Image by Geoffrey Dunbar

The Red Caboose – Model train shop

Two things I’d like to have again in my life is a cat and a model train. But I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so no cat, no train.

Instead, I go to this model train shop in New York to peruse and reminisce. Before I got my childhood Lionel, I dreamed about an HO layout. Here, they’ve got both, and other scales I’ve never heard of.

Of the only two (that I know of) New York shops remaining, the Red Caboose on West 45th Street is one with a landmark: the constant sound of a train whistle marks the proximity of the front door. You’ll hear it before you see it: behind the hard to spot portal, which opens into a hallway, leading down a narrow stairway, down, down to the basement is the shop so packed with stuff, a puffy jacket might be an obstruction.

The boss, Al Spitz, and his assistant, the Professor, banter, bicker, yell at each other and sometimes at customers. It reminds me of a NY delicatessen.

Another shop, Trainworld, is out on Long Island with a warehouse in Brooklyn. I’ve been to Brooklyn too, but it has been reconfigured and is less a showoff than its other location.

I rarely pass an old-style hobby/toy store without going in because there are so few left.

And check the photo above: those are HO scale inhabitants of your model train’s village red light district. Other similar figures and positions available. No kidding.

Offline New York tips? Get our iPhone / Android app!

Full New York map?
See spots nearby?

Get our 100% offline app now!

For just $3.99

Details about this spot

Categories

Address

23 W. 45th St, New York

Telephone number

+12125750155

Opening Times

Mon - Fri 11:00 - 19:00, Sat 11:00 - 17:00

Price

Figurines: US$ 20

Website

Check on Facebook

Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)