Meet the Staff


Jim Wrinn

Jim Wrinn has been editor of Trains since Oct. 27, 2004. A native of Franklin, N.C., he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism and political science. He worked at newspapers in Durham, Gastonia, and Fayetteville before joining The Charlotte Observer in 1986. He was a staff writer and editor, and worked for every section of the newspaper he could -- whether it be general news, business, religion, sports, and even the humor column. 

Jim grew up watching the Southern Railway in his father's hometown, Westminster, S.C., and in Asheville, N.C., and riding the nearby Shay-powered Graham County Railroad at Robbinsville. He began reading Trains at age 6 in 1967 and had a subscription the following spring. The gift of a 35mm camera in 1977 started him taking black and white negatives and color slides. He has been an editor or writer at various times for "Rails South," a regional publication; Norfolk Southern's "Focus" magazine; the Piedmont Carolinas Chapter, National Railway Historical Society's "Flyer" newsletter; Southern Railway Historical Association's "Green Light" and later "Ties;" and N.C. Transportation Museum's "Shop Talk." Solely or in collaboration, he has written books about the Aberdeen & Rockfish short line, "The Road of Personal Service," 1992; "Spencer Shops, 1896-1996," 1996; "Pictorial History of North American Railroading," also 1996; and the Southern Railway and later Norfolk Southern steam program in "Steam's Camelot," 2001. He is preparing a book on the Graham County now. 

Jim is a lifelong steam fan, and he is a qualified locomotive engineer at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. When not enjoying railroading, he enjoys hiking or bicycling, music, visiting National Parks, and sampling the vintage from wineries.

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Tom Danneman

Art Director Tom Danneman rejoined the Trains staff in January 2000. Tom was the assistant art director for Trains from January 1998 through August 1999 before leaving to be art director for Model Railroader.

Tom is responsible for the look of Trains. This includes designing the cover and feature articles, working with the editors to find the best way to present information, and giving direction to the illustrators as they produce those colorful and complex maps and other illustrations. In addition to Trains and Model Railroader, Tom also serves as art director for Classic Trains.

Tom enjoys photography, hiking, biking, basketball and volleyball. He especially enjoys spending his free time in Montana photographing his two favorite railroads, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (and predecessor Burlington Northern) and Montana Rail Link. He lives in Sussex with his wife, Christy, and daughter, Grace, not too far from the UP Adams sub and CN Waukesha sub crossing.

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak

Angela Pusztai-Pasternak joined the TRAINS staff in January 2003 after a year and a half working in Kalmbach's Ad Services department on Trains, Classic Trains, and FineScale Modeler. She's worked as editorial assistant, editorial associate, assistant editor, and associate editor. Angela ensures every magazine story and department meets production deadlines and adheres to proper grammar and style. She also edits feature stories, "In My Own Words," and columnist Fred W. Frailey. In 2010 and 2011, she edited Trains4Kids, special issues geared toward children about railroads, model railroads, and toy trains.
Before joining Kalmbach, Angela received her Bachelor of Arts from Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill., majoring in art and journalism. While a student, she worked as a graphics and publications designer for the university's marketing and communications department. She also wrote feature articles for the university's magazine and newspaper.

David Lassen

David Lassen joined the Trains staff as an associate editor in July 2014 after more than 30 years as a sportswriter in Southern California.

A graduate of the University of Denver, he edits the Passenger and Don Phillips columns. His interest in trains began as a child in Fillmore, Calif., where he and his brother – now a railroad dispatcher – would often bicycle to watch the nightly Southern Pacific local switch area citrus packing plants. His love of passenger trains was fueled by extensive travel on a 30-day Amtrak rail pass while still in high school.

 He came to Trains after four years at the Riverside Press-Enterprise, where his duties included stints as beat writer for the Dodgers, Lakers and Clippers. Before that, he spent 25 years at the Ventura County Star, the last 10 as a columnist, which gave him the opportunity to cover a World Series, two Stanley Cup Finals, three NCAA Final Fours and six NBA Finals. While in Ventura, he also covered the Sydney, Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin and Beijing Olympics for Scripps Howard News Service.
The Sydney Olympics made possible his favorite railfan experience, a trip across Australia on the Indian Pacific.

David lives in Waukesha, Wis. A baseball fan, he also is interested in photography, music and travel. He particularly enjoys Italy, having made three trips there.

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Brian Schmidt

Brian Schmidt joined the Trains staff as assistant editor in June 2012, after graduating from Lourdes University with a degree in English literature. He edits Hot Spots, Ask Trains, and TRAINS' website content.

Brian became a railfan early in life with an HO scale train set. He grew up with the Alcos of Indiana Hi-Rail in northwest Ohio and later grew to prefer the main line action of CSX, which is sorely missed in Wisconsin. Today he models the Milwaukee Road in N scale.

When not writing about trains at work, Brian enjoys train-watching, photography, cooking, amateur radio, studying Japanese culture, reading classic literature, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers, which he has been a fan of long before moving to Wisconsin.


Scott Krall

Scott Krall joined the Trains staff as a graphic designer in March 2007. Prior to this, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate worked in the publishing and printing industries for nearly 10 years.

Scott's interest in trains began at an early age; when annual family vacations took him to Pembine, Wisc., a small community where Canadian National's ex-Soo Line and Escanaba & Lake Superior railroads intersect. This interest continues today, when he takes short Amtrak trips with family and friends to Illinois and Indiana.

Scott lives in Waukesha, Wis., with his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Madaline, and son, Charlie. He enjoys golfing, gardening, and other outdoor activities when the temperamental Wisconsin weather permits. When forced inside, he loves reading about the World War II era and watching movies with his family.

Steve Sweeney

Steve is the Digital Editor for Trains and several other titles at Kalmbach Media. He has worked for the company since 2013 and has enjoyed trains and railroading since childhood.


The Genesee & Wyoming 

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