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Downtown Businesses, Interviews

Something Is Going On On Main Street: Iron Horse Trains

Two days ago, I posted a photo that ignited your curiosity. What exactly is going on on Main Street? Bob Sander left a comment on the Facebook page, that has the answer: “Kreig Haus Hobby. Will it be a large model train or the city of Washington layout?” In search for more information, I visited the owner of “Kreig Haus Hobby & Coin”, Brian Gansereit, and asked him all these things we want to know.

This sounds amazing! How did you come up with the idea?

“Krieg Haus Hobby & Coin” has been in business for 9 years, as a general hobby shop. My dad and I used to run the store, but he passed away in September of last year. I had to make a decision – to close the store, or to keep it and do something with it. When I found my father’s extensive collection of HO Locomotives, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them, so I decided to put them to good use. My dad and his good friend Don Burhans have always dreamt of doing a model train layout, and Don and I finally set out to make this dream come true.

Kreig Hobby Haus & Coin will give way to Iron Horse Trains: a positive change that will make a dream come true.

This is wonderful idea, but it sounds like it will take a lot of time and effort. Is anybody else helping you in your new venture?

Although Don and I set on doing the train layout only a couple of weeks ago, we put a lot of sleepless night and planning into it. We are going to change the name of the store into “Iron Horse Trains” and we have established a Train Club for enthusiast who want to come and help us built the layout. We plan on meeting two nights a week, and Don says that we will have a train running by next Saturday. The beautify of our new project is that it will be an on-going thing, that will involve the community and possibly draw more people to downtown Washington. We constantly post updates on our Facebook page, complete with YouTube videos on the progress of building the layout. In the near future we hope to attract people from other train clubs, who travel with their model trains in search of different layouts to run them on.

One of the Train Club members, David Bevforden, has been building model railroad layout with his father ever since has was a little kid. His son was helping Don with the current project at hand.

What will the layout portray and who is behind its design?

Don has a lot of experience in designing model railroad layouts, and the members of the train club are also of great help. Near the front windows of the store,  the layout will portray downtown Washington in the period 1895-1923, complete with the riverfront and the Ferry. Then the trains will go into the small town Gary in Imagination Mountains, home of mining and logging. Don has been so excited about the project, that he built all the framework for two days in his shop. The detail work will take a lot of time, but everybody who wants can come and take part in it. We will be posting “How to” videos on YouTube, showing the progress of our model railroad layout.

Don, who has a lot of experience in building model railroad layouts, has come up with the design of the Iron Horse Railroad.

Will you keep selling model trains? What is the mission of Iron Horse Trains?

The store will keep functioning, but mostly as an online shop. What we predominantly sell is HO Scale Locomotives. These are 1/87 scale electrically powered models with high levels of detail based of of their world prototypes. Our customers use them to power their scale trains on layouts that they built. The people that buy our products are mostly grandparents and parents who seek a family activity that requires creativity and interaction, bringing the entire family closer together. This also is the idea behind what we are trying to do. We seek to improve our community, downtown Washington Missouri, by hosting a world class model train layout in our store which will draw visitors from across the nation. What we aim to achieve,  is to promote family activities, community involvement and charity through process of educating the public about the history of railroads in America through model railroading.

Partners in crime: Brian and Don, enthusiastic about their new project and looking forward to see it develop and grow with the help of the community.

Revised on November 18 2012: Unfortunately, Iron Horse Trains has to close doors. The business is missed downtown.

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


2 Responses to “Something Is Going On On Main Street: Iron Horse Trains”

  1. Thank you for the great article. We really hope to bring a lot of new energy to downtown. Everyone is welcome to come down while we build the layout and help if they are so inclined.

    Posted by Brian Gansereit | January 16, 2012, 7:33 pm

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