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I got a tip about an estate sale with some 'Backman' trains, so I went along. Several Big Hauler sets which didn't interest me, but also this "North Star Express" set:

I had not seen one before, and I got very interested when I saw it was the "Anniversary" 4-6-0 loco.

Metal valve gear, brass handrails, brass air piping etc. The coaches have brass end railings too. It would make a super xmas train, or could be repainted to sensible colors.

It comes with the (old tinplate) track - a big oval with 20 straights (10' long each side, which is generous.) The controller is there, and some xmas poles with xmas crossbuck signs ("merry christmas", etc.) The box even had a 9V battery for the sound in the tender. The coaches aren't the latest trucks with wipers (there's a battery box for a 9V for the lights,) but I have some that cost $15 that could be swapped.

It is new and has never been used - the estate sale lady took it out of the box so it isn't even dusty. From googling around, these sets were produced for Costco (and maybe Sam's Club) more than 10 years ago, and retailed for about $150. Apparently these are the only sets that ever got an 'annie' loco. I got it out, replaced a few parts that were missing (like the wire from the transformer,) and tested it - it works and the sound in the tender works. (In the clip, its a bit distorted as the battery is almost dead - its 10+ years old!)

As an Anniversary loco will cost around $200 I couldn't resist, and I'm happy to sell it for $145, complete, plus shipping. (I have a couple of big boxes that will take it in bubble-wrap - if you want the polystyrene box that's another whole ball game!)

There were also a couple of the neat Aristo Sierra coaches, with the brass cast end rails, etc. Dusty as if they sat on a shelf, and maybe used once or twice. I had to grease the backs of the wheels as the wipers were so old before they would roll.

I cleaned them up and replaced a missing stovepipe chimney. They go quite nicely, so I'll include the pair for another $50. That's $195 for the lot plus shipping, (and $30 for 2 pairs of trucks with wipers if you want them.)
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