Thomas Collection & Collecting Tips

See the good, the bad and ugly as I dig deep into my Thomas & Friends treasure chest. A video covering one of the most common questions I am asked and details part of my Thomas collection. I hope the younger Thomas fans can see clearly just how good the ERTL Thomas & Friends range was. Web Links:

i want to start collecting model trains, but i dont understand the diffrent types, like HO, G, and stuff, thx.?

Question by Joshua F: i want to start collecting model trains, but i dont understand the diffrent types, like HO, G, and stuff, thx.?

Best answer:

Answer by mike1942f
Mostly it has to do with size but also different designations in different parts of the world. All are motor driven, operable on tracks. O is the size of Lionel and American Flyer in the US, popular about the time of WWII and ten years after. Track width is about 2″. HO is half O and is intended for smaller layouts, track width is about 1″. N is smaller and for the same reason of layout size. G goes in the other direction and to my eye is about 3 times O and is Garden – lines intended to be used outdoors, so bigger scale. There are larger ones in real steam and different european sizes.
Actually, the ones that come up on Antiques Roadshow most often are not the operating trains at all, but the cast iron and stamped sheet metal play toys of 1890-1920 which are 4 to 6 inches tall.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

All About Collecting Lionel Train Sets

Lionel train sets can be believed to belong to a different century so far as gift items go, but are nonetheless a greatthing to offer a child, or the child in you. The trains are quite affordable matched against other collector type toys. They educate users regarding learning how trains operate, how to put a system together that could function, and creating appealing designs for the tracks over which the train will run. The trains may also unite the whole household by getting siblings and oldsters involved in construction on the track system. These trains have become the subject of a revival in recent years, probably because besides the above reasons, model trains are so much fun to play with!

The main point to the charm of Lionel train sets is that they’re wonderful to observe in action, along with providing hours of fun time with which to be enjoyed. The trains are very accurate regarding the time they represent, which interests collectors due to historic feelings they provide. The authenticity you get with the toy trains as well a high point — these models duplicate the sounds and effects of real trains, including emitting smoke and displaying headlights. Many of those simulations are not duplicated in more modern train sets. The impact these top features of Lionel trains will likely have on a child would be to stimulate their imaginative ability and motor skills.

Watching a well-built train replica and track system is extremely pleasing to a one who appreciates beauty and functionality. Lionel train sets provide exactly this fond image and memory, for children and collectors alike. It seems to be a universal fantasy, particularly among boys, to possess a train or at minimum a toy model. The prospect of having a train set that will satisfy the imagination and curiosity of somebody in their youth, while also serving an adult’s interest as component of a collector’s set, is the kind of double win-win situation can make model toy trains irresistible.

Certain historical periods reproduced by particular models of Lionel train sets stand out, for example the replicas produced in the first decades of the 20th century. The assessories, detail work and colorful makes from the pre-war Lionel trains are particularly striking. These models can, consequently, increase interest with American history for the periods the toy trains represent and evoke. Many individuals, in fact, have become more interested in the history and American Heritage of particular times displayed through the train reproductions of Lionel and other toy manufacturers. A check of a toy train catalog can thus be a visit down the lane of the American experience.

When selecting buying Lionel train sets the dual problems with the enjoyment of the trains for the child, and their present and future value as collectibles for adults should be kept in mind. For the latter, you need to consider factors including their overall condition, the completeness of the set on sale, whether a train model may be a rare item, does the model set, with its original packaging or box, and so on. The hobby shop you may use to look at the models may have price guides that may help determine the value and current market condition of the set. These factors will assist you get the best trains kids could want, along with a set that will be of value well into the future.

If you’re looking for <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/3008901’]);” href=””>Lionel train sets</a>, look no further.We are your number one source!

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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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