Web Site Fills A Collecting Niche: Vintage Model Railroad Trains

Here’s a web site that goes beyond the ordinary: It is a web site for vintage, out of production, hard to find model railroad trains for the collector or the operator. It is found at Singular Goods.

In this article, I will bring your attention to why you may be interested in this web site if you are a serious model railroader or a passionate model railroad train collector.

Many web sites sell model railroad trains and there is a great number of sites that sell railroad train models on eBay, but almost always, these sites offer model trains that are a few months  or, at best, a few years old.

But, what about collectors who are looking for vintage model railroad trains to fill a hole in their collection, or the model railroader who needs a model that has not been in production for years, or for decades?

Yes, there are some very nice models being presently today, but the reality is that production costs are so high today that only a fraction of what could be modeled is being modeled currently.

The way it works in the model railroad world is that a manufacturer gears up for a run of a particular model railroad train, locomotive or car, and then produces what is, in essence, a limited run. Gone are the days, it seems, that collectors and modelers can count on a manufacturer to produce a model year in and year out over a sustained period of time.

Production costs to manufacturer a line of model railroad trains is high. These include research, making dies, and production with various paint schemes and liveries being a significant outlay. At any one time, a new model will fill the need and demand will be filled temporarily and, then, taper off. The manufacturers’ answer to this is to close out production and go on to a new project.

Then, after some time, perhaps years later, demand begins to creep up again. Who will fulfill that need? Once a manufacturer has ceased production of a model railroad train, then all that will be made of that particular model will have been made, and there will be no new supply.

In the world of models, some invariably get lost in the shuffle. Some meet untimely ends; some are laid aside. Over time, more and more are lost to the outside world. When demand begins to increase again, the only source for these out of production models is old stock from modelers, collectors, and hobby stores.

Singular Goods gets its name from the singular nature of the model railroad trains that it finds and offers. When a regular hobby shop runs out of something, it can usually order more. But, there is no vintage, out of production, hard to find model railroad train distributor that one may go to and get another vintage model railroad train to replace the one just sold. These models are catch as catch can, and they come, and they go, at their own rhythm and pace.

Singular Goods does offer some more recent out of production model railroad trains, but most of its offerings are decades old, some going back to the 1960s. What value do model railroad trains have from ages ago?

Well, many represent model railroad trains that just are not available today. Even if a particular railroad line is represented by current production of one or more manufacturers, the scope of distinct models, unique liveries and road numbers, is limited. It is quite possible for a model railroader to acquire all present example of current production and still come up short in modeling the full depth, or a reasonable approximation thereof, of the railroad consist involved. Many turn to older models to supplement the gaps found in modern production.

Model scales remain the same, but details have changed over the years. Newer models may have finer detail and offer more detail, but generally, the price of modern model railroad trains has skyrocketed. It is quite possible to get a fine, older model, for quite a bit less, substantially less, and upgrade details later when funds allow.

Are the modern, expensive model railroad trains really ready to run? By the nature of the costs involved, the model railroad trains produced at any time are more or less generic versions of the one produced by full size railroads, and serious model railroads often want to make extensive revisions to their models to make the more accurate and realistic.

To sum up, anyone who is a passionate model railroad train collector, or a serious model railroad operator of a model railroad layout, will appreciate being able to browse among some nice, vintage out of production and hard to find model railroad train equipment to use to fill in the gaps of what is currently available. It doesn’t hurt to have models that are unique and unlike the model railroad train equipment everyone else has.

Singular Goods is run by a model railroad collector with a keen eye for quality, value, and relevance to the hobbyist, whether he or she operates a model railroad train layout regularly or collects model railroad trains whose only journeys are on the display shelf.

William Rowe is a retired architect who has been a railfan since the age of six and an avid model railroad train enthusiast since almost the same age. Mr Rowe now lives in northern California, not far from the Feather River Canyon made famous for its scenic beauty and the California Zephyr passenger train that used to run through it. He can be found at Singular Goods

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Toy Model Trains

When the hobby of collecting toy model trains is mentioned most people tend to think of those toy trains and tracks that are available for children in the market. However model train collecting is a very serious and expensive hobby maintained by thousands of people around the world.

The term model railroading is used to define the practice of collecting model trains and constructing elaborate tracks for them. Model trains are miniature versions of actual trains that have run the tracks around America and the UK. Model trains, as a hobby is the collecting of intricately created models that are regarded as having high collectable value amongst model train enthusiasts.

Today interested individuals will be able to find a large collection of toy model trains ranging from the pre-world war I era to the post-world war II trains. In general the model trains that predate World War II are regarded as the vintage items that have a higher collectable value status. Trains produced during that time were made out of metal and had a lot of intricate detailing in comparison with the model trains that are built today.

Model trains are available in a wide variety of sizes, known as scales in the model train industry. The Z scale for example is used to denote the smallest size. These trains tend to be so small that one has to observe them from up close in order to appreciate the detailing. It is also somewhat difficult to set up the track plans for Z scale model trains due to the ratio of the track to the topography.

Perhaps the most popular of model trains is the ho scale. These are medium-sized model trains that are easy to work with and display because the have a great deal of detail, which makes them very attractive. Ho scale model trains are highly sought after by beginners as well as professional collectors.

When looking to purchase a model train set it is important to take the availability of space for your bench work into consideration. This is all the more true when it comes to setting out the model railroad track plan. Not only will you be able to find toy model trains in different scales but you will also be able to find railroading in different styles. Amongst the most popular forms of model railroad tracks are the modular, permanent, around the walls and multi-level. If you plan to construct a permanent layout you might want to brush up on you carpentry skills.

The largest sized model train set that you will be able to find in the toy model train collectables is the G scale. These models are so large that you might want to consider setting this model train track up outdoors. The G scale model train is referred to as outdoor model train, which is usually set up in the garden. The G scale toy model train may create a very impressive exhibition especially if you pay attention to the landscaping and track layout planning. However a full-fledge G scale model train and railroading will set you back well over a 00. Unless you just have unlimited space and better yet and unlimited budget you might want to leave the G scale toy model train for big boys who can afford to maintain this as a hobby.

There are plenty of toy model train scales and gauges to collect. Visit a model train show to see them all up close and personal so you will have a working knowledge of the size of each scale. Take your time since this is a collection hobby that will last a lifetime.

Michael Weston is a model train expert. For more great tips on toy model trains, visit http://www. modeltrainsexpert.com.

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Awesome HO Scale NS TopGon Model Train Action in HD – OCT 2009

Visit Tim Dickinson’s HO Scale model train layout for an unusual sight – Norfolk Southern locomotives and TopGon coal cars traversing the line between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. In due time, we’ll cover awesome Burlington Northern action from the mid-70’s on Tim’s layout. Featured in this video are Paul Federiconi and his completely custom, Norfolk Southern Dash9’s. Complete with ALL of the detail you could imagine (including some new Details West NS and Dash9 products), Paul even went as far as adding sound to the models with the correct, custom programmed, K5 horn and air compressor – not currently available on the market. Sound decoder by Loksound. Paul painted the models and used decals from ShellScale Decals (www.shellscale.com) Visit: www.detailswest.com Paul’s Dash9’s pull 36 BLMA Models HO Scale TopGon Coal Cars in smooth, modern fashion. Running empty, the train makes good speed through the flat lands, powers it’s way up the grade, and glides down the hill in dynamics for a meet with an intermodal train holding the main. Please visit our website for additional information on the Norfolk Southern TopGon’s and other products: www.blmamodels.com