1031 Vermont Street   -  Lawrence  -  Kansas  -  66044  -  USA
info@tototrains.com -  phone: (785) 766-0467  -  fax: (785) 843-2151

Chapter A: The Store

Hello and Welcome:
* ToToTrains was established January 1, 2005 by Jan Bröcker. The website was launched February 1, 2005, and the physical location at 1031 Vermont Street in Lawrence, Kansas, opened June 1, 2005.
* ToToTrains specializes in European model trains and accessories.
* ToToTrains is an authorized dealer for European top train brands like Märklin, Trix, LGB, Herpa and the list goes on (see brands listed on the home page).
* ToToTrains is an authorized dealer for several other quality brands, although I usually do not stock their items to keep overhead (and your prices) low. Most items will be delivered within 5 business days.
* ToToTrains gives a discount of 20% on all Walthers Catalog and Website items, and 10% on items that are on sale (from the Walthers monthly sales flyer or from the Walthers Website).

* ToToTrains buys and sells used model train items of the above mentioned train brands in good or better condition (subject to inspection and approval of ToToTrains, LLC).
* ToToTrains accepts trains on consignment as long as they are one of the brands that ToToTrains is an authorized dealer for (subject to inspection and approval of ToToTrains, LLC).
* ToToTrains can service, repair or digitize your locomotives and other rolling stock; ToToTrains is an Authorized Service Center for Märklin, Trix and LGB.
* ToToTrains can build, maintain, and/or trouble shoot your train layout or garden railroad.
* ToToTrains can assist you in appraising your collection.
* ToToTrains provides excellent customer service while charging the lowest possible prices.

Opening Hours:
Store hours are: Friday and Saturday from 10:00am until 4:00pm or by appointment.
In all reality, I am at the store almost every day except for Sunday, but it is a good idea to call first if you want to stop by outside of store hours.

If you call during store hours and you are being directed to voice mail, this usually means that I am with a customer or in the middle of a repair; please leave me a message. Feel free to call me outside of store hours and I will try to take your call. If I can't, again, please leave me a message.
I check my email several times a day and not just during store hours, so that's an excellent (if not the best) way to get a hold of me. Feel free to contact me if you want to set up an appointment, have a question, want to place an order, or just want to talk trains because that's what I'm here for.
One thing to remember: I am the only "employee" at ToToTrains and I always try to respond to phone calls and emails, but from time to time it might take a little while; I hope you understand.

Types of Payment Accepted:
-Personal checks
-Mastercard/Visa (an online convenience fee of $0.80 plus 2.3% is applied to credit card payments).

Return and Cancellation Policy:
Items can only be returned if the manufacturer accepts returned merchandise. The item must be in its original box, and the item and box must be in the same condition as when they were sold. A restocking fee might be deducted from the refund given, depending on the manufacturer. Order(s) cancelled might be subject to a cancellation fee depending on the manufacturer or distributor.

Märklin, Trix and LGB Warranty Policy and Authorized Service Center:
For information about the Märklin, Trix and LGB warranty policies please click on this Warranty Link.
ToToTrains is one of the few Authorized Service Centers for Märklin, Trix and LGB. When items are not under warranty anymore they can be send to ToToTrains for analysis, service and repairs. Of course this includes digital conversions using.

Chapter B: The Trains

The main H0 scale brands:
(a.k.a. Marklin or Maerklin). Märklin is a German toy manufacturer that has been in business for a very long time (150 years in 2009). Märklin has produced toys varying from dolls to steam engines to spinning tops, but it is best known for its toy trains. Märklin has produced many different scales over the years (Z, H0, 00, 0, I, II, III, V), but H0 is probably the most popular worldwide. Märklin H0 trains are the nicest, most durable and collectable trains one can find. Märklin H0 runs on a 3-rail AC system; no problems with loops in a layout, easy wiring, and endless hours of maintenance free enjoyment. Märklin was one of the first model railroad companies to step into the digital world (1985) and they have come a long way since.
Over the years other manufacturers have produced locomotives for the Märklin 3-rail system (analog and digital) and sometimes it's even possible to convert 2-rail DC locomotives to 3-rail AC. Most cars from other brands can be retrofitted with AC wheels (although that's not even always necessary) and will run great on Märklin track.
I have a small Märklin Digital layout at the store that I also bring with me when I go to train shows as a vendor. Currently it is controlled by Märklin's Mobile Station II (60653) and it shows a lot of the possibilities you have using the Märklin Digital system. Please ask me to demonstrate it for you the next time you are in the store or when you see me at a train show. Later this year (2011) it will be controlled by Märklin's Central Station (60215). Although the Mobile Station II is absolutely perfect for my store layout, the Central Station does not only do what the Mobile Station II does but, amongst a lot of other features, it also gives you the option to program "routes" using the color touch screen. You can also control your trains through the Central Station by means of a computer. The only reason I am currently using the Mobile Station II is because the latest Central Station won't be available until late 2011.
Two years after I started building the store layout it now has a lot of scenery, a lot of switches, signals and uncouplers and it shows the latest line of Märklin catenary.

Trix is also a German company, and has been in business for years. Late last century Märklin bought Trix, and now you can find a lot of Märklin 3-rail locomotives being produced for 2-rail DC, and visa versa. These days you can pretty much look at Trix as the 2-rail DC line of Märklin. Again, the cars are easily converted from AC to DC or the other way around. And if you are looking for longer trains, a lot of times Trix has the same cars in its program as Märklin does but with different road numbers.
Trix is also very well known for their N scale line called MiniTrix (see below).

The main G scale brands:
is the manufacturer of choice when it comes to outside trains! Like LGB states in their literature: "LGB trains are not cheap. However, in view of its sturdiness and life span, it is altogether quite inexpensive".
LGB has been manufacturing trains since 1968, but the LGB history goes back to 1881 when Ernst Paul Lehmann founded a small company making toys. LGB (Lehmann Gross Bahn) is made for young and old. It's easy to put them on the track, they run for a long time even if it's in the sun, rain or snow. The LGB track is made out of brass, and it holds up even in the extreme Kansas climate. In 2006 LGB introduced a new line of nickel plated track. I personally have not used it yet, but it looks beautiful. Recently LGB has stepped into the digital world which has added another dimension.

Märklin also produces large scale trains. This scale would be the true 1 scale. They are very nice pieces mainly reserved for the connoisseur. They are not cheap, but the details are absolutely stunning.
During the nineties Märklin was also producing "Maxi" trains. "Maxi" was made out of metal and almost indestructable. Märklin has slowly integrating the "Maxi" line into the true 1 scale line.

The main N scale brand:
makes N scale trains under the name MiniTrix. Please refer to the H0 section for more information on Trix. At this time I do not actively stock N scale, but I am able to order it at any time. I'd be happy to give you advice on prototype, prices, and other general questions.

The main Z scale brand:
The only Z scale I carry is made by Märklin. Z scale is not for people with bad eyes. Not only will you have difficulties putting the trains on the track, you will miss all the very fine detailing and lettering. Personally I need fairly strong reading glasses but I'm still able to do repairs (but only 1 locomotive per day).
Z scale is the perfect match for people who do not have a lot of room or if you just want something completely different.

Chapter C: My Story

My story:
I have been playing with (or should I say "operating") Märklin H0 since I was 5 years old, and it's been a great hobby ever since. I started with a small set (including the little steam engine #3000) in 1966. I was still living in The Netherlands at that time, so pretty soon I acquired some Dutch rolling stock and a Dutch electric engine from the 1200 series.
Around 1977 I lost interest, and the trains were stored away (sounds like a familiar story?). Well, after moving to the USA, I started to wonder what ever happened to my beloved Märklin trains. One phone call to mom and I learned that the trains were safe and sound. The next time I visited The Netherlands in 1987, I brought all of them over. Boy, was I shocked when I found out what had happened in those 10 years! High propulsion motors, detailing, and Digital! So which way was I going to go? Stay with the older stuff and be able to go further back in time, or jump into the Digital world with both feet? I tried to make up my mind for years and finally came to the conclusion that I loved both worlds and that I didn't have to make up my mind. My solution was to build two layouts: one old style with solid rail and one totally digitally controlled in. Thankfully my girlfriend didn't mind and I was able to dedicate a room to the trains. Actually, she has a nose for picking out the most expensive model at a swap meet. Go figure!
Something was still missing though: a train store that would sell all my favorite trains, and be a meeting place for train nuts. After tossing the idea around for several years and talking to some of my model train friends, I decided to open a store myself. I had been working with Märklin, LGB, and all kinds of accessories for years, so why not do it in a professional way? In 2004 I was able to purchase a commercial building in downtown Lawrence. Most of the building is rented, but a small portion I saved for my dream ... ToToTrains!

I have set up a "wanted" page, with the hopes that you might have that one item that I've been looking for, either for myself, or for a customer. If you have some trains that you would like to find a new home for, please let me know. I can usually make sure that they'll be well taken care of. These trains are much too nice to let them sit in a box in a damp basement or a dusty attic.

General information:
The retail store opened June 1, 2005, and I hope to welcome you there; either in person or over the Internet. I am an authorized dealer for Märklin, Trix and LGB, plus several other brands. I hope I can also help you with knowledge, support and advice. My goal is to be serving you with the best of the best.
I am an individual who is really enjoying his hobby, and I’d like to share my interest with others through the store but also by trying to find trains for friends.

If you have any questions regarding the lines that I carry, please send me an e-mail or give me a call. If I can help you, I will. If I can't, I'll do my best to find a source that can.
I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for visiting!

Jan Bröcker