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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
If one were going to use Gauge 1 (Spur 1) coach availability as a method of gauging (pun intended) interest in the hobby for the moment:

Ebay.com - none available
Ebay.co.uk - none available
Ebay.fr - a couple
Ebay.it - a couple

Ebay.de - probably 50 or more in Spur 1, most of which are for German lines, Rheingold, BR, GB, usw (und so weiter - and as it goes, meaning etc.)

On the German site there is J&M, Märklin and KISS Modelbahn, Lemaco, Fulgurex Metal, Dingler, among others.

Puts the rest of us to shame. ;)

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Joe,
On Ebay.uk you will probably very seldom find any Gauge 1 models, period.
Why - because it's not the British way of selling!
I find locomotives listed there quite often.

Few listings are of a commercial nature though lately one see The Stationmaster's Rooms and Finescale Brass listed on Ebay.co.uk.

Little to no goods wagons (freight cars,) or carriages (passenger cars.)

If anyone is interested there is a BR Green 5 MT there now which is being offered by a good seller from whom I once bought a pristine Schools.


Within the G1MRA membership there are many manufacturers who don't need to advertise or sell on something like Ebay, because they have a built in market, in the association.
I see that they make sure to have a good appearance in the NL & J.

Yes it is probably mainly custom built, because the requirements of the buyer is normally very specific. There are just too many different types of coaches to try and mass produce.
That and an insufficient number of buyers to sustain any mass production beyond a couple hundred of anything in particular.

At least, that's the way it seems to me.

All the best,

David Leech, Delta, Canada
And to you as well . . .

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Joe,
I think that if you are talking 1/32 (10mm/ft) scale, you are very low with your numbers.
I would suggest that it maybe even five times that.
From your lips to God's ears, I hope to have been mistaken. ;)

Will it grow - of course not!
Your last point is the important one - ENJOY YOUR HOBBY.
Don't worry about whether it is a good investment.
Don't worry about what happens to it all when you die.
Enjoy playing with it now, while you can still see it.
This last Sunday, six of our local group all got together at Dan Pantages for a wonderful day of steaming and talking, and that's what I think this hobby is all about.
All the best,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
I have noted that you have often said, more or less, it's your railroad, enjoy it and run it the way you like!

In that vein, if and when I obtain a 231 Nord, I will not only pull the Fleche D'Or cars behind, but I just may pull the Brit Pullmans as well! The coloUr is complimentary. ;)

And lacking a Nelson or a Spam Can, the Schools will have to substitute for a true Golden Arrow loco.

Please do not pass the word to any other G1MRA members as I would not wish to be unceremoniously (or worse yet, ceremoniously) drummed out for mixing British and French Pullmans. ;)

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
A counterpoint to the future health of the hobby would be the explosion of wealth in emerging markets. Places like China and India have the potential to become the largest hobby buyers, simply due to the population size.

Though who knows if you'll get Pullmans or Chinese bullet trains? ;)
Here's hoping Aster continues as a going concern in the presence of a market that includes the Chinese and the Korean products.

There would be no reasonably priced resin coaches such as the ones G1MRC have commissioned if it were not for Chinese manufacturing.

How many hobbyists could possibly have a machine shop in their workrooms without Chinese made lathes and mills.

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
4 PA heavyweights just recently sold around NJ for [email protected] They are around.
Such a tease, Jason; such a tease!

So where were they?

How does one find out about such things?

Was this a private sale, one friend to another or did the gauge 1 community have a shot at them but missed the opportunity?

Cheers,

Joe

PS: I would discount one friend selling privately to another as "being around," and likewise, the price point would not be meaningful - as in relating to an open market price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Joe,

As I mentioned in an earlier post, local sourcing can lead to price variations...also, since you do not know the condition of these cars, it is hard to comment. The seller would have likely done much better in an open auction given the price realized but again, it's hard to know without seeing them...

There is a lot to be said for being at the right place at the right time...

Sam
Respectfully offered, Sam, this is why I directed my question to the poster, Jason, as presumably he knows the facts and the rest of us, including you and I, can merely speculate.

Right now, there are a limited number of "public" outlets of which I am aware, but I am always happy to learn of more.

Ebay is established worldwide, but one needs to check in the most likely places to find what one is seeking, Ebay.de being about the best with UK and Com perhaps tied for second.

For all of the knocks that Ebay receives from time to time, one does have some assurance that one is going to actually receive what one orders. Ebay has a generally good - even generous - buyer protection scheme and even though we pay for it within the purchase price, to me it is well worth the "insurance" money.

Right now, I know of an individual in Australia who has an Aster C62-2 for sale. I do not know him from Adam and there is no chance I would send that kind of money to a total stranger and hope for the best, whereas a seller on Ebay who has had a few hundred or even a few thousand successful transactions is as good a bet as is getting one's money back after originally depositing it in J.P. Morgan Chase.

Apart from Ebay, there are places that sponsor private transactions such as Discover Live Steam or Steam Engines for Sale - two, off the top of my head.

One has to be G1MRA member to receive the Newsletter and Journal and membership is reasonable and the NL&J is superb and I suspect many, if not most here, already belong.

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
I guess the question I was trying to raise is this:

Hearing that someone sold four coaches to someone else for a low price, doesn't help the rest of us much, does it?

At one time I could have bought a Ferrari Dino for about $40K and passed on it, but now they can cost $200K and more.

So how does it help someone who may be looking for one to learn that one just sold in Wisconsin for $55K? And that deals may be around?

Is there more to the story that may be instructional for the rest of us?

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
The plot thickens . . .

I am told that J&M produced only ten sets of 4 Pennsy heavyweight coaches which included the tail-end observation car.

Can anyone here confirm or refute?

I have been able to independently verify only ten "Catskill Valley" observation cars were produced, though this "verification" is not solid . . . and nothing more than a statement in a Christie's auction that only ten were built. Also, I believe ten Elkhart Valley were produced.

So it is plausible, but by no means certain, that only ten Pennsy sets were produced? Comments anyone?

My seller wants to sell me, of course . . . and tells me he has seen no complete sets of four Pennsy J&M coaches offered in 13 years he has been doing business.

Jason tells us that these things are "around" and that four sold in NJ recently for 500 bucks each. Can both things be true? If there were only ten sets produced, then someone in NJ got a very fine deal indeed.

As you see, I am trying to do my due diligence before spending any more do-re-me. I will not be bound by anything that appears in this thread, but further comments are welcomed and will be helpful.

Yesterday I had a tentative offer to buy the rake of four which would include the observation car and another "Edgar Allan Poe." Hypothetically, this would have left me with two copies of Edgar Allan Poe. I would sell one or rename it to another Pennsy car with the same arrangement plan.

The seller had not sealed the deal and was trying to buy the four Pennsy Cars and a Fine Arts GG1. He would charge me what he paid for the entire deal and keep the GG1 as his profit. He has a buyer for the GG1 at a price he disclosed to me, so he would make a handsome profit.

It gets even more complicated but I feel I should not disclose the rest of the story.

This is a small world we live in and if you were to Google J&M coaches for sale, this thread comes up first second or third, so there is the possibility that other buyers or sellers working the various exchanges will see this discussion and this could further complicate matters.

My only personal interest at this point is coming to a good understanding as to just how rare these J&M Pennsy heavyweights are before deciding how much I wish to spend on them - assuming the deal can be consummated - which is by no means certain anyway, at this point.

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
David,

Thank you. Just the kind of response for which I was hoping!

Lots of folk here have a depth of knowledge more than I will acquire in certain areas of inquiry, so I will try and contact Jim Waggott and see what he can tell me.

The cars that may be available to me at 'top Euro' are:

Federal Hall
Car # 4487, a diner class DA
"Edgar Allan Poe" which would be a second copy for me
"Liberty Bell"

I have not found any information on Liberty Bell as yet though the name sounds plausible enough. I did find information on another Hall Class observation car - Liberty Hall

Will continue with my due diligence and it may take me just long enough to lose the opportunity, lol.

Life does not hang in the balance as to whether a deal happens or not, though it would be nice to put together a scaled-down Broadway Limited for the K4s - which is running nicely and looking the part.

Seems a "real" rake of the Broadway Limited consisted of 8 or 9 cars.

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Thanks again,

Just confirmed "Liberty Bell" is half baggage. ;)

So far, no mention of Mark Twain - nor of P.T. Barnum either. :)

If I were to purchase this set, I will pay a higher price than anyone has mentioned thus far for them.

. . . and,

I may not get them at any price as the deal would be part of an arbitrage deal where three parties must get what they each want out of it . . . and with me holding the money bag on this side of the pond, temporarily. ;)

Cheers,

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Joe,
A couple more links for you:
Edgar Allan Poe
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6501650
Mark Twain
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6501651
Liberty Park
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6501652
and Federal Hall
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6501653
Cheers,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
Thanks again David.

I created an account at Liveauctioneers just to look these up. They were all sold at the same time in 2009 and the prices ranged from $725 each to $775 each for the observations cars, so four for $3,000.00 in 2009.

Tellingly, from 2003 to the present, I only found only a handful of J&M coach auctions listed.

One possible conclusion is that, if one is willing to wait up to five years from now, on average, one will find coaches available for half the price of the ones I may be able to buy today. Funds availability and time value of money needs to be factored in.

It is anyone's guess when the next comparable group of coaches may be available and for how much.

I note that a group of 5 New York Central coaches went for $2,350.00 in 2003 and again - maybe even the same five for $3,300.00 sometime later, but not recently (failed to note date.)

In 2009, while the J&M Pennsy coaches were going for $750 each approx., the NY Central coaches sold for about $550.00 each approx. Go figure.

To be continued.

Cheers,

Joe
 
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