These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Monday, February 13, 2006

THE INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY TRAVELER: All Aboard for Exotic Destinations

After shoveling the blizzard of '06 off of the newsstand, I've settled down with coffee and a bagel to leaf through the Winter issue of The International Railway Traveler, cutely abbreviated as IRT (also the name of one of the New York City subway lines), a MagSampler newsstand veteran that's recently undergone a facelift. It used to look like a newsletter, but now has a pretty cover and attractive four-color photos throughout each quarterly issue. The magazine is published by The Society of International Railway Travelers from its base in Louisville, KY. It's an organization for people who like to travel by rail, especially to exotic international destinations, but its magazine has an undeniable appeal to armchair travelers and railroad buffs as well. The opening article in the Winter issue of IRT is about riding the train from Lima, Peru to Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas" that was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1913. There's no road to Machu Picchu; you have to either hoof it for miles or take the train from the city of Cusco, a 58-mile adventure over narrow-gauge track on a train named the "Hiram Bingham." The next story is about the fabulous Moscow Metro, built in the 1930s by a young Nikita Khrushchev and filled with statuary, stained glass, chandeliers and marble walls and floors. Things have apparently loosened up in Moscow in recent years. Writer Samuel L. Scheib reports he was stopped from taking photos in a Metro station by a young militiaman with an assault rifle dangling from his neck.
"Are you a terrorist?" he was asked.
"Worse," Scheib replied, "I'm an American writer."
"Well, you can't take pictures."
"Because it is forbidden."
"But it's art!" Scheib protested.
"Oh! Take your picture then."
In the issue you'll also find an article about a $5 weekend pass on Chicago's Metra Electric, a commuter railroad that will take you to a number of interesting places in Chicagoland such as a riverboat casino, a minor league ballpark, the Botanic Gardens, the Oak Park haunts of Ernest Hemingway and Frank Lloyd Wright, Arlington Park racetrack and the Brookfield Zoo. I also liked a piece about a peculiar train that travels once a day between coastal Anchorage, Alaska and interior Fairbanks (a 12-hour trip). It's composed of a variety of domed cars, some of historic interest to railroad buffs. Several of the observation cars are operated by cruise lines (Royal Caribbean, Princess) taking cruise passengers off their ships for inland excursions.
A $69.00 annual membership in The Society of International Railway Travelers gets you four issues of the magazine as well as discounts on a variety of railroad tours organized by the organization and a number of other travel deals. You can get a sample copy of The International Railway Traveler from us for $2.59.


Blogger Eleanor Hardy said...

Dear Ed:
Just a note to say thank you for the great review of our magazine. We have a special edition, just out, called IRT Society's Best-Loved Railway Journeys 2008. Please go on our web site to order. We'll send it to you for free. It's packed with great photos and info about the World's Top 25 Trains. I hope you like it.
Sincere good wishes for your great web site, Eleanor Hardy
President & Co-Owner,
The Society of International Railway Travelers

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Hardy said...

Dear Ed:
Just wanted to let you know that our magazine, The International Railway Traveler is hot off the press with its special edition. It's called IRT Society's Best-Loved Railways 2009 and has 56 gorgeous pages with the World's Top 25 Trains, released today, and can be viewed at Readers can download it free of charge. It is full color and full of first-hand information, inspiring info about our favorite subject. Also, we have a brand-new web site. Note that paid members get a slick, full-colored printed issue of the magazine plus three other regular issues per year. Membership is now $85. We would welcome you as a new member!
Eleanor Hardy
President & Co-owner
The Society of International Railway Travelers

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could you send the free copy to Trains Reader through July 31st to this address: Curt W. Howell#29423-177 Federal Correctional Complex (medium)P.O. Box 26040 Beaumont,Texas 77720

9:41 AM  

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