Railway Robbery: Magazines and Mega Collections

Oct. 25th 2013

Everytime I talk about the high cost of our hobby to a non-railroader, I get stunned looks and dropped jaws. Model railroading is certainly not cheap, but sometimes even devout railroaders can be shocked by the excessive prices expected for some high-end items. These kinds of exorbitant prices start to look like "Railway Robbery!"

I've found five of the most ridiculous high-dollar train-related items available on eBay right now. I won't go so far as to say that these items are overpriced, but there's no question that they're some of the most expensive train collectibles out there. In fact, these auctions might just leave your jaw on the floor after you see their prices! Welcome to another edition of Railway Robbery. 

5. Model railroader magazine from 1939

Price: $10,500

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Although this run of magazines is undoubtedly a piece of history, one could get an awful lot of "holy grail" trains for this hefty price tag. It may capture 60 years in one of railroading's greatest publications, but you could capture quite a few historical trains for $10,000 too.    

4. Lionel Smithsonian “O” scale New York Central Dreyfuss Hudson 13 car set #5451

Price: $12,000

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Trains don't get much sharper than this set. It's a gorgeous arrangement, and looks perfect in the display case included in the auction. But $12,000 is enough to amass an army of modern day trains and source an entire layout, so I can't imagine this set is worth it to the average collector.   

3. Little Engines Atlantic 4 4 2 live steam train wt caboose 2 cars 1 inch detroit

Price: $12,000

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This is a stunning old train with loads of history, but its five-digit price is just too rich for most railroaders' blood. Everyone I know would love to have it on their shelf, but no one I know would be willing to pay this much for it.

2. American Flyer Standard Gauge 4689 Enameled Presidents Special Set Original Box

Price: $12,500

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This is another stunning set of classic trains. I would shovel coal for a year just to have the beautiful boxes included in this listing. Of course you could buy a car for the cost of this set. A real car! And that might  be considered more practical in your children's eyes!

1. HO Huge Model Railroad, 4000' of Track, Thousands of Cars & Power

Price: $130,000

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But why buy a car when you could buy a house for the cost this collection. A nice house! At $130,000, this is the most expensive model train listing I've ever seen on eBay. It includes thousands of trains and almost a mile of track. Who wants to start a new HO collection would you could complete a lifetime worth of collecting with a single mouse click? 

I don't foresee many of these listings being successfully closed in the near future, but they are a lot of fun to look at from afar. Whether you can afford these trains or not, be careful on your travels outside of the DASH Marketplace. You never know when you might be the next person to fall victim to Railway Robbery!

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  • 5 years, 1 month ago

    Some well heeled individuals with more dollars than sense will undoubtedly buy these. Examples in this and other hobby/collector areas abound. The saving grace is that having spent so much for these items, great care will be taken to ensure their preservation for posterity.

    See Floyd's collection
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