End of the line: Much-loved Waterloo trainspotters’ shop closes doors for last time

By Will Brook

A shop for so long much-loved by transport fanatics has reached the end of the line and has closed its doors for good.

Railway, bus and aviation fanatics will no longer be able to visit Ian Allan Book and Model shop, which was based in Lower Marsh, Waterloo, after it closed its doors for the last time at the end of October.

The shop provided something of a pilgrimage for train enthusiasts, who would travel from far and wide to purchase speciality models, accessories, books and magazines.

One fan of the store tweeted: “The end of an era. Last day at Ian Allan in Waterloo, a great place I’ve shopped for books and models over the last 12 years.

“A sad day for all and another model shop in London gone. @ModelRailClub”

Another left a google review that read: “I have been using it for close to 40 years and it’s such a shame it is now closing at the end of the month due to what I understand is a hefty increase in rent.

“I’ve always found the staff friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Thanks for all your help over the years and good luck for the future.”

Another fan said: “Very sad news indeed, but not totally unexpected. This place was my sanctuary during my three years working in Whitehall.”

The store left a heartfelt farewell message on its website, which ended with: “A huge thank you to our faithful and wonderful customers, it has been a pleasure to serve you over the years. Steam on.”

The store was one of the last remaining specialist train book and model shops in central London.

On the bright side for trainspotters, the nearest alternatives in Tooting and Norwood might warrant a train journey to get there. All aboard.

Pictured top: Ian Allan Book and Model Shop in Waterloo




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