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Meet the Staff


Marc Horovitz

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.

Rene Schweitzer

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.

Vance Bass

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.


Neil Besougloff

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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