Where do you shop?

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Where do you shop?
Posted by traindaddy1 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:38 AM

With the demise of the local Hobby Shops and the lack of train inventory (except at holiday time) in those that may still exist, where do you shop for train stuff?

(Please don't offer any opinions of any particular venue such as Ebay etc. That would be for another discussion.) 

As always, many thanks.

 

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Posted by Jim Hornaday on Thursday, March 22, 2018 8:55 AM

Hobbytown is about my only option as far as brick-n-mortar stores goes. Train Central is available but I can't get there very often with my work schedule. Mr Muffin's Trains is about an hours drive from where I live and again, my work schedule precludes frequent visits. EBay and online shopping are my best resources but I like to view the products in my hands. That's another reason why I still buy Comic Books!!

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Posted by robmcc on Thursday, March 22, 2018 2:40 PM

It's getting harder and harder to buy anything locally anymore. Most just "dabble" in O. Even HO and N is slim pickin's. RC seems to be taking over. Unfortunately, it's mostly online for me now.

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Posted by DJSpanky on Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:07 PM

We shop at the Train Station in Mountain Lakes, NJ.

Online, I've bought a number of times from Grzyboski's Train Store near Scranton, PA.

I've also bought from Just Trains in Delaware.

Spank


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Posted by anjdevil2 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:10 PM

Trains and Things in Ewing, NJ - Tony is the Best!

 

Holly Beach Trains in Wildwood, NJ - Larry is a retired Firefighter and I see him a few times a year.

 

 

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Posted by arkady on Thursday, March 22, 2018 3:40 PM

robmcc

It's getting harder and harder to buy anything locally anymore. Most just "dabble" in O. Even HO and N is slim pickin's. RC seems to be taking over. Unfortunately, it's mostly online for me now.

 
I second that.  Our last general-hobby-supply store closed last May, and our only train store closed about five years ago.  There isn't anything more in my area, except for a twice-a-year train show about 50 miles from me.
 
I have no choice but to buy online.
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Posted by LL675 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 4:50 PM
The Underground Railroad in New Castle,Pa T&K Train and Hobby Bridgeport,Ohio local shows The bay

Dave

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 22, 2018 5:57 PM

Here in the Richmond VA area I shop at "Tiny Tim's Trains And Toys" in Ashland VA, right off Route 95.  Every time I'm there I always leave with something I didn't know I needed.  Know what I mean?

www.trainandtoystore.com

Wonderful place with great people, well worth a stop if you're traveling North or South!

When I'm visiting up in New Jersey I visit (or try to) The Train Station in Mountain Lakes, already mentioned by Spanky.  Neat place, and I just love the "Grandpa's basement" ambiance!

Also, there's Ridgefield Hobby in Ridgefield NJ. www.ridgefieldhobby.com

Here's a video of the store, it's several years old but the place still looks the same.  Trains start at 6:00.  Quite honestly I find this place amazing, full-line hobby shops like this one are getting hard to find in that area, so if you find yourself around there, GO!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_6ChZ3iwao

Just over the NJ/NY border in Tappan New York is the Old and Weary Car Shop at 25 Old Tappan Road.  They don't seem to have an active website at this time but here's a video shot by a local hobbyist and railfan.  (It's the old location, though.)  It's a cool place to visit, and I'll be checking occasionally to see if the website comes back to life. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9pJhxx4nKg

When I'm visiting the folks in Florida I also visit Metro Trains and Hobbies in Fort Meyers.

www.metrotrainsandhobbies.com  Metro Trains and Hobbies is also full-line, not just trains, well worth a visit if you're in the area.

I'm always on the lookout for hobby shops in my travels.

I also hit the trains shows that are within a two hour drive from home.  You never know, do you?  I've gotten lucky quite a few times.

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Posted by Major on Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:13 PM

I fortunately have a variety of hobby shops to go to. Toy Trains Unlimited in Hanover PA, Mainline Hobbies Blue Ridge Summit PA, Tommy Gilberts in Gettysburg, MD Kline in Timonium MD, Strassburg Train Shop, Strassburg PA, Train Depot, Mt Airy MD, The Train Room in Hagerstown MD, Forrest Hill station, Forrest Hill MD. I get around to everyone about every three months, some more often than others.  

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:18 PM

I use hobbylinc for basic supplies, Ebay for anything that isn't.  If I'm lucky I can attend one show a year.

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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Posted by KRM on Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:26 PM

Closest train store is 45 miles away in Oswego IL. and I think he wants to go out of bisiness, His prices are nuts. SO for me it is on-line or,,,, MENARDS  in store and on line.

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Posted by sir james I on Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:57 PM

Well we lost the best repairman around these parts with his passing. But we do have several hobby shops, one does discount's but has no repairman. On line for me is Pat's trains in Wheeling WV. He matches prices and when you call there you talk to him.

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Posted by DJSpanky on Friday, March 23, 2018 11:30 AM

Firelock76

Here in the Richmond VA area I shop at "Tiny Tim's Trains And Toys" in Ashland VA, right off Route 95.  Every time I'm there I always leave with something I didn't know I needed.  Know what I mean?

When we were in Charlottesville (Lake Monticello to be exact), we used to go to the Toy Center over on Patterson Ave - they had a selection of Lionel trains. Sadly, they closed last summer.

Also, when Linda used to go back up to NJ with her mom on a weekend, I'd take the kids on 64 over the mountain to Staunton and go to Staunton Trains & Hobbies.

Spank


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Posted by cnw1995 on Friday, March 23, 2018 12:25 PM

ebay... Menards... HobbyTown USA... 

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, March 23, 2018 5:25 PM

DJSpanky
 
Firelock76

Here in the Richmond VA area I shop at "Tiny Tim's Trains And Toys" in Ashland VA, right off Route 95.  Every time I'm there I always leave with something I didn't know I needed.  Know what I mean?

 

When we were in Charlottesville (Lake Monticello to be exact), we used to go to the Toy Center over on Patterson Ave - they had a selection of Lionel trains. Sadly, they closed last summer.

Also, when Linda used to go back up to NJ with her mom on a weekend, I'd take the kids on 64 over the mountain to Staunton and go to Staunton Trains & Hobbies.

 

I used to go to The Toy Center myself, but the last time I was in there, maybe about a year and a half ago, the train selection wasn't anywhere near as good as it used to be.  Twenty years ago it was stunning, all the gauges were well represented.

Staunton Trains and Hobbies is a new one on me, I've never heard of that one, but then I don't get out there very often.

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 6:09 AM

Thanks to all for your replies.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 8:21 AM

You're welcome!  And I don't know about you, but I'd sure love to hear from others out there.

Come on folks, don't be shy!

And I doubt CTT will mind if you "plug" your favorites.

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Posted by Michael6268 on Saturday, March 24, 2018 10:23 AM

There's a couple of good old fashion hobby shops still left in my area. Unfortunately I can't really buy much there. In today's economy I have to use my dollars wisely, and unfortunately mail order is my venue.  I would love nothing more than to shop at a local hobby store, but it just doesn't make economic sense for bigger items.

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Saturday, March 24, 2018 3:37 PM

I have three stores within a hours drive. Mike's Trains they get alot of consignment items in,Little Choo Choo Shop which is a repair station and that's a good thing cause I have no problem breaking trains. (NCTM across the street, home of the Streamliners event and the N&W J611 rebuild) The last and my favorite is Bobby's Hobbies, great store for all gauges and lots of train talk!! I like to support my local stores,train shows and even a auction if they have something I'm interested in. And friends always add to all this no matter where I am!! 

Sadly I am updating this comment to say the owner of Bobby's Hobbies has passed away and the store is now closed. He will be missed.

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Posted by thesiding on Saturday, March 24, 2018 8:45 PM

The Brick and mortar is    ON the endangerd list              Though not gone it is not getting better

 

Went To TRU (Remember when they sold trains in the store I did as far back as 1989)  Only 10 to 30% and one quarter the inventory was gone  and went to hobby shop near by only to see a for sale sign in the window      the shop was for sale Gotta go out of state OR really far away to Lord knows where to find the good ole shop otherwise gotta go on line trainshow or and odd ball flea market or church sale

 

And as others posted prices nothing is cheap when you have to decide whats more important the train set or food for a week.

 

Was at the Edison Train show and had some joy seeing all (children especially) enjoying it The line for the Ride on Thomas Train was         well        LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG for a shortride but the four year olds loved it  so there is hope for the future as long as it does not destroy the family's economy

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Posted by Major on Saturday, March 24, 2018 9:49 PM

Another place I purchase trains from on line is www.trainmarket.com  He lives in Vienna, Virginia and has a hugh assortment of Lionel, Marx, American Flyer, O, S and Standard gauges. His prices are the best I have seen and shipping is very resonable. Only once did I go to his home because I purchased an American Flyer All Aboard set and it was cheaper for me to go get it than for him to ship it. He ships out to you quickly. Never had any problems.

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:49 AM

I can think of three hobby shops specializing in Model Railroading that are within 45 minutes of my home. I don't frequent any of them because I have little need to purchase any new merchandise. I visit one of them once in a great while to buy materials such as CA glue and to see what they have in their used inventory. I think their prices are reasonable, but so far, nothing that I want to add to my stuff. Usually I buy a magazine.

S&W is also within that 45 minutes. I go to see Bill for parts.

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Posted by Michael6268 on Sunday, March 25, 2018 4:09 PM

Isn't S&W going/gone out of business?

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Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:11 PM

Isn't S&W going/gone out of business?

Bill has expressed an interest in retiring, but I don't think that has happened yet. He has quite a stock of parts, including items that are rather difficult to come by.

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Sunday, March 25, 2018 5:37 PM

My local train store "Allied Model Trains" closed 3 years ago. I went down there one day after work, the lights were off, the door was locked, and a note posted on the door.

They were the ones. They were responsible !

An innocent G gauge modeler, minding his own business, picked up a postwar 2020, and things haven't been the same ever since.

Paul

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Posted by trainsrob on Sunday, March 25, 2018 9:04 PM

I love York.  There is Hobbytown five  minutes away.  Rob

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Posted by Rocky Mountaineer on Monday, March 26, 2018 11:03 AM

I live in southeastern PA, where we're blessed to still have quite a number of train shops all within a 45-minute drive:  Nicholas Smith Trains (Broomall, PA), Hennings Trains (Lansdale, PA), Bussinger Trains (Ambler, PA), Trains 'n Things (Ewing, NJ) -- just to name a few.  They all have their own "personality" of sorts.  So I try to frequent them all, although Hennings and Bussingers are closest and I visit them if I need something special for a layout project.  That's where a LHS really comes in handy.

Aside from those stores already mentioned, I also shop online at Charlie Ro's almost exclusively for Lionel pre-orders (although those are becoming far and few between these days), as well as Trainworld and Grzyboski Trains when they have something I'm looking for.  When it comes to MTH and Atlas-O items, Mr Muffins Trains has become my "go to" place for pre-orders or a quick purchase when new items arrive from China and hit the street.  And if Standard Gauge is your game, then SideTrack Hobbies (Maryland) is the hands-down place to get those jewels from MTH under the Lionel Corporation Tinplate "brand".

David

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Posted by Firelock76 on Monday, March 26, 2018 5:04 PM

Hennings in Lansdale!  I've been there myself, it's where I got my Lionel post-war 2055 Hudson, a Hennings restoration, and they did a good job with it too.

When we're visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Collegeville I try to make the time to get to Hennings.  Cool place!  The park down the street is pretty cool too, especially with those two First World War vintage M1916 GP 155mm guns.

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Posted by Rocky Mountaineer on Monday, March 26, 2018 6:00 PM

Firelock76, you'll be pleasantly surprised to see a newly renovated Hennings Train store now!  The former Lynn's Junction side of the house closed last year, so Hennings expanded to the entire first floor of the building now.  Most of the O-Gauge items and a cool display layout now occupy the large space that was formerly Lynn's Junctions, while the former O-Gauge space now has scenery supplies and various train parts.  Really a nicely designed "traditional" yet refreshingly cool train shop now with the new rennovations -- something you don't see very many brick-and-mortar stores making the investment in nowadays.

David

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Posted by phrankenstign on Monday, March 26, 2018 7:22 PM

I live in Gulfport, MS.  The local hobby shop was sold last year to the person who owned the vape shop next door.  I talked to the guy to ask him which hobby he preferred.  (The place had been sold fully stocked with RC, plastic models, and train supplies by the previous owner.)  He told me he didn't have any hobbies.  I was like, "What???"

I found it difficult to breathe, because the shop smelled like a combination of strawberry and some kind of other ghastly vape scent.  I haven't been back since.

I bought a few sets through Craig's List and Offer Up! in the past decade.  Just recently I purchased a 1970s Nickel Plate set that included the engine, the cheap, mechanical version of The Sound of Steam tender, 3 cars+caboose using Craig's List for $35.  It didn't include the box, transformer, nor track. As luck would have it, I found someone on Offer Up! selling a Lionel type 1053 transformer w/built-in whistle controller, oval of track, two lock-ons w/wire, and a black Marx tower (w/light on top, crow's nest, & ladder on side)---all for $10.  My best buy from Offer Up! was a Rio Grande Fast Freight set Like-New for $80.  The guy who sold it to me bought it for his son one Christmas.  The kid just wasn't into trains, so the train set was put away and was never played with again.

In the past ten years I've bought mainly just new old stock through ebay.  The sole exceptions were the three Menards cars I bought on-line recently.

When I lived in Virginia, I used to buy trains mainly at train shows.  They had shows just about every quarter.  It was a lot of fun then.  That stopped once I moved to this black hole in Mississippi.

 

UPDATE:  I just bought 6 new old stock cars from a guy (who I suspect is a dealer) who posted an ad in the OGR Forum under the "For Sale or Trade" category.  I couldn't resist some of the great deals he was offering.  I'm sure I'll be ordering more stuff from the guy in the future.  It's too bad there isn't a similar category here in the CTT forums.

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