New Managing Editor and General Manager for AMRM

 
  AdelaideRail75 Station Master

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
It has been decided but AMRM will not reveal the identities of its new managing editor and general manager they claim its in the comment section of the June 2020 issue only briefly and will be extensively mentioned in the August 2020.  What are they hiding I wonder?

Personally I think AMRM whilst it has done a good job in covering Australian layouts or predominantly NSW layouts it is a journal that has gone a little downhill in the past decade because most new modellers and indeed existing ones whom purchase either Model Railroader, Model Rail or Hornby Magazine.

Oddly enough many years ago the editor of AMRM I wrote an letter to the editor only to be sent a private letter to stop comparing AMRM to other journals because that is not what Letters to the Editor is meant to be.

The magazine has the following flaws (and this is only my opinion):

1. No beginner section, should have a beginner, intermediate and advanced sections to aid modellers.

2. If it comes out every two months surely its able to provide two layouts that we can look at to get inspiration.

3. Sometimes there is a NSW Centric in some of the articles and layouts, yes I admit if there aren't contributors to the journal its only as good as the contributions- more about that later.  
4. Some articles I have heard from would be authors being rejected because its not in the aim of AMRM to have those types of articles- especially beginner ones

5. Using feet, inches is very 19th Century or 20th Century that it needs to move with the times today's generation only understand millimetres and centre metres and metres but the management still insists on using old measurements when building a layout or scratch building a particular locomotive or rollingstock.

6. No Q&A section because the claim is that they don't have time to do this they are flat out caring about the other sections of the journal

7. Reviews are great but some reviews never appear because they might be critical of the model and AMRM does not want to put manufacturers offside, this has been reported to me by some modellers interstate whom AMRM had contact with many years ago.

Lastly one would hope the journal does not go downhill any further because its readership have dropped and yes it can be improved but hopefully the new managing editor and general manager are not puppets to the existing ones otherwise like some other journals it will disappear very quickly.

I purchase it only for the Australian Layouts so this is my opinion what do you think?

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  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

I tend to agree with you Adelaiderail75 the magazine could do with a good workover by who ever gets the editorship of it to bring it into the 21st century. The Magazine to a lot of railway modellers has stagnated badly and could really do with a bit of a boost. Other magazines have developed past just the written word with a few photo's to tell you what to do, into magazines that show you step by step almost in photos what to do. It needs something to move it up a couple of notches in the interest stake though.

Somethings like converting a RTR model into a model more closely resembling the actual prototype. Doing a up a NR model or something to make it look better rather than just buying the latest up to date RTR model that comes out.  Things like this interest people and all your suggestions seem to be sensible. I hope the new team take things on board like this and at least try to to some things if not all of them.

I know it is nearly all volunteer work on the magazine but something needs to be done to interest more in the hobby and in the magazine as well. British and American magazines have slowly evolved like this but the AMRM looks like something out of the 1980's type of magazine not only in content but also in style, it tends to merge into the other magazines on a shop counter rather than stand out like a lot do.
  yogibarnes Locomotive Fireman

AMRM served the hobby, and me, brilliantly for many years.  But, for me it no longer serves my needs and I stopped buying it two years ago.  Whether that is because I have moved on in the hobby, and past the content on offer in the magazine, or whether the magazine has changed in content, is arguable.  It is probably for reasons of both.  
Where, for many years, I saw it as an inspiration, and a tool, to build models as close to prototype as possible (plans, photos explanations etc), now I see it mainly as an eye candy product.  And some of the text really needs a good stroke of the red pen.
There will be other reasons for AMRM's decline (in my view), some of which are presented in the previous postings, but they also include the changing face on how information is now available.  The effect of the digital age on not only AMRM, but other text products, cannot be ignored.
  Knotts Beginner

I consider AMRM, like most Australian railway as a Community magazine. It requires input from others - hopefully the critics above have submitted articles. Q&A - was there an offer with it for you to do it? There is not enough in the local model railway community to have a staff of 10 or 20 to go chasing articles etc. Yes there are problems. To pick up one of the comments Reviews - do these companies advertise in AMRM, or do they expect a review because they have a product and want free advertising? Advertising pays for some of the magazine, today many do mail order - so we lose our hobby shops, and that's another source of income gone. Put up the price, and less will buy. If you don't use it, you'll lose it. If you don't like it, do something to change it.
  GoldenGirl Locomotive Fireman

Sounds like the same old whinging to me. It is a thankless task and James has done a great job over rthe years.
  Z VAN Locomotive Driver

I consider James and the Staff of AMRM have done a fantastic job with the resources, money and availability of a volunteer Editorial team.
The old cry it is NSW Centric is simply a numbers game of Australia as more people live in NSW than any other state so logically there would be more modellers and contributors.
It is only in the last thirty years Australia has had true National Rail Carriers unlike Britian and the US that have had national interchange of rolling stock pretty well from day one and a common gauge.
Modern lay outs at Exhibitions reflect this and naturally the Magazine reflects this as well and it is only people like me that are still fixated on the VR that as an organization changed its name to Vicrail forty odd years ago and began to get rid of our beloved inefficient operational practices of country branch lines etc that were never economically viable.
Most of us find if a magazine has what we like in the current issue we say what a great read. If on the other hand it is modelling the phosphate tramways of Narau we critize and wonder off muttering how is that relevant.  
A bit of a drift away from the original post so I wish the new Editor well trying to balance our diverse opinions and modelling tastes.
PTE.
  AdelaideRail75 Station Master

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
So far the responses have been mixed and some have been interesting.

Let me make a point before anyone starts saying I am throwing stones at glasshouses.  I made a contribution to the old magazine Tasmanian Model Railway Hobbyist more than two decades ago and it was meant to appear there but the editor had to not publish it because within the next few issues it was going to disappear off the shelf so to speak.  He pointed out that AMRM had considerable more sales than him. Say a newsagent purchased five copies of Tasmanian Model Railway Hobbyist only say 3 would sell.  Yet AMRM would sell out of the five within two weeks.   The editor back then was nice enough to encourage me to send my articles to AMRM.  

However, the articles I wanted published in AMRM were titled:
*Locomotive Lash-Ups (remembering we still had Government freight and passenger operators over two decades ago)

* Consumer choice- what you need to be careful when purchasing model railways

* Putting a theme to your layout

* Model railway exhibitions lessons that could be learned and lessons that can be taken away for your hobby

These all articles were rejected on the basis of the following:

1. Poorly worded grammatically- which I agree I have grammar issues
2. That the articles would scare people away from the hobby (especially the Consumer Choice one)
3. The manufacturers who advertise and provide products to AMRM for review will simply stop
4. The magazine is aimed at the advanced modeller and if you want to publish a beginner article publish it elsewhere.

"Yes there are problems. To pick up one of the comments Reviews - do these companies advertise in AMRM, or do they expect a review because they have a product and want free advertising? Advertising pays for some of the magazine, today many do mail order - so we lose our hobby shops, and that's another source of income gone. Put up the price, and less will buy. If you don't use it, you'll lose it. If you don't like it, do something to change it. "


You have just said something that some people have been saying for years whilst we don't want to accuse AMRM of Cash for Comments (which a well known Radio Shock Jock got accused of).  Hopefully it doesn't happen.

Commendably the magazine has only increased its price when postage has gone up there are other magazines (non rail or model rail oriented) whom lift their prices to increase their revenue, or to because the editor might be getting high pay and he needs to justify his pay increase.

We need to understand that there are many out there (and yes they are the silent majority) who have contributed to AMRM and have seen there articles rejected because of the above reasons or that the magazine doesn't want to see it treading on the toes of manufactures or advertisers.

A well known magazine disappeared years ago because of that sad reason and it didn't want to write opinion pieces because it was scared the Corporate Subscribers would stop their subscription.  As it turned out oddly enough the Corporate Subscriber was purchasing one for the Corporate entity in which all employees could read on the job or take home and sometimes those entities had over 1,000 people.  This magazine also failed to appear on library magazine racks, however give credit to AMRM it appears on a lot of library shelves.

As we know if we don't contribute anything we won't get a good journal but if the editorial policies are so strict then the contributions will literally not contribute and yes we need to remember that as life goes on our model railway hobby should be fun and once we get told what to say and not to say in our Australian journal then it becomes not so fun.

Good luck to the new managing editor and general manager for AMRM lets hope lastly lets hope exhibitions reviews (not just photos) actually make a come back because I am sure some people are missing them given they can't travel as well as all exhibitors could learn from each other- networking.

Oh by the way the last readers AMRM survey was done in 1997 isn't it about time another one was done?  Ideally they should be done once a year or every two years. For many voluntary magazines it doesn't happen or they do it every four years.
  Phantom47 Locomotive Driver

Location: In The Shire
As an editor of print magazines, I feel I am qualified to comment on the post by AdelaideRail75.


The print publishing industry is undergoing many challenges from digital media and printed magazines are closing all over the world.


Perhaps the new AMRM editor and manager need to clear it with their employers before taking on a role outside their normal working hours, especially if they are in positions that might be impacted by the new role.


The editor was probably correct in not publishing your letter to the editor. AMRM is published by a team of three people. It doesn’t have the resources to provide the same coverage as overseas companies which are backed by manufacturers and large publishing houses.


The point about beginners, intermediate and advanced sections in the magazine can only be provided if the staff have the time and skills to do it.


Providing two layouts in each issue means finding two layouts. Would readers take kindly to the number of articles being reduced to fit in two articles?


The magazine has always been accused of being NSW centric and as you stated the magazine is only as good as its contributors.


There have been several beginner articles recently and perhaps the rejected ones were just not suitable for publication.


The use of imperial measurements is very 19th or 20th century but as all of the plans from that era are drawn in imperial measurements it is hard not to use them. I haven’t seen a layout measurement listed in imperial for many years.


The reason there is no Q&A section is probably that the staff does not have the knowledge to answer all questions. Do they pick the eyes out of questions and answer them and get accused of not answering harder questions.


It has always been stated that a product will only be reviewed if the manufacturer or supplier provides a product for review. I’m sure AMRM cannot afford to buy models and review them. If the supplier won’t supply a product it cannot be reviewed. Perhaps they believe their product won’t stand up under review.


I’m not sure how you know the circulation has dropped, but if it has it is nothing more than is happening to all printed media.

Your second post also needs comment.


The editor of the Tasmanian magazine was right to refer you to AMRM to publish your articles.


The comment that your articles were poorly worded grammatically takes us back to the number of people producing the magazine and the time involved to rewrite articles. Many articles are received by editors that just can’t be used because they need rewriting. Another problem with some submissions that need an illustration, that has not been supplied, needs to be sourced. This is not always possible with costs.


Advertisers make up a great part of any magazine’s income and if an advertiser is upset by a review and they pull their advertising. Most advertisers probably support AMR because they want it continue to be a window for their products. Remember, not all people are computer literate and the printed magazine is vital for this group to receive news.


To accuse AMRM of cash for comment is not necessary and I find it repugnant to suggest that the editor and staff would do this.


Perhaps AMRM does not want to step on toes by writing opinion pieces and that is their prerogative. If an opinion piece tips the balance over between the cost of producing the magazine and closure, who will take on the mantle.


Your comment about exhibition reviews making a comeback is probably not going to happen. People go to exhibitions, they don’t need to be told how good they are.


I agree a survey might be appropriate but that is up to the new editorial team.

Sorry to rave on a bit.

Phantom
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I made a contribution to the old magazine Tasmanian Model Railway Hobbyist more than two decades ago and it was meant to appear there but the editor had to not publish it because within the next few issues it was going to disappear off the shelf so to speak.  He pointed out that AMRM had considerable more sales than him. Say a newsagent purchased five copies of Tasmanian Model Railway Hobbyist only say 3 would sell.  Yet AMRM would sell out of the five within two weeks.   The editor back then was nice enough to encourage me to send my articles to AMRM.  
AdelaideRail75
I remember TMRH, I think i've got most of the issues at home somewhere.

Talk about a niche subject though.   No wonder it was never going to sell terribly well.  
Besides, it couldn't seem to decide what it was, covering Tasmanian prototypes (which Tasmanian Rail News already did as well), news and reviews or if it was a beginners guide.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

Phantom no one has accused any one of a cash for comment thing it was just pointed out that at times it appears so. Some models never get a review in AMRM at all JEM have just released a new tram model of a Melbourne tram I think it is but I will not hold my breath for a review of one though. They seem to favour only certain brands in their reviews of models though. Most reviews these days are done by outside volunteers anyway so the staff do not have to do that now. Yes years back now I sent a article in and did not even get a reply, not a no thanks for what ever reason or it is not usable or something nothing, not even a thanks for sending it. But I was not holding my breath.

This was at the time when they said they had only a handful of articles to print, but beggars obviously could be chooses though, they still ask for articles but how many that get sent to them get printed only those that take up a page or more by the looks of it so people get disgruntled with that and do not send any more which is only fair really. But if the magazine is going to continue in its current form then more will simply not get it. Any news etc is usually old hat by the time they get to print it as it is posted up on websites around the place quicker. Some things in it are alright but then others are not so right. Outside volunteers again could help here editing up articles sent in so that they are usable though. It needs to be credited to the original author but with a note attached to edited by whoever on it.

The magazine while being a modelling association magazine should cater for all types of modellers as the association would have all types of modellers in it beginners to old and seasoned. not just people with layouts at home that know what to do, some simple articles that can help a novice modeller move onward a bit would help the overall circulation a bit though. Question and answer type things could be done by outsiders as well not one person but a couple so you spread the job around to get the answers.

I often field off questions by people at different places asking is there a model railway magazine in Australia that could help me and then they tell you they are just starting out and looking for advice etc. So you say no and to check overseas magazines, websites or Youtube for ideas etc, not how to convert a OB SAR Gondola to a Tasmanian version of one but how to cut and join and make something from a kit or RTR model so that it is different or something. They need the general idea of how to go about it not an actual conversion of some model although using an actuall to show them will help.  But a series of photos helps to explain a damn lot more than written words will. But not even that gets done on conversion articles, we all of course know everything and cannot learn new tricks but unfortunately that is not true at all. I get overseas magazines more for the ideas, hints etc in them than the actual prototype they cover.

I don't really care what centric it is just as long as the articles are useful to not only me but others as well who are on tight budgets, or just starting out in the hobby.

I have a person on my web site who is not to good at writing what he wants to say, so when he puts something up and I read it if it does not make sense I edit it to make sense but still say what he wanted to say in the first place it only takes a short time to do it though.
  AdelaideRail75 Station Master

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
I think another point should be made here about a niche manufacturer whom I won't name but he sent his models for review about two decades ago.  It was the latest in a series of vehicles he would produce over the next decade.
When the review came out they spelt the name of his model company totally wrong.  He contacted the then editor and was promised it would be fixed up as an erratum in the next issue- that never occurred.  He was not getting any sales and he thought it might have been just a quiet time in the market.  As it turned out one modeller at a model railway show approached him and said are you xxx from yyy company.  His eyes lit up and said "yes how can I help you" the modeller turned around and said did you know that there people have been trying to find your name online and given the spelling mistake AMRM did and did not fix up they cannot find you.  Not only did they spell your company wrong but literally they spelt your own name wrong.

The niche manufacturer contacted AMRM again to correct that mistake in the next lot of models he sends for review.  Well you guessed it again in the review they got his name wrong again and the name of his company was totally different.  He contacted AMRM and they promised to put an erratum but nothing eventuated he contacted his own solicitor who by pro-bono put a letter to AMRM management if they do not correct the mistake then they will be taken to court by the manufacturer for loss of earning.  After twelve months in the news section they apologised to that manufacturer and whilst the damage had been done he had his revenue increase but he never sent his models for review in AMRM ever again.

He was contacted by a smaller magazine overseas who got his name and manufacturers name correct first time and he has succeeded in getting customers from overseas whilst he only sells his models to a few hobbies there is a lesson for all of there.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Lots interesting things here, overall quite negative really. Seen many a thread here and other mediums attacking. Some said they'd make a online mag or start another - not seem them yet. There is another "Model Railways of Australia" mag - they  have given it a go.

I remain skeptical that this thread is good  and will  be watching it closely.
  AdelaideRail75 Station Master

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks yes we will try and keep it positive and one thing lets give credit for AMRM is that the amount of pages compared to other Australian type of magazines- whilst many will say AMRM is full of advertisements there are other magazines similar.  The other Australian based one I have only seen less than a handful of Australian layouts much to the surprise I think for many modellers.

AMRM also needs to be commended on its publishing arm Eveleigh Press the three books I purchased from them is not of excellent value but one that is the one called NSW Electric  Coaching Stock NSW Railways Volume 3 is not only well researched and great photo quality and I think unfairly reviewed in the former Transit Australia magazine. This book shows that what was said many years ago if AMRM makes a loss the books it publishes actually makes a profit cross subsidise the loss the magazine.  This is how Transit Australia Publishing used to work (now Transit Australia magazine is no longer around).  Having said that we need to always remember.

Lastly one recommendation to AMRM and its a simple one.  Like Australian Railway History and also Railway Digest they have a set of Author Guidelines can that be put on AMRM's website or something like that but overall I would give AMRM a 7 1/2 out of 10.  Can do better but given its small staff number of only three it can be difficult as for Q&A's one suggestion is that readers contribute to the Questions and fellow modellers answer the questions that would alleviate the three staff having to contribute- what are your thoughts?
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
I often wonder what the title means
Australian Model Railway Magazine...
is it only for Australian Model Railways
or a model railway magazine produced in Australia ?

They may get more articles if they took all types of model railways/railroads that are built here in Australia.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I have been a subscriber & purchaser to the AMRM for many many years now, & over those years I have seen it as a VG mag and other times not so. I have a couple of very early editions and very scatty along with few pages to read, infancy is always a problem.
While I am a NSW modeller I don't believe the mag overall is biased towards NSW modelling, but looking back its fairly easy to see that the input & articles perhaps favour who are those who primarily model railways from their own states, that is where they live now or even after they have moved, considering these aspects I see that NSW does have more articles than other states & most likely owing to the size of the state and numbers who model their states systems. On that basis I would suggest and maybe I'm wrong but after NSW I would say that Victoria has the next highest number of modellers, then SA, WA, & QLD, there are some modellers in Tasmania but the numbers would not be huge compared to the others.
I admit to finding some editions quite boring as to content, and after a couple of hours those editions are confined to the case fairly quickly. Thing is though that the way the railway industry has dramatically changed across the country since freight privatisation and passenger services being basically DMU types, the whole of the rail systems as such have also made things quite flat and uninteresting at least for me.  Whenever we see new rolling stock or loco's there's little difference in how they look be they EMD or GE types, and a fleet of coal wagons or container wagons don't make for a huge area of interesting models and layouts either.
I do remember subscibing to the U.S Model Railroad Magazine for 2 years owing to a special deal, what I found with that mag and the layouts portrayed in it, was to say the least boring. In the club I belong to around half are NSW modellers and the other half U.S prototypes, and here with the U.S modellers, there is so much commonality in the layouts as I remember in the MR mag, as the vast majority model known big name operators in the U.S, with the R/S and loco's all looking very similar to each other.  So which Model Railway set up do those who buy the AMRM model, and how many of the articles that show some building skills provide incentives to scratch build or build/modify kits?
I have never had a letter or other item that I have submitted to the magazine rejected but pretty much every letter and input has been read and checked over prior to publication. Not that I contribute that much though.
Over the years there has been changes in the AMRM Crew log found towards the front of the magazine and they may well determine the actual content that is published, but like many even though I live in NSW heading to Matraville to help out is pretty much out of the question for me though & no doubt most others as well.
Thing is, not every edition is going to satisfy everyone, yet it is still a magazine that I both enjoy and find it with little or no interest.  There's a need for a review of the magazine and perhaps a questionare or poll could be put out for all to have their say regarding the now and the future and where the magazine is to head to.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I often wonder what the title means
Australian Model Railway Magazine...
is it only for Australian Model Railways
or a model railway magazine produced in Australia ?

They may get more articles if they took all types of model railways/railroads that are built here in Australia.
sol
Way back in the early years layouts of all persuasions were featured. But for a very long time the magazine has quite deliberately only featured layouts set in Australia. If I want to see US or UK layouts I read a magazine from that country - I think the focus on Australia is correct.
Disclaimer: I have supplied layout photographs to AMRM for numerous layouts, perhaps averaging two issues a year, for many years. I'm one of the unnamed team helping with the mag.
  The railway dog Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
I don't have a problem with the magazine's Ozcentric focus. Overseas magazines mostly concentrate on their own local prototypes, MR does & at least two British magazines make it plain in their titles that they cover British prototypes. Admittedly the Australian modelling scene is a lot more diverse than in Britain, Europe & the US but the magazines covering this are available here.
If AMRM included more overseas prototypes this would satisfy many here but given the magazine's reliance on a small group this would have to be at the cost of local stuff. And few others are doing anything local.
As for the reviews, I think that in earlier days some things got a better press than they really deserved, probably rationalized by the idea of helping what  was then a very niche modelling scene indeed to grow. And in fairness I can recall a couple of reviews that told it as it is/was.
  sol Assistant Commissioner

Location: Evanston Gardens SA
I wasn't thinking of including overseas layouts but those of overseas modelling built & operated here in Australia.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I wasn't thinking of including overseas layouts but those of overseas modelling built & operated here in Australia.
sol
Yeah, as a "what can we take/learn from these people"
  GCMotorail Station Staff

I agree that AMRM would be strengthened if it included the work of all Australian-based railway modellers, whether they be Australian prototype or an overseas prototype. There are some fine overseas prototype layouts in Australia that we could all appreciate and learn from such as Porthminster by Gavin Thrum or Great Northern Downunder by Gerry Hopkins. I’d rather see more emphasis on layouts than a modelling project article with limited appeal or application.


I also miss the detailed reviews of recently released models that used to appear in AMRM. Many new models aren’t reviewed these days but I acknowledge that there can be a fine line between a detailed review and getting the producers offside.


I certainly want AMRM to continue and succeed, so offer these comments constructively.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I agree that AMRM would be strengthened if it included the work of all Australian-based railway modellers, whether they be Australian prototype or an overseas prototype. There are some fine overseas prototype layouts in Australia that we could all appreciate and learn from such as Porthminster by Gavin Thrum or Great Northern Downunder by Gerry Hopkins. I’d rather see more emphasis on layouts than a modelling project article with limited appeal or application.


I also miss the detailed reviews of recently released models that used to appear in AMRM. Many new models aren’t reviewed these days but I acknowledge that there can be a fine line between a detailed review and getting the producers offside.


I certainly want AMRM to continue and succeed, so offer these comments constructively.
GCMotorail
I am in the same group that Gerry is in which I mention above. He does a lot of work on Australian models and not just with his U.S models, he does a lot of work on other than HO modelling as well, and he has his own webb site that shows his work.  Gerry and others in the group who are into the U.S scene rather than the local scene are quite open to each area of modelling of railways, thing is I would believe is that they concentrate on their model areas in regards to what they read in the main.

Why is there shorter and more condensed reviews than in the past?  Not hard to find the reasons as during the really great era of modern day Oz model railways and reviews, some of those reviews rather than being pretty much fair and open to the aspect that some models had small discrepancies as to 100+% accuracy and fairness in the reviews causing some issues with the reviewers and when more than one person was involved in the reviews.  Since those aspects caused issues, reviews became more complimentary than they probably should have especially when compared to previous detective magnifying glass checks.

The question really is what sort of magazine and content should the AMRM be for it go forward?  That's likely to open a supermarket full of open cans of worms, but as I said previously nothing wrong with conducting a survey and asking for input from all and sundry.

One other area comes to mind and that is going back a few years when the hobby, including exhibitions had a goodly amount of the old term Cottage industry sales people selling exclusive kits and dress up items, the hobby went through a period where many of these people folded, but today we are actually seeing something of a revival of those areas in the hobby, something I believe that helps the AMRM go in a direction that is complimented by these new cottage companies.  

A magazine that went out of production a while back but was reintroduced last year and is about to bring out their next edition called Australian Journal of Model Railways (AJRM) I believe relieves AMRM of some areas for publication that are hard to get people to put articles out.  AJRM has a predominate NSW emphasis along with the areas of showing how to build items for our layouts, the long gap between the mags stop and now restarting again has items in it that can be adapted to suit not just the NSWR modeller but also those from other states/systems as well.
  Piston Train Controller

I would like to AMRM actually produce its annual calendar that features some of the best model railway photos instead of prototype pictures, there are plenty of those around, so try something new?

The rejects from the calendar could be featured in each edition as 'Gallery photos' similar to what Model Railroader has called Trackside Photos. There would be plenty of great photos of layouts around that would be easier to publish than a full layout article. The editors are always crying out for more articles so maybe this feature could fill up a few pages and show off possible feature layouts.

Another filler could be a column that features what articles and products were around 40 years ago. e.g. the August 2020 issue could highlight the August 1980 issue with dot points of interest of that issue, just needs a small entry in a column and would jog the memories of those old enough to have been modelling then.

If all else fails pinch ideas from overseas magazines.
  SeanF Station Staff

I think many contributors have forgotten a vital point.

AMRM is the magazine of the Southern Cross MRA. Similarly, Eveleigh Press is a branch or division of SCMRA.

Its not an independent magazine of a publishing company.

I have been a collector of the magazine since the first issue.

It has had its ups and downs, like any published magazine.

There have been many attempts over the years to beat it, but its the most prominent one in newsagents across Australia.

My only regret is that its not monthly, available in PDF format and free, like Model Railroad Hobbyist, from the USA.
  NSW3802 Locomotive Driver

As an editor of print magazines, I feel I am qualified to comment on the post by AdelaideRail75.


The print publishing industry is undergoing many challenges from digital media and printed magazines are closing all over the world.


Perhaps the new AMRM editor and manager need to clear it with their employers before taking on a role outside their normal working hours, especially if they are in positions that might be impacted by the new role.


The editor was probably correct in not publishing your letter to the editor. AMRM is published by a team of three people. It doesn’t have the resources to provide the same coverage as overseas companies which are backed by manufacturers and large publishing houses.


The point about beginners, intermediate and advanced sections in the magazine can only be provided if the staff have the time and skills to do it.


Providing two layouts in each issue means finding two layouts. Would readers take kindly to the number of articles being reduced to fit in two articles?


The magazine has always been accused of being NSW centric and as you stated the magazine is only as good as its contributors.


There have been several beginner articles recently and perhaps the rejected ones were just not suitable for publication.


The use of imperial measurements is very 19th or 20th century but as all of the plans from that era are drawn in imperial measurements it is hard not to use them. I haven’t seen a layout measurement listed in imperial for many years.


The reason there is no Q&A section is probably that the staff does not have the knowledge to answer all questions. Do they pick the eyes out of questions and answer them and get accused of not answering harder questions.


It has always been stated that a product will only be reviewed if the manufacturer or supplier provides a product for review. I’m sure AMRM cannot afford to buy models and review them. If the supplier won’t supply a product it cannot be reviewed. Perhaps they believe their product won’t stand up under review.


I’m not sure how you know the circulation has dropped, but if it has it is nothing more than is happening to all printed media.

Your second post also needs comment.


The editor of the Tasmanian magazine was right to refer you to AMRM to publish your articles.


The comment that your articles were poorly worded grammatically takes us back to the number of people producing the magazine and the time involved to rewrite articles. Many articles are received by editors that just can’t be used because they need rewriting. Another problem with some submissions that need an illustration, that has not been supplied, needs to be sourced. This is not always possible with costs.


Advertisers make up a great part of any magazine’s income and if an advertiser is upset by a review and they pull their advertising. Most advertisers probably support AMR because they want it continue to be a window for their products. Remember, not all people are computer literate and the printed magazine is vital for this group to receive news.


To accuse AMRM of cash for comment is not necessary and I find it repugnant to suggest that the editor and staff would do this.


Perhaps AMRM does not want to step on toes by writing opinion pieces and that is their prerogative. If an opinion piece tips the balance over between the cost of producing the magazine and closure, who will take on the mantle.


Your comment about exhibition reviews making a comeback is probably not going to happen. People go to exhibitions, they don’t need to be told how good they are.


I agree a survey might be appropriate but that is up to the new editorial team.

Sorry to rave on a bit.

Phantom
Phantom47
I must agree with this post. We have a magazine produced by a small group without the resources of the large publishing houses that publish the overseas magazines.

I would like to thank James, Bob and their team for their tireless effort in promoting our hobby and producing our magazine.

While there have been times James and i might not have agreed on certain things, he has devoted a great deal of time and effort to produce a good quality publication and I would like to thank him for that.

I hope James and Bob have many happy years of modelling and maybe we can see a few pages of their modelling.

Thank you, good luck and enjoy your modelling.

To the new editor; hopefully there have been a few points raised that might be worth considering.

Les.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I don't see that there is a problem.

Virtually everything that a modeller could want can be found in the magazines that are currently available, at least in my local newsagent. There are maybe four British magazines and two American magazines available each month. The English magazine "Continental Modeller" provides a coverage of many other countries. There have been an excellent series of articles on Indian Railway models in CM from a friend of mine in Denistone.

You can't expect any one magazine to meet everybody's expectations, particularly when other magazines are providing that material. For example, friends tell me that "Model Railroader" provides a lot of content for beginners. I only purchas the occasional American magazine, if there is a specific item of interest.

I purchased the very first copy of AMRM, and have most of them since. I've written a number of articles and on occasion reviewed models for AMRM.

I don't believe that it is about to close down, and most people, even on this thread seem happy with AMRM as it is now...

Peter

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