Rail Tales began as a service business and added the retail operations later; therefore we are first and foremost a hobby service provider. As of January 1, 2020, we offer the following services for both local and out-of-town customers:
We do train repairs for MTH, Vintage Lionel (prior to 1970), LGB, and HO scale Marklin products. We will also do repairs on anything we sold if we are able. We may be able to do train repairs on other brands and products but we reserve the right to refuse if we feel that we cannot do a good job for a reasonable time investment or if we don’t have the expertise.
We perform routine maintenance on any product we sell or any product we feel comfortable repairing.
We do digital decoder upgrades or replacements using Marklin, NCE, and Soundtraxx products. We will no longer install decoders from any other manufacturer. Note that we ONLY install decoders purchased from us in order to insure initial quality. We also no longer offer digital installations in most brass equipment.
We design model train layouts.
We built model train layouts in O scale (using Ross Custom Switches track only!), in HO (using Peco or Kato or Marklin track only), in N (using Peco or Kato track only), and in HOn3 (using Peco track only). We will build any amount of the layout you want but we do not work behind or patch other people’s work. We can build in other scales as well but we reserve the right to refuse projects which are outside our area of expertise. Most of our build projects involve benchwork, trackwork, and electrical work, plus some rough scenery to tie it together. We can do everything down to the raccoons in the dumpster but if we do the scenery, it is done our style using our choice of materials and techniques. We do not use obsolete scenery tech and we cannot duplicate anyone else’s style.
We repair technical problems with model train layouts in HO and N scale. We no longer offer repairs in other scales unless we built it. Repairs in this case include diagnosis of problems and either a suggestion to the customer about how to make repairs or doing the repairs ourselves. We do not repair scenery unless we did the original scenery because we cannot copy other styles.
We do custom paint and decal work on model train equipment. There are a lot of caveats on this work, so call or email us and discuss what we can do.
We teach our skills to others. Specifically we can teach layout building skills, model building skills, airbrush skills, and other painting and detailing skills. We offer free demonstrations on most Saturdays (see schedule of events) but we charge for specific classes on a given subject.
Check out some samples of our work in the gallery.