Proper use of Stations - and how to convince others

I played a game of Ticket to Ride Europe recently, I don't own it but am vaguely familiar with the rules. When we started playing however there was some confusion about the placement of stations and I was out-voted 3:1. What the rules specifically say:

A Train Station allows its owner to use one, and only one, of the routes belonging to another player, into (or out of) that city to help him connect the cities on his Destination Tickets.

My interpretation is that this allows you to do what it says, use a single route owned by another player. The next bit toward the end of the section however states:

If a player uses the same Station to help connect cities on several different Tickets, he must use the same route into the city with the Station for all of those Tickets. The Train Station owner does not need to decide which route he will use until the end of the game.

At this point the same route into the city statement was picked up really strongly. The group believed that this means several routes going out of a city could be used, as long as the same route into the city was used. In the end this meant that during the scoring they believed in the following diagram (red routes):

• A continuous path from Frankfurt->Madrid exists.
• No continuous path from Brest->Madrid exists because it didn't use the same route into Paris as the Frankfurt route, and therefore couldn't share the blue link.

Can someone confirm if I'm correct, in that you can only use 1 link, and in this scenario both destination tickets are completed at the end of the game. If so can you think of any convincing arguments I can put forward to the group?

There's no concept of direction of travel in Ticket to Ride.

If, by the end of the game, a player has created a continuous path of his color plastic trains between the two cities named on a Destination Ticket he holds, he scores the additional points indicated by the Point Value on the Ticket. If he has failed to complete a continuous path between those cities, he deducts the Point Value on the Ticket from his total score.

A path between cities must be created. Nothing about traveling from one of the cities to the other city.

As such, the Brest-Madrid path exists because it did use the same route into Paris as the Frankfurt-Madrid path, the Pamplona-Paris route.

Ticket to Ride is a simple game with straightforward rules. It's obvious to me that the purpose of the second rule you quoted is to prevent the station from being used to borrow two different routes. In fact, this is stated explicitly earlier in the rules (quoted below). It's a botched attempt to clarify this rule (which was already plenty clear).

A Train Station allows its owner to use one, and only one, of the routes belonging to another player, into (or out of) that city to help him connect the cities on his Destination Tickets.

This means your group is clearly wrong when they believe that several routes going out of a city could be borrowed.

My proposed rewording of the second rule you quoted is the following:

Only one route is ever chosen per station. This means that a player can't have a station grant him the use of two routes for two different tickets, but any number of tickets can use the chosen route. The Train Station owner does not need to decide which route he will use until the end of the game.

• I like this revised wording, I'll have to share it and see if everyone agrees – Ian Jul 7 '14 at 17:26
• All of this is confirmed through personal experience with the electronic version of the game. – ikegami Mar 28 '19 at 19:38

I've looked up my rules and your quote is correct but I believe you are right and that the second 'rule' is just poorly written.

It makes sense that there is something in the rules to stop the player moving the station from one line to another between Tickets. So, if you were the blue player you could use a blue station on the Paris end of Paris-Frankfurt for Pavlona-Frankfurt, but the rules need to prevent you from moving it to the Paris-Brest line for a second trip from Pavlona.

I think this is what the text was trying to convey, but failed to do so. Rephrasing it as the following might help:

If a player uses the same Station to help connect cities on several tickets he must use the same city route (the one with the station) for all of those Tickets.

This fits with the spirit of the application of a Station being to 'convert' one line to your colour. No other part of the rules has anything like as asymmetrical a mechanism as the rest of your group seems to be suggesting. It seems extremely unlikely that Alan Moon (whose rules typically have a natural flow) meant this unnatural oddity, and far more likely that this is a small error in transcription somewhere.

• Proposed rewording still not perfect. Other tickets need not use the same route even if use the same station. e.g. Red has Brest-Frankfurt completed. – ikegami Jul 7 '14 at 16:51
• @ikegami Agreed it's not perfect but I was minimising changes from the original text - to remove the problematic "into". – Cheeseminer Jul 8 '14 at 8:59
• Trying to use as much of the confusing text as possible is not a worthwhile goal. Actually removing confusion is. – ikegami Jul 8 '14 at 14:27
• Given the OP's need to convince the rest of the group, minimising delta to their literal interpretation is essential to support the ensuing argument. If writing the rule from scratch I'd do it very differently to any version presented here, but that's not the requirement. – Cheeseminer Jul 8 '14 at 14:52

The way I look at it, you have one path in and out.

When you go from Frankfurt to Brest, you travel East/West through Paris. To travel to Madrid would require a South exit, so is not allowed. Brest to Madrid would have you coming into Paris but on another route and not from Frankfurt, so that is not a valid scoring route. Your logic is wrong.

However, you did say you required a way to convince others that it is valid, so...

The fact is, you don't need a train station to get from Frankfurt to Brest. It is a complete route. You are only "invoking" the train station to achieve the Brest to Madrid route. One route = one way in and out, QED. ;)

If you are the red player and you placed your station in Pamplona, you are entitled to both the Madrid to Brest and Madrid to Frankfurt tickets. You used one route out of Pamplona which became your route when you added the station. The same holds true if you had placed the station in Paris as your "one route in (or out of)" Paris would still be between Pamplona and Paris. What you could not do is use a station in Pamplona to place trains from Pamplona to both Paris AND Brest.