Take a quick look through some of the pages in our latest issue and then download and read the issue. It's the creation of train fans from around the world (not a commercial magazine). We love trains and train related subject matter and contributed to producing this great content!
After much waiting it's here. Sit back relax and take a virtual train journey through our interactive pages. Read that Railway Girl's Journey across Vietnam, find out who designed the Pennsylvania Rail Road's iconic GG1 locomotives and the coca-cola bottle! Take a tour of two great railroad museums separated by thousands of miles - Japan's Kyoto museum & Canada's Exporail. Find out about the preserved railway scene in Australia and even read a poem from another Aussie "What if Trains could think?" Now there's a thought to ponder on. Read straight away, it doesn't cost a thing and you can download the interactive version as a PDF to your phone, tablet or computer (and the video links still work). Go on! Click on the issue's cover to start reading
Issue 3 of Off the Tracks will have a feature on mid-19th century electric traction. We've articles on the developments in Italy and the USA, and its GG1 class. Here's a snippet on the Italian
These machines were a product of the technology of the nineteen thirties. These machines were was large, heavy, very powerful and fast. Initially they could reach speeds of 150kp/h. The E.428s were only the third DC locomotives designed in Italy, and as such retained the legacy of the technologies and some of the solutions typical of three-phase locomotives. In all the class was built in four series, and the E428s soon became the most modern symbol of Italian railways. They were emblematic of speed and progress in an era of change from steam locomotives to the speeding electric train.
Words Francesco Bocchicchio and Andrea Sossio.
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It's taking a little longer that imagined but issue 3 of the instagram sourced, social media train magazine will be with you soon. It's a hobby project for a couple of guys and editor John, so it's a case of having to fit it in around normal work and life commitments. This issue will again stretch to 100 pages plus and there are articles on Australian steam preservation, modelling German railways and even a poem. That Railway Girl also writes on riding the reunification line in - a 1,072-mile journey that at times proved more than a test!
There's even a poem in the issue and a great story about how trains and train travel can bring parents and their children closer together. Jack's Train Guide is just that a journey through the US (west Coast) taking in heritage lines and museums. We're excited and we know what's in the issue. And it's interactive with video links to stories. Check out some of the spreads below and do like us on facebook and instagram. Search Off the Tracks Magazine!
Instagram's That Railway Girl will be writing an article for the next issue of Off the Tracks. Here she shares one of her other rail escapades, a slow train to China, well in China really, but you get the idea!
I want to start this post with a disclaimer: By the time I took my first train ride in China, I had already been travelling for a couple of months, had been lost, conned, exhausted and hungry more times than I had anticipated… basically what I want to say is that my nerves had worn pretty thin. Okay, I’ll put it more bluntly, I was a bit of a wreck...
Right, now you’ve got a bit of context, I’ll begin…
Beijing is crazy. Stepping off the Trans Siberian, we soon realised that we had made the mistake of arriving during Golden Week Celebrations. So it was extra busy, crowded, noisy and utterly chaotic. For some ridiculous reason (despite having lived in Hong Kong in my early childhood) I had expected China to be peaceful, tranquil and serene… I literally have no idea why I had that expectation. Needless to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was an assault on the senses – at times in a good way, more often than not in a bad way. Visceral is a word I like to use when describing it.
To read more CLICK HERE and to find out more about That Railway Girl CLICK HERE
Issue 3 Autumn goes with a flash!
In our next issue (autumn) we're going to take a look at early electric locomotives on both sides of the Atlantic - we profile Italy's E.626s and the US Pennsylvania Railway's GGs1. Do they have any similarities and which lasted the longest? Clue take a read of the caption below!
E.626 TFT (Trasporto Ferroviario Toscano S.p.A., regional Tuscan railway) locos are both ready to leave Bibbiena station, hauling freight trains to Arezzo. These locomotives, Nnumbers 223 and 311, are the only ones in the whole E.626 group that have remained in regular service (Bibbiena, 22/08/2015). Photo Andrea Sosio
Pic of GG1 by instagrammer vefa_nuri
It's looking like we will have an interview with Tony Thompson, the great railroad author and authority all things, Southern Pacific and we also have a contribution from a young railfanner (we love it when young guys and girls) send us in material. NS8104 on insta has some cracking shots of preserved steam locos running right by where he lives! He tells us about, for example, Reading Blue Mountain and Northern's Light Pacific number 425. We can't wait, can you?
And don't forget to check out our current issue - link in header.
We're working on pulling together the next issue of Off the Tracks. So far confirmed for the issue are: an interview with renowned railroad writer and historian Tony Thompson. Tony is an expert on the Southern Pacific - a now "fallen flag" US railroad. (Do check Tony out at http://modelingthesp.blogspot.co.uk/)
We also have a train journey (we'll keep you in suspense as to which one) from UK railway blogger "That Railway Girl" (Do check out her blog at https://thatrailwaygirl.wordpress.com/)
And to keep all railway modellers happy we go to Germany to look at MarlinO's creation. There's an image from this great layout in this post.
There will be lots more more railway related articles, including art and poetry in the autumn issue. Off the Tracks is the train mag with a difference...
Do take a look - it's free, it's created by social media train fans - link to issue in website header image.
Above pic: Nancy Station under a beautiful sunset
As a train fan we're always looking forward to hopping on a train, whether it be a commute, or something much longer, like a hop across the channel on the Eurostar and onto the north-east/east region of France.
If you've been following our instagram page, you'll have seen that we posted some pics of our journey and asked a few questions along the way. The shots were candid i.e. of the roof at St Pancras and an exit (depart) sigh, in the facade at Gare du Nord (congrats to instagrammer Fw.Kelly who somehow got that one). Boarding our train on Sunday morning meant that it was not too busy a journey, but the Eurostar was packed.
It was a speedy and uneventful sprint into the 50-odd km tunnel and then onto Paris. A quick 10-minute left-right walk then got us to Gare d'Lest, for about a 90-min trip to Nancy by TGV. Relatively flat and not that inspiring countryside flashed past on what looked like to relatively new line.
Nancy is a large-ish station with connecting services to Metz, Stasbourg and Luxembourg for example. We took the 30-min service to Metz a day or so after our arrival. Well, 30 minutes on the way there as we took the stopper on the way back which took an extra 20-min and was air-conditioned by opening the windows. Still this enabled us to see more of the sights, such as they were. The views of forested hill-tops and rivers were much appreciated and there were quite a few industries along the line with plenty of trackage and what looked like a coaling facility for coal trains (Mrs OfftheTracks was less impressed with the latter).
Nancy is worth a visit for the Place Stansislas - a UNESCO world heritage site. It is stunning and construction began in 1752.(more on this in a planned in-depth article in Off the Tracks (autumn issue). With easy connection from the UK and other points across mainline Europe we'd say go there!
Oh, there's also a model train shop just across from the station called Nancy Train... yep, we did go there too...
For more great travel, and railway related content - including art, jazz and people check out our Click here LATEST ISSUE,
Off the Tracks is created through social media for train fans, train travellers. Over fifty percent of our readers are under 40 and it's an equal male/female split by train fans.. .in case you are interested!
Our friends at TSG Multimedia (as featured in issue 2 of Off the Tracks) produce great prototypical, model railroad and fun train content. This Layout Tour video of Jack Burgess's Yosemite Valley Railroad is one not to miss. We watched it from start to finish and the attention to detail is incredible. The trackside buildings have fully detailed interiors, for example, and the model is as lifelike a representation of a prototype as you will find. Started in 1980 the layout was completed in 2011. There are over 100 structures on the railroad and all are representations of buildings that were located around the actual railroad. Such is the focus on detail that the 'date' being modelled is August 1939! You'll only find rolling stock that is therefore appropriate to that time period, most of that is scratch built or built from resin kits. All track is hand laid. Jack explains that when he started the railroad he was bringing up his family and did not have lots of money, so he hand laid the track to literally make his money spent on railroad purchases last. The Yosemite Valley Railroad is very much a labour of love. Check it out.
We are thinking of offering a print version of Off the Tracks. We've had a sample made up. Let us know what you think. This would involve quite a lot of expense and so we'd need to charge for this. Postal costs could also make this a difficult proposition. Are we being too negative? Let us know what you think. Initially, if we were to go ahead, the print version would be a copy of the digital one. In future we may design two issues a print and a digital one. Let us have your comments and indeed any comments on what we are attempting with Off the Tracks.