Are you looking for a nearby train store? Searching for a train store near me is a good start. Google will give you some results. But, finding a train store isn’t near as easy as it used to be. When I was young we had a couple of local train stores that had a little of this and that for most scales. Even if they didn’t have a huge selection, they usually had the essentials, kits, glue, track spikes connectors, balsa and paints for your model railroad. Usually your local train store would also feature more road names for your area. We had plenty of Burlington Northern to choose from as well as the usually biggies, AT&SF, UP and PRR.
What a treat though when we drove just a little further and went to one of the big hobby shops. Many of these had working layouts and a much larger selection of trains. My dad took my brother and I to a large shop where I bought my most valuable train, an n scale Atlas Warren tank car. Have you ever watched a young child stair at a model train as it rolls by? It’s a beautiful thing!
With the advent of e-commerce, so much has been lost in the model train experience. It just isn’t as special sitting in front of the computer with your kids looking at model trains. So if you can find a train store near you, especially one with a working layout, you will be adding so much more to the experience and increasing the odds that this great hobby get’s passed on to the next generation. The time my brother and I spent bonding with my father on the way to and from the hobby shop, asking question and after question is something I treasure long after his passing. If you can’t find a local shop, that’s not all bad, read on.
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I was surprised when I googled “train stores near me” to find there actually where a few near me! One was in my small town of Buffalo, MN and only handled G scale but still a full fledged family owned train store within 2 miles of me! My search also showed that if I would drive 25 miles, I would find even more train stores that I could visit and actually find what I was looking for. Many of these stores will order in for you as well. Please don’t get to hung up on pricing. I had a customer call my power tool business and let me know Amazon had the same drills I had for $5 less. My question to him was “which one did Amazon feel would be best for your use?” . He got the point. So if your local train store is a little high, remember, there is some expertise there. I have found that some of the bigger craft stores handle some model train basics including glues, paints, balsa and even some actual trains!
All of that being said, if you search train store near me, you simply may find nothing within a comfortable driving distance. You will find more and more brick and mortar stores bringing their expertise to the internet. When a local hobby shop starts selling online, be it through ebay, Amazon or their own site, they are bringing along that local customer service and love for model trains that giant online sellers just don’t have. Through in the fact that they can offer service and used inventory and you may find the best train store near you is actually online!