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I live in Albany, NY, and I am interested in asking online about whether anybody can recommend a hobby shop in Western Mass. I would prefer it to not be farther than 90 minutes away, but I am willing to do a little bit longer as I might be able to turn it into a day trip with the family.

I would prefer it to have a good selection of new or used O scale. I am not interested in stores that focus mostly in HO/N, or ones that predominantly do rockets or car models or Magic cards, etc. I am into three-rail Scale trains, but seeing a bit of everything would be okay.

My apologies if this is the incorrect forum. "Wanted to Buy" (because I am going to the hobby store to buy stuff), or "Three rail scale" (because that is what I am hoping to find at the store to buy) didn't really seem correct.

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Isn’t there a hobby store in Adams or North Adams? And this is not a hobby shop but the Western Gateway and Heritage museum in North Adams is worth a look.  It’s a railroad museum with an emphasis on the building of the Hoosac tunnel. You can also visit the east entrance of the Hoosac Tunnel and you can see the massive  Central Shaft on Central Shaft Road south of Route 2 just east of North Adams.

@superwarp1 posted:

The only Western Mass hobby store closed down a few years ago when the owner retired.  Pioneer Valley Hobbies was the name of the store in West Springfield Mass.  Now the closes one to me is in Manchester Ct.  Time machine hobbies.  As others have mentioned CharlesRo in Boston is the big one.

Never visited Pioneer Valley Hobbies but I saw that it was listed on Lionel's website. I guess this shop closed only recently closed.

The other big plus about Time Machine is they host a few clubs there and the layouts are open to the public one day a month (check the site). The HO layout is very large but behind closed doors so can’t really be seen when not running. The O gauge and the N scale layouts are in the main store and easily viewed even when not operating.

Time machine is actually a decent family trip as the store is huge and carries a wide variety of things and is well stocked. They also have a gaming store annex across the street for warhammer and other war games, Magic, and euro games. Most kids and spouses will find something to distract them while you look at the trains.

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