Model Railroad Trains

Written by Diane Sievert
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Collecting model railroad trains has been a popular hobby for many decades. Some model trains enthusiasts never tire of hunting for that one missing piece to complete their already expansive collection. If collecting antique or specialty model railroad trains appeals to you, it helps to know some basics about the toy train industry.

Grading Terms for Model Railroad Trains

When it comes to identifying the cosmetic appearance of model railroad trains, there is a grading system (designed by the Train Collectors Association) by which almost all collectors assess their trains. Mint (MT) condition means that the train is unused and in its original packaging. Like New (LN) means the train shows very few signs of use while excellent (EX) describes a train with only a few and rather minor nicks or scratches.

On the lower end of the grading scale are the following grading terms: very good, fair, and poor. Very good (VG) means the train has a few nicks and scratches but no dents or rust while a train in good condition (GD) will most likely have a few dents in addition to some scratches and it may very possibly be rather dirty. Fair (FR), which is rarely used, is similar to good but may have rust or warped castings while poor (PR) is a term applied to trains good only for parts or restoration.

While the above mentioned terms define a scale of quality, there are other terms of a more specific nature. Restored (Rest or R) means the toy train has been refinished to look almost exactly like the original. Repainted, on the other hand, means the train was repainted but remains in poor working condition.

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