????? was just in the one in Washington Union Station and the manager
didn't know anything about closing, no signs that I saw either.
when was this announced. ????
: A rememberance...for the chain of 55+ mall stores that brought train awareness
A sad story indeed. And yet a trend that's just beginning? The closing of our
favorite 'local train store'? I know this thread has been hashed over time and
time here, but it does scare me. I am lucky to have two great hobby stores in
this area, one is devoted exclusively to trains, the other is largely trains.
I go to the one store at least once a week religiously, if for no other reason
than to see what's new. I don't shop on the internet. Many years ago, I
began to shop the 'mail order' houses in an effort to save money, but had bad
experiences. I came to find out that while the price was cheaper, when you add
in the shipping and in many cases, agrivation, it wasn't worth it. My local
dealer is fair with his prices, is there to help me if I need it. He carries
parts, paints and various supplies. His store is inviting, clean and well lit.
And many times while I'm there, I see old friends and meet new ones. No
internet dealer can offer that kind of service and atmosphere. I know there
are good internet dealers out there, but I'll stick to my local shop where I
can deal face to face with someone I know, not some 'internet address'.
~~~ Mark ~~~
Pennsylvania Railroad Northern Division
>Why do you suddenly need a password to enter the site?
....to make sure you're not a creditor ?..... :))
.....bat guano.... :))
Great Train Store The
Mall Of America MINNEAPOLIS MN 55420 (952) 851-9988
They said everything is on sale 20% off, because they are "liquidating". The
funny thing is that they always have a sign posted saying that locomotives
(which are all I'm after from them) are ALWAYS 20% off retail.
Since the whole store is now recently marked down 20%, one might expect the
locomotives to then be dropped to 40% off. But they are still just 20% off
retail, and I can beat that elsewhere.
They may be closing but they're not in a rush to do so.
Streamrail <strea...@aol.comtric.com> wrote in message
> A rememberance...for the chain of 55+ mall stores that brought train
> into the hands of a whole new generation of kids, and served as a stopping
> point on my monthly trek out for the magazines of our hobby. Think of how
> people who would never have wandered into a hobby shop, drifted in for a
> curious look at one of these and got hooked on the hobby.. The guy at my
> store told me the signs saying STORE CLOSING FINAL SALE effects the whole
> chain. The website window caption bar at www.thegreattrainstore.com says
> Text"...says it all...and I for one, will look back fondly someday and
> their steam whistle reverberating in a mall. And how impressed I was at
> visiting the first one I came across in New Orleans. Although i only
Access Systems wrote:
> In rec.models.railroad Streamrail <strea...@aol.comtric.com> wrote:
> ????? was just in the one in Washington Union Station and the manager
> didn't know anything about closing, no signs that I saw either.
> when was this announced. ????
> : A rememberance...for the chain of 55+ mall stores that brought train awareness
> : into the hands of a whole new generation of kids, and served as a stopping
> : point on my monthly trek out for the magazines of our hobby. Think of how many
> : people who would never have wandered into a hobby shop, drifted in for a
> : curious look at one of these and got hooked on the hobby.. The guy at my local
> : store told me the signs saying STORE CLOSING FINAL SALE effects the whole
> : chain. The website window caption bar at www.thegreattrainstore.com says "Final
> : Text"...says it all...and I for one, will look back fondly someday and remember
> : their steam whistle reverberating in a mall. And how impressed I was at
> : visiting the first one I came across in New Orleans. Although i only purchase
> : one locomotive from them (with a discount coupon), as their selection was
> : limited and pricey I did frequent the store, and purchased books, hats, mugs,
> : and pins from them too. Will we ever see a mall chain of train stores again?
> : Probably not.
> : Great Train Store, you'll be missed. A long toot of the steam whistle to you.
Would be interested in seeing list of remaining stores.
>You're right, the chain is closing. I just called the store in the Mall of
>America (in Minneapolis, MN)
>Great Train Store The
>Mall Of America MINNEAPOLIS MN 55420 (952) 851-9988
>They said everything is on sale 20% off, because they are "liquidating". The
>funny thing is that they always have a sign posted saying that locomotives
>(which are all I'm after from them) are ALWAYS 20% off retail.
>Since the whole store is now recently marked down 20%, one might expect the
>locomotives to then be dropped to 40% off. But they are still just 20% off
>retail, and I can beat that elsewhere.
>They may be closing but they're not in a rush to do so.
....they say there is a clause in their lease that forbids them from
discounting below 20%.....so now we have a mall "in restraint of
trade" and losing a major tenant....i guess the mall will get their 3%
of the gross on the "liquidation", as well.....or maybe they just want
the space for another high-buck lingerie shoppe.... :))
...."Coming Soon - Union Pacific Lingerie"....."Bring Out The
Locomotive In Your Man"...."20% Discount Everyday"..... :))
....big guano.... :))
>????? was just in the one in Washington Union Station and the manager
>didn't know anything about closing, no signs that I saw either.
Washington is the main and original GTS, so it may be exempt from the
closings. I think the one in St. Louis Union Station is #2.
Please reply to aharman at hhcustom dot com
Visit the RPM Web Page at http://www.rpmrail.org
Or my personal site at http://www.hhcustom.com/nspmg
I have to disagree with your shortsided thoughts. I, too, never shopped
at these mall stores. As my modeling needs required a true modeler's
type of HO shop.
However, these stores were advertising for our hobby. The
next generation of potential model railroaders will never be able to get
hooked on their first "train set" or their first "railfan video". The
outreach for the hobby provided by a chain of mall stores is a positive
part of the hobby - and it's absence will have a negative impact.
I disagree. I think the hobby is better served by newbies going to local hobby
shops, where they're likely to find cheaper prices, hence they'll be able to
afford more models, especially if they're on a tight budget. Newbies will also
find people who are knowledgeable about models at local shops, and can give
them advice and guidance. Try getting that at a Great Train Store. If a clerk
can't tell an Athearn Genesis box from a Walthers box (see Andy Harman's
posting on related thread) then that clerk isn't going to be of much help to a
> From Travis:
I disagree. I think the hobby is better served by newbies going to local
>hobby shops, <snip>
I disagree with both of you. It doesn't matter where things are purchased.
Not in the long run.
The thing that motivates all ages of folks to get into the hobby is: TIME
Time we need to invest, as experienced hobbiests, with the nubies. Without
personal encouragement, folks are just not going to get "hooked" in this, or
any other hobby. Yes, its easy to say that, and then not get involved.
Did you know the Boy Scouts of America has a merit badge in Railroading? Did
you know that in many parts of this country, its almost impossible to get the
badge, because experienced train folks don't get involved? But I'd bet there
is a troup just around the corner from you. Parents are amazing willing to get
involved with their kids. After all, doesn't model trains and adult
supervision sound better than the "street" and drugs for their kids?
Does your club run off "nubies" because they don't show up with the "correct"
couplers on "just-these-$$-brands" of locos? How about an anything-runs-night,
and let the Tyco's from Toys-R-us fall off the track for a few hours. Or the
Model Powers in N. Be there to help them get them running better. They will
find the money for the "right" couplers and trucks after they are hooked.
Do you have regular, hands-on clinics? Not demonstrations, clinics.
Do you hide behind the Great Wall of Plywood made of NTrak modules at shows, or
do you get out there and get involved. Every get a prospective member INSIDE
Our group does Bend Track, so we can't hide from the public. As a result, we
have increased ACTIVE participants by 100% in the last 12 months. And had a
ball doing it. And guess what - the nubies are bringing new talents to the
group, and showing us a thing or two.
Want few folks? Invest TIME. Invest YOURSELF. And have a bunch of fun in the
Like many "kid" hobbies that grown ups become involved in, it is all to
easy for the adults to become perfectionists all the time. I have an 8
year old girl and she is fascinated by my train hobby. So, we built some
circus kits TOGETHER because SHE like them. She has a couple of Disney
trains to run on the layout because SHE thinks they are neat. At my work
table, there a place for her to build trains, buildings, etc. with me. I
use PollyScale because it is much safer than Floquil. Maybe solvent
based paints can do a slightly better job, but I want HER to be able to
use many of the same tools as I do. When I start on a new project
(currently the LaserKit SP station) I make sure that she has picked out
a similar project to work on with me. And I let HER to her own kit. I
offer pointers and tips, but she paints it in the scheme she wants. And
they appear on the layout from time to time (I don't glue my buildings
down for that very reason).
As I plan my new layout (with Don Cardiff - great guy, cool design;
check his stuff out. THere are some sample plans at
http://www.sandiasoftware.com, the Cadrail folks and at
http://www.dctrains.com, Don's web site), I want to make sure that she
can safely run it. She'll learn how to operate Digitrax controllers and
the be able to read the control panel to know which way the switches are
pointed so she can avoid collisions.
In short, get younger "newbies" involved by being involved yourself.
Nothing will scare of new comers than a bunch of old coots (and I'm old
enough to qualify as a coot myself :-) screaming "don't touch it,"
"that's expensive, leave it alone," etc.
The same goes to trains stores. If the store personnel barely tolerate
kids or women (especially the dreaded T E E N A G E R S), then the
future of the hobby is doomed to die out. (and The Train Store in Santa
Clara, CA is sometimes guilty here!).
!!! Remove the adventurous magic word from the
!!! reply to address to send me mail. Sigh...
john a dalton wrote:
...."Something to get up a head of steam in your Big Boy!" .... Proper holders
for your HOOTERS!! .... "Something sheer and filmy for Your Caboose!"
Pardon ... long day ... VRIF closed today .... layoff list not yet out .... It's
all John's fault ... he started it!!!!!!
The problem is that most newbies don't know that dedicated model
train shops exist, and most general purpose hobby shops carry the same
product lines that people are lamenting about GTS. Let's face it - most
people new to the hobby purchase a train set at Sears, Wal-Mart, Price
Club or Toys-R-Us. Unless they know a hobbyist like you or me and they
ask us, that's where they're going to go. Losing GTS won't change that
Remove the Extra Dot to e-mail me
The penalty for cheating is the disgrace of dying rich.
<Marcu...@ncal.kaiperm.org> wrote in message
> In article <20000523125328...@ng-ch1.aol.com>,
> owen...@aol.com (OwensRwy) wrote:
> > I for one won't lament the closing of the "Great Train Stores," which
> > anything but great.
> I have to disagree with your shortsided thoughts. I, too, never shopped
> at these mall stores. As my modeling needs required a true modeler's
> type of HO shop.
> However, these stores were advertising for our hobby. The
> next generation of potential model railroaders will never be able to get
We did not compete with them, and I'd be willing to bet that we never took a
dollar out of their pocket, nor they ours.
What they did was present trains to a segment of the public we really don't
know how to attract. The beginners and the very young.
Do you remember ehen you were a kid and saw a train store for the first time?
You didn't argue about prices or selection. It was all new and wonderful to
you. If your parents bought you an engineer's cap and a box car you were in
Now as older modelers you have become more selective and price conscious, and
yes, the Great Train Store's selection was limited and pricey.
But young train fans have to start somewhere and the Great Train store was
great for that.
Also, didn't understand how they conducted their business. Was at one in
Phoenix area and picked up an Athearn SP 40' flat car kit which I noticed had
no lettering on either side. Brought it to attention of store clerk and he
put it in the back room. Mentioned it to a friend and he wanted to buy it so
went back the next day and store manager said it went in the mall's huge trash
compactor that night!
now don't blame john ... he's an innocent (?) bystander ... :))
<><><> TOM <><><>
Proud Member Of The Haggis
> What they did was present trains to a segment of the public we really
> know how to attract. The beginners and the very young.
(No intent to be critical here - just well-intentioned brainstorming...)
Don't you have a layout or 6 in your shop?
That's how the old department stores used to attract them.
Many clubs do more than their share by setting up demo layouts at Holiday
time, holding publicized open houses, setting up modulars at festivals, etc.
At least one shop I know of caters to the *very* young by getting them
started on the "Thomas" and Brio toy lines (gotta start somewhere!)
Do you offer beginners workshops & seminars? Intro. packages? Visit
schools? Invite the scouts, etc. in for a tour?
Even a small oval that is running with some decent scenery will grab the
attention of the uninitiated!
In article <20000524202426...@ng-cf1.aol.com>,
peach...@aol.com (PEACHCREEK) wrote:
> I am in the model train busines (Peach Creek Shops) and we cater to
> experienced builder/hobbyist/collector. Personally I am sorry to see
> demise of the Great Train Store.
> We did not compete with them, and I'd be willing to bet that we never
> dollar out of their pocket, nor they ours.
> What they did was present trains to a segment of the public we really
> know how to attract. The beginners and the very young.
> Do you remember ehen you were a kid and saw a train store for the
> You didn't argue about prices or selection. It was all new and
> you. If your parents bought you an engineer's cap and a box car you
> Now as older modelers you have become more selective and price
> yes, the Great Train Store's selection was limited and pricey.
> But young train fans have to start somewhere and the Great Train
> great for that.
> John Glaab
While it might be a bit unusual for a smaller retail business, the
dumpster is an important part of the larger retail stores defective
merchandise handling. It's not normally worth it for a vendor to
require the return of lower priced merchandise that a retailer is
requesting credit for. You probably would cry if you've seen some of
the stuff that I've seen go down the chute. And yes, it has to go
down the chute. If a vendor gave you credit for the product with
orders to destroy and you don't, well that's called fraud.
....we see it show up in our country auction here on Fri and Sat
nights....usually a store employee will hoist it out of the dumpster
and peddle it wherever he can....the auction format here involves
salvage "as is", as well as new stuff....so the buyer KNOWS what
he/she is buying....sometimes it's a loose cord....sometmes it's a
digital something that works but doesn't light up....sometimes it's a
"shelf-pull" because the box is crumpled and gritty....sometimes it's
stuff without the box....sometimes it's stuff in the wrong
box....there's usually an orange tag on it telling what the problem
is....the stuff sells....a new $49.95 toaster oven for $5, with just a
little dent in it....lots of stuff to take home and sell on
eBay....new $19.95 toys, with no box, for $2, to give as gifts...
.....great fun....big john.... :))
Why they are going out of business is "great" is beyond me.......
In article <el1X4.50$G3....@newsreader.i-2000.net>,
>Also, didn't understand how they conducted their business. Was at one in
>Phoenix area and picked up an Athearn SP 40' flat car kit which I noticed had
>no lettering on either side. Brought it to attention of store clerk and he
>put it in the back room. Mentioned it to a friend and he wanted to buy it so
>went back the next day and store manager said it went in the mall's huge
>compactor that night!
You're right that was stupid! I'd have marked it down and sold it or sent a
request for a replacement. Athearn and most distributors are good about fixing
these kinds of problems. Unfortunately you'll have to invest a couple of
>I for one won't lament the closing of the "Great Train Stores," which were
>anything but great. They were overpriced, usually had nothing in stock but
>Athearn and maybe some Bachmann, and were not aimed at the serious modeler.
Great Train stores never, to my knowledge, proffessed
to cater to the "serious" modeler. My question to you,
however, is just when did you change from not-so-serious
modeler to "serious"? One or too others have stated
the loss is an overall loss to model railroading for the very
reason you mention. The store was one of the ONLY
means that potential new modelers became acquanted
with model railroading.
I almost never failed to buy something in a Great Train
store, if only a magazine when I was on a business
trip. What is left now for the potential new model
railroader is an introduction to what is available based
probably only on the train sets sold in Toys'r us.
It is a sad loss to the overall model RR following.
No one was ever forced to visit or buy anything in
their stores, that some people expected those
stores to measure up to a full service hobby
shop is a clear misunderstanding of the marketing
niche they were after.
>Railroad Hobbies in Roseville closes, that's a reason to lament. That's what I
>consider a local hobby shop. But lament a chain of overpriced, overkitsched,
>and understocked mall shops that seemed to cater more to the "Thomas the Tank
>Engine" folks than the "Where's that Cannon thinwall cab" folks? Not I.
That Thomas the Tank engine todler is the future
serious model railroader.
Bill Sohl wrote in message <392e8019...@news.interactive.net>...