Where Are You Buying Your Tinplate From?

I can't believe I would have a chance to see OGR greats George S. and Dennis Holler at Train Town! 

I live near Train Town and stop in every Friday afternoon when I drive my daughter to lacrosse practice.  It is the only store where I've actually seen prewar tinplate trains.  Also, they have 1970's-modern O Gauge, in-the-box, rolling stock priced at $20-30.  They appear to be big into buying collections and then (get this) selling the inventory .  So I usually walk out of there with at least one O Gauge car.  However, while I admire their prewar tinplate, I don't buy any of it.  I stick with modern repros.  All of my tinplate (and almost all O Gauge for that matter) is from eBay, OGR, train shows, or forum sponsors.

Anyway, regarding Train Town, it's a tiny strip mall storefront but looks can be deceiving.  The place is packed with inventory.  There are only two narrow aisles leading from the front door to the cash register.  That is all postwar/prewar.  There is a small back/sideroom that contains all the modern stuff.  When I first discovered it (a few weeks ago) I was prepared to be underwhelmed based on the look and size.  Now it's the only LHS I go to.  It's run by a couple of brothers and a sister.  They are very nice, welcoming, and accommodating (another LHS scarcity IMO).

Rob English posted:
George S posted:
Dennis Holler posted:

I would say that Ebay has made it possible for me to buy a few specific European trains that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to own.  I mean Ebay Germany and Ebay France for example.

 

I bet Rob English can tell you which store I'm talking about. 

It's Train Town on Manchester, just SW of downtown.

George

Now George, why would you give EVERYBODY the name of my haunt?  

Seriously folks, Traintown here in St. Louis is a prewar and postwar specialist... their inventory turns pretty good due to their prices. Prewar comes and goes, the nicer stuff gets snapped up pretty fast, and they maintain a large postwar inventory.

I know Rob... Train Town is a real gem! I debated keeping it to (ourselves), but I don't get down there enough and neither will most folks. My daughter just graduated from WUSTL and my son just enrolled at SLU, so I have my reasons to be in St Louis.

Sorry for giving away the secret!

George

beachhead2 posted:

I can't believe I would have a chance to see OGR greats George S. and Dennis Holler at Train Town! 

I live near Train Town and stop in every Friday afternoon when I drive my daughter to lacrosse practice.  It is the only store where I've actually seen prewar tinplate trains.  Also, they have 1970's-modern O Gauge, in-the-box, rolling stock priced at $20-30.  They appear to be big into buying collections and then (get this) selling the inventory .  So I usually walk out of there with at least one O Gauge car.  However, while I admire their prewar tinplate, I don't buy any of it.  I stick with modern repros.  All of my tinplate (and almost all O Gauge for that matter) is from eBay, OGR, train shows, or forum sponsors.

Anyway, regarding Train Town, it's a tiny strip mall storefront but looks can be deceiving.  The place is packed with inventory.  There are only two narrow aisles leading from the front door to the cash register.  That is all postwar/prewar.  There is a small back/sideroom that contains all the modern stuff.  When I first discovered it (a few weeks ago) I was prepared to be underwhelmed based on the look and size.  Now it's the only LHS I go to.  It's run by a couple of brothers and a sister.  They are very nice, welcoming, and accommodating (another LHS scarcity IMO).

Beachhead2,

I can't believe you referred to me as one of the "OGR greats"!?? I love this forum, but there are many here with much more experience and better collections than me. Thank you for noting me though...

Train Town is indeed a great place. Did I mention the prices? Oh, I can't give all the secrets away. You will need to go and check them out. Great people!

George

O Gauge only. I dont run standard gauge yet.

My only set I  bought was from Jims trains years ago, MTH Xmas train love the bright colors, the new train effects. I have joined the MTH CLUB and brought several tinplate traditions from the club over the years. A nice tank car I just received info on has my # on it.

I did buy a few pieces. from Marios last year .

           OPKKS RR

The Transcontinental RR 

     "Tryin ta git it rite"

part of the D Reg U Latd Co

George S posted:
 
I can't believe you referred to me as one of the "OGR greats"!??
 

I'm still pretty new here.   The new guy thinks folks who chime in fairly regularly are experts.  So are you telling me you're not the Steve Eastman of the midwest as I assumed?  I did learn from this thread that the great Rob English is a denizen of these parts!

BTW George, Wash U!  Congratulations to her and you.

beachhead2 posted:
George S posted:
 
I can't believe you referred to me as one of the "OGR greats"!??
 

I'm still pretty new here.   The new guy thinks folks who chime in fairly regularly are experts.  So are you telling me you're not the Steve Eastman of the midwest as I assumed?  I did learn from this thread that the great Rob English is a denizen of these parts!

BTW George, Wash U!  Congratulations to her and you.

Yes, Rob English is your go to source for authentic tinplate. I think Dennis and me are just having fun. His train funds may be greater than mine.

Oh, don't even put Steve Eastman in the same sentence as the rest of us. 

George

George S posted:

Train Town is indeed a great place. Did I mention the prices? Oh, I can't give all the secrets away. <snip>

George

GEORGE FOR GOODNESS SAKE......STOP.  TALKING.  NOW.   I know we forumites like to share but, holy cow man  enough is enough.

Congrats on your raise, oh I mean your daughters graduation from WUSTL.  And your sons enrollment at my alma mater SLU.

 

Dont even come to TT with a fistful of cash.  There is nothing here anymore.... and its expensive.

Prewar Tin...Any maker, any gauge, anytime!

I guess being in the Raleigh area is good for train shows anyway. There's usually 2 or 3 in the late fall, just in time for Christmas and then a couple more before spring. There's a vendor that comes to most of the shows that remembers me and always tries to have some Marx on hand to tempt me with!  lol  Not much for hobby shops anymore.

I do buy some from eBay, but usually rolling stock or scenic type items. I kinda like to kick the tires and take a test drive with motive power so it is usually acquired at the shows.

Andy

 

When they were passing out brains, I thought they said trains and I asked for a slow one.

If not eBay, I usually shop one of our OGR sponsors, or toytrain.info, Ray Ellen at trainmarket.com, Walt Hiteshew at toytrainsandguides.com and all of the facebook and yahoo for sale pages such as the AvailableOgauge yahoo page.

I also watch Stout and Ralston auctions and Dakota Paul. When all else fails I email Papa Eastman. :=}

 

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT

Being in north central Indiana, we are blessed with several shops, 2 locally here in Kokomo, both get in older trains from time to time.  One is way overpriced and not customer friendly, other can be depending who you deal with.  Down in Indianapolis is better with Train Central and Zionsville Train Depot getting in second hand items at good prices.  However the bulk of mine come from Ebay, online dealers Vintage Hornby(Mike Delaney) and Station Masters Rooms and shows I attend.  Cheapest/best deals have been at shows lately.  But the online part allows me to find the UK style tinplate that I am wanting to start collecting/operating.  I also keep my eyes open a the local fleamarket/antique malls when my wife and I get our walking in.  Sometimes I find something.       Mike the Aspie

 

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

I buy mostly collections of stuff from the attics and basements of folks who are moving or doing a cleanout.  I fix them up and sell on EBay.  Stuff for my own small collection, I’ll buy mostly on EBay but some at train shows – like impulse purchases of three 259E’s or a 397 that I know I can cleanup, fix and double my money on eBay.

As I look at my EBay sales and wonder why did someone pay so much, I see destinations that indicate the buyer didn’t have ready access to train shows – like Huron, SD and Amarillo, TX.

EBay is a great market from a seller’s point of view.  A quick look at my sold items list shows I’m doing 30 to 40 per month no wonder my wife is complaining about shop  time in the basement J

I’m glad to pay 13% of my sales to EBay and PayPal.  Easy billing and collection, no credit risk, automated packing lists and shipping labels with postage.  All I have toi do is pack the item safely – THERE’s THE BIG CHALLENGE – Thi9nk of how many sizes and shapes and trying to minimize weight to save on postage.

I'm in north Jersey so I'm lucky to have a few options. I do buy a lot from eBay, sometimes they are the only location for a piece or part. But I hardly ever walk away from a local show empty handed. Whether it's Allentown (a little bit of a drive but not bad) or my local TCA show, I can always find something. 

Most of the local hobby shops have closed over the years but I do have a few good ones left. For new stuff and track, I have Mt Lakes Train Station which is less then 10 miles away. And right down the road, for original prewar high quality pieces I have the Train Collectors Warehouse, which has an incredible selection of prewar items.

TCA# 05-59610

     I do a bit of everything. Most of my "old" tin comes from eBay and train shows and flea markets. If one of my two local train shops has new tin in stock or can get it from MTH, I buy from them. If there is something out of stock but on the product locator, I buy online. Last resort for that is the bay.

     Ironically, one of my two local shops is also my primary online source. I can often get better deals, including shipping, from Mario's online than walking into the store.

My wife and I will be in the St. Louis area in early July for a conference. We may try to break awy long enough to try Traintown. Thanks al

Frank Ventura

choochoo@technologynation.us

 

 

... Another dedicated member of the model railroad quality control department. whenever I see quality, I try to control it...

 

I was just at the German Trading Post in Admastown , Lancaster County, PA.  It is an antique mall, there is a ton of trains and there is a dealer that has a some primo Standard Gauge Lionel. He has the Blue Comet, green State set with the 4 cars, a 408 loco. A lot of nice postwar. I bought a couple of MPC Cracker Jack cars new for $18 each. His prices are very fair and he is negotiable. Check it out if you are into Standard.

I'm at York in the member halls.  There is a ton of tinplate! If you aren't here, you are missing out. Anyone who says they can't find something, hasn't been to York lately. If it's not on a table, start asking the table owner's. I have a line on a rare AF car.

Dennis, they even have Marklin!

George

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