LEWISTOWN - When Ed Forsythe was in high school he started to "tinker" with model trains, which led to a full-time hobby, and recently a full-time business.
"One thing led to another and the hobby got out of hand," Forsythe said with a laugh about his business, Ed's Train Repair and Sales.
For Forsythe, working on model trains has always been about having fun and figuring out how the mechanics of things work.
Sentinel photo by KIERNAN SCHALK
Ed Forsythe has expanded his shop and his hours at his model railroad shop, Ed’s Train Repair and Sales, on Vira Road.
Now operating the business, Forsythe spends nearly every waking moment at his shop, which is conveniently located next to his house. At one time, Forsythe did repairs in his living room; however, his wife suggested using the empty building adjacent to the house.
From time to time, his wife and mother help out with running the shop, "but for the most part it's a one man operation, I do all the repairs and services," Forsythe said.
Forsythe said he has been doing repairs for about 30 to 35 years, and opened the repair shop because he did not know of anybody doing this type of work in the area.
If You Go:
What: Ed's Train Repair and Sales
When: Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Closed on this Monday, and starting this Tuesday the shop will be open everyday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 1317 Vira Road, Lewistown. Two miles out Freedom Avenue from Standard Steel.
"It started through word of mouth from family and friends and just progressed," Forsythe said.
"The interest factor has really grown over the years and I attribute that to the railroad club," Forsythe said of the Mifflin County Model Railroad Club.
This is the busy time of year for Forsythe, as customers bring in trains for repairs and scan his shelves looking at all the new inventory available.
"Trains make great gifts ... the kid in all of us likes a train," Forsythe said.
Forsythe said he has a little something for everyone at his shop, including model train kits and plenty of supplies for those who want to build their own layouts complete with model buildings, trees and shrubbery.
Popular items for the holidays include the "Hogwarts" train from the Harry Potter movies, which Forsythe said is based on the design of a real train in England called the "Shakespeare Express."
The new line recently released by K-Line trains, called "Super Streets," is a popular item and the style breaks with the traditional rural setting model trains are often set in.
Forsythe said he also has trains and supplies from other popular brand names including Lionell, Bachmann and HO-Gauge.