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.
In the current issue
Eastfield: Railway of the Month
This gargantuan 70' x 40' recreation of Glasgow Eastfield diesel depot is due to make its exhibition debut at this year’s Model Rail Scotland show. Graham Blount explains why Mick Worrall and the South Tyneside O Gauge Group embarked on the ambitious project.
Model Rail Scotland preview Full details of what will be on show at Model Rail Scotland in Glasgow on 23, 24 & 25 February – now taking on the mantle of the biggest model railway exhibition in the UK.
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.
In the current issue
Discover the origins of the iconic Class 08 and fall in love with modern O gauge. Get authentic coal loads for wagons and tenders, and explore the KMRC GWR Railmotor. Improve your set track with painting figures and livestock. This month's Model Rail is packed with value and offers a special reader deal. Walk the line with a lifelike trackside footpath. Stay ahead with innovative, in-depth, and independent content.
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.
In the current issue
British Railway Modelling (BRM)
Welcome to the Spring 2024 digital edition of BRM – now including Traction Magazine!
Becoming a digital reader means you can enjoy the excellent Spring issue of BRM and Traction magazine a week before it arrives in the shops, with added extras, including this month’s edition of World of Railways TV and three BONUS videos inside.
World of Railways TV In this latest issue of World of Railways TV, take a trip to Tytton Hall Yard and watch the trains go by, Phil Parker provides top tips for painting stone effects, plus Tony Wright talks us through the various locomotives he has built over the past 18 months, with footage of them in action on 'Little Bytham'.
Sit back, relax, pop the kettle on, and enjoy the latest instalment of World of Railways TV.
What’s Inside BRM Spring…
FOUR FANTASTIC LAYOUTS * Tytton Hall Yard (OO) * Hunters Lane (N) * Hay Town (O) * Lower Hanworth (OO9)
PRACTICAL ADVICE * Modelling 2mm deck chairs * Create a rail bridge in 12 steps * How to weather a shunter * Detail a Dynamometer Car * Model an eye-catching water tower * How to build a sludge gulper * Construct a modern station platform * Build a Goods Shed: Part 1
PLUS * Reviews of the new Kernow MRC Railmotor, Rapido Trains Stirling, EFE Rail Booster, plus much more * History of water towers explored * The latest on our TT:120 project layout with Market Deeping
* A round-up of the latest headlines from the model railway world
Enjoy the issue!
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".
In the current issue
REDBRIDGE WHARF An exhibition layout modelling the Southern Region’s Bournemouth main line in the 1960s
EXCLUSIVE FIRST REVIEW Cavalex Models’ Class 56 for ‘OO’
HORNBY BR ‘2MT’ SOUND Installing an ESU Locoman decoder in Hornby’s latest ‘OO’ gauge steam locomotive
MODELLING A COUNTRY ROAD Learn how to create a realistic road scene for your layout
WEATHERING IN MINIATURE Discover how to add realistic finishes to ‘N’ gauge steam
COMPETITION Win a Hornby TXS BR ‘9F’ 2-10-0 worth £280