The International Steam Pages

Continental Railway Circle 

Update 23rd November 2013. The proposals have been accepted by the vast majority of CRJ subscribers and the new arrangements have been implemented with Locomotives International #87. The magazine will in future be appearing bi-monthly, for more information visit

The following document was sent by post to all Continental Railway Journal subscribers whose email (if any) is not known in early September 2013. Many subscribers will have already received it as an email or read it on the CRC Yahoo group.

(On a personal note, as a long term subscriber to both CRJ (since 1975) and LI (since inception in 1989), I would like to add that the proposal below has my fullest support. RD)

Current Position – September 2013

1. Lance King

Lance went into hospital at the beginning of June for treatment to his feet, and has not been home since. He is currently in rehabilitation at a hospital in Willesden, but is expected to return home shortly.

2. Situation of Continental Railway Journal

CRJ 173 was published immediately before Lance’s admission to hospital, but CRJ 174 is stalled with little or no work done on it. Lance has indicated that he is no longer able to perform any regular role in the editing or writing of CRJ, and the future of the Journal must therefore be considered.

There are several areas of concern with CRJ. These include –

  • The number of subscribers has fallen steadily from c.1350 fifteen years ago to c.650 now. If this trend continues, in five years time circulation will be less than one third of what it once was.
  • The traditional method of publication used has become unaffordable; the printer’s bill for each copy sold now exceeds the cover price. Unless the method of publishing is brought up to date and costs reduced accordingly, CRJ cannot afford to continue.
  • Lance’s former role as CRJ sub-editor as well as Editor means that with his absence, much of the world now has no sub-editor. Anything between 30% and 50% of each Journal was in fact compiled by Lance. None of the sub-editors is willing to take on extra responsibilities and the Circle’s long-serving subscriptions officer has also now retired.
  • Appeals for assistance with CRJ were made at the July London meeting, and posted on the CRC Yahoo group. No firm offers of assistance have been received.

Many CRC members will have seen the magazine ‘Locomotives International’ which started a number of years ago. It has recently been relaunched as a quarterly magazine by its new owners ‘Mainline & Maritime’. The current issue (available in many WH Smith outlets) is an A4-format glossy publication with good production standards and most of the photographs in colour. The content is largely serious articles on non-UK locomotives and railways, mainly steam era, with a small section of ‘news’. The magazine is aimed at the same market as CRJ.

A proposal concerning CRJ has now been made by the Editor of Locomotives International. This is:

  • For CRJ to be combined into LI, and to cease as an independent publication.
  • For LI to be expanded through CRJ sub-editors supplying material for an augmented notes and news section.
  • For LI to become bi-monthly rather than quarterly
  • For CRJ 174 to be cancelled and for the first issue of the combined magazine to be supplied to all 2012-2013 CRJ subscribers as the substitute, together with an invitation to subscribe to LI. Existing LI subscribers who will already be getting the first issue will be credited with an extra issue on their subscription.
  • The CRC to have a ½ page advert in each issue of LI which would be used to publish the London and Stafford meeting programmes and other CRC activities such as new and second-hand book sales.

3. Subscriptions for 2013-14

A ‘London Meetings’ season ticket for £10 will be offered at the September CRC London Meeting with the existing ‘Pay as you go’ charge of £2 being maintained. All administration and distribution of LI will be done by the publisher and no magazines will be distributed at the London meetings during the forthcoming season; this will be reviewed for 2014/15.

Existing Season Ticket holders who currently collect their CRJ at London meetings will be asked to supply name and address details together with their season ticket number so that the LI can post their substitute for CRJ 174. This should be done either at the September London meeting or by post or email to the North American sub-editor, Tony Eaton. (See below) 

4. Book Sales

Postal book sales are being covered in Lance’s absence by other Circle members. London meeting book sales will continue as normal, but more use will be made of the CRC website and postal lists to widen their appeal to all members.

5. What Happens Next?

No final agreement has yet been made with LI although Lance King has been advised of the proposal and is broadly in favour. This notice is being mailed or emailed to all CRJ postal subscribers, and a copy provided for each attendee at the September London meeting. It is also being posted on the CRC Yahoo group.

All CRC members are invited to comment on the current position, the proposal from Locomotives International, and how the Circle and CRJ may proceed in the future. Comments may be posted on the CRC Yahoo group, or sent to Tony Eaton. (See below)

If agreement is reached with LI, then all being well these arrangements will apply with Locomotives International supplying issue 87 in November 2013.

6. Website and Contact Details

The CRC website will be updated with the new arrangements once agreed. Any queries should be addressed to Tony Eaton, Nigella, Burney Road, Westhumble, RH5 6AX or by email to

Adrian Palmer, Nick Tindall & Tony Eaton on behalf of Lance King.

Rob Dickinson