|Publisher||Bauer Consumer Media|
|First issue||1981(as Rail Enthusiast)|
Rail is a British magazine on the subject of current rail transport in Great Britain. It is published every two weeks by Bauer Consumer Media and can be bought from the travel sections of UK newsstands. It is targeted primarily at the enthusiast market, but also covers issues relating to rail transport.
Rail is more than four decades old, and was called Rail Enthusiast from its launch in 1981 until 1988. It is one of only two railway magazines that increased its circulation. It has roughly the same cover design for several years, with a capitalised italic red RAIL along the top of the front cover.
Rail is customarily critical of railway institutions, including the Rail Delivery Group, the Office of Rail and Road, as well as, since it assumed greater railway powers, the Department for Transport. Rail's continuing campaigns include one against advertising and media images showing celebrities and others walking between the rails (an unsafe practice), with another against weeds on railway lines.
The market for rail magazines has remained static but bounced back since then. To meet the change in the market, the magazine has repositioned itself from being purely enthusiast-based to being more business-oriented. This has met with some success.
Rail also organises conferences, including the annual National Rail Conference, the National Rail Awards and the Rail 100 Breakfast Club.
Rail sometimes publishes incorrect information, such as a false statement on page 15 of issue 958, claiming that Northern was the first operator of the Class 769 in May 2021, when it was actually Transport for Wales in December 2020.
Rail publishes a mix of news, analysis and features written by its own editorial staff and freelance contributors.
The magazine takes a broadly supportive stance on High Speed 2 and began running a regular column dedicated to it in 2013.
The magazine's Managing Editor is Nigel Harris. Other staff include Deputy Editor Stefanie Foster, News Editor Paul Stephen and Features Editor Tom Allett.
Other regular contributors include transport commentator Christian Wolmar, one of the most vociferous critics of the privatisation of railways in Britain; fares and ticketing expert Barry Doe (The Fare Dealer); an anonymous railway employee, the Industry Insider, as well as Steve Broadbent, Andy Coward and Chris Leigh.
Many of Rail's editorial staff frequently appear on television and radio when a rail expert is needed to comment on a story.