Detroit Architect Fulfills Childhood Dream and Opens Model Train Shop

Detroit native Rainy Hamilton, Jr. shares his love of model trains at Ferndale-based Rainy Day Hobbies

FERNDALE, Mich., November 17, 2009 – As a young boy, Rainy Hamilton, Jr.’s dreams were filled with model trains, intricate winding tracks and the lifelike scenery that surrounded it all. The passion that continues to fuel his love for model trains also serves as the driving force behind the November 21 grand opening of his very own hobby shop – Rainy Day Hobbies.

Situated on Woodward Avenue in downtown Ferndale, the 2,000 sq. ft. store will serve as a retreat for “kids of all ages,” featuring merchandise to cater to both the veteran hobbyist or those just entering the exciting world of modeling, a time in Hamilton’s own life that will not soon be forgotten.

“My father, Rainy Hamilton, Sr., started my interest in model trains one Christmas, and from that moment, I was hooked,” said Hamilton, a founding principal architect at Detroit-based Hamilton Anderson Associates. “I looked for every opportunity to earn a little extra allowance, and as soon as it was in my pocket, I jumped on my bike and rode straight to the hobby shop.”

Those trips to the hobby shop gave Hamilton time to dream about the day he’d walk into his own hobby shop – a place where he would be able to share his love of all things steam and diesel with the community.

“My vision for Rainy Day Hobbies is to create a getaway for those who revel in model building and model railroading, which is ‘the world’s greatest hobby,’” said Hamilton. The space also contains a multi-purpose gathering area that can be used for socializing, as well as workshops, training sessions, viewing videos and even holding birthday parties.

Upon entering the shop, patrons will become energized by the bright walls, splashed with primary colors that pop against the light wood floors. Racks of wooden puzzles and books are nestled in the front of the store, surrounded by wood trains, cars, and planes, perfect for children as young as 2 years old. The store’s long walls are lined with the latest in HO train cars and locomotives, including those in both O- and N-scale. A massive model schooner is perched atop one of the store’s tall shelves, and mounted on the wall is a clock that welcomes each new hour with a train whistle and trip around its clock face by a bustling locomotive.

Rainy Day Hobbies aims to be a one-stop-shop for all hobbyists, and while the majority of the merchandise will pertain to building model trains, the store also will carry supplies for those who enjoy building model planes, boats, submarines and cars. In addition, there will be many options for children, including Melissa and Doug products – a line of educational toys specifically geared towards children ages 2 and up – and a variety of Atlas and Life-Like train sets, each one accompanied by instructions for beginning and building a set.  Experienced sales staff will be on hand for assistance in putting together a more customized first set.

The grand opening will take place on Saturday, November 21, kicking off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Gratiot Valley Model Railroad Club will be on hand at the grand opening to display one of the club’s N-scale layouts. Light refreshments will be served, and a 10 percent discount will be given to all patrons on purchases made at the grand opening. Gift certificates also will be available for those looking to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

In a world where most children – and even adults – interact through various means of technology, Rainy Day Hobbies offers a chance for customers to test-run and even touch a product before purchase. Its goal is to preserve the method of hands-on model building while encouraging imagination.

“Model railroading teaches you not just about scenery building and track laying, but also about transportation, logistics, and history,” explains Hamilton. “I hope that this new store will not only serve as a getaway for modeling enthusiasts but also become an asset to Ferndale and metro Detroit as a place where imagination and creativity are cultivated.”

Rainy Day Hobbies, established by Rainy Hamilton, Jr., is metro Detroit’s one-stop-shop for hobbyists. The store carries products for model trains, planes, boats, submarines and cars, including accessories for layouts such as scenery and digital control. Most repairs can be made on-site. The store features a multi-functional gathering area that is used for socializing, workshops, training sessions, and parties, as well as free Wi-Fi. Located in Ferndale, Mich., Rainy Day Hobbies is the ultimate destination hobby shop for “kids of all ages.” For more information on Rainy Day Hobbies and its products and services, visit or call 248.545.5667.