Welcome Tiny Railroads, a new store that’s offering exclusive model trains and accessories. The owner Elmer Scott brings a sense of nostalgia to the Downtown core with this venture.
Scott found his love of trains at a young age. He loved the design, creation, application and basically all aspects of the hobby and became a modeller himself. During his adolescence, his love for trains dimmed a bit as he focused on more typical pastimes of teenagers. However, once he became an adult this passion came back in full force. Scott reminisces about his 20+ years career in the locomotive industry fondly. With his devotion, he opened the first Tiny Railroads in Delhi, Norfolk County. The store had fans coming from all over the community, wanting to divulge themselves into this hobby. Despite this, Scott had feelings of doubt and was going to quit until one of his elder customers shared how much his spirit and store meant to her. With this, Scott found his resolve and continued on his retail journey.
Eventually, Scott had so much customer demand, that he had to expand the store and look for a bigger location. After some trials and tribulations, Scott chose Downtown St. Catharines and opened his doors on Mother’s Day. He knew the area well because he used to live here for a bit. Scott loves that his location is close to the highway so his customers from all over Southern Ontario can easily find the store. He shares that the community is very welcoming and cherishes how supported small businesses are here. Having an accessible parking lot is also a highlight for him.
Tiny Railroads has an extensive collection of boxcars, engines, building kits, track, details, switches, power packs and more with new or used options available. They also offer a large variety of scratch-building supplies, books, magazines, signs and collectibles. Scott indicates that he sells “fun, excitement, and nostalgia”. He wants customers to feel that sense of childlike wonder when they visit. The store is cost effective, giving around 50% markdowns compared to big-box online retailers, but does offer high end items as well. Scott shares that he wants to be inclusive so that means having affordable options. Tiny Railroads wants anyone interested to know that the train community is for everyone, at all ages and not just a boys club. Although it is for all ages, Scott reveals that they are very kid friendly as well. His mission is to help others with their hobby and meet like minded enjoyers.
Tiny Railroads has amazing customer service that you can notice as soon as you walk through the doors. Scott has a very hands-on approach and will take the extra time with each customer to make them feel like a guest of honour. His decades of expertise are apparent as he is a treasure trove of knowledge and is always ready to assist. If something isn’t in store, Scott is more than willing to order it in, free of charge. He added extra chairs because he noticed that his older customers liked to sit down. Scott prides himself on craftsmanship and notes that everything you see is serviced and if you aren’t satisfied with your products, exchanges and refunds are available. As a result, Tiny Railroads has very strong customer loyalty and a lot of word of mouth marketing. One of these loyal customers, Steve, shared how accommodating and above and beyond Scott is. Steve mentions how he will come into the store once a week because of how impeccable the experience is. Steve even returned to the store after he left just to share more positive notes about Scott and his customer service. Tiny Railroads wants to provide a place where people can harness their love for the craft and work with it.
As for the future for Tiny Railroads, Scott shares that he plans to attend more train shows to create brand awareness and has an upcoming one at the end of the month. Christmas is the next big holiday on any business owner’s mind, and Scott is no different. Tiny Railroads is suiting up for the upcoming season, and wants to remind customers that train sets are great presents for anyone. Trains and the holiday season go hand in hand, think of a train set moving around a Christmas tree or the Polar Express itself. Another goal of his is to obtain a bit more selection and get another very knowledgeable employee, as currently he conducts this business alone. Scott reveals that he just wants to continue doing what he loves and help enthusiasts with their passion and hobby.
We are so excited to see Scott embark on this new business venture and encourage you to stop by and gain a new hobby!