BLOG: Rails Emporium


Last Friday, May 11, we were headed north for the opening of Rails of Sheffield’s new Emporium which forms part of its retail premises on Chesterfield Road in Sheffield.

Rails has been part of the model railway world since the 1970s and is well known for its wide range of new and secondhand equipment. The Emporium is a refurbishment of part of Rails premises and while we had high expectations on our journey north to South Yorkshire we were quite taken aback by what greeted us on arrival. The launch event attracted a great deal of interest from around the hobby with representatives from Bachmann, Dapol, Gaugemaster, Locomotion Models, Heljan, Accurascale, Oxford Rail, Peco and many others making the journey to Sheffield.

Wagon buffer stools and a sleeper based bench caught our eye (as well as all the products).

The Emporium is quite frankly stunning – and that’s before you even get to the amount of stock on display. It features high-end glass display cabinets around all walls of the shop, an operational high level ‘OO’ and ‘O’ gauge circuit, which includes a series of stunning cut metal bridges – even a huge suspension bridge across the sales counter. Adding to this each of the display cabinets is surrounded by a matching style metal frame with the company logo cut out while all the cabinets are fully lit making it a great environment to browse Rails huge collection of model railways products.

The high-end cabinets are fully lit and well stocked. Perfect for browsing.

A huge variety of products were on display including sought after collectors items and models from the National Collection in Miniature series.

Walking round the Emporium we were impressed by the array of Hornby Dublo and Dinky Toys on display as well as the range of Locomotion Models products from the National Collection in Miniature. Lining the walls were new ‘O’ gauge ready-to-run models, a huge (and tempting) variety of ‘OO’ gauge secondhand including some quite sought after items. We could easily have spent a lot of money while we were there!

The ambience of the new Emporium gives Rails a high value high street presence which could rival any town centre store with unique features such as stools made from old railway wagon buffers, a glass topped bench based on a railway sleeper and even a period clock at the back of the store. It all adds to a charming shop which is worth a visit for its design as much as the product range.

High level running line with a ‘OO’ and ‘O’ gauge circuit included a Dapol ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0T in 7mm scale running all day at the launch.

We were thoroughly impressed with what we saw and wish Rails of Sheffield and its team every success with the new Emporium. If you are in the Sheffield area we highly recommend a visit.

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