Learn more about Model Railroad Hobbyist


To learn more about Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine, click here.



Joe Fugate is the founder, publisher, and editor of Model Railroad Hobbyist (MRH) magazine. Joe’s been a model railroader since the late 1960s and is a published model railroad author. Joe has a rich background in web software development, publishing, and video production – Model Railroad Hobbyist is just the latest of his hobby media projects.

Joe's HO Siskiyou Line layout, a pioneering mushroom benchwork configuration, was first discussed in depth by Joe in the January and February 1997 issues of Model Railroader magazine. Joe's also helped popularize the use of auto tail light bulbs for short management on DCC layouts.


Charlie Comstock is a contributing editor to MRH. Charlie's been a model railroader since 1968 when he first visited the East Bay Society of Model Engineers. Charlie is an award-winning model railroad photographer, and became interested in serious layout design in the late 1990's when he was designing the second Bear Creek and South Jackson.

Charlie not only edits the magazine, his regular how-to column, Up the Creek, tells tales of the newest and best BC&SJ yet - an under-construction layout designed for DCC operation (MRP 2003) - featuring yard ops, a branchline, helper grades, and local switching on a single track mainline set in 1952.


Marty McGuirk is a contributing editor to MRH. Marty got into model railroading in the late 1970s when he saw his first issue of Railroad Model Craftsman. Marty has worked in the hobby industry off and on, and is a well-published model railroad author. Marty has been an editor for Kalmbach on Classic Toy Trains and Model Railroader, and was the VP of Product Development for Intermountain Railway Company from 2001-2005.

Marty's an avid Central Vermont fan, modeling the "Southern New England" – an HO scale proto-freelanced railroad set in the 1950s and based in part on the real Central Vermont Ry.


John Drye is our N-scale editor and columnist. John Drye has been model railroading since receiving the traditional Lionel set at age 8. John is currently building two layouts: an N scale switching module based on the modern Norfolk Southern, and a basement layout based on the transition-era Pennsylvania Railroad.

When not doing trains, John works as a contractor for the US Navy and volunteers for the American Red Cross and Operation Lifesaver.


Bruce Petrarca is our DCC editor and columnist. Bruce founded the DCC specialty shop, Litchfield Station in 2001 and used his electronics and marketing skills to build it into one of the world's largest DCC suppliers. He likes showing modelers the fun of DCC and how to avoid getting bogged down in the details. He maintains the DCC University website at MrDCCU.com.

To find out more about Bruce click here.


Richard Bale is our News and Events editor and columnist. Richard writes our news column under the byline of The Old Yardmaster. He has been writing about the model railroad trade for various hobby publications since the 1960s.

Richard is currently introducing 3 of his grandsons to the hobby by involving them in the construction of his fifth layout. He enjoys building models, particularly structures, some of which appeared in the June 2006 issue of Model Railroader magazine.


Jeff Shultz is our Internet correspondent and Model-Railroader-at-Large. Jeff has been modeling off and on since age 8. Jeff's background is Internet support and system admininistration, so he spends a fair amount of time on model railroading forums. Jeff also is the "face" of MRH, and often the "guy behind the mike" for MRH's National Train Show videos.

Jeff models the Willamette & Pacific RR in HO Scale in what used to be his garage, as well as being a regular operator on Joe Fugate's Siskiyou Line layout.  His MRH blog can be found at http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/blog/52 .


  Les Halmos is our Advertising Account Manager and Modular Columnist. Les has been a model railroader since 1979. He rewrote and published the Modular Standards for the Northeastern Region of the NMRA in 1981(Modu-Rail Standards). In 2001, he founded the Free-Modu-Rail Group and has been active in building modules, documenting  and promoting the Free-mo standards. Les likes computer layout design, electronic gadgets, DCC, and building models - and he's very pro-NMRA.

Les has a solid background in drafting, computers and High Tech Industrial Controls Sales & Marketing, he's now focusing on doing advertising marketing for MRH.


Patty Fugate is our Office Manager and Magazine Layout production specialist. Patty keeps the Model-Trains-Video.com and Model Railroad Hobbyist office running smoothly, and supervises the other office workers. She's also an experienced professional typsetter, having done complex projects like corporate annual reports. Patty does the layout of MRH.

Patty's a meticulous model railroad scenery maker, and knows the hobby well, although she's not a modeler, per se. Patty is also our founder Joe Fugate's wife, and she tells him "I think you need to go work on your trains for a while" any time she sees he's looking stressed!

Regrettably, former MRH columnist Lew Matt passed away on March 12, 2012. Read more ...


Names and faces of the folks at MRH

This is great because it's nice to see the faces of the people who make the magazine what it is at least in terms of the editorial, production and circulation ends. Of course the folks who really make a magazine are those who write the articles the magazine will contain and I hope they will not only write articles but also participate here on the forums that are set up for discussions, questions, how tos and whatnot.  I don't how others feel, but I think this not only makes this a nice place to learn new things, ask questions and see what others (especially those in other scales) are doing but also presents us all with something which hasn't been possible: The actual exchange of print and other forms of dialogues in realtime complete with pictures, movies and voice overs.

Now a work of criticism but not in a bad way. Pod casts are great as far as they go. But it's like listening to radio when the same information can be presented visually simultaneously with the audio and the possibility of having questions raised by the watcher and answered immediately.

We've probably all seen movies featuring people in remote locations teleconferencing to discuss issues that affect all of them but until the advent of of MRH didn't exist at the grass routes level. This is going to be not only fun but an adventure that we'll all be able to tell our grandchildren (who will no doubt be the chief beneficiaries of this technology) about being at the beginning.


bear creek's picture

Car Talk

I dunno about everyone else, but ModelRail Cast feels a bit like listening to the Car Talk show on public radio (here in the USA). Except that Click and Clack are the Coupler Brothers. Not as zany to be sure but then the guys are Brittish instead of us crude Americans. I can be out in the train room installing joists or something while they prattle in the background.

So you Railcast guys, do you have a law firm like Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe?



 Contributing Editor, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Lucky for us you ended on a

Lucky for us you ended on a pretty note. You could not have ended with Les, and Halmos did  ( Ah the wit of it all...  now there is a play on words )

Keep your end up.


Les Halmos's picture

Les(s) is More

Marc, as in advertising on TV they keep on saying Les is More.....VBG

 Les Halmos


MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

jbaakko's picture


Its nice to see the people running this operation. Question. Are you planning to "employ" moderators? I know people dislike them, but for purposes of catching spammers, ect?

More or Les...  Je préfère

More or Les...  Je préfère les blondes..


Marc de Montréal.

Les Halmos's picture

Bonjour Marc

Hello from Québec. Tell us what you really prefer, which prototype, era, scale, do you have a layout or module? I see you have been on MRH for several weeks, what do you think of the format how about the blogs and information exchanges?

 Les Halmos


MRH Advertising Account Manager

Modular Columnist

joef's picture

Yes, Josh


The plan is to have moderators, yes, as we grow. We have two now - myself and Jeff, plus all the staff has some moderation ability above regular subscribers.

If anyone is interested in being added to a "possible MRH moderators" list, please use the contact us list and give us your qualifications.

Joe Fugate
Publisher, Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Joe Fugate's HO Siskiyou Line

Sure is nice...

to see who makes the MRH clock tick, so to speak!  Also it's nice to see how many of the staff are regular contributers in the forums.  Awesome I say!

marcoperforar's picture

Thanks!, staff

Thanks for your current and future efforts to make this hobby more enjoyable for the rest of us.  I appreciate your sacrifice working on MRH, such as time away from family and your own direct MR pursuits.  Hopefully, MRH magazine will provide enough joy to compensate.


Mark Pierce

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