Opinions- best Rail magazine

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GRALISTAIR

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OK - I live inthe USA and travel home frequently. Each time I come home I try and buy a Rail Magazine to keep up to date with news. I joined this forum for the same purpose. In the past it was a no-brainer - I would buy RAIL (many years ago in the 1980s it was called Rail Enthusiast). This used to have news, infrastructure, stock news, and any withdrawals, livery changes etc. That has all changed. So last time and this time I bought Modern Railways and I quite like Roger Fords column informed sources.

In your opinion,what is the best rail magazine and why?
 
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MidnightFlyer

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Best all-rounder is Today's Railways UK in my opinion, better than RAIL, which I think has got slightly worse over recent months, though I'm not sure why, could be the HS2 saturation.
 

anthony263

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Todays Railways UK and Modern Railways are the magazines to buy.

The latter normally has some extremely well written articles such as the current issue which has a few good articles on IEP and the Transpennine class 350/4's
 

317666

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I usually buy Today's Railways UK, as it seems more geared towards enthusiasts than some other magazines, especially as it has updates for the Platform 5 Pocket Books.
 

NXEA!

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In my opinion Todays Railways UK and Modern Railways are the best magazines to buy - the late Peter Fox and his chums at Platform 5 are very well versed with the railways and traction and rolling stock as well as situations such as the IEP fiasco, and also write a lot of interesting articles on class history's and Community Railway lines, and it is a magazine for the enthusiast more or less. Roger Ford, Tony Miles and the Modern Railways lot are also very intelligent and provide some very well written and informative articles which incorporate more technical and mathematical details than most magazines, such as the ridiculous costs associated over the life time of the IEP fleet - reading both magazines ensures you get the best of both worlds in my opinion. :)
 

KingBBoogaloo

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I'm more interested in the technical and political side of the railways than the Spotting and number crunching side, so for me its Modern Railways and Railway Gazette.

The former for Uncle Rodger, Mr Miles and more recently Mr Walmsley. They tend to be one step ahead of their peers and in some cases pick up on issues others just miss.

As for the latter, the Gazette is a searious industry publication with a world wide perspective rather than a UK one. It deals with issues that the other magazines wont pick up on for years, like ERTMS/ETCS, and parts of the world just not covered anywhere else, like India, Africa and the far east.

One other mag' I pick up every once and a while is Todays Railways Europe, but that's just when I have a relapse and the Spotter in me gets the better.
 

LE Greys

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I tend to go for Railway Magazine, because it covers things of somewhat broader interest, a recent article called 'Playing to the Whistle' springs to mind, about which football grounds are near various lines. They've published several of my letters as well.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I'm more interested in the technical and political side of the railways than the Spotting and number crunching side, so for me its Modern Railways and Railway Gazette.
Many differing interests are now catered for the range of railway magazines available and with this in mind, one cannot say which is the "best" railway magazine. I was presented with a set of three bound volumes of the bi-monthly "The New Zealand Railway Observer" covering 2003 to 2005 ($NZ 10.95 per issue in those days) by a business contact from Auckland when he visited our Consultancy in 2006 and found this magazine to be excellent in all respects, being printed on a far better paper that commonly found these days).

I note that you have the same two publications as I...and for the same reason. Incidentally, I do have a most treasured copy of the Railway Gazette that is one year older than I (dated May 15 1944...at the cost of one shilling) with war related articles home and abroad (one particular good article on rail matters in Argentina and an in-depth analysis of the Eire Transport Bill), plus numerous full page advertisments from Metropolitan-Vickers, Hoffman Bearings, etc, which whilst being somewhat "dated" to 2012 eyes, show how strong the British heavy engineering industry was so very many years ago.
 

TGV

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I go for Modern Railways for good industry news. RAIL is fine - it covers everything you need to know. You don't have to agree with some of the opinion, but if you want to know the most up to date news, it has the advantage of being fortnightly compared to monthly for the others.

Today's Railways (UK) and the European edition are well presented and high quality, but I find usually a little late with news stories - could just be the publication lag they have.

All just my experience and opinion. I never buy the spotter-style enthusiast magazines or the heritage ones, so can't comment.
 

Temple Meads

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RAIL used to be excellent, until about 2001, but then it got far too political, there's very little in there for true enthusiasts any more in my opinion, and I know only buy it when it's free or 20p or less a copy at a heritage line.

Today's Railways UK is good, excellent pictures for sure, but perhaps lacking a bit in the actual reading department, so one to browse on the newstand, definitely better than FAIL though.

Modern Railways has improved a lot in recent years, but it's still a bit in depth for me really.

Steam Railway is a great magazine, I doubt most of this forums members would consider reading it, but if you have the slightest interest in steam, it makes a great read.

Anyway, only one magazine combines steam with heritage diesel with modern, good pictures, good journalism, good pictures and allocation/disposal information, and that's the excellent Railway Magazine.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Today's Railways UK is good, excellent pictures for sure, but perhaps lacking a bit in the actual reading department, so one to browse on the newstand, definitely better than FAIL though.
It is your opinion obviously, I'm not going to say you're wrong, however I think there are a few good features in each. There's a 8~ page feature on a community railway line every month, very detailed and a great read, usually a similar length article on some form of long gone stock or loco (or in the current issue's case Valenta engines), usually followed by a 10-page or so article on something like stock allocation, or timetable changes. I certainly wouldn't call it a light read!
 

GRALISTAIR

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Well I got Modern Railways this time. In the meantime I will log onto this forum every day. I am just hoping and praying the MML will be announced to be electrified.
 

klambert

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I wouldn't recommend modern railways if you're looking for enjoyable reading matter, I find its much to boring, its far to in-depth for me, I myself dont personally care about the finances of a private company, I'd much prefer to read about the rolling stock.

I much prefer Railways Illustrated its good bog reading material. Its simple and too the point, with the focus primarily on the railways rather than who's running it.
 

Failed Unit

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To be honest you need to try a few to pick your level of interest.

Modern railways is good if you like in depth however if you are into taking photos then you want railways illustrated. I used to buy rail, but something changed about 3 years ago that I can't put my finger on that made me think this is worth the money. Probably the number of articles I had no interest in was getting to big, but others may buy it for those very articles.
 

LE Greys

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The RM just reprinted its first edition, complete with 1897 advertising and a report on a controversial new rail link through the Chilterns and north-west London that might have resulted in the destruction of Lord's Cricket Ground along with a lot of objections from locals.

Sound familiar?
 

Michael.Y

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Modern Railways for me. It's less regular than RAIL and as such has more important / relevant information than endless lists of stock changes / livery changes etc that RAIL seems to be full of. Plus its got a stronger cover :)
 

WatcherZero

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To be honest you need to try a few to pick your level of interest.

Modern railways is good if you like in depth however if you are into taking photos then you want railways illustrated. I used to buy rail, but something changed about 3 years ago that I can't put my finger on that made me think this is worth the money. Probably the number of articles I had no interest in was getting to big, but others may buy it for those very articles.
I think they started to do more 'travel writing' kinds of articles describing in detail journeys.

Modern Rail is good for in depth if slightly outdated news (if you can try and ignore its Daily Mail like IEP obsession). RAIL I think is better because its more uptodate and a lot wider coverage of news tidbits that MR just ignores. Todays Rail UK I think while not great in production quality also complements RAIL, it has the same broad coverage and manages to be more uptodate but published monthly like MR.
 

Ferret

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It depends what you want - if I want to look at top quality photos, I'll go for Rail Express/Railways Illustrated or Railway Magazine. If I want an intelligent read, I'll look at Modern Railways. And Today's Railways Europe is an excellent mag too for Euro gen.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I wouldn't recommend Modern Railways if you're looking for enjoyable reading matter, I find its much too boring, its far to in-depth for me, I myself don't personally care about the finances of a private company.
Horses for courses, so they say. Some people would say the same about the Financial Times, but it does not mean that the paper is not excellent in its content. It is published to meet the needs of a certain level of readership.

The same can be said about Modern Railways.
 

LadyDeltic

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Todays Railways UK and Modern Railways are the magazines to buy.

The latter normally has some extremely well written articles such as the current issue which has a few good articles on IEP and the Transpennine class 350/4's
I second that.

I'm also fond of The Railway Magazine, which I consider to be the best choice for 'all-round' content, and Traction, which is perfect suited to my profile as a diesel enthusiast and a railway history geek.
 

Metroland

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Rail - For best in opinion, politics, news etc. It does have some quite in depth articles at times on certain subjects, such as for Signalling, new trains, etc

Modern Railways - For best in technical and in depth news

Railway Magazine - Best 'all rounder'. It doesn't get very political, and has a lot of Steam interest.

Heritage Railway and Steam Railway - for steam

Today's railways is very middle of the road.

Traction - for more detailed 'spotters' info

Railways Illustrated - for photography

I take Rail, Modern Railways, and read Railway Magazine, Heritage and Steam. The point is, each magazine tends to be 'strong' in one area, so depends what your interest is.
 

LE Greys

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Rail - For best in opinion, politics, news etc. It does have some quite in depth articles at times on certain subjects, such as for Signalling, new trains, etc

Modern Railways - For best in technical and in depth news

Railway Magazine - Best 'all rounder'. It doesn't get very political, and has a lot of Steam interest.

Heritage Railway and Steam Railway - for steam

Today's railways is very middle of the road.

Traction - for more detailed 'spotters' info

Railways Illustrated - for photography

I take Rail, Modern Railways, and read Railway Magazine, Heritage and Steam. The point is, each magazine tends to be 'strong' in one area, so depends what your interest is.
Sounds like a reasonable appraisal. I shall have to see if the library stocks a few of these.
 
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