While we’re doing our absolute best to provide great information about model trains, there are a number of great model railroad magazines and forums out there already, that have been around for some time.
Plus, we don’t have a model railroad forum yet, so it’s a little hard to crowdsource answers to questions yet!
The model train magazines are great for some of the latest up-to-date news and the model train forums are perfect for questions when you run into a problem during building.
Here’s a collection of some of the best that we’re either a part of, or think you should be!
5 Best Model Train Magazines
The model train hobby is still growing today, and it’s great to receive up to date news about it! The top five model railroad magazines for those who are either model train fanatics or simply just interested in the model train world are listed below:
The Model Railroader publication began in 1934 as a magazine for rail enthusiasts written by model train hobbyists and is currently one of the oldest to still in production! The unique perspective allows the reader a better glimpse into the world of model trains.
Each month regular sections of the magazine provide tips, tricks, and helpful hints for building and maintaining model trains and layouts.
Step by Step
In this portion of the magazine, the reader will be given different guides to building a better blueprint for their train layout.
This is the part that talks about the world of real trains within the model train universe which is obviously an awesome source of information and news.
A section that displays the photos of rail enthusiasts and their spectacular array of designs.
The model railroad magazine displays helpful hints, tips and tricks for both model train operations as well as the creation of layouts for the enjoyment of the hobbyist.
Digital Command Control is the part of the publication that introduces readers to how to run your model train controls.
Trains of Thought
Expert Tony Koester takes his model train knowledge and gives readers a glimpse at the thoughtful world of model trains.
Other parts of the magazine feature articles that focus on every aspect of the model train hobby. From teaching the history of trains to plans for building the perfect track, and helping rail buffs decide which brand is ideal for them.
Model Railroader is not only in print format but available in digital form as well. The premier magazine that can help both a seasoned pro as well as a beginner getting into the hobby, it’s an easy recommendation!
Founded in 1983, Continental Modeler is the European answer to the model train magazine. Inside the magazine, readers are given reviews on the latest products, both book and DVD reviews, along with a new plan monthly for layouts for their model trains.
- Railway of the Month
- Plan of the Month
- Prototype Surveys
- In-Depth Modelling Features
- Product Reviews
- Book Reviews
- Dvd Reviews
- News and Exhibition Diary
Similar to Modern Railroader – they supply all the information needed for readers to become experts in model trains.
Plus, they also do a digital edition now, so you don’t have to worry about shipping a magazine from Europe if you’re on another continent now!
The Australian Model Railway Magazine
The Australian Model Railway Magazine is an awesome and up to date model railroad magazine that doesn’t just deal with all things Australian, so don’t worry if you’re from the USA or elsewhere.
The AMRM is published bi-monthly by the Southern Cross Model Railway Association and was first released all the way back in 1963.
This magazine includes everything from looks at unique reader-owned model train layouts, local events, tutorials on everything from DCC to laying ballast properly, as well as the usual; a mailbag, a diary and some great product reviews
Modern Railways – The British magazine was founded in 1962 and has continued publishing long past the turn-over of publishers in 2012. A train magazine that provides everything railroad for the reader.
This is a little left field; it’s a real-life train magazine, not a model train one. So why would we include this?
Well, it’s been a favourite for both amateur enthusiasts as well as railroad professionals for more than 50 years.
It’s an awesome way to keep up with the state of railroading as a whole, plus it gives you some awesome ideas to implement into your own layouts!
An awesome model railroad magazine from an actual manufacturer of model trains, the Hornby Magazine is at least 90 pages of jam-packed value!
It’s a mixture of inspiration and how-to’s, coupled with product reviews and layout designs. This is definitely a good model train magazine that has plenty of real-world experience!
It’s aimed squarely at newcomers and returnees to model trains, as well as those who are already pretty established in the hobby.
5 Best Model Train Forums
The difference between an experienced model train builder or one in the first stages of a brand new hobby doesn’t matter when a problem arises!
In cases like that, seeking out a forum of like-minded individuals is the best direction to take, as chances are good, someone has had the same problem as you already, and will hopefully have solved it!
Our pick for five of the best model railroad forums are:
Model Train Forum
Model Train Forum is a website that allows you to join in conversations about the details of model trains. After joining, forum posters are given the opportunity to join in discussions on all aspects with other model train enthusiasts or beginners in the search for guidance.
A variety of topics include general discussion, scale specifics, multimedia, workshop, market place, communities, and vendors.
Each section allows the contributing individual to follow their own path in their model train adventure.
General discussion and workshop are particularly helpful to anyone in the
Model Railroad Hobbyist
Model Railroad Hobbyist is a great model railroad forum from another honourable mention magazine, MRH.
Different forum topics include general modelling discussion, building, designing, and maintaining model trains. Hobbyists will enter into discussions for assistance, guidance, and sharing.
The magazine Model Railroad Hobbyist is the host for this forum and will help their subscribers with a vast knowledge to help modellers in every way.
Scenery, designs of different prototypes, and operation logistics are some of the topic sections of the forum.
They also offer a section of the forum that is only available to subscribed members, so if worse comes to worst with a question you have, you know that anyone willing to pay is going to have a good wealth of knowledge!
Model Railroader Forum
Model Railroader forum is another forum that requires subscriptions to join discussions.
A great forum but one that has fewer topic sections than some of the larger groups. An area for general discussion, prototype information, layouts, and electronics are the primary sections.
Each topic allows for a deeper insight into the questions a model train enthusiast might have.
To come to their defence, they’re definitely one of the larger forums out there, so if you do have a question, chances are you’ll have it answered promptly.
Model Railroad Forums
Model Railroad Forums – This forum is divided into groups that organize the questions and discussions for easy access. Help and information is combined with announcements under their ‘welcome’ topic. A secondary group of forums are also on the site that allows tours of other hobbyist’s layouts, and even a specific section for bragging about your model train creations!
Photos, vehicles, scenery, layout, structures, and discussions on DCC each have their own spot on the forum, providing those who contribute a look into other enthusiasts model worlds.
Another specific discussion area helps individuals to learn more about the scale of the different model trains. The difference between HO, N, O, and G scale are discussed in ways to provide information on them, and hobbyists that deal with specific scales have their own threads.
There is also a section that shows videos for those wanting to see examples of the different aspects of the model train world.
TrainBoard is the fifth selection on the list is yet another forum that provides contributors with a place to ask and receive information from other people with similar interests. Similar to the other forums, there are topics on every aspect of the modelling world and each topic covers discussions on a variety of issues.
Subscribers to the forum are offered the knowledge of people from all over the world.
Choosing which mode railroad magazine and which model railroad forum to join is often a matter of preference, as all of them offer a variety of different and specific topics that might be of interest in your current builds.
Forums, (since they’re mostly all free) are a great place to start, and the magazine subscriptions are definitely worth researching a bit more so you get the right one showing up at your door every month!
Did we miss a great forum or magazine? Let us know in the comments below!
Peter has been building model trains for longer than he can remember. An avid fan of HO and O scale this blog is a creative outlet to allow him to dive further into other scales and aspects of the model train community and hobby.