All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


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Tim Blackwell


John Dycus


Stacey Blackwell


Tom Marsh

Pat Hiatte

Craig Walker

Stories and photographs may be submitted to Cowcatcher Magazine and will be considered for publication if space is available and material is relevant to model railroading and rail enthusiasm in the region or in general. Letters to the editor are encouraged and will be published if space is available. All correspondence should be submitted by:

Email: cowcatcher@verizon.net

or via mail to: Cowcatcher Magazine Editor, P.O. Box 176, Keller, TX 76244.

Submissions will be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is included.

To contact the Cowcatcher Magazine:

Cowcatcher Magazine
P.O. Box 176, Keller, TX 76244
(817) 379-5528

Change of Address and Subscription Information

You may notify us of your change of address by emailing: cowcatcher@verizon.net
with the subject line “Change of Address”

Please include your first and last name, old address and new address. You will receive a confirmation from us.

It is important you notify us of your change of address. Because we mail third class to keep your subscription cost as low as possible we do not receive returned mail nor notification from the post office of a forwarding address.

For other information about your subscription, see Info & Updates.

Article and Photo Submission Guide

The Cowcatcher encourages authors to submit all manner of material on model railroading and rail enthusiasm – model and prototype photographs, industry news, personality features, show advances, how-to stories and retrospectives. Contact us prior to submission to determine suitability and possible publication date.

We reserve the right to decline a submission, with gratitude, and to edit for length, style and readability. Manuscripts will be returned if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is provided.

Deadline is typically the fourth or fifth day of the month prior to the first month of publication date. An article for the March/April issue, for instance, should be submitted no later than Feb. 5. Include full contact information and all photo/article credits.

The Cowcatcher pays for content in some cases, but alas, they are rare. Your contribution of stories, cut lines, photos, artwork or any other piece(s) for publication are considered gratis. You will receive a byline, either at the beginning or end of the story. Also, having an article published achieves points for some industry designations.

Let us hear from you. The Cowcatcher is about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm, and together we will tell the best story we can.


You don’t have to be a seasoned writer to submit work. We will help you look good!

Use short, straightforward sentences. Copious detail. No first-person. Get to the point, and don’t forget the “5 Ws and the H” – who, what, where, when, why and how. Double-check your facts.

Feature articles should be 700-1,800 words (as reference, this guide is about 460 words). News items may be shorter.

Organize a how-to story in step-by-step order with accompanying photos marked for each step.

Email articles in Word or plain text to cowcatcher@verizon.net . In some cases, we will accept printed manuscripts but please contact us before sending.

Not sure you want to write a complete article but have a news tip or worthy story? Just send us the facts in an email and we’ll take it from there!


Digital photos should be 300 dpi and saved as a .jpeg, .eps or .pdf. Do not embed photographs in other documents, like a Word, Publisher or PowerPoint file. We can also scan high-quality printed images in black and white or color.

When taking photographs, especially of train models or layout elements, strive for depth of field, whether using natural or artificial light. The foreground and background should be in focus, which can be achieved with a good light source and a high “f” stop on most digital SLR cameras. Limit ISO settings to 1600 if possible. Some cellphone images can be published as long as they are large enough. We recommend using the highest size setting on your phone. Also, consider holding the camera a foot or so away from the subject when shooting models to avoid distortion.

When shooting photos for the cover, leave plenty of space at the top for the magazine’s title and bottom for sub-titles. The subject of the picture should fill the bottom two-thirds of the frame.

Send only original artwork to avoid copyright infringement. Photographs from other sources will be considered, but first check with our editorial staff.

We look forward to seeing your contributions!

Current Issue: November/December 2023


Model railroad manufacturers are intent on bulking up their locomotives, but they aren't sending them to the gym. HO-scale long-haul and switch engines recently released have been upgraded to meet demand for more pulling power. At least two manufacturers have repowered motors and added a few more ounces for dependability to move long cuts of cars.


For the first time in its history, the Arizona Eastern Railway has a classification yard that will augment capacity from a storage loop track in Lordsburg, NM. The new Summit Yard, a joint project between AZER and Freeport-McMoRan, adds 24,000 feet of track to handle more cars for interchange with Union Pacific. 


InterMountain Railway Co. has released an updated version of its N-scale EMD F7A and F7B locomotives that are among the best-detailed "covered wagons" ever produced. See our product review.


A Colorado modeler who picked up modular railroading a few years ago scores big at the 2023 NMRA National Convention. Altoona N-scalers salute the late founder of an annual weekend event by establishing a new award recognizing excellence. And the Nebraska Central Railroad will begin hauling crushed soybeans and soybean oil, to be used in producing renewable energy, next year.