The Misplaced Fans of RR's

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kanawha, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Much like a lifelong New Yorker stuck in southern California, unable to watch and attend Mets games, a model railroader away from his favorite railroad is a sad one indeed.

    Okay, what the heck am I talking about? What I mean is when I walk into an LHS anywhere in Arizona, or California for that matter since I've tried there too, I can find barely an item from the New York Central, Pennsy, C&O, B&O, N&W, NS, Erie, or any of a hundred Eastern railroads. Even Northern Pacific and Great Northern is a stretch. The shop owners say there just isn't a demand, and that makes me rather sad.:cry:

    No offense to UP, BNSF, SP, WP, and D&RGW folks, but I'm feeling seriously under represented. I mean, the BNSF runs 100 yards from my door, wheres the fun in modeling that? Instead of a layout I could just build a big window.

    Anyone else find it hard to see their favorite roadname outside of a catalog?
  2. stuart_canada

    stuart_canada Member

    i like the idea of the big window if i was close to a busy rail line and could see the action from my house but i am not.
    i have nyc i would trade you for?
  3. The shop owner wins...

  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Back in the day when there were more local distributors, and Athearn (before Horizon) Atlas, Kato, etc sold through distributors, my local hobby shop used to get a lot of "deals" on locomotives painted in East Coast and midwest paint schemes. I bought a brand new Atlas Rs-1 for $39.95 when the going price with discount was $89.95 at the same hobby shop. Distributors would get cases of locomotives in all sorts of road names that no one wanted in the Southwest, and be stuck with them. I don't know if distributors in the Northeast ended up stuck with SP, ATSF, and UP. The local hobby shop had cases of powered Athearn gp40-2's in Conrail for a couple of years. First he sold them for $10.00 each. Then after he had made his profit at $10.00 each, he started offering them for $1.00 with the purchase of another locomotive at the regular price. Eventually he moved them all out. I haven't seen any deals like that in a few years, so I guess the companies are allowing distributors (or local distributors have been replaced by national distributors) to order locomotives in the road names they want and are distributing the various paint schemes closer to where the railroads operated. My local hobby shop will special order from Walthers or Horizon, I'm not sure who else they deal with regularly. I got a special order of code 55 track from Micro Engineering from them, but had to order a $100.00 minimum or else put in the order and let it sit until they made up the minimum of $100.00 in order to put in the order. They buy so much from Horizon and Walthers that they have a weekly order going in and just tack on special orders with the weekly order. If the item I'm ordering is in stock, I've never waited more than 10 days for the order to come in.

    You can't really blame the local hobby shop for not wanting to stock an item that his regular customers don't want. One solution to your dilemma might be to get to know your local hobby shop owner and ask him to order the New York Central models with his regular order when new stuff is announced. Just make sure that when he orders it for you that you go in and buy what he orders for you. He isn't going to like it if you persuade him to order a bunch of locomotives and then you change your mind and don't buy them. My local hobby shop had a guy come in and special order 30 hoppers in n-scale decorated for the Rock Island. When the models came in, he didn't want them. Needless to say, they don't special order for that guy any more.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I guess I am lucky. There are two big military bases in my area, so the lhs stocks road names from all over:mrgreen:

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    What do you do when you're displaced in time? ;) :D

  7. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    When I lived out in Sacramento, Ca there was 1 place that only dealt with model RR'ing stuff, and yeah nothing but UP, SP, BNSF related items. The owner said they don't have any demand in any of the other RR's. It was a big store with every scale, nothing I wanted but a Walther's flyer, I picked one up and got hooked again. I realized model railroading and railroading in general is something I will always like. Yeah I lived by the Roseville UP hub, but it wasn't the same. Not having the Conrail Blue around was terrible. I even tried to apply at UP on their web server but a friend told me it was useless

    Here's the Stores link
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Try modelling a Canadian road. At least you know you can get NYC PRR etc. models.

    Even though CN is the 3rd or 4th largest railroad in North America, and has a huge modelling base, try convincing Athearn or Walthers or Atlas or Broadway Limited to run some models in CN paint.
  9. Kanawha

    Kanawha Member

    Yeah...I guess you win there.
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I win at my LHS, too, since the owner is a friend of mine, and our modelling interests (NYC, PRR) overlap. I can usually find a nice selection of power and rolling stock, even though the shop is in Southern Ontario - miles from the nearest NYC tracks, and even farther from the Pennsy! :p

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