A Soviet train on eBay!?

I’ve read about Soviet toy trains, but I’ve never actually seen one for sale, until today.

I expect this Soviet O gauge toy train car on eBay to go for $200, possibly more.Of course, the Soviet trains are more of a novelty or curiosity than anything else. They’ll run on Lionel track, and the voltage is close enough that a Lionel or compatible transformer will run them just fine. But running them?

The Soviet trains are a close enough copy of 1939-1941 American Flyer that I suspect it would couple up to a Flyer train just fine. That would be the trick to running any of this stuff. Modern Lionel trucks and couplers would probably bolt on just fine, but I wouldn’t dare modify something like this. I won’t even change the couplers on any vintage train, even a $15 Lionel caboose, unless the originals were damaged.

I’d debate even running a Soviet train car on track, but then I remember, these were toys and they were meant to be enjoyed, so if it ran once–which it almost certainly did–it should run again.

So I’d buy a couple of Flyer passenger cars, change the coupler on the front car so it would couple with a Lionel locomotive and tender, and have that bad boy running around on track again in the middle of a Flyer train. If I had $200-$250 that I didn’t know what to do with, that is.

Few of these Soviet trains were made. They were made to be given as gifts to boys who found favor with the Soviet government. Some made it out of the country for various reasons, as could be expected, but supposedly it’s now illegal to take one out of the country, as the Russian government has declared them a national treasure.

Sure I want one. But hey, there are lots of things I want. I won’t be placing that bid.

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3 thoughts on “A Soviet train on eBay!?

  • March 21, 2004 at 9:57 pm

    Okay, this isn’t really something I know much about, but don’t they have different width tracks over there? Or is that totally irrelevent to model railroads?

    You and I are but earth.

    • March 21, 2004 at 10:21 pm

      Toy train and model railroad scales don’t vary from country to country, although some scales that are popular here are non-existant elsewhere. Some hardcore modelers will adjust the width of their track to scale it exactly to match the stretch of track they’re modeling, but that’s fairly rare because then you have to hand-lay your track and build your own locomotives and cars. I enjoy hand-building cars, but not enough to build everything myself, and from what I can tell, I’m in the minority in doing that.

      You’re right that track in what used to be the Soviet Union is a different width than here (4’8.5" in most of the United States, and 5 feet in Russia and vicinity) but no, that’s not relevant to these trains.

  • March 22, 2004 at 6:53 pm

    I think with a bit more hype, it could have gone for upwards of $200, seeing the inflated prices people pay for poor-condition Marx and American Flyer train cars. Oh well. It was neat to look at.

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