So, what have I been buying this year?

Posted by Bob Keller
on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The CTT blog is always hungry, so I've been saving my purchases in my office as a backup post idea.

I have more rolling stock than I’ll ever need. Sure there is a heavy skewing toward the New York Central, but you'd also the familiar roadnames that I saw as a kid: Pennsylvania, Nickel Plate, Erie, and a few others. So when I add new cars to the fleet, it tends to be in surges and the price must be right.

This is because I am, generally, a self-proclaimed tightwad. Oh, I’ll entertain the concept of paying $100 for a freight car but I’d be happier paying under $30 for it. Accordingly, I don’t buy a lot of rolling stock.

By comparison to a typical year, 2017 has been an uncontrolled buying frenzy. Okay, not really, but for me I am cutting loose. It all began with the Spring York. I actually found a few things I'd been looking for – at prices I wanted to pay for them. It was all downhill after that.

So far I’ve bought five postwar no. 6462 gondolas and a matching number of Menards Army flats (with armed vehicle loads) to cannibalize for the artillery (I’m building an anti-aircraft gun train). 

The postwar Lionel 6462 gondolas averaged about $5 each, the Menard's cars I salvaged for guns were list price.

My most recent purchase (and most expensive) was the no. 81707 two-car 86-foot boxcar set. An expensive duo, but I got it from a dealer selling it for $80 below list price.

I believe the 86-footers were used in auto parts service, but on my railroad soda is a high-priority product.

For the photo, I staged it with the Menard's Pepsi plant and was surprised at how much room there was between the walls and the car.

I love these cars and have bought three. Some of the 20-foot containers are on order.

Nothing says danger on a railroad like a tank car does! Left to right are the 30-7322 NYC (P&LE) modern tank car, the 30-114c NYC (P&LE) three-dome tank car, and the 30-73487 NYC modern tank car.

I bought a well-done repaint of the NYC work caboose last year. This is the original no. 30-7736 that I believe was a set component. The Lionel 27478 die-cast metal three-bay open hopper is heavy enough to qualify as a lethal weapon in any Perry Mason mystery! Neither car had any sign of wheel wear.

A secondary road name of interest for me is Railway Express. On the left is the Lionel no. 17311 steel-side refrigerator car and on the right is the MTH RailKing 30-74862 round top boxcar. This car is based on the old Baltimore & Ohio M53 boxcar. I also have this car in NYC Pacemaker and NYC Jade green.

The roof line is more rounded than a conventional boxcar.

I scored the MTH no. 20-93519 Amtrak express car at York and the 30-74021 round roof Pacemaker car was an eBay find.

Next was a new-in-the box (NIB) MTH Amtrak express car. After that off to the Bay for three NIB RailKing tank cars in NYC and NYC (P&LE), a Lionel die-cast NYC hopper and an REA reefer. Last but not least,  a round-top Railway Express boxcar from Sommerfeld’s Trains. I also scored a RailKing work caboose which was the original manufactured version of one that I more recently acquired, and discovered was well executed a re-paint.

Lionel gear includes a NYC die-cast coal hopper car and a Railway Express refrigerator car. 

Also from Menards, more Pacemaker boxcars and two New York Central hoppers, and three of the new container cars (I’m working on a re-designed NYC Logo to apply to the containers). As mentioned, I’ve ordered quite a few of the Menards Army flats with loads to cannibalize the cargo.

 The big change? As I mentioned, I’m a tightwad and I’ve been watching most of this gear for some time. As the collective inventory of the hobby moves about and enters (or re-enters) the market, it is hitting my target price points.

Of course, I always have it shipped to work, I always get a bit of a stare from the spousal unit when I come in and start toting boxes in, and down to the basement!





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