Home North End Train Center


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.

Today's 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 other.

Special Orders

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.

College Discount

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.
Home | Welcome | News | Brass | Books | Structures | Products | Reserve | Links | Order

12345 Lake City Way NE #371, Seattle, WA 98125; (206)362-4959
Store open by appointment only