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This story appeared in an anthology published no later than the mid 90's.

It is about a future society without currency, where everything is provided through requisition kiosks (although the kiosks also deny requests, hinting of Big Brother). People spend their days playing games or betting on them using chips, even though the accumulated chips have no intrinsic value.

The protagonist orders some model train sets from a kiosk and builds them at home. He then tries to order tools so he can repair and customize the trains but his requests are denied from the kiosks. He circumvents the system by ordering innocuous items he then uses to make tools to work on his trains, and eventually creates an elaborate train layout than draws many visitors.

I can't recall the ending but I believe

his home was raided by the authorities and his trains destroyed.

  • I remember reading this one, and I think you're right about the ending. But I can't seem to remember the title. There was some theme to it about not letting anyone have anything that might be dangerous that was why they wouldn't let him have tools -- he might hurt himself with them. – Perkins Sep 30 '15 at 17:10

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