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Another one bites the dust

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Another one bites the dust
Posted by woodman on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:18 PM

Anyone familar with the suburbs of Philadelphia, the town of Lansdale, Pa approx. 20 miles outside of Philly is Lin's Junction, a great train store for the past 23 years, they specialize in DCC and will bend over backwards to make things right. Sadly they have announced they are closing on April 29th, they will be greatly missed. They just were not generating enough income at the store. Attached to this store is another called Hennings, they specialize in Lionel and American Flyer, also all vintage tin trains. There was no mention if they are also closing

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Posted by Billwiz on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 6:31 PM

My understanding is that Hennings is remaining open.

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 7:19 PM

Ahhh, Philly! 

Anyone remember Todd's Model Shop near 69th St Terminal?

Jim

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Posted by SouthPenn on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 9:36 PM

Is Nicholas Smith is still there, correct?

South Penn
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Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 10:01 PM

Nicholas Smith Trains is still in PA, in Broomall, if I remember. Is Lins going to have a store closing sale?

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Wednesday, March 08, 2017 10:47 PM

That is unfortunate.

Off Topic Point now - Anytime I see the thread title, or hear it, or the song, I go back to the last CPR course I took.... The instructor mentioned that it is helpful to do CPR to a rhythm of a song, that has the right beat. (Proper Rhythm is needed!)

Her song choice?

The very inappropriate "Another one bites the dust". Tongue Tied

Its much worse if you break into singing it during CPR! IndifferentTongue Tied 

Pretty wicked sense of humor that one had.....

Ricky W.

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, March 09, 2017 1:14 AM

ricktrains4824
The instructor mentioned that it is helpful to do CPR to a rhythm of a song, that has the right beat. (Proper Rhythm is needed!) Her song choice? The very inappropriate "Another one bites the dust". Its much worse if you break into singing it during CPR!

LaughLaughLaughLaugh Isn't that what people in the trade call 'gallows humour'. Whatever works!

Dave

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, March 09, 2017 6:51 AM

ricktrains4824
Off Topic Point now - Anytime I see the thread title, or hear it, or the song, I go back to the last CPR course I took.... The instructor mentioned that it is helpful to do CPR to a rhythm of a song, that has the right beat. (Proper Rhythm is needed!) Her song choice? The very inappropriate "Another one bites the dust"

Every time I've taken that course here in S.E. Pa. the recommended song was "Staying Alive".

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Posted by Eric White on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:49 AM

Sad to hear Lin's is closing.

I was planning a visit in April - I hope there's something left when I get there.

A great store with great service.

Eric

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Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, March 09, 2017 12:12 PM

Hello all,

So sad to hear!

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, March 09, 2017 1:17 PM

Did that Phili LHS have an online site as well?  I don't think most hobby shops can make it these days unless they sell online as well; there just isn't enough local walk-in business to sustain them.  Well, at least Caboose has opened in Colorado and should have a website going to provide goodies to those who can't walk into a ship in Philli.  I've been mostly relying on mailorder and online sites for most of my toys for the past 15-20 years now.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by PRR8259 on Thursday, March 09, 2017 8:24 PM

NO!  You are supposed to use "Stayin' Alive" from Saturday Night Fever for CPR...

Sorry to hear about Lin's.  I was a mail order customer.

John Mock

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, March 09, 2017 11:04 PM

A little sidenote;

Out west, "Another one bites the dust" is another waaay overplayed track down here in Mission Viejo CA.  It's right up there with "Satisfaction", "Brown Eyed Girl", "American Pie", "Margaritaville", and countless others.

XM is absent in my car, Give me a reason to tune in, not tune out!  Trim down those obnoxious long commercial breaks!

My dad was driving me back from one of my train club shows (I drove up there, with him sitting in the passenger seat) and he quickly noticed how terrible FM Radio is now.   I took out my phone, put it on KLUV HD-2, and he switched off the car radio.

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Posted by joe323 on Friday, March 10, 2017 5:55 AM

ATSFGuy

A little sidenote;

Out west, "Another one bites the dust" is another waaay overplayed track down here in Mission Viejo CA.  It's right up there with "Satisfaction", "Brown Eyed Girl", "American Pie", "Margaritaville", and countless others.

XM is absent in my car, Give me a reason to tune in, not tune out!  Trim down those obnoxious long commercial breaks!

My dad was driving me back from one of my train club shows (I drove up there, with him sitting in the passenger seat) and he quickly noticed how terrible FM Radio is now.   I took out my phone, put it on KLUV HD-2, and he switched off the car radio.

 

Actually I like SiriusXM 70s but with plenty of data these days I am ditching it.

Sorry to hear another LHS closing 

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, March 10, 2017 12:05 PM

You can listen to anything if you've paid for bandwidth or satellite service, but with a daugther in college, I'm cheap and don't neither are an option.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, March 10, 2017 2:06 PM

 It's a good thing I have a wide variety of music I like. I only have one car new enough to have satellite radio in it, and while I usually listen to classic vinyl or classic reqind, the amount of repetition is amazing. Considering allt eh songs they COULD play - they DO do much better than the local classic rock stations, but still way too much repetition. But when I get tired of that I can switch to Bluesville, or Willie's Roadhouse, or Bluegrass Junction. Or just play from my phone - I refuse to pay the ridiculous rates for a large data plan but I have enough music loaded on my phone I can drive for hours without a repeat. And I still have room for more.

 Lin's has a web site, but they only list DCC items, and some of it is not stocked merchandise, it even says when you select an item that they will order it for you and it will take about 2 weeks. It's been a few years since I stopped in there (I used to live right around the corner - and would go there AND to Penn Valley which was just down the street). Seems like a lot of their business came from the GATSME Lines club which lost their lease and is now starting over, but perhaps no longer buy through Lin's. 

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Saturday, March 11, 2017 6:20 PM

On XM, Cousin Brucie and Dennis Falcone are winner DJ's with excellent shows, Both of thier shows cover low charting songs as well as cover versions and flipsides. Smile

Cousin Brucie Wed 2pm-6pm (60's on 6), Sat and Sun 5pm-9pm (60's on 6).

Dennis the Menace Fri 9pm-1am (70's on 7), Sat 9pm-1am (70's on 7), Dennis Falcone Sun 6pm-8pm (60's on 6).

Cool Booby B's DooWop Stop 9pm-12am (50's on 5).

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, March 11, 2017 8:49 PM

Music......with 1700 pieces of vinyl, and about 800 music CD's, I'm not paying anybody for the privilage of picking out music for me to listen to. I can record and play nearly anything I really want to listen to in the car, including every song that has been mentioned in this thread without any commercials of any kind.

Both our current vehicles have satilite radio, did not miss it one bit when the free trial ran out.

As for hobby shops closing.......we have been over this too many times.

Fact is, too many of us are no longer willing to pay the kind of markups necessary for retail shops to make money. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

So for the 375th time, unless a shop is also seriously in the mail order/online business, doing enough volume to buy most products at the lowest wholesale price direct from the manufacturers, they cannot compete price wise in this business. And apparently price is more important than service to most everyone today.

Sorry to see Lin's go, but it comes as no surprise. What is a surprise is that some shops like Lin's have lasted as long as they have.

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by PRR8259 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:23 PM

Sheldon--

In my opinion, Lins was really trying the whole internet thing.  They sent me very polite, if not slightly annoying, updates regarding new manufacturer offerings in my email often.  I think they were trying to find the balance in how often to "bother" customers.  Whenever I talked to them on the phone, they were exceptionally nice and friendly to deal with.  I have no complaints at all about their service or their prices.

They had items I wanted, which were sometimes hard to find elsewhere, and I bought them (Atlas Apache Railway C420's, subsequently sold on fleabay).  Imo their pricing structure was "fair".

It was not for lack of trying on their part.  I think they did all they reasonably could.

The challenge here is that there can only be so many "MB Klein" and "Mainline Hobbies" and "Original Whistle Stop" and "Train Station" stores.

Soon we will be down to just one major player in each state--if not less than that.  It's not what I want, but is the reality of what will happen.  Even with all the tourist traffic to pay full bore retail prices, the train stores near Strasburg are partly gone.  I was stunned this fall at how far things had progressed.  You see, at Strasburg, well that was the one place they made money for years and years.

Train books are d-e-a-d.  One publisher (TLC) is at retirement age and blowing out current inventory at fire sale prices.  Doesn't mean I'm not buying books, but only the ones I absolutely have to have, knowing that in the future, even the allegedly rare and valuable train books will be a very tough sell.  I'm up to 5 train books, and 2 were gifts from HZ.  I'm now focusing on hardcore books about certain prototype steamers like the SP Ten Coupled Locomotives and William Kratville's books...knowing any resale value will be questionnable because most people just want the Morning Sun 128 page color guides now.  Some of the authors were incredible researchers to compile the information they compiled...Kratville must have been an amazing person.

John

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, March 11, 2017 9:48 PM

PRR8259
Train books are d-e-a-d.

Well, now.  Interesting that you would say that.  I happened to be reading an editorial by Lee Rosenberg today in the March 2017 issue of Model Railroad News.  He is one of the operators of Ron's Books.

One of the points he made was that "when the recent book on Metro North arrived, a significant number of our sales were to new customers, which leads to the conclusion that there are people out there who are only interested in more modern aspects of railroading.  They have not been buying books until recently because there were no books on the subjects in which they were interested."

He also said that "I can tell you without a doubt that there are more books on railroads being released today than ever before.  During the second half of 2016, we have received 20 or more titles a month, every single month.  In th 1980's, 20 titles might represent most or all of the railroad books put out in a year.  If anything, there are now so many books coming out that customers simply can't keep up with them".

He also made some other interesting points that would make worthwhile reading.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:04 PM

John, the only hope for small shops is for all the manufacturers to go to direct distribution like Athearn and set one basic wholesale price. OK, if they want to give the big customers like Trainworld or Klein an extra 5%, but not a 30% difference between what a large shop pays and what a small shop pays.

Stable pricing would be good for the hobby, period.

People said it would kill Athearn.....they were completely wrong......it saved them.

And kept them at the top of the industry. 

Strasburg, you would think it would be a great place to sell model trains, but it has never been all that great. Partly because of that "take advantage of the tourist" mentality. A real train store with a good inventory and fair prices would do great there, but that of course would involve investing in inventory.....inventory you can't get because of pre orders.......

Remember, I ran a hobby shop train department in the 1980's, 15 miles away from MB Klein.....in a city that once had a dozen good model train stores........I know how this game is played......

Sheldon

PS - I did not comment on books, because I'm not big train book buyer myself. I'm very, very selective when it comes to books. Generally I consider them too expensive. But, admittedly, I have nearly every copy of Model Railroader and MRC from the last 65-75 years, and a carefully selected library of books directly related to my core interests.......and every issue of Classic Trains magazine.......

All the train book publishers would be out business if they depended on me as a regular customer.

 

    

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Posted by ATSFGuy on Saturday, March 11, 2017 10:35 PM

If train books are TRUELY Dead, then how come Walthers Reference books are still being made?    

Best to say they're still being published but in small quanties.

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Posted by DAVID REILLY on Thursday, March 16, 2017 1:57 PM

Sadly it's the same story here in the UK. There are only a fraction of model stores compared to a few years ago.

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Posted by cedarwoodron on Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:15 PM

Sheldon is correct- there appears to almost a "death watch" regularity about hobby shop closings. While I recall many trips and dollars spent at two mainstay model shops back home when I was growing up, that was a very long time ago (I am 63). Like many modelers, I am sorry that b&m shops are rapidly dying out. 

But- I am still in our hobby and have adapted to online and swap meet purchasing. 

We are well into the third decade of direct online purchasing. Hobby shops will continue to evolve as online entities only- perhaps a wit with a flair for VR software will create a synthetic experience of walking through the online retailers inventory as if one were in a store, interacting and selecting to arrive at the cash register counter (point of sale) to complete the experience. The saying goes- if you can imagine it, reality is not too far away.

Cedarwoodron

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Posted by PRR8259 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:39 PM

I cannot comment on Ron's books, but two lhs have separately told me books are dead.  Sure, some are being published but at what quantity?

brasstrains produced a beautiful color book with plenty of color model photos.  They are barely selling at $25.  In fact, if you buy a brass model some dealers are giving you that beautiful book for FREE.  Again, there is nothing wrong with the book except they printed too many.

The 128 page all color guides with minimal captions and very limited historical context are the books that currently sell.  The in depth 500 page hardcover about a certain loco...those sell only at discount.

The rare train books...I can crush most dealers' pricing if I just watch Amazon or ebay or brasstrains website.  They sell estate books cheap at brasstrains.  As in 4-10-2  Three Barrels of Steam in nice shape for $25 signed by author.  Elsewhere it can be $150 or more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:06 PM

PRR8259

I cannot comment on Ron's books, but two lhs have separately told me books are dead.  Sure, some are being published but at what quantity?

brasstrains produced a beautiful color book with plenty of color model photos.  They are barely selling at $25.  In fact, if you buy a brass model some dealers are giving you that beautiful book for FREE.  Again, there is nothing wrong with the book except they printed too many.

The 128 page all color guides with minimal captions and very limited historical context are the books that currently sell.  The in depth 500 page hardcover about a certain loco...those sell only at discount.

The rare train books...I can crush most dealers' pricing if I just watch Amazon or ebay or brasstrains website.  They sell estate books cheap at brasstrains.  As in 4-10-2  Three Barrels of Steam in nice shape for $25 signed by author.  Elsewhere it can be $150 or more.

 

Well, as previously stated, I don't buy many books, but I did just buy some from Ron.....because he had the best price, and I generally think books are too expensive......

LHS? That are having a hard time because of the current market, pricing and preorders? Well of course they can't sell books either. Their foot traffic is down, sales down........

But again, I'm pretty selective about books...

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, March 17, 2017 11:07 AM

ATSFGuy

A little sidenote;

 

XM is absent in my car, Give me a reason to tune in, not tune out!  Trim down those obnoxious long commercial breaks!

 

And on a side side note, my car is equipped with only free radio.

Wasn't XM radio, Sirus, the stuff you pay a subscription fee for, supposed to be relatively ad free...since that's what the subscription fee is for.

Interesting how things in the electronic age that were once free and paid for by advertisers now cost a monthly fee....without eliminating the the advertisments. Radio, TV, Internet....In fact, we probably are subject to MORE ads even when the subscription fee increases.

...oh nevermind.

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Posted by maxman on Friday, March 17, 2017 11:38 AM

Doughless
Wasn't XM radio, Sirus, the stuff you pay a subscription fee for, supposed to be relatively ad free...since that's what the subscription fee is for.

Not sure what you are asking.  Sirius radio, which is what I have because I don't like listening to commercials and searching for a new station every time I get out of range of the current station, is commercial free with one exception.  They seem to frequently advertise that they are "commercial free".

I haven't figured out why they advertise they are commercial free to folks who are already listening, but I don't pretend to understand such things.  I am annoyed that in addition to the initial subscription fee they tack on a music royality fee, which I guess is what they have to pay someone else to use the music they transmit.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, March 17, 2017 2:44 PM

ATSFGuy

If train books are TRUELY Dead, then how come Walthers Reference books are still being made?    

Best to say they're still being published but in small quanties.

New books are still being published.  I was at the Timonium show last month and visiting the Chessie table and they guy there showed me a new color D&RGW soft book for $30.  I am still hoping to find a copy of Rio Grande : Heart of the Rockies for something less than a fortune - most dealers have it for $79 which is pretty pricey.  I got lucky and found the 1st Chuck Conway book - Rio Grande: Crest of the Continent for $55 used in good condition.  Very nice book!

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by KemacPrr on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:21 PM

I've been a customer at Linn's for close to 22 years or so. They did have an internet prescense but what really hurt them was a combination of a graying customer base with a large number of their bigger customers deciding to tear down their layouts and move to retirement communities and other just dying off !! Also the feast and famine supply of model railroad equipment makes it difficult to keep the shelves stocked and the increased costs and lower markup make sit harder to make a profit to keep the lights on the heat on and income for the owners and help. They did not own the building they were in so rent/lease has to also be figured in. Hennings does own it so they will probably survive in fact I was told that once Linn's is gone that Hennings will take over the other half of the building.  They lasted 23 years so it was not a business failure but a change in the marketplace they could not adapt to and a disapearing customer base. They were good honest people and I will miss visiting the shop. ---------------- Ken McCorry

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