Train lovers have a new online resource: A paid membership site launched on Thursday by Kalmbach Media, publisher of Trains,
Classic Trains, Model Railroader, Classic Toy Trains and the digital subscription brand Model Railroader Video Plus.
The new site, Trains.com, features videos, blogs, photo galleries and articles designed for rail enthusiasts, while serving as an umbrella for the individual brands.
Trains.com initially was announced in 2019, with a projected launch in 2020.
The cost per month is $6.99, and the site is offering a 30-day free trial.
Kalmbach hopes to provide “an engaging, friendly, community environment, where members can share their own experiences and get their questions answered by each other, as well as by experts,” David Popp, executive producer for Trains.com.
One special benefit for history-minded rail fans is access to the archives, going back 80 years
for Trains and Model Railroader.
In addition, the site will feature daily updates, premium video programming and breaking news from the railroad and hobby fields. The platform will also feature distinct sections for each of the brands.
However, Kalmbach is not reverting to an all-digital model.
“Our magazines aren’t going away,” states Dan Hickey, Kalmbach CEO. “We want to serve enthusiasts on every platform they enjoy.”
Besides its “tracks” titles, Kalmbach
Media offers titles such as Astronomy, Discover and FineScale Modeler. In 2019, it added a paywall for Discover.
Kalmbach claims to reach more than 35 million consumers with its various sites, including the ecommerce sites My Science Shop and Kalmbach Hobby Store.