Shop Talk at Moody Street Trains

By
From the Shop Talk at Moody Street Trains issue of Capital Style
  • TOM DODGE
    Kelso and Sara Eppard of Moody Street Trains

Kelso Eppard, 40, & Sara Eppard, 37
Co-owners, Moody Street Trains
3039 Indianola Ave., Columbus
614-262-1945
 

Obviously you're a train store, but can you tell us what you offer?
Kelso: We buy, sell, repair and restore old Lionel trains and accessories. Accessories being the little buildings, tracks, transformers. I don't want to say the word antique.
Sara: Old is all I know to say!

How did you come up with the store's name?
Kelso: The street I lived on in Amesbury, Massachusetts, where I got my first train set. I was about four. My dad built it overnight on Christmas Eve.

So have trains been a passion of yours since then?
Kelso: I lost it, and then revisited it three to four years ago. I went to visit my parents; they moved to California. I ran across three to four boxes of trains... and that was it.

You first started selling them online, then, yes?
Kelso: It just took off like crazy.

So is there a thriving train community?
Sara: There is. I had no idea.

Kelso, you have a workshop in the back of the store where you meticulously fix these little parts. How did you learn the craft?
Sara: He can just fix stuff!
Kelso: It just comes to me. I was a carpenter for 20 years.

Lionel started making trains in 1900 and continued making them in the United States until 2000. What's the oldest piece you have?
Kelso: (From) '36. But the most popular collector trains are from 1945 to 1969-the post-war era. Some of these train sets in 1946 cost $45, and now they're worth $1,000.

What's the most expensive piece you have?
Kelso: I have a 1964 773 Hudson Steam Locomotive. That's probably the most valuable single piece I have right now. That's worth about $1,000.

But you also say people can buy whole sets that are affordable, yes?
Kelso: We have a Thomas the Train set that's a starter set for a two- or three-year-old for $149.95.

Or, you can put together an older set for a similar price, yes?
Kelso: Yes.

Any cool train sets at your house?
Sara: At Christmastime, he's built this little high-rise (track), and it goes around the tree and the length of the living room. They made Christmas cars for each of the years, so we have years that are significant or that we really liked.

And Sara, though Kelso is originally from Kentucky, you've schooled him about the area....
Sara: We have a Buckeye train set. I said, "You have to get one!" He's catching on.



Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.