I am looking for photos from inside trains stores from the 40's=60's especially of the sales counters. i am working on designing the interior of a building I am hoping to get to display my display stuff and want to give it the flavor of the period with a sales counter, shelves behind, etc. Will also feature Matchbox casr,dinky etc. Any help appreciated

Original Post

  All through my childhood (1950's-60's) I never went to a hobby shop that was primarily a train store and those hobby shops that I did get to visit never had a dealer display - just racks of Lionel boxes in shelving behind the counter and trains on display in cases below the counter.  The only places that had dealer displays were places that typically only offered trains for sale around the holiday season.

A hardware store in Minneapolis, Minnesota whose name I've forgotten, had one of the smaller dealer displays off to the right hand side as you entered through the front door.  It was positioned so that you could see it from the street.  The counters for display and the shelving for product were to one side.

Payless Department Store - Sacramento, California - would position one of the larger displays in the center of the toy section during Christmas.  All of the product was in help-yourself shelving off to the right hand side of the display (you came in from the front, walked back to the toy section, found the display (shorter side facing the store front, longer side facing an isle - product shelving on the right-hand long side)

Rhodes Department Store - Sacramento, California - pretty much the same set up as Payless except the shelving did not have as many courses as Payless.

Joe the Motorist Friend - State College, Pa. - Medium sized display all the way at the back of the store - as above Christmas time only.  They had the same display and brought it out several years running - it began to look a little shopworn towards the end.  Banner above the display announcing Lionel Trains.  Product on shelving on either side of the display - the display and shelving were portable and all of it went back into their storeroom after the holidays.

  I realize these are only word pictures but perhaps they will give you some ideas.



Berwyn’s Toys & Trains is in Berwyn, IL a Chicago suburb. The Metra BNSF West line stops in Berwyn.

America's Best Train, Toy & Hobby Shop was the link I posted and is in Itasca, IL near the Metra Milwaukee Road West line Itasca train station.



JD2035RR posted:

Here are some images from the Joe McDoakes "So you want a model railroad" episode.  These are not "real pictures" as it is probably just a tv/movie set, but I'd imagine they patterned it somewhat from a 1940s-1960s hobby / train shop.

2019-05-09 11_16_06-Joe McDoakes-- _So You Want a Model Railroad_ video _ O Gauge Railroading On Lin


Well its the guy who later voiced george jettson.I liked that layout he built in the living room.

Page 118 of Hollander's All Aboard! has a great image of the interior of a store with a counter which is a replica of a Capitol Limited passenger car. By far one of the coolest sales counters I can recall. 




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The behind the scenes of one of America's most famous hobby shops. Click Here for more information. The book is sold out as of December 29, 2017. 

Jagrick posted:
tcox009 posted:

Bobby's death is the Sopranos while buying a Blue Comet


Wow I have seen some aggressive guys at train show but this is ridiculous!!     LOL

 Also $8000 was a little high

And you wonder why people think that any "old train" is worth a fortune. 

Northwoods Flyer  - owner of a multi million dollar prewar American Flyer Collection.


Here's a few pics I snapped at the National Christmas Museum a few years back, their interpretation of Woolworths at Christmas:

Presumably 1930s, maybe a bit later. Anyway, a fine effort. The place closed a couple years back...glad I got to visit before they packed it up.


Looking at a 30x40 foot building to build and work with as a dedicated postwar area. One idea I have is to gather pictures of the ends of set boxes, print them and mount on appropriate sized piece of wood and make a false wall behind the counter I have to give the illusion of stacked boxes of train sets. Also will give me some room to reproduce some of the wall shelves from Lionel. Just have to get it past zoning now! 


I need to create graphics and make the track display board for the Super O track as I already have reproduced for O and O-27 above.IMG_0037Also you can see the cardboard top of the flimsy cardboard shelves Lionel made in the late 1950's to display train, so I am planning and reproducing this in 1/4" MDF (if I can find any 4x8 sheets) or masonite. 20170121_221548


Photos (4)
Notch 6 posted:

Page 118 of Hollander's All Aboard! has a great image of the interior of a store with a counter which is a replica of a Capitol Limited passenger car. By far one of the coolest sales counters I can recall. 

I believe that was on US-30 in New Oxford. PA at the WM crossing. There were two cars in a "V" formation. The store closed some years ago but the cars stayed in place for a while but are now gone.

Later Gator,



Here comes a Yankee with a blackened soul,
Heading to Gatow with a load of coal.
......Anonymous U. S. pilot during the Berlin Airlift

I used to visit that New Oxford shop in my HO days, before reverted to childhood three rail. After that, l only stopped a couple of times.  Before it was a twice a year stop when at car shows.  Still miss it when l pass...and that tiny three rail shop on center square, too...

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

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