I really like what Tony and the other Traxx folks have been doing with their 18xx designs. Their designs have shown a lot of creativity and created fun sandboxes that I have enjoyed exploring. I have been trying to work my way through the various games to give them all a shot. Ever since it hit 18xx.games, 18 Los Angeles has been generating a lot of buzz as a game derived from 1846 (like how many 18xx-games are 1830-likes). Tony has one other 1846-like, 18 Grand Junction, which we played for the first time recently.
My favorite part about these "clone" games is that they show off the butterfly effect of changing minor aspects of an 18xx-game, and 18 Grand Junction is a notable example of that. The two aspects that really hit us the hardest were just how expensive it was to build track on the map (the bank subsidy was just not keeping up with our desire to engineer...) and the very constrained track roster (only coexisting green track). In hindsight all of us made very dumb mistakes in our track play that made for a very silly (and not very profitable) map at the end.
I think 18 Grand Junction achieves its goal. It is a quick learn for anyone who knows 1846 well, and the changes it makes feel impactful. The special powers are fun, interesting, and feel useful, and the map changes make engineering feel quite different. I am looking forward to giving this one a few more plays soon and seeing how we learn (or maybe don't?) from our previous mistakes.
BGG Game Link: 18 Grand Junction