All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


Cowcatcher State of Model Railroading survey

Since 2019, Cowcatcher Magazine has taken the pulse of the model railroad industry with its State of Model Railroading survey presented in the January/February issue. The survey, which usually is released in November, allows our subscribers to give their thoughts and opinions on where the hobby has been and where it’s going.

Respondents answer 25-30 questions about their preferences regarding things like the industry’s overall model quality, costs, ease of use, availability and others. The Cowcatcher State of Model Railroading survey sheds insight into how much time respondents are spending on the hobby as well as their spending, social interactions and their thoughts about model railroading’s future. And, respondents can share in their own words whatever is on their minds.

The survey is open only by email to print edition subscribers and selected recipients.

The Cowcatcher’s 2024 State of Model Railroading survey is open through Nov. 24, 2023.

Learn more.

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.