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To continue my research - here is another of my father's trains.

1. Is there any easy way to find out the year it was made?

2. How collectible are CN or CP trains to people in the USA?

3. My father seems to think his collection is worth nothing "because it is old and who would want to buy it" - LORD HELP ME!. I wanted to show you more pictures from his collection but he just packed them away. He has some old engines that I would like you to look at. I will try and sneak some out of the boxes to send you photos if I can. He has decided to go to a train show in a couple of weeks and figures he can "get rid of his collection" at the show - charging a couple of dollars for each item. That is why I am now seeking advice on how to know whether something is valuable or not -before it is too late. CAN YOU HELP!

Thanks.

 

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Let him go to the train show. Go with him. He may even spring for lunch or maybe you could. Either way it would be good quality time and give both of you a chance to "price shop.

I don't know if I would take the trains with me. If you decide to do so, leave them in the trunk. Walk around a bit and check the prices. Keep an idea of what you have. Take a notepad and right down some of the pricing of the units you recognize. Talk to some of the vendors. Remember, they are going to give you less as they will want to make a profit on their resale. But, you could talk to them and get some idea as to their worth. Maybe you could take a couple in with you as examples of what you have.But, you will just end up carrying it around with you. And that can be tedious. Do not jump at any offers. Take names, addresses, and phone numbers or email addresses. Another reason for the notepad. Take notes as to the demeaner of the individual, his wares, ect.

Another option I would suggest. My Dad died in 1999. He left each grandchild and great-grandchild a train. The rest of what was left, and it was substantial, was willed to my grandson. Jay was the only one that really showed an interest in them and would always want to "run the trains", with Dad. If he has grandchildren that he would care to share the hobby with, it would be great if he could consider that option.
 

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As you may have found out price guides for HO are rare. I am sure you have some value there but is it worth the effort? Maybe it is, since its about money. I think you will find only ball park values. Personnally I like the pictures. On your pricing trips take a camera and use it. Remember it is not just the road name but the period and the manufacturer. It may be a UP not a CN but underneath they have the same motor and time period. The big money is brass. The 70's had a lot of plastic. I bought HO in the early eighties. Some of it was toy and cheep but a few items climbed a little in value. Nothing to send the kids to colege. LOL The good engines of the era sold close to 100. At the time I couldn't understand the quality.
 
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