Our Story - Trainpops Attic
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Our Story

Memories… we all have them.

My childhood memories are of trains – trains of all sizes, and not just under the Christmas tree.  My brother and I called my grandfather “Trainpop” and my grandmother “Trainpop’s Mom” and that’s where my love of trains all began at a very early age.

Trainpop and Trainpop’s Mom (also a train enthusiast) met at a holiday train layout in 1937 and, as they say, the rest was history.  They were married in 1938 and started their family of one girl and two boys. Trainpop originally designed layouts of Standard and “O” gauge trains and, as the smaller gauges hit the market, he gradually turned his interest to “HO” trains.  His final “HO” layout in his basement was 7 feet by 17 feet.

During World War II, when his boys were young, Trainpop took them to the Trenton Train Station and surrounding areas to watch trains pass by.  As the boys grew, so too did their interest in trains.  At this point in time, they were introduced to Bill Krames, a neighbor of Trainpop’s, who operated the Trenton Hobby Shop.  When Bill saw the boys enthusiasm for trains as they purchased their first locomotives he offered them the opportunity to help around the shop to earn additions to their train collection.  It was also during this time that Bill Krames and his friend, Ed Alexander, got together with other train enthusiasts on a regular basis to talk about train collecting.  In 1954, what started out as meetings in a barn among a group of neighborhood train enthusiasts turned into the formation of the the Train Collector’s Association (TCA), a group that remains in existence to this day.

My Dad and his brother carried on the Adam’s family passion for model trains as they matured.  In their pre-teen years the boys planned and built a train layout in their basement for summertime fun and, as teens, they took trips with their grandfather to South Amboy or Camden to to watch the last remaining steam locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad in action.  My Dad developed an interest in HO model trains and still enjoys his lifelong model train hobby.  My uncle, however, upon receiving a color film camera and his driver’s license, expanded his interests to include photography, at which time he began to combine his two favorite pastimes of chasing down and capturing real trains on film.  To this day, he continues to capture the magnificence of trains throughout the United States in picture form, adding to his ever-growing photographic library.

My Dad’s current HO layout in our family basement is 20 feet by 25 feet.  He has also created a “G” gauge layout that runs throughout the gardens around our inground pool.

Obviously, the love of model trains has been passed down to me and it’s a fabulous hobby to have at any age, year round!  For the past few years I have designed, built, and displayed “O” gauge trains at our home with a 10 foot by 20 foot layout.  As a family, we look forward to have our family, friends, and the members of the public visit our home display from Thanksgiving to the end of January.  I look forward to the day when my setups can remain on display in the store for everyone’s enjoyment, any day of the year!

My childhood memories are of trains of all sizes everywhere I went.  We visited club layouts throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  Trainpop and Trainpop’s Mom took my brother and I to Choo-Choo Barn, Roadside America, and the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster on many wonderful summer vacations.

Memories.  We all have them!

A Hobby for a Cause

In 2011, at age 40, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent robotic surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center.  My surgeon is one of the best and visible signs of the cancer were successfully removed, including cancerous cells found in the lymph nodes.  During my recovery from surgery I pondered a means by which I could somehow repay Fox Chase for the excellent care I received.  I decided to turn my passion for model trains into an annual fundraising event.  For the past three years, from Thanksgiving through the end of January, we open our home to family and friends, as well as the public, to come and see my detailed village model train setup that I design and erect.  In return I ask for a nominal donation to Fox Chase.

Because of my age, my case is different than most as this condition is usually detected in older men.  A word of caution to all young men at age 40, particularly those with a family history of prostate cancer – be sure to get your PSA tested!

I was 40 with no symptoms or discomfort and was diagnosed with a serious case of this disease.  If I hadn’t had my PSA tested when I did, my cancer would have likely progressed with an unpleasant outcome at far too early an age.  Don’t let that happen to you!

During follow up visits from my surgery, it’s been discovered that the cancer, unfortunately, continues to plague me.  Prostate cancer is difficult to detect as it seem to float freely in the body and does not necessarily develop into a tumor initially – prostate cancer is sneaky that way.  Medications help to keep the cancer at bay but the drugs cause some pretty rough side effects.  In my case, with the work that I do to earn a living, the drugs can be physically debilitating.

I’ve had to make life changes to manage my condition and in order to stay afloat, I have developed this interactive website where I can share my enthusiasm for, and love of, model trains by selling online to other train enthusiasts.  On behalf of myself and my family,  thank you for your support and patronage.