Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Merri-Seven Trains

I've always liked trains since I was a small child, when I used to see parts of trains and tracks in my grandpa's back porch workshop. My mom told me one time a few years ago that I should have asked him about them. I don't know why I never did.

Anyway, I would see this store almost every day and think of him. I said before that it's a good idea to stop into a place you see along your way, instead of just driving past. Tuesday I decided to do just that.

I've been seeing this place, with the sign that said TRAINS-COLLECTIBLES-HOBBIES, for years as I drove by. I've always found it interesting, but I never stopped. Now, I'm glad I did. It looks like a small store from the outside, but they have so many fun and interesting things inside that I can only describe a few of them here. For the rest, you'll just have to go see for yourself. You'll thank me.

Inside the store, I met Sandy and Ken, two of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Ken took me on the grand tour of the store. He told me they have been here since 1982. That's a pretty good track record for any business.

This place is part store and part museum. They have new and used trains, from as far back as 1887 to modern trains of today. He showed me tiny little trains with cars that would fit in a child's hand to huge trains meant to run outdoors. One of the bigger ones was a real steam engine, I'm not kidding! They also have a real antique kerosene headlamp from an old train. Ken told me one of the trains is a model of the last train made in North America for use in North America. He seems to know just about everything there is to know about trains.

They not only sell trains, they also buy them. If you have a train that needs repairs, take it in. Ken says, "If we can't fix it, no one can."

They also have real railroad memorabilia, which might have been my favorite part of the store. You can see things like railroad lanterns hanging from the ceiling. They also have slot car kits from all periods. I asked Ken about something I saw years ago, it was a slot car track with a railroad crossing. No problem, they had several. There is a section in the store devoted to scenery, where you can make your train set look like anything you want.

Towards the front of the store, they have things like small electronic experiment kits. I liked the one where you can build your own AM/FM radio. Ken showed me the aisle with the model cars, which I overlooked earlier, because there are so many other things to see. Model cars were a childhood favorite of mine, so I was happy to see this. There are science fiction spacecraft models and plenty of other things.

While we were looking at these, Ken pulled out a model of Moe Howard from The Three Stooges. That was, in my opinion, one of the coolest. Again, there are so many things to see and buy in this store, that I can't describe them all here. You'll have to go in and see for yourself. Seriously consider going in and buying something from these good people. They seem to have a steady flow of customers, but I'm sure they'd welcome you. And make sure you tell them that The Everyday Adventurer sent you.

Here's all the information you'll need to find the store. Click on the picture if you need to see it better.

Finally, this was one of the best everyday adventures I've had since I started this website. I know I'll be a customer of this store from now on. If you're not in the area, I'm sure you can find a place like this one. Just look around.

Thank you Ken and Sandy, and your assistant whose name I didn't get, for being so helpful!


  1. My father loved trains, probably because his father worked for the railroad. I am in the area so I will definitely stop by. Thank you for the on-line adventure


  2. Best place to get help with a model train issue: O, HO, N, G, S or standard gauge. Ken is very knowledgeable and can fix it or tell how it came to be and if it will ever be. If he doesn't have it he will try and get it for you: trains, parts, books, memerobilia, catalogs.

    Actually I love just going to Merri-Seven to shoot the breeze about model railroading.

    Sal B.

  3. Sal B. - That's right. I had a very pleasant experience when I interviewed Ken. He wasn't prepared for it at all, and he was still great. It was one of the best experiences I've had in any store. I tell everyone who's interested in trains to go see Ken.

  4. Always an experience when I visit, very helpful and friendly. The attention to detail and knowledge of model railroading makes you want to keep coming back time and time again.

    Rich / Rockwood, MI

  5. Rich - It's that kind of thing that makes a place special. This is the place to go if you want to be treated right. You can always feel like you came away with something of value.

  6. I love this kind of shop :-) There's a model railway museum in Mevagissey, Cornwall which I visited when I was about 10 and rediscovered a few months ago. It's part shop, part museum and you can control the exhibits yourself :-)

  7. John - It would be great to have a place like that. Merri-Seven is the closest we have to it. It's primarily a shop, but there are some cool things to look at too.

  8. Sounds like a pretty amazing shop!

    I'm also a train enthusiast primarily because my parents always took us to ride them when we were kids. I was looking for some train memorabilia when I came across your post. And, you got me interested.

    Today, steam powered locomotives are very temperature sensitive. Parts like mepco traps, mepco valves and the likes helps in regulating the temperature to make it easier for the 'driver' to control the vehicle.

    I'll try to visit the shop real soon. Thanks!

  9. I hope you guys know that Merri-seven is moving. Their new location will be at i-94 and rochester, i beleive. Ken told me they will be opening late august or mid september.