Railway Magazine for Beginners

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What is the best railway magazine for casual rail enthusiasts?

I've looked at 'Modern Railways' but it seems to be written towards someone who has an in-depth understanding of what it going on.
 
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ainsworth74

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I'd suggest Rail would be worth having a look at. It's written at a level that's less intense than Modern Railways and has a broader focus as it's not just on current railway affairs.
 

Roylang

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I'd suggest Rail would be worth having a look at. It's written at a level that's less intense than Modern Railways and has a broader focus as it's not just on current railway affairs.
Really? I would have said that Rail is almost entirely about today's operations and very operations based these days.

I would suggest Rail Express is a bit more light-hearted and enthusiast friendly.

Roy
 

hluraven

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Rail used to be called Rail Enthusiast - and that is where it is aimed, and is generally a "lighter" read. It is relatively traction heavy, so if you're not into the train spotting side to the industry much of it is not of interest.

Modern Railways is a more "railway professional" based magazine and much more suited to a more in-depth knowledge and much deeper articles as you have found.

Other opinions will vary of course, and there are dozens of other magazines out there as well.
 

Requeststop

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I like RAIL as it's well written but sometimes highly one-sided on some issues (HS-2 especially)

I've read Modern Railways for decades and still get some enjoyment out of it, though recently it has become very technical. (signalling and loops and other such stuff)

On my recent visit to the UK I found Rail Express and Today's Railways both for the first time.

Rail Express sems to go for the all-round fan, as it says on it's cover News; Nostalgia, preservation and modelling. Today's Railways seems to be strange as the June issue I picked up was Issue 198 and was Europe Based, and the July Issue was Issue 127 and was UK based. I have enjoyed reading both issues.

As a massive fan of the GWR and who isn't? (I want to hear from no dissenters) - I pick up when in the UK, Great Western Railway Journal. Full of old and ancient GWR stuff.

I subscribe to Modern Railways and RAIL. As there is no decent mail service here in Baku, I have my magazines sent to my home in Bangkok and when I return home every 3-4 months I have a great stack of reading material to wade through as I sit back in my armchair and slowly get through my Duty Free Cognac!

Of the lot I'd go for RAIL. I do enjoy the railways based crossword at the back, as
sometimes I actually can complete it.
 
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ainsworth74

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I like RAIL as it's well written but sometimes highly one-sided on some issues (HS-2 especially)
Whilst true they at least don't censor any one that want to dissent on the matter as Christan Wolmar is pretty anti (though seems to be softening recently) and often has his column discussing it from a anti point of view.

Today's Railways seems to be strange as the June issue I picked up was Issue 198 and was Europe Based, and the July Issue was Issue 127 and was UK based.
That would be because they release two edition in the UK. One is Today's Railways Europe the other is Today's Railways UK ;)

There is a little panel on the front cover (top left I think) that tells you which is which.
 

Butts

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What is the best railway magazine for casual rail enthusiasts?

I've looked at 'Modern Railways' but it seems to be written towards someone who has an in-depth understanding of what it going on.
When I was a child there used to be a publication called Health and Efficiency or H & E for short , I am unsure if it still exists.

Some of it's photo shoots used to feature the Countryside and Vintage Carriages with analysis or a story board of what was happening. There was certainly quite an emphasis on "steam" ;)
 

Schnellzug

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RAIL Magazine is rather, to put it politely industry-focussed, and to put another way, sometimes rather obsessed with its own particular political issues (e.g. HS2), and has pages and pages and pages of Opinion from people who believe that what the world really needs is more of their Opinions. I'd say, as suggested in the title, Railway Magazine manages to cover just about everything.
 

WatcherZero

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I like RAIL as it's well written but sometimes highly one-sided on some issues (HS-2 especially)
Dont really know how you can think that, editorially its firmly in the pro camp while one of its columnists is a leader of the no campaign. Cant get more balanced than that.
 

the sniper

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Rail used to be called Rail Enthusiast - and that is where it is aimed, and is generally a "lighter" read. It is relatively traction heavy, so if you're not into the train spotting side to the industry much of it is not of interest.
When was the last time you read Rail? I wouldn't say it's traction heavy and it hasn't been aimed at spotters for a long time. Rail is more slanted towards the business and political side of the railway nowadays I think, with some lighter sections too. I like it for that and buy it fairly regularly. It's a fairly easy read though.

I brought the last issue of The Railway Magazine because it came with a reprint of their first issue from 1897. The first issue was worth the money alone, but the current mag was pretty good too. I'll probably buy it again occasionally. I don't often get any of the monthly mags, but what I felt with this one is how out of date you notice the news to be.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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When I was a child there used to be a publication called Health and Efficiency or H & E for short , I am unsure if it still exists.

Some of it's photo shoots used to feature the Countryside and Vintage Carriages with analysis or a story board of what was happening. There was certainly quite an emphasis on "steam" ;)
Bit late in life to be owning up to reading THAT particular magazine...:roll::D:D
 

Butts

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Bit late in life to be owning up to reading THAT particular magazine...:roll::D:D
Indeed some of the "models featured" looked in need of restoration . It used to feature some quite antique specimens. There were some features that included younger stock in interesting locations :lol:
 

aylesbury

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Railway Magazine is the best,Have a good look through all the mags and see which one suits you. read it since I was ten (a long long time ago)Rail varies issue by issue but is good for news.Modern Railways I think is a good read and gives in depth reviews and news.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Dont really know how you can think that, editorially its firmly in the pro camp while one of its columnists is a leader of the no campaign. Cant get more balanced than that.
Yes, one column (sometimes Mr Doe's too) is anti-, but the mag itself iis very pro- and very unbalanced. Two columns doesn't really counter the vast number of articles and hundreds of pages devoted to how wonderful it is published in the last year. Never once have I seen a balanced HS2 article in it, it's rediculously biased!

 

RichmondCommu

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I get the Railway Magazine on subscription as it has a very good mix of everything related to railways. I also buy Modern Railways and Railways Illustrated if they have articles that interest me.

In my view Rail is very different to the Rail Enthusiast that I used to buy in the early 80's which I think is a real shame. The Rail Enthusiast Railtour reviews were a fantastic read full of humour and wit which is now sadly lacking.
 

D841 Roebuck

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Depends what you want:
Technical detail enough to please hardened insomniacs - Modern Railways.
General interest with a bashing bias - Railways Illustrated.
General interest for the more mature ferroequinologist - Railway Magazine.
Steamy tales and updates - Steam Railway.
Tedious drivel about the ongoing application of the Peter Principle to the MDTR - RAIL.
Operational detail with free crayons - Thomas and Friends.
 

GRALISTAIR

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In my view Rail is very different to the Rail Enthusiast that I used to buy in the early 80's which I think is a real shame. The Rail Enthusiast Railtour reviews were a fantastic read full of humour and wit which is now sadly lacking.
David Maxey used to write them IIRC - wonderfully witty. With lines like "Then it was time to do the "leave the brake on the trailing loco trick"
 

M60lad

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If I buy any Rail Magazines I usually get Todays Rail UK Edition, plenty of news and information, plenty of pictures aswell and some really interesting features on various railways both preserved and modern day, for example previous editions have featured articles on the extension of Llangolen Railway and the Barrow-Carlisle Coast Line and also in the current issue there's an interesting article on the Stockport-Buxton line which I found an interesting read
 

philjo

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I have subscriptions to Rail and Modern Railways.

I used to also read Railway Magazine but gave that one up as most items were already covered in the other 2 magazines (& needed to cut costs).

Rail is fortnightly so is more topical.
Modern Railways has become more technical recently but I like reading Roger Ford's Informed Sources pages.
 

Roylang

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When was the last time you read Rail? I wouldn't say it's traction heavy and it hasn't been aimed at spotters for a long time. Rail is more slanted towards the business and political side of the railway nowadays I think, with some lighter sections too. I like it for that and buy it fairly regularly. It's a fairly easy read though.
My thoughts exactly, I have ever copy since Rail Enthusiast edition 1 and I would certainly never say that it is now aimed at enthuiasts, nor "traction heavy".

Roy
 

phil8715

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When I was at school my gran used to buy me Modern Railways and I used to love Alan Williams's column.

I have Rail Enthusiast and then Rail, I bought copies of some other magazine I can't remember what it was called but there was a picture of me in the mag stood next to the APT at Preston in 1979.


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mountainmike

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I recently gave up on Rail - fed up of the unrelenting negative output from Wolmar , the obsession with catering and obscure ticketing detail from Barry Doe and the smugness of Nigel Harris. The many mistakes - spelling ,grammar and fact - in the magazine didn't help either. (Maybe less time for proof reading coming out every two weeks).
I have been reading Modern Railways for 30 odd of its 50 years and enjoy it - though confess to getting baffled by some of the more technical stuff in 'Informed Sources'.
Today's Railways I have been enjoying - well written and researched articles as well as a broad news coverage of the modern scene. My Dad takes Railway Magazine which I read most months for a good all round view.
 
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