The Railroad Magazine Index is an effort to make a search engine that encompasses any and all magazines related to railroads, railroad history, railfanning, and railroad modeling. It is not affiliated with any publisher or organization, but is an independent project by Michael Petersen and Nathan Holmes.

We started this project after the 2021 redesign took Kalmbach Publishing's Train Magazine Index offline because "the old software couldn't be updated to run in the new environment." We initially contacted Kalmbach and offered to help reverse engineer things and rewrite their software to run on a modern platform. However, their IT staff indicated that it was too old and couldn't be done. So, with no up-to-date search engine available for our favorite hobby, we set off to build our own from scratch, and make it far bigger and broader than the old one ever was.

This one isn't perfect. It's not a carefully curated and manually entered record of articles. It's all done with OCR of old magazine scans and pulling the text out of modern PDFs. There's typos (or rather OCR-os, since no typing was involved). There's missing issues. But it's usable, and in some ways it's better. This one will search the whole text, not just the titles and summaries, and will give you little thumbnails so you can visually check if that's the article you remember. Plus, you can't beat the price of free.