Harold H. “Hal” Carstens, president of Carstens Publications, died Tuesday at his home in Newton, N.J., at age 83.
Carstens, formerly also the publisher of Railfan & Railroad and Railroad Model Craftsman magazines, was “a true giant” in the rail hobby industry as well as a respected voice in the rail industry, according to Railfan & Railroad Managing Editor E. Steven Barry. “Hal joined the staff of Railroad Model Craftsman in 1952, became editor in 1954, and president of the company in 1962," Barry said in an email statement.
Barry noted Carstens served as president of numerous rail-related organizations, including but not limited to Hobbies Industries of America, the Model Railroad Industry Association, and Friends of the New Jersey Railroad & Transportation Museum. He also lent his aid to the Photographic Society of America, Hobby Industry Association, and the Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.) Board of Trustees.
Said Barry, “It was his leadership of Carstens Publications where he will be missed the most. The business has always been more of a family, and Hal was our patriarch.”