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Tom Van Horn: Keeping the trains running on time!

by Scott Loftesness on November 13, 2010

Tom Van Horn of Tom's Trackside

For model railroad enthusiasts in Menlo, the recent arrival of Tom’s Trackside Trains has been a delight. Run by Chief Engineer Tom Van Horn, this small shop located around the side of Cindy’s Flowers is just the ticket – 558 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park – phone: (650) 692-9724.

Tom specializes in helping newbies to railroading get setup the right way – with great gear, avoiding lesser quality equipment what might otherwise just disappoint. When asked what’s new this season, he said the quality and attention to detail on the latest model trains are really first rate. He’s also an expert at helping folks with DCC – the new technology that allows multiple trains to run safely on the same track.

Tom moved his shop from Burlingame to Menlo Park two months ago. He’s now just a half block away from both the Menlo Park Caltrain station and the West Bay Model Railroad Association’s large layout at 1090 Merrill St. Tom started railroading himself with his first HO gauge setup in 1962. He’s far from alone in his continuing enthusiasm for the hobby. He pointed out the cover story in the new issue of Model Railroader magazine features rocker Rod Stewart’s model railroading setup!

Note: the West Bay club is holding it’s annual Christmas Show this year on Friday, Dec. 10,  7:oo to 10:oo pm; Saturday, Dec. 11, Noon to 6:oo pm; and Sunday, Dec. 12, Noon to 5:oo pm. Kids of all ages are welcome – and be sure to stop by Tom’s afterwards!

Photo by Linda Hubbard Gulker

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