American Flyer Displays & History

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Hudson's Meier & Frank J.C. Penney Russian River, CA

Hudson's Department Store, Detroit, Michigan

Hudson's Detroit
Courtesy Robert Bruennig

   By Jeff Madden

I remember as a kid, 7-10 years old, of going to Toyland in Detroit's Hudson's Department Store in downtown Detroit. I think it was on the 10th floor and only at Christmas. Santa Claus, of course, was up there.

The layouts were customized each year - looked huge, but probably only 10' x 30' or so. The unique thing I remember was that the outer level loops were 3-rail Lionel and upper levels winding around the mountains were usually the American Flyer 2-rail.

I remember vaguely that the train showcases were pretty close to the layout. I always enjoyed the Dinky Toy displays too. The Hudson building has been torn down. (At the time, 1998, it was the largest building ever to be imploded.)