Where do you shop?

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Posted by scrambler81 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 5:23 AM

I'm in Atlantic County, NJ, so the closest train stores are about an hour away. Nicholas Smith is about 75 minutes away, and the place is amazing, but the traffic on the ride home is always brutal, so I don't go nearly as often as I'd like.

Alloway Trains N' Things is a little closer, and out in the middle of nowhere. However, much of the ride is through famland and woods, so it is actually a pretty nice trip. I love taking my motorcycle there. The owners, Bob and Vicky, are amazing, and Bob has a fantastic layout. However, the store is quite small, it was actually added into the open space around the layout. Still, I like going there, and I'm about due for a trip now.

There is a shop in Maple Shade, NJ, called B & B Trains. Real nice guy, and the store is now open full time. He also carries a full line of models. It is an hour from home, but my office use to be near there, so I went often. Now, I rarely go in that direction. I did stop in and buy a few things earlier this year.

I go to shows whenever possible. I'm not likely to buy locomotives at a show, except for my occasional foray into old stuff, but buildings, vehicles and scenery are easy to find there.

Other than diecast cars, I do very little online shopping for my layout. Aside from my children, I really don't have much of a social life, so going to trains stores and shows is my way of getting out and doing something. I'm sure I could find all the same stuff on my PC, and save time and money doing it, but that would suck all the fun out of it. 

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Posted by anjdevil2 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:25 AM

Scrambler - Thanks for that.  The Toy Train Emporium just closed and since I work in Marlton, I was looking for someplace close.  I'll run over to BnB since it's like 15 from work.  

 

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Posted by traindaddy1 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 9:48 PM

Am still reading. Thanks.

Anyone in New York ever shop at Tom's Trains in Ardsley, Train World in Brooklyn or Trainland on the Island?  

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Posted by cwburfle on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 4:29 AM

When I lived on Long Island, I visited Train Land when I could. I purchased my first ZW there.

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Posted by Banks on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 7:03 AM

My soon to be layout is planned to be a 50s Era under the tree style. Even using Lifelike grass for ground cover. I shop mostly vintage stuff at train shows and flea bay. There is one train store in Altoona but it is mostly HO. There are several shows 2 hours or less away that I attend time and weather permitting. Also made York a few times over the last couple of years. I have enough material for the layout. Just got to get the necessities done and on to building.

Banks, Proud member of the OTTS  TCA 12-67310

I may not have every thing I desire but the LORD has come through with what I need

   

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Posted by DJSpanky on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 11:41 AM

What's a real shame is that when I got back into this hobby in the 1998-2000 timeframe, I had 6-7 train stores within driving distance that I could go to. Now, just 1 (The Train Station) remains, which I listed in my original reply. The Train Store (on Rte 23 - Linda bought my first new trains from there since I was a kid), Island Trains (bought a ton of stuff from there, but they overextended by trying to open multiple stores), Tony's Train Town, a store in Midland Park which was in an old passenger car, a couple of others I vaguely recall, all have closed in the last 12 years. I miss having the different places to go.

Spank


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Posted by robmcc on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 5:19 PM

Ironically, I suppose the only local "hobby shop" for me is actually Menard's. They stock more trains, especially around Christmas, than most hobby shops do! Still a few shops left within greater Detroit. I'll hit P&D occasionally. They're more into 2 rail scale though. Wild Bill's closed. The owner died and the inventory was sold to Trainz, I believe. I'll make a run once a year or so to Saginaw to Brasseur's to get parts or whatever. Like I said in my first post, unfortunately most has gone to online now.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 6:44 PM

On all too rare occasions I can visit the Trading Post:

It's like Madison Hardware without the attitude.  Wink

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Posted by Postwar Paul on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 10:34 PM

DJSpanky

What's a real shame is that when I got back into this hobby in the 1998-2000 timeframe, I had 6-7 train stores within driving distance that I could go to. Now, just 1 (The Train Station) remains, which I listed in my original reply. The Train Store (on Rte 23 - Linda bought my first new trains from there since I was a kid), Island Trains (bought a ton of stuff from there, but they overextended by trying to open multiple stores), Tony's Train Town, a store in Midland Park which was in an old passenger car, a couple of others I vaguely recall, all have closed in the last 12 years. I miss having the different places to go.

 

yes, that way out here on the west side.

It used to be( now I'm really sounding old) that every corner of Los Angeles had a train store. The South Bay, the west Side, a handful in the Valley. And some specialized in one scale, or another. It was really interesting going around to all these places.

And, I put together a train of Virginia and Truckee cars from MDC in HO scale. Couldn't find them all in one place. That was the beauty of it, it was like a scavenger hunt to find everything you needed.

We still have a couple of train stores, but you have to seek them out.

Paul

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 29, 2018 5:31 PM

There's two in the Northern Virginia/ DC Metro area...

The Train Depot in Chantilly Va.  www.traindepot.biz/

It's been a while, but we've been to this one.  It's just up Willard Road from the DC Expo Center.  After doing the DC Big Flea Market we went up to The Train Depot to check it out.  VERY nice place!  Next time I'm up in that area I'll be sure to visit, however I don't get up that way very often.

This is a recent one, haven't been to it yet.

Toy Trains and Collectibles in Manassas Va.  www.toytrainsandcollectibles.com

Looks promising, I'll have to try it one day.

Of course, anyone who lives up that way should check both out.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, March 29, 2018 5:54 PM

Rocky Mountaineer

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

 

Sorry I missed your response David!  I was in Hennings the day after Thanksgiving, 2017.  So, I did see the remodeling and the place does look nice.

Got some parts, cars, and a few other odds n' ends I didn't know I needed, but you know how that goes.  That goodness for brick and mortars!

In a way, I was a bit sad to Lynn's Junction gone.  I don't do N or HO but it was interesting just the same.

Now, if only someone can re-open the Distelfink Bakery Lansdale would be a perfect place to live!

Wayne

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Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, March 30, 2018 1:36 PM

DJSpanky
......Island Trains (bought a ton of stuff from there.....

I bought a "ton of stuff from there" too!  I probably bought about 45% from there and 45% from Charles Ro.  They usually had the best sales advertised in CTT.  Occasionally some of the other advertisers would have a great deal, but I would usually count on those two for the bulk of my orders!

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Posted by RJSMITHINDY on Friday, April 06, 2018 7:10 AM

We in Indiana are fortunate enough to have Mr Muffin’s Trains located north of Indianapolis in Atlanta, Indiana. If you are ever passing through the area be sure to add it as a stop on your trip. Besides a great store, they have an amazing 3RS layout, own Korber Models and are working towards opening a restaurant/diner in the near future. Steve & Liz Nelson are great ambassadors for our hobby and are even working on developing an excursion train line from Atlanta to Noblesville. Notch 6 had a recent podcast in which Steve was interviewed. Truly a great story and worth a listen.

- Rob

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Posted by Buckeye Riveter on Friday, April 06, 2018 3:16 PM

Buckeyeland has many good stores for Lionel, MTH, Williams, etc. and we have Menards. 

Central Ohio:

  • Columbus - Moody Street Trains & Robbies Hobbies
  • Lancaster, Ohio - Smokestack Hobbies 

Going out a little farther:

  • Oberlin, Ohio - Stockyard Express
  • Bridgeport, Ohio - T&K Hobbies
  • Medina, Ohio - Ormandy's
  • Willoughby, Ohio - Stewart's Hobbies

And just over the state line in the northern panhandle of West Virginia: 

  • Wheeling, WV - Pat's Trains

When visiting the Grandsons:

  • Mountain Lakes, NJ - The Train Station
  • Easton, PA - Trains and Lanes Hobbies

And when you are in Hawaii:

  • Lihue, HI - Beachrail Lines

Smokestack Hobbies, Lancaster, Ohio is southeast of Columbus and they have one of the best stores I have visited. The local model train club is currently building a layout and it is going to be awesome.  The store was remodeled last year to sell hobbies. You will need to see it to understand.   

T&K always seem to have the pieces and parts in stock that everyone else must order.  My search for a 180 Brick ended at T&K after contacting 4-5 other places ten years ago.  Great layout in the center of the room.  Of course the junk bin is one of my favorite places after pulling out several jewels. 

Pat's is a cool place to shop with new and used all over the place. At one time he had older Lionel train sets stacked to the ceiling.  Chuck loved our visit to the store many years ago. My Lionchief Plus locomotives were purchased at Pats.  Normally he has very good prices.

Stockyard is the place for MTH.  They have a ton of it in two large rooms.  I would guess they have all the MTH buildings manufactured. Remember they have no public restrooms, but Walmart is two or three miles away. You will stare at the wall of trains in both rooms.  They can fix anything.

SoapBox If you want to sell me anything, the brick and morter store needs to be open! 

 

 

 

Buckeye Riveter............. OTTS Charter Member, a Roseyville Raider and a member of the CTT Forum since 2004..

Rogers Corners, OH, ELV 936 - Home of the Baltimore, Ohio & Wabash RR

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Posted by Jushavnfun with trains on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 4:54 PM

Locally

Well I must be very fortunate, since I have 1 train store 3 miles this way and another 5 miles this way that feature a large inventory of O gauge.   Prices are retailcatalogue price so I'm selective in what I buybut I do support them as  best I can.  my real issues with them is they are not customer friendly and whenyou are in their store besides ignoring you, the complainand moan to their buddies, who never buy anything , all the while i'm trying my best to support them. both are closed on Sundays and Mondays, i'm OKAY with that but yesterday I wanted 1 piece of 5" Lionel fastrack and they were closed and no one else carried Lionel in the vicinity,

So... I found a little train store 20 miles away, 4 towns over, who had the 5" piece of fastrack, my wants and desires answered.  Put my to dogs in the car and we went for a ride.  Little hole in the wall store , on Maim Street, crammed full of stuff, mostly HO & N, but a little Lionel fastrack.  looked around for a bit , found all kinds of scenery, electrical, and layout parifinalia that I haave only seen online, my heart skipped a beat.  The single biggest highlight waas how friendly they were, how helpful the employees and customers were in answering my questions and to top it off pricing was better than online big discount stores.  

I have a to do list that I will be picking up shortly from them.

Atmosphere and customer service unparrelled and well worth the drive, not that far I suppose.  I wish they had more O gauge,extras will be good for now.

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Posted by bridgeengineer on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 12:34 PM

In the St. Louis area, my preference is the Switch Stand in the suburb of Overland, Missouri.  I've trusted Roscoe for years with any repair I couldn't figure out myself.  He stocks tons of Lionel and MTH, O and G scales, even HO and N, and a large stock of Lionel repair parts.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 6:00 PM

Hey remember that place Penny Trains mentioned, "...like Madison Hardware without the 'tude?"   I went looking for it and found it, a You Tube video no less!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9th_hGdW14U

Trading Post Train Shop, 4394 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH  216-661-7300

I AM impressed!  Gotta get out there one day.

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Posted by emdmike on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 7:26 PM

Also a Hoosier here, so Train Central, Mr Muffins and Zionsville Train Depot are all just to my south, I am up in Kokomo.  we also have The Train Exchange and Tolin's KnK here in town.   I also frequent the local shows, ebay and Facebook Marketplace for my Lionel needs.  Most deals I find are at the train shows from estate sales or on the marketplace.  But then I am not after new product, but older late prewar and early postwar Lionel, Bassett Lowke UK style tinplate and Dept 56 buildings.      Mike the Aspie

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Posted by Penny Trains on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:06 PM

 

Firelock76
Trading Post Train Shop, 4394 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH

Used to be called "Pearl Home Supply" back in the day.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:24 PM

Penny Trains

 

 
Firelock76
Trading Post Train Shop, 4394 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH

 

Used to be called "Pearl Home Supply" back in the day.

 

Oh, kind of like Madison Hardware starting out as a hardware retailer and then morphing into a train shop?  Interesting.

I heard the guy who started Madison Hardware, the father of the two guys who ended up running it, had a 99 year lease on the property. 

He was going to go for a 100 year lease but he didn't think he'd live that long.

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 6:41 PM

Well, I was visiting my LHS today (Tiny Tim's in Ashland) and guess what?  I got to see and handle one of these...

https://www.train-station.com/Pages/archives/Library/PRE-226E.html

Yep, that's right, a pre-war 226E that was being dropped off for repair.  Trust me, the photo doesn't do it justice!  What a bruiser, weighs as much as a cinder block and is just as solid!  And in like-new condition.  Quite a thrill.

No, it wasn't for sale, but what a stroke of luck to see one.

Support your local LHS, as Rick Harrison says on "Pawn Stars...."

"You never know what's going to come through those doors!" 

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Posted by emdmike on Sunday, April 15, 2018 7:23 PM

226e's are a beast of a prewar engine, the shell became the the Berkshire and 2046 Hudsons in the postwar era.  I think it looks the best as the 2-6-4 226E though!  Train Central in Indianapolis is like what is said on Pawn Stars, every time I visit there is different second hand trains, mostly HO scale but some nice Lionel does come thru from time to time.   Mr Muffin's is great if your looking for anything and everything that is brand new.  No second hand or antique trains there that I have seen.   Used to love to go to Train City when we lived just outside Erie, PA.  He closed up and relocated to Florida and online only sales.  My old school shop from when I was a kid thru 2000 was Harmon's Trains in Arcadia, IN.  A haven for older Lionel, both prewar, postwar and modern era.  I really miss that shop!   Mike the Aspie

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 7:51 PM

Thanks Mike!  It was a thrill to see and handle that piece of history today and I just had to tell somebody!

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Posted by UnionH&L on Friday, May 18, 2018 7:52 PM

Here in Jersey it's getting to be slim pickings... like DJSpanky, there were a handful of shops around me. Now it's just the Train Station in Mountain Lakes or Model Railroad Shop in Piscataway. My go-to local shop, Big Little Railroad Shop closed in February. 

Recently, I visited Hobby Masters in Red Bank, they used to have quite in inventory, not so much anymore. I used to go to Meyers when they were in East Brunswick and then Edison. They always had a ton of Lionel and K-Line. I went to their Livingston store, it was a former shell of itself. 

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Posted by Deputy on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 9:18 AM

When I lived in a northern suburb of Chicago, there were a few really good train shops nearby. Expensive, but good. Then I moved to New Mexico when I retired, and while there are still rail fans, there are no hobby shops. I think there might be one in Las Cruces, but haven't been there in ages. I am restricted to E-Bay and whatever stores I can find that still exist for online sales.

Virginian Railroad

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Posted by The Gnome on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 10:04 AM

Scale Model Supplies is a large train store in the basement of a strip mall in St Paul.  Lots of new stuff.  I did not see any used stuff.  Prices are about average.  The main problem is the musty atmosphere.  An asthmatic train lover might have an attack in there.

the hobby store in Rochester MN that sold some train stuff just closed.  His main store is in Austin MN.  His balsa wood was way too expensive, old, dried out, dusty.  I did not get any farther than that.

Jim R https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voS6dePOx3c&feature=share

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