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Bring Back Garden Railways Magazine

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Bring Back Garden Railways Magazine
Posted by Flamefront on Friday, February 10, 2023 2:58 PM

Garden Railways was an iconic magazine and now that it has been gone more than two years it's missed by a lot of us more than ever.

Is there no way to bring it back? 

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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Sunday, February 12, 2023 6:20 PM

Hi Flamefront,

I wish they would bring it back. This is what my heart says. What my mind says is something different: many of the manufacturers and dealers that advertised in the magazine, the very ones that made it viable have dropped off. From a business sense, it seems highly unlikely.

But, we are the " die hards", and will carry the torch for Garden Railroading, with or without the magazine.

It's still a great hobby, and a lot of fun!

Paul

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, February 13, 2023 3:40 PM

Flamefront,

There is a semi-professionally curated compendium of club newletter articles called Garden Railroading News (GARDEN RAILROADING NEWS (grnews.org)).  The focus is more "what's happening around the hobby" than on "how-to," but it, like this forum, is a good way to network.

Eric

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Sunday, February 19, 2023 5:45 PM

Honestly folks, I'm VERY surprised they didn't fold it into "Classic Toy Trains," it seems like a perfect fit.

Aside from the folks doing the grunt work on the several magazines in the product line I have my doubts as to whether the people in the Kalmbach "C Suites" know what they're doing with the company. 

Out of respect for Kalmbach employees I won't mention names but there's some other hobby publication outfits out there who are going "great guns" and growing and who seem to "get it" and are doing everything right.  

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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Monday, February 20, 2023 6:21 PM

The only thing that kind of irks me: Garden Railways was an independent publication, but Kalmbach bought it around'95 when Garden Railroading was booming. Then, they shut it down....

That's a little hard to swallow....

Paul

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 12:25 PM

There's a bit of that going around.  Several years back Bachmann bought the Williams O Gauge product line and then didn't seem to know what to do with it.  It's a pale, pathetic shadow of what it once was.  Makes you wonder sometimes.

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 12:33 PM

I'm sure Kalmbach would prefer that they still published the magazine.

I'm also sure they could not justify continuing to lose money just to keep publishing it.  Kalmbach is not a society or a non-profit organization.  They are a business, and a business needs to make money to survive.

York1 John       

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 10:36 AM

York1
They are a business, and a business needs to make money to survive.

Very understandable.  Hence my suggestion of folding "GR" into "CTT."  They'd have kept the "GR" readers and added additional content to "CTT," which has been switched to a bi-monthly, probably due to lack of content.  I'm sure loss of advertisers had something to do with it as well. 

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Posted by Curmudgeon on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 7:59 PM

That was a surprise to the editor, too. He thought they would just roll it into CTT.

Upper management seemed to be sufering from cranial-rectal inversion back then.

We watched it. Once the clowns roll over to the mantras of what the manufacturer wants, it was all over, I remember hand wringing "if we don't do what they want, they'll quit advertising!"

I said to them then, if you give up your high ground, you've lost, and they're just using this to get their way before they quit advertising (or cut back to every other isse, then every third issue)

Saw it. Up close. Not much left of any clambake pubs now.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, March 2, 2023 10:58 AM

Curmudgeon
That was a surprise to the editor, too. He thought they would just roll it into CTT.

I latched onto a 23 year old copy of CTT and it was an interesting read.  23 years ago CTT did reviews of G Gauge products and covered large scale as well, so the precedent was there.

Without naming organizations (I don't need to) I see two hobby-centric magazine publishing outfits out there.  One is coming on great guns and gaining in popularity, the other seems to be spinning it's wheels.  One is apparantly owned by someone who's a hobbyist and understands the various hobbies involved and the magazine business as well, the other one used to be but doesn't seem to be anymore.   

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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Thursday, March 2, 2023 1:39 PM

I think I read somewhere in CTT that they used to cover G as well, to a limited extent, anyway. This would probably be before Kalmbach purchased Garden Railways,which gave a separate mag to cover this. And, I remember when Model Railroder covered EVERYTHING. Of course, everyone likes the luxury of having their own magazine....

 Garden Railroading as a hobby was booming in the '90's, as witnessed by the fact that everybody and their brother was was jumping into the game to produce G gauge trains. Lionel, MTH, Model Die Casting, Bachmann, and many others got on the bandwagon. In retrospect, it was more than the market could bear. This nearly drove LGB out of business. They have since been purchased by Marklin, who is doing a Fantastic job with the classic product line, as well as producing new products. Hats off to them!

  The garden railway hobby has declined since the boom years, but has probably plateaued, with the right amount of hobbiests to manufacturers that the hobby can support. There Is a dedicated following,albeit somewhat smaller.

 So, Kalmbach may be leaving some money on the table by shutting down GR.

We're still here.....

Paul

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Posted by Swiss-Colorado-Lines on Thursday, March 2, 2023 6:06 PM

I just wanted to say that if they bring it back, I'll subscribe to it.

Short of that, what about a once or twice a year special edition? Like the premium extra publications Kalmbach puts out? They can sell a few adds, and at least we have something......

Paul

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Posted by Rene Schweitzer on Monday, March 6, 2023 7:58 AM

Everyone: Personally, I would love if the print magazine returned, but it's not coming back. The state of printed publications has changed so much in the past few years, and COVID did not help. The costs of materials (mainly paper) and shipping have increased, and not just a little.

However, the brand lives on! I'm adding new material to the website every week. I'm still working with a number of contributors and purchasing NEW materials, plus we still send out our twice-monthly newsletter. Here's a preview of a few of the new things that are coming: https://www.trains.com/grw/news-reviews/news/preview-garden-railways-march-and-april-content/

If you have a story idea, send an email to editor@gardenrailways.com

Bottom line: I haven't forgotten any of you!

Rene Schweitzer

Classic Toy Trains/Garden Railways/Model Railroader

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, March 6, 2023 9:28 PM

Rene Schweitzer
Bottom line: I haven't forgotten any of you!

Rest assured Rene we haven't forgotten you either!  

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Posted by rbrr on Thursday, April 6, 2023 4:51 PM

A possible viable option is to have an annual, similar to a competitor has !

If Kalmbach did,  they could publish 6 months apart from competitor  !

 

IMHO , of course.    8-)

 

Doug

"G-gauge may not Rule, But it GROWS on Ya !! " djc'99
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Posted by vsmith on Monday, April 24, 2023 10:54 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
Rene Schweitzer
Bottom line: I haven't forgotten any of you!

 

Rest assured Rene we haven't forgotten you either!  

 

We haven't forgotten you Rene, but Model Railroader sure seems to have forgotten about us.

   Have fun with your trains

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