Your Home Town Music Store.

About Mike and Trains

Hello Dear Train Lovers:

Last January of 2015 I got tired of having my Lionel trains that I have had since 1953 stuck away in storage. I had by that time moved Crocodile Music store to my own property where I could be open 7 days a week and also be home to care for my wife and not have to sit in a remote store all day. I began work on my O gauge layout.

Unlike many of you fantastic modelers out there, my skills are more on the electrical and heavy construction side of things. I have always been fascinated by maps and I love the history and geography of our wonderful country, and have spent 25 years traveling on the road teaching Industrial Control Systems for Siemens all over the US and sometimes overseas. I think this led me to the USA theme for my railroad which I named The AH&N (American Heritage and Nostalgia Line).

I struggled over the type of railroad I wanted and looked at hundreds of layouts on-line. I am especially in awe of Eric Siegel's train web site and all of the generous work he has done to share his skill and knowledge with the world. THANKS ERIC. He was one of many that inspired me to try an ambitious layout no matter how far fetched I know my endeavor is. No one with any common sense would try to model the entire USA. Common sense was never my forte, but fun and love of trains is.

I wanted to pay homage to many of the familiar landmarks in the US and have been try to forge a mixture of fantasy and fact into a USA layout. As you can see from my link to the layout it looks underneath like the USA map.

I projected a 10ft x 20ft image of a USA map on the wall onto 2 inch foam board that I had temporarily screwed there, After tracing the exact outline I took it down and cut it out with a jigsaw. This became the base for my layout on top of 1/2 in plywood. I decided to elevate the foam to accommodate the layout I purloined from the Atlas track website and modified to fit 2 levels. I used Gargraves track and switches for most of it along with lots of Lionel track on the lower level.

I was very lucky that one of my best friend's sons was available to help me every day for a couple of months last winter to get it going. Also when I decided to add a large independent upper level to accomodate wide curve equipment, a couple other buddies helped me stage it in the garage and transport it to the upper level of my Victorian house where the layout resides.

A couple of month ago I realized that I am fortunate enough to be very geographically close to a national and international distributor that has been extremely generous with time and advice in launching my new model train sales addition to my music store. Because of this proximity I can offer 48 hour shipping of most anything that is needed in the world of trains in all gauges. I have immediate access to products from 18 manufacturers listed below.

Unlike many general hobby shops that have a layout as a necessity for a dealership, and sell trains strictly as an income source (not that there is anything wrong with that), I sell trains because I love the darn things. I love looking at them, buying them, talking about them and generally sharing the hobby with anyone who is interested.

I sell trains and accessories at the minimum price allowed by any given manufacturer, and to try to get the best deal for you that I can offer in the context of my buying power. I understand what it is like from the consumer side since I have been on that side of the fence for many years now, and I know how expensive the hobby is and every little bit helps to get that next thing you might want.

I will adding product after product to my web site over the coming weeks and months, and also photos of trains and layouts that I have visited.

My cell phone number is 207 249 4365, so you can reach me most anytime in addition to the store number.

Best of Railroading and Modeling to all of you.

Mike Brooks.
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