I had the same happen with another group, namely camping. Trailer Life had
many articles on motorhomes and yet there was a Motorhome Life devoted
exclusively to motor homes. Their explanation, which would be the same as
MRR is that the "parent" magazine is for all campers/railways, and that the
specific magazines are just for those people. Most of the articles in MRR
fit any gauge, indoor/outdoor. The principal is the same. I don't intend
having a garden RR and yet I see something interesting I could possibly use
in the photos.
Yes, it makes me wonder. My wife picked me up an issue recently
because a Malcolm Furlow layout was featured. (She thought she did a
I stopped buying MR a couple of years ago when IMHO it became a means
of pushing layouts built with all the plastic stuff Walthers,
Bachmann, Atlas etc. had to sell.
I'm surprised to see garden layouts in MR. I remember 25 years ago
when the magazine would not feature tinplate or 3 rail because it was
not scale model railroading.
IMHO garden railroads *rarely* look scale either.
BUT, times change and we have to accept the fact that our hobby is
mostly driven by the instant gratification types. They dovetail very
nicely with the people marketing all the plastic kits. AND, it seems
many just don't have the time available for intensive kit building as
was done in times past, or so the magazines tell us.
I can understand why things are changing, it's just business trying to
survive. But I still miss the layouts built by the craftsmen. They
were sooooooo inspirational.
The title of the magazine is "Model Railroader,"
This would infer that it caters to enthusiasts who enjoy models of
The infamous railway in question is a model of a railroad.
I do not see the problem here.
Many say, in a manner of argument, "...then why aren't there HO scale
layouts in 'Garden Railroads?'"
Well, if we repeat as above then we find that it cannot feature layouts of
that type; it is not a publication that can universally feature all types of
scale and modeling. Model Railroader, I believe we can reasonably agree, can
publish articles on all kinds of model railroads because of the intrinsic
implications of its name.
"Well, Garden Railroads aren't real modelling...." Why? That is just a snob
issue. Just because they are not exacting recreations of prototypical
situations or do not feature operating sessions where traffic is moved, does
not mean that they are not model railroads. Many of the better garden
layouts have a unifying theme which keeps consistency and believability.
This is about how each person derives the most enjoyment from each facet of
the hobby. None of us can really enjoy participating in it if we divide up
into our subcamps and frantically naysay anything that steps out of or falls
short of our expectations. And, above all, let's just try to agree that this
is a hobby, and it is about having fun.
swap "0"'s and "o"'s to reply.
FWIW, I think the most intriguing part about the article is that the author
started at one point and laid track through undeveloped land to reach
another point, much like (dare I say it) a real railroad does. Hauling gons
along with real ballast and laying track foot by foot to reach somewhere
else sounds like a fun challenge.
Well, at least I see that this is generating some traffic.
I suppose that's a good thing.
Now, what I want to know is:
Why make all this flap about MR having a garden railroad article inside? Malcomb
Furlow's stuff is the same thing in HO scale. And MR has trolleys and rapid
from time to time, neither of which is a railroad At least not in the sense
Atlantic Coastline was a railroad.
You just have to make room for stuff that you don't have an interest in or
in a magazine like MR. IMO, it is not nearly as good as it was before Larson and
this new guy, but it is the best thing for sparking an interest in someone who
it up in a book store or supermarket magazine rack. MR is not a specialist
It is a general interest rail-hobby magazine. This means that it cannot always
just those articles that we in the hard-core cadre deem proper model railroad
Like the song says: ".....take what you need and leave the rest......."
Captain Handbrake wrote:
"Now, what I want to know is: Why make all this flap about MR having a
garden railroad article inside? Malcomb Furlow's stuff is the same
thing in HO scale."
Didn't you see the thread roundly critizing Malcolm's Mistake a few
"And MR has trolleys and rapid transit from time to time, neither of
which is a railroad At least not in the sense that the Atlantic
Coastline was a railroad."
There's a long tradition in model railroading of modeling trollys and
"You just have to make room for stuff that you don't have an interest
in or understand in a magazine like MR."
Not when they [Kalmbach] have a magazine specifically dedicated to
garden landscaping with toy trains. I don't subscribe to that magazine
for a reason.
"IMO, it is not nearly as good as it was before Larson and this new
guy, but it is the best thing for sparking an interest in someone who
picks it up in a book store or supermarket magazine rack. MR is not a
specialist magazine. It is a general interest rail-hobby magazine.
This means that it cannot always have just those articles that we in
the hard-core cadre deem proper model railroad
I take issue with the idea of Model Railroader not being a specialist
magazine. I think that's what it become. It become a magazine that
specializes in the lowest common demoninator shake the box buy it not
build it mentality.
As the editor during the late 1970s and through the 1980s I don't
think that Larson did a bad job. The magazine had a nice mix that
appealed to wider range of modelers. You might not find something you
were really interested in every issue but a majority of them each
It's no longer like that it's harder and harder to find things of
interest to anyone who isn't approaching the hobby like having a fish
tank, where you buy a new fish and plop it in the tank and that's the
extent of your involvement.
On 18 Sep 2003 16:09:06 -0700, email@example.com (Eric) wrote:
Yes I did, but that's not the point here. I don't like Furlow's stuff, but I
bitch about it either.
Has it been this way since the big bang, or did the inclusion of trolleys,
interurbans and rapid transit have a point of genesis?
Every tradition has a beginning, and every one of them gets bitched about by the
currently incumbent group.
I don't subscribe to it either, but I do not object to the idea that MR is a
spectrum product, while Garden Railways is not.
That's because Larson inherited Linn Wescott's legacy. He had a goose that laid
golden eggs with which to start. Larson also has the benefit of Wescott's staff
prop him up and help him. When those people began to move away through
resignation and death, Larson was left to survive on his own merit; something
has clearly not been able to do.
It is increaasingly clear that such is the trend of the hobby. While I agree
you that MR should have more in-depth articles on painting and building, they
consider the business aspect of catering to the widest possible cross section of
readers. I would suggest that you submit an article to Kalmbach of the type
would like to see published. Take some photos and write the text on your
send them the text file and the jpegs and see what they say. I guarantee that
hear from them.
All right then. The only choice you have is to do what I do, or don't do, as it
I do not subscribe to MR.
I rarely ever buy a copy in the hobby store or news stand. I do look at each
issue to see if there is anything in there that interests me. If not, then back
the shelf it goes. I may go as much as two years without buying an issue.
If people would simply learn to talk with their money instead of paying-up and
bitching. things would change. Kalmbach is no better- or worse- than any other
market driven business. They are catering to what they believe to be their
readership. As long as there are enough subscribers they will continue on this
If you refuse to buy for the reason that you are not interested in the magazine's
content, and the magazine subsequently stops publication, you still have not lost
anything. What you (this is a collective "you" by the way) ~have~ done is run a
publication out of business and opened the door for one that is more responsive
the needs and wants of its readership.
I have news for all who are reading this. That magazine is already out there and
needs the support of the modeling community. So you don't like MR? Then for
sake STOP BUYING IT! You do not owe Kalmbach Publishing company anything. Take a
look at Rail Model Journal or Model Railroading or Railroad Model Craftsman or
Mainline Modeler. Don't just continue to shell out the bucks while you sit and
Roger, resubmit your article to RMJ and ask them for a commitment. They are not
arrogant as the people at Kalmbach. Neither is Hundman. MM is almost a local
you, They are only about an hour's drive south. You are a good writer and you
try to find a publisher that appreciates your material.
Dear reader, think of it this way: Kalmbach needs you, you do not need Kalmbach.
This is precisely why there was a discussion recently on what
constitutes a model railroad. Perhaps if the wowsers and censors hadn't
been so determined to stifle that discussion we might have developed
some ideas that extended beyond 'model railroading is fun'.
The problem is that many people - and I am one - don't regard the
railway in question as a model railroad. The problem is that for many
people who look to MR for useful information relevant to their
particular modelling interests, the inclusion of articles such as this
dilute the content, and are of no interest or use. So we feel that
Kalmbach are not giving us what we paid for.
We can agree. Where we differ is in the definition of a model railroad.
I don't regard a garden railway such as the one featured in MR as a
model railroad. If we adopt your position, then the content can consist
entirely of garden railways, Brio, tinplate, Thomas The Tank Engine,
Lego, those vile Franklin Mint Christmas tree sets, large-scale live
steam, computer train simulation software, and so on. By implication,
they are all kinds of model railroad.
Is it? My mate Leon has a large and quite well-known garden railway - he
doesn't claim to be a model railroader. When he issues invites for a
session at his place he calls it his train set. Is he being a snob? I
dabble in 5" gauge live steam - I don't consider it a model railroad,
and neither do my fellow clubbies. Are we snobs?
Here we differ. To me, they are not model railroads, for exactly the
I've seen a fantasy layout that had a unifying theme - Tolkienesque
hobbits - which was very consistent, if not entirely believable. It
wasn't a model railroad. Meeting these benchmarks is not enough to
Can't we? Why not? I belong to a number of subcamps, and I quite enjoy
my participation in those subcamps. I don't want, nor expect, to derive
enjoyment from all facets of the hobby. Does anyone? And I don't concede
for a moment that my position is one of frantic naysaying. MR has
seriously fallen short of my expectations, and I have expressed my
concerns. Which, as someone who purchases the magazine for specific
reason, I believe are legitimate.
Agreed, it's a hobby. I don't recall suggesting that it was anything
else. Or does that mean I should not have any opinions that differ from
the consensus, or attempt to develop my own philosophy about it?
You reckon it is about having fun. Well, in part my fun comes from
having a publication that supplies me with factual, practical
information that relates to my interests as a modeller, not wading
through page after page of fluff and bullshit. I come here for that.
All the best,
Such is, I would suppose, the drawback of having a magazine that covers a
hobby with such a wide range of topics. I can definitely understand that
viewpoint, but the article was only about 3-4 pages.
Very thought provoking. However, I see the 1" scale stuff and even live
steam as "models of a railroad" because they adhere to being a scale replica
of an actual locomotive or car.
I didn;t mean to infer that you or your assosciates are snobs. I believe the
whole issue, and I have encountered this before in the group, is that we use
an overarching decisions whether something is a model railroad or not based
on the scale or locale. If I went out, bought a good sized chunk of land,
and made a foot for foot recreation of a subdivision of the BNSF in 1"
scale, grooming the landscape to fit the correct locale and climate, and
operated a timetable, would it then be a model railroad?
Agreed. I too belong to my own share of little "subcamps" as I had put it. I
don't believe the problem is in that- I don't actually think that this
should be one big melting pot where no one has an opinion or preference. I
just think that some (not necessarily yourself, or specifiacally anyone else
in this group) people tend to take it to extremes when they refuse to accept
or constantly bash on other aspects of the hobby. Again, I'm not saying that
that is anyone here in this discussion, but in general.
Mark Newtons narrow definition of a model railway of course is incorrect. A
garden railway is a model railway.
Consider the Oxford Dictionary of English definition of the words Model '
representation of a designed or actual object'. and Railway or Railroad '
road laid with rails for the transit of trains'.
A Toy is 'a play thing' and to Play is 'to amuse oneself'. Thus
irrespective of prototype, scale, used inside or outside, live steam, push
along or static, coarse scale wheels or exact scale wheels, made of metal,
plastic, wood or Lego, scenery or no scenery all are model railways, and
when used and the user has fun, they all come under the definition of a toy.
Mark Newton the expert is simply wrong. The garden railway is a model
railroad, a simple fact. Excluding garden railways will not improve the
content od MR. Quality information will.
All the above are model railroads. There is only a problem when we apply the
narrow incorrect Mark Newton definition.
Of course Leon does not consider himself a model railroader, because he has
a model railway set in his garden. What Mark Newton consider as usual is
incorrect. Your un named mates probably have a different view, after all we
only have your word on what they think.
Mark Newton's definition fails again, as he cannot argue the fine detailed
garden model railways that exist are not model railways. And again Mark
Newton the expert gets it wrong. The fantasy layout is a model railway. A
simple matter of using the correct meanings of the words.
When Mark tells us his opinion he says its his opinion, differing
opinions are interesting to the rest of us.
Your problem, Terry, is that you have no concept of the meaning of
IMHO. You invariably insist that your opinion, right or wrong, is the
only answer. What is written in the OED is just someone's opinion.
Less dogmatism and more opinions and people may actually listen to
And few of us are so dense that you need to make a point 4 times.
Make friends in the hobby.
Garratt photos for the big steam lovers.
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