Although not a collector, I had packed away in excellent condition the above O gauge trains. (The American Flyers consist only of an engine, tender and three freight cars described below.)
A pipe burst has damaged them, but I am insured for full replacement cost, i.e., retail.
To determine replacement costs for the Lionels, I purchased Greenberg's 2010 Pocket Guide. I have the sense, and perhaps incorrectly so, that Greenberg's is very accurate as to what a collector could sell a Lionel car for, but that purchasing the same in excellent condition might be at a different cost. For example, my Lionel 262 prairie locomotive (with #224 on its side) with its tender are valued as Greenberg's item 675, p.73, at respectively $170 and $49.
I have found no price reference guides for American Flyer O gauge. All I have is a steam engine whistle tender train (with #561 on its side) and its Pennsylvania coal tender (with #558 on its side), a gondola (green with black trim with #476 on its side), a box car (tin plated white with red trim with #478 on its side) and a Shell tanker (with #480 on its side). The only value I found was on the web for a sale of the coal tender at $99.99.
The point of all of this is how should I go about finding out the true retail replacement costs for these trains cars and engines that were in excellent condition? For the Lionels, just stick with Greenbergs? For the American Flyers, is there a dealer who could provide me with what he would charge for replacement and perhaps the same information for the Lionels?
Finally, among the ruins was a Penn Line diesel horn controller. Would this be part of the American Flyer steam engine above or is it something else?
David Doyle has produced the Standard Catalog of American Flyer Trains published by Krause Publications. He lists values for O Gauge American Flyer Trians. The items that you list are from the Gilbert Era of production prior to the War.
If you are looking for another gauge of what your trains are worth I would check on prices realized on ebay. Others may have different opinions but it still provides the largest exposure for the sale of items. All of the items that you list appear on ebay with relative frequency, and in fact there are several auctions for each of the items that you list going on right now. Of course the condition of the items sold will determine the final realized selling price.
Sorry to hear of the damage to your trains.
Enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby
The Northwoods Flyer Collection
American Flyer Trains
"The Toy For the Boy"
Paul, I think you've got it upside-down. According to my (2009) edition, "The values listed should be considered to be what a consumer would pay--more or less--to get a particular item in a specific condition." This value is the same whether buying from another collector or from a dealer. It goes on to say that one should expect to realize about half the listed value when selling to a dealer. So I think you could claim the actual numbers in the Greenberg guide (for the appropriate condition) as the replacement cost, but no more than that.
Now, if you're thinking that the replacement-cost feature should allow you to buy the same models in brand-new condition and therefore substantially more valuable than those you lost, I found this on a web site explaining replacement-cost insurance: "Please be aware that the replacement cost endorsement is not intended to cover property that appreciates in value, such as antiques or collectibles."
paulinsuredA pipe burst has damaged them, but I am insured for full replacement cost, i.e., retail.
If you are interested in determining what one of your locos would have sold for at an auction check out E-Bay. They have hundreds of Postwar locos listed, some may be similar in condition to yours. At least it will give you an idea what someone would pay for it, the results may be good or bad for what you expected.
Is your policy an "agreed value"? If it is you get paid what the agreed value is when you sign the policy.
The American Flyer is Pre- World War II, the Lionel 224 can also be Pre-War being produced from 1938 to 1941 and again in 1946. A 2466 Tender would make it a 1946, The 2224 Tender marks it as Pre-War.
Check the right price book,(Pre-War) in most cases it's an "Asking Price" or for insurance, "Show Prices" will be lower. In the front of most price books will be a list of added or lower prices based on condition and a big add if you have boxes. The TCA even rates the condition of boxes.
Don U. TCA 73-5735
Paul,I am not trying to be a horse's hind end, I just want to point out that it is better to have your collection appraised prior to a catastrophic loss than post. I have been 'meaning to' for years 'get a round to' having my collection appraised.One problem we have in this hobby is that many times items simply can not be replaced. For example I REALLY want a pair of Lionel's B&O Legacy equipped E-8s from about 3 - 4 years ago. I have searched the .Net high and low and simply can not find a set for sale, and if you do it sells for well above list.I wish you the best in obtaining fair market estimates on your collection.
Here are the values for those items in Excellent (C7) from Doyle's Standard Catalog of American Flyer Trains:
561 Pennsy K5 $210
558 Tender $65
476 Gondola $50
478 Boxcar $40
480 Shell Tank Car $50