Guide for buying model railway locomotives

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I have noticed that some auctions for model railway locomotives are devoid of certain details that I believe are very important, particularly for the collector. After all, you only want to purchase one of your chosen locomotive (don't you)?!

Always check the following:

  • whether is comes with the original box and the condition of the box
  • whether the detail pack is included (if there was one originally)
  • all buffers are intact and are sprung (if they are meant to be)
  • couplings present and intact (including hooks)
  • any marks or blemishes on the paintwork (just because none are mentioned do not assume there are none)
  • all decals intact
  • running condition - does it run smoothly at all speeds including dead slow (but do take account of the age of the loco as many older motors are not capable of running at a very slow speed and perhaps do not work properly with feedback controllers)
  • is it DCC ready or fitted with a DCC decoder
  • study all photos carefully

Finally, ask as many questions as you need to! Ensure you are satisfied with the condition before you bid. If it is not mega-rare, another will be along soon if you miss this one.

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