Old 04-30-2007, 12:30 AM   #1
Pat Lorenz
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Default DINA 06 take a look

The Day in North America issue has arrived at my door, first off, i found the issue incredible, the images are all top rate and very good. Shows just how good those White River guys are at magazine production.

Second, lots of familiar names in the issue, congrats to ryan parent for the cover, it is truley an excellent composition. I also saw tom nanos in there and steve carter and some others.

Really good job guys.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:54 AM   #2
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For those of us less well informed, please give the name of the magazine!
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:53 AM   #3
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Railroads Illustrated magazine, the successor to CTC Board. It's website is http://whiteriverproductions.com/2bR...lustrated.html

BTW, if anyone has any CSX news, I'm the CSX news editor, so send that news to csxnews@cincyrails.com
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:57 PM   #4
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Default Print versus pixels

The print media is struggling to keep my attention relative to this new fangled internet stuff. I recently let my subscription to Railfan expire for lack of interest, and thought that CTC Board/Railroads Illustrated would follow the same route when the subscription expires in August. I keep subscribing to Trains mostly as a matter of tradition and habit. But I have to admit that a quick perusal of the DINA issue impressed me. Some good photographs well reproduced. It will be interesting if the news and/or commentary can provide something useful or at least different from the info readily available on the internet.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. E. Landrum
Railroads Illustrated magazine, the successor to CTC Board.
You say successor to CTC Board. The website makes it look like another magazine that bought CTC Board's assets at some point. I am wondering if this other magazine is the one that started life a decade or so ago (longer ago), somewhere in the northeast (Delaware?) with 3 issues per year. Anyone recall this one?

John, we must have different tastes! Regarding Trains, I find its transformation over the last decade or so with increased emphasis on the business of railroading and features like the monthly map to be a valuable expansion over the past content more simply of historical record and some contemporary. I think it has greatly improved over the years. If I were at home, I'd throw a few examples in to show you what I mean.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
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Smile Trains magazine

My comment had more to do with internet competition, and was not intended to suggest that Trains isn't a good magazine. All the print media are facing intense competition from the internet, and this obviously has affected content. Trains has responded pretty well, but it is still a tough game.

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Old 04-30-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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I lost intrest in trains about the time when they changed editors. I find trains to be boring and old, you know lots of steam for the old guys. And lots of material for the old guys that photographed in that era. They sort of stick it in our [young generations] face, like look how good i am and you'll never get those images ever because the railroad is gone. Trains has no flavor.

I love railfan railroad, they have everything good in that magazine except for that cheap paper they print on. Lack of photo reporduction because of cheap printing somewhat kills the magazine, but i love to see the compositions and i love the writing. Very zesty, has voice and i love how the editior takes more of a railfans perspective to things, and i love how he publishes trip reports, they are really good.

But by far my favorite was CTC Board, back in the day, with Sanders the magaine was world class, every photo was perfect and risky. I just loved it, but the text was lousy, boring and flat, foucsed on history most of the time, but the photos were just awesome.

Now with the RRI in the picture, i think Cinthia has done and excellent job, the magaizne is meaty and very well done, has trip reports, business, history all in one. Really good job and it is very cool to see they are willing to keep the railfan DINA tradition alive.

However, news colums in magizines i feel are wasted space, while they are informative and sometimes neat, the info is generally old and last month type deals.

thats my analyisis
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Lorenz
I lost intrest in trains about the time when they changed editors. I find trains to be boring and old, you know lots of steam for the old guys. And lots of material for the old guys that photographed in that era. They sort of stick it in our [young generations] face, like look how good i am and you'll never get those images ever because the railroad is gone. Trains has no flavor.
I gotta disagree! But first, agree totally on R&R, and especially about the low quality pictures, which is the sole reason I never subscribed (as a kid in the '70s I had a subscription, I think to Railroad before it merged with Railfan).

Regarding Trains, here are some recent great articles:
- Interesting series of articles on Ed Burkhardt's recent efforts around the world. Very interesting glimse into several different types of railroads.
- Trains vs trucks, an excellent view into the transportation industry in the 50s (hey, I'm an economist!).
- Behinds the scenes look at the culture/grit of life at/in/around Seattle King Street Station.
- future of RR museums - quite a thoughtful piece
- Portland light rail
- current issue: a set of articles on short line railroading, really interesting

shorter articles
- overview of NS Roadrailer
- computer guidance/assistance for engineers
- info on the hybrid and genset switchers
- a number of the maps of the month are interesting and more than just where the tracks were, where they are

I'm not recalling a whole bunch of steam in the old days articles of late. In fact, that is one area in which I think they have clearly broken from the past and have finally moved on. There have been a number of articles on contemporary steam - tourist RR engines of interest, import of engines from China.

The only thing missing? I still want to see the Professional Iconoclaust!!!!! Oh well, time passes. Besides, Don Phillips is plenty interesting.

-
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:32 AM   #9
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The Professional Iconoclast! Greatest column ever to grace a railroad magazine IMHO. John Kneiling managed to get peoples shorts in a knot from coast to coast. It was simply wonderful to read and just look at how much he said has indeed come to pass.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. E. Landrum
The Professional Iconoclast! Greatest column ever to grace a railroad magazine IMHO. John Kneiling managed to get peoples shorts in a knot from coast to coast. It was simply wonderful to read and just look at how much he said has indeed come to pass.
Kneiling was a breath of creative fresh air when I was a young railway manager. I still use a phrase I think he coined, "loose car railroading". But when it came to seeing the future, John was locked into the same cost reduction box the rest of us were. The single biggest change in the industry has been the transition from managing excess capacity to managing shortages of capacity. And nobody but nobody saw it coming.

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Old 05-02-2007, 01:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John West
Kneiling was a breath of creative fresh air when I was a young railway manager. I still use a phrase I think he coined, "loose car railroading". But when it came to seeing the future, John was locked into the same cost reduction box the rest of us were. The single biggest change in the industry has been the transition from managing excess capacity to managing shortages of capacity. And nobody but nobody saw it coming.

John West
I'm not sure what you are trying to say, John. Sure, contrained capacity is big today and of late. But it took a whole bunch of steps and time to get there. I wouldn't blame Kneiling for not seeing the way-in-the-distance future (back then) just because he saw the enormous issues in the right-now-and-not-so-far-in-the future (again, back then).
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #12
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Default DINA and magazines in general

This is my first contribution to the forums section of rp.net. I'm one who subscribes to RRI and Trains, and like Mr. West I scratch my head and wonder how long they'll be around in the face of the internet. Honestly, when the mags come in the mail at my house, they get tossed over to the pile of magazines and I look at them later--unlike the old days when I would drop all I was doing to see the latest.

I attended the conference again this year put on by the Center For Railroad Photography in Lake Forest, IL., and really thought it funny to listen to the some of the various Editors of the railfan mags assembled on a panel talk like they were still the only game in town for railfan photogs. The inference was was that print was somehow the 'gatekeeper' of all good railroad photography, and that today's bright new stars are still discovered by them. It was like railpictures.net was some poor second stepchild, a nusiance. After all--what 'credentials' do the screeners have to determine what is or isn't 'good' railfan photography? (Note to Screeners: it would be good to show your face at an event like this!)

There is a certain denial by print about the influence sites like rp.net have in today's railfan photography landscape, and in my opinion the sooner they 'get it' the better their chance of survival. Its not that print doesn't have a place anymore, it's just a difference place. Meanwhile the newstand price of mags is getting way up there.

I feel it for the folks in print that I respect--Kalmbach, Steve Barry at RR, White River, et. al., they are putting forth good material. All you have to do is read the obscar list to see the jurassic park of railfan photogs who refuse or are otherwise unable to grasp the changes afoot. Meanwhile, rp.net is THE mainstream place for great rail photography now, not some periodical. I love it when I see the 'big names' in print rail photography over here on rp.net.

Meet the new boss, boys. It's called the web.

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Old 05-02-2007, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
I'm not sure what you are trying to say, John. Sure, contrained capacity is big today and of late. But it took a whole bunch of steps and time to get there. I wouldn't blame Kneiling for not seeing the way-in-the-distance future (back then) just because he saw the enormous issues in the right-now-and-not-so-far-in-the future (again, back then).
Boy these threads are taking some interesting twists and turns. To think this started out with a comment on a nice DINA magazine issue.

We old folks tend to reminisce. In looking back at my experiences in railroading, I find it fascinating how slowly the railroads responded to one of the most fundamental changes in their industry. It is probably mostly a comment about people and the difficulty people (in this case managers) often have with change and managing change. It is of particular interest to me because I was a small part of the process (and no smarter than anyone else). Academically it could be a fascinating case study in managing change, or how not to manage change. I have worked in various management "cultures" over the years, and it is interesting (to me) how the culture can encourage or discourage response to change.

Post edit: I guess I was picking on Kneiling because as the "professional iconoclast" he was supposed to be an agent for change. Which he was. But when it came to the big one, he was no more visionary than the rest of us.

No blame. Just an observation.

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Old 05-02-2007, 04:14 PM   #14
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(Note to Screeners: it would be good to show your face at an event like this!)
I plan on it next year. I hear nothing but rave reviews about the event and am interested to see what its all about. As a "newcomer" into the hobby it will be interesting to see how the older generation responds to someone so "young" and to them maybe "inexperienced" judging other peoples photographs.

I'm not sure if this is off topic of not, but it seems that most of the older generation refuse to find any good in modern day railroading, which I feel is somewhat odd as some have reputations as the best photogs in the hobby. I compare the works of a few "big names" from the 1950's-1980's to their stuff now and I'm not impressed at all and my opinion of them as "one of the best" decreases significantly. To me if you want credit as being one of the best you need to adapt and be able to change your style accordingly. Looking at modern day shots by these photographers I see that I'm more impressed with the subject rather than HOW they captured it. Just needed to get that off my chest. I apologize for an off-topic rant.
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:30 PM   #15
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Chico, anyone else, who from the magazines spoke besides Steve Barry of Railfan and Railroad? I just went to the website and he is the only magazine-based speaker I could find. I've certainly never thought of R&R as a place to find innovative railroad photography. I found this statement in his bio very interesting: "Sometimes he's not sure which is more difficult--forcing himself to think outside the box or occasionally moving the readers of R&R outside the comfort zone of the grade crossing wedgie." It points out another reason why magazines will have difficulty being "gatekeepers" for "good railroad photography", as they have to satisfy the median tastes of their subscriber base.

Certainly Trains, as much as I like it for other reasons, is not the place to go to see great photographs with artisitic traits.

I would be interested to read more detailed comments on what was said at the conference. Is there a transcript or audio or video files?
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Old 05-02-2007, 04:33 PM   #16
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Ahh, I just found that Kevin Keefe of Trains gave opening remarks. What did he say? Trains is hardly acting as a gatekeeper on the photography end; they are not the place to go to see great photography. Their "Gallery" section is often a source of frustration to me. Thankfully, there is RP.
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:31 PM   #17
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Reminiscent of a long thread over at Snobs Car. Much too do about very little in my mind. For most of us this is just a hobby. My pix only have to satisfy me (and maybe be interesting to a few friends at our gatherings).

I would guess that both the photogs and the editors in the print media feel they are important arbiters because they pay and recieve money for photographs. They both have to satisfy paying customers. But for exactly that reason I think even they would agree that much of the really best "artful" photography never makes it to a magazine, at least not the mass market magazines. And probably not onto the net either. You'll probably find the best stuff at various types of gatherings where the photographers can show actual prints. Why prints? It's all a matter of resolution and control over quality. But there are probably plenty of exceptions, and......

.....as Ray noted above, art is in the eye of the beholder. And I'll add, at least for me, where ever you find it.

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Old 05-02-2007, 07:43 PM   #18
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[quote=JRMDC]Chico, anyone else, who from the magazines spoke besides Steve Barry of Railfan and Railroad? I just went to the website and he is the only magazine-based speaker I could find. I've certainly never thought of R&R as a place to find innovative railroad photography. I found this statement in his bio very interesting: "Sometimes he's not sure which is more difficult--forcing himself to think outside the box or occasionally moving the readers of R&R outside the comfort zone of the grade crossing wedgie." It points out another reason why magazines will have difficulty being "gatekeepers" for "good railroad photography", as they have to satisfy the median tastes of their subscriber base.

So as to not diss forward-leaning Editors like Steve Barry, I must add that magazine editors don't have the luxury of taking chances--look what happened over at CTC Board to PSchneider. He took chances and it got him out of a job. Meanwhile, rp.net accepts on average over 100 photos PER DAY. Mags can't come close to exposing that much material.

I can't remember all the people on the panel, but Mr. Hemphill was another on the panel and commented on the open gated, unregulated web standards vs. magazine editors who had the job of being a gate keeper. Maybe he was referring to that other web site that allows anything to be uploaded, in that case I would agree with him.

Misko Kranjec, one of the CFRP award winners was on the panel too. I got a kick when he sheepishly replied to a query on what he thought was the reason his work had been selected for award. He basically admitted that if it weren't for exposure of his work on the web, he wouldn't have been asked to be there! Is that telling or what?

Don't forget, the event was unwritten in part by those print organizations, so it would be unfair to expect panelists to bite the hand that feeds them. But the proof is in the numbers--when it comes to print, the numbers of subscribers to newspapers, etc. continues to drop precipitously. Some of the major newspapers announced a drop of another 2% of subcribers just the other day, due mostly to people getting their news on the web...tick tick tick...

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Old 05-02-2007, 07:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Blaszczyk (2)
I plan on it next year. I hear nothing but rave reviews about the event and am interested to see what its all about. As a "newcomer" into the hobby it will be interesting to see how the older generation responds to someone so "young" and to them maybe "inexperienced" judging other peoples photographs.

I'm not sure if this is off topic of not, but it seems that most of the older generation refuse to find any good in modern day railroading, which I feel is somewhat odd as some have reputations as the best photogs in the hobby. I compare the works of a few "big names" from the 1950's-1980's to their stuff now and I'm not impressed at all and my opinion of them as "one of the best" decreases significantly. To me if you want credit as being one of the best you need to adapt and be able to change your style accordingly. Looking at modern day shots by these photographers I see that I'm more impressed with the subject rather than HOW they captured it. Just needed to get that off my chest. I apologize for an off-topic rant.
Andrew, I know what you mean. I have 3 favorite photographers who's work is on this site. Two of them post on the forums, but the third to my knowledge does not. He shall remain nameless anyway, but I have been an enormous fan of his work for years, I mean, nearly my entire life! When I subscribed to Trains, it was filled with his work, and hardly an issue would go by without one of his photos in it. This gentleman shot almost exclusively in one state, and his best shots were from the 70's to mid 90's. He still submits modern day shots, but they aren't nearly as good as his older shots, although he has had a couple Screeners Choices and a PCA within the last year. But still, I find myself looking at his shots and thinking, I could easily duplicate or exceed that. On one hand that is thrilling, but on the other kind of sad, as it makes me realize that my "hero" is just regular guy. Then again, he has moved to another state which doesn't really hit his style of photography as well, but still, you gotta' adjust!
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Looking at modern day shots by these photographers I see that I'm more impressed with the subject rather than HOW they captured it.
Well, in part, the explanation is that the standard is higher! They got credit for capturing stuff well, but not necessarily that creatively, back in the day when there were many, many fewer photographers shooting trains. I'm not refering to the O Winston Link types but to those at a lesser creative level.

Today there are by comparison zillions of photographers trackside, and basic shooting techniques are well known - just buy a set of Bryan Peterson books. Living standards are up, lots of leisure time available for shooting. [Andrew, 50 years ago at your age you'd be working in a mill full time! ] Lots of people trackside now shooting as well as the excellent photogs back in the day.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:41 PM   #21
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Talking Old photographers

Nothing helps more than the passage of time to make photographs better. One of the few advantages us old farts have.

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Old 05-02-2007, 10:05 PM   #22
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[quote=chico]
Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC
Don't forget, the event was unwritten in part by those print organizations, so it would be unfair to expect panelists to bite the hand that feeds them. But the proof is in the numbers--when it comes to print, the numbers of subscribers to newspapers, etc. continues to drop precipitously. Some of the major newspapers announced a drop of another 2% of subcribers just the other day, due mostly to people getting their news on the web...tick tick tick...
Wow, what an interesting, albeit somewhat off topic, route this discussion has taken!

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about the print side of this hobby. Yes, I subscribed to several of the larger magazines when I was younger, but I can honestly say that I haven't picked up an issue of Trains, or any other print venue, in years.

I'd really be interested in knowing some ballpark numbers regarding the subscriber bases of the big players still in the 'print game,' such as Trains, Railfan & Railroad, etc. I know what our traffic numbers are here, and have very detailed stats at hand, and it would be interesting to compare.

I don't think there's any doubt that the internet, especially sites like this one, have had a marked effect on the bottom lines of the print industry and their subscriber bases. Anyone who suggests otherwise is kidding themselves. It's the nature of the beast, and the same thing is going on (likely even quicker) on the aviation photography side of things. I can name 4 or 5 aviation publications, which were once major players, that have gone under in the last 6-9 months alone. The simple fact is -- people want the news (or hottest, latest photos, as the case may be) now, and they want it free. We, and other sites like ours, provide that, while a print publication simply cannot.

Sure, there are still a lot of 'old heads' out there, especially overseas, who will never delve into the internet or even give it a chance. As time goes on, however, I see the shift from print to online median getting even larger, and we plan to take advantage of that shift as best we can. We have a lot of innovative new ideas in the works, from more editorial and text-based type features, to other technical improvements. Visitors to RP.net continue to grow beyond our wildest expectations, and above all, I think we're doing a pretty good job of promoting the railroad hobby to a large audience who otherwise would've never even been exposed to it.

That's good for everyone.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
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So as to not diss forward-leaning Editors like Steve Barry, I must add that magazine editors don't have the luxury of taking chances--look what happened over at CTC Board to PSchneider. He took chances and it got him out of a job.
What happened at CTC Board? I don't read that magazine.

Thanks for your other points. And welcome to the board, Ray.
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:05 AM   #24
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I view what the magazines provide or provided as in three dimensions: photography, news, and what for lack of a better term I will call longer articles or just "pieces." For photography, I no longer go to magazines. For news, well, I personally don't get much interested; for local stuff there is the listserve I participate in, for industry stuff, there are general news sources, as far as industry doings. Railpace does the regional stuff.

What the magazines provide, that I still highly value, are the pieces. The articles about the industry, past or present. For example, I highly recommend the recent article in Trains on the future of railroad museums. It is interesting to read a longer piece on a particular railroad, especially one not well known. OR the majors, such as what BNSF is doing and what its plans are for its LA to east mainline. It is interesting to read about industry stuff. I like the occasional history piece. The central thing is that the writing be well done and edited. Magazines, well, at least the good ones, are excellent at this. Trains has become a real gem, in my opinion, greatly improved over a few decades ago when it spent a lot of time telling stories of the old days or showing pictures of the old stuff. (Still does, still valuable, just not the main emphasis anymore.) It is this content for which I fear the future - who will pay for it?
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Old 05-03-2007, 01:17 AM   #25
Pat Lorenz
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JRMDC,
CTC Board got bought out by RRI, (bought out pertains to subscribers). RRI looks nothing like CTC Board.

Now many will tell you that it was change of editing staff that did it in for the magazine. But that was only a small portion of the shut down. For what i heard on the obs car forum is that the relationship between the publisher, bob hudman and the editor was not good towards the end. But it wasnt the new editors faul (paul). Hudman was looking to sell and he didnt want to really do the magazine anymore. (its kinda like that movie "major leauge" with charlie sheen).

I have complete respect for the last editor of CTC, named Paul Schneider. He was fresh air to that magazine which was getting old. Paul and his staff had excelllent ideas, such as making the photos run off the pages, new exciting layouts, an new cover, photogs to watch section and my personal favorite was the deletion of the news section. Which opened about 10 more pages for extra articles.

Pauls visions never got to 100%, they struggled to get magazine color and image reporduction to be accuarte and they struggled to keep the magazine on time, i belive it was close to 5 months behind issues. He had an excellet vision and his staff was also very creative. But they just couldnt get the readers and publisher to be convinced. I mean the magainze changed drastically ever month. But it was cool to see what was possible, to bad it never surfaced.

In case your wondering, the old (and original creator) editior Dale Sanders was truley a master on CTC Board, no doubt he knew how to put a magazine together, his editing era showed some of the greatest railroad photography ever, and the magaine was truely the best. However Dale had invested 28 years as editor and i think he became bored with it and book projects were starting to get overwhelming. So he gave up CTC Board and pursued books.

In my opinion it was probably a good move, not because he was doing a bad job, but it seemed like there was nothing new, just the same old shots, of classic motive power (no steam thank god), and material from the great years before 1996. The articles were pretty much the same old thing of how great is was.

So introducing a new editor was perfect. Too bad it never went anywhere. But RRI is much more appealing to me, its far better. (how ever, Dale is currently on staff of RRI)
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