“Daddy, when I get big, can I work
on trains with you?” says Michael, 4, son of Casey Thomason, a Norfolk Southern
engineer. Michael’s already hooked on trains because his dad works for the
railroad, takes him train-watching, and often goes to Duluth, Ga.’s
Southeastern Railway Museum. Michael is a Trains
magazine reader in the making. What about the other kids that don’t have
parents that work for the railroad, train tracks running through the middle of
their towns, or railroad museums
We’ve been plagued with this
question for years. How do we get kids interested in trains and gain future subscribers?
Our average reader is 60 years old. In fall 2008, Kevin Keefe and Jim Wrinn
called a meeting to discuss a target demographic, potential content, the
viability of a children’s product, and what staff would put a children’s
magazine together. Many more meetings followed.
Less than two years later, and I’m
staring Trains4Kids right in the face. Jim and Kevin said,
“You’re the editor. Go to it.” So, I pored over my daughter’s magazines,
thought about railroads … A LOT, came up with magazine content, and began assigning
stories. I wanted kids to learn about railroading and have fun at the same time.
Trains4Kids is an exciting railroad adventure
from cover to cover. Railroads play an integral part in our daily living by
transporting goods and people. Kids will enjoy finding out how trains are a
part of their lives in so many ways. The magazine includes exciting stories
about places they can go to see trains in action, watch model trains zip past,
and learn basic concepts about railroading while doing fun games and
activities. Trains4Kids will tell young readers how fresh
fruit arrives at their grocery stores and where they can ride a steam train.
And, kids will find out what it’s like to be an engineer in a Q&A with
Casey Thomason, Michael’s dad!
One of the magazine’s gems is an
8-page tale about Casey Jones. Senior Editor Matt Van Hattem adapted the story
from a longer version written by none-other-than David P. Morgan.
One of my fun ideas was to find a
recipe served on a dining car, and apply Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade technique
to it. My family became guinea pigs. Lucky for me, they like my cooking. My
daughter declared the final version, “Scrumdidlyumptious!”
I’m totally stoked! Trains4Kids
hits newsstands on Nov. 23, but you can pre-order your copies today at www.Trains.com/Trains4Kids!