Trainpops Attic Going Full Steam Ahead
by Cate Murway
Ever just wish for a “station” break?
Rail fans can get aboard on the right track at Trainpops Attic, LLC on 315 Mill Street. Introduce yourself to the owner, Brian Adams. With his indefinable connection to trains and railroading, he is more than qualified to help you while you are ‘choo-choo’ choosing a hobby for yourself that can create a fascinating world, melding realism and imagination in a unique and inviting way.
Remember….this is the ONLY time playing on the tracks is permitted.
It seems inevitable that Trainpops Attic, LLC will become a catalyst for new model train layouts of various sizes and complexity being constructed in basements everywhere.
After all, toy trains are for kids of all ages!
Wooden and metal toys resembling trains were first made in Europe in the 1860s. By 1901, Lionel made its first electric train for use in store display windows. So, collecting model trains, and building their accompanying railroads, has remained an incredibly popular hobby for over a century entrancing those with a passion for the sound of steel wheels on steel rails. There’s something undeniably thrilling in the thundering, hissing locomotive replica and in the conceiving and building of one’s very own miniaturized scale replica of a real-life landscape. It provides a personal lens through which to see and enjoy the illusion of tiny houses, barns, trees, even people. Whole cities in miniature become a source of quickening delight.
Owner Brian Adams became a committed train buff thanks to his dad, John, who worked for a gentleman who started the [TCA] Train Collectors Association, the largest and oldest group of toy train enthusiasts in the world, and his late paternal grandparents Ogden and Marjorie, who actually “met at a train display in some point in time”. Brian called them “Trainpops” and “Trainpops Mom”.
Over the years, there were many excursions with his grandparents to Strasburg, known as "Train City", home to the historic Strasburg Rail Road. “We had the little wooden whistles that are really obnoxious.” He and his brother, Troy, were also taken to Choo- Choo Barn and then to Roadside America in Shartlesville, PA, one of the most unique tourist attractions in the USA.
His mom, Cynthia works along with him in the hobby shop and his younger brother makes a “train stop” periodically. The Adams family had “HO models in the basement and in the attic, and O gauge Lionel around the tree”.
HO is the most popular and has the broadest availability of rolling stock, building kits, and other scale materials needed to complete a scene.
Scale: The size of things on a model railroad relative to things on a real railroad. For example, in the most popular scale, HO, models are 1/87th full size. Other popular scales are Z (1/220), n (1/160), S (1/64), and O (1/48).
Brian amassed quite a collection.
Lionel pieces from the early 1900’s command a “stop” in the shop. They provide a glimpse into the past, perhaps triggering a jolt of nostalgia for the much loved and remembered America. A locomotive is a perfect metaphor for America- strong, muscular, all business, and capable of any task.
He keeps his most cherished family train pieces from the 1920’s that belonged to his grandfather, Trainpops, in his home. “They are not for sale”.
The shop walls are loaded with pictures of locomotives captured by his Uncle Richard Adams.
There is magnetism in the frozen photographic moments of trains powering along a track. The framed pictures are hanging in the shop and priced for sale.
Start collecting train pictures to decorate your very own train room.
Many of the new toy train selection feature the latest in authentic sound and electronic controls; “top of the line engines, all the sounds and the bells and whistles.” Add incremental height grading and you can include a dimension of mystery and anticipation with the layout when the train disappears into a mountain tunnel created using one of the graduated trestle sets.
Spice up the "environment" of your track plan with a selection of smokin' scents, liquid scented smoke for the trains. Brian is not only rekindling old traditions, but presenting new technologies.
For the youngest engineers, there are Thomas & Friends well-crafted tracks and landscape features with brightly colored toy trains.
The display Thomas Christmas Railway Set will be on sale and discounted in mid-January.
In life, temporary disruptions, derailments happen.
Sadly, Brian was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. The finding impacted him greatly but did not dampen his romance for the rails; he allowed himself to get consumed with his passion because of his health issue. He had just two months to get the store together before the holidays and he wanted to continue to repay Fox Chase for the excellent care he had received.
Trainpops Attic LLC is still hosting its annual Fox Chase Cancer Center fundraiser in the store on Mill Street. Entrance to the 10 x 30 foot train layout is a nominal donation of $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children [6-11]. Free for those 5 and under. Admission is from Noon – 5:00 pm.
Additionally, the raffle of a $400.00 Polar Express O-gauge “ready to run” set will benefit Gilda’s Club Delaware Valley in Warminster. Chances are $1.00 each or 6 tickets for $5.00.
The charity part of the display culminates January 31, 2015 with the prize drawing.
The Trainpops Attic Hobby shop is all “hobby related with toy trains and everything to go with”, including TM books and DVDs, the full movies of the popular “I Love Toy Trains” series on television.
Die cast models command another section of the shop with classic, realistically detailed Matchbox cars, "tricked out" Hotwheels, American ERTL toys, and trucks, planes, tanks, helicopters and Jeeps.
There is even a selection of plastic model American muscle cars and popular car kits to assemble.
Trainpops Attic, LLC speeds past the competition. You are invited to come in and browse and perhaps start a new and fulfilling pastime.
Sign in the register book to stay notified via e-mail with updates for new lines.
Trainpops Attic, LLC
400 Mill Street
Bristol Borough, PA 19007
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