Total inventory includes in excess of 2000 items all of which, except as noted, were either built from Blue Box kits or purchased RTR. Except as explained below, almost every used car has a brand new appearance, because practically none have been weathered. The former owner simply liked cars that appeared as though they were new and fresh from the paint shop. His equipment, the layout and the train room itself (which was really a plush recreation room) were maintained in impeccably good order and cleanliness. While he preferred the trustworthy Athearn brand, he was not satisfied with the kits as supplied, so all have been upgraded.

Upgrades include:

  • Kadee #5 or McHenry knuckle couplers
  • Couplers calibrated to correct height
  • Intermountain metal wheels (8 thousand wheel sets!)

Appearance Issues – Flat cars, hoppers, gondolas and other open cars: on many flat cars, the original owner added loads which were often a playful notion of what might possibly be seen on a rail car. In many cases, the miniature venues he created deployed model vehicles or structural components which sold for much more than the price of the car itself.

While the treatments were visually interesting and often very cute or humorous, the appeal was  to a limited audience if the cars were to be sold with his modifications intact, and they certainly would be very expensive in many cases. Accordingly, we have removed all loads.

On many flat cars therefore, you will find remnants of glue, sections of scale lumber or plastic structures, portions of feet or legs from figures, or similar material. Application of a hobby knife, sandpaper, solvents or elbow grease will allow you to remove these fragments although in many cases they are a credible representation of the junk that typically IS left on the beds of flat cars in the real world. Some will also be missing brake wheels. On a best efforts basis, we will attempt to include a brake wheel, packed loose in box, as a replacement. Follow this flat car appearance link for pictures of cars with left over portions of loads, fragments, residue, etc. so you have some idea of how some cars may appear when you receive them. There is absolutely NO operational deficit owing to these appearance issues.

Least affected are the pulpwood cars which required only a spot or two of white glue to affix a load of timber, and many of these cars now appear as brand new.

Hopper car loads were usually made by applying material to a section of wood which was fit by friction into the top of a car. Accordingly, removal left very little behind to worry about.

In our opinion, while the presence of some debris may be annoying, no rail modeler will be challenged by any necessary cleanup effort. Of course, we will accept return of any item which you simply cannot redeem to your satisfaction. The point here is to get what you need into your hands and not force your acceptance of anything you can’t really use.

Appearance Issues – Other Cars: In some cases, the original owner painted roof walks to lend visual interest to the rolling stock. Silver (aluminum) was his color of choice when he did so. Fortunately, the part was painted separately, so there are no paint spills on the model itself. If this treatment is not to your preference, we suggest you paint over it either with black or a color close to the roof of the car. This presents almost no issue whatsoever for those who weather their equipment – just make the part dirty and rusted – same as everything else!

Occasionally, a box car may have a door open to reveal a crate or a figure inside. We have not removed such trivial modifications.

Otherwise, box cars and other closed cars present no appearance issues or flaws.

Loads:  Do you want loads for your open cars? We will be glad to give you coal, sand, timber, culvert and pipe sections, structural steel, finished lumber and similar loads at no charge, to go with your order, if you want them. Note that the former owner often loaded the pulpwood cars with wood dowel rods placed lengthwise in the cars -not something, in such a state of perfection- as one would be likely to see in the real world. Available free load material will be pictured on a Free Car Loads page when I have it ready. Meanwhile, it’s dealer’s choice (and I’m the dealer). When you order, just include a note asking for loads, and I’ll send what I can, appropriate to the cars.

Other loads include vehicles, tractors, excavation equipment and the like which will be separately listed.

Pricing: Owing to Athearn’s abandonment of the Blue Box kit business, there has been much speculation about what will happen to the prices of such inventory as is currently on the market or privately held. Please understand that we are not here to prosper on the presumed scarcity of Blue Box kits. We are here to support the hobby by supporting the hobbyist, and that means pricing which is set for affordability. Some items are individually priced, otherwise all cars in this sale inventory are priced as follows:

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