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Rail123 - Traction & Rolling Stock Guide

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Peter C

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Following from this post (and related discussion) in the ABC Rail Guides thread:
An interesting development on this topic of the ABC Rail Guide taking a turn for the worse with the 2021 edition.

A new ‘bookazine’ has appeared in recent weeks, “Rail 123 Traction and Rolling Stock Guide 2021-2022”, basically a listing of all rolling stock, in the hybrid better than a magazine, but not quite a book format.

Edited by Colin Marsden

In the foreword at the start introducing this new publication he says “many inferior products now cost around £25… Rail 123 brings you more information for just £9.99”

ABC Rail Guides cost, you’ve guessed it £25

Therefore it sounds to me that maybe Colin was binned off from editing the ABC guides, rather than retiring from them, if he’s basically now critical of them in a different publication?
I thought it might be worth making a new thread for this magazine considering it's separate from the ABC Rail Guide books.

As said in the post quoted above, it's a new publication from Colin J Marsden and is going to be a competitor (I think it's difficult to say how much of a competitor it's going to be yet) to the ABC Rail Guides which he formerly edited. These books are now edited by Pip Dunn and have reverted to their 'original' format, which we've discussed (and criticised) on the ABC Rail Guides thread.
People are selling these Rail123 magazines on eBay - here's one listing which shows a bit of the magazine's formatting:
MLI PLUS RAIL123 Traction & Rolling Stock Guide 2021-2022 Railway UK & Irish
MLI PLUS RAIL123 Traction & Rolling Stock Guide 2021-2022 Railway UK & Irish. Condition is "Like New". Dispatched with Royal Mail 2nd Class Large Letter.
s-l1600.jpgs-l1600 (1).jpgs-l1600 (3).jpgs-l1600 (4).jpg

It certainly looks to use several of the features from the ABC Rail Guides when edited by Marsden. The key things are the blue boxes with technical details for the different classes and the fact that photos match the classes they're next to - this has been lost in the 2021 Rail Guide. Furthermore, the introduction says "The publication, in addition to the main stream rail operators, provides full listings for light rail, including London Underground, Irish Railways, the Isle of man and tram systems, as well as preserved steam." These are things which the ABC Rail Guides included before Marsden stopped editing them - although I think the London Underground section only gave numbers for units in the 2019/2020 editions of those books?

I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's views on this - I know quite a few people don't like Colin J Marsden's publications due to inaccuracies so it would be interesting to hear if these people think these issues are still present in this new magazine.

-Peter
 
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hexagon789

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Following from this post (and related discussion) in the ABC Rail Guides thread:

I thought it might be worth making a new thread for this magazine considering it's separate from the ABC Rail Guide books.

As said in the post quoted above, it's a new publication from Colin J Marsden and is going to be a competitor (I think it's difficult to say how much of a competitor it's going to be yet) to the ABC Rail Guides which he formerly edited. These books are now edited by Pip Dunn and have reverted to their 'original' format, which we've discussed (and criticised) on the ABC Rail Guides thread.
People are selling these Rail123 magazines on eBay - here's one listing which shows a bit of the magazine's formatting:


It certainly looks to use several of the features from the ABC Rail Guides when edited by Marsden. The key things are the blue boxes with technical details for the different classes and the fact that photos match the classes they're next to - this has been lost in the 2021 Rail Guide. Furthermore, the introduction says "The publication, in addition to the main stream rail operators, provides full listings for light rail, including London Underground, Irish Railways, the Isle of man and tram systems, as well as preserved steam." These are things which the ABC Rail Guides included before Marsden stopped editing them - although I think the London Underground section only gave numbers for units in the 2019/2020 editions of those books?

I'd be interested to hear of anyone else's views on this - I know quite a few people don't like Colin J Marsden's publications due to inaccuracies so it would be interesting to hear if these people think these issues are still present in this new magazine.

-Peter
I was fortunate to obtain a free sample and sadly the same glaring errors are carried over from the books, in fact I think I found a few more IIRC, but I got rid of the volume within a few days of obtaining it so I can't check back to see what they all were.

I'm sticking with Platform 5 personally, I don't consider the Rail123 to be worth the money - I'm not surprised people are trying to get rid of them on eBay!
 

Peter C

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Joined
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4,520
Location
GWR land
I was fortunate to obtain a free sample and sadly the same glaring errors are carried over from the books, in fact I think I found a few more IIRC, but I got rid of the volume within a few days of obtaining it so I can't check back to see what they all were.
That's a shame. I know you've said you don't have the magazine to hand, but just as an overview/off the top of your head, what kind of things were wrong? Was it the technical details, or the numbers bits? I'm not really going to be annoyed if the technical details are wrong as I'm probably not going to look them up in there anyway - I've got a set of Platform 5 books from a few years ago which is good for that (and the internet, of course).

I'm sticking with Platform 5 personally, I don't consider the Rail123 to be worth the money - I'm not surprised people are trying to get rid of them on eBay!
The Platform 5 books are certainly good publications - filled with technical details which some of the other books don't have. I must get their combined volume this year and see if that's any good in comparison to the ABC Rail Guide.

I picked up a copy of Rail123 today and having had a look through it, it's good enough for me. I wouldn't know which bits are wrong and which bits aren't - I'm more interested in the numbers provided (which is the purpose of the magazine). The inclusion of London Underground, DLR, trams and Isle of Man stock is really nice as they've been removed from the ABC Rail Guides. I know you can find all of this stuff online, but I prefer having a physical book to refer to and having everything in one place makes things so much easier.

-Peter
 
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