I have been finding recently that at least two of the hobby shops in our area have been buying postwar trains and keeping a reasonably good selection for display and sale.  My sense is that the selection has become better over time.  This makes each visit a bit more of an adventure, more than merely looking at the episodic arrival of new product from current manufacturers.

The two hobby shops where I have recently noticed this influx are Great Lakes Hobby in Sterling Heights, MI, and Empire Hobby and Train in Troy, MI.

Perhaps this is a recent anomaly, but I suspect that more of the Baby Boomers are "culling the Herd", as one of my friends used to say, for a variety of reasons, or, their families are now selling their trains and equipment since they are no longer being used.

Are other Forum Members noticing a similar pattern?  And, which hobby stores in your areas (or travels) have a good, regularly refreshed selection of Postwar Trains?  In this regard the hobby stores in our area seem to have a greater selection of Lionel, American Flyer, and Marx.


Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Original Post

When we actually had a train store in my area, they did a fairly brisk postwar business, and the items in the display case would change from week to week.

The store's been gone for over three years now, though, and I don't know where I'd go (apart from the net, of course) to find postwar equipment.  Or newer items, for that matter.

That’s a great Question, I live in Clarksville, Tn. “The Last Train To Clarksville”, has come and gone. We have to shop in Nashville, no big selection of Post War trains, or go to Atlanta, Ga., or Evansville, In.  Many train stores have simply gone away.  If folks in the Nashville area are looking for PostWar trains, Standard Guage Trains and repair or restoration, there is a great source for this service done by a private individual, who has more trains than the average store carries. Wes and Sherman Leonard. They are famous for selling Train parts at York and many area TCA, LCCA meets. Great question, Happy Railroading.

eddie g posted:

What do you mean postwar? 1945-1969 or 1970-2018.

I haven't mastered the exact split, but 1945 - 1969 looks about right for "Postwar" production.

Great Lakes Hobby appears to feature a greater volume of "used" O Gauge than the store used to carry in the past - some of it only a few years old - although they still carry a significant inventory of new production.

Cordially,  Dennis

The Water Level Route

Dale's In Norfolk Va. …….he has a ton of postwar, not sure how regularly it changes out....he has so much stuff in his store its hard to tell whats what....still, its a pretty good shop and Dale is easy to get along with....  

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

Burlings Ton of Trains in Fountain Hills (just east of Phoenix) has been in business many years and has a wide selection of used trains in O, S and HO.  He carries products from Lionel, MTH, K-Line, American Flyer, Marx with some Standard guage and G scale thrown in for good measure.  It is one of the places I don't go very often, just to save my budget, but it is a delight with every visit.


Ye Olde Train Shoppe in Boyertown, PA and Henry Hall at the Kutztown Renniger's Antique Mall.  Both locations buy used Postwar.  I service them if needed and then they're up for resale.  Business is pretty brisk, especially this time of year.

PRR by Lionel

Eastern PA Mountains, between Oley and Boyertown


Local Hobby Shop in Watertown NY, changed hands years back and then eventually closed.

Next closest hobby shop one hour away in Baldwinsville NY abruptly closed and sold all

stock off to an out of state hobby shop.

Then there was the hobby shop in Utica NY that closed it's doors because they could NOT make ends meet. Owner even tryed

to diversify and was selling fire arms in the basement, But with NYS regulations, it became impossible for them to continue to sell

fire arms and Trains were not making enough.

We have one hobby shop in Syracuse, but the carry new stock and very little pre or post war stock.

Then one hobby shop North of us about 1 and 1/2 hrs went into RC cars and has let the train field die in their shop.

I do have a friend that sold that hobby shop north of us that keeps me in trains (he sells at shows) and I help him fix trains to sell, so we have a good relationship.

Gilly@N&W posted:

We're lucky to have two stores in the area that sell new train items. 

As for your question "good, regularly refreshed selection of Postwar Trains"? That simply is not a reality in our area.

It's about the same here. We have a good O gauge train store, mostly carrying new stuff. They have a small amount of PW stuff, but it doesn't look like much of it (if any) is ever getting refreshed. 

eddie g posted:

Mr. Mallard sir, A lot of the new people into trains consider postwar to be anything after 1945

Perhaps Eddie, but that's just because they don't know that the correct term for Lionel trains made after 1969 is modern.

Modern Lionel trains have further eras within modern, based on ownership. MPC is from 1970 to1986. That was followed by the Richard Kughn period known as LTI (Lionel Trains Inc.), and finally the current Neil Young based partnership Lionel LLC.

If I was a betting man Eddie, I'd say you don't have any modern Lionel trains, and furthermore, the people who think current production is postwar probably have no idea which war is being referred to.


Enough rebuttal, back to the question at hand.

The Twin Cities is pretty thin on postwar. Most of it has dried up long ago, and is in the hands of the collectors already.

Scale Model Supplies has a rather tired batch of stuff that never moves. I'm not sure why they even waste their space with it.

There is a store in Hopkins, west of Minneapolis, called Steve's Train City. Steve is at least a TCA member. The store is a little hard to find, and his hours are a little odd. He's been known to have a bit of a gruff exterior when dealing with the unwashed public, but he's actually a good guy. If you get a chance to go in there, and know what you're talking about, you could have good luck.

eddie g posted:

Mr. Mallard sir, A lot of the new people into trains consider postwar to be anything after 1945

Notwithstanding what many may think, we need objective standards to define the various eras, because nomenclatures serve as reference points for the convenience of everyone.

barrister.2u posted:
eddie g posted:

Mr. Mallard sir, A lot of the new people into trains consider postwar to be anything after 1945

Notwithstanding what many may think, we need objective standards to define the various eras, because nomenclatures serve as reference points for the convenience of everyone.

You may have missed my previous post, where I spelled it out. Prewar 1901 - 1942. Postwar 1946 - 1969. Modern 1970 to present. This is not arbitrary, nor did I make it up. This was coined by Greenberg, the universally recognized price guide for Lionel Trains.

beachhead2 posted:

In St. Louis metro area, Train Town on Manchester Rd.  I'm not into postwar but they have plenty.  And prewar.  And modern. 

Wow, i am shocked to hear this.  I was living in st louis up till about 2000, seems like yestrrday, i dont think that place existed then.

Checkered flag hobby was on manchester rd back then, but not my place for trains...  there was Bob Jacobsons electric train outlet i frequented.  And trains limited (central west end i think)...

I will have to check it out sometime when i get back there...



Lionel Fan and Super "O" Track Enthusiast

On the west side of Florida, Dana's Railroad Supply in Springhill, Fla.  They have swap meets coming in November thru March, once a month.  Seen some nice PW locos there; many at the swap meets in Dana's parking lot in various conditions along with rolling stock, transformers, track.


And now it starts.

In defense of Eddie G, l had exactly his thought, since l have no interest in "old" Lionel (unless l find they made some steam loco with small drivers l can fish out of junk boxes and bash with the mechanism), so hear the terms in passing but care not. New Lionel, or the hope for NEW Lionel: that is different. The above information does sound like a reason for a road trip. (Shhhh...but there are other brands)

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

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