Nickel Plate Road Magazine

The Nickel Plate Road Magazine is published by the Nickel Plate Road Historical & Technical Society for its members and historians interested in the former New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad and its predecessor companies. Articles, manuscripts, photographs, and other historical data, as well as items of contemporary nature relating to the Nickel Plate Road, are solicited for publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced for commercial use without the permission of the Editor and the contributor of the material involved.

Please join the NKPHTS to read the articles and receive other great quarterly magazines as part of your membership.

Magazine Submissions

If you would like to submit an article for our magazine, please read these publication guidelines and information.

Submission of "copy" (text): You may submit your text as an attachment to an e-mail or cut-and-paste into an e-mail unto itself. We can read just about any reasonably contemporary word-processing document and for certain Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Adobe InDesign, and PDF documents. Don't own a computer? Not to worry. We take articles the good old-fashioned way, too: typed on paper and mailed via regular postal service.

Submission of photos: First of all, we accept good old-fashioned "real" photos, either color slides (originals preferred) or original black & white or color negatives or B&W prints made from negatives. Color prints are also acceptable although color slides (transparencies) are preferred if there is a choice; there is considerable loss of quality in a print made from a slide. Nonetheless, if you go that route, color prints need to be at least 5x7 and printed on smooth (versus textured) paper. Faded or color-shifted slides ARE acceptable, as we have the means to restore color and saturation and remove scratches, dust, and certain other defects.

We understand the reluctance many of you have in loaning out original slides or negatives. We recommend using USPS insured Priority Mail, which includes tracking. We will scan and return the slides or negatives promptly.

More and more people are submitting digital photos electronically, and although this works great when it does work, it's also an area where we have been seeing considerable trouble because many are still struggling with that pesky learning curve. Most of the time, the problem stems from files that are simply too small, as people strive to "conserve" memory. Forget it. The most basic rule of thumb is to send us the largest file your scanner or your camera can make! And remember that how good a photo may appear to look on your computer screen at 72 d.p.i. (dots per inch) has little bearing on how it will look in the print media, which requires 300 d.p.i.

If you do your own scanning of slides and prints, here are some simple rules of thumb:

  • 5x7 B&W print: scan in grayscale at a minimum of 600 d.p.i. at 100 percent (600 d.p.i. allows us to run the photo up to about 14 inches wide at 300 d.p.i.)

  • 8x10 B&W print: scan in grayscale at a minimum of 300 d.p.i. at 100 percent

  • 5x7 color print: scan in R-G-B (red-green-blue) at a minimum of 600 d.p.i. at 100 percent.

  • 8x10 color print: scan in R-G-B at a minimum of 600 d.p.i. at 100 percent.

  • 35mm color slide: If you have high-end slide-scanning equipment, scan in R-G-B at 4,000 d.p.i. at 100 percent. Many newer flatbed scanners come with slide-scanning attachments that provide excellent results as long as the slides are scanned at 3200 dpi or above.

In all cases, we prefer that you save the scan as a TIFF file, but it's okay to save larger files as a JPEG if you intend to send them to us as an e-mail attachment. However, if you wish to send them to us burned onto a DC or DVD, keep them as TIFF files.

Digital images taken with a digital camera are almost always automatically 72 d.p.i., which is fine as long as the photo is about 40-60 inches wide; squeezed down to run in the magazine at, say, 10 inches wide automatically converts it to about the 300 d.p.i. we need.

When e-mailing a photo to us, it is best to send them one at a time as an attachment, and each file size must be less than 10 megabytes. Following the above simplified guide, most of your files will be below that. If your image file is larger than 10 megs, it will have to be sent to us via our FTP site, which is easy to use. Contact us at and we will walk you through the process. Warning: Do NOT send us photos imbedded in a Microsoft Word document.

And finally - very important! - you MUST put the photographer's name as well as the owner of the photo's name (if different from the photographer) on EVERY photo or in every digital image you send to us. Also provide at least basic caption information (what, where, when, why) with each photo. With a digital image, you can type this into the image's metafile, which lives with the scan; some folks like to include basic caption info in the file name itself. Sending a photo or image's credits and caption info separately is asking for trouble. Please bear in mind that, at our Illinois office, we receive several hundred e-mails, photographs, and digital images per day for eight different magazines. Sorting and processing them goes much faster and more accurately when the photographer's name and caption info is attached.

If you have any other questions, please contact us by e-mail.

Submission does not guarantee publication. Likewise, when a submission is made has no bearing on when, or if, it may appear. Both selection and issue date are totally up to the Publications Director. Therefore, there are no "deadlines." However, compilation and selection dates by the Editor are roughly:

  • Winter - November 1

  • Spring - February 1

  • Summer - May 1

  • Fall - August 1

Submit articles to:

NKPM/Tony Koester
949 Ridge Road
Newton NJ 07860

Submissions for the NKPM Car 831 should go to the magazine's main editorial office in Illinois c/o Mike Schafer, PO Box 129, Lee, IL 60530-0129 or email Mike at with the topic in the subject field of the e-mail; for example, "NKPM Letter to Car 831."