North End Train Center has a well established history in the
north end of Seattle. The store started in late 1947 by Bill Sweeney was called
Model Engineering. He sold out of his home on Linden Ave. After a few years he
moved the operation to a store front on Aurora Ave and 101st. In 1951 the store
was moved to 95th and Roosevelt Way. Ron Craig bought the store in 1955 and
changed the name to North End Hobby Center. Steve Fuller purchase the store from
Ron in 1990 and changed the name to North End Train Center. Bob Colley and Jane
Peterson purchased the store in 1995 and moved it to its present location on
Lake City Way.
Meet the Owners
Bob grew up in southern California just a half a block from the
SP main line between Los Angeles and Colton. With trains going by every
1/2 hour day and night, you either loved them or hated them. And Bob loved
them. After a couple of attempts at college, Bob went to work in the
computer industry. Thirty years later he retired as president of a
computer software company. Bob moved to Seattle in the early 90's and was
doing some consulting work when he met Jane.....
Janeís father worked for the World Health Organization
which explains her international background. Jane got her Bachelors in
Nursing from Boston University. She rode the Empire Builder to Seattle in
the late 60ís to attend the University of Washington for her Masters
degree. She then stayed in Seattle to teach nursing. She returned to
the University of Washington to receive her Ph.D. in Anthropology. Jane
was very content teaching nursing when she met Bob.....
And now, the rest of the story. Bob was finishing up a
consulting job when a friend called to say that North End Train Center was for
sale. After talking it over with Jane, they decided to buy the
store. After all it gave Bob a place to go everyday. And that is how
Jane ended up owning half of a model train store.
North End Train Centerís focus is to provide a supportive and
friendly environment where customers are introduced to the model train hobby and
are encouraged to improve their modeling skills by using North End Train Center
as a resource and a means for networking. Some of the things we do to
accomplish this are: stock detail parts, scratch building materials and paints;
have a large selection of magazines and books; have a "whatís new"
area; provide stools for customers to sit and swap stories; maintain a bulletin
board with current railfan and modeling activities and introduce people to each
If you need something that we donít happen to have in stock,
we will gladly do a special order. We will place the order, do the follow
up, and call you when it comes in. For most items this will take a week or
two. If you donít know exactly what it is you need or who carries it, we
will do our best to help you located it and ordered the item for you.
We buy and sell brass locomotives and rolling stock. We
have an active brass consignment inventory. Our current pricing for new
brass is dealer net plus 15%, and you donít pay until we pay the
importer. Some of the lines we carry are: Overland Models, W&R
Enterprises, Challenger, Coach Yard, Shoreham Shops, Hallmark Models, Precision
Scale, MTS and Key Imports.
If you have a brass model or models that you would like to sell
we will be more than happy to take them on consignment. We currently
charge 20% of the sale price. We ask that you leave them with us for a
minimum of 90 days. We will assist you in setting the prices if you wish.
Something not working? We will try to fix it. First,
we will tell you if it can be fixed or not. Second, we let you know if it
needs to be returned to the manufacture for repair. Third, you will get a
free estimate of the cost of repair before we start the work.
Club for Kids
We feel very strongly that if young people have a hobby like
model railroading they will be less likely to find trouble. We organized
the Lake City & Western Model Railroad Club for that purpose. We give
the kids a Pass good for 10% off non-sale items, send a quarterly newsletter and
plan field trips twice a year. The Membership Pass must be surrendered
upon retirement at the age of 18. This is only available at the store.
We know that it can be tough going to college and still trying
to maintain some level of hobby involvement or buying supplies for school
projects. So to help out, if you are under 30 years old, have a college ID
and are shopping in the store we will give you a 10% discount on non-sale items.
Bob and Jane support the local model railroad clubs, historical
societies and the National Model Railroad Association. Bob has served in a
number of positions in the National Model Railroad Association.