Are the railroads good investments?
In an interview with the then-current Monopoly champion Jason Dunn: “A ‘railroader,’ said Jason, [is] a certain species of player that avoided most residential real estate with its expensive building costs and potential tax and upkeep penalties, and focused instead on seizing all four railroads and imposing crippling $400 fares on everyone who rode. Railroaders, according to Jason, were sink-or-swim types, having won three of the last eight championships, and being the first ones bankrupted in four more.” The advantage of the railroads is that if you can accumulate a majority of them early in the game, they have a high payoff per dollar spent at a critical time of the game – when most other players will be cash-strapped. In addition, the railroads are well distributed over the board, increasing the probability that they will be landed on. But it is a “make or break” strategy – if the dice doesn’t fall right before the high-rolling players start building hotels on strong properties, it