Where I Shop

I see posts on the various Facebook and Reddit groups fairly often from folks asking for reputable places to purchase from. Below are the places I buy from, these are all stores that I have done business with and I trust. None of them have provided me with any compensation, nor have they asked me to list them on my page.

Please note, I only add stores to this list that I have done business with and I had a positive experience with. There are quite a few stores that I’ve shopped at that I won’t be back to, they’re not listed here and I don’t intend to “shame” them by posting who they are.

If you own a store – DO NOT contact me and ask me to add you to my listings.

As always, shop around. Pricing for the same item can vary and discounts can vary.

The stores listed below are not in any particular order.

Model Train Stuff www.modeltrainstuff.com (aka M.B Klein) If you didn’t know it M.B. Klein has been around for over 100 years. Of all the places that I used to shop when I first got into the hobby 20 years ago – M.B. Klein is the only one that’s still around. Modeltrainstuff.com is their home on the internet. While their prices are always competitive, sign up for their mailing list as they do frequent 10% off specials. The saga at Model Train Stuff appears to continue, since closing in the fall of 2023 much or all of the business was purchased by Factory Direct Hobbies who is resurrecting the brand and the website. As of June 2024, the website is back, and FDH has resurrected Model Train Stuff’s loyalty program, but I’ll admit while I’ve browsed the site I haven’t purchased anything. FDH has been around for quite some time, and they are a reputable seller, but I’ve never found their prices to be particularly competitive, and it’s FDH’s pricing that has kept me from spending any real time checking out the revived Model Train Stuff.

Trainworld www.trainworld.com. Trainworld is another long standing retailer. Make sure you check out their monthly ad in Model Railroader for a discount code.

Yankee Dabler www.yankeedabbler.com. This is where I go for DCC that I can’t find anyplace else. When I purchased my Digitrax Zephyr Express – I got it from Yankee Dabbler. At the time my normal shops were sold out, but Yankee Dabbler had the Zephyr in stock, and cheaper than everybody else. Since then I’ve purchased a few other DCC decoders from them and they’re often the only ones with stock. While they carry much more than DCC, they should be on your list.

Lombard Hobbies. www.lombardhobbies. I’ve shopped from Lombard both online and in store, although my preference when dealing with Lombard is in store. I’ve found that there are some things you can find in the store that you can’t find on their website – or if it’s on the website it’s not where you think it would be. Be warned as an N scaler – a good 95% of the store is HO. They have a good selection of N scale stuff in stock – but HO dominates their shelf space. Lombard Hobbies is located in Lombard IL.

Ready To Roll Trains. www.readytorolltrains.com. I’ve only been to their store in Miami, and I’d recommend the store over trying to order through their website. While much of the store is dedicated to other scales, their N Scale selection is good and I found a few things that have been out of production for years… In December 2021 I found a brand new Bachman HHP-8 there, at list price – none of the eBay out of production markup.

Britannia Models. www.britanniamodels.com. As the name implies, they are focused solely on British models. I’m a fan of the Metcalfe Cardstock kits, and Britannia is the only place that I know of in North America that sells them. Their overall N scale selection is slim – and purchasing from their website is like online shopping in 1999, but I’ve never had a problem with orders from them.

Des Plaines Hobbies. www.desplaineshobbies.com. I’m going to be honest, they have a horrible website. If you’re going to shop with Des Plaines Hobbies – go to their store. If you’re looking for N Scale freight cars – they’ve got one of the best selections I’ve ever seen. They’ve also got some unique items in their cases like a ConCor Aerotrain – in N Scale. But be warned, there’s no discounting that I’ve seen at Des Plains Hobbies – everything sells for list price.

Rails of Sheffield. www.railsofsheffield.com. They’re one of the most well known model railroad retailers in the UK. In 2023 Rail of Sheffield purchased Hatton’s after they shut down in the fall. Arguably, Rails and Hatton’s were the two biggest model train retailers in the UK. Rails is my source for Metcalfe cardstock kits, which are impossible to find in the US and I’ve bought a few other items from them over the past few years.

America’s Best Train, Toy & Hobby Shop. www. americasbesttrain.com. While I appreciate the aspirational nature of their name, I’m not really sure I’d actually call America’s Best Train, Toy, & Hobby Shop “America’s Best.” Located in Itasca, IL what I like about America’s Best is their selection of scenery products for model railroads. They’ve got a pretty diverse selection, and I’ve found with much of those products that I really like to see what they look like in person before I buy them.

Scenic Express. www.sceneryexpress.com. When it comes to ground cover, trees, and scenery if they don’t have it – it might not exist… They have an incredible selection of scenery products – but it can be difficult at time to figure out what is appropriate for the scale you’re modeling in.

Oxford Diecast. www.oxforddiecast.co.uk. Oxford’s 1:148 Scale line is their N Scale line. Since they’re in the UK most of their vehicles are ones that haven’t made it to the US. But they have a tremendous selection of N Scale vehicles ranging from the 1950s to at least 2010 in years. Plus at less than $6 a car, they’re priced well.