Model Train Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have always only run Diesel on my layouts. I'm 56, and I grew up with only Diesel. I have been on some excursion trains that were Steam.

I noticed several steam locomotives in the 2nd MTH auction and I am bidding on them. None are described as parts only or missing anything. I collect and run Milwaukee Road, Burlington Route, Rock Island and Union Pacific. Of the offerings, there is only Union Pacific in my road names. I did bid on a Southern Pacific steam locomotive.

Typically I would like to pick up a Challenger or one of the Big Boys. With the understanding that any purchase from the MTH auctions could be a gamble, what could I be looking at in terms of the Proto 1 - 2 era of MTH Steam locomotives?

Could I get one and get lucky that it will chuff and run? Or is there a likelihood of an out of box failure?

Since I've never run steam, I'm not sure what to look for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
I can't answer your the risk question. But, having bid and read comments here on the bidding, there are few "basement bargains". And you have to factor in the buyer's premium, undisclosed shipping costs AND no warranty. Everything is sold as-is. And some parts are becoming NLA.

If it were me, I'd price your desirable locos from the reputable online dealers. That way, you can compare the bid price and risk factor against a known alternative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
How comfortable do you feel with wiring, tracking down parts to make it mechanically whole, or painting if the model needs it? If not very comfortable then don't expect it to be anything more than a shelf piece. I bought an MTH "engineering sample" ATSF 2900 class Northern a few months ago (not from the MTH Auction but another source). It was missing the worm shaft, motor mount, flywheel, motor, boards, and all wiring. I have parts and a parts source so I was able to make it mechanically whole again. I installed a PS3 kit and painted it as well. If you don't have the skills/resources it can be a daunting task. For what it's worth I paid far less than 40% of retail to acquire the model. Also all the trim parts were present, so I didn't have to hunt them down, which would be almost impossible.

547629

547630
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
Second what Lou says. Don't expect these to be running engines unless its specifically mentioned. Even then, like John says, no warranty and parts are getting harder to find if you need something.
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thnks all. OK, I will set a personal budget on 1. I expect to be outbid, so it's unlikely I'll end up with one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
I'd be careful with an MTH steamer. Frankly if you have no experience with steamers and MTh repairs, etc., but want to find a good steamer at a good price, I'd recommend finding a used Legacy steamer on e-bay from a buyer who promises it is in fairly good condition.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
It kind of why I have stuck with Diesels. I grew up with them and have no problem going cheap with Williams or upscale newer because even the most expensive Diesel I have was $649. Of course I want a later Big Boy from Lionel or a Challenger, but prices in the thousands of dollars - I have to set a limit.

It looks like I will stick with Diesels but Lee I am curious why not MTH since I have not heard anything negative about MTH steam but I hear a lot of negatives about Lionel steam and 21" passenger cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
Williams made a few nice steam engines. Not huge like a BigBoy or Challenger, but nice. I got this GS-4 off eBay in pristine condition with original box for $212 including tax and shipping. I don't think it was used, maybe test run only.. Alas, I searched eBay for a Williams steamer in Milwaukee Road without luck.





547654
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,080 Posts
Williams also made a scale brass Daylight. They run well too. A couple of club members have them.
Nothing wrong with bidding on these MTH engines as long as you discount them assuming they need work plus all the fees that will add to your bid.
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,377 Posts
Plus packing and shipping. I bid on a few items in the 9/19 auction figuring I might win one or two in the 9/26 auction and I would pick them up at the same time. My bids for the 9/26 auction were fairly low and I was outbid on all. I only won some books and pamphlets in the 9/19 auction and figured it was not worth the 45 minute drive to pick them up. I ended up paying $5 for the books, .75 for the premium, .35 for PA tax, $3.57 for packing and $8.25 for shipping. I’m guessing packing and shipping would be a good bit more for an engine.
 

·
Admin
Joined
·
44,218 Posts
It looks like I will stick with Diesels but Lee I am curious why not MTH since I have not heard anything negative about MTH steam but I hear a lot of negatives about Lionel steam and 21" passenger cars.
It depends on who you listen to. The problem with these is they're a big unknown, and right now MTH boards are kinda' hard to come by. You could be buying a shelf queen. Many of the PS/2 models being offered are the old 5V board, if you buy those, price it like you're going to need a replacement board, odds are you will. MSRP on the replacement board is $230, and then you need the speaker and heatsink kit.

I think Lee's comments are more about this particular venue, not MTH stuff in general. He's got a lot of MTH stuff, and from what he writes here, he's generally happy with it.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top