For me, it’s a toss-up between model railroading and a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Which do you recommend? Forget the BB gun, you’ll shoot your eye out. Go with model railroading, it’s safer and much more engaging of your creative impulses.
What happened to Caboose Hobbies? The predecessor to Caboose Hobbies was established in 1938 in Denver, was purchased by Glenn Brazleton in 1951, converted to a train enthusiasts store and renamed Caboose Hobbies. Ownership passed to Glenn’s son Duane Miller and his wife Joanna, who moved the store to the 500 South Broadway location in 1981. Upon termination of the lease at that location in 2016, the assets of Caboose Hobbies were purchased by Kevin Ruble, the store was moved 7-1/2 miles west to Lakewood, Colorado and renamed Caboose (which is what almost everybody called it anyway). So fear not, intrepid train enthusiasts – we’re still here, and more accessible than ever!
Hey! Right here in the Dealer Directory of my April 1987 issue of Model Railroader, it says you’re at 500 S. Broadway, but there’s a fancy-schmanzy new Starbucks there. What’s up with that? Well Sleeping Beauty, we’re so sorry you missed all the memos and announcements (and there were a LOT of them), but the old location closed in September 2016 and was converted to an empty lot a few months later. So buy us a Grande Mocha Latte and something for yourself, and head west 7.3 miles on Alameda Avenue. We’ll welcome you like a prodigal.
Are you still the World’s Largest Train Store? Sadly, we will probably lose our Guinness Book of World Records claim to fame, as we put the store on a serious diet when we moved to Lakewood. We lost 2/3 of our unwanted fat in terms of retail square footage (not to mention a WHOLE lot of grimy dust bunnies). BUT, we carry about three-quarters of the inventory the old store had at its very peak, and are adding more every day. In some areas, we carry much more than the old store did, like scenery for example. Our Wall of Scenery is unmatched – by anyone, anywhere – check us out and see for yourself!
Where are the layouts and dioramas from the old store?They were all sold by the previous owners, but we do have a beautiful N scale Tehachapi Loop layout, an amazing Gn15 mining layout, and an HO scale switching layout as a demonstration and learning tool. Beyond that, we are building new, even better layouts and displays in Z, HO, HOn3, O three-rail, O two-rail, On30 and G, so stay tuned!
I have a two hour layover at the airport, is that enough time to visit your store and get back? Absolutely, if you brought your jet pack as carry-on luggage. Otherwise, no way. Next time, bake a six-hour layover into your itinerary so you can come by and enjoy one of Denver’s top attractions!
Are you convenient to public transportation? Yes, we enjoy easy access by light rail to the West Line Federal Center Station, then a short one mile ride on the 3 or 100 bus from the Federal Center station. The bus stop is virtually in front of our store.
Which credit cards do you accept? We gladly accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express credit or debit cards in U.S. currency.
Why do you keep asking for my credit card information – don’t you keep that for me like the big box stores? We are sorry for the inconvenience but no, we do not store your credit card information on file for the safety and security of your personal credit information.
Do you take checks? Sorry, we don’t accept checks. But Matt used to play hockey, and if you ask real nicely he might give you a check.
Do you have gift cards? Why yes, as a matter of fact we do and we can custom create one for you, for any amount in just minutes. We even accept unexpired (within five years of original issue) Caboose Hobbies gift cards. Now how awesome is that?
Do you accept special orders and pre-orders? Well of course we do! In fact, Caboose is one of the very largest special order and pre-order dealers in North America. If you can’t get it from us, you just can’t get it! Please note that we do require prepayment for special orders and deposits for pre-orders.
My dog is my best friend, (but please don’t tell my spouse). Is he welcome at Caboose? Diesel and Einstein have voted unanimously, and they say . . . Yes! That is, as long as your fuzzy buddy is well-socialized and friendly. But please remember, if they poop, you must scoop.
Do you have parking at your Lakewood store? Do we have parking? Oh wait, you already asked that. Yes, we have parking! We have ample parking with space for over thirty vehicles, plus street parking along Alameda Parkway and Oak Street. If our customers with big honkin’ motor homes and tractor trailers can find a place to park, we’re sure you will too. Bring it!
Do you offer layaway? Sorry, we don’t, but Wal-Mart still does.
Do you take trade-ins? No, but virtually all of the local car dealerships do.
I am modeling the first 6.7 miles of the East Broad Top Railroad in March of 1932 in Sn3, and desperately need a sand dome for 2-8-2 number 17, but when I came into your store there wasn’t one in stock. What kind of “full service” store are you, anyway? We’re a sustainable one, that’s what kind we are. We stock the items that are in highest demand, and therefore turn multiple times a year – about a quarter of the 172,000 items available for sale – and the rest we can get by special order, provided that the item is in production and in stock at the manufacturer or distributor. To stock items that stay on our shelves for years before they are sold is a recipe for failure, as evidenced by the dramatic loss of small retail stores in the industry. We are in business to support the tribe of train enthusiasts worldwide in the enjoyment of our shared passion, and that requires that we be sustainable. Sit tight, chances are we can have that sand dome for you by next week!
According to Model Railroader, Rod Stewart is a train enthusiast. Has he ever been in your store? Yes, Sir Rod is an HO scale modeler with an amazing layout, and as a matter of fact he has shopped at the old location, and on more than one occasion. Rumor has it that he was actually a bit late getting on stage at Red Rocks because he was enamored with our brass collection . . .
Is it true that the late actor Gary Coleman worked at Caboose Hobbies? Yes, Gary was an N scale modeler who worked at the South Broadway location for a few years.
Will I become world famous if I shop at Caboose? Probably, but we can’t guarantee anything. Memorize the first verse to Maggie May, and we’ll schedule an audition for you on the next available Tuesday. Please bring your own musical accompaniment.
Do you fix trains? Indeed we do! Our expert repair staff can do almost anything, from installing trucks and couplers to DCC installation and programming, to restoring vintage toy trains to repowering that brass beauty. You can also count on them for a straight answer when you’re seeking to repair something that is worth less than the cost of the repair. See our Customer Service>Repairs and Warranty section for more info.
Do you ship orders to Paris? It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about one of the nineteen communities named Paris in the United States, the Paris in Ontario or Paris, France, the answer is a resounding YES. We have over 78,000 customers worldwide who depend upon Caboose for all of their train enthusiast needs. In-stock orders with a merchandise value totaling $100 or more ship for free within the Continental United States, otherwise a $9.95 shipping and handling fee applies. Exceptions include large or oversize items, hazardous materials or high-value shipments, which will incur a $10 surcharge per shipment. Orders destined to locations outside of the Continental United States incur actual postage and handling expense, which varies widely depending on destination. You will receive an email confirmation of your order with calculated shipping charges, which are billed separately from your merchandise order. Tracking information on all shipments is sent to you via email.
Do you buy old model trains? No, we do not buy old trains or train sets, there are others in that market who are far more proficient in the collectible train market than we are. We do, however accept consignments of brass train models and collections and rare books on a limited basis.
Do you buy old railroad artifacts? Almost daily, we are offered railroad artifacts as donations to our store, and in fact have amassed somewhat of a collection for display. So we’re sorry, we’re not a buyer for Uncle Bob’s sweaty kerchief.
What do you have that’s free? Our broadband wi-fi, delicious popcorn, rich, aromatic coffee, pristine spring water and most of all, the assistance of our helpful, friendly professional associates are all F-R-E-E free!
Can I come into your store and misbehave? Thank you for asking. No, you cannot. At Caboose, we have a strict no a**hole policy, and if you choose to come into our store and misbehave in that way, we will ask you to leave and not come back. Yes, we’re serious. We don’t need that kind of gross negativity ruining the overwhelmingly positive experience for the rest of us. We will gladly give you the websites and phone numbers of other establishments who may be more willing to put up with your boorish behavior and gladly take your money.