Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff of Garden Railways

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Marc Horovitz, Editor
Marc has been a model railroader since he received his first train at age 4. Since then he has modeled in O scale, HO, HOn3, Sn2, 1:20.3, 16mm, and 7/8".

In 1976, Marc formed an architectural graphic design company, Sidestreet Bannerworks. Three years later, he added an importing division to his company, bringing scale live-steam locomotives into the United States from England, Germany, and Japan.

As a way to inform customers about new developments in the small-scale steam hobby, Marc began producing a company newsletter, the Sidestreet Banner. Then, in 1984, he and his wife, Barbara, founded Garden Railways magazine. The magazine was sold to Kalmbach Publishing Company in 1996. Marc stayed on as editor, while Barb retired.

Since starting Garden Railways, Marc and Barb have traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Great Britain, visiting and documenting a large number of garden lines. They have also built three railways of their own.
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Rene Schweitzer, Production Editor
Rene has been with the staff of Garden Railways since February of 1998. She works with Marc Horovitz (who is located in Denver, Colo.) in reading and editing all the material for the magazine, coordinates the workflow of the magazine, and designs several of the departments including Notes & news and Product reviews. She also updates the magazine's website and prepares content for the biweekly email newsletter.

She currently lives in Waukesha with her husband (who is a toy train enthusiast) and three cats. In her spare time, she enjoys a variety of hobbies including reading, gardening, rubber stamping, machine embroidery, and volunteering at her church.
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Nancy Norris, Horticultural Editor
In 1997, Nancy Norris was already a modeler and landscaper when she founded her business, Garden Lines , building outdoor train layouts in the San Francisco Bay area . On the job, she practices time-honored construction techniques, but also experiments with new products and styles of railways.


As Horticultural Editor for Garden Railways magazine, Nancy draws on landscaping, botany, and education courses taken while earning her B.S. in Plant & Soil Sciences and Master of Occupational Education. She uses skills acquired as a Plant Science teacher to guide readers and clients to organize the tasks necessary to construct a railway in their backyards. She has over 35 years of horticultural experience in New England’s Zones 4-6 as well as California’s Zones 7-10 (most of the USDA Hardiness Zones). In designing dynamic panoramas that are relatively simple to maintain, Nancy chooses from a wide palette of plants – from bonsai trees and annuals to succulents and aquatics. Miniature Garden Guidebook by Nancy Norris shows how to design a scale railway garden.


How did she get railroaded into this hobby? In the 1980’s, Nancy became a ham radio operator and builder of radio-controlled model airplanes, which her grandson wanted to fly. She gives him credit for towing her to a local train show where she first saw a Garden Railways magazine and thus discovered the Bay Area Garden Railway Society, where they have been active members.

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Vance Bass, Technical Editor

Vance Bass got into large-scale model railroads by the usual path: Marx set at age 4, HO at age 9, building model hotrods at age 11. When a friend picked up a 1930s Lionel set at a garage sale, he was bitten by the train bug again in his 20s, and got into large scale in the early 1980s. He is interested in the industrial archaeology of railroading and in the worldwide history of narrow gauge railroads. He has started three garden railroads, but has never finished one and doesn't expect one to ever be finished.

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Neil Besougloff, Associate Publisher
Neil joined the staff of Garden Railways in February 2011 as Associate Publisher. He has been editor of Model Railroader magazine since June 2007. Before that, Neil was editor of Classic Toy Trains for a decade and was a newspaper editor in Florida and in his native New Jersey.

Neil and his wife Susy are the parents of five boys, all college age and beyond. They live in Oconomowoc, Wisc., west of Milwaukee. In addition model railroading, Neil spends his free time reading history books and tinkering with his 1931 Ford Model A.
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