Could anyone please tell me where I could get an honest appraisel of an antique Lionel set (still in the box and functional)? It is Lionel outfit #157 and was probably manufactuered between 1915 and 1920. Thanks
This set was offered from 1920 to 1923, and is listed as including a black or gray #158 locomotive, two maroon #600 Pullman cars, and 8 sections of curved track. Greenberg's Guide to prewar sets suggests prices for the set with all boxes of $300 in very good condition (few scratches, no rust) and $375 in excellent condition (minute scratches, no dents or rust, exceptionally clean). These are purported to be actual prices for "recent" sales of the set, and are generally close to train show sale prices, where sellers ask a little to a lot more than these prices, buyers seek to pay less, and overpriced items go back home again.
What is the purpose of your appraisal? If you want to sell the set, I'd suggest buying the latest issue of Classic Toy Trains magazine, and going to a couple of the dealers near you who are listed in the back pages as buying used trains, and see what they'd pay you for the set (probably something less than the Greenberg price). You could also see what similar items are going for on ebay, which is sometimes unpredictable. The local dealers will be low, but consider the alternative of hauling the set to multiple train shows, buying tables, lost Saturdays, etc. If you are seeking a valuation for separately insuring the item (i.e. the payment you want to receive if the set is lost in a fire so you can be sure of quickly buying a comparable replacement), you probably should use about 150% of the Greenberg estimate.
For a single more common set, you probably won't attract the interest of one of the professional, itinerate collection/estate buyers. I would also recommend you not seek an appraisal from a general antique appraiser. GQ
Chaz) Could anyone please tell me where I could get an honest appraisal of an antique Lionel set (still in the box and functional)? It is Lionel outfit #157 and was probably manufactuered between 1915 and 1920. Thanks
Well after a 20-ish year layoff from the hobby, I am making my way back to model railroading. I can see that much has changed.
I have been working on getting caught up, reading and studying what is the latest. While I do this, I thought it would be fun to get a nice little train set just to get started while I plan designs, etc.
Can anyone recommend a very good all inclusive set?
In HO there is no such thing. If you want to do it on a budget, get an Athearn locomotive, a few Athearn freight cars, some Atlas track and an MRC power pack.
There's a lot of new "bells and whistles", and a lot of new expensive models out there, but for good basic model railroading without spending beaucoup bucks, you can't beat the same old reliable standards of the last 30 years.
Click on their "Closeouts, Blowouts, ..." link. Under the HO Scale listings, they offer 84 +/- color images of Proto 2000 engines on sale. These are terrific deals. You can buy a superb Proto 2000 diesel engine for under $40; some are under $30. These engines run beautifully, and they are detailed beautifully as well.
Atlas Code 83 track [brown ties] is quite reasonable in price, and it is a very nice quality for the money. You can buy sectional pieces [24" radius per 6], 9" straight pieces per 6], and some of their 36" flex track per 10 minimum]. They also have insulated switches and crossings.
For power, the Walthers website will give you two nice DC selections:
Atlas 1700 power pack: item #: 150-310 @ $26.98 MRC 1300 power pack: item #: 500-1300 @ $22.98
If you later opt for DCC, either of these DC power packs will serve you nicely for lighting purposes should you desire to add some lights to buildings, tunnels, etc.
For [HO Scale] rolling stock, the choices are seemingly endless. Kits or ready-to-run [r-t-r] cars are available in many price ranges. I feel that you are best served by spending more money and buying fewer cars if a budget dictates your selection process. Money typically equates to better weighted cars, better detailing, higher quality paint and lettering, and fewer derailments [the most important benefit].
a) Walthers cars are very nice [approx. $15 per car]. I replace their plastic wheels with metal wheels from Atlas. Other folks use Intermountain and/or Proto 2000 metal wheels. Most people replace their couplers w/ couplers from Kadee [#5 or #58] . I also use the McHenry #51 coupler on occasions. It's the easiest to install.
b) Atlas makes excellent rolling stock with metal wheels included at a very reasonable price [approx. $18 per car]. Again, you can replace their couplers with Kadee couplers if you so desire.
c) Intermountain and Kadee make terrific rolling stock, but it'll run you between $24 and $32 per car. In both cases, Kadee couplers and metal wheels are factory installed.
Kits are also available. My suggestions above are all r-t-r specific though Intermountain and Walthers also offer kits. Most of the Kadee cars are r-t-r and all of the Atlas cars are r-t-r.