We all get our knowledge from somewhere, so where do I get mine? This article is a list of magazines, videos and other sources of information that I use to obtain knowledge. Enjoy!
My primary source of information comes from magazines. They provide me with information about the prototypes, but also stuff about digital operation and landscaping.
My list of magazines in no particular order:
Märklin Magazin - This is the main source of information for followers of the Märklin company and its products. I like their track plans and their articles about the prototype. The magazine also contains a great deal of information on the digital world. If you own the Central Station 2, the magazine is a must read.
Available in English as a subscription service, or as part of the membership of one of the Märklin customer clubs.
Hornby Magazine - For fans of the British model railway. I like Hornby Magazine because the magazine often contains concepts for small exhibition layouts and micro layouts. The magazine also gives me a great insight on what goes on in the 00-scale world, which I also follow. Even though the name implies so, the magazine is not affiliated with Hornby Hobbies Ltd. it covers every aspect of the UK railway modelling scene.
Available in English. I subscribe digitally.
British Railway Modelling - Again, a UK based magazine. BRM delivers great articles on the subject model railway layouts. I like their layout building articles, which are informative and inspirational. They also publish some interesting in-depth special editions that concentrate on one particular subject.
Available in English. I buy my editions digitally.
Eisenbahn Kurier - In my opinion one of the best sources for information on the German Railway past and present. The magazine usually contains a good mix of prototype articles and modelling tips. I buy it from time to time, but do not keep a subscription.
Only available in German.
I do not keep a video library. I do, however, follow a series of YouTubers and I subscribe to an On-Demand Model Railway video service.
I follow quite a lot of YouTube channels. The majority being official channels from manufacturers, but I also follow some enthusiast channels. YouTube channels are a rich source of information, right there in front of you - and free.
Here are some of the channels that I follow, in no particular order.
InterCity82 - Will's channel about UK trains in 00- and occasional N scale. I like to watch his review videos. Reviews and unboxing is mainly what this channel is about. Occasional trips to heritage railways as well. I find the videos to be honest, relaxing and enjoyable.
Everard Junction - Richard's channel about his model railway "Everard Junction". A typical UK mainline set in the Network South East Sector in the mid 80'es, I believe. The channel is mostly a vlog with tips and tricks and landscape contruction. Great videos that I enjoy to watch.
Simon's Shed - Simon is currently building an N scale model railway in his shed in the garden. The channel is about the progress of the layout and reviews, tips and tricks. Lovely videos and fun to watch.
Actually, Railway.zone has a channel as well, although it has failed to get much traction, mainly because of me failing to produce any content. Sorry about that. ;-)
Model Railroader Video Plus
Model Railroader Magazine's video subscription service with weekly updates on the model railway industry (from a U.S. point of view, which is something quite different), product reviews and so on. The channel contains next to nothing about European modelling, but their layout construction videos are worth the price. Scenery- and construction tips are universal after all. The crew is friendly and the videos are professional and entertaining. A sort of model railway equivalent of "The DIY Network".
It seems like the videos are aimed at the beginner, because they can be rather basic from time to time, but do not let that fool you. We are never to old to learn something. I like their videos on doing bench work, because I know absolutely nothing about that.
Having a model railway is about having fun, and MR Video Plus nails that.
Cab Ride Videos
You may laugh at me all you want, I know how this may sound, but if you knew how much you can learn about the railway from watching cab ride videos, you would be amazed. There are a tonne of these videos on YouTube and surprisingly many of them are very well made, some even in HD.
Go find some, and learn all you need to know about how the landscape looks along the railway, how the signals works, how almost no road is ever placed at a 90-degree angle on the track - and how little action actually takes place at station platforms.
A cab ride video is the ultimate opportunity for a glimpse of railway reality! I highly recommend it.
Here's one from a winter day, since it is winter time now.
Most manufacturers have some sort of customer club, that lets you flash your loyalty to a particular brand. The quality of the club membership varies quite a bit from club to club, and the general public seems to be split on the value of a membership.
I am a member of the Trix Club. This gives me:
- A subscription to Märklin Magazin six times per year (in English)
- A printed Trix Club newsletter six times per year (around 20 pages)
- Two annual DVD's with a free movie about some prototype, modelling tips and news from the Märklin world of brands.
- Free catalogues (new items catalogues, and the Trix Year Book)
- An annual goods wagon model (included in the membership fee)
- The possibility to buy a unique club model
- Reduced entrance fee on many museums and exhibition layouts across Europe
- If you live in Germany, you also get free shipping from the Official Märklin Online Store
The wagon itself is quite a piece and not just a random goods wagon with a funny print. Check out my article on the different club wagons from Trix.
Some people find these clubs to be a waste of money, I love my Trix Club membership, I think it gives me great value.
Next to no information about the German Railway is available in English. Books are in German, so if you want your knowledge, you need to speak German. Thankfully, in Denmark, we learn German in school. My list of books is not long, but I like books about the technical parts of the railway.
- DB Fahrzeuge (ISBN: 978-3-7654-7117-9, GeraMond). About German locomotives and rail cars.
- DB Wagen (ISBN: 978-3-86245-150-0, GeraMond). About German coaches and goods wagons.
- Signale der Deutschen Eisenbahnen (ISBN: 978-3-86245-167-8, GeraMond). About the German signalling systems.
- Various publications from NOCH. NOCH (the landscaping company) occasionally publishes paperback books with landscape construction tips. The books are richly illustrated and contains a tonne of tips and tricks. They are great value for the money. Usually available at your dealer's NOCH shelf.
There you have it a variety of sources. This concludes the current status of my library and information sources. Of course there is also forums and friends! I highly recommend that you get some model railway friends, because there is nothing like sharing your hobby with like minded!