Louis Marx Train Set Gauge and Value

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Louis Marx Train Set Gauge and Value

  • Hi, all! My grandfather had 2 Marx toy train sets that my family is wondering about. Here's some details: They are both No. 2500/12 electric train; 3 rail; Stream Line Steam Type; electical train with remote control; made by Louis Marx & Co. We also have most (if not all) of the original paperwork/intructions/etc.

    First of all, we can't seem to find out what gauge they are. Did they even go by gauge back when these were made?

    Secondly, we've looked around on the 'net (using Google and ebay.com and such) and just can't find much about these trains. We know they weren't as popular as Lionel, but we still expected to find more about them than we did. Can you guys give us a rough estimate of how much this set would be worth? Are there any good train set value books that you all know would have Marx in them and would recommend?

    Here's a couple pics to help you all out:
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/coalcar.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/set.jpg

    Thanks so much for your time!!
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  • Definitely looks like O Gauge to me; I thought that's all the Marx made anyhow.
    Hopefully someone more knowledgable about Marx can shine soem light on the subject.
    Dan Member and Webmaster, Golden State TTOS
  • That's O gauge. Marx also made HO sets (I think Model Power has the old Marx HO tooling and still uses it).

    I didn't see what other cars are there, but you can expect to get about $30-35 for the most common variant of the 999 locomotive. Book value is a little higher than that, but common Marx often doesn't get book value. Rarer variants of the 999 can go for $80 or even $200.

    The cars themselves are what's commonly called the 3/16 cars, because they were scaled at 3/16" to the foot. That's smaller than the traditional scale for O, but they're the closest thing to a scale model Marx ever made. Demand for the 3/16 sets isn't as high as for the 6-inch tin cars (which weren't scale at all but a lot of people like the look) or the later plastic. Figure a value of $5-$10 for the cars for a guesstimate.

    So, assuming the locomotive ($30) plus tender ($7) plus caboose ($7) plus a couple of other cars ($10 each--I see you have a tanker and a boxcar in the picture), we're up to $64. If the track is in good shape (no rust), figure 50-75 cents per section. Figure $5 for the transformer. That gets us to $74. The box plus instructions are worth 10-25% of what the set is. So you could expect a collector to pay $80-$100 for one of these sets, probably, which is a little higher than average but not unusual for a Marx set. A dealer would probably be willing to pay somewhere between $25 and $40.

    The price can go up if any of the cars happen to be less common variants, but this at least gives you a starting point.

    The problem with estimating the value of Marx is that it has a smaller following than Lionel (although the following it has is very devoted). And some Marx sets are worth $200 or $300, but then there are some where $20 would be generous. So there isn't as much information out there about Marx as there is about Lionel.
  • Actually Marx did make some HO. But that does certainly look like O. I would guess that the locomotive is a 999. I'm not an expert on it at all; but we do have at least one on the forum. Sask? It would help to post the numbers that are printed on the pieces.

    Bob Nelson

  • Wow! You guys are quick - and awesome! Thanks so much! I will take pics of the cars tomorrow (and any numbers or anything that are on them) and take a look at the track to see what shape it's in.
  • Hello, Yes....it is O gauge. The same set that my Dad used to have. With the box and papers you will definately get a higher price when you decide to sell.

    [:D][:D][:D][:D][:D]

    underworld
    currently on Tour with Sleeper Cell myspace.com/sleepercellrock Sleeper Cell is @ Checkers in Bowling Green Ohio 12/31/2009 come on out to the party!!! we will be shooting more video for MTVs The Making of a Metal Band
  • Based on the picture of the car tops it looks like the boxcar is the PFE car and the tank is the NIAX. Many of those sets had a 4th car like a high sided gondola or just a plain gondola.
  • Thanks, all!

    Okay I just took some pics:

    This is everything we have with the one train set:
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/tender.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/newhaven.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/caboose.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/engine.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/emptycar.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/chemicalcar.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/papersandsigns.jpg
    Also the coal car from my first post, about 17 peices of straight track, and 5 peices of curved track (the track is in really good shape - I don't think I saw a bit of rust [at least not with my untrained eye [:p]]).
    There is a second train set almost exactly like this one. The only difference is that the brown car (new york, new haven, etc) is, intead, yellow (fruit).

    And this is everything we have of the sign set:
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/signsbox.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/directionsandtrack.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/stop.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/crossing.jpg
    http://www.herpinfosource.cjb.net/Train/tower.jpg

    You guys are awesome! Thanks for everything and keep the info coming! [;)] [8D] [:D]
  • The guy to ask about this stuff is Thor and he posts here once in a while. You can check his website and write to him at:
    www.thortrains.net

    Whatever your MARX stuff here is actually worth by the book, it all appears to be exceptional clean and in very good condition - which always helps with valuem especially on MARX stuff since MARX was the poor-man's version of Lionel. Meaning many kids started off in the train hobby with a MARX set. I'm not knocking the stuff: it was well made (given what it was), affordably priced and with much better availability than Lionel... even years ago.

    If I were you MT2, I'd keep these trains. What a wonderful legacy to hand down to your kids or share with your family. I can tell you there lots of train guys today who would love to have the very same exact trains they had in their youth.

    A survey was done some years ago and found if most train collectors had to part with large parts of their collections, the trains they would not sell would be the ones they had as kids - regardless of their current value. That says something for how powerful our memories are. Even among guys who operate today with the digital control and like the newer more detailed scale sized trains... they still hang on to their original trains. I would imagine for no other reason than they were the first ones they had.

    brianel, Agent 027

    "Praise the Lord. I may not have everything I desire, but the Lord has come through for what I need."

  • As far as the value goes, Dave is right on. As for the cars, however, now that you've posted pictures of them, here are the specific values for each of them from the Greenberg Marx priceguide. The most common Marx 3/16" cars are about $10 each, but you have some better ones worth more. The values given are for excellent condition, which your cars seem to be in.

    New Haven boxcar: $35
    Reading caboose: $20
    T&P gondola car: $60
    Niacet tank car: $15
    Pacific Fruit Express refrigerator car: $40 (Note: There is a really rare version of this car with red ends worth over $275, but chances are you probably don't have it. I thought I'd let you know just in case, though.)

    By the way, there has been mention of rare versions of the 999 engine. Yours is the common one.
  • Ah you guys are awesome! There is no way i'm selling them! My mother was just interested in their worth (as was I).

    I can't believe some of them are worth what they are! I know my grandfather is looking down smiling! He always took really good care of everything he owned, though.

    Checked the fruit car - black ends. Darn! [:p]

    Maybe we should get one of the Greenburg Marx Priceguide books you referred to. It would be nice to have that handy. I'll head over to amazon.com to see if it's still in print.

    Thank you all for *everything* and if anybody has any more info, I'd love to hear it! Thanks so much for your prompt and knowledgable responses! [:D] [8D] [:D]

    EDITED TO SAY: Found the Greenberg Marx Guide!
    http://tinyurl.com/9dl96

    Cynthia [:)]

  • That's great to hear! I hope you enjoy them! If you ever want to know anything else in regards to them, please let us know.
  • If you want to collect trains Marx is an afforable way to start[:)] They made electric, battery operated and wind up trains that ran on o gauge track. I have a used and well weatherd(by age) 999 and it runs great[8D] I can not remenber if it was 999 or its twin the 666 that had diffarent pilots(cow catcher) there were solid ones and open spoke ones. Be also aware there is a company that owns the marx name and makes reproductions that are as expensive as some of the originals and they also make new offerings in the marx style as well.
  • QUOTE: Originally posted by CSXect
    ] I can not remenber if it was 999 or its twin the 666 that had diffarent pilots(cow catcher) there were solid ones and open spoke ones.


    It is the 999 that has 3 different pilots a plain one, an open spoke and an embossed one.[8D]