All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm


Model railroad industry recognizes inventor of Kadee’s ‘whisker’ centering systems, Amherst show director

September 8, 2023

Model Railroading, News

In the photo at left, MRID president Steve Olson, left, presents Kadee's Michael Dunham with the Hall of Fame award. John Sacerdote, right, received the Bobbye Hall Award.

The Model Railroad Industry Division of the Hobby Manufacturers Association inducted its newest Hall of Fame member and recognized the 2023 Bobbye Hall Award winner in August at the NMRA National Train Show. Michael N. Dunham of Kadee Quality Products Co. is the 52nd member …

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Amtrak, Texas Central enter into agreement to study feasibility of Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail line

With the help of Amtrak, Texas’ high-speed rail plan appears to be back on track. Texas Central Partners (“Texas Central”) and Amtrak said earlier this month that they are seeking opportunities to advance planning and analysis work associated with the proposed Dallas-to-Houston 205-mph high-speed rail …

August 18, 2023

Union, BCMEA find common ground to end month-long strike at key Canadian West Coast ports

UPDATED/From News Releases A month-long strike of port workers in Western Canada ended in early August, restoring container traffic to two of the country’s busiest gateways. International Longshore & Warehouse Union Canada members voted nearly 75 percent percent in favor of a settlement with the …

July 4, 2023 / Updated August 14, 2023

ScaleTrains boosts freight car offerings with purchase of ExactRail; first N, HO runs in production

ScaleTrains announced last week that it acquired ExactRail, a manufacturer of HO- and N-scale freight cars and bridges. The addition nearly doubles ScaleTrains’ freight car offerings, the company said in a statement. ScaleTrains was to announce the first N-scale freight car later in June at …

June 12, 2023 / Updated July 25, 2023

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.

Order Back Issues

Miss the May/June 2023 issue or other Cowcatcher editions? Be sure to check out our Back Issues page for any issues you may have missed. We have expanded descriptions for issues published beginning in 2007. Click here to order.

Special Edition

The Cowcatcher produced a special edition for the NMRA "2023 Texas Express" national convention and train show, featuring prototype and model railroading in North Texas. The 24-page, full-color “North Texas Rail Experience 2023” is a look at passenger, freight and model railroading in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and beyond.

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North Texas Rail Experience 2023

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Product News & Review

Rapido Trains HO NSC Bulkhead Flatcar

The Cowcatcher reviews Rapido Trains' newly released HO-scale 66-foot Bulkhead Flatcar. Check out other Product Reviews as well as Product News.

Railroad in Focus

Cowcatcher Magazine periodically features short lines and regional railroads that roam the U.S. rail network. Features include color photographs and maps, as well as an overview of operations and latest business trends. See here the railroads we've focused.