The Liberty Falls Collection was a collectible holiday village popular in the 1990s. The product was produced in China and sold in the United States in large department stores. It was on the market from 1991 to 2008.
The Liberty Falls Collection is a bit obscure today, but it isn’t especially rare. Purchasers frequently packed the items away in the original boxes every year, so when they turn up, they often turn up in like-new condition.
Every 15-20 years or so, Lionel ventures into HO scale again. Lionel is generally associated with bigger trains. But the HO scale market is so large, Lionel wants part of it. HO scale trains are, in terms of both scale and gauge, the smallest trains Lionel makes.
From time to time, I see the topic of investing in model trains, whether Lionel, Marklin, scale brass models, or any other niche come up. There was a time when people make a lot of money doing that. Sad to say, for the most part that window of opportunity is closed.
It’s certainly possible to make money at your hobby. But investing in collectibles tends to be fleeting, so it’s something you should approach with extreme caution.
There’s a bit of myth around Dinky vehicles. 1:43 vehicles are the standard size, the story goes, because Meccano made Dinky-brand 1:43 vehicles to go with its Hornby-brand trains. But that’s part of the story. Dinky models of American vehicles were 1:48, to go with American O scale trains.
Dinky produced 1:48 diecast models of American cars from the late 1940s well into the 1960s. While they can be expensive, they hold their value well. Model railroaders who don’t want to pay collector prices can buy beat-up Dinky models and paint and detail them as they like.
What are 1 gauge trains? It’s a fair question, since it’s terminology you don’t see every day. And it’s one, as in the number one, not L gauge or I gauge. It’s not the same as O gauge, and it’s terminology that goes all the way back to the 19th century.
German model railroad maker Marklin introduced 1 Gauge, or Gauge 1, in 1891 as the smallest of five train sizes. Its track measures 1.75 inches across and trains marketed using this terminology are usually 1:32 scale.
What is a narrow gauge railroad? If you’re not a train enthusiast, or even if you are, you may be a bit unclear on this term even if you hear it all the time. Let’s talk about narrow gauge, why it exists, and why hobbyists like to model narrow gauge instead of standard gauge trains like the ones you probably see every day.
Narrow gauge railroads are railroads with a narrower track than the standard 4 feet, 8.5 inches. They typically occur in areas where a full-size train is impractical.
I think estate sales are an underrated place to buy trains. While some things have changed from 15 years ago when I started, there are still good finds out there. Here are my tips for buying trains at estate sales.
There are lots of places to find trains, including train stores, antique shops, train shows, and placing want ads. But buying trains straight out of people’s estates is surprisingly effective, and can be economical too.