Hamburg Hobby Shops

And so I finally arrive in Germany, home of Marklin, Trix, Kibri, and so many famous brands across the world in the hobby of model trains, and of course, I find model trains (and train stuff!) everywhere!

My visit to Hamburg was primarily to see Miniatur Wunderland, which was just as amazing as it looks.  Of course, there was time allowed to visit some local shops which are so conveniently located right outside the main train station (Hauptbahnhof), shown in the above photo.

One comment on the train station...there's a book shop in the arcade of shops within the station. On the second floor of this book shop was a site that confirmed to me that Germany's love of its trains is not an illusion to us outsiders.  In this normal, mass-market bookstore there were at least two very large walls filled with model train and real train magazines.  It was quite amazing to see more train - related books in a general bookstore than you will likely see in any major hobby shop anywhere.  The scale and enthusiasm for this hobby is just amazing there!  To be fair, I was also somewhat impressed on how frequently I saw train and model train related magazines in other European countries, but the quantity and scale in Germany was just incredible!

Back to the hobby shops....The two hobby shops I visited are shown in the map below, and they are both within very easy (probably less than 10 minutes to get to the furthest) walk from the train station. 

Exiting the station towards the East, a short walk up Kirchenalle  talks you to the first shop, Modell Bahn Kiste. A nice little shop with some N Scale, and some interesting used N Scale items on sale.  They apparantely have another shop in Hamburg further to the north which I did not get too but seems to be the bigger of the two.  The shop staff was very friendly, and spoke good English and is a great shop to visit!
H.P.A. Schellhaß
Another five minute walk up Kirchenalle (look for the 'lollipop' semaphore type signals both shops display) is H.P.A. Schellhaß Modell & Hobby.   This store seemed to have a bit more N Scale stock, and I picked up a Minitrix ICE3 while there.  Again, the gentleman who was running the shop was extremely friendly and spoke good English, which of course was great considering my limited knowledge of German (and confusion after just coming from France...you know, you just get the "Merci" thing down and then you need to switch to "Danke"!). Fortunately, Europeans seem to have a sixth sense of being able to determine whether or not you are an American before you even say a word!).
So after visiting these two shops, Miniatur Wunderland, and of course the 3 shops in Paris, you would think I would be done, right?  No, after all, this is Germany, where your normal expectations about  the relevance of this hobby get blown away.  On the other side of the train station (exiting from the West), there's a considerable shopping area populated with larger department stores and the like.  By chance, we stopped into Karstadt Sports, which seemed like a typical store for athletic or sporting accessories.  And it was, except for the "Spielwaren" in the basement.  Here I found a toy store in the lower floor with yet more model train accessories and items....literally a third hobby shop within easy walking distance of the station! Amazing!  Can you imagine model trains being sold at this sort of store in the US? Not me!  Again, more friendly staff were available to answer questions and exchange friendly discussion.
Each shop was a pleasant visit...the only disappointing thing is that with the Internet, its not as if you will find things that you could not otherwise easily get.  But for me, these visits are not about finding something not available to me otherwise, but its about the experience....an opportunity to share a part of this hobby with people from across the world.  It makes this hobby, a truly global hobby, that much more enjoyable for me.


  1. Hi Jerry,
    nice to read about your pleasant experiences in Hamburg :) Can you imagine that you still missed another dozen of model railroading hobby shops in Hamburg, one of them also in the centre ? Modelbahnkiste is also one of my favourites because of their nice second hand corner and great service. The book shop you saw has indeed a great selection of books and mags about real and model trains and the same is true for aviation, cars, ships, military and other interests. But that's certainly not what you find in the average book store in germany, it's really an exception.
    I really enjoy reading you blog and see you videos and pics.
    Keep it up!


    Jörg from Hamburg/Germany

  2. Hello Jörg!

    Thank you for your nice comment! I expected I would miss some shops...but now I have a good reason to go back! As you can tell, its really quite exciting for us Americans (I'm sure its the same for other nationalities) to see the enthusiasm for trains and the hobby in Germany! I'm glad you enjoy the blog! One of my favorite parts of this is being able to connect and share with others across the world! Danke!

  3. Hi Jerry,

    Been a follower of your blog for years. I am headed to Cologne (Koln) in February for business and was wondering if you ever shopped for N scale there. There's a 50/50 chance I will extend my stay and have the wife join me. But if so, the where we go in Germany has yet to be determined.

    Looking forward to the next layout.



    1. Hi Thomas - No, Koln is not a place I've visited yet. I would definitely try and prioritize a visit to a hobby shop while you are there. If my search on Google is any indication, it looks like there are several located right in the city center?