Posts Tagged ‘Carstens Publications’

2 Railfan Magazines to Merge in 2015

October 31, 2014


Two longtime railfan magazines plan to merge in early 2015. White River Productions announced this week that Railfan & Railroad will be combined with Railroads Illustrated with Steve Barry serving as editor of the combined publication.

The December issue of Railroads Illustrated will be its last. The editor of Railroads Illustrated, Cinthia Priest, will oversee an upcoming Railroads Illustrated Annual that is still in development.

White River acquired Railfan & Railroad earlier this year after Carstens Publications shut down.

White River also acquired Railroad Model Craftsman from Carstens and has named Stephen Priest as its editor.



White River Acquires Railfan & Railroad

August 31, 2014


Railfan & Railroad Magazine isn’t dead just yet. White River Productions, which publishes various railroad historical society magazines, announced that it has acquired R&R plus Railroad Model Craftsman from Carstens Publications.

Carstens, which had published the magazines for decades, went out of business on Aug. 22. The agreement to purchase Railfan & Railroad and Railroad Model Craftsman will become effective on Sept. 1.

R&R June cover

The June cover of the last issue of Railfan & Roadroad that was produced by Carstens Publications.

In a news release posted on its website, White River said staff assignments for Railfan and Railroad have yet to be determined.

Steve Barry had been the editor of the magazine at the time that Carstens suspended publication.

White River said it would finish production of the June issues of both magazines and mail them to subscribers.

Kevin EuDaly, president of White River, said that in order to get the cover dates current some issues might be combined. However, he said that subscribers will receive the number of issues still left on their subscription.

“If you have six issues left on your subscription, you will receive six issues,” he said.

The agreement with Carstens to purchase its assets, which was consummated on Aug. 28, also includes the acquisition of books division of Carstens. The agreement does not include another Carstens magazine, Flying Models.

“We are excited to welcome these two Carstens titles to our family of White River Productions publications,” EuDaly said. “These magazines are an important part of railroad publications and White River Productions looks forward to continuing their legacies.”

The mailing address for the magazines for subscriber, reader, and industry communication is the Bucklin, Mo., address for White River. (P.O. Box 48, Bucklin, MO 64631).

Advertisers should contact Mike Lindsay of White River Productions at 800-282-3291 or via email at,, or ads@ Mike will be managimanaging advertising for the new titles.

Railroad Model Craftsman magazine was founded in 1933 by Emanuele Stieri as The Model Craftsman, aimed at all areas of scale modeling. Ownership of the publishing company passed in 1934 to Charles Penn.

In 1949 the name of the publication was changed to Railroad Model Craftsman, with a focus on the scale model train hobby exclusively.

Hal Carstens joined the publishing firm in 1952 and purchased the company in 1963, renaming it Carstens Publications.

Railfan & Railroad in concept goes back to 1968 when future Railroad Model Craftsman editor Tony Koester along with Jim Boyd pitched the idea to Carstens for a “railfan’s” magazine. By 1971 Jim Boyd had joined Carstens to work on Flying Models, and in 1974 Railfan was born as a quarterly publication.

It went to six times a year in 1977, and monthly in 1987. In 1979 it was merged with the defunct Railroad magazine (which began in 1906 as Railroad Man’s Magazine), becoming Railfan & Railroad.

The late Jim Boyd was editor of Railfan & Railroad  from its inception until his retirement in 1998.

White River Productions was founed by EuDaly in 1992.  It produces 22 historical society magazines plus calendars, books, and other peripheral items such as membership brochures,

advertising rate cards, annual meet announcements, and ballots. The company also publishes Model Railroad News, Railroads Illustrated, Passenger Train Journal and The Railroad Press magazine.

The company began when EuDaly decided to write and publish the book Missouri Pacific Diesel

Power. He produced The Eagle for the Missouri Pacific Historical Society from 1993 to 1996 and picked up the editor’s reins again for the MPHS in 2010. In between, he has edited and produced numerous historical society publications. His wife, Nadean, manages day-to-day operations at White River.

The White River website is



Carstens Publications Ceases Operations

August 23, 2014

Carstens Publications went out of business on Friday, ending a decades-long publishing enterprise. Carstens published Railfan & Railroad, Railroad Model Craftsman and Flying Models.

“It is with regret that Carstens Publicatons Inc. will be closing permanently . . .,” wrote president Henry R. Carstens in a statement posted on the Railfan & Railroad website. “Carstens Publications, Inc. has been a leading publisher of leading hobby magazines for over 50 years.

“Unfortunately the current economic climate has placed us in this position. Discussion is continuing with several parties who expressed desire to take on the continuance of the magazines.

“At this point there is still hope that all three titles will remain in existence. But I can offer no guarantees. We thank you for your patronage over the years . . .”

Friday’s statement followed an earlier statement posted this week that the company was in negotiations, “with several companies regarding the future publishing of Railfan & Railroad, Railroad Model Craftsman, and Flying Models magazines. All involved ask for your patience at this time.”

One factor in the closing of Carstens may have been the shutdown of Source Interlink Distribution, the nation’s second largest distributors of magazines.

That company filed for bankruptcy protection in May after Time, Inc., pulled its business over unpaid fees. Time, publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated, among other publications, moved its business to TNG.

The New York Times reported in May that the rise of the Internet has greatly affected magazine sales as retailers devote shelf space once reserved for magazines to such products as gun and candy. In the past five years, the retail magazine trade shrank by 40 percent to less than $3 billion.

Historically, retailers would purchase magazines from wholesalers such as Source Interlink Distribution and later receive a credit for magazines that they returned because they had gone unsold.

The Times reported that Source Interlink sought to impose a different business model in which retailers paid only for magazines that they actually sold. Source Interlink, in turn, demanded higher fees from magazines to make up for revenue that it was losing from retailers.

Magazines are typically distributed to retailers in bulk shipments. Bill Mickey, editorial director of Folio, which covers the magazine industry told the Times that on average a retailer sells about 35 percent of the magazines received in the shipment. Theft and lost magazines also make up about 7 percent of a shipment.

The new payment model that Source Interlink had been offering may have been advantageous to retailers, but it also meant that publishers would not be compensated for lost and stolen magazines.

The woes of Railfan and Railroad were the subject of a brief discussion during Friday night’s Akron Railroad Club meeting. Members who subscribe to R&R reported that they had not received any issues in the mail since June.

A few years ago Railfan and Railroad had vanished from the magazine rack at area grocery and other retail stores, although some hobby shops continued to sell it. The magazine had long played second fiddle to Trains.