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The Train shop in Erie PA is closing. If anyone is familiar with the shop, I believe its the one Fred ran years back, before Mitch taking it over. My dads first few purchases came from that shop and grew to be the hobby that we loved today. I was told that Mitch passed away this past summer and his friends are trying to sell off what's left in the store. I was asked to share the info out to the OGR forum. There is no website for the hobby shop so I will relay the info. Most stuff is for sale at 30% off. They have new and new old stock, just about every scale with trains, track and accessories including Lionel MPC era. The hobbyshop will remain open until Christmas.

The Train Shop is located at 3310 Buffalo Road, Erie Pa

Phone number is 814-790-4887

Call the store when they are open if you have any questions.

Hours are:

Tuesday- Friday 11-6

Saturdays are 11-4

Sunday and Mondays they are closed.

Last edited by Allan Loczy
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Sad to read about this. Not my LHS, but I have visited on there on my family's annual trips to the Erie (Presque Isle, etc.) and Meadville areas.  Lost my LHS last year around this time due to the passing of the long-time owner.  Sad, but a sign of the times. Niche brick-and-mortar shops with history and nostalgia cannot survive without a web presence and eCommerce capabilities.

Great gobs of journal box goose grease.  So now we lose yet another Brick & Mortar train shop in the U.S.A.  I imagine the situation isn't much different with our friends in Canada either?

I watched a doc on TV this past week about how Amazon is fast becoming the worldwide leader in online sales.  A sign of the times?  I don't have the answer but will say this about that: PLEASE OGR railroaders, visit and support your local trains shop as often as possible before they too close their doors forever.

Many shops still provide a special ordering service for trains and things too you know.  So what if you have to wait a few days or even a week or two?  Nothing can be compared or replace the Personal Service you receive or that "Hands On" feeling which allows you to check out your model to insure it wasn't damaged in transit or if there happens to be missing parts as a result of an  "error" which occured when the model was manufactured in some far away factory over yonder somewhere...?

Receiving damaged models or ones with missing parts can be dangerous to your health, perhaps even fatal, due to a sudden increase in your blood pressure.  Take it easy and always remember, the model railroader's life you save might very well be your own!

Last edited by Rich Melvin

I am going to miss this place.  I've been stopping there since Fred Sipple owned it and it was always one of my regular stops during my trips to Erie Pa from Western NY.  My itinerary was to first stop at the Lakeshore Railway Museum in North East, then Cici's Pizza Buffet in Harborcreek, The Train Shop, World Of Music, The Conneaut Railroad Museum, The White Turkey Drive-Inn in Conneaut, The Dairy Oasis Custard Stand in Lake City PA, and Presque Isle Park.  I missed all of that this summer and I look forward to 2021 when we are back on the grid.

Last edited by Chas

OK, my Mom remembered people in Schulenburg TX having trains in homes for Christmas.  During the Depression  (Got them before Sept 1929?)  100 miles from LHS.  Local sources:

1. Sears mail order store.

2. Hardware store.  Seasonal?

3. Five and dime. Seasonal?

4.  Other mail order all via postal service.

I do know one could mail order train items from Sears year round.  Wards? Penny's?

To me, net buying is tbe old Wishbooks and catalogs  2.0.  And the great catalog stores ate dead and dying.  Did not adapt.

So people could get trains, even outside of major cities, during the Depression.

With the coming of the net, major changes were going to come.  If not Amazon, who else?  And some of the train shops we have now do have great internet sites.

I believe it is still to one's advantage and devotion (!!!) to shop online first with any Brick & Mortar shop who offers this option to purchase trains and things, who have closed due to this Corona Mess, before using the selfish giants who don't give a rotten railroad tie or two if the B&M's survive or not when our lives return to normal and the B&M's reopen their doors for personal business again.

Please don't post any news that another B&M has closed if you failed to do everything humanly possible to insure that the shop near you received the business it so richly deserved in these extremely tough times we are going through in the event it does offer the online sales option.

That said, Happy Holidays.

I believe it is still to one's advantage and devotion (!!!) to shop online first with any Brick & Mortar shop who offers this option to purchase trains and things, who have closed due to this Corona Mess, before using the selfish giants who don't give a rotten railroad tie or two if the B&M's survive or not when our lives return to normal and the B&M's reopen their doors for personal business again.

Selfish giants? Who are the selfish giants selling trains? Care to name names?

Last edited by johnstrains

Sorry, I rather not name any of the selfish giants* specifically , but they have no mercy for the "Main Street USA" B&M shops who were a part of so many typical towns who have sadly become part of the lost American way of life.  I first noticed this back in the 80s when I visited Cushing, Oklahoma, where downtown had become shabby thanks to a mall that had been constructed a few miles away.

Many towns all across the US have rediscovered their "Main Street" heritage again and are proud of their past, having invested much to restore them as they once were.  Carrollton, Texas, is an example.  Carrollton is also unique in that all three rail lines still see service in Century 21, albeit operated by other carriers.  Gone are the Frisco Fast Freights, Cotton Belt Blue Streaks, or the lonesome Katy's Denton Local.

Shucks, even the SSW depot survives, though having been relocated close to it's original location, however lucky by having escaped demolation as many have across the face of America, having been replaced with nothing but a pile of weeds to remind you that once upon a time the railroad came to town.

Change isn't always good just for change sake.

* I consider the online merchants the selfish giants.  They've made their $$$ because the Mom and Pop Brick & Mortar shops couldn't sell at discount since they couldn't afford to stock their shelves from the floor to the ceiling with mechandise bought in bulk.  So save that buck as you morn the shops that once offered personal service with a smile plus many a Saturday afternoon chat with fellow model railroaders.

And what about these model railroaders?  Oh sure, heck, you bet, they're still very active in the hobby too, also purchasing their choo choo trains online just like you, but running them on their layouts all alone with no train shop down the street to visit anymore.  Back to the Future?  Personally, I miss the good old days with the gab and free cup of good black coffee at Bobbye Hall's Hobby House in Dallas.  Texas ain't the same anymore without her and her crew to greet you with a friendly Howdy when you entered the place!

RIP Miss Hall.  I bet you're busy turning over in your grave to see what has happened to the traditional B&M shops in America today.  We've lost more than just the shops.  We've lost a larger part of our heritage too by having saved a couple of bucks.



Johnstrains: I'm scared that the Legal Eagle Law Firm in town will get on my case bad.  Really bad to boot...!!!

Remember, onliners, in many ways, are responsible for having put many B&M shops out of business to begin with.  Besides, naming names pretty much goes against the O gauge Railroading rules and regulations policy, which could cost me my membership, and it has to do with ethics as well.  Sorry.

Right on rockstars1989!  You have lit the markers on my caboose!

johnstrains:  I apologise to you and the OGR staff for not having excluded OGR forum sponsors in my comments.  OGR would never permit any "shady" online dealers to advertise their business on the forum or in the magazine.  The ones I'm referring to are those who have ripped off OGR members and will continue to do so and also (mis)use O Gauge Railroading's good name in the process to gain ones trust in doing business with them despite the fact they have nothing to do whatsoever with OGR.

The answer is simple.  Always be careful and remember, if the item you are seeking sounds too good to be true at a fantastic price the seller is offering it for, it probably is.  You can't go wrong when you use B&M dealers or OGR sponsors.  They're honest and true and will make every wrong a right from the get go, no questions asked.  Most will be more than happy to put out a search for you to find THE model you just gotta get.  So what if it takes some additional time to locate, you know you're in good hands when you use a B&M dealer or OGR sponsor.  It's a win-win for both parties.

Hope this clears up my bad choice of words in regards to OGR forum sponsors.  I humbly apologise for any misunderstanding and don't forget, OGR retains the right to delete anything I've said which may appear to be inapproperate.

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

Amazon is NOT a threat to hobby stores and in fact are often overpriced.  The issue is that the model railroad distribution model no longer works and that is where stores get their inventory from.  If you were engaged with a distributor you would see how poor their inventory management and product selection is.  They overstate their inventory position of certain brands and don't typically carry the full offering, and if they carry an item, it's often typical it is not in stock.  Train resellers need to partner with the manufacturers, both big and small, and strive towards customer excellence. 

romiller49: Right you are!  Condolences to the family.

Many other shops have and will continue to close due as a result of financial problems and/or having lost their customer base.  Sadly, the trend won't stop and not only as a result of the Corona mess that has gone global.  One can only wonder how many model railroaders have been lost to this dangerous virus since it's deadly beginning?  

That said, everyone please pray for world peace this Christmas to insure our children and their children's children will be able to grow up in an environment without all the health and hate issues facing mankind today.

Have a Healthy Happy Merry Christmas 2020, and be sure to run your trains around the Christmas tree for your loved ones this holiday season.   It reminds me of the Family Lines before CSX.


Joseph Toth Jr.

@romiller49 posted:

Everybody’s talking about losing a train shop but the real tragedy is someone lost a loved one.

Yes. In another thread, the niece of the owner posted a nice note remember her uncle who owned the Trading Post here in Cleveland last year. Last holiday season was the last for the store, at least in its original location. It's not quite the same this holiday season not visiting that store and buying something from Jimmy.  The person/people made the experience and memories as much as the trains, and they will be missed by all, family, friends, and customers.

Geez Trinity,

For goodness sakes.  You are lamenting that the Giants have no mercy for local train shops.   Those Giants are companies, who are owned by shareholders, the majority of which are people.    The sole and absolute purpose and legal duty of a for-profit company and its directors is to lawfully maximize the profits for it shareholders.  It is not to show mercy to other competitors and make less money for its owners.   People do not buy shares of stock in a company for the fun of it, or to make less money, or to run a charity.   

On the other hand, if you would like,  you can personally form a not-for-profit corporation, put your own money in it, and give charitable funds to local train shops.

I really value what Rod and 'raisingfourdaughters' say about the need to revamp our thinking a bit regarding the simple understanding that those who love trains are brothers and sisters-of-sorts. We don't have to like each other's politics or opinions on some things, but isn't democracy (still not a dirty word in my book) all about allowing and encouraging others to find a way of enjoying each other's company, trains, and finding some camaraderie from an online forum like this one? Thank you, OGR for making this forum possible.

I also really liked the truth in NGMC's comments above.

TRBB, I get the idea of what you were conveying and a thought on your earlier comment about Canadian LHS's. Out here on Vancouver's west coast, pickings are a bit slim, but there's one quality hobby shop (Central Hobbies) that carries a wide range of stuff with lots for O gaugers, and they're still there, but hanging.

Canada hasn't had a strong Lionel/MTH O scale community outside of small shops here and there, but there's no lack of enthusiasm for trains. Train shows are once yearly and attract peeps from B.C., Alberta and Washington state in fairly large numbers. Lots of scale stuff, postwar (shout out to the Canadian Toy Train Association) and hobbyists from all over this big province of BC.

Train clubs set up large modular layouts featuring postwar, Large Scale, H.O, S scale N, Z, etc. The shows are really worth it - last year's had long lineups to get in despite some daunting rain. Good food and drinks, several distributors of model railroad supplies for fixing trains, building layouts, trackage, painting supplies and clinics, etc. Really well done and definitely something for nearly any modeler's taste.

Outside of that and occasional long-haul visits to Central Hobbies, I've had to rely on online trains shipped to a postal station just over the US border to keep my buying costs down...

Let me wish everyone and anyone reading this a Merry Christmas and a much better 2021 with Covid in the rear view mirrow, but over the holiday I plan to hold myself back until it's a lot safer.Erie Xmas


Images (1)
  • Erie Xmas: I love the Erie!
Last edited by Virginian65

Virginian65:  I know Central Hobbys quite well.  I've ordered for them several times myself.

Mannyrock:  I am aware there are modelers who have no other way of obtaining trains and must use the onliners, or do without.

However, if a modeler has a Mom & Pop shop they can visit and special order their trains from, they should be given first crack at it.

Happy Holidays

Last edited by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer

NGMC (100% 1/4" scale) is ending yet another great year and it is only partly due to Covid boredom.  We are mostly online, but attend shows and people visit. We have thousands of SKUs and as of now, 96% does not, and cannot come from or though distribution; we have acquired five smaller companies so far for higher moving products (castings).  More so, I own 100% of my inventory and seldom back order.  If a store does not develop direct relationships, spend time with up and coming suppliers, and own their inventory (distribution gives terms), they are doomed.  I travel for a living and always go to stores and am shocked how many do not carry paint, weathering, supplies, etc.  I research them first before I visit and amazed how many do not have basic website or are not on the 'scary' Facebook. They are left with commodity products, namely a part number, and it is a race to see who will give it away the least expensive.  The hobby, particularly O, is rebounding but the customer has changed as have their needs.  Improvise, adapt, overcome or fail. Kevin

NGMC:  Well said Kevin.

O Gauge Railroading has, and continues to be, instramental in the promotion of O gauge, as well as O scale, Standard Gauge, even S gauge, etc.  Though I fail to understand why HO has become as present as it has recently, even Large Scale shows up on a regular basis, as long as the OGR staff approves, I have no problem whatsoever.  Afterall, I don't have to read/comment on any threads that I have no interest in, not to mention that many of us did, and some still continue to "dabble" in those "other" scales as well as prototype railroading.  This is what makes the O Gauge Railroading family as special as it is, which is sharing common interests in all aspects of The World's Greatest Hobby with each other.

Mannyrock.: Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.  Peace brother!

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