. If it returns after leaving, the Player has to choose, as above, again. If the Train
ends its turn mid-line, it does not pay again next turn for continuing its movement.
Play Note: Many stations are part of two lines. (Example: Atlanta is a Depot on both
lines #s 11 and 12.) Atlanta is thus a station for movement on both 11 and 12; a train
moving from East Front to Atlanta is not changing lines.
Unfinished Rail Lines
There are two stretches of unfinished rail line: the Danville to Goldsboro (NC) track on RRC
#6, and the Merdian (MS) to McDowell’s Bluff (AL) section on RRC #24. At the start of the
game these stretches of line do not exist. (They are indicated with a dotted line box around
them.) When the applicable Railroad Construction Event card is played, the listed line may be
“finished”, putting it into play.
Blockade Running
Certain Contracts have a (BR) on them; this stands for “Blockade Runner”. These are goods
that are being shipped in by CSA Blockade Runners; their actual availability is dependent on the
ability of Confederate Raiders to slip through the Union blockade.
Play Note: BR cards are not used in play until the War starts (Extended game).
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When a player with a BR Contract reaches the designated Pick-Up Station, he rolls one die
(1d6) to see if those goods have run the blockade and are there to pick up. Add to that dieroll
the number of Union Blockade Event cards in play.
•• If the adjusted DR is ‘6’ or more, the shipment is not there. It has been seized by Union
•• If the adjusted DR is ‘5’ or less, the goods are available.
In cases where the Blockade has kept the shipment from arriving, that Contract is now null and
void, although there is no penalty for the Player, other than a wasted trip.
Train Repair
Trains sometimes break down and cannot be used, although they are still “in the game”. This
usually occurs by play of an Event Card. When that happens, place the Trains in the Raleigh
Repair Box. There is no movement cost to do so; just place them in that Box.
Exception: To move a disabled Train to the Raleigh Repair Box that train must be able to trace
a path (of rail) from where it was disabled to Raleigh (the Station). Such path may be blocked
only by Union Occupation markers. If such a path cannot be traced, the Train is permanently
In any succeeding turn in which the player pays $300 (to the bank), he is now free to use/move
that Trains again.(The $300 includes the usual $100 Activation Fee). While it does not cost any
MP to place the Train in Raleigh, it is subject to Congestion.
Trains destroyed by war, or other events, may not be re-used; they are out of the game
The War Game starts with War in effect. When playing the Extended Game, War starts the turn
immediately following the play of the last RRC card. Before that, the Deck does not include
Troop Movement or Blockade Runner contracts, or Events. As soon as the War starts, all of
the latter are shuffled into the deck.
Whenever an Event card with a (W) on it is drawn in the Contract Phase, the player must
consult the War Table before undertaking the Event. (If both drawn cards have a (W) the table
is used only once.)
The player rolls two dice (2d12), adding them. He cross-references the total with the number of
Victory Stations occupied by the Union. The results include:
©RHB 96
•• A specific Station (e.g., “New Orleans”). Place a Union Occupation marker in that station.
If the station is already Union held, roll again.
•• PC (Player’s Choice). The player must place a Union Occupation marker in any Station, his
choice. However, that Station must be within 2 Stations (not MP) of either another Union
Occupation marker or a Union Deployment Box. Such station may not be a Victory Station.
•• PCV. Same as “PC”, but the player may select a Victory Station.
•• “X”. No station has been taken.
Play Note: Players may use Special Cards to attempt to cancel any Occupation; see the
rules for Specials.
Trains may not enter a Union occupied Station. In addition, any trains in a station that becomes
Union occupied are permanently eliminated.
Discarded Cards
Discarded cards are removed from play, permanently … unless specifically stated otherwise,
above. (Example: the Railroad Construction cards). Cards are never re-used.
The game ends when, either:
•• All cards from the Contracts/Event Deck have been played. Or
•• The Union Army wins the war by occuping all eight (8) of the Union Victory Objective Cities:
Richmond, Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Vicksburg, Mobile and New
The instant either occurs, stop play. Each player now counts up his money.
Play Note: The player who plays the last card gets to complete his turn. Then play ends.
This does not apply to Union winning of the war.
The player with the most money wins. Then again, its all Confederate money, so, in one sense,
everyone loses.
There are 33 Events Cards, all of which are intermixed with the Contracts as one Deck: the
Contract/Events Deck, at the start of War. A player drawing an Event card must (or may, as
©RHB 96
indicated) undertake or apply the event described. Event cards may not be saved; they must be
played when drawn. In addition, each time an Event Card is drawn, and before applying the
Event, the Player will have to roll on The War Progress Table or the Congestion Table (or, in
some cases, both).
Bad Rail [4]: Without iron to replace worn rails, one of the major plagues of the CSA rail
system was worn out track which forced trains to slow to a crawl. When the card is drawn, the
player rolls four dice, totalling them. The resultant number (from 4 - 24) is the number of the
RRC affected. All travel along that line now costs 2 MP from one station to the next. The only
way it can be repaired is with the Iron Treasure Hunt Special Card. Example, a ‘4’, ‘2’, 5’,
and ‘1’ = 12; RRC #12 now has Bad Rail.
•• If the line already has Bad Rail, roll again. To indicate the line has Bad Rail, place the Event
Card atop the RRC card.
This card is put into effect only if the Union occupies at least 2 Victory Cities. If not,
ignore the event.
Bridge Collapses [3]: Confederate bridges were remarkably ricketty wooden structures; they
collapsed with depressing regularity. The player must place a “Disrupted” marker on any one
place where a railine crosses a river; his choice. The bridge has collapsed, and it costs +2 MP
to cross that river. It costs $300 to repair a bridge, payment made by the owner of the line to
the bank.
Building Depots [2]: These allow that Player to build a new Depot. He does this by placing a
Depot marker on any non-Depot station on the map. There is no cost to do so, and that new
Depot is treated like any other Depot. This is voluntary, not mandatory.
Collisions [3]: When a Collision Event card is drawn, the next Train that passes through (not
just into) a station occupied by another Train(s) in one turn, regardless of whose it is, may have
had a head-on collision. Each player whose Train it is rolls one die. If both DR are the same
(e.g., each player rolls a ‘3’) their trains have collided and both Trains are disabled and
removed from play to the Raleigh Repair Box; any loads are lost (and they pay the $300
Abandonment penalty). Collision applies regardless who owns the Trains; if there is more than
one Train in a station, roll once for each Train, with the DR for the moving Train being the one
of comparison.
Cotton Embargo [1]: Because most cotton was fairly useless to the South during the war although they did sell “contracts” for delivery after the war - to stop the railroads from carrying
it, and to reduce the wasted storage space at railyards, the government tried, with only partial
success, to stop them from carrying it. When this card turns up, all Fees for Cotton are halved,
rounding up to the nearest $100 … until a Railroad Convention card is played.
Divert Iron Shipment [1]: The Player may repair any one of his RRC that has Bad Rail by
using a bit of “ironic” serendipity. He may do this in one of two ways:
©RHB 96
•• There is an Iron Load waiting to be picked up (contract available, face-up on table) and he
undertakes that contract. Once he picks it up, instead of delivering it to the listed city, he takes it
to any city along his Bad Rail line. When that happens, the Bad Rail is repaired, and he pays
$300 penalty for failure to deliver … even if the delivery city is on that line!
•• There is a Train carrying iron presently on one of his lines. He may seize that shipment by
down-loading it at that station - no payment to the unfortunate player (although the latter does
not have to pay an Abandonment fee). He may then pick it up at his lesiure, as no other player
may do so, and “deliver” it as above.
Engine Wear & Tear [2]: Again, lack of iron, as well as a dearth of facilities, engine parts and,
often, manpower, meant that the number of available locomotives and rolling stock was
constantly dwindling. When one of these cards is picked, all players must pay $300 to the Bank
for each Train they have in play. Any Train unpaid for is removed frtom the game, permanently.
This card is put into effect only if the Union occupies at least 2 Victory Cities. If not,
ignore the event.
Increased Union Blockade [3]: The Union increases the naval pressure on all Confederate
ports. Add one (+1) to all Blockade Runner shipment dierolls; place card in Blockade Box. The
dieroll effects are cumulative.
Partisan Sabotage [1]: The player must do one of the following, but only on RRC lines 20,
19 (east on Nashville only), 18 (east of Decatur only), and/or 11 (north of Kingston only)
•• Rail lines: Place two”Disrupted” markers across any two (2), contiguous sections (between
stations) of track he wishes to cut. It costs 2 MP to traverse a Disrupted marker (in addition to
the MP costs to reach the next station). The player whose line it is, when it is his turn, may
repair each stretch at a cost of $100.
•• Bridge. Place a Disrupted marker on any place where a railine crosses a river; his choice.
The bridge has been blown. The two separate sections are now treated as Ferry crossings until
repaired. It costs $300 to repair a bridge, payment made by the owner of the line to the bank.
Historical Note: The above two events represent such events as Grierson’s Raid, which
cut up a fairly large portion of the Mississippi rail system, prior to Vickburg (1863), and
the machinations of the Tennessee Union sympathizer/guerrilla, Parson William
Rail Construction: RRC #6 [1]: The Danville-Greensboro stretch is now usable. There is no
payment required; construction was government subsidized.
Rail Construction: RRC #24 [1]: The Meridian-McDowell’s Bluff stretch is now usable.
There is no payment required; construction was government subsidized
Railroad Convention [2]: The government called these seemingly every season to solve all of
the problems you can see they had, but mostly in an effort to get some cooperation. They never
©RHB 96
did get any; what they did get was raised rates. When this card is drawn increase all printed
rates by $100, and cancel any Cotton Embargo. The effects of these cards are cumulative.
Most RRC owners were quite rich at the end of the war; then again, it was all in useless money
and government bonds. And see the Through-Freight Law Special card.
Trains Break Down [3]: One of your locomotives has simply broken down from overuse.
You must place (no actual movement is required) any one of your Trains in the Raleigh Repair
Box, which repair is completed upon payment of $300 to the bank. If all of your Trains are
carrying freight, you must abandon the load of one (and pay the penalty).
Trains Seizure [4]: It was a constant hassle for companies to obtain needed locomotives and
rolling astock. Often, they simply took whatever they could find. When this card is drawn, the
player may seize any one Train from another player that is on one of his lines, at the time the
card is drawn, and not carrying War materiel (Contract Cards with a WM). Stations connecting
lines are considered to “belong” to both owners, so are treated as Safe Havens.
•• Replace his Train piece with one of yours (that is not ‘in play’).
•• Remove the Load; it is considered out of the game, but not Abandoned.
No, it’s not nice … but most of the RRC owners weren’t very patriotic-minded either.
Union Cavalry Raids [2]: These cards allow a player to either cut a rail line or disable one
Trains (of any player) that is within 4 MP of a Union Occupation marker or Deployment Box;
he must do one or the other.
•• Rail lines: Place a ”Disrupted” marker across the track he wishes to cut. It costs 2 MP to
traverse a Disrupted marker (in addition to the MP costs to reach the next station). When it is
his turn, the player whose line it is may repair that line at a cost of $100.
•• Trains. Remove the disabled Trains from play; place it in the Raleigh Repair Box. Any lost
Load incurs a $300 Abandonment penalty. See Train Repair.
Each player starts the game with a number of Special Cards, which he keeps hidden until he
wishes to play them. A player does not have to play any of his Specials; not playing one or
more may be to his advantage.
Special Cards may be played at any time during a Player’s Turn … any time. Each player may
play only one card during a given turn. Exception: a player may combine a Major Offensive
with a Leader card. Most cards’ use is obviously meant for specific times (such as the use of
Leader cards), but, hey, that’s up to you folks. Cards that will affect a Dieroll must be played
before the die is rolled.
Leaders [6]
©RHB 96
When a Lee card [3] is played, the player may either:
•• Cancel a War Progress Table result by rolling a 1-3 on a single die.
•• Combine the card with a CSA-Counteroffensive (card) and add one (+1) to the counteroffensive dieroll.
When a Jackson card [2] is played, the player may either:
•• Cancel a War Progress Table result by rolling a 1-2 on a single die.
•• Combine the card with a CSA-Counteroffensive (card) and add one (+1) to the counteroffensive dieroll.
When the McCellan card [1] is played, the player may cancel any War Progress Table result
by rolling a 1-4 on the die.
CSA Counter-Offensive [3]
When played, that player designates any one Union-occupied station and rolls one die (1d6).
He may adjust the DR by playing a Leader Special card along with this card, or have another
player do so (which is allowable). However, only one Leader card per Counter-Offensive.
If the adjusted DR is ‘6’ or higher, the Confederates have retaken that Station. Remove the
Union marker. (And see the Foreign Intervention card.)
The Through-Freight Law [1]
Several times during the war, the CSA government sought - in vain - to establish a throughfreight system, where trains could travel on and through all (or some) lines without having to
change cars and pay passage. However, the Confederate belief in individual rights - and a
healthy dose of “Not in My Backyard” type of greed - outweighed any sense of reason and
patriotic fervor. We give you the chance to change this.
When played, the player rolls one die (1d6). Each player may have one added (+1) to that DR
for each $3000 he (or his fellow railroad owners; owners may not combine funds, although they
may all contribute) donates to the Bank.
If the adjusted DR is 7 or higher, the Through-Freight Law has passed. If passed, players
may move their Trains at normal rates on and through any opponent’s lines without paying any
Line Usage fee. They still have to pay the extra MP when leaving a station to enter a new line
(different gauges being the problem). After this card is played, all Railroad Convention cards are
treated as Train Seizures!!.
The Great Iron Treasure Hunt [1]
©RHB 96
This card is used to cancel a Bad Rail result for any one line. However, to do so, three (3)
stretches of track - a stretch is the line between any two stations - must be ripped up and made
permanently unusable (and noted with the “Ripped Up Rail” markers).
•• The Ripped-up stretches are chosen by the other players - not the one playing the card - one
stretch at a time, going ‘round the table starting to the left of he who played the card.
•• A Player may not rip up any stretch of track within two (2) stations of either a Depot or Load
Station, unless the stretch leads to a Dead-end station (such as Proctorville (LA) or Spring Hill
•• A Player may not rip up any stretch of track unreachable because of Union occupation.
There is no cost to do this; another rare government-sponsored event.
Play Note: Be careful what you select. Virtually every player uses every other line
sometime in the game. Some lines, though, obviously invite little traffic.
Foreign Intervention [1]
Now this never happened, but some form of intervention, probably of a naval nature, by
England and/or France was possible, if not probable.
This card may be played immediately after any CSA combat victory in which the CSA retakes
a Union-held Victory city. When played, remove all Union Blockade cards presently in play.
The event has no effect on play of additional Blockade cards.
©RHB 96
It costs one (1) MP to move to the next station on the line, except as
noted below. Shared Stations are treated as yours for MP purposes.
It costs 1 additional MP
•• Enter Station not yours/shared if you have not paid Line Use Tariff.
•• Cross an unbridged Major River (the cost is for the Ferry).
•• For Congestion; see below for actual MP costs.
•• Enter a station on a line with Bad Rail
•• To Pick Up a Load
•• To Deliver a Load.
It costs 2 additional MP to use a Land Transfer: Madison AK
to DeVall’s Bluff AK; or from Selma to Montgomery (AL).
Activate Train (per train)
Remove Disrupted Marker
Line Usage for Troop Movement
Line Usage for Load Movement
Abandon Load Penalty
Repair Train (in Raleigh)
Repair Bridge
Congested Stations
Humboldt (TN)
New Orleans (LA), Greensboro (NC)
Meridian (MS), Columbus (GA), Savannah (GA)
Memphis (TN), Selma (AL), Gordonsville (VA),
Charlotte (NC)
Decatur (AL, Montgmoery (AL), Augusta (GA),
Petersburg (VA), Wilmington (NC)
Cornith (MS), Jackson (MS), Nashville (TN),
Atlanta (GA), Richmond (VA), Charleston (SC)
Chattanooga (TN), Dalton (GA), Macon (GA),
Raleigh (NC), Columbia (SC)
Huntsville (AL), Manassas (VA), Lynchburg (VA),
Goldsboro (NC)
Mobile (AL), Charlottesville (VA), Weldon (NC)
Knoxville (TN), Suffolk (VA)
Florence (SC)
©RHB 96
New Orleans
New Orleans
Victory Stations Occupied
New Bern
Atlanta X
New Orleans
Vicksburg [a]
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
Vicksburg [a]
New Bern
a = Union occupies if it holds either Memphis or New Orleans; if not, roll again
X = No Station Taken
PC = Player’s Choice; see rules.
PCV: Player’s Choice; may be a Victory Station
Named Station: Place Union Occupation marker therein; if already occupied, roll again.
©RHB 96
Game Designed by : Richard H. Berg
Game Development: Pete Busch
Playtesters : Ted Raicer, Gary Presser, Lee Presser, John Quarto, ‘Boomer’ Bakalchuck, Ed
Connery, Michael Welker, Gerry Germond, Kaarsten Engellman, Pete Stein, Scott Baron,
Mike Lochtofel, +?
While Confederate Rails is a game into which much imagination has been, if not poured, at
least drizzled, much of the information used to fuel that muse came from specific sources. Not
included, below, are the hundreds of books the designer has read about the war itself:
Black, Robert C., III, The Railroads of the Confederacy (Broadfoot Publishing,
Wilmington NC, 1987) Well written and detailed, the real treasure is the
marvelously detailed map of the Confederate rail system. If you want some idea of
how totally chaotic and depressing the Confederate rail network was - and it was SO
inefficient and ineffective it almost defies belief - just flip through this book.
Goff, Richard Confederate Supply (Duke U. Press, Durham NC, 1969) Top source for
what the Confederacy needed, how it met - or didn’t meet - those needs, where the
stuff came from, and where it went… or was supposed to go.
Hilliard, Sam Bowers, Atlas of Antebellum Southern Agriculture (LSU Press, Baton
LA 1984) Excellent maps which pinpoint key locations of many goods.
©RHB 96
RRC Name
Baltimore &
Virginia Central
Winchester & PotomacParkersburg, WV
Alexandria, Loudon &
Wheeling WV
Harper’s Ferry, VA
Orange & Alexandria
Winchester VA
Manassas Gap
Leesburg, VA
Alexandria, VA
Warrenton, VA
Gordonsville, VA
Mt Jackson, VA
Baltimore, MD
Washington, DC
Richmond, Fredericksburg
& Potomac
Gordonsville, VA
Covington, VA
Lynchburg, VA [a]
Acquia Creek, VA
Richmond, VA
Richmond & Danville
Richmond & York
Richmond & Petersburg
West Point, VA
Danville, VA
Gaston, NC
Weldon, NC
Portsmouth, VA
Virginia & Tennesse
Norfolk & Petersburg
Seaboard & Roanoke
Norfolk, VA
Saltville, VA
Weldon, NC
City Point, VA
Bristol, VA
& Weldon
Raleigh & Gaston
Roanoke Valley
Clarksville, VA
Raleigh, NC
Wilmington, NC
Atlantic & N.C.
Piedmont RR [b]
Danville, VA
North Carolina
Charlotte, NC
Atlantic, Tenn. & Ohio Morgonton, NC [c]
Rutherford, NC [c]
©RHB 96
Morehead City, NC
Wilmington &
South Carolina
Greenville &
Spartanburg & Union
Blue Ridge
Charlotte & SC
King’s Mountain
Greenville, SC
Anderson, SC
Abbeville, SC
Laurens, SC
Columbia, SC
Pendleton, SC
Yorkville, SC
Charlotte, NC
Charleston &
Cheraw & Darlington
Cheraw, SC
Charleston, SC
Savannah, GA
Georgia [d]
Augusta & Milledgeville [e]
Rome, GA
Etowah Iron Works,
Augusta & Savannah
Athens, GA
Western & Atlantic [o] Washington, GA
Dalton, GA
Warrenton, GA [e]
Augusta, GA
Millen, GA
Central RR of
Macon & Western
Upson County
Atlanta & West Point
Savannah, GA
Eatonton, GA
Atlanta, GA
Thomaston, GA
West Point, GA
Macon & Brunswick
Macon, GA
Hawkinsville, GA
Columbus, GA
Wilmington, Charlotte
Wilmington, NC
& Rutherford
Old Hundred, NC
Manchester Jctn, SC
Camden, SC
Columbia, SC
Charleston, SC
Augusta, GA
©RHB 96
Albany, GA
Georgetown, GA
Ft. Gaines, GA
Atlantic & Gulf
Savannah, Albany & Gulf
Savannah, GA
Brunswick & Florida [f]
Brunswick, GA
Thomasville, GA
Florida, Atlantic
& Gulf Central
Florida RR
Fernandina, FL
Pensacola & Georgia
Jacksonville, FL
Tallahassee RR
Cedar Key, FL
Lawton, GA [p]
Quincy, FL
St. Marks, FL
Alabama & Florida
Montgomery & Eufaula Pensacola, FL
Montgomery & West Pt
West Point, GA
Tuskegee RR
Girard, AL
Mobile & Girard
Union Springs, AL
Mobile & Great Northern [g] Tuskegee, AL
Tensas, AL
Mobile & Ohio [h]
Spring Hill RR [b]
Mississippi, Gainsville &
Tuscaloosa [b]
Memphis & CharlestonWills Valley [b]
Mobile, AL
Columbus, KY
Columbus, MS
Gainesville, AL
Spring Hill, AL
Memphis, TN
Chattanooga, TN
Trenton, GA [b]
Tennessee & Alabama
Nashville & Chattanooga
Decatur, AL
Winchester & Alabama Nashville, TN
McMinnville & Alabama
McKenzie, TN
Nashville & Northwestern [i] Stevenson, AL
Lousville & Nashville
Fayetteville, TN
Memphis, Clarksville &
McMinnville, TN
Mt. Pleasant, TN
Edgefield & Kentucky
Shelbyville, TN
Union City, TN [j]
Johnsonville, TN [j]
Bowling Green, KY
©RHB 96
Paris, TN
Knoxville & Kentucky East Tennessee & Georgia
Dalton, GA
East Tennessee & Virginia
Chattanooga, TN
Rogersville & Jefferson Bristol, VA
Rogersville, TN
Clinton, TN
21. Memphis & Ohio
New Orleans & Ohio [k]
Mississippi & Tennessee
Memphis & Little Rock [l]
Paris, TN
Paducah, KY
Union City, TN
Grenada, MS
Little Rock, AK
Hopefield, AK
22. Alabama & Tennessee Riv Northeast & Southwest [m] Cahaba, AL
Alabama & Mississippi
Blue Mountain, AL
River [m]
Demopolis, AL
Cahaba, Marion &
Selma, AL [n]
Newbern, AL
Marian, AL
23. Mississippi Central
24. Southern RR of Miss
New Orleans, Jackson &
Jackson, TN
Great Northern
Jackson, MS
Mexican Gulf RR
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, Opelousas & Proctorville, LA
Great Western
Algiers, LA
Brashear, LA
Raymond RR
Monroe, LA
Vicksburg, Shreveport DeSoto, LA
& Texas
Vicksburg, MS
Northeast & Southwest [m] Raymond, MS
Alabama & Mississippi Meridian, MS
River [m]
McDowell’s Bluff, AL
U = Not usable during the game; provided for historical and visual reasons.
a = The line from Charlottsville to Lynchburg was actually part of the Orange & Alexandria. For
game purposes we have let it be run by the Va. Central.
b = Built during the war.
©RHB 96
c = The Charlotte-Rutherfordton line was actually part of the Wilmington, Charlotte &
Rutherford (see Line #7); it was to link up with the railhead at Old Hundred. Also note that the
lines stretching to Mogronton and Rutherford never actually got there; they fell somewhat short.
However, and again, for game purposes ….
d = The line from Atlanta to Dalton - the Western & Atlantic RR - is ownedand run by the
CSA government. See SORules for that line.
e = The Augusta & Milledgeville line (which ran from Camak to Warrenton) was built during the
f = Most of the line from Brunswick to Tebauville, the Brunswick & Florida, was built during
the war, including the section that connected it to the Pensacola & Georgia (see ‘p’).
g = The Mobile & Great Northern was constructed during the war, but it never achieved its aim
of connecting with Mobile.
h = The single, longest rail line in the CSA, and the closest thing they came to a ”trunk line”.
i = The Kingston Springs-Johnsonville section was built during the war. See ‘j’.
j = The Union City to McKenzie section of the Nashville & Northwestern was supposed to
connect to Johnsonville, but never did.
k = The New Orleans & Ohio, running from Paducah to Union City, is separated from the rest
of this line.
l = The section of this line running from Little Rock to DeValls Bluff, part of which was
completed during the war, is not playable.
m = The stretches of line from Meridian to reagan (NE & SW RR) and Reagan-McDowell’s,
Demopolis - Uniontown (Ala & Miss Rivers) were constructed during the war. They did not
bridge the Tombigbee River. These two lines have been split between #22 and #24 for play
n = No rail existed between Selma and Montgomery. Freight (and passengers) between these
two points had to off load and travel the intervening span by river (the Alabama). See Section
‘x’ of the rules.
o = The famous Western & Atlantic was a state (Georgia)-owned line whose “individual rights”
prerogatives were most zealously guarded by Gov. J. Brown.
©RHB 96
p = The Lawton-Live Oak section was not actually completed until 1865, and then, only by
ripping up track from much of the other sections of Florida rail. We have included it solely
because, otherwise, the Florida rail network is useless … and it is a game. It’s construction was
low priority because the government felt Florida was strategically unimportant.
The following Railroads - mostly short spurs not connected to any trunk line - are not included
for play:
North Carolina: Western RR
Mostly Louisiana: West Feliciana RR; Clinton & Port Hudson; Baton Rouge, Grosse Tete
& Opelousas; Alexandria & Cheneyville; Grand Gulf & Port Gibson; Jefferson &
Lake Ponchartrain; Ponchartrain RR
Texas: Texas & New Orleans; Eastern Texas RR; Buffalo Bayou, Brazos & Colorado;
Houston Tap & Brazoria; Galveston, Houston & Henderson; Houston & Texas
Central; Washington County RR; San Antonio & Mexican Gulf; Memphis, El Paso
& Pacific (a rather ambitious title for 15 miles of track); Southern Pacific (4 miles of
track in 1865, it is now the biggest RR in the country, after its merger with the Union
©RHB 96
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