Our motto is:





.. With a Hobby!

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About Us

Esther’s Hobby Shop in Millvale was opened in 1938 by Esther Mehler. Originally a variety store that sold everything from ice cream to toys.  Over the past 70 years, the shop has become the go-to destination for customers in search of model railroad sets, serving as the largest N-Scale shop in the Tri-State Area. The trains at Esther's include Kato, Atlas,  Micro-Trains, Marklin, and several others.  Esther's is the place to find Z, N, and HO Scale locomotive and scenic detail parts of superior quality from all the best vendors. Here at Esther's, we understand that to truly make your model locomotives and layouts stand out, their appearance and setup need to be as realistic as possible.-We enjoy helping our customers by providing exceptional service that goes beyond your expectations.  The quality merchandise you will find at Esther's Hobby Shop just isn't available from Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart.  So, call or just stop by to browse our large selection.

Our motto is:


with a Hobby!






Esther's Hobby Shop makes KDKA NEWS

click to watch




Millvale Hobby Shop Celebrating 75th Anniversary

click to read the story




By Rick Sebak




Vernon - a Digitrax customer from Saudi Arabia










219 North Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15209

(412) 821-2415



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Our prices are very competitive with a 20% discount from list on everything we sell.


Customer Feedback

Somthing to be said for this old shop!

April 6th, 2018

To: info@esthershobby.com

I went to Esther's on Thursday April 5th, 2018 and in line with every other visit have come away with what I wanted - exactly. The stock is so extensive - I was looking for HO working street lights - and he had them. Bob, the owner / manager is such a gentleman, giving each customer his undivided attention. I travel from the UK to visit my daughter and her family in Pittsburgh every 6 months or so, but Esther's Hobby Shop would it make it worth the trip anyway, every time. Thank you.

David C.
Professor in Medical Education and Reproductive Medicine




Date: Sun, Jan 3, 2016


I am the bearded fellow from Mississippi who was in your shop last
week.  You cannot believe how excited I was after we left your shop.
The old saying "like a kid in a candy store" comes about as close as
anything I can come up with.  Visiting with you and being surrounded
with the massive amount of model train supplies was a total trip down
memory lane.   There are very few shops like yours nation wide and you
cannot imagine how much enjoyment I will have telling my friends about
it.  I sure wish I had room to put my layout together but nothing
possible until I can have my shop to myself without the cats that live
there now.

I just wanted to email you and tell you how much that visit meant to
me. Thanks for all that you do for model train enthusiasts in your area.



Date: Sun, Jun 14, 2015 at 5:40 AM

Dear esthershobby,

The item arrived safely here in Japan. I like this item a lot. Will take a good care on this. Thank you very much for the fast shipping.
I should have e-mailed you earlier, but I came back home from abroad just recently.

Esthers Hobby is famous among N scale society, and I would like to visit your shop in person someday.

Thanks again & best regards,



Date: Sat, Jun 6, 2015 at 9:35 PM
My wife, daughters and I were in your shop today from Ohio.  I want to thank you very much for your hospitality.  I could have spent the whole weekend shopping in your store.  You have a very fine shop and are a joy to talk to.  I hope to be back soon and plan on buying online from you.  You have peaked my interest in the Bachman N scale.  I was eyeing the B&O 2-8-8-4 and the NKP 765!
Troy, Ohio




Had the pleasure of visiting your shop while I was visiting family in Pittsburgh.

What a pleasant time I had chatting with you and shopping at your store. I can assure you next time I’m in the area I’ll stop by. In this day and age that down-home friendly service is something they can’t download on the internet…..yet.

Best regards,

Hackettstown, NJ




Hi Bob
Just like to say how very nice it was of you to look after me on my visit the way you did,not many owners will stay open an extra half hour like you did nor give their customers money for the meter,and look after their car while they go for a walk.
It has to be said that I have only been an N scale man for a short while now but I could not believe just how much you have to offer in N scale,far more than ALL of the shops that I have been in both in the USA & the UK.
I look forward to a return trip to you in about 12 months. And will be very happy to spend my money in your shop,I may even pay the bakery a second visit! If I can find them I will send you a few photos of my layout that I have just lost!
Regards Ray

Train & Military Modelers Delight: A great, traditional hobby shop with knowledgeable staff. If you like to hang around and "talk shop" you'll like it here. They will not rush you to the cash register. The shop carries a little bit of everything, but caters to N scale train enthusiasts. Plastic modelers interested in armor/military modeling will also find something of interest here. Most of their plastic kit selection is armor.

Greetings! I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed stopping in your hobby shop yesterday! I've never seen such a selection of the top manufacturers in N-scale. It was a great experience and one that I hope to repeat many times over. Between the great prices of the superb Kato track and the awesome selection of locomotives, rolling stock, and accessories - I'll never need to jump from hobby shop to hobby shop looking for what I need. Thanks so much for the great service and excellent selection! Sincerely, Carlo

Tri-state N scale headquarters: A very well stocked hobby shop catering to needs of those in n scale. Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable and lets you take your time looking at all of the goodies. The discount is quite nice, too!

A great experience: The store is well stocked with all the best manufacturers. I liked the orderly presentation of supplies, and the very knowledgeable staff. The selection of N scale locomotive and rolling stock is the best i've seen,with no cheap junk.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me when me, my wife, my sister and her husband stopped by on Tuesday afternoon, 7/6/10. It was a treat to see so much N-scale equipment in one location. 
I also would like to thank you for just talking about the hobby, what was available and what you could order and ship if I can't find it here in St. Louis, which is a good possibility.
I'm looking forward to getting that Burlington Northern passenger set on line and watch it run!
Thanks again and I hope to stop by the next time I'm in Pittsburgh.
Ken Burg
O'Fallon, MO

Hi Bob, I wanted to thank you for helping me pick up some nice email models (Kato UP GEVO, Kato UP SD70ACE, and Kato PRR NW2, plus some cars) while I was visiting Pittsburgh. It was a real treat to meet another PITA, spend some time looking at what I think is the best-ever selection of N-scale anywhere, and to be able to purchase the items at a reasonable price. I'll look forward to seeing again in the hoepfully near future. All best, Ivan, Tucson, Arizona

Dear Bob, I got home to the Akron/Cleveland area from Burning River N-Scale's trip to your shop on that January Saturday and realized that a few of the treasures I had found were not included in with the rest of my selections. I figured they had gotten misplaced in the hustle and bustle of the day and that I would likely have to wait until the next trip to PA. Lo and behold a package arrives and to my delight are a couple of N-scale rail cars inside. What a surprise!

This type of customer service is a prime reason our club makes that long trip so often to support your shop. Thank you for being such a great vendor and supporter of our hobby and congratulations on your 74th anniversary. Hope there are many more to come.

Sincerely, Gordon L. Hartschuh


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