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Rail Express, April 2012





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#1 Jim Martin

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 14:54

Picked up a copy yesterday at my local newsagents. Class 20s on grain polybulks on the front cover.

Contents:
Big article on grain traffic, by Dave Ratcliffe: lots of interesting photos and meaty text.
The new LU page covers the depot upgrades on the District Line
All of the usual news bits and departments, which nowadays seem to make up the bulk of the magazine. Prominent among the many subjects covered are Colas Rail's acquisition of four Class 56s; further Class 350 orders; preserved E3137 on the WCML; DBS move 20 Class 08s into their "Logistics" fleet; Network Rail's new "snowbuster" train for use in Scotland.

Modelling bit:
Photo report from Model Rail Scotland
Layout feature on Loch Dore - 1980s Scottish , with lots of large-logo Class 37s
Elcot Road - converting wagons to P4
Reviews: Bachmann Derby lightweight DMU in green ("excellent models"); Heljan W&M railbus ("a welcome return to form", "an excellent recreation of the real thing"); Farish GUV ("a great release"); Gaugemaster Ford "blue train" wagon ("while the wagon and swapbody only bear a passing resemblance to the prototype, at stand-off distances the combo does look the part")
Pre-release photos: Murphy "Large GM" 071 Class; NGS inspection saloon; Loveless O-gauge Deltic; Bachmann Class 85 / AL5; Bachmann Class 419 MLV; Heljan DP2; Heljan O-gauge Class 31; Dapol / Kernow weathered Class 22.

The main feature article is very good this month, but the magazine increasingly seems to stand or fall on the news bits, rolling stock updates etc. I think this is a decent enough issue and I got an morning's worth of reading out of it. I'd like to see them get back to where there were two reasonably chunky articles in each issue, plus the news etc., but the question of how they might generate a supply of articles is one that's been gone over before.

Jim

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#2 birdseyecircus

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:31

Also the paper quality has altered - much less glossy.
I enjoyed the Grain article and i too noticed they were much more sympathetic in their model reviews.
Good issue overall

Paul

#3 giz

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 20:40

Layout feature on Loch Dore - 1980s Scottish , with lots of large-logo Class 37s


http://www.rmweb.co....666#entry642666

#4 Jim Martin

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 21:53

http://www.rmweb.co....666#entry642666


Indeed you are correct. The first reply on that thread is: "Oh yes, Loch Dore, I see what you did there". I have to admit that I didn't, and it took me several goes of repeating the name to myself until the penny dropped! :scratchhead:




Jim

#5 grahame

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:09

Also the paper quality has altered - much less glossy.


Yes, I agree. I have noticed, and reported this previously.

The grain article was extensive, comprehensive and interesting making the issue very worthwhile. And I thought that the round up collection of pics from Scotrail were very good.

But I also agree with the comments about the seeming lack of specially researched/commissioned features. I'm sure they could put together a number of interesting features from their photo collections/libraries. However, overall this mag still ticks most of the right boxes and is probably the best contemporary one on the newstands.

G.
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