I thought I would share a piece of San Diego model train history I found this weekend.

Original Frank the Trainman sign.  Sign measures 97" long and 40" tall. Is lighted and lights work.

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The original was a neon on the side of the original building, when that building was sold the architect for the credit union kept the sign as part of San Diego's history.

 

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Last edited by Doug W.

@bigolddogs, any chance you could maybe provide a little more context?  What do you mean by "I found this weekend"? is Frank's gone as a train store? Where is the location of the sign now? Is the inventory online for sale for all to bid on? Hope to hear...

John

 

The original Frank the Trainman was Frank Cox who operated the store in the building where the big neon sign is located. Frank retired in 1981 and passed away in 1989. This sign is from when Jim Cooley moved across the street and reopened Frank the Trainman.

Jim Cooley passed away in 2019, The store is still open ,rum by the family. Since this sign was used there has been remodeling  of the store signage to the current look .

I was able to purchase the sign this weekend. I am currently undecided on keeping the sign ,which I do like or selling.

I would suggest that Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park find a place of honor for the sign as Frank's is/was a San Diego "Institution"

@Ed Samsen posted:

I would suggest that Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park find a place of honor for the sign as Frank's is/was a San Diego "Institution"

Good suggestion. 

@Ed Samsen posted:

I would suggest that Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park find a place of honor for the sign as Frank's is/was a San Diego "Institution"

I like this idea, too.  The problem might be in finding a person in the Museum that is sympathetic.

I visited Frank's three/four times while in SD for Padres games.  Fun place.  Good memories.

Last edited by rthomps

I was there in 2014 they had also a auto collection that you could see if you pay admission. The streets were torn up as they were constructing a new trolly line for that part of San Diego

 

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@bigolddogs, thank you for sharing a great bit of history. I visited Frank the Trainman many times when they also had the car museum. Wonderful store.

Also, when I went down to San Diego I used to stop by a place I thought was somewhat nearby called C&C train repair. Lots of fair to middling postwar but also stuff you didn't see everyday.  Anyone else remember that shop?

John

 

C&C  was the best place for train repair and a nice shop.  Bart is still around ,but sadly the shop is closed.

Bart is indeed one of the repair "Gurus" whan it comes to traditional toy trains...AC Motors mechanical E-units etc.  Did a great job on my Flyer Zephyr that I had killed the integral gears on the wheels

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