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Celebrating Railroads One Issue at a Time

Kenneth Sponsler, fotolia

The Harley-Davidson Museum is devoted to one of the icons of the open road.  But the museum was taken over for a sold-out celebration of the form of transportation that has been irrevocably altered by the open road.

Waukesha-based Trains magazine marks its 75th anniversary this month.  But when Kalmbach publishing launched it, trains occupied a much different place in American culture.  The magazine has chronicled the seismic shifts in the past three-quarters of a century.

Jim Wrinn is editor at Trains and he says Al Kalmbach  had a vision for the newest publication. Kalmbach wanted Trains to serve as the National Geographic  of railroad magazines. "It would take readers to distant places they couldn't go," Wrinn says, "he wanted to be able to bring those railroads to them in their homes."

After 75 years, what else can be said about trains? The answer is simple, trains will continue to affect history, business and technology. "It's not about how much there is, its about how much we can leave out," says Wrinn.

Americans are have traveled farther then ever imagined in the 1800's. Though there is still some adventure in each issue of Trains, the magazine has found a good balance of various genes. Wrinn adds "We try to have sort of a kaleidoscope of topics and themes going at one time."