Kalamazoo Train Barn to close

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Kalamazoo Train Barn to close

Unread postby GAP » Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:52 pm

The Train Barn in Kalamazoo will close on March 8, Seth Geim's 75th birthday. What makes this place special is not the hobby shop itself, but the 3000 square foot layout in the second floor of the barn. It's all tinplate, 3 rail, but your head should be on a swivel to take it all in. One of it's many features is a 16 foot long suspension bridge that sags under the weight of the train crossing it.

The layout is open Saturdays and costs $3 to see. I've seen it several times and find something new each time. This time I found a model of the Vicksburg Michigan depot that I had never noticed before.

If you live in the Kalamazoo area, be sure to take a look before it closes in March.
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Unread postby AARR » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:28 pm

Thanks Greg. Sounds like a place I'd like to see.
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Unread postby Todd Cline » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:36 am

This is VERY sad to hear. While I haven't been there in years, I have fond memories of the place and Seth Sr. AND Jr. when I used to go there as a kid. Once, after leaving the shop, we were getting into the car and saw a PC freight heading north just across the street on the old G.R.&I. That was just before the line was abandoned. I suppose the mail-order discount hobby shops were the final nail in the coffin for the local hobby shop. Even Walthers sells direct now.
I suppose some real estate developers will probably tear it down and erect some high price condos there. What a shame. If I had been living in the Portage area, I would have frequented the Train Barn. I'm from Battle Creek, so trips to the Train Barn were always a rare thing. If I can remember how to get there, I'll have to swing by there this fall.
I wonder, what will become of the great O scale layout up in the loft?
I hope someone keeps it intact.

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Unread postby J T » Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:20 pm

Thanks for the info, GAP. I saw a story in the GR Press about this guy's layout about a year ago, and in the photo was the same Lionel GT switcher (8761) that I have displayed on a shelf in my kitchen.


If I make it down there before it closes, I'll definitely take my engine along with me to see if it still runs.
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Re: Kalamazoo Train Barn to close

Unread postby NS3322 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:45 pm

Does anyone know what happened to the layout? It has been a while since I have heard anything about the Train Barn.
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