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Product Reviews

Cowcatcher Magazine publishes product reviews periodically in our print and online editions. See our review of InterMountain’s GP10 Paducah in the September/October 2017 edition. – Cowcatcher Magazine

Cowcatcher Online Reviews

Product Review: Rapido Trains HO NSC Bulkhead Flatcar

Product Review: InterMountain HO ADM Corn Syrup Car

Product Review: MAC Rail EOT Devices

Product Review: Rapido Lightweight Dining Car

Product Review: Grain Belt Models Bins and Culverts

Product Review : Rapido HO Flexi-Flo Hoppers

Product Review: Athearn HO Norfolk Southern GE Dash 9-40C

Selected Print Edition Reviews

Athearn HO-Scale ACF 2970 Texas & Pacific Center Flow Hopper – September/October 2007

Atlas GP30 – July/August 2008

Athearn HO-Scale GP38-2 – March/April 2013

ScaleTrains HO-Scale UP GTEL “Big Blow” Turbine – November/December 2016

ScaleTrains’ HO-Scale UP “Big Blow” – Courtesy ScaleTrains

Kato Sound Box DC Control System – May/June 2015

InterMountain N-Scale SD40-2 – May/June 2017

InterMountain HO-Scale GP10 Paducah – September/October 2017

Walthers HO-Scale Modern Yard Office – November/December 2019

Grain Belt HO-Scale Grain Bins and Culverts – May/June 2020

RailSmith N-Scale Frisco Pullman coach “Clayton” – May/June 2021

Rapido Trains HO-Scale Southern Pacific SW 1200 Locomotive – July/August 2021

ScaleTrains HO-Scale Bethlehem Steel Co. Rivet Counter Flatcar – September/October 2021

ScaleTrains N-Scale Rivet Counter Gunderson Multi-Max Autorack – March/April 2022

Athearn HO-Scale SD70ACU – March/April 2022

Athearn N-Scale ATW Hutchinson Northern 50-foot Boxcar – September/October 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.