Train Shops in DC Area


Ray Hutchison
 

Off topic but I hope this will be alright (and maybe useful for other list members:  Is there a good train shop in the DC area?  Looking for HO and steam era models.  We will be apartment sitting for our daughter for a bit and I'm certain I'll need a break from that.  Thank you for and leads.  Ray Hutchison


wrlyders
 

The DC Area is a huge area. I live in the western suburbs (25 miles from downtown DC) and only one train shop is in the county now – Trains and Collectibles. It is right off I66 and is very friendly and has a decent stock of HO and steam.

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2022 12:59 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Train Shops in DC Area

 

Off topic but I hope this will be alright (and maybe useful for other list members:  Is there a good train shop in the DC area?  Looking for HO and steam era models.  We will be apartment sitting for our daughter for a bit and I'm certain I'll need a break from that.  Thank you for and leads.  Ray Hutchison


Marty McGuirk
 

The only brick and mortar store that is great for scale modelers is Mainline Hobby Supply in Blue Ridge Summit,Pa. About 75 miles north of DC.
Just went there this weekend - they have one of the best selection of detail parts I’ve seen on par with “old” Caboose Hobbies and Des Plaines.

Marty 


On Mar 21, 2022, at 2:22 PM, wrlyders via groups.io <blyders@...> wrote:



The DC Area is a huge area. I live in the western suburbs (25 miles from downtown DC) and only one train shop is in the county now – Trains and Collectibles. It is right off I66 and is very friendly and has a decent stock of HO and steam.

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ray Hutchison
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2022 12:59 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Train Shops in DC Area

 

Off topic but I hope this will be alright (and maybe useful for other list members:  Is there a good train shop in the DC area?  Looking for HO and steam era models.  We will be apartment sitting for our daughter for a bit and I'm certain I'll need a break from that.  Thank you for and leads.  Ray Hutchison


Philip Taylor
 

If you venture to Charlottesville to see Monticello and do the tour of the grounds of UVa or take the Blue Ridge Parkway and come east there is a small hobby shop in Charlottesville called Rail Tales.  He not at the level of Mainline in PA but if you are already in town worth the stop.  

Philip Taylor


wrlyders
 

Mainline Hobbies up route 15 in PA is the best…my fellow MRs swear by them. But that is quite a distance from DC

 

Bill L

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Philip Taylor
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2022 4:54 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Train Shops in DC Area

 

If you venture to Charlottesville to see Monticello and do the tour of the grounds of UVa or take the Blue Ridge Parkway and come east there is a small hobby shop in Charlottesville called Rail Tales.  He not at the level of Mainline in PA but if you are already in town worth the stop.  

Philip Taylor


Tim O'Connor
 


Gettysburg used to have a great hobby shop. And Mitchell's. JB Klein too?


On 3/21/2022 12:59 PM, Ray Hutchison wrote:
Off topic but I hope this will be alright (and maybe useful for other list members:  Is there a good train shop in the DC area?  Looking for HO and steam era models.  We will be apartment sitting for our daughter for a bit and I'm certain I'll need a break from that.  Thank you for and leads.  Ray Hutchison

--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


prr282
 

living in the past with that answer


Thomas Evans
 

Ha-Ha!  Speaking of living in the past, anyone else remember Clark Kean's on G Place?  It was the place to go when I was growing up there.

Tom E.


Richard Townsend
 

I do remember it. I would ride my bike to a bus stop in the suburbs and take a bus downtown to go to that hobby shop. I was so upset when he closed it. Later as an adult I went to Mitchell’s in Delaware, Gilbert’s in Gettysburg, and ultimately Grandad’s in Springfield, VA and Arlington Hobby Crafters in Arlington. Times have changed.


On Mar 21, 2022, at 6:37 PM, Thomas Evans via groups.io <tomkevans@...> wrote:

Ha-Ha!  Speaking of living in the past, anyone else remember Clark Kean's on G Place?  It was the place to go when I was growing up there.

Tom E.


Bruce Griffin
 

Pro Custom Hobbies in Eldersburg, MD 
 

 

Bruce D. Griffin
Ashland, MD
https://bomodeling.com/blog/

 


Tim O'Connor
 


Going further afield, does anyone not from New Jersey know about Sattler's in Westmont? What I love about
that store is that I went there as a teenager in the 1960's and the exact same person - Bruce - who worked there
is now the owner (has been for many years) and he is still there!! And just as sharp as ever, very knowledgeable
about model trains. I try to visit and buy something every year. (Support your LHS!) :-)

Tim O'Connor


On 3/21/2022 11:28 PM, Richard Townsend via groups.io wrote:
I do remember it. I would ride my bike to a bus stop in the suburbs and take a bus downtown to go to that hobby shop. I was so upset when he closed it. Later as an adult I went to Mitchell’s in Delaware, Gilbert’s in Gettysburg, and ultimately Grandad’s in Springfield, VA and Arlington Hobby Crafters in Arlington. Times have changed.


On Mar 21, 2022, at 6:37 PM, Thomas Evans via groups.io <tomkevans@...> wrote:

Ha-Ha!  Speaking of living in the past, anyone else remember Clark Kean's on G Place?  It was the place to go when I was growing up there.

Tom E.


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


David Wiggs
 

I too went to Casey Clark's Keene's on G Place when I was a kid.  I just saw the ad in an old MR from 1957.  I had very limited money and the only thing I could afford was some of the AHM military stuff at 25 cents a piece.  Sorry to walk down memory lane and provide nothing you can use for your stay.

Davo in Orlando


spsalso
 

I got me a copy of Model Railroader autographed by Clark Keene--November 1977.  I asked a friend to drop in for the task, as I was a long ways away.  Apparently Clark thought it an odd request, but he nicely obliged.

I tried a bit of custom painting, a very long time ago, and he was kind enough to put it up for sale in his display case.  Considering the size of the case, and the shop, that was quite generous.  Or optimistic.  I DID sell some stuff!

I should mention that Corr's was about a block and a half away.  A pretty decent hobby shop, but not hard core, like Keene's.

It seems all the fun stuff keeps getting removed from DC.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Kenneth Montero
 

Ed,

Several things have driven model railroad shops from larger urban areas such as downtown Washington, DC:

-- High rent per square foot - or in hard-to find locations (Keene's on G Place, NW in Washington DC was a hole-in-the-wall on an alley).
-- Customer base has moved to suburbs, and customers working in large cities usually don't stop after work at city hobby shops.
-- In some areas, crime rates (especially after rush hour) or the perception of crime rates drive away both customers and businesses.- at the end of his business, Clark Keene's wife would drive up to the store in an alley (G Place, NW), Clark would come out and quickly lock the door and hop in the car, and away they went.
-- Lack of sales - siphoned off by train shows and mail order sales.

I am sure that there are other reasons. Of course, there are exceptions, but usually they are long-established stores.

I was a customer of Keene's when I was in Washington in the early 1970's. Corr's was nearby. Corr's moved to Montgomery County, Maryland, and Keene's retired and closed his shop.

Ken Montero


On 03/22/2022 8:02 PM spsalso via groups.io <edwardsutorik@...> wrote:


I got me a copy of Model Railroader autographed by Clark Keene--November 1977.  I asked a friend to drop in for the task, as I was a long ways away.  Apparently Clark thought it an odd request, but he nicely obliged.

I tried a bit of custom painting, a very long time ago, and he was kind enough to put it up for sale in his display case.  Considering the size of the case, and the shop, that was quite generous.  Or optimistic.  I DID sell some stuff!

I should mention that Corr's was about a block and a half away.  A pretty decent hobby shop, but not hard core, like Keene's.

It seems all the fun stuff keeps getting removed from DC.


Ed

Edward Sutorik


Thomas Evans
 

Oh-Oh!  You guys bring up more memories.

My parents started me out with Lionel, and it all came from Corr's, but when my tastes changed, around the corner to Keene's I went.

Arlington Hobby Crafters was my neighborhood store, Richard, so I could bicycle there - bought a PFM shay there one time, but it was not the one I wanted - oh well - 30 years later it turned out to be a very rare model, so I sold it for enough to buy an updated version of the one I originally wanted with enough money left over for a very nice 2-8-0.

Tom E.


 

Sounding off from the Northern DC suburbs, here are my two cents:

I'll give another big thumbs-up for Mainline Hobby Supply in Blue Ridge Summit, PA. I consider this my LHS and it's well worth the trip. A fantastic in-stock selection. 
https://mainlinehobby.com/

Pro Custom Hobbies is another good choice in nearby in Eldersburg, MD
https://www.facebook.com/Pro-Custom-Hobbies-127465851214802/

A good all-around shop that carries a multitude of items across many hobbies, Hobby Works in Rockville & Laurel, MD is worth the trip. 
https://www.hobbyworks.com/

Engine House Hobbies in Gaithersburg, MD - I believe they focus mostly on 3-rail O stuff. 
https://www.enginehousehobbies.net/

And don't forget the Great Scale Model Train and Railroad Collectors Show which just happens to be coming up in a week and a half in Timonium, MD! The show happens ~3 times a year.
https://www.gsmts.com/

--
Ben Sullivan
Brookeville, MD