All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


2008 Cowcatcher Round Up

All Issues Priced at $2.95 unless otherwise noted

ANTHRACITE BLENDS CNJ, LV – Jan/Feb 2008: The Tulsa, OK-based Anthracite Lines offers a unique perspective of freelance and prototypical industrial options on Tom Fausser’s HO-scale layout. PLUS, the “Moccasin”, the Texas & Pacific 2-8-2 Mikado, gets a new home in Marshall, TX; Waco’s Warden Shops kept freight and passenger trains moving across the Katy and the Southwest; and Houston METRO celebrates a milestone with the 40 millionth rider boards.

HAVE YOU MADE YOUR RESERVATION? – Mar/Apr 2008 – Publisher’s Choice Special $2.75 ea.: The model railroad industry plays a numbers game to juggle supply and demand through requiring dealers and consumers to make reservations before runs begin. PLUS, the Rock Island’s Twin Star Rocket had one of the longest passenger runs in North America at 1,363 miles; a father-son duo in Oklahoma load up their G-scale layout and hit the show circuit; and robbers leave their mark on a Dallas train store.

ARKANSAS HILLS ALIVE WITH TRAINS – May/June 2008: Modelers migrate to a Northwest Arkansas community to set up some big-time model railroad operations with Hog Rails. PLUS, model maker Athearn and the Trinity Railway Express sign a licensing agreement and production will resume on the popular commuter rail models; a long-time piece of the model railroad landscape in Oklahoma City shutters its doors; and today’s high-energy refrigerator cars ensure dependable delivery of perishables.

PRESERVATION ON THE MOVE  – July/Aug 2008: A pair of East Texas steam locomotives are relocated, sending preservation on the move. PLUS, a vintage railroad car will be home to an O-scale group’s permanent layout; Atlas adds the its GP30 locomotive line with its latest Phase I release; the Texas & Pacific Westerner rolled through the night to destinations west; and the green light is given to Houston METRO’s Phase II plan.

OPERATIONS ON THE KCS IN HO – Sept/Oct 2008: Plenty of detail and operations awaits on Jim Norwood’s Kansas City Southern HO-scale layout in North Richland Hills, TX. PLUS, a North Texas modular club builds its image and membership; columnist Steve Willis continues his series on building the Rocky Mountain; ridership on Amtrak’s Heartland Flyer climbs; and the Rock Island’s Choctaw traveled 762 miles from Memphis to Amarillo.


MOTORING ON DOWN THE LINE – Nov/Dec 2008: A group of North Texas motor car enthusiasts take to the rails and show off how railroad crews moved down the line in the day. PLUS, Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas coast and takes out the Galveston Railroad Museum; Atlas delivers gold with a finely detailed HO-scale model of a GP40-2 locomotive; and Athearn’s Blue Box bay window caboose is transformed into a Missouri Pacific transfer caboose.

Pick up the current issue of the Cowcatcher Magazine at a location near you or SUBSCRIBE

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.