Meet the Staff


Kent Johnson

At an early age, Kent began accumulating a wealth of hobby knowledge gained by building O gauge layouts with his father and grandfather. Those skills, when paired with his education in business and technical communication, proved beneficial throughout the 10 years he served as a senior acquisitions editor in the Kalmbach Media Co. Books Department. It was in this role that Kent first worked with Garden Railways founder Marc Horovitz, who introduced him to new adventures in outdoor model railroading.

In addition to editing books, magazines, and special issues for Kalmbach Media, Kent has also authored and photographed features, reviews, and columns for Model Railroader, Classic Toy Trains, Trains, and Model Retailer magazines. In his most recent role as associate producer, he hosted, directed, edited, and produced videos for Model Railroader Video Plus subscription website.

Kent and his wife, Ella, are the parents of two adult sons. He does his best to share his love of trains, travel, music, big dogs, photography, and other outdoor activities with his family and friends.

Kent's railroads

Kent's O scale (1:48), three-rail layout fills a 14 x 48-foot room in his basement. Inspired by numerous travels to various regions of western Canada, Kent is modeling his modern-era layout to include city scenes, forested mountain terrain, and deep river canyons.

Kent's layout: Canadian Pacific Railway In O scale
The 22 x 28-foot Canadian Pacific Joy Division is Kent’s first raised garden railroad (1:29). With plenty of help from his family, friends, and colleagues, Kent maintains 150 feet of main line under a tall canopy of backyard trees.

Both railroads have been featured in HD videos presented on

Rene Schweitzer

Rene has been with the staff of Garden Railways since February of 1998. She works with Kent Johnson in preparing and editing all the material for the magazine and website, coordinates the workflow of the magazine. She writes an occasional feature story or product review. She also updates the magazine's website, social media pages, and prepares content for the biweekly email newsletter.

She currently lives in Waukesha with her husband (who is an avid toy train enthusiast and has recently gotten interested in large-scale equipment too) and four cats. In her spare time, she enjoys a variety of hobbies including reading, watching movies, gardening, rubber stamping, machine embroidery, and bicycling.

Marc Horovitz

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 until 2018.


Get the Garden Railways newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Garden Railways magazine. Please view our privacy policy