Welcome to the Rail Tales Hobby Shop Model Railroading Homepage!
Rail Tales began as a layout construction and train repair service. Layout construction requires supplies and those are best obtained from a local hobby shop. When it appeared that Charlottesville was losing its only hobby shop (Cville’s Hobbies, Games, and Toys), Rail Tales purchased the train portion of their business in order to keep a hobby shop available in this area. When Cville went out of business, Rail Tales became Rail Tales Hobby Shop and moved to our current location.
Through it all, Rail Tales is dedicated to ensuring that the customer gets the most enjoyment possible from his or her model train.
Current Railroad product line
Rail Tales is an Authorized Dealer for Atlas, Blackstone, Broadway Ltd., Hornby/Riverossi, Fleischmann/Roco*, Marklin/Trix/LGB, MicroTrains, MTH, Ross Custom Switches, Soundtraxx, Walthers, and Woodland Scenics.
Rail Tales stocks products for G gauge (new for 2019), O gauge, HO gauge, Marklin HO systems, HOn3 gauge, and N gauge.
Rail Tales buys and sells vintage trains in all scales and has a significant stockpile of Vintage HO, Marklin HO, and O gauge products.
For O gauge, we stock Lionel, MTH, and Williams sets, locomotives, and rolling stock as well as Lionel O-27, Standard O, and Fastrack track systems and MTH Realtrax track systems plus numerous accessories. We service and repair Williams, MTH, and older Lionel items. We can also service and repair some other brands of large scale trains. Note that we are a factory authorized MTH service center but we only work on products presented to us locally. We do not repair Lionel Legacy and TMCC items. We do not repair transformers.
New: Rail Tales is an Authorized Dealer for Ross Custom Switches. The switches and track made by Ross are actual steel nailed to actual wooden ties. The switches work exceptionally well and look great right out of the box! Best of all, Ross Switches are made in the United States.
For HO gauge, we stock locomotives and rolling stock from Accurail, Atlas, Bachmann, Bowser, Broadway Limited, Fleishmann/Roco, Fox Valley, Intermountain, MTH, Riverossi, Tichy, Trix, Walthers, and others. We also stock Atlas, Bachmann, Peco, and Walthers track systems and numerous accessories. We service and repair most brands of HO trains but due to staff limitations, we only service and repair trains purchased from us.
For Marklin fans, We are a Marklin dealer and have on hand train sets, locomotives and rolling stock plus we carry the full “C Track” line and have numerous support products for Marklin by other companies as well. We service and repair Marklin trains in HO scale whether purchased from us or not.
For HOn3, we carry Blackstone locomotives and rolling stock, Micro-trains rolling stock, plus rolling stock kits by other manufacturers plus code 70 narrow gauge track systems and support products. Note that due to conditions in China, Blackstone product availability is very low.
For N gauge, we stock locomotives and rolling stock from Atlas, Bachmann, Bluford Shops, Fox Valley, Kato, Microtrains, Walthers, and others. We stock Atlas, Kato, and Peco track systems and accessories. We service and repair most brands of N trains but due to staff limitations, we only service and repair trains purchased from us. Come in and see our N scale layout “Shadow Canyon”
For your digital needs, We speak digital, whether its for an American or European system. We can explain digital systems to you and discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of the different options. We install DCC format and Marklin (Motorola) format decoders and set up layout systems in both formats as well. We carry Marklin, NCE, and Soundtraxx digital systems and decoders. We are a factory authorized dealer for Soundtraxx. See Going Digital
For your electrical needs, we carry a full range of lighting and control systems and we have pre-assembled control boards. We can teach you how to set up the systems yourself or we can do it for you. See Educational Services and Layout Services.
For your scenery needs, we carry Woodland Scenics, JTT, Noch, Busch, and Scenic Express scenery materials. We also carry structural building kits in O, HO, and N scale with the detail parts, automobiles, and people needed to flesh out any scene. Build it yourself, buy one we’ve already built, or have us custom build to your specifications. See Model Services and Kraff T Fox Models.
For tips on building scenery yourself: click here
Don’t have anything but a dream? We carry starter sets but we know most of the time a standard starter set doesn’t really have what you want so we’ll make a custom starter set that fits your plan and give you a discount on the whole thing just to help get your railroad empire going. We also help you choose what you need to get started.
For some frequently asked questions on trains: click here
For information on choosing the right train: click here
Track Tip: When it comes to choosing track, our policy is ABC: Anywhere but China. Kato, Peco, Marklin, and Ross track systems are each made ‘at home’. Kato is made in Japan, Peco in England, Marklin in Hungary (part of the EU along with Germany), and Ross in the US. These systems are readily available, of very high quality, are good looking, and are built by people who earn a living wage in countries that are close allies of the United States. Help us in supporting nations that support us.