Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trains Magazine at AREMA

Lots of us in the Railroad Engineering, Supply, and Contracting business have heard of "Trains Magazine". "Trains" has been, for about seventy years now, the Bible of the American Railfan, those people who have more than a passing interest in railroads.

But "Trains" is changing. During the past few years, railfan oriented articles like exactly where UP's #3985 or #844 is running next are supplemented with more newsworthy stories. This month, there is great coverage of the recently passed SAFETEA-LU Funding, as well as a revealing bio and interview with David Gunn of Amtrak. I learned more in these articles than whatever has been published recently in the Railroad Industry trade journals, the very journals who at one time prided themselves in the sort of coverage that "Trains" now does much more regularly.

Maybe that's why "Trains" was at the AREMA Exhibition. Maybe they have seen a void in rail related coverage, and are going to do something about it. I overheard conversations where it was noted, to one degree or another, that "Trains" is doing a great job, maybe even better, now, than the trade journals. One even noted that "Trains" avoids the blue-sky, everything-is-fine reporting style of the trade journals instead using more of a tell-it-like-it-is style. That is a good thing. Bottom line: Trains was well received at this year's AREMA Conference.

Advertisers have spoken as well. It is now not uncommon for ads from Railroad Industry Suppliers to appear in the pages of "Trains".

Railroads has been blessed for a long time with people who love the industry, both as a pastime, and as a profession. "Trains" appears to be capitalizing on that fact, that it is possible to appeal to both personalities within the same person. All of this is most welcomed, and makes the magazine all the better.

At the very least, Rip Track can offer the link to the magazine. Please see it on the right. In order to maximize your experience, you will have to register at the site. But to really do it right, buy the magazine in the supermarket, or better yet, subscribe to the printed edition. You will not be sorry.


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