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Train Store Nostalgia

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October 3, 2013 9:59 AM

The thread about Polk’s in NYC reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post. Put it in the category of train stores from a different era.

 

In Washington, D.C. they are selling upscale,  new condos in the Logan Circle/14th Street area known as Lionel Lofts or Lock & Electric Lofts. Why? For years there was an old locksmith store that, in keeping with the way trains were marketed in many places decades ago, sold trains as a side line to their primary business. Your classic old building with trains floor to ceiling and the place to go for that elusive part.

 

Anyway, click the link below for the condo web site which has a few great pictures of the store from years back.

 

http://www.lockandelectric.com/index.html

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 3, 2013 10:09 AM

Nice.  A bit like Madison Hardware in NYC.

 

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October 3, 2013 10:11 AM

The side line hasn't entirely disappeared.  My LHS is a bicycle dealer also.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 10:19 AM

I love photos and stores like that!  In fact, when I look for original catalogs, it helps if I can find one stamped with a store name, because I love how it would list things like electrical products, hardware, sewing machines, etc.

 

It's part of a time that's not very easy to find nowadays.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 10:22 AM

Downtown Lock & Electric was my LHS here in DC when I rediscovered my love of Lionel in the early 1980's. The train part of the shop occupied the front of the ground level shop at that time while the locksmith business was in the rear. A few years later, they swapped locations and the train part of the business moved to smaller space in the rear. It was then operated by Don Duke, a rather crusty but yet affable guy. The repair guy was phenomenal- I rememeber his first name was Calvin and there was nothing Lionel he could not fix. Don Duke passed away around 1990 and the train part of the business soon fizzled out. The Lionel neon sign was still outside the building a year or so ago last time I looked.

It was, indeed, a great old train store and Don carried nothing but Lionel, new and used. I spent many a rainy Staurday digging around the place and spent many a dollar there, too. The store was, I believe, previously called Superior Lock and Electric, and was one on the oldest Lionel dealers and service stations. I believe it started in 1914.

Great memories of the place. The area has really turned around; in the 1980's it was a very sketchy neighborhood; now it is downright respectable!

Mack

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 10:37 AM

The train store that I remember as a kid was the store inside Knott's Berry Farm!! Back in the 1960's and earlier Knott's had individuals run the stores on Ghost Town main street. The train store had multiple 30's -40's era trains running around the walls. For ten cents you could make them run for a few minutes. The rest of the store was packed with all kinds of trains. Anyone else remember it??????

 

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October 3, 2013 11:05 AM

Mack, Thanks for your comments. Nice to hear from someone who remembers the place.

 

Here's a picture of the building exterior not long (I think) before they closed for good.

 

 

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 3, 2013 11:07 AM

Originally Posted by mack:

Great memories of the place. The area has really turned around; in the 1980's it was a very sketchy neighborhood; now it is downright respectable!

Mack

I, too, remember the place from back when I lived in the D.C. area in the very late 80s and when I visited a couple of times in earlier years.  Back then, it was not in what one might call a safe and inviting neighborhood.  Things have obviously changed a lot since then.  A cool old 40s and 50s style store for the Lionel fan!

 

Looks like the developer may have lost the right to call them "Lionel Lofts" and had to settle for something else.  I could be wrong about that.  Lionel Lofts would be a very cool name!

 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
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October 3, 2013 11:08 AM

This sure brings back pleasant memories. As a kid, each Saturday morning was a ritual of going to the LHS. My Dad loved trains as much as I did and he too looked forward to this weekly event.

 

The shop was filled with O-Gauge trains and the shopkeeper was never too busy to talk about the latest arrivals. I think this had a good deal to do with the firm foundation these visits made in my love of model trains.

 

I love to hear stories that rekindle my fond memories of my first LHS. Thanks for starting this thread

 

 
 
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October 3, 2013 11:14 AM

Originally Posted by Allan Miller:
Originally Posted by mack:

Great memories of the place. The area has really turned around; in the 1980's it was a very sketchy neighborhood; now it is downright respectable!

Mack

I, too, remember the place from back when I lived in the D.C. area in the very late 80s and when I visited a couple of times in earlier years.  Back then, it was not in what one might call a safe and inviting neighborhood.  Things have obviously changed a lot since then.  A cool old 40s and 50s style store for the Lionel fan!

 

Looks like the developer may have lost the right to call them "Lionel Lofts" and had to settle for something else.  I could be wrong about that.  Lionel Lofts would be a very cool name!

Yes, I think that's correct, Alan.   Went from Lionel Lofts to Locks & Electric.

 

I'm sure the current residents (most, anyway) would be totally confused about the origin of the Lionel label. 

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 3, 2013 11:17 AM

The store in Detroit where my parents bought all my trains when I was little was

Lobo's Trains and Cameras. This was back in the late 40's & early 50's. I have no idea whether they are still there. I doubt it.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 11:47 AM

My father bought many trains from Downtown Lock & Electric, and I have still have some boxes with their store label and shipping information from his collection.  I remember going to the store with him, the sketchiness of the neighborhood (it was a redlight district at night) only added to the sense of adventure.  I am not aware of any train stores in the city of Washington, DC.  The remaining stores are in the exurbs and countryside, 45 minutes to an hour or more outside the city center.  

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:01 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:

The train store that I remember as a kid was the store inside Knott's Berry Farm!! Back in the 1960's and earlier Knott's had individuals run the stores on Ghost Town main street. The train store had multiple 30's -40's era trains running around the walls. For ten cents you could make them run for a few minutes. The rest of the store was packed with all kinds of trains. Anyone else remember it??????

Yes.  I do remember it, now that you mention it.  It was a long time ago, like the 1960s, as I recall.  You verified what I had thought I had remembered from my childhood. 

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:05 PM

Originally Posted by edmunda:

My father bought many trains from Downtown Lock & Electric, and I have still have some boxes with their store label and shipping information from his collection.  I remember going to the store with him, the sketchiness of the neighborhood (it was a redlight district at night) only added to the sense of adventure.  I am not aware of any train stores in the city of Washington, DC.  The remaining stores are in the exurbs and countryside, 45 minutes to an hour or more outside the city center.  

I think you're correct. No trains stores remaining in the city proper.

The other one I vaguely remember is Corr's Hobby Shop. Believe it was on 9th Street and was a victim of Metro construction in the 70s/early 80s?

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:08 PM

Originally Posted by ptalar:

Yes.  I do remember it, now that you mention it.  It was a long time ago, like the 1960s, as I recall.  You verified what I had thought I had remembered from my childhood. 

We moved from LA in Dec 69. On my 'last' visit to Knott's in Nov that year it was still there. But on a visit in '75 it was gone....so at some point between then it closed. On my 2011 visit to Knott's all the store are now filled with tourist junk.

 

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October 3, 2013 12:17 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by ptalar:

Yes.  I do remember it, now that you mention it.  It was a long time ago, like the 1960s, as I recall.  You verified what I had thought I had remembered from my childhood. 

We moved from LA in Dec 69. On my 'last' visit to Knott's in Nov that year it was still there. But on a visit in '75 it was gone....so at some point between then it closed. On my 2011 visit to Knott's all the store are now filled with tourist junk.


Yes.  It is all junk shops now.  I always associated Knotts Berry Farm with model trains.  I know why now.  You reminded me of something I had almost forgotten.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:19 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:

 Anyone else remember it??????

Dave,

My parents first home was in west Anaheim, a few blocks walking distance from Knott's. As a kid my Aunt would take the Santa Fe from LA to Fullerton to spend weekends with the family. My dad and I would pick her up at the station and he would drop us off at Knott's lagoon, and at the end of the day we would walk home. After a couple of trips on the train that went around the lagoon we would walk over to the main park (long before fences) ride the train, then go to the train store. At one point they had a A-B-A Santa Fe F-3 set sitting in one of the cases that I wanted in the worst way possible. I remember they wanted $50.00 for the set, and I asked for it for my birthday and Christmas. Well even though dad had a very good job at Douglas, fifty bucks was a lot of money when there were three younger sisters to throw in to the mix besides me. I did not get the F-3's, but I did get a 218 A-B-A Alco set with the 2400 series cars, which was just as good to me since it was still Santa Fe. A couple of things I remember most about the train store was how loud is was when the trains were running, and how tall those counters were to a seven year old kid. I also remember all the prewar on shelves around the store. I always thought that stuff looked odd because it was not very realistic. I said something to my dad about them one time and got a laugh out of him as he explained that was the top of the line trains when he was a kid. I really miss that store.

 

Here are a couple of other interesting note about Knott's of old. The roundhouse for the train used to be on the south side of Calico Mountain (mine ride) next to the entrance to the burro ride. I got to climb up in the cab of the cab of the loco that was painted in the real awful red, yellow, and black colors for a picture. The other thing was the train that ran around the lagoon was almost more fun to me than the real one. As we were getting on I would ask the engineer/conductor if I could "drive the train" to which the old guy would always laugh and tell me maybe when you grow up. After that ride was removed for a parking lot a man named Chuck Valenzuela purchased the train and eventually moved it to Lucerne Valley. In 2004 I was helping Chuck sell off his collection and after lunch he pulled the train out for a run. After taking all of around a couple of times, Chuck pulled back into the station and and asked if anyone wanted to run the train. Before I could say a word my youngest son who was nine at the time yells out "I do", by the look of horror on Chuck's face I thought he was going to have a heart attack. I told my son that I thought Chuck meant the adults, but I would take him in the cab with me. So I finally got to run the train (so did my son, but we won't tell anyone) from Knott's. We did not get much work done that day but everyone including our wives had a blast running the train. When we were done Chuck pulled the train back into the roundhouse never to run again. Chuck died about a year later, and the train was sold so hopefully it is still out there running somewhere. Sorry to be so long winded.

Randall

 

 

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:27 PM

Originally Posted by Randall:
Originally Posted by AMCDave:

 Anyone else remember it??????

Dave,

My parents first home was in west Anaheim, a few blocks walking distance from Knott's. As a kid my Aunt would take the Santa Fe from LA to Fullerton to spend weekends with the family. My dad and I would pick her up at the station and he would drop us off at Knott's lagoon, and at the end of the day we would walk home. After a couple of trips on the train that went around the lagoon we would walk over to the main park (long before fences) ride the train, then go to the train store. At one point they had a A-B-A Santa Fe F-3 set sitting in one of the cases that I wanted in the worst way possible. I remember they wanted $50.00 for the set, and I asked for it for my birthday and Christmas. Well even though dad had a very good job at Douglas, fifty bucks was a lot of money when there were three younger sisters to throw in to the mix besides me. I did not get the F-3's, but I did get a 218 A-B-A Alco set with the 2400 series cars, which was just as good to me since it was still Santa Fe. A couple of things I remember most about the train store was how loud is was when the trains were running, and how tall those counters were to a seven year old kid. I also remember all the prewar on shelves around the store. I always thought that stuff looked odd because it was not very realistic. I said something to my dad about them one time and got a laugh out of him as he explained that was the top of the line trains when he was a kid. I really miss that store.

 

Here are a couple of other interesting note about Knott's of old. The roundhouse for the train used to be on the south side of Calico Mountain (mine ride) next to the entrance to the burro ride. I got to climb up in the cab of the cab of the loco that was painted in the real awful red, yellow, and black colors for a picture. The other thing was the train that ran around the lagoon was almost more fun to me than the real one. As we were getting on I would ask the engineer/conductor if I could "drive the train" to which the old guy would always laugh and tell me maybe when you grow up. After that ride was removed for a parking lot a man named Chuck Valenzuela purchased the train and eventually moved it to Lucerne Valley. In 2004 I was helping Chuck sell off his collection and after lunch he pulled the train out for a run. After taking all of around a couple of times, Chuck pulled back into the station and and asked if anyone wanted to run the train. Before I could say a word my youngest son who was nine at the time yells out "I do", by the look of horror on Chuck's face I thought he was going to have a heart attack. I told my son that I thought Chuck meant the adults, but I would take him in the cab with me. So I finally got to run the train (so did my son, but we won't tell anyone) from Knott's. We did not get much work done that day but everyone including our wives had a blast running the train. When we were done Chuck pulled the train back into the roundhouse never to run again. Chuck died about a year later, and the train was sold so hopefully it is still out there running somewhere. Sorry to be so long winded.

Randall

 

 

You are really turning the clock back when you mention Knotts when it had no fences and it had no admission fee.  The Knotts parking lot back then had a ton Eucalyptus trees.  I can't recall whether the parking lot was paved or not.  I think parts were just dirt, unpaved.  I remember the lagoon. But do not remember the train ride around the lagoon.  I do remember the round house on the South Side of the Calico Mines.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:47 PM

I also remember Downtown Electric & Lock.  First item I purchased at that store was the Rio Grande Service Station set with with engines 8464 & 8465.  The set sold for $99.00.  The thing about that store was the personnel.  They were great. I never had something repaired and had to take it back a second time.  NEVER.

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 12:52 PM

  I can't recall whether the parking lot was paved or not. 

 

The parking lots in those days were not paved. The only paved lot that I recall was the lot on the corner of Beach and La Palma. I think that lot was paved when they put up the fence and admission gate.

Randall

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 1:18 PM

Johnstrains

Thanks for posting. I worked near 14th Street up until a few months back and sadly noted the demoliton had started on the interior back in Jan or February.

I am happy to see they are remembering the legacy.

I stopped in there about 4 years ago when I re-discovered it and was glad to see they still had several Standard Gauge Lionel steam engines displayed.

 

There are a lot of forum members that have memories of Lock & Electric and the Corrs Hobby shop on 9th Street. There are also a few other DC shops I can't recall.

 

A favorite event was Christmas shopping at the downtown Hecht's & Lansburgs Dept. stores that always included a walk up to Corrs and lunch at the Kresge's on 7th street. This was in the early to mid 1960's.

I hope others contribute to this thread!

Sam

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 3:17 PM

I did a little web surfing and found this site with recent pictures and a artist's rendition of the finished building:

http://www.popville.com/2012/0...-to-1345-14th-st-nw/

 

 

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 4:22 PM

Originally Posted by Sam:

I did a little web surfing and found this site with recent pictures and a artist's rendition of the finished building:

http://www.popville.com/2012/0...-to-1345-14th-st-nw/

 

 

Thanks, Sam.

 

I like the fact that they refer to the property as the “old Lionel train store.”  Somehow I have a feeling that their target demographic would have no clue.

 

TCA, LCCA

 
 
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October 3, 2013 4:30 PM

 

Well, having been born/raised in D.C. (American University Park area), and my Dad's train (366W) having been the genesis of my life-long hobby, I do, indeed, have many memories of train stores in the area.

 

While I know about Downtown Lock & Electric, the store Dad frequented most was Superior Lock & Electric.  Now I can't tell you the exact address, but it was in the same general area. 

 

Closer to home (Tenley area) was General Electronics, an appliance store that also purveyed Lionel, et al, electric trains.

 

When I wandered away from O3R to HO as a teen, I spent countless hours and $$$ at Keene's Model Railroad Shop...a little narrow 'hole-in-the-wall' not but a few blocks from Corr's, also a favorite.  Clark Keene was a very personable guy, and he never hesitated to be of help to me, a rather introverted teenager, even when there were several business men...all in their Fedoras, white shirts, ties.  Clark's hours were tied to business hours in downtown D.C..  In other words, after 5:30P he was closed and gone...like most of the working folks in downtown D.C.. Keene's was exclusively HO...quite amazing when you think about it that someone could make a living on as narrow a hobby segment as the store was wide! 

 

I have a very special story about Clark, but won't take the time to tell it here.

 

Another hobby shop (sort of) that purveyed HO in the NW D.C. area was Vicar's.  They were in the shopping center at Wisconsin and Western Avenues, on the MD side.  It was also a terminus for the Capitol Transit streetcars...you could get a transfer to continue on the bus to Bethesda, et al. 

 

Yes, the corner window Christmas displays at Hechts, Kann's, Woodward & Lothrop, et al, were something to behold.  The smooshed nose on the glass depicted in the iconic A Christmas Story movie, were definitely ME!  Ah, the memories!

 

Thanks for a neat thread!

 

KD

 

 

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 5:21 PM

Originally Posted by ptalar:

You are really turning the clock back when you mention Knotts when it had no fences and it had no admission fee.  The Knotts parking lot back then had a ton Eucalyptus trees.  I can't recall whether the parking lot was paved or not.  I think parts were just dirt, unpaved.  I remember the lagoon. But do not remember the train ride around the lagoon.  I do remember the round house on the South Side of the Calico Mines.

I know we are getting a bit OT......but Knott's for me cemented my love of trains.....ANY trains!

Between the 3 foot D&RGW train, the Calico train, model train store and the other train locos and cars in the park made me want scale trains of my own.

As I remember Knott's

No fences

gravel parking

Volcano with Lil devil 

Cable cars in the parking lots

Lagoon and the wood animals around it.

Night time in the park....the Mission Walk also motivated my model building.

 

And yes....the train store with the trains running was LOUD!

Knott's may have had the world's largest train layout!!!! That's the way I saw it anyways...

1962

http://youtu.be/P_fMhZXAZmE

 

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October 3, 2013 6:27 PM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:

The train store that I remember as a kid was the store inside Knott's Berry Farm!! Back in the 1960's and earlier Knott's had individuals run the stores on Ghost Town main street. The train store had multiple 30's -40's era trains running around the walls. For ten cents you could make them run for a few minutes. The rest of the store was packed with all kinds of trains. Anyone else remember it??????

hello guys and gals...............

OH YES !!!!!!!!!!! I remembered that place very well and really MISSED that store dearly. My mother had to buy the replacement lionel F-3 shells for my #2383 few times when the screw hole on the front would strip out easy and that was back in the late 1960's to mid 1970's before entering in high school.  Too bad that Disneyland didn't have train hobby store there. Some train stores would find me odd as a girl who interesting in trains but I don't care!!!!!

 

the woman who loves the S.F.5011,2678

Tiffany

 
 
 
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October 3, 2013 8:17 PM

Originally Posted by Bill Robb:

The side line hasn't entirely disappeared.  My LHS is a bicycle dealer also.

or Scags where you can drop in to tell your story about the Big Boy that got away...

 

Scags-StatenIsland-NY

 

 

 
 
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October 3, 2013 10:12 PM

What a great thread, thanks for kicking this one off! Reading everyone's recollections of their favorite LHS is terrific.

When I was in junior high school and beginning to exercise a bit of independence, on Saturdays I would take the "P&W" from Bryn Mawr to 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA to visit Todd's Model Shop with one or two of my best friends. As I just found out via a quick search on G-gle, Todd's closed in 1992. From reading an archived news story appearing at the time, it sure seemed like the owner (Lawrence Todd, Jr.) was more than ready to close the family business citing burnout from 10-12 hour workdays.

Getting there was just as much fun as the destination. We loved riding on the Norristown High Speed Line, which locals still referred to then as "the P&W" from its original incarnation as the Philadelphia and Western Railroad, circa 1906-07. It was easy to gather up friends along the way, as it seemed one station or another was always within a short walk for everyone.

The ride was thrilling! The virtually indestructible interurban "bullet cars" built by the J. G. Brill company flew over the tracks, lurching unexpectedly in every direction imaginable. I've read these single unit cars routinely hit 80 mph along the ROW, and I wouldn't doubt that for a second. I think they were capable of achieving an incredible 100 mph, and may have been the first train/trolley to have been tested in a wind tunnel. They had an amazing run, from 1931 to 1990. Riding in one was like participating in living history. The ride was always an adventure, as the trolley traversed a good bit of the Main Line area, sometimes towering above local traffic on a super-elevated roadbed. It always felt like the trolley was just one notch away from flying off the tracks into someone's pool or right into rush hour traffic. What a great time.

Now, I'm fortunate enough to live just a few minutes from Nicholas Smith Trains in Broomall, and often take my daughter there. The "good ol' days" roll on, and I'm so thankful.
 
 
 
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October 4, 2013 2:18 AM

Anybody remember a shop in California called Warners trains? In the late 60s and early 70s my father used to buy a-a santa fes from them for $20 shipped via Greyhound bus to the midwest. I still have some of them and a few shipping boxes.

 
 
 
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October 4, 2013 9:10 AM

I am from Allentown Pa and used to frequent Polards Tire and Hobby..You could get tires on your car and buy trains and slot cars..lol We also had MIllers on Wyoming st who was a little basement shop. Then around Christmas I used to go to Hamilton street and see the trains displays in the window from Hess,s and Lehs downtown.. Times seemed much simpler back then... I hate to say it but the days of visiting a LHS is getting harder to find.. We all like our ebay and internet finds.. But this brings back some good memories..

 

Valley Rail Trains and Hobbies-Allentown Pa

 

 
 
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October 4, 2013 9:23 AM

Originally Posted by Redman440:

I am from Allentown Pa and used to frequent Polards Tire and Hobby..You could get tires on your car and buy trains and slot cars..lol We also had MIllers on Wyoming st who was a little basement shop. Then around Christmas I used to go to Hamilton street and see the trains displays in the window from Hess,s and Lehs downtown.. Times seemed much simpler back then... I hate to say it but the days of visiting a LHS is getting harder to find.. We all like our ebay and internet finds.. But this brings back some good memories.

It was simpler then.  And a kinder time also, as I recall.  Maybe my glasses looking into the distant past have become too rosey.  My glasses of today have been smudged up with too much brown stuff.

 
 
 
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October 4, 2013 9:41 AM

Originally Posted by Tuscan Jim:
What a great thread, thanks for kicking this one off! Reading everyone's recollections of their favorite LHS is terrific.

When I was in junior high school and beginning to exercise a bit of independence, on Saturdays I would take the "P&W" from Bryn Mawr to 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, PA to visit Todd's Model Shop with one or two of my best friends. As I just found out via a quick search on G-gle, Todd's closed in 1992. From reading an archived news story appearing at the time, it sure seemed like the owner (Lawrence Todd, Jr.) was more than ready to close the family business citing burnout from 10-12 hour workdays.

Getting there was just as much fun as the destination. We loved riding on the Norristown High Speed Line, which locals still referred to then as "the P&W" from its original incarnation as the Philadelphia and Western Railroad, circa 1906-07. It was easy to gather up friends along the way, as it seemed one station or another was always within a short walk for everyone.

The ride was thrilling! The virtually indestructible interurban "bullet cars" built by the J. G. Brill company flew over the tracks, lurching unexpectedly in every direction imaginable. I've read these single unit cars routinely hit 80 mph along the ROW, and I wouldn't doubt that for a second. I think they were capable of achieving an incredible 100 mph, and may have been the first train/trolley to have been tested in a wind tunnel. They had an amazing run, from 1931 to 1990. Riding in one was like participating in living history. The ride was always an adventure, as the trolley traversed a good bit of the Main Line area, sometimes towering above local traffic on a super-elevated roadbed. It always felt like the trolley was just one notch away from flying off the tracks into someone's pool or right into rush hour traffic. What a great time.

Now, I'm fortunate enough to live just a few minutes from Nicholas Smith Trains in Broomall, and often take my daughter there. The "good ol' days" roll on, and I'm so thankful.

Last time I was in Upper Darby was to go to Val Shively R&B records but that's another story.

 
Change at Jamaica
 
 
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October 4, 2013 9:45 AM

Originally Posted by ptalar:

It was simpler then.  And a kinder time also, as I recall.  Maybe my glasses looking into the distant past have become too rosey.  My glasses of today have been smudged up with too much brown stuff.

You are not alone......If you are north of Fifty....maybe even younger....the 1960's seem like a wonderful dream.  We seem to block out the bad.....and elevate the good to a level higher than it could ever be.  But that's OK.....reading others remembrances of old hobby shops or for me Knott's, takes you to a place for a few minutes that help us cope with today.  One of the few things the net does well.....allows us all to connect in this way.

 

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October 4, 2013 10:17 AM

Originally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by ptalar:

It was simpler then.  And a kinder time also, as I recall.  Maybe my glasses looking into the distant past have become too rosey.  My glasses of today have been smudged up with too much brown stuff.

You are not alone......If you are north of Fifty....maybe even younger....the 1960's seem like a wonderful dream.  We seem to block out the bad.....and elevate the good to a level higher than it could ever be.  But that's OK.....reading others remembrances of old hobby shops or for me Knott's, takes you to a place for a few minutes that help us cope with today.  One of the few things the net does well.....allows us all to connect in this way.

I am North of 50.  I turn 56 next week.  Looking to retire next year about this time.

 

 
 
 
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October 4, 2013 10:51 AM

Back in the early '70's my father purchased a couple of Lionel cars for me at Fishkin Brothers in Perth Amboy, NJ. Later on he bought himself a Canon AE-1 camera there. I believe they are long gone, and I don't recall much about the place.  I would love to see some pictures if that place.
 

TCA# 07-60914 KC2QAY

 
 
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October 4, 2013 9:27 PM

My friend at the train store in Mt Airey, MD bought all the parts from Downtown Lock & Electric.  He got some really cool stuff.  Mostly NOS Lionel and Flyer.

 

Jon G TCA 95-41020 Independent Lionel Service Tech Authorized MTH Service Tech

 
 
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October 5, 2013 12:53 AM

Anybody remember the HI-WAY Hobby House in Ramsey N.J. in it's original location on RT17 in the '60's. They later moved to another location on RT.17 which was not as good. Now they are gone. My father used to take me down there, it was about a 50 mile drive from our house in Middletown N.Y. I'll never forget in the '70's the first time I drove down by myself an bought an N-Gauge steam engine and a MRC transformer which I still have today. I'll never forget my first time driving in Jersey traffic!

 

DAVE ROBINSON

 
 
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October 5, 2013 1:23 AM

In the San Francisco Bay Area we had Franciscan Hobbies that always had great models on the walls and planes hanging from the ceiling.  Just a regular old fashioned "carry everything" kind of hobby shop, and yes they carried trains.  Russ

 

http://franciscanhobbies.comcastbiz.net/13990.html

 

Please have a visit to:

http://www.hobby-tronics.com/1940DRGW/

OGR since Sept 2006.

 
 
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October 5, 2013 5:30 AM

Your so right AMC we want to feel good.We make the memories perhaps better then they were.I used to go to all the old LHS's but how easy I forget I rode my bike 5 miles to get there,or walked in the snow.I pressed my nose on the outside window watching the train layout and dreamed of"some day".I barley had enough money in my pocket to buy a coke.NickOriginally Posted by AMCDave:
Originally Posted by ptalar:

It was simpler then.  And a kinder time also, as I recall.  Maybe my glasses looking into the distant past have become too rosey.  My glasses of today have been smudged up with too much brown stuff.

You are not alone......If you are north of Fifty....maybe even younger....the 1960's seem like a wonderful dream.  We seem to block out the bad.....and elevate the good to a level higher than it could ever be.  But that's OK.....reading others remembrances of old hobby shops or for me Knott's, takes you to a place for a few minutes that help us cope with today.  One of the few things the net does well.....allows us all to connect in this way.

 

 

Nick, Cleveland. Operating with ATTITUDE..Just like the real railroads.                                                                                                                                 

 
 
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October 5, 2013 10:12 AM

Anybody remember the HI-WAY Hobby House in Ramsey N.J. in it's original location on RT17 in the '60's. They later moved to another location on RT.17 which was not as good. Now they are gone. 

 

YEah! I remember Hi-Way Robbery in the 1970's and 1980's. They also used to sell to Sel-Right by the former Alexanders at rt. 17S and rt4. I like the Sel-Rite place better esp with the Marklin layout.

 

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

 
 
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