All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


2016 Cowcatcher Magazine

All Issues Priced at $4.95 unless otherwise noted

Cowcatcher Jan-Feb 2016 Cover

For Love of Cabooses January/February 2016: The Frisco cabooses that Paul Slavens admired as a kid are coming back to life on his Sapulpa, OK, property. PLUS, see the winners of the Cowcatcher Gold Rail Awards 2015 contest; enjoy recaps of the Oklahoma City Train Show and Trainfest; take a ride on Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad; and learn how one mule became a local legend for tugging streetcars in El Paso her own way.     SOLD OUT!



Cowcatcher Mar-Apr Cover

Crookedest Railway March/April 2016: Oklahoma O Scalers take a straight line on the Colorado Utah railway, which was once known for its zigs and zags through the mountains of Colorado and Utah. PLUS, the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum gets a new lease; a look at the TNW Corp.’s trio of railroads serving Texas; a former troop sleeper and kitchen car is transformed into meeting space at the Arkansas Railroad Museum; and a quick lesson in applying graffiti decals to an HO-scale boxcar.

Cowcatcher May-June Cover

Ultimate Model Railroad May/June 2016: The Colorado Model Railroad Museum has accomplished what many can only dream as the ultimate model railroad, and we explore this Gold Rail Award winning pike. PLUS, an East Coast buyer of collections hints just what your model railroad items could be worth; “Let’s Talk Trains” blog radio has become a cyber place where rail enthusiasts gather; and in 1956 passengers could arrive and depart from Kansas City Union Station from all points of the compass.

Cowcatcher July-August Cover

Muscle on Demand July/August 2016: OUR FIRST GLOSSY COVER! Lease locomotives meet short-term and long-term goals of railroads of all sizes, depending on economic conditions and other factors. PLUS, the Red River Valley & Western has proven to be a major U.S. hauler of U.S. grain exports; freight and passenger rail proponents say that TXDOT rail is missing opportunities; and Built-Rite kits provide craftsmanship with ease.     5.95!

Cowcatcher Sept-Oct Cover

Dreams Do Come True September/October 2016: The Houston area has rallied behind Gil and Virginia Freitag to keep the 50-year-old Stony Creek & Western model railroad a fixture in the model railroad community. PLUS, prototype modelers gather across the country, and they mean business about model railroading; the N Scale Enthusiasts assemble for their annual convention in Kansas City and show some unique models; and the story of railroad legend Kate Shelley is relived.      SOLD OUT!

Cowcatcher Nov-Dec Cover

Driving Results November/December 2016: OUR FIRST ALL-GLOSS ISSUE!SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED! A milestone locomotive produced at Fort Worth’s General Electric plant is a reminder of how far modern train technology has come. PLUS, the Great Western Railway is picking up pace with investment in Colorado; we review ScaleTrains.com’s HO-scale “Big Blow” locomotive, and it lives up to the hype; and see a way to model piggyback cars for the Kansas City Southern.     6.95!

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.