News & Reviews News Wire Railroad author and publisher Don Heimburger, 75, dies

Railroad author and publisher Don Heimburger, 75, dies

By | June 15, 2022

Illinois native authored 14 books, published others through his Heimburger House.

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Don Heimburger
Don Heimburger
Don Heimburger

Longtime model and prototype railroad publisher and author Don Heimburger died June 10, 2022, at his home in the Chicago area. He was 75.

An avid model railroader, the Urbana, Ill., native started S Gaugian magazine when he was 15 years old. He worked as a newspaper reporter while earning a journalism degree from the University of Illinois in 1969. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970 and served as editor of the newspaper at Ft. Knox, Ky., for two years. He was also a press representative to the Illinois Central Railroad.

Heimburger purchased the newspaper in Tolono, Ill., in 1979 and continued to publish S Gaugian. That grew into Heimburger House Publishing Co. and Scenery Unlimited, both of which he ran with his wife, Marilyn, until retirement in 2019.

He published more than 50 model and prototype railroad books, another magazine called Sn3 Modeler, and worked with 75 major publishing companies including Kalmbach Media, distributing their products. Heimburger was the author of more than 14 books, on subjects including the Baltimore & Ohio, Illinois Central, Wabash, and East Broad Top railroads.

In addition to stories for Classic Toy Trains, Heimburger has co-authored the “S gauge now & then” column with Bill Clark.

He and Marilyn also ran the website and wrote feature articles for German Life magazine.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, and their families, including six grandchildren.

3 thoughts on “Railroad author and publisher Don Heimburger, 75, dies

  1. I met Don when I was a freshman at Univ of Illinois – had asked me to put up a display of (I think it was) the Crab Orchard and Egyptian RR for him at a model rr show I was headed for in the Fall of 1966. I met him a few other times over the years at model rr shows – always a class guy. My condolences to his family.

  2. I met Don a couple of times, and he once gave a really informative talk at a Chicago suburban area model RR club I’m a member of. Quite a class guy and a walking encyclopedia, he’ll be missed. His book on the Wabash has always had a prime spot in the bookcase.

  3. I knew Don fr meeting him at train shows. He was a first class guy. My condolences to his family . Sorry to read of his passing. A classic book he published was Fiddelton and Coperlious. Spelling might be wrong. He gave permission to use photos from the book for a training Manuel I used to give the kids in my high school railroad club. I will miss hom.

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