Meet the Garden Trains Annual Staff

Chris Lane


Chris Lane, EditorSome guys just come from the womb nuts about trains, and that is certainly true for Chris. Especially narrow gauge trains and all manner of geared locomotives, be they narrow or standard gauge. A Colorado native, he was exposed to the very last operations on the Rio Grande out of Durango. He is fond a telling the story of his father having to pull him out of the cab of the derelict K-27 No. 464 during a family vacation. Mesmerized by the slumbering narrow gauge veteran, he refused to leave until he had soaked up all the sights, smells, and more than a little of its grime and oil.

As a youth he built a fairly extensive Lionel set and worked on his father’s various HO layouts. By junior high, he had switched to On3 and started a new freelanced narrow gauge layout, the Deep Creek & Pine Valley Ry. A move back to Denver in 1976 brought about a shift in his modeling, back to his Colorado roots.

After graduation from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Chris joined the staff of Model Railroading magazine. In 1994 the magazine was sold to a new publisher and Chris joined the staff as national sales manager. During this period, he caught the large scale bug, and built a number of large scale narrow gauge models, primarily in 1:24 and started attending large scale events and shows. He also developed a friendship with the late Lee Riley of Bachmann Trains, exposing him to their newly developed large scale line and the then secret On30 line.

In 2006, he produced the first On30 Annual, and in a move to Carstens Publications in 2008, produced the first HOn3 Annual in 2009. Chris continued to produce the two Annuals and other books for Carstens until he moved into his current position at White River Productions. 2020 saw the announcement of the new Garden Trains Annual, with Chris assuming the editor role for that annual as well. This new publication combines his love of trains, especially narrow gauge prototypes, with his passion for gardening and the great outdoors, and he is excited to return to this segment of the hobby.

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Garden Trains Annual