Meet the R&R Staff

Steve Barry


Steve Barry was born in New Jersey in 1957 and he was introduced to trains by his father, who took Steve down to the tracks in Millville to watch the small fleet of commuter trains arrive from Camden. Since those beginnings, Steve has photographed railroads in 49 states and many Canadian provinces. He attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., where his dorm overlooked the Amtrak viaduct over the Raritan River, where he watched as GG1s gave way to AEM7s. He had his first photograph published in 1979 in Passenger Train Journal and his first article appeared in Rail Classics in 1983. In 1990 he began writing a regular column for Railpace Newsmagazine.

He joined the staff of Railfan & Railroad in 1996 and became editor in 1998. When asked what his favorite photo subjects are, Steve will answer “everything,” and has about 140,000 slides to prove it; he has accumulated another 100,000 digital images since 2006. On any given weekend you can find him on a steam photo charter, exploring New York City’s subways or just hanging out along a mainline. With countless magazine bylines and photo credits to his name, Steve is also the author of five books including Rail Power and Railroad Rolling Stock, well-illustrated texts published by Voyageur Press, and Railroads: The History of American Railroading in 500 Photographs.

His other interests include NFL football and “Star Trek” in all its incarnations. He’s a country music collector and volunteers as a disc jockey for an internet radio station. Steve is a member of the National Railway Historical Society and serves on the organization’s board of directors, as well as president of the Wilmington Chapter NRHS as well. He also organizes streetcar photography charters in Philadelphia.

Steve lives in New Jersey, with his wife Gen and an assortment of dogs, cats and other critters. Gen doesn’t count the number of days Steve spends trackside and Steve doesn’t count the number of pets Gen has accumulated.

Contact Steve here.

Otto Vondrak


When I was five, my dad gave me a Lionel set, and things just kind of snowballed from there. I grew up in Katonah, New York, along the former New York Central operated as Metro-North’s Harlem Line. I didn’t see much freight when I was young, but I was treated to a constant parade of commuter trains through my town. Frequent visits to my dad’s furniture restoration shop in New York City meant I became a regular commuter before I entered kindergarten! I also have to thank my father for sparking my interest in photography. At the tender age of 7, he placed his ancient Konica T SLR in my hands when I told him I wanted to take pictures of the trains we saw on our family trips throughout New England. I currently use a Canon EOS Elan 7 for most of my photography, and yes, I still shoot with slide film.

I attended the Rochester Institute of Technology for graphic design. I witnessed the transition from Conrail to CSX and the growth of local shortlines (many featuring Alcos, much to my delight). While at school I helped start the RIT Model Railroad Club and met a great group of friends who were into trains as well. Just down the road is the Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum. Many of us from the model railroad club gravitated towards the museum, bringing us into the world of historic preservation. Today I serve as a trustee for the organization.

A chance meeting with Steve Barry in 2008 resulted in an invitation to develop new logo concepts for Railfan & Railroad as well as create layouts a new project called Great Railroad Photography. That work led to a proposal for new web sites for the company’s family of publications. When Great Railroad Photography hit the stands in 2010, Jim Boyd cornered me at the annual Summerail photo exhibition to compliment me and offer his “gentle encouragement” that I should seek full-time employment with the magazine. After a year of managing the company’s online presence and continuing freelance work, I suddenly found an opportunity to join the staff of Railfan & Railroad full time starting in 2011.

In 2019, I was tapped to become the editor of our sister publication Railroad Model Craftsman, and I continue to split my duties between the two publications.

Contact Otto here.

Justin Franz

Justin Franz, Associate EditorASSOCIATE EDITOR

Justin Franz is a Maine native and a 2011 graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. Prior to coming to White River Productions, Justin was a reporter and photographer for the Flathead Beacon, a weekly newspaper in Kalispell, Mont., as well as a correspondent for Trains Magazine. His work has appeared in numerous regional and national publications, including the Washington Post and New York Times, and railroad publications like Railfan & Railroad, Railroad Heritage, NRHS Bulletin, Railroads Illustrated, Railroad Explorer, and Railpace Newsmagazine.

Justin got his interest in railroading from his dad and two uncles who are also lifelong railroad enthusiasts. Justin is an active railroad photographer who loves to shoot anything from modern Class Is to historic steam locomotives and streetcars. He is particularly fond of the Bangor & Aroostook, Alcos, and anything having to do with Canadian railroading. Justin also has an interest in model railroading but has not started building a layout because he’s an apartment dweller, although he admits that’s mostly an excuse for being unable to narrow down what he wants to build. Besides railroads, Justin enjoys skiing, traveling and reading about history. He currently resides in Whitefish, Montana—not far from BNSF Railway’s former Great Northern Railway yard—with his wife Ashley.

Contact Justin here.

Eric Berger


Eric Berger is a life-long railfan and motive power enthusiast. He joined the staff of Railfan & Railroad as our news columnist in 2018.

Contact Eric here.


Mike Lindsay


Mike Lindsay’s interest in trains began as a young boy in the 1960s. Initially born and raised in Southern California, Mike spent many weekends with his dad watching trains and visiting industrial switching areas, which occasionally resulted in the much coveted cab ride. His love of the railroad naturally led to the world of model railroading. He and his father continued to build and expand their HO model empire through his high school years, and he later introduced his children to model railroading, as well.

In the mid-70s, he was transplanted to Southern Oregon, home of Southern Pacific’s colorful Siskiyou Line known for its “Cadillacs” and “Tunnel Motors” along with its famous US&S Style B lower quadrant semaphores.

After working as an editor for several computer magazines from the mid 80s to the early 90s, Mike launched Model Railroad News in 1995 and continued publishing the magazine through 2011 before joining the White River Productions family. Mike currently holds the position of Advertising Director and currently oversees advertising for Model Railroad News, Passenger Train Journal, Railfan & Railroad, Railroad Model Craftsman, Railpace Newsmagazine, Railroads Illustrated, Trains & Railroads of the Past, O Scale Trains, Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette.

Contact Mike Lindsay here.