All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


2007 Round Up

All Issues Priced at $2.95 unless otherwise noted

In 2007, the Cowcatcher Round Up became an independent regional model railroad/rail enthusiast publication after serving the previous three years as the official publication of the Cowcatcher Division/NMRA.

ARK-LA-TEX APPEALS TO MASSES – Jan/Feb 2007: The Ark-La-Texas model railroad club finds balance of craftsmanship and showmanship with a traveling layout that entertains crowds at local train shows. PLUS, Texas Country Reporter Bob Phillips drops in on the Texas Western Model Railroad Club layout; the Oklahoma City Train Show finished strong at the gate despite a winter storm that kept many at home; and the beleaguered Texas State Railroad gets a shot of funding to keep trains rolling.

AT HOME IN THE CASCADES – Mar/Apr 2007: Houston’s Don Bozman fills his house with a spectacular HO-scale tribute to the Great Northern Railroad, the scenic Cascade Division on the “Great” Great Northern. PLUS, Editor and Publisher Tim Blackwell pays tribute to Bobbye Hall, a hobby industry icon who raised the bar in model railroading; Dallas Area Rapid Transit stays busy with expansion and upgrades; and Tyler’s Cotton Belt Depot offers plenty to see for visitors and rail enthusiasts.

 Cowcatcher May-Jun 07 PG1

FARM TO MARKET – May/June 2007: It’s late summer in North Dakota on Olaf Melhouse’s N-scale Dakota Northern. PLUS, new Athearn president Michael Stephens keeps focus on the company’s core product; the NMRA is alive and well in Oklahoma and Arkansas; the Texas Special made the best of its conditions between the Midwest and the Lone Star State; and the position of the helix is key to operation on Steve Willis’ Rocky Mountain. Very limited supply!

 Cowcatcher July-August 07 P1

REAL RAILROADIN’ – July/Aug 2007: Northeast Oklahoma’s HO-scale Claremore & Southern covers a lot of territory with realistic operations. PLUS, a North Texas scratch builder explains how to make models of switch stands that were used on the Denver & Rio Grande Western; the future of the Texas State Railroad is in new hands with American Heritage Railways; and the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad goes “green” by putting two N-ViroMotive locomotives into service.

ALAMO SPECIAL – Sept/Oct 2007: We take a ride on the Longhorn & Western and tour the Alamo City’s Texas Transportation Museum. PLUS, Athearn delivers an HO-scale model of an ACF hopper car in the unusual Texas Pacific/Missouri Pacific scheme; floods across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas played havoc with freight, passenger and tourist railroads; the McKinney Avenue Trolley expands to handle increased traffic on the Dallas Uptown streetcar line; and the Overton, TX, I&GN club is taking shape.


GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN  – Nov/Dec 2007: The M-K-T and Cotton Belt are no longer, but evidence of Waco’s railroading past is quite visible. PLUS, Intermountain Railway Co. plans another release of its line of Santa Fe Caswell gondolas; Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific combined equipment to make a special run through East Texas; the All Points North model railroad club in Houston is charting a new direction; and a model of A.C. Gilbert’s Radio Car scratch built in S-scale takes top honors.

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Current Issue: September/October 2023


Bright, shiny freight cars are showing in greater numbers on the North American rail network. New orders and deliveries increased in 2022 following a decline beginning in 2019 that the pandemic worsened in 2020 and 2021. According to a report from the Railway Supply Institute's American Railway Car Institute Committee, new freight car orders last year were significantly greater than the combined total of 2020 and 2021. Deliveries increased nearly as much.

But car builders are not out of the woods yet, as the first half of 2023 saw some ups and downs.


Too much of a good thing can be hazardous to model railroad operations. Adding more cars to a layout can place more pressure on yards and industries when running the railroad like the real thing. Three veteran operators share their thoughts about how to avoid logjams in yards, sidings and at industries. 


Computer-based applications that complement DCC are driving the new frontier of model rail road operations.


The Sunset Limited ranks as Amtrak's worst train in on-time performance, prompting a Surface Transportation Board investigation. The Southern Pacific's Coast Daylight, with its brilliant colors, was among the most beautiful trains during the golden age of passenger rail. A BNSF test locomotive that set the stage for future developments in alternative energy motive power technology arrives at an Oklahoma railroad museum.