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Your first hobby shop

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, January 15, 2023 9:02 AM

First one I remember was a shop in downtown San Mateo calif. called Nothing But Trains. I was into N scale then and around 12 to 14 having started off life first with Lionel which didn't last long as a young kid, next moved into N scale because of an Aroura Postage Stamp set bought at Sears. The N stuff never ran well once I built the layout as I did this stuff mainly on my own. Got a bumper pool table and train set went in boxes. Next got into trains around 1980 as I had just got married and retired mostly and got bored and we stoped into MB klien's on a walk in downtown Baltimore as I had moved to Baltimore for college and stayed. Was amazed at how far N scale had come and wife encouraged me to get a hobby besides video games. First kid came and we moved back to California never having done much with N in Baltimore as I got busy and took advantage of side jobs to keep from feeling the pinch from a new way of life. Back in California I moved on to HO and got cheated by Cheap Charlies, a mail order firm with an order of track code 83 (he went to jail on mail fraud). A place by the name Talbot's Toyland desided to get out of Shinohara code 70 track so I bought most of what they had and started planning. Next the original shop in San Mateo desided to close and bought all their brass detail parts in a batch as they were selling them one by one even though the store was closing. There were other train shops that came and went and now they have mostly all closed, train shows too have gone away and I live in an area with over 12 million people.

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, January 15, 2023 11:35 AM

Billwiz

 

 
maxman
schuy L kill Yes

 

 

I knew that.  Been in this area of PA for most of my life.  Didn't help my fingers when typing though!

 

I know you knew.  That was for everyone else.  The “L” is just a separator anyway.  Keeps the pronounceable part of the word apart from the letters that no one can pronounce.

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Posted by moelarrycurly4 on Sunday, January 15, 2023 1:14 PM

Clear Lake Models in Clear Lake City Texas ( suburb of Houston). I bought my first Athearn car there a 50 ft Santa FE Super Shock control box car. I still have it. 

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Posted by nealknows on Sunday, January 15, 2023 3:45 PM

It’s interesting how many people grew up on Long Island. In the early 70’s and I used to bicycle from East Meadow to Willis Hobbies in Mineola. I also did a bicycle ride to Trainland in Lynbrook as well.

Then as a teen I worked at Larry’s Hobbies after school and also worked at Polk’s Hobby, both in East Meadow. I did do a couple of Saturdays at the Polk’s store in NYC on Fifth Ave. That was a treat working at that store!

There were many other train stores back in the day on LI, most are now gone.

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Posted by xboxtravis7992 on Sunday, January 15, 2023 5:30 PM

The Train Shoppe on the corner of 9th Eeast and 5th South in Salt Lake City. As a toddler, the store stocked not just model trains but toy trains as well and had a large selection of the ERTL die-cast figures for Thomas & Friends. They moved from that location when I was a young adult to a new one in South Salt Lake, and started to gain fame for their backshop being full of train themed arcade games and rides.

But as the rides and birthday party rooms in the backroom grew, it seemed the actual model stock in the front room shrunk. I began to move away from the shop of my early years of the hobby and make the longer drive to TrainLife/ExactRail in Provo instead. Eventually news came out that the Train Shoppe location in South Salt Lake was not properly compliant with fire code, and they moved to a new location in Gardner Village in Midvale. I have only been once since the move to the new location, and I certainly wish them well... but several store locations now seperated from that first one I went to its not quite the same anymore. 

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Posted by nycmodel on Monday, January 16, 2023 7:21 AM

My first hobby shop was Franklin Hobbies in Levittown NY on Long Island. Long gone. Then it was Lee's Hobby Shop in East Meadow. Also long gone. When I started driving it was Trainland and Willis Hobbies. Still around.

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Posted by Tin Can II on Monday, January 16, 2023 12:00 PM

It is really interesting that there have been two mentions of Hawkins Rail Services in Lafayette, IN.  I did some mail order with Hawkins as a younger man, and then when my son went to Purdue; I would spend most football Saturday mornings at Hawkins.  As Kevin had experienced, Jack also treated me like a regular. We would sit and talk trains and Purdue football. I was fortunate that the Saturday that my son's last weekend in West Lafayette was Jack's last day.  It was amazing how hard his family worked to organize the store and it was too bad that none of them wanted to continue to operate it.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 8:22 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
Doughless
My first real hobby shop came years later after I graduated college and moved to Indiana.  Hawkins Rail Services in LaFayette, IN about 1987, downtown location. 

 

I have told this story before, if not for Hawkins rail service, there might not be a Stratton And Gillette today.

When I switched to HO in the early 1990s, I could not find any undecorated Athearn train cars. For some reason, no one had any.

I believe it was 1993, and we were visiting family in Indiana, when I went into the downtown location of Hawkins Rail Services. He had an entire shelf of nothing but Athearn undecorated freight car kits! I bought dozens that day.

When we came back to Florida I placed my first order for HO scale SGRR decals from Rail Graphics. I was set, and the SGRR lived on into HO scale.

I visited Hawkins several time after he moved to the new location. My company was headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, so I used to fly out of Indianapolis quite a bit. If I could schedule my return flight for Saturday, I could stop at Hawkins in the morning.

Jack treated me like a regular, even though I lived 1,000 miles away.

-Kevin

 

I think Jack and Sheldon share the same philosophy about inventory, LOL.

Hawkins had just about every product offered for the serious model railroader IN STOCK.  He did the mail order thing very early, and so he probably just grabbed the order off of his inventory shelves...no warehouse for him.

IIRC, he was known for not discounting anything, so I could always find NOS products on the shelves unsold for years.  I think the last time I visited was in 2012/13 and I think he still had 3 Life Like P2K Undecorated BL2s from the early 1990s on a top shelf.  Still $85 MSRP or close.

As he got older, his mobility decreased a lot and I think his inventory got unmanageable.  Its good to hear another report that his family helped him organize it when he closed shop.

- Douglas

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Posted by Attuvian1 on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 8:57 AM

maxman
Billwiz 
maxman
schuy L kill Yes
 

I know you knew.  That was for everyone else.  The “L” is just a separator anyway.  Keeps the pronounceable part of the word apart from the letters that no one can pronounce.

Off Topic  Yeah, but unpronounceable only because it's Dutch ("schuyl-" is now "schuil-"), meaning "hidden"; "kil" is channel or stream).  It's the "sch" that's the bugbear.  My wife's Dutch and emigrated at six from her home town of Schevenigen, a costal suburb of The Hague.  I always had a flair for pronunciation, probably from hearing my mom speak French (she wasn't, but taught it).  My parents-in-law, though they'd lived here since the mid-fifties, still had their heavy Dutch accents.  I'll always remember Pop trying to get me to say "Scheveningen" properly.  The "ch" is very gutteral.  If you don't almost hork up something in the process, you've missed it altogether.  I'd say it exactly as he would - and he'd shake his head, and proceed to say it (to my ears) exactly as I had. Tongue Tied  It became kind of a family joke.

(Attuvian1) John

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Posted by Billwiz on Tuesday, January 17, 2023 7:05 PM

Attuvian1
  Yeah, but unpronounceable only because it's Dutch ("schuyl-" is now "schuil-"), meaning "hidden"; "kil" is channel or stream).  It's the "sch" that's the bugbear. 

Unless you are referring to the expressway, which is spelled "Surekill" and pronounced that way as well.

Bill's Hobby and Peanut Shop was on Church Street, just before Bridge.  I am not sure how long the shop was there, but it was a nice, small shop with a decent supply of trains and building kits.

My next shop was Allied Hobbies in King of Prussia.  I purchased my first "real" transformer there, an MRC unit.  It did not work.  I took it back, he tested it and handed me another, a higher level unit without additional charge.  I purchased a few more things from that store.

 

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 12:41 PM

Here are two hobby stores that some forum members may recognize:

In the early '60's, building my first layout, my first hobby store was Todd's Train Store at 69th Street in downtown Philly, PA. This was "back-in-the-day" when an Atlas Remote Control Snap Switch cost $2.50!  I remember that there was a glass case of brass locomotives mounted on the wall near the front door, and I was curious about the Shay - whether it had cylinders on both sides or not.  I was disappointed to learn it was a one-sided arrangement! 

A few years later our family moved to Dallas, TX, where my favorite store was Bobbye Hall's Hobby House on Bryan Street.  It was some years later that I learned that Bobbye Hall was truly an iconic figure in the Hobby.

Jim

 

 

 

 

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Posted by dawgg on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 2:54 PM

I have been fortunate to travel in my professional career, so I never really had a "local" hobby shop, nor can I truly remember the first one when I was a kid, there were several as we moved around a lot.  I try to support small shops where ever I go, and have bought things in about 15 + states (and in multiple cities in those states), all across Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, a few Caribbean Islands and S America.  I just picked up some cool scratch building supplies in Plymouth, England in October, and plan on hitting at least one shop when in Japan in April.

When I first got back into the hobby in ernest about 15 years ago, I used to go to Depot Trains in Cleveland, but the owner passed and the shop changed.  I miss having a local shop to "hang out" in, and ordering online doesn't have the same sense of gratification as poking around a shop and discovering something new (or old).  

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Posted by The Ferro Kid on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 9:29 PM
The title of this topic really caught my eye, and took me back almost 50 years.  I knew Jay "Harold" Madsen, the founder and proprietor of Kar-Line and of the small hobby shop which he ran in the basement of his home on Perry St. in East Aurora, New York.  It was in church the weekend before Thanksgiving in the early 1960s that my Dad introduced me to Harold's wife -- Bernice -- with whom my Dad had been talking about my infatuation with trains.  She enthusiastically described how her husband had recently founded a line of HO train cars.  I was incredulous that anybody would just happen to be producing HO train cars in the village of East Aurora, but when we visited his train shop for the first time the next weekend it became more clear what he was doing: taking Athearn and MDC undecorated boxcar shells and turning proverbial "Sow's Ears" into "Silk Purses," with decals, his glossy "Miracle Coat" finish, Central Valley trucks (later, his "Neverlube"
trucks), and Kadee couplers.  Even the packaging was impressive -- glossy black boxes (I believe he later experimented with some different packagings).
 
Harold explained that he did most or all of the painting, and that he, his wife, and some friends did the decaling.  Through the 60s and 70s, during good weather a school buddy and I would bike -- and later drive -- down to Harold's store from the neighboring town of Elma.  Especially on weekdays, we would call ahead because they didn't have enough business to keep a rigid "Open" schedule during the off-seasons of the year.  In addition to a stock of scores of his own Kar-Line boxcars, Harold had several hundred standard Athearn and MDC rolling stock kits, as well as some glass display cases with various HO diesel and steam engines.  One of Harold's ongoing promotions was that for every $100 of purchases, you could get $10 of free merchandise.  This might not seem a large discount nowadays, but this was a pretty good deal in the days before the mail order discounters came onto the scene.
 
The other great feature of Harold's store was the huge Pennsy layout that took up most of his basement (the Pennsy's "Buffalo Line" ran through the village of East Aurora on its way north to Buffalo).  He would generally run his trains while we looked around and decided on our purchases.  It was difficult to know what to do -- continue selecting railroad kits, or watch the trains run.
 
At $7.99 (some multi-color paint schemes were a dollar or two more), Harold's kits were rather pricey for teenagers at a time when minimum wage was $2.10 per hour.  But I did manage to snag 10 or 12 over the years.  My first was the Erie-Lackawanna grey boxcar with maroon lettering.  The one drawback to Harold's decal method was that you could see the edge of the decals through his glossy "Miracle Coat."  In theory that could be largely cured by hitting them with a coat of Dullcoat, but I've never had the heart to do so.  Another prized possession is an Atlantic & Danville car that Bernice once gave me, which I believe they were closing out.
 
Harold worked for the State of New York as a construction inspector of some type.  I marvelled at the ambition it must've taken to paint, decal, and then apply Miracle Coat to all of those cars, along with all of the other aspects of running a business.  Harold occasionally loaded his van with Kar-Line kits and took off for a meet or convention, generally in the Northeast or Midwest.  He also periodically put out an un-illustrated brochure listing the current or upcoming Kar-Line boxcars.  It was quite a list -- 184 cars at one point in time.  He was fast to produce many new schemes as they came on the scene, and also tackled shortlines that nobody else would do.  At the time of the Penn Central merger, he was the first to point out to me that the Penn Central green was NOT the same as NYC jade green.  I had not yet seen enough PC repaints to know the difference, but he was already "in the know."
 
I lost contact with the Madsens when I moved west circa 1980, but do know that Bernice passed away in 1990, and Harold -- in his late 80s -- in 1998.  He had found an interesting niche -- I have always suspected, without knowing, that he had a lot of repeat business from loyal customers.  Harold and Bernice were a class act, and it was reflected in their products.
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Posted by Attuvian1 on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 10:20 PM

Kid -

That post was particularly well done.  Thumbs Up  Thanks!

Attuvian John

 

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 11:56 PM

Doughless

 

 
SeeYou190

 

 
Doughless
My first real hobby shop came years later after I graduated college and moved to Indiana.  Hawkins Rail Services in LaFayette, IN about 1987, downtown location. 

 

I have told this story before, if not for Hawkins rail service, there might not be a Stratton And Gillette today.

When I switched to HO in the early 1990s, I could not find any undecorated Athearn train cars. For some reason, no one had any.

I believe it was 1993, and we were visiting family in Indiana, when I went into the downtown location of Hawkins Rail Services. He had an entire shelf of nothing but Athearn undecorated freight car kits! I bought dozens that day.

When we came back to Florida I placed my first order for HO scale SGRR decals from Rail Graphics. I was set, and the SGRR lived on into HO scale.

I visited Hawkins several time after he moved to the new location. My company was headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, so I used to fly out of Indianapolis quite a bit. If I could schedule my return flight for Saturday, I could stop at Hawkins in the morning.

Jack treated me like a regular, even though I lived 1,000 miles away.

-Kevin

 

 

 

I think Jack and Sheldon share the same philosophy about inventory, LOL.

Hawkins had just about every product offered for the serious model railroader IN STOCK.  He did the mail order thing very early, and so he probably just grabbed the order off of his inventory shelves...no warehouse for him.

IIRC, he was known for not discounting anything, so I could always find NOS products on the shelves unsold for years.  I think the last time I visited was in 2012/13 and I think he still had 3 Life Like P2K Undecorated BL2s from the early 1990s on a top shelf.  Still $85 MSRP or close.

As he got older, his mobility decreased a lot and I think his inventory got unmanageable.  Its good to hear another report that his family helped him organize it when he closed shop.

 

Hawkins was a special place. When I lived in Indiana would pop in when I was through the area. Always something to discover and find. I think it got pretty hard for him to run it with his mobility issues. I was glad my timing was right one day when UPS came and left boxes in that front entry room. I carried them in for him. A couple were pretty heavy. They were nice folks. 

Jim

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Posted by drgwcs on Thursday, January 19, 2023 12:11 AM

You know I was trying to remember which one was my first hobby shop. There were three that I vaguely remember going into when I was about 10 or 11 but which one came first I am not sure. There was one in Crossroads mall in Oklahoma city called Hobbyworld and I remember looking at some engines in a case. Then I also remember going into Cambell's Hobby house also in OKC when they were closing. Probably preceeding this was a place called Aqua Mart in Stillwater OK they were a pet store and hobby shop. They didn't carry many trains mainly plastic models but I did get some RR magazines there. 

Later Hobby Lobby opened in town (store 5!) and they carried a fair amount of trains then. Roughly the equivalent of one of their current aisles. Wound up working for them in high school and college and running the hobby dept. I would go into Woodwards and Whistle Stop in OKC. Today only whistle stop is around and I'm on the other side of the country. 

Jim

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Posted by NorthBrit on Thursday, January 19, 2023 3:52 AM

As a youngster living in Leeds (U.K.) my local model shop was 'King Charles Street Model Shop'  in King Charles Street.  (Original or what?)  A great place for anything regarding model railways. 

In those days there was only O and OO gauge models.  N gauge  and others did not exist. Models of locomotives came in one livery; not the half dozen or so like these days.  If you wanted a different livery out came the paints and brushes.   

The street, King Charles Street, was named  many years before King Charles 3  was born.   The model shop has long gone.  The street is still there.

 

David

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Posted by moelarrycurly4 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 7:16 AM

My other first hobby shop was G&G models on Times Blvd in Rice Villiage( Houston) . That was a shop run by Gus and George ( hence G&G). I bought lots of things from them all the way thru college( since I had to drive in for school anyway) G&G is still in business but they have moved locations it appears , I think the family still runs it from what I read on the interwebs, They claim to be the oldest hobby shop in Texas.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 7:22 AM

drgwcs

Hawkins was a special place. When I lived in Indiana would pop in when I was through the area. Always something to discover and find. I think it got pretty hard for him to run it with his mobility issues.

Jim

I visited Hawkins a couple of time way back in the early 90's when I was a poor grad student at Indiana University and a group of us would drive up there.  He had one of the better inventories of stuff that was usually sold out elsewhere, but the prices were at or near MSRP. 

One of the main reasons so many hobby shops are gone was pointed out discussing Hawkins; the owners age out and the shops are single owner, so they close.  Commerce has changed so much of model trains are sold online now.

I realize this forum is full of old nostalgic men (mostly) so topics like hobby shops are full of nostaglia.  I am not sure I remember my first hobby shop visit.  It might have been when I was 4 years old and my dad was in there planning my Christmas train set which was a Lionel O27 in 1963. 

Much later when I lived in Davis CA as a Junior High teen there was a hobby shop in the Alpha Beta strip mall I purchased some Athearn SP Daylight passenger cars.  Since then I've visited quite a few over the years, especially when I was traveling for work and making a point of visiting several shops after work when in other cities or state. In those days my former wife would not let me spend much money on trains and hobby shops tended to charge at or near MSRP so I simply couldn't afford much anyway, a freight car or two was all I would bring back assuming they had something I needed, which more often than not they didn't. 

Being constrained financially, I learned to look for discounts, which usually meant mail order, to afford engines especially.  During the past 15 years, there have been no decent hobby shops within striking distance except for MB Kleins and even they have closed their walk-in store and are basically fully mail order.  I think if you live in the area you can arrange curbside pickup but you can't browse shelves. 

At the end of the day, I don't really have lots of warm fuzzies about hobby shops, mainly because for a variety of reasons, my experiences were either neutral or in some cases negative.  There were a few good ones like AAA in Warwick RI and MBK, but those were among the few exceptions.  Pickens are pretty thin anymore unless you are one of the few that still have a decent shop withing driving distance.  And even then, it will probably close when the owner ages out.

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Posted by Attuvian1 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 9:51 AM

riogrande5761

And even then, it will probably close when the owner ages out.

 
And they will all "close" the instant we each age out.  Wink   But that's a hundred other threads that have gone before.  Hopefully, with all our stuff, most of us also collect perspective.
 
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Posted by LenS on Thursday, January 19, 2023 10:11 AM

tloc52

Trost Hobbies in Chicago on 63rd street somewhere between Western and Kenzie Avenues. 

TomO in Wi

 

Trost was located at 3111 W. 63rd St, (south side of the street) between Troy and Albany, just east of Kedzie. Right on the other side of the street was Hoffkins (sp) bakery. I lived in an apartment on Albany and was not allowed by my wife to go into either place unchaperoned. Wink
 
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Posted by tloc52 on Thursday, January 19, 2023 11:45 AM

I spent much time in Trost as a kid. Biking from 68th and Hamlin to 63rd and over. I loved the HO brass engines in the glass counter as you walked in on your left. Lionel in the back corner straight in was my hang out. They were good folks till Betty took over. Every Christmas for years I added on to my Santa Fe Super Chief passenger train. Found HO senior year in college, 1973-74.

But then it was the suburban shops I hit up.

 

good memories

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Posted by scott7891 on Friday, January 20, 2023 10:00 AM

My first shop was Engine House Hobbies in Gaithersburg, MD.  It is located along the former right-of-way of the B&O Brunswick Line.  It was where my parents took me and where they bought me my birthday and Christmas presents of various engines, rolling stock, track, structures, etc besides Toys R' Us and KB Toys back when they were around selling toy trains in house.  If it wasn't for my parents and that first store I would not be here over 30 years later.  When I got older I too used my own money to give them my business. 

Now the owner is retiring and closing the store down May 1st.  He is now the last dedicated train store in the area now that the other store, Potomac Trading, lost its owner last year and liquidated everything this past month.  The only place left will be Hobby Works but they are a general hobby merchandise store.  Their model train selection is pitiful and they only sell current production stuff sold close to MSRP (I would know I used to work for them in my college days for extra spending cash) and it isn't even the high-end but the entry-level generic items ala regular Bachmann and Walthers Trainline.  They don't even do repairs or any custom work as far as I can tell but if they do it is for everything else but trains.

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Posted by Metro Red Line on Sunday, January 22, 2023 6:02 PM

The store was called Troxel Bros. Models, on 202 S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles.
Over 40 years ago when my dad and I built my first permanent layout (a 4x8' in HO scale), we would go there and buy supplies. To this day, the smell of fresh cork roadbed and lichen would send me back. The store had a lot of Athearn blue boxes, and it was run by this older gentleman who ran the store by himself and would play classical music on the radio in the background. 

During Jr. High school, I would ride the bus or my bike there to get some Athearn blue boxes, back when a boxcar was only $4 or $5. The store moved around the corner around that time, to 4319 W. 2nd Street. 

The store closed down for good in the early 2000s decade when the owner retired. I always thought the owner was one of the Troxel brothers but it turns out his name was Ed Kielty, and some time ago, he bought the store from the brothers, who founded the original store in the 1940s and apparently were big players in the model railroad scene in Los Angeles (they built an O scale layout that was on display at the California Museum of Science and Industry that was one of the famous public layouts in the area at the time.

I was in HO scale at the time but I looked at N scale with a curious eye. The smallness of it capitvated me for some reason but N scale in the '80s and early '90s looked too toylike for my tastes. Flash forward to today, where I'm all about N scale. I guess looking at the N scale display at the store was me glancing into the future.

The original storefront on Western Avenue was demolished to build a new elementary school. The second locaton on 2nd street is a holistic health supply store.

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Posted by Soo Line fan on Monday, January 23, 2023 10:32 AM

My childhood store was Models Hobby Center located at 9 mile and Woodward just north of Detroit. To this day you can still see the 55ft crossbuck RR sign high atop a pole. Sadly, it’s now a book store sign.
 
I remember going there on Friday after work or Sat afternoon with my Grandfather. The store was absolutely full of trains with Lionel being the heavy hitter. It was standing room only on Saturdays and you almost needed a number system.
 
They had a repair center which could fix anything. I loved that place.
 
Years later, I wanted to put my old Lionel set around the Christmas tree to show my wife and young son but it needed some parts. The fish car body was cracked, knuckles would not pop open and some light bulbs needed replacement.
 
The owner of Models had passed and family members were running the store. They told me parts were not available.
 
I ended up at another hobby shop called PD hobby shop. I left there with a new body shell for the fish car, knuckle springs, pivots, bulbs and a great experience.
 
It was the start of a long relationship with them and a purchase of 40 plus HO locomotives and lots of cars.
 
Sadly, the owner, Pat passed away a couple of years ago. He loved the store and worked up till the day before he passed. I remember him telling me how thrilled he was to qualify for Medicaid because the cost of heath care was so much.
 
His son ran it for another year and half and decided to go online only. 
 

Jim

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Monday, January 23, 2023 8:06 PM

The first hobby shop I remember going to was when I was in about 4th grade. I had a Lionel 0-27 trainset with a steam engine. I wanted a modern diesel locomotive for my birthday. My mother took me to a hobby shop in Portland that had trains and planes.
When I looked through the shelves with the Lionel stuff I could only find one diesel and it was from a railroad I never heard of so I was kind of disappointed. Then my mom pops up with a guy who worked there and they had a pair of Santa Fe locomotives in the warbonnet livery. I was so happy. They were exactly what I wanted. Aparently they had been part of a train set but the person who bought the set didn't want the locos.
So I got two brand new locos that I loved even though they weren't in boxes. I didn't care. I was happy! That's the kind of thing that can only happen at a local hobby shop but never at a regular department store.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 9:32 AM

My first hobby shop was the late, lamented Highway Hobby in Ramsey NJ, although at the time I wasn't into trains, I was into model airplane building, specifically First World War aircraft.  Highway Hobby had everything  though.  Trains, planes, automobiles, ships, tanks, you name it. As soon as I was old enough to drive I was up there once a week. 

Highway Hobby closed in the early 2000s, the owner wanted to retire and his kids didn't want to take over the business.  C'est la vie. 

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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 10:03 AM

Flintlock76
My first hobby shop was the late, lamented Highway Hobby in Ramsey NJ <SNIP> Highway Hobby had everything  though. <SNIP> Highway Hobby closed in the early 2000s.

That all sounds exactly like Orange Blossom Hobbies in Miami.

What an amazing store that was.

Sad that it is gone forever.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

  • Member since
    July 2021
  • 194 posts
Posted by NorthsideChi on Thursday, January 26, 2023 11:30 AM

Brasseur electric trains in old-town part Saginaw, Michigan  back in the 80's.  Still open and thankfully avoided two major fires that wiped out a whole city block. Also went to Riders hobby in Flint with my dad as a kid.  Recently went back there visiting Michigan and the store was modern, nicely updated with a great selection.  

  • Member since
    November 2015
  • 1,341 posts
Posted by ATSFGuy on Thursday, January 26, 2023 10:50 PM

Whistle Stop in Pasadena, CA around 2000.

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