1. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag TrainBoard Member

    I've noticed a lot of people on here recommending that we look at swap meets for equipment and parts that we might need.

    I'm wondering where you find these swap meets. I'm from Iowa and I have never seen one advertised anywhere, except for one that was only for a specific road and scale.

    Unfortunately, our LHS is very into O scale and a few roads and not much else...

    Any ideas anyone?


    UNION_PACIFIC_STEVE TrainBoard Member

    Ray, sorry i dont have any ideas about swap meets, im from an entirely different country :D
    Im sure someone else will be able to help you,
    I;d also be interested in a swap meet in my area, i never seem them advertised.
  3. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter


    Most swap meets are held in conjunction with train shows, and generally the local shows will have more participation. I'm not sure about Iowa, but Galesburg Railroad Days in Illinois and shows in Chicago would be good places to look. One other option you might look at is the N-Scale_Parts_Exchange or the N-Scale group on Yahoo....


    And of course there is the yellow pages here!! Good luck!
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    Many swap meets can be found in listings published each month. Try looking in current issues of Model railraoder Magazine, or Railroad Model Craftsman Magazine.


    Boxcab E50
  5. Walt

    Walt E-Mail Bounces

  6. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

    With Des Moines, Waterloo, the Quad Cities and Minneapolis/St. Paul not far from where you are, you should have your choice of swap meets.

    As for the GATS shows, I'd avoid them like the plague- your best bargains are found at swap meets held by area clubs in the mentioned cities, plus you'll see more club layouts than at GATS.
  7. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    RAILROAD DAYS IN GALESBURG, IL. IS A GREAT PLACE TO GO! No more stuff down town, but the Model Railroad show will be going strong! Carl Sandburg College is where you'll want to be. It's good to see a Texan knows where Galesburg is! [​IMG] Buy the way, it's the last weekend in June every year!

    [ 24. February 2003, 17:11: Message edited by: Maxwell Plant ]
  8. Mike Robertson

    Mike Robertson TrainBoard Member

    I've noticed a bit of a trend lately, where some attendees at train shows bring in a bag under their arm, and go from table to table trying to 'swap' what they've brought, for something they want from a vendor table. I have tables in several train shows, and I will not swap with these folks. I have made exceptions with people who have bought from me a few times in past years, and who are regulars at the shows.
    Some shows who put "Yadda, yadda, yadda.....AND swap meet" on their ads are not being very truthful or accurate, as sometimes this is just a table of junk from the club that's
    hosting the event.

  9. Mike Robertson

    Mike Robertson TrainBoard Member

    Sorry, I hit the wrong button....I meant to close off by referring to the Tourist Traps that refer to themselves with names, like "Big River Trading Post".. ;) ...the only thing they'll "trade" their overpriced merchandise for, is actual Money. :D :D
    regards / Mike
  10. UP&Santa Fe nut

    UP&Santa Fe nut E-Mail Bounces

    i go woth mike. they have some stuff usefull there like to the one i go to, there is a vender who sells seanery and home made trees, formerly known as the "tree lady" in wise meets. i also go to these meets for the clinics. with these clinics, you can get info from them also you can get board. it matters what your interest are.
  11. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

    I can tell you where to look for notices about SWAP MEETS, anywhere, anyplace that has something to do with model railroading. This includes local hobby shops, magazines, MODEL RAILROADER, RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN ETC ETC. all have timetables listing upcoming swap meets, model conventions, displays, tours and more. Most will put a notice of a swap meet in the timetable for free if you give them plenty of lead time.
    Here in Southern Indiana there are usually at least one swap meet a month within driving distance. Next month there will be 4, one every weekend and two weekends have two meets, each in a different city.
    I like the SWAP MEETS a lot better than I do the GATS SHOWS. You will have a good mixture of dealers and modellers selling items. I will see people I don't get to see each month and also pick up bargains that everybody wants to get rid of. It can be done too! I keep my eyes open and grab an item when I see it, not later when I come back, the item will be gone by then. There is usually a little room to haggle on price also. CASH can do some talking, pictures of dead presidents make a lot better statement about buying than plastic cards and check do.

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