Monday, August 30, 2004

I know you...

This trolley looks familiar... 2 7/8 gauge perhaps? This would look terrific in.... Standard Gauge? Posted by Hello

Sunday, August 29, 2004

TCA Convention Car

This is a neat idea - an operating standard gauge crane. It is not inexpensive ($399) and you must be in the TCA to buy it but I think it is worth it.

Let's face it, our hobby isn't for the faint of heart when it comes to prices and the above car is a good idea. Save your pennies - the deadline for ordering is Dec. 31, 2004.

M Posted by Hello

Gorgeous trolley! What more can I say? I want one in standard gauge? Posted by Hello

Huge Trolley

This trolley is huge. No, it isn't standard gauge and it isn't a scale trolley in a case either. But if anyone said "Do you want that in your trainroom?" I wouldn't hesitate to say yes in a New York Minute! They have two of these behemoths at the museum and they have the real versions of these trolleys as well. I have no idea how I would ever sneak one of these into the house around my wife if I could get my hands on one (yet another reason to like standard gauge)! Posted by Hello

Trolley Models @ Shoreline

There are quite a few really nice model trolleys at the shoreline museum. From what they look like, they are G Gauge. There are some huge models (I have no idea what gauge they are) there as well. I will post them later on. This one is kind of neat because it has a little hand crank generator that makes it go back and forth. It takes a little effort and certainly isn't going to power a layout but it is fun to watch.

M Posted by Hello

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Yale Bowl Trolley

The picture is nice but ya gotta see this thing in person. It is at the Shoreline Trolley Museum in Branford, CT.. By the way, a standard gauge version of this trolley exists. Jim Cohen made it, only 3 exist and they are supposed to be drop dead gorgeous. Seeing these trolleys is awe inspiring. It really makes me wonder how we could have ever done away with these majestic vehicles.

I highly recommend a road trip to this place if you get the time.

M Posted by Hello

Trolley Woodwork I

I am always amazed by trolley woodwork. It seems like the auto has brought less civilized travel. How can I jump from woodwork to mass transit? The only car that has this kind of real woodwork in it is one that the top 2% of our economy can afford. This trolley was built in 1947. Not many cars out there built in the last century that still look as good as this trolley.

Yes, I can get to another city much faster in a car but I have to believe I could get around my city much better and in significant comfort. Seems like the whole current economy is predicated on oil consumption and driving. Trollley travel just seems so much more elegant to me.

M Posted by Hello

Out this week....

I will be out most of this week for health reasons, so if you don't see many posts from me, it isn't because I have abandoned standard gauge or the BLOG....

Yes, this is an advertisement from a trolley (went to the trolley museum today). More amazing Trolleys on the way. I can't believe how many gorgeous trolleys are out there that Lionel actually never produced. I will post a few pics to show everyone some (hopefully) future standard gauge trolleys....

M Posted by Hello

By the way, you see why I like the Glenn Snyder displays versus the old Home Depot one's.... Posted by Hello

Friday, August 27, 2004

Something Unusual

Nice McKean trolley. It took Dick Mayer almost two years to make this. I miss this kind of innovation in standard gauge. This thing is really heavy and runs absolutely great. What's your favorite unusual item?

Dick isn't making much these days but I will always look at this and think of one man that has more talent in one hand than most high tech companies have in their entire workforce..... Making something from nothing is really something.


Marc Posted by Hello

Scenic Plot in PA....

Just found this great picture tonight of the Toy Train Museum in Lancaster. I love the scenic plot! I seem to remember seeing these being made recently.... Has anyone seen repro plots? Posted by Hello

New Haven Train Show

Never good to have too much space in a train show. Big aisles and the natural light is great to look at trains... Posted by Hello

Marty Visnick's table at the New Haven Show last weekend.... Still good to see great standard gauge on at least a few tables at a show! Posted by Hello

Mark Tobias Interview

I was at the New Haven Toy Train Show this weekend and I saw Mark Tobias of the New England Toy Train Exchange. For anyone not familiar with Mark:

1) He talks a mile a minute.
2) He has seen a ton of trains.
3) He is a sharp guy, has a quick wit and knows his trains.

In this hobby, there also has to be some trust and I definitely trust Mark. In my dealings with his firm, I have been consistently impressed. His auctions are definitely one of the best alternatives to dealers and shows. While the prices can get high, they often reflect realistic value, the grading is very accurate and the faults/problems are always out in front.

With that said, here are a few questions and answers I shot Mark. Thought you all might be interested to see his answers.

What is the rarest standard gauge item you have ever seen? Prototype Ives mechanical Crane; Rare Blue Comet set that ran in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago(All blue w/red stripes 400E); Lionel 1010 & Trailer MINT in original wooden crate, Like New Boucher Blue Comet....

Drool, drool, salivate, salivate.

What is the most remarkable item you have ever seen (the one that stands out in workmanship, quality, rarity, etc). Production Sample Marklin 4-8-2 'Cock of the North' in O ga, painted for American Market, NYC. It was breath taking! Sold for $80,000 US to museum in Europe.

Do you think there is a future for folks that remake items like Leland Detroit Monorails, etc.? Yes, As long as the quality is there and they market themselves. Also making additional items for sets like the Detroit would be cool. I.E. Switches, stations, variable height uprights... Jim Cohen has orders for many more Trolleys than he can ever produce. There is a demand out there.

Why isn't there much McCoy out there in the market? I have wanted one of his galloping gooses/handcars for a long time.

I never saw a lot of McCoy at shows. Usually the old time collections had a quantity, especially if there was a layout involved. The Cascade loco was an excellent puller and is sought after these days.

What trends do you see in Standard Gauge?

Trends in Standard gauge...I'm seeing some new interest in all tinplate, but condition is paramount. At shows, standard gauge runner grade is dead, unless it is presented as a set, preferably with track. Again, there is much curiosity about it, but I sense ignorance about its facility as a problem.

In the New Haven Show, out of seven layouts, where was the standard gauge one? It might have helped.

When I do exhibit work I always include Standard gauge. I let hobbyists know that it's alive and well. Lionel did their usual worst at promoting their modern Standard gauge line. I know, it is moving up in value because it ran well and carried the 'all important' Lionel name.

How about MTH standard gauge? Is it as strong as a collectors item as a Lionel Classics or McCoy piece?

MTH is trying, but, as with their O gauge line "collect-ability" is suffering because of huge depreciation in secondary markets. Most of the Standard gauge operators I know are traditionalists, and want Lionel, AF or Ives on their trains. Along those lines, I am seeing an upsurge in restored original Standard gauge, restoration projects and parts pieces.
It seems that these buyers would rather have a restored original as opposed to an MTH item.

What's the future of standard gauge?

Future... I think that the growing areas of original standard gauge are the Am. Flyer and Ives markets. There really isn't enough of it around to satisfy the interest, and Lionel only has a few rarities in the classic period, where AF & Ives have many. Lionel's best stuff, money-wise, is its Trolleys and early production high end. How many Green 390s, Crackle 400s and peacock 408E sets are ever seen, other than at world class events, of exuberant professionalism like NETTE's Sept 4 auction!!!?

I'll leave the shameless plug in Mark! Thanks for the quick talk!


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Nice eBay Items

Some nice items on eBay, definitely worth a look -

Two Leland Detroit Monorails (plan on not paying your mortgage for the month if you bid).
Quite a few nice trolley's and some repro 2 7/8. It's worth a look.

Also tomorrow, some interesting comments from Mark Tobias of New England Toy Train Exchange. He has seen some interesting trends and I thought I would ask him about the current state and future of standard gauge.


Connecticut Trolley Museum

Ok, so it isn't standard gauge but it's kind of close.

We're getting near that time of year again! Trolley rides in fall in New England are the best! This is a shot from the CT. Trolley Museum in Windsor, CT. They have some really beautiful trolleys there as well as a very nice main museum area (pictured above).

Would love to see the pictured handcar in standard gauge someday....

PS By the way, there is also a great trolley museum in New Haven, CT called the Shoreline Trolley Museum. They actually have some very nice standard gauge trolleys on display in the museum as well as some really majestic looking trolleys that you can ride on.
Posted by Hello

Monday, August 23, 2004

JAD Trains (JAD Camelback).

The above URL is to a TCA e-Train page. Russ McFall's layout is awesome. No two ways about it. I was looking at the pics the other night and they jogged my memory. Someone was telling me that JAD (John A Daniels) made an iron Camelback loco in standard gauge. Can anyone shoot me a picture of one of these? I really want to see it. Supposedly one of them went for $4.5k 5 years ago. I'd love to see one of these!


Busy Bridge for Std Gauge

Ok, why is Marc posting a picture of a really cool Marx toy?

Well, because I like the toy. But more importantly, I can see a larger model of the busy bridge (with cars) and some standard gauge track running right down the middle. Ok, this would be a big bridge in standard gauge. But would it look cool! Operating accessories (especially bridges) in standard gauge are virtually non-existent. I wonder what it would take to produce this? Imagine a nice Interurban trudging across this bridge.... Ok, I may have to set up a seperate 100 amp circuit just for my basement (where the machining is going!) Posted by Hello

Little 384 in New Haven....

A neat little 384 hanging around a table in New Haven.... Posted by Hello

G Gauge Station from New Haven Show

Here is a G-Gauge layout from the New Haven show this weekend. The station caught my eye because of the name on the station ("Willoughby"). I am guessing the club is paying homage to a Twilight Zone Episode where a tired New York executive dreams of a simple 1890 town (while he is riding the New York Central) to Connecticut and gets away from the rate race forever.

I can relate..... Posted by Hello

A table at a train show in New Haven this weekend. Not a bad show, some decent (yet overpriced) standard gauge. It is nice to see it on the tables though. The show was chock full of S-Gauge and S-Gauge layouts.  Posted by Hello

Elmo Gibb sent me this great pic of a Comet colored 390E. This is another one of those items I have been seeking out as well. I have heard through the grapevine that MTH is making a 390E in Comet Colors, Green and Orange and the stock Black and Orange. I am actually looking forward to it. It is really hard to find a decent 390E in Comet Colors (that also happens to run). Posted by Hello

Thick Rim Wheels!

A whole bunch of thick rim wheels ready for a lucky engine! Posted by Hello

More from the amazing 2 7/8 Gauge Layout

More from the amazing 2 7/8 Gauge Layout! Just picked up an awesome book on Trolley's in New Haven, CT.. Has the prototype picture for the 2 7/8 800 Electric Boxcar. Outside of scale, it is really amazing how close the 2 7/8 model actually is.

Here is the URL from Arcadia Publishing: Posted by Hello

Friday, August 20, 2004

Grand Central circa 1900. I am thinking about scratch building a station that looks something like this..... Posted by Hello

Grand Central around the turn of the century. Can you imagine seeing this as Josh Cowen or one of the Ives family? The current Grand Central is really something but I can't recall ever seeing anything like this! Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Dehanes Standard Gauge Set

The elusive Dehanes Set I have been looking for. I know, it won't look right next to a 1912 or a Comet. I can still be a fan of the Santa Fe, can't I? It is actually the only Santa Fe standard gauge I have ever seen! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Carlisle and Finch Motors

This is from Joe Mania - it is a pail full of Carlisle and Finch motors. I can't wait to see the trains these things go into! It's wild to think that before Joe, these hadn't been manufactured in more than 8 decades (I know, someone in the 50's probably made them). Still, there isn't a single toy in the current plastic-saturated toy stores that comes close to these!Posted by Hello