A Letter from Carl J. Madsen - Founder and CEO of Last Stop Train Service -
"Last Stop Train Service" is a Family Owned & Operated Business, with myself Carl J. Madsen handling Repairs and Machine Work, and my Son Carl A. Madsen Jr. Supervising our Ebay Account, Shipping & Handling, and is our Webmaster.
Railroading has been in my family’s blood for decades. Two of my Uncle’s worked as Engineers and Firemen for the “New York Central” and “Burlington Northern” Railroads. Also, my father worked as a mechanic and machinist for the “Rock Island Railroad”, the “Southern Pacific Railroad”, and for “Union Pacific Railroad”. Mechanics, Machinist’s, and Craftsmanship has been in our genes forever. I have been around railroading all my life and have a natural passion for Trains. My very first train set I received when I was just 6 years old, that was the spark that fueled my passion for Toy Trains. It was a simple Lionel set that I ran on a single sheet of plywood in my parent’s basement at our home in Chicago, Illinois while my father was a mechanic for Rock Island Railroad. I would run that train all day and night, often falling asleep just listening to it run around the track. My dad was an avid HO scale modeler who laid his own track, rail by rail and hand spiking the track. Everything he did was totally custom built, all the way from replica mountains, buildings, scenery, and the paint work for his trains.
Around 1988 when my son, Carl Jr. was born, my interest in Toy Trains led me to attend toy train shows and swap meets. It was here where I met a good long-time friend Mike of “Mike’s Trains and Hobbies”, the largest parts dealer on the West Coast located in Lompoc, California. I’m sure most of you have seen or met him at any train show with his massive setup of train parts. He would tell me stories of many horrifying train repairs and how it was so difficult to get someone to fix the toy trains correctly and make them last. Many toy train collectors and hobby enthusiasts would also try fixing their trains themselves, but without the proper knowledge and tools they would ultimately cause more damage to the point of needing to buy all-new trains to replace their old, favorite trains which had extreme sentimental value to them, i.e. it was their very first train, a gift from their father, extremely rare and valuable, etc. Having my family and personal history in trains, as well as my experience and knowledge as a career mechanic and machinist, I asked for some referrals and that’s when the repairs and my business “Last Stop Train Service” all began and I have never quit. I started repairing all brands of toy trains and quickly purchased All-Original repairing equipment and hand tools used by the professionals at Lionel to get a factory finish and repair. My own personal background as an automotive mechanic/machinist and my dad’s teachings has led me to get a metal Lathe for making custom parts and repairs for parts that are no longer available. Also, I manufactured a “Foundry” for the manufacture of replacement parts that are no longer made or available. The very name “Last Stop Train Service” comes from the fact I have been the Last and Final reason to get many people’s trains and dreams running again. I am a current and continued active member of the T.C.A. (train collectors association) and T.T.O.S. (toy train operating society). You can find me at most any club events and swap meets wearing the Last Stop Train Service company shirt. I can often be seen helping to sell parts and helping customers with my long-time train friend Mike of “Mikes Trains and Hobbies”. Feel free to come up and introduce yourself, I am always available for conversation with fellow toy train enthusiasts and/or if you would like to open an account for any train repairs.
“Last Stop Train Service” provides a full range of Toy Train repair from simple spot repair, where we repair one item of a train to get it running, to a complete tear-down and overhaul of the train including restoration or rebuilding and repair of the electric motors and chassis as well as re-painting. Upon request, motor re-winding, Transformer, and Accessory repair are also available. We do it all, everything and anything the Lionel Factory could provide. ALL repairs are done using old factory flat rate manuals, so most repairs don’t exceed 1 hour of labor. ALL repairs are estimated first, and estimate is given to the customer before any repairs are performed. All repairs come with a full 100% satisfaction guarantee. We have been professionally and Successfully repairing toy trains since 1990.
All repairs sent in must include a customer description of the problem(s) and a constant phone number and/or email address for the estimate and routine updates. There is NO charge for any estimates!!! We also buy toy trains and have many trains in the shop for sell. We stock well over 1,000 parts in inventory, and in the rare occasion when a special part is needed and not in our stock, we have the option to either A) Make the part our self using our professional Foundry or B) My parts supplier, “Mikes Trains and Hobbies” will have the part(s) in my hand or at my door as soon as possible.
Tune-Up: A tune-up consists of test-running the train for factory performance and a partial tear-down to clean, lubricate, and inspect. At this point, some further repairs may be suggested to make the train perform better or more reliable, or in many cases a past repair or attempt to repair the train by the customer or some other source will uncover some damage that can be repaired by Last Stop Train Service. Before ANY repairs are made, the customer is notified, given a FREE estimate, and if desired the repairs will begin immediately.
A major repair will be an entire tear-down of the engine and chassis, including axles and motor for an estimate. A full factory-made repair and parts estimate are given.
Please be advised that the Fall months are the most busy for train repairs, so PLEASE try to get your train in early to avoid the rush. Many people want their trains repaired in time for Christmas and all holidays, and we at Last Stop Train Service can make that possible.
We Look Forward to Your Business!
Sincerely, Carl J. Madsen - Founder and CEO
Carl A. Madsen Jr. -
My father is the Owner of Last Stop Train Service. Naturally, I have been around trains all of my life. I am a college-student, prepping for law school. I have experience in Sales, Customer Support, and machine work/fabrication, although I rarely assist in that aspect of the business. I supervise the Ebay Account for Last Stop Trains, Shipping & Handling of all items, and I am the Webmaster.
My father and I Guarantee to provide you with the best service possible. We believe the secret to a successful business is happy customers who keep coming back. We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Policy and we look forward to your business!