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I visited Madison Hardware one time in the middle 60’s with my dad. We took a Thanksgiving weekend and rode the train from Florence,SC to Pennsylvania Station. On the train trip my dad asked me what I wanted to see in NY as this was my first trip there. My answer was:

The observation deck at the Empire State Building and

Madison Hardware Train shop.

I remember that one and only one key making machine. So much for hardware.LOL.

Leon Butler

We had a great store in the Bronx called Honig's Parkway that had seasonal trains.....which worked for me because trains were seasonal for me at that time.

I "discovered" Madison Hardware from ads in Model Railroader but never ventured there until much older, probably December 1982, and purchased a 6572 Refrigerator car at that time.

Peter

I remember Honigs Parkway, they had the trains in the back. I live in White Plains and went there a few times for train in the late 70's.

I just missed being able to shop there in person, but I did get a brand new drive chassis thru Mr Kuhn after he purchased it and I met him at a show and we got talking about my dad's ailing 1655 that the studs for the spur gears were worn nearly in half.  A few weeks later, one showed up on my parent's doorstep from him to me.(I was in my teens at that time).   But many east coast hobby retailers are the same way.   To someone from the midwest, it comes off as direct to the point of being rude, all business and no small talk if they dont know you personally.   Trainworld can be this way to this very day when one calls on the phone and is not from the east coast.  I do wish I could have met the guys at Madison.  I love soaking up the stories & knowledge like a sponge.  Mike

It was early December, 1950, we lived in Brooklyn.  My brother and I told my parents we wanted Lionel trains for Christmas.  My father, who worked in Manhattan, told my mother he saw a train store on 23rd St and there was a subway stop right outside the store.   One day, my mother took my brother and I on the Sea Beach subway and we ended up at the station outside Madison Harware.  If you ever saw Angela Trotta's Madison Hardware painting, that's what we looked like the first time I went to Madison Hardware. 

Shoirtly after that Christmas, we moved out to Long Island, only two blocks away from a Train Store.  Jump to the 1970s, early 1980s, I drove a truck for NY Telephone.  This gave me the opportunity to stop by Madison Hardware at least oncea week to look at the trains and to have keys made.  I did buy one engine, a used GG1 and a few passenger cars to go along with th GG1.  Before Madison Hardware closed, I got a promotion to an office job and never again made it back to Madison Hardware.  I was so sorry to see that my local train store closed along with  Madison Hardware. 

Madison Hardware.... OMG, I could write a book about them!

OH, wait - someone already did ! !

In 2016, Derek Thomas, in collaboration with the late Lionel LLC owner Dick Kughn [who purchased the New York store back in 1989] wrote THE definitive book about Madison and those two famous brothers with the different last names!  I was privileged - along with several of my colleagues who were "regulars" at the store - to write a chapter for the book.  Unfortunately, the book is out of print now, but if you can find one on the used market, it's well worth it, as there is a wealth of information, pictures, and stories about the most famous of all the Lionel Service Stations!

If you're at all curious about the renowned N.Y. store which was affectionally known as [but was not really] "Lionel Service Station #1 -this book is for you.

MADISON owner Lou Shur and his brother Carl Shaw, both very good friends with Lionel Corporation  founder Joshua L. Cowen, certainly left their indelible mark on the model train business. I did a lot of paintwork for them over the years, and my association with the store and it's friends and associates - many of whom were former Lionel Corp. employees - enriched my knowledge about Lionel Trains tremendously.

Best wishes to all



Len Carparelli

L & L Model Train Restoration Co.

Both my grandfathers and father would take my brother to the shop, not very often, but when we went, we always came home with something for the layout. The layout was made of two 4 by 8 pieces of plywood that was in the basement. Those were good ole days, Grandpa Martine, Everts, Dad, my brother Steve and me.

Madison Hardware.... OMG, I could write a book about them!

OH, wait - someone already did ! !

In 2016, Derek Thomas, in collaboration with the late Lionel LLC owner Dick Kughn [who purchased the New York store back in 1989] wrote THE definitive book about Madison and those two famous brothers with the different last names!  I was privileged - along with several of my colleagues who were "regulars" at the store - to write a chapter for the book.  Unfortunately, the book is out of print now, but if you can find one on the used market, it's well worth it, as there is a wealth of information, pictures, and stories about the most famous of all the Lionel Service Stations!

If you're at all curious about the renowned N.Y. store which was affectionally known as [but was not really] "Lionel Service Station #1 -this book is for you.

MADISON owner Lou Shur and his brother Carl Shaw, both very good friends with Lionel Corporation  founder Joshua L. Cowen, certainly left their indelible mark on the model train business. I did a lot of paintwork for them over the years, and my association with the store and it's friends and associates - many of whom were former Lionel Corp. employees - enriched my knowledge about Lionel Trains tremendously.

Best wishes to all



Len Carparelli

L & L Model Train Restoration Co.

Hi Len....good to hear from you,hope all is well...I had a paragraph or two in Derek's book...cheers,joe

Madison Hardware will be one of many stores that got away from me forever.

I had the TM video Toy Train Revue no. 1 where they documented the Summer 1989 move of it from Detroit with Chuck Leibrock when I was 3. I was born too late to experience it in New York, and I didn't get my drivers license until long after the new Detroit location shut down. I would've loved to see it in either location at least once just to see what the hype was since it's now up there in almost mythical status of classic Lionel train lore.

I visited Madison Hardware many times in the 70’s - early 90’s and I must agree with Joe - it was an acquired taste (and I definitely acquired it). I went to Baruch College down 23rd St. from Madison Hardware, and then went to work four blocks away, so I was a regular visitor.

My first two GG1’s came from Madison Hardware. I got my love of trains from my mother and she loved trains from taking trains every summer from Brooklyn to Asbury Park down on the shore or to camp in the Poconos - her favorite engine was the GG1. As most mothers in those days (the 1950’s), she was a housewife (with two young kids!!!) so she was really couldn’t afford to purchase a Lionel GG1, although both my brother and I did get Lionel sets when we were old enough to run them ourselves. But when I was in college, she was able to give me an MPC 8753 as a Christmas present. It pulled eight aluminum 15” passenger cars without breaking a sweat!!!

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When I got my first (and only) full time job, I decided to repay my mother’s favor and purchased a NOS 2360 as a Christmas present from Madison Hardware. After she passed, it came back to me. Unfortunately, over the years, the paint on one nose started to flake rather badly, so, due to its sentimental value to me, I sent it off to Len Carparelli for some work. I just got it back this week - so timely for this thread. Len did an amazing job - the engine looks like it just came out of the factory in Irvington!!!

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One thing I will never forget about Madison… whenever I spoke to Carl behind the counter, he would always ask “how’s mama”!!!

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Through my association with Madison Hardware, I met and became friends with a number of former Lionel employees - Frank Pettit,  Jack Kindler, Vince Cardinale, Lennie Dean, among others - all of whom frequented the store at one point or another. Unquestionably, a wonderful time and wonderful memories that I will never forget.

-Len Carparelli

L&L Model Train Restoration Co.

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