Essay - A Change of Pace - Try Some Other Model Railroading Magazines for a Change


A Change of Pace

By Nicholas Kalis
One of a Series of Musings on Building A Layout
Getting tired of “the same old same old” in your model railroad reading? Looking for change? Try a foreign magazine just for a year – that’s all you need to commit to. And you don’t need to learn a foreign language. Time and again we hear of a modeler who has long ago given up on Model Railroader. They never seem to return. What to do?

Try Voie Libre The Magazine of Railway Creators (French) in its English edition. The cost for four quarterly issues is only 29.90 (Euros). Their mailing address is BP30104 56401 Auray Cedex France. I never cease to be inspired by the clever layouts LR Presse features thanks to its publisher, Christian Fournerau. LR Presse want you as a reader, if not they would not publish this magazine in two separate language editions, one French, the other English. You don’t see any American model railroad magazine publish in a second language.

Another great alternative is the quarterly Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review Sunnydale, Kimpton, Andover SP11 *NU, UK An annual £45.00 for overseas (US) subscribers. The title is not a typo – yes, its title is that long! You will see great photographs and great articles of typically two smaller layouts each issue.

Another source of inspiration is the Australian-published quarterly Narrow Gauge Downunder . Similarly, smaller layouts abound, though often of US prototypes. NGDU is published by Gavin Hince at 25 Dwyer Street Clifton Hill Vic 3068. Their email address is This publication is all-color on about 66 pages per issue. Often the subject is railroads set in tropical climes.

Keeping with our smaller layout theme, closer to home, try Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette published six times per year here in the US by White River Productions P.O. Box 48, Bucklin, MO 64631 877 787-2467. A one-year subscription is $ 40.00. While the emphasis in this all-color publication is as its title suggests narrow gauge and short lines, many fine smaller layouts are often highlighted here. Fear not, Bob Brown is still the editor.

But wait, many will respond “I don’t like overseas prototypes”. A fair objection; take it from someone who also not a fan of foreign prototypes, there is more than meets the eye with these layouts. They shout creativity. And there is nothing more creative than squeezing a great deal of model railroading into a small space. And nothing will spark your creative juices more than seeing photos of and reading about layouts that eschew forests of puffballs or around-the-wall basement behemoths - the stuff of many American model railroading publications.

And if you are still an armchair modeler, or returned to armchair modeling from prior larger layout, these magazines inspire. Read a few issues and you will be champing at the bit to build a smaller layout.

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