My First Issue of Model Railroader Magazine

In a blog that I posted a few months back I talked about the time when my interest in trains started. Not long after, I bought my first copy of Model Railroader. It was the September 1994 issue and it, more than any other issue inspired and molded me into the modeler that I am today.  

On the cover was a photo of Michael Tylick's O scale Pioneer Valley. A layout that I love so much, but this blog is about another. Further in was an article by Bruce Chubb on his Sunset Valley railroad that shook the infant foundations of my model railroading interest. I spent many hours re-reading the article and studying every detail in the photos. The scene that hooked me more than any other was his passenger station that was built over the tracks. So much of what I saw still influences my modeling today.

18 years later at the 2012 National Train Show in Grand Rapids Michigan, I was invited to a layout tour of the Sunset Valley. It was amazing to see in-person the layout that inspired me so much. Then something special happened... I somehow ended up with a throttle in my hand. I was given the opportunity to run a passenger train across the layout and make a station stop at the location that inspired me so much. Fortunately a friend of mine took a photo of this moment.

Sunset Valley 2012

This month, Model Railroader releases their 1000th issue. Congratulations on this milestone and thank you for the inspiration you gave me starting with this issue and from so many others after. 

Chris Brimley


7 Responses

Michael R. Chase
Michael R. Chase

February 27, 2017

Hi, Great article, I too was inspired by my first Model Railroader magazine. That was in 2008. Can’t wait to see #1000! Thanks for sharing this with us! MRC
Jim Craft
Jim Craft

February 26, 2017

My Dad started subscribing to Model Railroader in 1934, when they started. In fact, for a time I had his collection of magazines, including the first one. They may have been valuable, but when the digital form became available, I saved space and jettisoned the hard copies. Dad was only about 18 years old in 1934. When I was about 6 years old, Dad spent a week’s paycheck (to my Mother’s chagrin!) to buy a bunch of Lionel trains for me. And I was hooked. MR has played an important role in keeping me interested and helping with new ideas. Congratulations to Model Railroader.

sheldon mankes
sheldon mankes

February 26, 2017

ihave a 8×16 ft ho rr(hobo valley rr)it represents the new mexico area.2 rr sta. restrounts in a village and a drive in movie.tavrens and homes.

Peter Galvin
Peter Galvin

February 26, 2017

I have been a train nut my whole life. I started reading MR in 1968 because my high school library carried it. Over the years I have gotten much inspiration from the magazine. In fact I recently became aware of Exact Rail from an article in MR. Exact Rail’s scale models are extrodinary. I almost hate to weather them.

Robert Reniewich
Robert Reniewich

February 26, 2017

Congratulations! i am a long time reader of your magazine,even though i have been out of the hobby for a little while.Keep up the good work.

Bob Mersereau
Bob Mersereau

February 26, 2017

I think that MR had been a great resource for modelers over the years but they have let greed set in and started charging for video they used to offer subscribers with MR Videos they started a couple of years ago. I grew up in the business and my dad had a hobby shop in San Francisco after WWII. I have been enjoying the hobby for 75 years and still involved in a modular club. Don’t forget us old timers who made this hobby. MR has and I have told them so. I reluctantly renewed my subscription that have had for many years.

Sean L McCarthy
Sean L McCarthy

February 26, 2017

I don’t remember the year, but I was in 5th grade and the school library had an MR with the Ohio Southern, I read it cover to cover 100’s of time. Then I saw article of the Virgina & Ohio. I’ve been hooked all my life. Thanks for the great products Exactrail, and Thank You Model Railroader!!

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