It is possible for you to buy a piece of land. When you do this, using the "buy land" tool on the landscaping toolbar, that tile of land becomes yours. Ownership of that land will show up as a coloured sign on the tile, the colour dependent on which company owns it.
What use is this?
Because land that you own cannot be built on by anybody else (including town authorities), this has several uses:
- "Grabbing" prime cuts of land near towns to prevent your opponents from building there.
- Holding a piece of land until you can afford to run a route into that part and place a station.
- Planning, designating and/or marking new routes, stations, and other infrastructure.
- Buying land around stations and infrastructure so that you can expand at a later date, e.g. a metropolitan airport to an international.
- Blocking opponents: (this tactic is unethical and against multiplayer rules) When you see your opponent trying to connect a route together over a narrow strip or into a small part of town, you could buy the land to stop him building over it. Then, he'd have to route around your obstacle.
- Buying areas of land that your opponent tries to raise and lower. Land that is owned by another company prohibits any raising or lowering that would destroy or move the purchased land.
- Inhibiting the expansion of towns to prevent them from engulfing nearby industries, making it difficult to run a route to that industry.
How can I use it?
First open the landscaping toolbar and select the "buy land" tool.
Then just click on the area you want to buy, that's it!
How much does it cost?
£300 ($600) per tile, plus the cost to clear the land. For example, purchasing a tile of grass costs £300 (purchase cost) + £15 (clearing cost) = £315.
Can I build on land that I own?
Yes, simply build your stations, tracks, roads etc. on top of the purchased tiles. In fact, building on your owned land is £60 cheaper versus bare land!
Can I sell it back?
Yes, you can sell a piece of land and get £60 per tile back by destroying it with the bulldoze tool.
What's to stop somebody buying up vast swathes of land and hindering the game?
Not much, except for the monetary cost of doing this and the fact server admins can limit how much and how frequently land can be purchased, which may make large purchases take a long time. It's also against multiplayer rules.
Can I buy someone else's land or can I force them to sell it?
Can I buy areas of sea?
All water is considered international waters; therefore, no-one can own them. However, you could raise land there and then buy that land to stop anyone sinking it back to water. This would be very costly, however, and may annoy nearby town authorities.