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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

As most who read and/or participate here regularly here know, I am relatively new to the hobby. My focus has been, like many, on the locomotive. But what of the rolling stock? Specifically, here I am meaning to discuss passenger carrying coaches and related.

From what I gather, J & M Models has been considered one of the better upper-end model makers for passenger cars - or coaches/carriages if you prefer.

A while back, we had a discussion here about whether Aster locomotives hold their value and I think we rightly concluded they are not among the soundest of financial investments, but one won't lose much money when one is ready to sell and if one factors in the pleasure of owning from the day of purchase to the day of letting them go, we are probably fine.

How about high-end coaches?

J & M were taken over in 2008 and the folks who own the rights to the product and the wherewithal to produce the carriages have a relatively narrow focus - Rheingold, C.I.W.L, Gothard Bahn and some Swiss.

As far as I can tell, the pricing is in the 1,500 to 1,650 Euro range .

So two carriages, perhaps three = one pretty fine locomotive!

Why I bring this up now is that I just bought seven (7) J & M coaches and the guy who has sold them to me wants me to purchase five more and "clean him out" for now, so to speak. ;)

I think he may end up "cleaning me out" of money!

On the way to me are:

PRR "Edgar Allan Poe"

CIWL Fourgon (baggage car,) 1262 - Fleche D'Or
CIWL 4018 - a First Class WSP, also Fleche D'Or
CIWL 4119 - Second Class, also Fleche D'Or

I have tried three times now to purchase a Chapelon Nord 231E, but have failed. I'll have some carriages available should I ever succeed!

For the other side of the Channel, I have three Brit Pullmans that would be suitable for Golden Arrow, one of which has been used also on the Simplon Orient Express

Pullman's "Juana," "Ibis" and "Car 54"

What do you think each of the above are worth?

Next I will have to look into establishing scale ferry service between Dover and Calais!

Not yet purchased are five more J & M Pullmans:

An unnumbered New York Central coach
A rather nice an rare observation sleeper "Catskill Valley"
Three green Pullmans of various sorts - Southern Pacific heavyweights

If I were to purchase the SP cars, I would have them repainted for the PRR or try and swap them for PRR.

Thoughts?

Cheers,

Joe

Edit: It would not be viewed by me as impertinent if one reaction was : "Whadaya crazy?" ;)
 

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I would love to have several heavyweights that I could repaint GN for my S2 and I would have David Leech make replacement trucks so they would roll better. Instead I am repainting some Aristocraft heavyweights, yes I know they are not the correct scale but too bad. What's needed is someone to make heavyweights for 1/3 that price. No, you're not crazy. If this was crazy none of us would be in this hobby, you spent how much for a toy train? I know you've all heard this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have been "on the hunt" for a while now.

It seems as though there are an infinite number of folks making fine quality brass coaches for HO and O gauge, but not so much for "our" gauge.

Cheers,

Joe

PS: Last week I received a rake of four chocolate and cream BR Mk I coaches for my BR(WR) Castle - from G1MRC, by way of Accucraft and so far, I perceive them to be of good value for the amount of money spent. I.E. one J & M = 4 G1MRC.

Detail is nice and if one wishes to get more serious with them - intends to run them often - one can invest in some quality sprung trucks, upholster the seating and detail the corridors, etc.

Cheers,

Joe
 

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BRO

Have you actually ever seen any Kern Valley 1:32 heavyweights? I have seen ZERO. I have seen one car in 1:29 many years ago. A friend [now deceased] ordered EIGHT heavyweights and put down a substantial deposit. After TWO YEARS he had NOTHING. Took another several months to get the deposit back after determining they had NEVER started to build the cars.

In my book a poor choice.

That said, I do own two Kern valley 1:32 PRR B60B baggage cars. Overpriced, but the only thing in the market. I bought them off the table at an ECLSTS.
 

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Hi Joe,

It sounds like you fallen into the deep end of the pool! The 1/32 scale passenger coach has traditionally been the difficult and potentially painful in the bank account part of Gauge 1. J & M Model coaches again, like in our locomotive discussion, are influenced by many of the same factors--the condition of the model, the scarcity of the model, and that every-changing variable, the demand for the model.

So to try to answer to your question...what are they worth...leads to similar answers as before. It depends on the above. CIWL cars are in high demand currently, are relatively rare and generally demand high prices given an open marketplace, like at an auction. The recent auction in Dallas, for example, saw what I thought were some good examples...three mint CIWL cars sold for $5100.Ouch.but maybe they go higher...who knows?.. In a similar vein, if you acquired some J&M Reingold cars and sold them on ebay.de then their value there will likely be higher there than in the US....So again, the value of these cars depends on a lot of the same market factors as the locos. I can tell that the prices have gone up in general (for J&M models) over the last ten to fifteen years. I acquired some J&M Pennsy cars some years ago for a few hundred each....and sold them to Hans for about the same a few years later but today they are probably worth a lot more if he took good care of them. Demand seems to be increasing for specific coaches and lines--heavyweights in particular.. And as the gent above noted, there are some manufacturers who are putting some products out there. Accucraft too has now stepped in. We will see what impacts good and bad that will have. The good obviously is satisfying pent up demand for coaches with all these naked locomotives...and the bad, for some, may be the reduction in value of a previously rare model...So, purchase what you want and enjoy them!

Good luck,
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input, Dan and Sam,

(Jim and Big Red as well.)

The Ebay.de site is hands down, better to work with for our hobby than the other sites I check: Ebay.co.uk, Ebay.fr, Ebay.it and of course Ebay.com. I will occasionally look at .ca and .au as well.

I find it irritating that, if one searches for Gauge 1 on the UK site, one seems to get everything but Gauge 1. Filtering on the UK site is crap, US not much better.

One has to hand it to the Germans for Teutonic precision, though. You search for Speisewagen, Spur 1, and that is exactly what you get.

At the moment, the going price for Rheingold J & M from a couple of suppliers, new - or like new is 1,095 to 1,195 Euro.

When it comes to 1:32 scale coaches, it seems the US, UK, French and Italian sites are about dry, but there are items on the German site.

Just as an aside, the UK and German sites have a lot of live steam overall, but the most complex model engines I have seen a more likely to be found on the German site.

The guy I bought the coaches from also had the Nord, but it was obviously kit-built and the pipe-work was imprecise ( a bit sloppy) and there were some brass castings missing, one per side. The price was fair - fair enough that someone else bought it while I was thinking about it. ;)

Cheers,

Joe

By the way . . .

There is an Aster Big Boy and a King for sale on the German site.

The price for the King seems OK to my eye, but there are some signs of wear. The Big Boy looks very good, but it is not being offered on the cheap at $16K.
 

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Jim,

I think I saw their display model at the 2013 East Coast Large Scale Train Show, but point taken and good to know.
 

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Dan

Kern Valley's pricing for heavyweights has risen to the point that their resin cars [based in part on the old American Standard Car Co. kits] are at the same price point as used J&M American heavyweights [$500 to $750].

Used J&M cars are good value in the $450-$600 range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
. . .

Used J&M cars are good value in the $450-$600 range.
Jim,

Do you know of any J&M cars available anywhere at the moment at the price point you mention?

Seriously, I'd be happy to purchase cars for my K4 at that price tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. (Owing to the fact that I will be asleep earlier on.) ;)

I do not mind admitting that I paid just under $1,300.00 for the one PRR "Edgar Allan Poe" Pullman, but that may be because I am a sheep that needed to be sheared. ;)

I'd gladly stay away from the clippers next time if you can point me to a better source. Apparently I paid double the going rate?

The fellow I purchased from has a "Catskill Valley" he is asking $2,700.00 for but he will take less if I purchase additional J & M Pullman cars from him.

I haven't bought it because it is priced above my "threshold of pain," but my research tells me that J&M built only ten (10) models of the Pullman "Catskill Valley," which is more or less the same number of "Valley" cars that Pullman originally built as well.

Help save me from myself. ;)

Regards,

Joe

Sam, you appear to be quite correct; I did fall into the deep end of the pool. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am going to reply to myself now. ;)

An interesting wrinkle before retiring for the evening . . .

A sister New York Central open observation coach to the "Catskill Valley" is the "Elkhart Valley." J & M made ten of each as far as I am aware.

In 2006, Christies sold an Elkhart Valley for $2,640.00

Here: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/...ited-4846447-details.aspx?intObjectID=4846447

My friend in Düsseldorf had put Catskill Valley up on Ebay from his private collection as an inducement for me to purchase the remaining Pullmans and I did not realize this until he explained it later. We've been going back and forth in Englisch und Deutsch and neither of us get everything out of each exchange. ;)

Once I indicated the price was a bit too dear for me, he took it down.

So how much are these J & M Pullman coaches worth again?

Cheers,

Joe

More info here:

A standard NY Central bidding started at $1,700.00

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/23390695_jandm-models-brass-nyc-g-scale-pullman-car-ob

Someone please help me find some of those $450.00 to $600 J & Ms!
 

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Joe,

I think Jim must be able to source some locally where variations in price in that range might happen. You are unlikely to find those prices on auction sites here in the US or overseas. The last ones i've seen sold via ebay here in the US went for about 1K each. Ah, the good old days when I purchased some of those cars for a few hundred dollars in mint condition....a rare event these days but it can happen.

Yes, Joe...I too would like to obtain up for a few coaches in that range....even in fair to good condition.

As Dan points one, get some new trucks and off you go...

Sam
 

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Jim,

For what the Aristo coaches cost these days, it makes sense....I gave up with the S2 and use freight cars...the ones that Pete Comley has from Accucraft are decent....but if you want GN heavyweights, you'll have to paint them or make em....

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate the dialog, gentlemen,

It is good to know where not to buy from as well as from whom to purchase.

When (hopefully not if,) the seven Pullmans that I purchased arrive safely and in good condition, I will report back here either satisfaction or otherwise.

The gentlemen, Bernd Zielke, has an 11,876 sales transaction record on Ebay with a 99.4% approval, so only a small number of folks dissatisfied and from my back and forth with him, seems like a fine fellow who shares a passion for the hobby.

We shall see in due course how things turn out.

Regards,

Joe
 

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Well, I think that I will have to add something here!
Jim Stapleton, please note that I am trying to be positive, although it's all negative!
J & M cars are worth what you are willing to pay!
To my mind, for their era, they were good, but when you look at them closely, they are really not up to todays standards for the price.
I had a bunch of unused heavyweight sides many years ago, and from what I recall, the etching of the rivets was very crude, and the cant rail was just a round bit brass rod soldered on under the windows.
The trucks, well to stick small balls in a hole, and then hope that the axle will rotate on them is a little questionable, but in those days they probably couldn't find any small ball races available.
It seems that some balls may fall out over time.
I have also seen the J & M British Pullman cars and if you compare them to say the Golden Age version of today, it's day and night.
So, maybe someone with deep pockets (Joe?) should contact Golden Age and have them build some 1/32 Heavyweights?
They won't be cheap, but great quality.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
p.s. Dan, my trucks will not work under the J&M cars, as the bodies are just too heavy.
 

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David

I agree with your assessment of the J&M stock, but in 1:32 the options for American heavyweights are limited. I did trade up from J&M to Golden Age British Pullmans [11] over a period of time. Quentin uses a Korean builder that [he claims] requires batches of 90 [or more] units for a production run. This is why there are no 5BEL sets in Ga 1 yet.

Even if Accucraft could be induced to build heavyweights with a reasonable level of detail, I would expect them to be in the $850-$1000 range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
David,

I guess part of the problem may be that there may be as few as (wild-arse guess coming,) 3,000 people active in this hobby world-wide ???

Whatever the number, the market is small and people who lived during the time of steam are dying off. One may wonder whether the market will ever grow beyond what exists today?

See, I too can stay on a positive note when I try hard!

In a static display model, most of us probably want a decent standard of detail. (One manufacturer touts "real gold" used for the C.I.W.L. emblems - on HO or O gauge if I recall correctly.)

I just painted the handles on my BR Mk I coaches with gold-leaf paint to look like brass - only because the adjacent hand grab-rails were already brass.

But . . .

From ten feet away, or once the coaches or carriages are in motion, they may as well be crayon coloUred cardboard boxes with wheels on them, only decent enough to avoid derailing.

How does one rationalize J&M models not being up to today's standards (I am not in any way questioning the premise,) when today's standard does not include manufacturing many models? It's largely "take what you can get," isn't it?

I am determined to enjoy the seven J & M coaches I just ordered even though I may be the only one to do so, content with the notion that is was them or nothing. ;)

Besides, my eyesight is not what it once was anyway. :)

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
David

I agree with your assessment of the J&M stock, but in 1:32 the options for American heavyweights are limited. I did trade up from J&M to Golden Age British Pullmans [11] over a period of time. Quentin uses a Korean builder that [he claims] requires batches of 90 [or more] units for a production run. This is why there are no 5BEL sets in Ga 1 yet.

Even if Accucraft could be induced to build heavyweights with a reasonable level of detail, I would expect them to be in the $850-$1000 range.
Jim,

Thanks for your continued input into this thread.

Perhaps I will have a look at Golden Age Models at some point.

Cheers,

Joe

A postscript . . .

In the last few days, I spent a couple of hours scouring the Net and the only decent not-custom-made-to-order models I found at any price are the ones I bought plus the handful I did not buy - all in Germany.
 

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Joe,

You've hit on the key point. relative to your value question...where's the supply?. For some, the lack of supply and the lack of available or spendable dollars moves one to settle on an Aristo heavyweight where there is a fairly good supply at low prices......For others--the few of us left that is.:)--since there is no middle ground product currently, it's on to the high end J&M or even higher end Golden Age stuff...

The risks for a manufacturer in this space are considerable--a dying off customer base (that does sound negative...) a set of buyers already committed to the high end and low end perhaps..and to add to that produce a car(s) that will satisfy the diverse needs of the rest......So, they''re asking--where's the demand?

So, here we are...:(......maybe I'm in the wrong hobby??...... want to buy some J&M Cars???:)

Sam
 
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