The Garden State Division leadership team works for its members to provide educational and fun activities. This is your team!
If you need to contact us, please use the form on the "Contact Us" page to send an email to the leadership team.
Starting at age 6, I was interested in trains, and with a Lionel set at age 8, I was launched into model railroading. I made a transition to HO scale when in high school. With pauses for higher education and young children, I re-engaged with model railroading when my boys were young and we built a 4 x 8 layout in the basement. Now on my second layout since then, I am modeling Morris County railroads in the 1920s, in a full-basement design.
Active in the NMRA since 2003, I have been on the board of directors since 2015, served as vice-president, and now am serving as president.
Vice President and Whistle Post Editor
Jim has always had an interest in trains and modeling. He has been on the GSD Board since 2012 and has served as Editor of the Whistle Post since 2015. His railroading interests are reflected through memberships in numerous historical societies, including a run as President of the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for nine years. He is also a fan of RPM meets and model railroad operations. His large HO scale basement layout features PC and CNJ equipment of the early 1970s.
In 2009, my oldest son, Christopher, gave me a membership in the NMRA as a Christmas present. A present that has been giving me hours and hours of pleasure, ever since. I already had a layout that I built in my garage that took two years to become operational (sort of...). As a lone wolf, I did most things wrong, so I decided to tear it down and start over. With the help of my fellow Staten Islanders, the “tear down” was done in less than three hours, of course, the build back has taken 11 years and isn’t finished yet.
In 2012, I was asked to become a Director of the GSD, which I was pleased to do. After a year, I became the GSD’s Treasurer, a position I am pleased to continue to hold.
Secretary and Clinic Chairman
Since his older brother had Lionel trains, Jim realized that HO trains were more realistic, particularly the track. One Christmas, Jim received a Mantua Union Pacific Mikado and several freight cars. Since then he has always been interested in model railroading. After receiving a copy of Linn Westcott’s book HO Railroad That Grows, Jim started work on his first model railroad. Growing up on Staten Island, he did not see many real trains, and his inspiration came from model railroad magazines.
Jim first joined the NMRA in 1979 and when he moved to Middletown, NJ, he joined the Red Bank Model Railroad Club. In 1985 he changed jobs and relocated to Sussex County, leaving the club and the NMRA. Between his job with some business travel and raising two sons, Jim was busy but he stayed engaged in the hobby through magazines and then the Internet.
With his sons away at college, Jim renewed his interest in model railroading and joined the NMRA again in 2011. He became active in the Garden State Division, joined the Board of Directors in 2014, and later was elected division Secretary. He recently volunteered to be the division Clinic Chairman and since 2014, he has taken photos at our in-person events. Jim also writes a “Tools and Tips” column in the division’s newsletter, the Whistle Post.
Director and Membership Chairman
I grew up in Jersey City, NJ in the 1950s. Today, Jersey City is not noted for trains but in the 1950s it was different. Except for four city blocks along the Hudson River waterfront that the Colgate Company owned, everything else was owned by railroads. Growing up in that “playground”, how could I not develop a fondness for trains? Model trains started with a paper route. One customer was a local hobby shop and my delivery tip was the prior month’s copies of RMC, MR, and Trains without the cover! The cover was sent back for credit as unsold copies. As years passed, I grew in the hobby building Varney, Penn Line, Bowser, Mantua, Tyco, Athearn kits. Today, I prefer to bring back to life one of those “Old School” models. But, I also enjoy working and building with “New School” technologies.
After I joined the New York Society of Model Engineers, I learned of the NMRA. I joined the NMRA in 1970. At NYSME, I have served in a number of positions including President, now serving as a Director, and recently received the honor of being elected a Life Member.
I became a Director in the Garden State Division in 2008. Currently, I serve as the Membership Chairman and e-mail Clerk. Please let me know when you change your e-mail address through the Contact Us page.
“Knowledge has no value unless shared with others.”
We are here for that reason. You are here for the same reason. Think about it!
I was an active participant in arranging for and participating in the kick-off meeting to reinvigorate the GSD at the Ramapo Valley Railroad Club (RVRC) in Ho-Ho-Kus with NER representatives.
I became involved with the NMRA in the early 1970’s when I joined the RVRC. As the RVRC was a 100% NMRA Membership Club, they required NMRA membership to become a RVRC member.
While the GSD lapsed into a dormant state, I continued to be active with the RVRC. I became a member of the GSD Board of Directors during its reinvigoration and have been an active member of the Board since then. I’m pleased the GSD is now a vibrant division. I held a couple of clinics during the GSD meets on kit-bashing and have written several articles for the GSD’s Whistle Post on various topics.
You’ll most often see me at the Welcome / Sign-in Table at our meets where I ask you to sign (or initial) in and verify that the email address we have for you is correct or correct it. I’ve attended NMRA national conventions in Boston, Long Beach, Portland, and Hartford.
After reading an article about one modeler’s passion for his local railroad, Ciro asked himself what was my local railroad? To answer this question, it set in motion to better understand the historical significance of his local railroad – Staten Island Rapid Transit. This little-known railroad was B&O’s entry to Gotham City. Today, he is building a proto-freelance, HO scale, model of this Class 1 branch line from Cranford, NJ to St. George, Staten Island in the 1950s. Operations is a central focus.
Ciro has been an active Board of Directors member for the Garden State Division since 2004 and is presently a Director. He has held several roles including President and Secretary. He was recently elected as the Southern Regional Director for the NER.
Paul has been a model railroader since his youngest years. Originally in the realm of Tinplate, and switching to 2-rail O scale in his 20's. He currently models the New York Central West Shore and Susquehanna railroads in the New Jersey area in the transition era. He is a member of the New York Society of Model Engineers in Carlstadt, NJ, and the Garden State Model Railway Club in North Haledon, NJ. He is also a member of the TCA, and METCA.
Paul has been a NMRA member since 1981, and been involved in the division since 2006. He became a director of the Garden State Division in 2017. You will usually see him running the presentation electronics during division meets.
John has had a life long interest in model railroading starting with a Lionel train in his early childhood. He has been a member of the NMRA since 1998, while working in the manufacturing end of the toy and hobby industry. He started attending Garden State Division events in 2014 and became a director in 2019. John has been a member of the Train Collectors Association (TCA) and was one of the founding members of the Pocono Mountain Garden Railway Society established 2010.
John's primary scale is HO and follows Northeastern railroading. He is particularly interested in Northern New England regional and short line railroads of the late 70's to the early 90's. He does a lot of kit bashing, scratch building and detailing of their equipment and structures. John is interested in Railroad Prototype Modeling (RPM) for paper mill and grain belt related rail cars.
Scott A. Gothe, Ph.D.
Scott received his first HO scale train set for Christmas at the age of 9 and has been hooked on many aspects of railroad operations and modeling ever since. He has worked with several “12 inches to the foot” scale restoration and operating groups, including the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis on the steam crew of Frisco 1522 (where he was a stationary Fireman and Water Chemist), and served in the same roles with the Golden Gate Railroad Museum in San Francisco on the crew of SP 2472. He has also performed passenger car, diesel, and steam locomotive restoration work for both organizations. His modeling efforts are currently applied on two large home layouts with members of the Garden State Division of the NMRA, and he is also President of the Morris Plains NJ Model Railroad Club. His personal modeling interests include the PRR during WWII in HO scale, and SP operations from the late 70’s through the UP acquisition in the Monterey, CA area, specifically the Spreckels branch, in N scale, which he hopes to eventually build.
Following his “retirement” as a Research Scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, Scott is now applying his skills in research at Atlas Model Railroad, where he works in the R&D department and is involved primarily in (but not limited to) the areas of Signaling, Electronics, Railroad History and Passenger Car modeling. He is a member of the Railway and Locomotive Technical and Historical Society, the Garden State Division of the NMRA, and serves on the NMRA DCC Working Group Committee, the Railroad Manufacturers Committee, and is currently working on the requirements for the Author, Association Volunteer, and Electrical NMRA Achievement Program certificates.