1846 - the midwest railroad boom has gone bust, leaving in its wake hundreds of failed local railroads. Sensing opportunity in the economic vacuum, five large eastern railroads (the New York Central, Erie, Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Ohio, and Grand Trunk out of Canada) seek dominance west of the Alleghenies. Can you, as a nineteenth century tycoon, knit together these profitable railroads with the midwestern remnants to form the most profitable rail network stretching all the way to Chicago or St Louis?
1846 is an '18xx' game, one of many games by different designers inspired by Francis Tresham's 1829. However, 1846 has several unique features, such as its opening draft, variable setup, and a comparatively shorter game length, which is good for players new to 18xx. Play consists of alternating stock rounds with pairs of operating rounds. During stock rounds, players buy and sell shares, possibly launching new corporations. During operations, each railroad -- with its majority stock holder (President) making all its decisions -- lays track, builds stations, runs routes, declares dividends, and possibly buys bigger and better trains.