Best Railroad Magazine?

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Best Railroad Magazine?
Posted by steve-in-kville on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 5:28 AM

I'm a big reader and love magazines. I got sample issues of Railfan & Railroad and Trains. I have learned there are others as well.

Which one is worth my money? 

Regards - Steve

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 6:45 AM

Depends on where your tastes lie.  After the two you mentioned, there are quite a few others out there but they tend to be a bit specialized.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 8:07 AM

That's a tough one.

I happen to get "Trains,"  "Classic Trains," and "Railpace."  While I wouldn't say all are perfect ( In the broadest sense of the term) all complement each other pretty well. I enjoy all three.  Occasionally I'll pick up a copy of "Railfan and Railroad" if there's articles in there that interest me, same with "TRP," or, "Trains and Railroads of the Past."

If you can only afford to go with one, and one only, I'd have to echo what Mr. Hegewisch said and advise you to go with the one that suits your own tastes and personal needs the best.  

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Posted by Juniata Man on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:13 AM

I have subscribed to both TRAINS and Railfan and Railroad for going on 30 years or more.  

Since Jim Wrinn took over at TRAINS; it has become more of a rail industry oriented publication whereas R&R is unashamedly a railfan magazine.

I enjoy both magazines and would not want to have to choose between one or the other.  

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Posted by steve-in-kville on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:21 AM

Trains is on our local newstand. One of them made me buy the current issue, the other sent me a back issue for free. I've read through both and like both. Maybe I'll subscribe to both for a year and see which is better.

Regards - Steve

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Posted by CShaveRR on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:28 AM

I get both Trains and Railfan and Railroad.  They both have their strong oints, but Trains is the one I look forward to the most of any of them.  I used to receive literally dozens of magazines every month, but I've cut that back to these two, plus a few historical society publications.   (Proud of my affiliations with C&O, Pere Marquette, CNW, and GTW historical societies.)  If you can afford both, get both.  As everyone's saying, it's a decision only you can make for yourself.


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Posted by tree68 on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 11:35 AM

TRP - it was The Railroad Press, then became Trains and Railroads of the Past, isn't bad - plenty of glossy photos.  Coverage is heavily of the Northeast, but there is a national flavor to it.

Railpace also exists, again mostly dedicated to the Northeast.

Railway Age is focused more on the professional railroader than the railfan.

Any of the magazines mentioned are worth reading - as mentioned, it depends on what you're looking for.

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Posted by nyc#25 on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 12:03 PM
Trains and Classic Trains, but I also read Railway Age. My subscription to Trains started in October 1957 so you could call me a very loyal reader.
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Posted by Ulrich on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 12:28 PM

I've been a reader of Trains since 1973 and a reader of Railfan and Railroad for almost as long. I subscribe to Trains and buy the other at the newsstand whenever there's an article in it that is of special interest to me. Both publications are excellent in my opinion. One magazine that I used to enjoy but appears to be long gone is Rail Classics... Back in the day these three were the mainstay of rail publications. 

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Posted by Ed Kyle on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 1:24 PM

CTC Board was my favorite.  Long gone, sadly.  Trains, of course, also a favorite.

 - Ed Kyle

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 1:35 PM

"Rail Classics" is long gone Ulrich.  It was published by Challenge Publications, the folks who put out "Air Classics" and "Sea Classics,"  both excellent magazines in their own right, and along the same lines.  It just didn't catch on as the other two did.

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Posted by beaulieu on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 6:19 PM

Annd then there are those of us infected by the European railway bug, I get

Today's Railways Europe and Schweizer Eisenbahn-Revue

As well as Trains Magazine and two Historical society magazines

"The Soo" by the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society

"The Sentinel" by the Baltimoree and Ohio Railroad Historical Society

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Posted by chicagorails on Thursday, September 5, 2019 8:31 AM

railway age, progessive railroading are great  but  super  expensive like  100 dollars  a  year  sub!!!

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Posted by Overmod on Thursday, September 5, 2019 8:41 AM

And then there are those of us infected by the European railway bug...

I have never regretted subscribing to European Railway Review, which has become Global Railway Review... a 'free' bimonthly magazine with Web resources.

While we are on the subject of particular technical and historical publications, I'd recommend the Norfolk and Western Historical Society publications as being good.  I do, however, greatly prefer discussion groups to published periodicals most of the time, as many of the subjects I find interesting would not be thought interesting to the great majority of the readers of a good-quality printed magazine, and vice versa.

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Posted by 54light15 on Friday, September 6, 2019 3:38 PM

If you're interested in what's happening in the U.K, "The Railway Magazine" is hard to beat. 

I was just in Germany and the book/magazine stores in the larger stations have over 50 railway mags in stock, both prototype and modelling (or both in one mag) in any scale. It's amazing what they have. At least 3 just for streetcars alone! A few of them come with DVDs as well. 

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Posted by zugmann on Friday, September 6, 2019 4:23 PM

railway age, progessive railroading are great but super expensive like 100 dollars a year sub!!!

Probably because very few peoople actually pay for a subscription.  I used to read them when the trainmasters would toss them on the lunchtables for the more railfan-minded employees. The new trainmasters probably just toss them now.

 The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer or any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Friday, September 13, 2019 4:24 PM

Warbonnet which is published four times a yr by the Santa Fe society has always had an excellent layout with well written researched articles by authors that know their topics. While I do not save every issue, I cannot complain on the quality of the product

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