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Monopoly Railroads Rules

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Railroads in Monopoly follow a similar set of rules that other properties in the game follow. However, there are railroad rules in Monopoly that specifically revolve around the amount of rent paid. 

Although railroads are fundamental properties to have as a monopoly game player, rules governing railroads are a bit more complex. 

So, what are the monopoly Railroads rules? When it comes to renting, the amount paid depends on the number of railroads owned by the player.

If a player owns all the four railroads, the player gets to collect $200 rent when an opponent lands on a railroad. When they own three, they collect $100 on each, for two they collect $50 on each railroad, and when a player owns only one railroad, they collect $25 as rent. 

When a player lands on an unowned railroad, they can purchase it for the price listed on the property card. However, if the player lands on it but is not willing to purchase it, the railroad goes straight to auction, quoting the original price. 

Once the railroad has been mortgaged to the bank, it will be classified as a mortgaged property, and will not generate any income if a player lands on the space. However, that will not affect the rent if the opponent player lands on another railroad that the player owns and has not mortgaged yet. 

Players can sell or trade Railroad properties with other players, however the Railroad rules in Monopoly are centered around the rent amount and houses. Answered below are frequently asked questions about Monopoly Railroads and how they operate in the gameplay.

Is the Railroad good in Monopoly?

The railroad is one of the most valuable properties a player can own in Monopoly because the rent increases based on the number of Railroads a player owns.

There exist four railroads on the Monopoly board (Reading, B&O, Pennsylvania and short line). However, rules around railroads are complex, especially when any has been mortgaged.

Whenever a player owns all the four railroads, it’s advantageous because they are position all around the board. This provides for revenue opportunity no matter which side of the board the opponents are on.  

The benefit from railroads increases significantly when you can own more than one. The rent increases from $25 for the first to $50 when you own two, to $100 when you own three and up to $200 when you own all four Railroads.

Can you put a house on a railroad in Monopoly?

No, it is not allowed to buy houses on railroads. According to the official rules of Monopoly, railroads cannot be developed by building houses or hotels.

Railroad rents increase exponentially the more Railroad properties you have in your portfolio. This is what makes Railroads a unique property in the game and why there are special rule surrounding the usage.

How much do railroads cost in Monopoly?

When a player lands on unowned railroads, they are allowed to buy them at the price listed on the property card. Railroads in Monopoly cost $200 to purchase, and whenever another player land on them, they have to pay a rent of $25. 

If the player purchases two Railroads, it costs the player a total of $400 and rents on both properties increase to $50 when any player lands on either space. 

The cost of three Railroads is $600, and it generates rents of $100 on each railroad. Finally, the total cost of four Railroads is $800, and when an opponent player lands on any Railroad the total rent balloons up to $200.

How to buy Railroads in Monopoly 

Whenever a player lands on an unowned railroad, they can buy it from the Bank for $200.If they land on it (unowned railroad) and are not willing to purchase the railroad, either because they don’t have enough funds to purchase it or the player doesn’t want to, the railroads go straight to auction. 

The bank starts the auction process with the original price of a railroad ($200), but if more than one player wants the railroad, the bidding begins, and the highest bidder gets to buy the property.

It’s economical to purchase at least three railroads in a monopoly game because the revenue in return is 50 and 100% for three and four railroads, respectively. The normal cost of three railroads is $600, and the revenue from rent increases to $100, and for four railroads, the cost is $800 and the rent is set at $200.

How does rent work on Railroads in Monopoly?

Rent is only collected from all the railroads that are not mortgaged. However, if the opponent player lands on a mortgaged railroads and they skip the rent, if still they land on other railroads own by the same player who has not to be mortgaged yet, they should pay rent for it. 

According to the official mortgaged rule of property, when the opponent player lands on it when they roll their dice and move their token to that space,the mortgaged railroad does not generate any income. When it is mortgaged, it does not count towards the total of operational Railroads and does not have an increased effect of the rent rate.

The amount of rent collected from railroads increases with the number of railroads owned by the player. The total rent collected from each railroad when a player owns only one railroad is $25. 

However, the amount increases to $50, $100, and $200 when a player owns two, three, and four railroads respectively whenever an opponent player lands on a Railroad that another player owns.

When a player lands on any owned railroads, they must pay the rent, and they should not be allowed by the owner of the railroad to make the next roll (in case of rolling doubles) of the dice before they pay the rent. If the owner allows that to happen, they lose the rent because the player leaves that space by moving their token to another space indicated on the dice after the roll.

Monopoly Railroads House Rules

The Monopoly board game has been around since December 1935, and in that time there have been many variations of house rules created along the way. Though none of the rules are set forth in the official Monopoly rule book, many households abide by the guidelines as if they are carved in stone.

There are rules regarding multiple facets of the game, from Free Parking to landing on Go, there is no stone left unturned. And that is the same for Monopoly Railroads.

  • Traveling Railroads Rule: A player is allowed to travel from one Railroad to any other Railroad that they own. The player must pay rent before leaving the property, and they also must own the Railroad that they are traveling to. You do not pass Go and do not collect $200, but it is an easy way to zip around the board to avoid landing on fully developed properties.
  • Six Railroads Rule: The Electric Company and Water Works are also treated as Railroads. With this rule implemented, the rent for owning five Railroads in $400 and all six is a punishing $800.
Railroad rules in Monopoly

Railroad Rules in Monopoly: Conclusion 

Monopoly Railroads have slightly different set of rules compared to other properties in the game. The primary differences are in regards to rent rates and developing with houses or hotels.

Railroads do not upgrade by adding buildings, instead they rely on owning more Railroads to increase the rent rates. The railroad is one of the lucrative properties a player can own in a monopoly, but it’s more profitable if a player owns at least three railroads because rent increases to 50% and 100% of the cost, which really adds to profits.

To buy a railroad in monopoly, a player must land on a space with an unowned railroad, and more so, must have enough funds to make the purchase. However, a player can still buy a railroad even when they have not landed on it if the railroad is available for auction by the bank. 

It’s not mandatory whenever a player lands on an unowned railroad to buy it. If a player doesn’t want to buy, the railroad is made available for auction for the other players to buy it.

Railroads apply the same fundamental principle for a mortgaged property that the other mortgaged properties follow. That is, no rent can be generated to a mortgaged property whenever an opponent lands on it.

Any owned railroads in a monopoly (when not mortgaged) must be paid rent when an opponent player lands on them.

The railroad rent gets higher as the number of railroads owned by the player increases and the rent on each railroad doubles from $25 for one, to $50 for two, $100 for three and $200 rent when a single player owns all four. 

Understand the Monopoly Railroad rules will help you formulate a winning strategy that incorporates the asset into your game plan.

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