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Garden Railways

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Title: Garden Railways  
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Subject: Gn15, Astronomy (magazine), List of Wisconsin magazines, Discover (magazine)
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Garden Railways

Cover of a 2010 issue

Garden Railways is a bi-monthly American magazine about the hobby of running large-scale trains outdoors, also called garden railroading. Published since 1984, it is the world's largest-circulation magazine on that subject. Each issue features hobby news, product reviews, how-to articles, featured railroads, and much more.


  • History 1
  • Changing ownership 2
  • The magazine today 3
  • External links 4


Garden Railways magazine began publication in 1984 by Sidestreet Bannerworks. The magazine evolved from the company's newsletter, the Sidestreet Banner, which dealt primarily with the small scale live-steam locomotives that the company was importing at that time. Marc Horovitz was the Editor and Barbara Horovitz the Horticultural Editor.

The first issues of Garden Railways (GR) were published in black-and-white. Text was generated on a typewriter. In 1985, a primitive IBM computer and a daisy-wheel printer were acquired, which allowed text to be printed out in justified columns. These columns, printed out in strips, were then pasted up by hand in the old-fashion way.

Petria MacDonnell joined GR's staff at the beginning of 1986 as the magazine's first gardening editor, later succeeded by Chip Rosenblum, Barbara Abler, and Don Parker. Among the regular contributors in the magazine's early years was Peter Jones, who had a column in every issue until his death in 2009.

The magazine continued to grow, becoming an international publication with contributors from all over the world. In August 1985, Garden Railways, along with the Denver Garden Railway Society, sponsored the first ever Garden Railway Convention, in Denver, Colorado.

The May–June 1986 issue of GR was the first that appeared with the popular arched title on the cover, which became a trademark of the magazine. With the November–December 1986 issue, Garden Railways appeared with its first full-color cover. After that, color was gradually incorporated into the inside of the magazine, too.

Changing ownership

In 1996, Garden Railways was sold to Kalmbach Publishing Company in Wisconsin. Marc Horovitz remained as editor of the magazine while Barb Horovitz, the magazine's former Horticultural Editor, retired the following year. She was succeeded by Pat Hayward in 1997, who was subsequently succeeded by Nancy Norris in 2008. Rene Schweitzer, the magazine's production editor, joined the staff in 1998.

Under Kalmbach's ownership, the magazine has continued to grow and evolve, expanding greatly in both circulation and page count. Its authors come from all parts of the globe.

The magazine today

Garden Railways is published bi-monthly. Each issue contains hobby-related articles on a variety of subjects, including featured garden railroads, how-to projects, landscaping and gardening, photo galleries, and more. Each issue includes new-product information and reviews of products relating to large-scale trains. Regular departments include "Garden railway basics," aimed at beginners; "Plant portraits," a featured plant targeted toward railroad gardeners; "Raising steam," the basics of small scale live-steam locomotives; "If I'd only known", where readers share their hobby blunders.

External links

Official website

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