Back in the early 70’s the selection of steam locomotives was somewhat limited. Some may say there aren’t enough now! So the Minitrix 2-10-0 Decapod was a good go to locomotive to add a little variety to your n scale steam roster. Minitrix n scale locomotives were always good solid performers.
As with many model railroad applications, the Minitrix decapod was somewhat of a broad interpretation of the 2-10-0’s you would have seen in the real world. Still they were a welcome addition to n scale. The first U.S. 2-10-0 was built for Lehigh Valley. While different railroads at least had a handful of the decapod, the Pennsylvania Railroad had a total of 598 units! That is whole lot of iron!
The Minitrix 2-10-0 decapod is obviously long out of production but you will still find many nice examples available on ebay. While some buyers are asking north of $100, if you are patient, you can likely buy for half that. If you want to see a little more prototypical info on the 2-10-0, you can actually see a few in person. Currently there are at least 6 on display in the U.S. according to Wikipedia. SteamLocomotives.com is a great source for much more info on these interesting locomotives including links to rosters, images etc. Worth a visit!
Over the years, ConCor/Rivarossi packaged some very interesting collector train sets that included a locomotive and a set of cars. Many were done in a simulated wood grain cardboard box. Try releasing something like that today you would get laughed at! But as it is, many of these older sets are very collectible. Con Cor/Rivarossi offered both freight and passenger train sets in these collector boxes. Both steam and diesel sets were available. Many railroads were covered in the Con Cor Rivarossi sets including Erie Lackawanna, NYC, PRR, Great Northern, Grand Trunk Western and even the US Army just to name a few. Price for these sets is varied but generally in the $200 to $400 price range. One thing that is nice about the Con Cor Rivarossi train sets is most are still in very good shape, The box seems to get more wear than the trains ever did. There is no doubt that Con Cor/Rivarossi has offered some true n scale icons over the years. These boxed train sets are continuing to be a hot product!
The complete passenger sets were always my favorites. Available in both steam and diesel, these were, and still are a great way to add passenger service to your layout. These sets are becoming more and more collectible as are many of the older sets by Con Cor and Rivarossi.
In addition to complete sets with the locomotive, you will find some nice diesel sets, both in road diesel and switchers. Con-Cor and Rivarossi also offered some nice three to six car passenger sets in many different road names. I have been around n scale since the early 70’s and I just love looking at the old Con Cor Rivarossi stuff on ebay, it’s like opening a time capsule!
Do you want to get more bang for your buck in n scale railroading? Consider used n scale trains currently available on the after market. When shopping for used n scale trains on ebay, keeping a few things in mind will ensure you get the right piece at a good price.
First when shopping for used n scale, check out the seller’s feed back. While ebay has made it harder to leave bad feed back for a seller, read the feedback it will tell you how accurate the description was and other things. I like to see notes about how well the trains were packed. To me, this is an indicator of the sellers over all operation. Look at all the pictures, ask for more if needed but be reasonable, a seller isn’t want to spend much time on a $5 box car. Looking for lots when shopping for used n scale trains is a great way to get a deal if you are willing to do a little extra work. Buy the lot, single out what you want and resell the rest! I have done this on more than one occasion, getting the used locomotive I want at a great price after selling off the other items. As with any auction, don’t get to excited and over pay, I see it all the time!
So what is available in the used n scale market? Well, just about anything you can imagine. I have bought some really cool custom painted locomotives, fantasy Concor U-50’s and turbines, passenger sets and more. You will find items you just can’t find at your local hobby shop like brass spreaders, used n scale steam locomotives including my favorite a brass Yellowstone for the DM&IR. I am not a big fan of used n scale track, many times it has been installed and roughed up a little. Turnouts are readily available and if you are building a large yard, you can save some real money.