LYNBROOK, NY (CBSNewYork) – At TrainLand in Lynbrook, Long Island, you’ll find everything you need to build an elaborate outdoor scene in miniature, from a foot-tall mountain to a public library made of plastic.
And, of course, there are trains.
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They come in a variety of colors and styles, ranging in size from N scale (tiny) to G scale (large).
“It’s a very unique store. There isn’t too many of us left in the country for this type of a business. You get your Christmas crowd. You get your hobby crowd. You get lots of kids,” owner Kenneth Bianco, Sr. said. “Their eyes just light up watching the trains go around.”
The passion for trains began with his parents, who were avid collectors and hobbyists.
“It kind of got out of control and turned into a family business, and now we’re into our third generation. We’ve been in business for over fifty years now,” he said.
He works alongside his son, Kenneth Bianco, Jr.
“Trains is a part of my blood. Ever since I was in third grade, I started coming here, pitching in,” Ken, Jr. said.
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In addition to two brick-and-mortar locations on Long Island and in Brooklyn, the Biancos sell trains on their website.
While Ken, Sr. prefers the in-store experience, his son’s age group gravitates toward online shopping. The multi-generational business caters to both.
“I’m old school. He’s new school,” Ken, Sr. said.
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They say that interest in model trains is unwavering.
“It’s just an infatuation,” Ken, Sr. said. “And it’s a family type of thing where everybody pitches in and does something on the layout. It evolves. You start off small, and it just keeps growing and growing and growing.”
Devoted hobbyists buy engines that cost up to $3,000.
“They grew up with trains. Their grandfather had trains when he was younger. Their father has trains. So it’s just a tradition. When people come in, they see trains, they get excited because it’s part of their past, part of their history,” Ken, Jr. said. “Trains will never go away.”
293 Sunrise Highway
Lynbrook, NY 11563
751 McDonald Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11218
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