HR Train and Toy Company Inc. is a hidden gem out in Pinellas Park. The model train paradise is basically a childhood dream come true. Of course, the collection is as much for avid collectors as it is for hobbyists and curious shoppers.
The new shop opened in August of 2018, but the business has operated in the Tampa Bay region for more than 30 years. It’s as much a museum as it is a store. The owners want it to serve as an education center for kids curious about trains, so that they can instill a similar love for the machines.
For those with a sprawling collection, HR Trains features a full repair shop. Preventative maintenance includes an inspection, cleaning and lubrication. The owners also take care of replacing small parts. such as brushes, traction tires, light bulbs, smoke units or any other necessary repairs.
The shop also features an extensive inventory of hard to find parts for older trains. Complete restorations can be done on Lionel, American Flyer, and Standard Gauge.
Working on these mini machines could activate your child’s brain. Toys include build-your-own cars, large model train set pieces, and tons of vehicles from brands such as Lionel. I’m not completely sure what N-Scale and O-Scale means in regards to trains, but I’m sure just one visit will provide you with a full primer on all train jargon.
Shoppers will find affordable new trains for kids, and serious collectors items that come with a big price tag. The owners are always scoping out new arrivals, and vintage finds, which is why their collection is so comprehensive.
It’s a hard spot to miss now thanks to Derrek Donnelly. The prolific Tampa Bay muralist recently finished painting several vibrant trains on the garage doors outside.
If you’re looking for a unique gift, or want to whet your appetite for fully realized miniature worlds, I can’t recommend this gem enough.
HR Train and Toy Company, 7900 49th Street North.