Model railroader magazine

Model railroader magazine DEFAULT

Model Railroader Magazine

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OCT 21,  released 08/10/2021
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Interested in model trains? These fellows are too. Model Railroader magazine has been the US industry-leading model train magazine for more than 75 years. Each month, Model Railroader features step-by-step modeling projects, fascinating photo tours of model train layouts, insightful reviews, tips from the experts, and much more! A US content magazine thats been running since 1934.

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For over 75 years, Model Railroader magazine has been the leading model railroading resource. Every issue provides readers with great how-­to articles, endless layout ideas, helpful product reviews and more ways to enjoy model railroading. Here's a sampling of what you'll find in each issue:

Step-­by‐step, How‐to projects: Covers all popular scales and includes everything you need to complete your project, including detailed parts lists, illustrations, photographs, and helpful techniques to make your project a success.

Prototype information: Build and operate your models and layout like the real thing with historical and technical information on how real railroads function.

Product reviews: You'll find reviews of the newest models on the market and how well they perform.

Expert tips and techniques: Whatever your layout challenges, the magazine provides expert advice to guide you to success. Plus there are great monthly features of modeling and operating workshops, step-­by-­step scenery projects, an information desk and a digital command control corner.

Model Railroader In-app Purchase options:
• 1-­‐year subscription (12 issues) for $42.99, automatically renewed until canceled
• 1-­‐month subscription for $3.99, automatically renewed until canceled
• Single issue purchase for $5.99, no automatic renewal

SUBSCRIBERS’ AUTOMATIC RENEWAL FEATURE: Your subscription automatically renews unless you turn off the auto-­renew feature in your user account settings at least 24 hours before the end of the current subscription period.
iTunes will automatically charge your account for the same price stated above for each annual renewal period 24 hours prior to the end of the current subscription period.
No cancellation of the current subscription is allowed during active subscription period.
Any unused portion of a free trial period, if offered, will be forfeited when the user purchases a subscription to that publication, where applicable.

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Version 7.0.3

- New design to unify the desktop and mobile experience.

- All previously downloaded issues will need to be re-downloaded with this major update.

- Native iPhone X family compatibility.

- New Menu: Allows quick access to all views in the app from top left toolbar Menu.

- Bug fixes and optimizations for the latest versions of iOS.

Ratings and Reviews

Needs a Lot of Work!

The latest version of this app is a step backwards. While I have been able to restore and view my purchases, I have not been able to purchase a single issue since the update. When I attempt to purchase a single issue, I am often only given options to subscribe, or frequently no options at all. There are no features to view/filter on your purchases or downloads. Scrolling thru the list of available issues is buggy and slow. On top of all this, my requests to customer support have never been answered. I’m using a 32GB iPad (7th gen) with IOS 13.1.1

Really, really bad

This version is much worse than the previous. It’s so bad that this is the first review I have ever submitted for any iPhone app...and I have used some pretty bad apps. I currently use an IPhone 8 Plus...the app crashes back to a main screen while trying to load. If it does load, it doesn’t load all of the past issue covers and when I click to download or read an issue, it freezes. It’s enough to just not bother with Model Railroader mag any more.

Utterly Useless!

If MR is trying to go out of business then this app is a wonderful step in that direction. I am totally astonished that they would release an app this terrible! Did no one ever bother to test this thing? The update to this textbook example of how NOT to write an app has been up for 11 months and no one has bothered to fix this? Good bye Model Railroader! If you cannot take care of your customer base then you don’t deserve to have any customers.

The developer, Kalmbach Publishing Co., has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.


Kalmbach Publishing Co.

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Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
Requires iPadOS 11.0 or later.
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Requires macOS 11.0 or later and a Mac with Apple M1 chip.

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© 2019 Reserved


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  1. Model Railroader Magazine$3.99
  2. Model Railroader Magazine$44.99
  3. 103 Track Plans$7.99


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Model Railroader

Model Railroader (MR) is an Americanmagazine about the hobby of model railroading. Founded in 1934 by Al C. Kalmbach, it is published monthly by Kalmbach Media of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Commonly found on newsstands and in libraries, it promotes itself as the oldest magazine of its type in the United States, although it is the long-standing competitor to Railroad Model Craftsman, which - originally named The Model Craftsman - predates MR by one year.

MR is considered to be a general-interest hobby magazine, appealing to a wide range of hobbyists, rather than specializing in a particular scale, or facet of the hobby (such as prototype operations or scratch building and kitbashing). Model Railroader covers a variety of scales and modeling techniques for engines, rolling stock, right-of-way, structures, and scenery. It reviews products including ready-to-run models as well as kits, tools and supplies. The magazine presents blueprints and photographs of prototype equipment, as well as photographs of models and layouts.

A longstanding philosophy of modeling is manifest in its editorial features of layout design and operation, in which the model is viewed as a three-dimensional and temporal compression of the real world, so that, for example, the motive power, freight, trackage and scenery of a real-world railroad are formed into a layout which captures the spirit of not only the equipment and region of the railroad but also its purpose and how it operates.

The magazine is published under ISSN 0026-7341. Individual issues use the UPC 074820085486.


The Model Railroader began publication in the summer of 1933, with a cover date of January 1934. A press release announcing the magazine appeared in August 1933, but did not receive much interest. The bank refused to loan Kalmbach any money, many felt sorry for him, and a few told him he was crazy.

His first wife, Bernice, herself a journalist, encouraged and helped Al put The Model Railroader together. Though they originally saw it as a sideline business to their commercial printing operations, soon they were devoting seven days a week to the venture.

The magazine was well received by model railroaders, and the young publisher carried the entire first press run (272 copies) by streetcar to be mailed. By July 1934, paid circulation exceeded 1,000 copies. Growth continued, but the magazine was not an immediate success. The magazine became profitable after three years. It took Kalmbach seven years to pay off the loans used to launch the magazine.

World War II introduced paper rationing, which dampened the growth of the Kalmbach Publishing Company. At the end of the war, MR's circulation was about 20,000. By 1950, MR's circulation had grown to more than 100,000, thanks in part to a boom in interest in model railroading. As of 2007, the magazine had a monthly paid circulation of more than 160,000.[2]

The magazine, and Kalmbach Publishing (now Kalmbach Media), celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2019.

The magazine had to relocate 3 times, the original location was on 545 S. 84th Street (now a car wash) and later relocated to 1027 N. 7th Street (now part of Milwaukee Public Television and Milwaukee Area Technical College) and, in 1989, formally moved to 21027 Crossroads Circle in nearby Waukesha.

Another thing Model Railroader has is their own railroad, the Milwaukee, Racine and Troy, is located on the second floor of the current offices and just celebrated its 45th anniversary since being built (the original was located on the 3rd floor of the old offices at 1027 N. 7th Street which was in operation from 1975 to 1989[3])


Typical feature articles in each month's issue include:

  • Layout tours - A layout story with a detailed track plan and behind-the-scenes modeling and construction tips.
  • How-to projects - Tips and techniques for modeling scenery, structures, rolling stock, and electronics.
  • Prototype information - Detailed drawings historical and technical information on how real railroads and lineside industries function.
  • Track plans - Sample designs for model railroads the average hobbyist could build.

Regular monthly columns and departments include:

  • News and Products - Quick looks at new products available in the hobby.
  • Railway Post Office - Letters from readers.
  • Step-by-Step - Tackles a different project each month to help you build a better layout.
  • Ask MR - Q&A about prototype railroading and model railroading. Also includes tips by readers. This department was created by merging workshop and Information Desk.
  • DCC Corner - Get to know model train operation using Digital Command Control.
  • Product reviews - A look at new models on the market and how well they perform.
  • Trackside Photos - Inspirational photos featuring the work of fellow hobbyists.
  • Trains of Thought - Every month model railroad expert Tony Koester looks at the philosophical side of model railroading.
  • On Operation - How to reproduce prototype operations on a model railroad.
  • N Scale Insight - From March 2011, former editor Jim Kelly will begin a column looking at N scale modelling.[4]

Special issues and other media[edit]

Model Railroader publishes two annual special issues:

  • Great Model Railroads showcases 10-12 spectacular model railroads, including large, inspirational photographs, detailed track plans, and how-to information.
  • Model Railroad Planning deals with aspects of designing and constructing a model railroad. Typical articles focus on reproducing prototype track arrangements, overcoming modeling obstacles, and researching prototype railroads.

Other special issues on various aspects of the hobby are released on an irregular basis. Titles have included 102 Track Plans for Model Railroaders,How to Build Realistic Layouts, and How to Build More Layout in Less Space.

A bi-monthly web video show, Modeler's Spotlight Video - Inside Cody's Office, is available to magazine subscribers via MR's website.[5] The show introduces new products, offers modeling tips, and a viewer mail segment (along with the occasional blooper at the end).

Many of the blueprints, layout plans, articles on operation and signaling, and methods of construction of bridges, structures and scenery are also collected in books published by Kalmbach Books. These are useful to modelers in general, railroad historians, and are valuable references on the steam and diesel eras.

Past MR articles are also collected in PDF form and distributed via the magazine's website and available through their digital archive.

Model Railroader staff members participated in the production of the Dream-Plan-Build video series,[6] which was offered by subscription. The DVDs focused on prototype railroading information, layout visits, and modeling techniques.

Model Railroader also produces Model Railroader Video Plus (MRVP)[7] which does layout tours, tips and tricks, and shows like: Cody's Workshop with Cody Grivno, Drew's Trackside Adventures with Drew Halverson, Off The Rails with Gerry Leone, Ask MRVP with David Popp, Let's Make a Scene with Kathy Millatt, It's My Railroad with Steve Brown, Rehab My Railroad, History According to Hediger with Jim Hediger, The Hills Line with James McNabb, Tuck's Toy Trains with John Truckenbrod and many more. MRVP made its debut back in 2013 and is available to magazine subscribers.

Cultural impact[edit]

The model train hobbyists the magazine has profiled over the years include a number of celebrities, including Michael Gross and Rod Stewart.

Model Railroader also has several other "sister" magazines, also published by Kalmbach, including such titles as Trains magazine, Classic Trains,Garden Railways, and Classic Toy Trains. They are often advertised in Model Railroader, and on occasion, an article will refer to these other magazines.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]


Model Railroader

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