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Hobby Shops in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina

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Hobby Shops in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina
Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 8:09 AM

I am getting ready for my annual trip through the Carolinas, and I am going into Virginia this year as well.

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I am devastated that Antique Barn Trains closed in North Carolina.

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So... Where should I head to this year? Please let me know.

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Thank you.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by csxns on Saturday, April 07, 2018 9:43 AM

Spencer NC.

Russell

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:05 AM

I just Googled "model train shop spencer nc" and found the Little Choo Choo shop. Looks good, and near a museum! I am spending three days in Charlotte, so that looks like I will be stopping there.

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Thank you.

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Please keep suggestions coming.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by willy6 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 10:20 AM

Nothing in Charleston SC., Brookland Hobby Shop in West Columbia, SC is good, they have something like 2400 square feet of model railroad stuff in a 1200 square foot building.

Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:03 AM

Yes! I made it to Brookland Hobby last year. They had something I wanted on a lower shelf, and I had to contort to reach the item without knocking everything over on the shelves behind me.

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It was a great shop to poke around in. Tons and tons of great stuff.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by willy6 on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:43 PM

I was at Brookland Hobby 2 years ago. I was getting ready to check out and noticed at the left end of of the counter, there were boxes of old stuff. I checked it out and found 2 Bars Mill "Purina" billboard signs that had been discontinued for a long time. I had been searching all over the net forever for this sign and there were 2 stashed away in one of the boxes and they were regular price, not marked up beyond fiscal reach. You never know what you'll find in an old established brick and mortar hobby store.

Being old is when you didn't loose it, it's that you just can't remember where you put it.
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 6:56 PM

OK guys... I really need some help here.

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Even though I knew they were permanently closed, I stopped by the Antique Barn Model Train Shop in Wilson, North Carolina just to get a picture. This was a melancholy moment to be sure.

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At least the day was not all sad. I did find time to stop by Dillon, South Carolina and see my old friend Pedro. I have been stooping by his place regualrly since we first met in 1986!

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Please advise me on some more good shops. I will be stopping in the Little Choo Choo Shop and Brookland Hobbies on the way back South.

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Thanks.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by dragonriversteel on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 8:09 PM

SeeYou190

OK guys... I really need some help here.

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Even though I knew they were permanently closed, I stopped by the Antique Barn Model Train Shop in Wilson, North Carolina just to get a picture. This was a melancholy moment to be sure.

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At least the day was not all sad. I did find time to stop by Dillon, South Carolina and see my old friend Pedro. I have been stooping by his place regualrly since we first met in 1986!

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Please advise me on some more good shops. I will be stopping in the Little Choo Choo Shop and Brookland Hobbies on the way back South.

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Thanks.

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-Kevin

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 Kevin, 

     In Savannah,Ga there's Bull Street Station on Bull Street. Give em a call after 9am. It's not far off I-95 and you're headed south anyway.

I haven't been there in many years. They sell art supplies to collage kids too. Great little shop with tons of kits& detail parts.

If that turns out to be a bust. You can stop in Jacksonville,fla  Hobby World on Blanding Blvd . Ok HO train stuff. Nice folks here too.

Fear an Ignorant Man more than a Lion- Turkish proverb

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Posted by drgwcs on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 10:25 PM

Best one is the Lil Choo Choo in Spencer. Gotta go to the North Carolina Transportation museum while there. There is also Nicks Trains on Oak Park road in Raleigh- lots of older stuff there and packed. There are a couple that I have not been to- Train Buddy in Wake Forest and Chucks Trains in Landis, NC (about 15 miles away from Lil Choo Choo) Not sure where you are headed in Virginia but in Roanoke is the Rail Yard Train Store plus the Virginia Museum of Transport. In Staunton is Staunton Trains and hobbies (a little smaller) if you are headed to Shenendoah. (gotta go through the huge Factory Antique mall while in the area there) Cant speak to all the Hampton Roads area but know there is Engine House Trains in Virginia Beach (lots of used stuff there too.) We are a little out of the way but if you go through Danville VA on a Monday or Thursday night look us up at the Danville Model Railroad Club. (www.dmrrclub.org) e-mail us there Unfortunately we do not have a shop here. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 9:38 PM

DRGWCS:

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Thank you for all the information. I am going to take you up on lots of that advice.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, April 12, 2018 7:30 AM

Glad I could help. I should have added a few notes to that. The one in Staunton is a lot smaller only been in it once however if you were going to be in the area it is worth it to go. It is a way up there for us so we do not go often but the Factory Antique mall there is the largest in the country- although I haven't seen a lot of railroad stuff there. Railyard in Roanoke is MSRP but has a nice selection. Hobby shops are pretty spread out here- It is about an hour and a half to each one for us. I got spoiled when we lived in Chicago but on the other hand with traffic to get to them..........Tongue Tied Not sure how long you will be in the area but there are two train shows coming up. On May 5th is the Neuse River Show in Raleigh https://nrvclubdotnet.wordpress.com/spring-model-railroad-show/ and the North Carolina Museum of Transport has theirs on May 12th http://nctrans.org/Events/NTD.aspx Lil Choo Choo is just across the street so a two for one.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 12, 2018 8:28 PM

drgwcs
Engine House Trains in Virginia Beach (lots of used stuff there too.)

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Thanks for the tip on the ENGINE HOUSE. Neat little shop. He had a few items I had been looking for. I think 95% of the stock was used, but that is OK if you find something you can use.

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I am only about 20 miles from Staunton right now, so I will be checking it out tomorrow.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Friday, April 13, 2018 5:48 AM

Last time I was in Engine House pucked up a neat assembled Campbell mine for reasonable- fun store to look through. The have a section up front in Staunton that is used stuff that had some neat stuff in it last time I was in. Let me know if you see HOn3 in that. They had a guy that was bringing in some of that. While in town allow for the Factory antique mall- you will be in there a while absolutely huge. It is in Verona just north. I have noticed some train stuff in there occasionally. https://factoryantiquemall.com/ If you do head to Roanoke the Roanoke Antique Mall often has some railroadiana scattered about too. It is much much smaller though.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, April 13, 2018 6:49 AM

I'm in northern Virginia and I can't really think of any shops worth visiting in my area.  I do pretty much all of my buying online - thats the way things are going so increasingly the old ways are going away. 

Even the vaunted MB Klein has chopped their walk-in store to 1/3rd size and when I go there on train show days it is over packed and you have to wait a long time to get them to bring you stuff out of the warehouse and wait in a l-o-n-g line to purchase.  I'm thinking anymore it's not going to be worth my time unless I really want to get a major item at the show day discount.  Of course if you go the rest of the time it probably won't be such a negative experience.

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Posted by drgwcs on Friday, April 13, 2018 4:10 PM

Out of curiosity is there anything in Richmond? In Danville we are really closer to anything on the North Carolina Side so I don't get up that way much but was curious. We are blessed with a great railroad club here but hobbyshops are a ways away.

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Posted by csxns on Friday, April 13, 2018 4:41 PM

If you do come to Spencer NC and if your trip takes you south from their I-77 south from Charlotte to Rock Hill SC their is one called Hobby Stop they have more RC cars and airplanes but a good supply of trains also.

Russell

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, April 13, 2018 9:05 PM

drgwcs
Let me know if you see HOn3 in that. They had a guy that was bringing in some of that. While in town allow for the Factory antique mall- you will be in there a while absolutely huge.

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I was able to make it to Staunton Trains today. GREAT STORE! They had about 10 HOn3 freight cars for $20.00 - $25.00 each. I found a real score. They had two MINT Walthers/Shinohara #7 curved turnouts for $20.00 each. These were the old style with solid metal frogs that I want.

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I also went to the Factory Antique Mall, and it was amazing. It was the second best antique mall I have been to. Ian Henderson's in Georgia is also amazing.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Saturday, April 14, 2018 7:12 AM

Looks like I need to head there again.....it is a 2 1/2- nearly 3 hour drive to us but it is a train store and antique mall in one trip- helps balance out the train store, kinda like we go to IKEA in Charlotte after Spencer...keeps the wife happy too. Big Smile Since I don't know your routes inbetween places I'll let you know on a couple of huge antique malls in North Carolina. Granddaddy's Antique Mall in Burlington is quite big and worth a stop. There is one vendor that has a few train things in the back. Burlington is on I-40 inbetween Greensboro and Raleigh. If you are headed south to Charlotte from the wonder that is Spencer Big Smile there is the Depot at Gibson Mill antique mall in Concord, just north of Charlotte (I don't know why they call it the depot- no relation to trains it's an old cotton mill) Both are very big but not quite as big as the Factory.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 14, 2018 5:22 PM

I made it to the Rail Yard Hobby Shop in Roanoke today. Found a Sunset three dome tank car that I wanted for a while. Also found an unbuilt Ramsey Journal Building complete on sprues for only $7.00!

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The clerk must hove thought "Who is this weird guy buying a $100.00 brass tank car and a train-set plastic building", but hey, I found some things I really want! Awesome!

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We also made it to the Virginia Museum of Transportation. The angle of the sun made it impossible to gte a good picture near the steamers. J 611 is down in Spencer for service, that was a bummer. I did have a great time.

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We also went to a store called "Black Dog Salvage" that was awesome. Not really an antique store, but they had lots of cool old stuff. Spent way too much $$$ in there, but I found some antique fittings for my bathroom remodel that I really wanted to incorporate.

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I will be in North Carolina next week Monday-Thursday. Can't wait for some more shopping and trains.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 14, 2018 5:28 PM

dragonriversteel
In Savannah,Ga there's Bull Street Station on Bull Street. Give em a call after 9am. It's not far off I-95 and you're headed south anyway. You can stop in Jacksonville,fla Hobby World on Blanding Blvd . Ok HO train stuff. Nice folks here too.

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I wish I would have known about these on the way up. We drove through Jacksonville and Savannah on Sunday. I guess that probably would not have worked. Not many hobby shops have Sunday hours of operation.

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I will keep these on file for my next trip.

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Thanks for the help.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Sunday, April 15, 2018 12:36 PM

Not sure when you were headed to NC from Roanoke but if you are headed towards Greensboro Monday night you might go through Danville VA (we are right on the VA/NC line on the way) and come see us at the Danville Model Railroad club. We are having our business meeting on monday though at 7:30. We would be glad to show you around though. We meet Mondays and Thursdays at 7. http://www.dmrrclub.org/ If you are heading through Martinsville today there is a guy that has a booth with a lot of train stuff at the Riverside flea market on Greensboro Rd. He is only open on Sat and Sun. 

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Posted by drgwcs on Sunday, April 15, 2018 1:18 PM

I would imagine you should be able to at least get a look at 611 in Spencer- there is a walkway arould the back when you walk through the roundhouse in the service area where you can see work going on.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 5:52 PM

drgwcs
If you are heading through Martinsville today there is a guy that has a booth with a lot of train stuff at the Riverside flea market on Greensboro Rd. He is only open on Sat and Sun.

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OOooooohh we chose the wrong flea market to go to today! We looked at Google reviews and they said the flea market in Forest, VA was the best one.

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It was not good. I should have looked here first.

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Thanks for the tip.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by Redvdub1 on Monday, April 16, 2018 4:38 PM

Bull Street is closed.  At least it was last year. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 8:32 PM

I was in Asheville, NC this morning, and I stopped by "Factory Direct Trains" for some shopping.

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It is a storefront for a primarily internet store. They had pretty light sleection of anything but newer locomotives, but there were some great prices. I picked up a couple of Woodland Scenics Vehicles and a Walthers Modern Roundhouse add-on.

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The people were very friendly and did not mind me looking around.

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The adventure will continue...

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 10:02 PM

Had another great day today. I made it to the North Carolina Museum of Transportation. What a great site! I was inside a REAL ROUNDHOUSE! I loved it!

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I went across the road to the Little Choo Choo shop. This place looks small when you walk in, but it has a HUGE back room! I loved it. I bought lots of NWSL parts and a bunch of KaDee stuff.

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Then I drove down to Chuck's Trains. Small store with a lot packed inside. I found a CMW 1954 Ford Pickup I wanted and a couple other things.

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I wish I could get to Virginia tomorrow for the invitation from DRGWCS, but I will not be able to make it this trip. Thanks for the invitation.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:37 AM

Lil Choo Choo is my favorite and you cant beat its location.....Didn't you say that 611 was there for service- did you get a look? Last year they were running 611 on excursions out of Spencer and many of them passed through Danville- cant beat that. They would pause here at the station to swap out emt crews from North Carolina to Virginia. Gave me time to run to the bridge over the river and snap a shot. Sorry you couldn't make it up to Danville we are kind of out of the way in any event. I won't make it to the club tonight anyhow as we are planning on going out of town to Wilmington. Now if only Wilmington had a hobby shop.........oh well it has an ocean.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:57 AM

drgwcs
Didn't you say that 611 was there for service- did you get a look? Last year they were running 611 on excursions out of Spencer

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Yes, it was there... and I got WAY MORE than a look.

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There were some workers replacing the fasteners in the firebox. It was quite an operation and I was fascinated.

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I had my work clothes and all my personal safety equipment from work with me. We were also there at 4:30 right before they closed. There was literally no one else there.

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I have an extensive background in heavy equipment repair and high horsepower diesel engine service. I speak the language of the workers, and they gave me an experience that was worth a million bucks!

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I don't want to post too much, I don't want anyone to get in trouble, but I know 200 times more about steam locomotives than I knew 24 hours ago!

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:37 PM

Wow an inside look without the shroud pretty cool. What a contrast to what it normally looks. I had batted around going to the small Wilminton Railroad museum tomorrow- It is basicly an engine and a couple of cars and a nice layout and some displays- been there once but decided against it since we blew out an alternator todayCrying have the guy going to fix it in the morning.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:11 AM

Well, I am back at home in Sunny Florida!

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This turned out to be a great trip. We spent over $1,000.00 in hobby shops and antique stores along the way. 

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Thank you for all the help. I am glad for all the good leads on hobby shops and things to do.

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Take care!

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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