Tag Archives: hobby shops

The World’s Largest Train Store

I have been busy working on a few projects over the last weeks. The Rail Yard Models Penn Central X58 is painted and ready to be decaled – more on that in the final installment of the three-part X58 series. I am also preparing a couple of models of German prototype to take to the FREMO:87 meet in the Black Forest at the end of this month.

To finish these jobs, I needed a few last minute things so I checked out Caboose Hobbies in Denver because my local dealer couldn’t get a few items I had on backorder for weeks.

Caboose Hobbies claims to be the largest train store in the world – not sure if this is based on store square footage, inventory or annual sales. Their website design looks like it was last updated in 1999 and it is somewhat cumbersome to use. I managed to find my way around, though. After a little digging, it turns out that they do have a huge inventory and had everything I needed in stock. They were also able to combine three separate orders into one shipment when I kept remembering things I needed to add. A quick call to their store also revealed that they are very friendly.

Stay tuned for some pics next week and go check out that largest train store.

Scouting out Train Stores in Brooklyn

Yesterday afternoon, I ventured out to Brooklyn to check out another train store. The trip on the Culver Line was a lot longer than expected because we were re-routed due to construction. When I finally got to Ditmas Avenue, I was utterly disappointed to find Train World closed.

Train World Brooklyn

Is this store open?

I walked past the store thinking that this may just be the loading dock and the store is located around the corner, but at the last minute I decided to try the door anyway. To my surprise, it was unlocked and I found the store open after all.

Inside, a few employees were busy working the phones taking orders and I took a quick look around. The store is well stocked with material in variety of gauges and judging by their flyer they must have much more inventory than what is on display in the showroom. They did have a few PROTO 2000 Penn Central engines but I wasn’t ready to buy anything yet. Prices are decent so the chances are good that I will be back. Can’t make it to Brooklyn? Visit Train World online.

Hobby shop near Penn Station

Last weekend, I was looking through the latest copy of Model Railroader and noticed an ad for another hobby shop in Manhattan – Gotham Model Trains on 35th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue not far from Penn Station. Their ad indicated that they carry American and European trains, so I had to check them out…

Gotham Model Trains is located on the 13th floor in a non-descript office building at 224 West 35th. When I was there, a young and friendly sales clerk was helping another customer so I had a little time to look around by myself.

Upon entering you are greeted by a nice little layout showcasing Märklin rolling stock. Other European brands they carry include Trix, of course, BRAWA, Roco and Hornby.

The store also seems well stocked with American brands, track and accessories, which are neatly arranged around the showroom. Locomotives are displayed in well-lit and clean cases.

Didn’t really compare prices but from what I can tell they are reasonable, so I will definitely be back.

Uncovering new sources

Having spent just about one week in the New York City area, I ventured out a few days ago to uncover new sources of model railroad material – something I like to do every time we move. I was pleasantly surprised to find a hobby shop named Red Caboose on 45th street not too far from our place.

The somewhat dusty basement store near Times Square is a little crowded but seems to offer products for a wide range of tastes. While they carry plenty of vintage and used European engines and rolling stock, I didn’t see too much new material that was of particular interest to me. They do have a good selection of paints, tools, scale model parts and accessories though, which is always good to know when you are working on PROTO:87 projects.

So I still needed to find a store where I can buy the new BRAWA E 037 open freight cars when they come out in the fall…

Luckily, I located a hobby shop and online retailer catering to European rail enthusiasts just north of the city. The Eurolokshop.com web site looks promising and they seem to offer an impressively large selection of brands and models at decent prices. Hopefully, I can visit their showroom in person soon.