I was extremely blessed to win the last GAW from BGA. I really appreciate @philryuh and @trentellingsen for their work on maintaining this community. I admit that when I first came here I came for the GAW's, but, in the last 6 - 9 months that I have been a member I have grown to really enjoy and appreciate the community that they have built up.
Since I joined BGA I have really tried to work at building out, not only the solo aspect of my collection, but also to explore new areas of gaming that I could play solo. I got #Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain as a dalliance in a COIN/war game. I aquired #Navajo Wars as another war(ish) game. I picked up a bunch of the Pax games from Sierra Madre Games/Ion Game Design to explore different historical settings. I bought #Conquest of Paradise 2nd Edition for a soloable 4x(ish) game. I also pledged for #High Frontier 4 All to explore a very heavy simulation game. I also continued with the occasional new Euro, most notably #Spirit Island, but I have really been trying to get stuff that explores other areas of gaming, that aren't really represented by my collection.
One sort of game that has been distinctly missing from my collection is a financial/stock sort of game. Of course the 18xx is a bit of a gold standard in that sort of genre, but, they tend to be games that live and die by their player interaction. Not only that, but they tend to be very ugly, and expensive. But, then deep in the bowels of BGG I heard of #1829 Mainline by the famous Francis Treshem. This was a 18xx for 1-7 players. I was intrigued in spite of it's truly disturbing ugliness. But then I heard what it goes for on the secondary market.... and all my interest evaporated. But then I heard that the solo made had been a base for a official, in the box solo mode on the recently reprinted #1862: Railway Mania in the Eastern Counties put out by GMT. Originally 1862 didn't have a solo mode, but the printing that GMT is doing has one, and it is available today. So, I read all the reviews I could find, I watched some videos..... And I chose that as my prize.
This is, seemingly one of the heavier 18xx games out there, but, it does help fill a "hole" in my collection, and it seems to have a fair amount more Euro inspired mechanisms than most 18xx games, this makes it tougher for 18xx veterans, but a number of people have made the argument that that it might actually be a easier jumping off place for a Euro gamer, than some of the more standard offerings.
Unfortunately, in the fine tradition of 18xx, it has either no art, or what is worse, aggresively ugly art..... But, I guess there are flies to every ointement.
Note, the edition pictured in BGA is the previous, non GMT version which does not have the solo variant.