Train Buddy™

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 NOW 154,000+ items!!)

"Sharing the joy of model railroading"
Hobby Shop & Warehouse hours (Eastern Time)

Sunday - Closed
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - 10:30 - 6:00
Thursday - 10:30-6:00
Friday - 10:30-6:00
Saturday - 10:30-5:00


Remember - we are ALWAYS open here at the web site to:
Order an item or Check if we have an item in stock.

We may be closed two or three times a year on a Friday and Saturday when we display at local area train shows. See the calendar for our schedule.  Our shop phone message will let you know of any temporary change in shop hours for these events.

Click for a detailed map.  Click for precise directions.

Our exact address is 1200 Jenkins Road, 27587 but If you want to visit and have a
GPS, Mapquest, Google, or LiveNet then  use 1163 Jenkins Rd (1162 in Ask) in your computer to find the location of our shop entrance on the north side of Jenkins Road


July, 2015 Soundtraxx announces their new product line "Econami™". 

Econami™ Digital Sound Decoders

Econami train graphic Now the biggest name is sound is also the biggest name in value! Starting at $79.95 MSRP [$67.96 from Train Buddy - pre-order here], Econami is a full-featured line of digital sound decoders designed with value in mind.

Available in three formats to suit a variety of steam, diesel and electric locomotives, Econami provides high-quality 16-bit sound, Hyperlight lighting effects, and Hyperdrive2 advanced motor control for enhanced realism. New features include Flex-Map technology, an easy-to-use method for assigning any function to any function key.

The Econami line includes our smallest sound decoder, the ECO-100, measuring just 27mm x 10.5mm x 5mm, as well as the ECO-400 4-amp version for models requiring a little more “beef.” The 21-pin ECO-21P mates nicely to any model with the NMRA-supported 21-pin socket.

Steam and diesel versions include a selection of exhaust chuffs or prime movers, along with 16 whistles or airhorns to suit the most popular models. In addition, each decoder features multiple options for airpumps or compressors, bells, and couplers for even more customization. And finally, for the first time ever, each format is available in an electric version that includes a trolley bell, air whistles, generator, pantograph, pneumatic doors, and more!

 January, 2015 We have had several customers that have read somewhere on the net that the current (amperage) load of a Soundtraxx Tsunami (or other sound equipped engine) is 1/2 amp or 500 ma.  I just hooked up a Tsunami (TSU1000) to the DC bench power supply and the numbers are in.... 50 ma.  That's right, 1/10 what some people are publishing on the net.  Please don't take my word for this, test it yourself. Add a reasonable (150ma at speed) motor and 8ohm rated speaker to your test.


ADDENDUM:  The 50ma load is JUST for the Sound decoder.  You must add 150 to 250ma for the motor (running) and 20ma for each LED light.  If you are still using incandescent lights then add 100ma for each large bulb and 15ma to 30ma for each small bulb.  Most modern engines with sound, LED's, skew-wound 5 pole motors will not pull more than 250ma total at full speed.  If you added sound to an engine from 15 years ago and did not change out the lights then more like 350ma total load for each engine at full speed.  An engine without sound should be conservatively estimated at a load of 250ma.  This is full run speed with all the lights on.  If you are sitting in a siding with just lights AND sound: 90ma.  Just LED's and no sound: 50ma.  Lights off: 20ma for no sound, 50ma for sound.


February, 2014  Want to run your railroad with your smart phone:

Want to run your railroad with a smart-phone or tablet app?

Here’s what hardware you need:

    1. DCC system ($176.62)

    2. PR3 or similar translator between your computer and the DCC system ($73.10)

    3. smart-phone or Wi-Fi capable device (tablet, iPad) (may already have)

    4. PC/Laptop/Mac to act as a server (may already have)

    5. Wi-Fi router (may already have)

Here’s what software you need:

    5. smart-phone app (free)

    6. server app (free)

And here is the video!

Same place, new shop!  We are still here but with a totally different look.  Come visit and see what is new. 



11/24/13 Golden Spike and running trains again!  Laying the track took the longest but then again, I did it my way (hand spiking every 6 inches) and there are lots of easier methods.  Total time: 26 hours! [pictures


11/20/13 the cork is laid and the track is next.  I want to have it up and running by the end of the week.  16 hours so far. See pictures.


11/18/13 The NEW HO Railroad is coming along! More pictures P.S. This took approximately 12 1/2 hours to get this far.  I'm keeping track!


10/19/13 The HO railroad  is gone.  Norman Dean and his associates took it to Oxford..  Here are some pictures


See the NEW Train Buddy Youtube Channel!!


Train Control Systems (TCS) decoders are now in production for Kato N engines.  Also, new miniature lighting options with their pre-wired sunny and golden white surface LED's


Also, Llagas Creek products - Track, Ties, Joiners and Special Order Turnouts for G/#1 Scale.

New Products:


Train Control Systems decoders have the ultimate motor and LED control.  See "Train Control Systems" as manufacturer on our Order-Search page. [Note: see our install of a TCS M1 decoder.  Click here.]



New Products:

Since May, 2013 when Testors discontinued their railroad color lines of paints there has been a large hole in the paint department shelves.  Now it is being restocked with a line of paints from Tru-Color. They have been around since 2008.  Who knew?  I didn't.  See their web page at   I found it interesting that they are now ADDING colors, about two a month!


We are now stocking a line of aluminum extruded display shelves from Showcase Express.
Their website is


We sold out of Digitrax Zephyrs at the September and November shows.  They are now back in stock and make a great gift for those who have not yet ventured into DCC.  With just the two wires to the track they can power any railroad that is using straight DC (analog).  It will even run your analog/DC engines.  See our prices.  At $176.62 each ($225 MSRP and $270 retail) they are one of the best bargains for DCC on the net.


New Relationships:

(While the Train Buddy deals with the major distributors like Walthers [and four others by the way], we also are direct with manufacturers like Digitrax, Soundtraxx, Bowser and others.  This list is about new and exciting partnerships with our manufacturing friends.  For a full list of our direct dealerships see the "Products" tab and then "Direct Dealerships".)

Alliance Locomotive Products (Helix Humper)


Nick and Nora Designs

Railstars Limited

Aux-Box DCC

DP Model Rail Products

Turner Model Works

Llagas Creek


Train Control Systems

King's Mill

Broadway Limited

Raleigh Rails

Precision Scale Products

InterMountain Railway Co.

Crew Change Products

Iron Penguin

Warren Calloway

C.C. Crow


In Stock Products worth mentioning:

  • Tippi hot foam shaper

  • Kadee whisker (380-148 and 380-158) couplers

Products that we always keep in stock:

  • HO Code 100 and Code 83 flex track

  • HO cork roadbed

  • Track nails

  • Walthers turnouts (Shinohara code 83) turnouts, all sizes

  • Peco insulfrog turnouts in large, medium and small

  • Atlas turnouts in #4, #6 and #8

  • Atlas rail joiners and insulated rail joiners

  • gloss and dull over-sprays

  • Adhesives (Super glues and Styrene) and lubricants to exceed every modeling task

  • Full line of Digitrax products

  • Full line of Kadee products

  • Full line of Soundtraxx decoders, speakers and accessories

  • DPDT, SPDT and momentary miniature switches

  • 12 position compression style 3 Amp terminal blocks

  • 10 pin connectors and ribbon cable for Digitrax signaling and block detection boards

  • White and Yellow LED's and resistors to match

  • Tools and gauges that we use and recommend

Ordering from the Train Buddy is simple. Go to "Products" and either "Search" for the product or enter the number directly in the "by Item ID".  Most items are Walthers numbers from the catalog.  Exceptions are Digitrax which are just their model numbers (like DH163D) and for Soundtraxx it is their 7 digit model number.  This will make it much faster for ordering and receiving your order!

Watch out...I have put an "image" link on the search to make it convenient to view the items.  It takes you to the Walthers site.  Don't order there or you will pay full price and not be ordering from Train Buddy.  After you have viewed the image, use your back button to come back to the Train Buddy site to order.

Your Train Buddy is working hard to try and bring you products that meet the need of the model railroader but aren't a part of the main stream hobby shop.  Our motto: "Sharing the joy of model railroading" means more than just ordering from a catalog or giving you a discount.  To us it means sharing the full experience with service, information AND products.

Train Buddy Initiative>>  Find products that the "budds" use but are not considered "train" related.  For example, we carry...

  • bench style power supply
  • temperature controlled soldering station
  • SPDT snap action (micro) switches for turnouts
  • DPDT, SPDT, SPDT (momentary)) miniature switches
  • 12 position compression style 3 amp terminal blocks
  • 10 pin connectors and ribbon cable for Digitrax signaling and block detection boards
  • single sided copper laminate for modifying switches or module ends
  • Kapton tape for DCC decoder installs
  • matte medium / Gesso for scenery and ballast adhesive
  • electronics cleaner/degreasers for easier and better track and wheel cleaning.

All of these are carried, not discounted as much, but slightly above our quantity cost to provide a full range of products and a single source for your modeling needs.



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Reflections From a Train Buddy Customer

Contact us at 919-562-4378 or

(c) Copyright 2002-2014, K.A Parker & Associates, Inc.  All rights reserved

This page was last updated: 2015-07-14