Like all hobbies, railway modelling has its dedicated publications for enthusiasts and followers. There are currently four main UK based magazines, all of which follow the same general format of product reviews, layout features and "how to" articles.
All of these can be found on the shelves of most national newsagents, such as WH Smiths, and also at many model railway shops. Alternatively, they can all be bought on subscription and will arrive in the post every month. If you read magazines regularly, subscribing is a good idea as it's cheaper in the long run and usually also gives you exclusive access to subscriber-only benefits.
If you prefer not to read your magazines on paper, digital subscriptions are increasingly available, either web-based or using a dedicated tablet app.
Railway Modeller is the oldest UK model railway magazine currently in print, the first edition having been published in 1949. The current editor is Steve Flint, who many will recognise as one of the judges on Channel 5's "Great Model Railway Challenge".
Railway Modeller is published by Peco Publications, the publishing arm of Peco, one of the UK's leading suppliers of model railway accessories and track. For much of its history it had the tagline "For the average enthusiast", reflecting its intention to be aimed at the mainstream modeller rather than those with more esoteric interests. The current tagline is "At the heart of the hobby".
As of 2021, Railway Modeller is still the best-selling UK model railway publication.
Model Rail was originally a supplement to Rail Magazine, and was launched as a standalone publication in 1997. Slightly unusually, Model Rail is published four-weekly rather than monthly, meaning that there are thirteen issues a year. Model Rail is published by Bauer Media, and the current editor is George Dent.
Model Rail's current tagline is "Innovative • In-Depth • Independent", reflecting its lack of ties to any other model railway publisher or maufacturer. However, as part of the Bauer Media group, it remains the sister publication of Rail Magazine which covers the full-size aspect of railways.
British Railway Modelling, or BRM as it's commonly abbreviated, was first published in 1993.
Published by Warners Group Publications, BRM is part of the "World of Railways" stable which includes the RMweb discussion forum, other railway and modelling magazines and three major model railway exhibitions. A "Gold" subscription is available which includes not just the magazine but access to online archives, track plans and a free ticket to one of the shows.
Despite the name, Hornby Magazine covers all model railway brands, not just Hornby! The name is licensed by the publishers from Hornby Hobbies, as it was felt that the name recognition would help gain readership. The first edition was published in 2007.
Hornby Magazine is published by Key Publishing, and the current editor is Mike Wild. Because of the branding tie-in with Hornby, Hornby Magazine is aimed slightly more towards newcomers to railway modelling than the other magazines, and makes a point of avoiding the use of too much "technical language".