Don Phillips

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Don Phillips
Posted by CPRcst on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 1:47 AM

Another rail discussion site is saying long time Trains columnist Don Phillips has been let go by Trains. Fact or unfounded rumour? 

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Posted by zardoz on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 10:14 AM

Hopefully it is just a rumor; IMHO, his departure would be a great loss to the magazine.

   

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Posted by David Lassen on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 12:05 PM

It is true that Don is no longer writing for us. We do thank him for his many years of great contributions to the magazine.

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Posted by Steve B500 on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 1:25 PM

Is David Lassen not allowed to tell us whether Phillips was fired, or resigned? Judging from Lassen's anemic post, it looks like Phillips was fired. Probably if he resigned, Lassen would have typed something akin to "He has left to pursue other opportunities. We'll miss him and we wish him well!" 

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Posted by David Lassen on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 3:07 PM

It is a personnel matter, and as such we will not be discussing details.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 6:17 PM

Well I for one will certainly miss him, and I DO wish him well!

Always enjoyed Don's columns, even if I didn't agree with him. 

Unless he's packing it in and retiring I hope another rail publication picks him up.

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Posted by wanswheel on Tuesday, April 03, 2018 10:37 PM
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Posted by samfp1943 on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 10:38 AM

Firelock76

Well I for one will certainly miss him, and I DO wish him well!

Always enjoyed Don's columns, even if I didn't agree with him. 

Unless he's packing it in and retiring I hope another rail publication picks him up.

 

YEPPERS!Thumbs UpThumbs Up  To Firelock 76's comment>> SO TRUE! 

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by PaulWWoodring on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 3:45 PM

He's already been picked up by Passenger Train Journal, and maybe other publications.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 5:01 PM

Maybe even TRP or Railfan and Railroad...

R&R does go into the politics of contemporary railroading.

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Posted by ClassA on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 8:04 PM
This is most interesting news. I took the time tonight to go back and review his last few columns. In particular, his last column was very pointed at calling attention to prominent politicians. Regardless of the underlying reason, the appearances are not favorable to Trains Magazine and from what I am reading on several other forums, the general feeling is that he was pushed out for political reasons. This is leading me to question my subscription as well. We'll see who they fill in the void with.
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Posted by cheapclassics on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 9:04 PM

Good evening all,

At least there was some commentary on Don's departure.  When MR made a change a few months ago, there was nary a peep.  I hope everyone has a good day.

Keep on training,

Mike C. from Indiana

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Posted by Convicted One on Saturday, April 07, 2018 12:55 PM

Just noticed that there is no "parting gesture" in his May 2018 magazine contribution, so whatever happened must have come abruptly.  Ironically, or perhaps prescient, he ponders what his job is and is not in his final line.

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Posted by rrdude on Saturday, April 07, 2018 3:52 PM

That‘s a poor mans excuse David. If it truly is “personal”, then that message should come from Don.  For over 40 years, I’ve subscribed to Trains, ever since Don started his column at Trains, it was thee First Thing I read. The REAL NEWS will come out. How will TRAINS look then? Justified? Or like they were hiding something? 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 4:44 PM

Was this when Model Railroader dropped  Neil Bousougloff?  I don't look at that site too often, not being an N or HO gauger, but I remember there was a "Perfect Storm" of comments when that happened.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, April 07, 2018 6:42 PM

Don Phillips columns are 'Commentary'... As such it is an opinion piece and mentioning politicians names is perfectly normal and expected. 

4 Decades! Likely none of our beeswax as to what it's all about.  

I'm just glad that 'social media', loss of privacy, instant videos and quotes on the internet and all of that was not around for the 60's, 70's and 80's. Doubt if many of us would have survived.

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Posted by ardvard on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:18 PM

David Lassen

It is a personnel matter, and as such we will not be discussing details.

And yet, Fred Frailey remains... 

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:29 PM

ClassA
Regardless of the underlying reason, the appearances are not favorable to Trains Magazine and from what I am reading on several other forums, the general feeling is that he was pushed out for political reasons. This is leading me to question my subscription as well. We'll see who they fill in the void with.

While it is true that Mr Wrinn makes a lot of openly political statements that are published these days..........I would attribute that to a loosening of Trains past editorial practice not a tightening of it.    Even if Mr. Phillips took the opposite political opinion (and I find that hard to believe). 

I think I would look probably more in the area of cost of carrying the column and it being a business decision.    Since you'll notice Trains has replaced other long standing columnists with newer, less established and cheaper to publish perspectives.

You have to cut the Magazine some slack, it's not the New York Times, it has a very tiny readership.    If you want to try and change that then start promoting the Magazine, donate some subscriptions to local libraries, give away some subscriptions as gifts to your dentist, doctor, kids, etc.

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Posted by CMStPnP on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:32 PM

ardvard
And yet, Fred Frailey remains... 

For now.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Sunday, April 08, 2018 12:03 AM

CMStPnP
ardvard
And yet, Fred Frailey remains... 

For now.

From reading their pieces I would say that Frailey and Phillips do not exactly share the same political opinions.  I would have expected Trains's viewpoints to align more with Phillips, which makes his departure all the more interesting.

Regardless of the story behind it this is the end of a era, and not for the better.

Then again, perhaps Don is simply getting old and has decided to cut back on things a bit.

One could always PM him to ask about the truth, doesn't he have a forum account (The Potomac Pundit), albeit irregularly used?

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Savage Tunnel on Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:40 AM

And yet, Malcolm Kenton remains, possibly the worst-informed columnist I've seen in my 48 years of reading TRAINS.
His latest, concerning more "tourist trains" to Harpers Ferry,WV., is a real laugher, the young fellow doesn't know reality from fantasy.

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:47 AM

I know a way of putting this issue to be very quickly.  Although I cannot see it online, the hard copy print version of TRAINS usually has Don Phillips's e-mail address.  We could e-mail and ask him what his plans are.

I was thinking about contacting anyways concerning Amtrak's Anderson.

 

Regards,

Fred M. Cain

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Posted by Fred M Cain on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:50 AM

David Lassen

It is true that Don is no longer writing for us. We do thank him for his many years of great contributions to the magazine.

 

 

I apparently missed this post.  That is too bad.  I hope Don considers coming back in the future.  Although I also understand that he's not that young anymore kinda  like a lot of us.

Regards,

Fred M Cain

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Posted by Black Hills Bill on Saturday, June 02, 2018 3:29 PM

Steve, you might find the discussion of this at www.trainorders.com of interest. It appears that Don Phillips' departure was not mutually agreeable between all parties. For my money, his column was one of the really high points of the magazine, and its loss means that I shall not be renewing my long-time subscription. The same is true for my subscription to Kalmbach's Classic Toy Trains magazine, to which I am a charter subscriber, not that Phillips wrote for it but because its quality has plummeted into an abyss in late years.

Steve B500

Is David Lassen not allowed to tell us whether Phillips was fired, or resigned? Judging from Lassen's anemic post, it looks like Phillips was fired. Probably if he resigned, Lassen would have typed something akin to "He has left to pursue other opportunities. We'll miss him and we wish him well!" 

 

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Posted by Goodtiming on Saturday, June 02, 2018 8:38 PM
My thoughts exactly. Within the past few months I have let MRR and TRAINS expire. MRR was just a continuing “rah, rah, rah” for its advertisers and very little of any critical reviews. I still read and subscribe to CLASSIC TRAINS, for now
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Posted by BLS53 on Sunday, June 03, 2018 4:33 PM

The niche interest periodical is a dying breed. No matter the subject matter, all are a mere shadow of their former self. Most good writers find greener pastures. The publications are left with young kids who write for low salaries.

All dedicated interest magazines have always been shills for their advertisers. The internet provides for a much wider range of opinions.

We are no longer in an era where the only media outlets connected to our hobbies and pastimes, come in the mailbox once a month.  

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Posted by railfanjohn on Sunday, June 03, 2018 9:40 PM

rrdude said:

"That‘s a poor mans excuse David. If it truly is “personal”, then that message should come from Don."

What Mr.Lassen actually said was, it was a "personnel"matter.      There is a big difference.

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Posted by cx500 on Sunday, June 03, 2018 11:54 PM

A columnist departing amicably will usually say farewell to his readers and wrap up any loose ends in the final column.  That did not happen, and Mr. Phillips is probably smart enough not to burn any future bridges and saying as little as Mr.Lassen.  I also will miss his column.

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Posted by CandOforprogress2 on Monday, June 04, 2018 6:11 PM

 According to my sources at the Philadelphia Inquirer Don used to railfan with Bill Cosby at Frankfort Jct in the 1970s and would introduce Amtrak interns to Mr.Cosby while traveling on the "Clockers".

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Posted by charlie hebdo on Monday, June 04, 2018 6:32 PM

CMStPnP

 

 
ClassA
Regardless of the underlying reason, the appearances are not favorable to Trains Magazine and from what I am reading on several other forums, the general feeling is that he was pushed out for political reasons. This is leading me to question my subscription as well. We'll see who they fill in the void with.

 

While it is true that Mr Wrinn makes a lot of openly political statements that are published these days..........I would attribute that to a loosening of Trains past editorial practice not a tightening of it.    Even if Mr. Phillips took the opposite political opinion (and I find that hard to believe). 

I think I would look probably more in the area of cost of carrying the column and it being a business decision.    Since you'll notice Trains has replaced other long standing columnists with newer, less established and cheaper to publish perspectives.

You have to cut the Magazine some slack, it's not the New York Times, it has a very tiny readership.    If you want to try and change that then start promoting the Magazine, donate some subscriptions to local libraries, give away some subscriptions as gifts to your dentist, doctor, kids, etc.

 

I sometimes read the online columns/blogs of Wrinn, Frailey and in the past, Phillips.  They don't seem especially political. What do you think?  You read a variety of forums.

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