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Union Pacific

new edition

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Product Awards:  

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 60-75 minutes 2-6

Designer(s): Alan R Moon

Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games

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Product Description

The Union Pacific is one of the largest railroad companies in America with rails connecting many of the largest cities. To further enhance its range, it has arrangements with smaller companies to use their rails. This allows the Union Pacific to serve even more cities. The map shows the ten smaller companies with their starting cities and possible track sections they may build. Each track section connects two cities and has spaces for one or more trains. The number of spaces indicates how many companies may build track along the section. The players are shareholders of the railway companies and fight for the stock majorities in the companies. They also develop the railway systems by building track for the companies. By building track for the companies they have large holdings in, the players attempt to earn large dividends and end the game as the richest player.

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best Strategy Game Nominee, 2000
Deutscher Spiele Preis
3rd place, 1999
Spiel des Jahres
Finalist, 1999

Product Information

  • Designer(s): Alan R Moon

  • Manufacturer(s): Rio Grande Games

  • Players: 2 - 6

  • Time: 60 - 75 minutes

  • Ages: 12 and up

  • Weight: 1,400 grams (estimated)

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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.3 in 34 reviews

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by Jim V.
Don't overlook Union Pacific
April 25, 2007

I've always been a fan of railroad style board games. Over the years I've collected many, starting with AH's Rail Baron, Mayfair's Empire Builder series, etc. In my opinion Union Pacific is one of the best. While my family prefers Ticket To Ride, I find Union Pacific to be more challenging and more interesting in repeated plays.

Previous reviews have already stated the obvious similarities to Ticket To Ride and Acquire so I won't repeat them. But this makes UP more strategic than T2R. It is easy to learn but provides the player challenges with not being able to do all you want to each turn. Half of the fun(and frustration) is trying to figure out what the other players are going to do.

So enjoy T2R and it's many versions, but if you want a more challenging railroad based game, you would do well to consider Union Pacific.

A Rail Game Worth Re-Riding
August 17, 2006

Before Ticket to Ride, Alan Moon was trying to discover the railroad to success with Union Pacific and other rail-inspired games. Although T2R seems to be an ever-growing empire among train games, Union Pacific is a highly overlooked (today) gem that needs to be rediscovered.

Although a few elements, such as the draw cards to select from and the placement of plastic trains on a board seem to resemble T2R, the comparison is quickly lost in a more strategic game play. The game is not about connecting routes, but about amassing stocks in companies that you have a vested interest in on the board. With many options of what you can do within a turn, it becomes evident that you must carefully consider whether you are better off building rails on the board, or laying out more shares of stock to ensure that you are the primary shareholder. It isn't always an easy decision as the cards that results in stock payoffs (of which there are four in the game) could be turned over at any moment. With play money exchanged instead of points given, it is also harder to know who will eventually win the game -- and the results are often close.

The stock splits are reminiscent of Acquire, the card play has a Monopoly feel, the unexpected nature of the Union Pacific counter adds a Tikal gameplay quality to the game, and the trains look and feel like Ticket to Ride (except in many more colors). And yet, Union Pacific is entirely original and exceptionally entertaining on so many levels.

I only hope that the game catches on again while the railroad game fever is high or we may see this fine vehicle go the way of the Iron Horse.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Challenging yet easy to learn.
July 25, 2005

Union Pacific is Acquire and Ticket to Ride in one game -- buying stock, building railroads, out-playing your opponents!

UP is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played. If you're looking for something that is challenging yet easy to learn then this is the game for you. Random cards makes the game different every time you play. Beginners can learn in one game, yet strategy is learned over time.

One of the top 10 games ever made.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 34 reviews >

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