• is written by David Hartmann. View Dave's about page.

OGW Store


    photos in OGaugeWatch More photos in OGaugeWatch Flickr Group

WidgetBucks - Trend Watch -

January 30, 2008

eBay To Lower Insertion Fees But....

A story on the ActionBytes website details eBay's new Insertion Fee and Commission Fee changes.  eBay will lower the cost of listing items on eBay (Insertion Fee) but will increase the amount of Commission collected from the sale of items.  So, although it will cost less to list your O Gauge stuff on eBay, you'll end up paying more to eBay on the back end when the stuff is sold.  eBay will also eliminate the Fee for the Gallery Feature.  The new fee changes listed above go into effect on 2/20/08.  Read the story here.  For a more comprehensive list of the fee changes visit the ActionBytes blog here.

January 10, 2008

A Haunted American Flyer Train Set????

Some people will say anything to sell an item on eBay.  Check out this listing for an American Flyer Train set: Haunted Box With Ghost Train American Flyer S Gauge Set.  The seller is claiming the box and train set left behind by the previous owners of his house is the reason his house is "haunted". 

November 29, 2007

If You Have A Spare $600,000...

Have a spare $600,000 burning a whole in your pocket?   Ever wish you owned a train collection worthy of a toy train museum?  Well, you can own such a collection complete with the museum building for a mere $600K.  The only catch is the museum is located in Brazil.  The latest crazy toy train auction on eBay is for a museum of toy trains, collection and building, in the city of Fortaleza, Brazil.  Not only is the price hilarious but the broken English descriptions are funny too.  Check out the auction here.

August 29, 2007

UPDATE: Corrupt CEO's Trains Sold

Remember the story of the CEO that ran LeNature's into bankruptcy and used company funds to purchase more than $1 million in O Gauge trains?  Well, the bankruptcy court sold the trains to Joe Grzyboski, Jr owner of Grzyboski's Trains in Scranton PA.  Mr. Grzyboski out bid Scott Griggs, owner of (an OGW sponsor) with a bid of $680,000.  Bidding started at $595,000 and continued in $5,000 increments.  Afterward, Mr. Griggs stated his limit was $675,000.  Read the entire story from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review here.

Related Posts

CEO Used Company Funds To Buy $1M Worth Of Trains

August 26, 2007

Interesting Collection For Sale On eBay

There's nothing new about someone trying to sell their O Gauge collection on eBay but the latest attempt will be of interest to those who collect Marx.  The collection up for auction has numerous Marx items along with Prewar, Postwar and Modern Lionel and some K-Line.   The listing doesn't include any detail photos of the items but there is a comprehensive list.  Check out the listing here.

August 10, 2007

Auction Alert: Toy Train Box-Lot Auction On 8/11

Stout Auctions is holding a huge "box-lot" toy train auction on Saturday, 8/11.  762 boxes of prewar and postwar trains will cross the block.  The auction will be held at Stout's Williamsport, IN gallery and on-line through eBay live auctions.  View all the lots here.

July 24, 2007

CEO Used Company Funds To Buy $1M Worth of Trains

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the CEO of LeNature's, a company that bottled water, tea and fruit drinks, amassed a huge collection of modern Lionel trains at the company's expense.  CEO Gregory Podlucky wasn't so lucky because he ran LeNature's into bankruptcy.  His huge collection, which is estimated to fill two tractor trailers, will be auctioned off as one lot for the US Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh, PA on Aug. 21, 2007.  One bidder, Scott Griggs of, has agreed to buy the collection for $575,000 if no one bids higher.  Public bidding for the collection starts at $590,000.  In the article, Mr. Griggs stated he would start selling the collection on in September if his bid is successful.  The article also states that AmbroseBauer Trains considered making a bid but decided not to because they believe the collection to be worth only $375,000.   View the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article here.  View the 85 page list of items in the collection here (5MB file size).

July 06, 2007

Auction Alert: Mainstream Toy Auction

Stout Auctions is holding a Mainstream Toy Auction at their Williamsport, Indiana gallery on July 7th.  500 lots of toy trains will be auctioned off.  You can participate in the auction via eBay Live.  View all the lots here.

June 28, 2007

Auction Alert: New England Toy Train Exchange

On Friday, June 29th and Saturday, June 30th  New England Toy Train Exchange will auction off 950 lots of trains, toys and diecast.   You can participate in the auction through eBay Live.  For more information about the auction click here.  View all 950 lots here.

June 22, 2007

Auction Alert: High Quality Toy Trains

On Sunday, June 24th, Ambrose/Bauer Trains will hold a "High Quality Toy Trains" auction with over 190 lots.  Auction begins at 7:00 pm EDT.  You can participate in the auction via eBay Live.  View all the lots here.

June 15, 2007

Auction Alert: Lionel Pre/Post War & Standard Gauge, MTH, Marx, Williams and More

Stout Auctions will be holding its "Pennsylvania Toy Auction" on Saturday, June 16th at 4:00 pm EDT.  The auction will be held at Pennsylvania Stout Auctions gallery located at  2884 Mercer-West Middlesex Road, West Middlesex, PA 16159.  You can also participate over the Internet via eBay Live Auctions.  Over 550 lots will be offered.  View all the lots here.

June 13, 2007

Auction Alert: Lionel Post War, Flyer, MTH

Ready Auction House has over 200 lots of Lionel post war, American Flyer and MTH trains and accessories starting today at 2:45 pm EDT.  View all the lots here.

June 07, 2007

Auction Alert: Modern Toy Train Auction

Ambrose Bauer Auctions will hold a Modern Toy Train Auction on Sunday, June 10 starting at 6:00 pm.  Over 340 lots will pass the auction block.  Take part in the auction on-line through eBay Live Auctions.  View all the lots here.

May 31, 2007

Auction Alert: Stout Auctions "Mainstream" Toy Auction 6/2/07

Stout Auctions will be holding a "Mainstream" toy train auction on June 2, 2007.  Stout's  "Mainstream" auctions have trains for all budgets and condition levels.  This 572 lot auction will include Lionel of all eras and conditions, Flyer, Marx, Williams, MTH, brass O/On3 and more.  The auction will be held at Stout's Williamsport, IN auction gallery but anyone can participate over the Internet using eBay Live Auctions.  View the complete on-line catalog of lots here.

May 23, 2007

$10,000 for a box?

OK, hopefully the guy with a Lionel No. 766W set box up for auction with a $10,000 price tag is just looking for some attention.  I can't imagine anyone paying that much for a box.   The seller claims the box grades as excellent to excellent plus condition.  I'm no expert but excellent plus seems as much of a stretch as the price.  Check it out for yourself here

May 17, 2007

Auction Alert: Large Toy Train Auction on 5/20

Ambrose Bauer Trains will be holding an auction of high quality toy trains on 5/20.  There are over 220 lots up for auction.  You can participate on eBay Live.  View the lots here.

May 02, 2007

Cinco de Mayo Will Be A Big Day For Model Train Auctions

If you plan to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a big party this Saturday you may want to set aside some time between Coronas to participate in three model train auctions.  Stout Auctions will feature more than 700 lots of model trains from several estates including Lionel, Marx, American Flyer, MTH, Williams and more.  AmbroseBauer Auctions will have more than 200 modern era Lionel items for auction.  Kigar Auction has numerous lots of Lionel trains.  All these auctions will start on May 5th.  Click on the links below to view the lots on eBay Live Auctions. 

Stout Auctions  Mainstream Trains Auction
AmbroseBauer Modern Era Lionel Auction
Kigar Auctions Lionel Trains Auction

April 27, 2007

Panzenhagen Train Collection Up For Auction On 4/29 - Over 440 Lots, Mostly Pre-War Lionel

On Sunday April, 29th, Bertoia Auctions of Vineland, NJ will be auctioning off the Panzenhagen collection.  The collection is made up of mostly pre-war Lionel and some American Flyer and Ives items.  You can participate in the auction in person by visiting Bertoia Auction at 2141 DeMarco Dr, Vineland, NJ 08360 or participate on-line using eBay Live Auctions.  Click here to view the auction lots on eBay. 

April 25, 2007

A Great Example of How To Sell a Large Collection on eBay

I've seen many large O Gauge collections listed for auction on eBay.  Almost all of them lack good information about the collection, have few good photos and some even lack a list of all the items in the collection.  I came across a recent eBay listing for a large O Gauge collection that is a great example of how to sell such a collection the right way on eBay.  The listing has lots of information, plenty of pictures and, believe it or not, a complete inventory of every item in the collection that is up for auction.  Imagine that!  Best of all, shipping is free if the opening bid is met.  Check out the auction here.

March 26, 2007

Someone's Dream For Sale on Ebay

Did you ever dream the walls of your house are covered with display cabinets packed with pre and post war Lionel trains?  Well, your dream is up for auction on Ebay this week.  Someone from Pittsburgh, PA is selling his father's extensive collection that was 40 years in the making for a starting bid of $85,000.  According to the listing, the collection of trains, accessories, parts and transformers was appraised at over $200,000 in the early 80s.  The seller has posted some pictures, but unfortunately there is no inventory list and he is unwilling to put one together.  A big mistake in my opinion.  Check out the auction here.

October 30, 2006

The Story Behind the "$50,000" Bronze Prototype

I noticed in my site's web stats that the eBay auction for the Lionel Bronze turbine prototype listed in my eBay links is quite popular.  This engine has been listed several times and back in March of this year I contacted the seller to get the scoop on how he acquired it.  In case you missed it, you can read his answer here.

September 30, 2006 Toy Train Auction Calendar

Gavel There are a few live auctions taking place this weekend and during the month of October no fewer than 7 are scheduled.  Some will conduct their auctions using eBay Live Auctions, others will accept absentee bids through their website while others do it the old fashioned way.  Attending these auctions can be a fun way to build a collection especially if you're searching for that hard to find piece to complete part of a collection.  Be sure to check out the OGaugeWatch Auction Calender here listing all of the auctions from the major toy train auction houses.

The calendar will be updated on a regular basis so check it often. If you are aware of auctions that are not listed please contact me by email, dave[at]ogaugewatch[dot]com, and I will gladly add the auction to the calendar.

September 12, 2006

Huge Collection Of Lionel Parts For Sale on eBay

Ebay If you own a large hobby shop, thinking of starting one or thinking of starting a model train related  eBay business you'll want to check out an auction on eBay listing over 1 million Lionel parts for sale for a starting bid of $200k.  According to the auction listing there are 3 full sized container boxes full of Lionel parts dated from the 1920's through the 1990's.  The seller is an eBay "Power Seller" but apparently has had a change of heart and is getting out of the Lionel parts business.  The collection is located outside of Chicago and the seller is offering to pay 50% of airfare and lodging for any serious buyers wanting to inspect the collection.  Check out the auction details here.

Related Links Toy Train Auction Calendar

July 29, 2006 Toy Train Auction Calendar

Auction houses around the country hold toy train auctions on a regular basis.  Some will conduct their auctions using eBay Live Auctions, others will accept absentee bids through their website while others do it the old fashioned way.  Attending these auctions can be a fun way to build a collection especially if you're searching for that hard to find piece to complete part of a collection.  Private collections go up for auction all the time so I have put together the Toy Train Auction Calendar listing all upcoming auction house auctions. Check out the new calender here.  A new permanent link to the auction calendar can be found in the banner at the top of the website.

The calendar will be updated on a regular basis so check it often.  If you are aware of auctions that are not listed please contact me by email, dave[at]ogaugewatch[dot]com, and I will gladly add the auction to the calendar.

Related Posts

July 20, 2006

$0.20 eBay Insertion Fee Today & Tomorrow

On 7/20 and 7/21 eBay is running a special on insertion fees.  $0.20 to insert a listing no matter what the starting bid or reserve price.  Now is a great time to list your high priced O Gauge items on eBay.


Related Posts
Alternatives to eBay

July 06, 2006

Upcoming Toy Train Auction At Stout Auctions

Stout Auctions will be holding an auction of "mainstream" trains at 10 am on Saturday, July 8th.  The auction will include 661 catalogued lots of trains from Lionel, MTH, K-Line, American Flyer, Ives, Marx and others.  Absentee bidding on catalogued lots is accepted by fax or through the Stout Auction website or participate live on eBay Live Auctions starting at 10 am Indiana time on the 8th.  The auction will also include "100's" of uncatalogued lots for attendees participating in the auction at Stout's Williamsport, IN auction gallery. Attendees can preview auction items at 8 am.  See the Stout Auctions website for auction details, rules, buyers premiums and instructions and deadlines for placing absentee bids.

Related Posts
Alternatives To eBay
The Story Behind The "$50,000" Bronze Prototype

June 08, 2006

$0.20 Insertion Fees On eBay Today

Today only eBay is running a special on insertion fees.  $0.20 to insert a listing no matter what the starting bid or reserve price.  So if you have a lot of high priced O Gauge items to auction off on eBay you can save $$$ by listing them today.



Related Posts
Lionel Acela Prices on eBay 4 Months Later
Alternatives To eBay

NJ Hobby Shop Up For Auction On eBay

Back in the beginning of April I posted that The CB Train Depot, a train shop in Hillside, NJ,  was being sold by it's owners.  Yesterday, the owners put the shop up for auction on eBay with a starting bid of $65,000.  This one will be interesting to watch.  (I wish I could buy it!)


Related Posts
Train Shop For Sale In NJ

May 25, 2006

Lionel Acela Prices On eBay 4 Months Later

Back in the beginning of February I posted auction results from Lionel  Acela listings on eBay as the sets were starting to hit hobby stores.  The list price for the Acela is $1,999.00.  A very anxious person on January 29th paid $2,224.99 for one on eBay!   Well, four months have passed and the average selling price of the Acela on eBay over the past 30 days is $1,642.75.  There seems to be plenty of sets from the limited production run of 2,000 available because there were 20 Acela eBay auctions over the past 30 days.  It will be interesting to track how fast prices will rise over the next year or so as the sets become scarcer.

May 23, 2006

eBay Listing Upgrades for Pennies Next 2 Days

Have some trains you want to sell on eBay? eBay announced today they are offering some enhanced listing options for one penny on May 23rd and 24th. Upgrades available for a penny include subtitles, listing designer, and gift services.  eBay claims that such listing upgrades increase bids so why not give them a try for a penny.

April 27, 2006

Alternatives to eBay?

Two new auction sites have started up with the goal of providing a lower cost alternative to eBay, the world's leading on line auction site. and are hoping their sites will become a popular alternative to eBay for toy and hobby related items.  hobBay is going after all toy and hobby related sellers while is limiting it's reach to model railroading.  Below is a breakdown of fees charged by each site (click on image for larger view):

Auctions2's fee structure is better for selling lower priced items and the listing extras are cheaper than fees favor the sellers of higher priced items if

Continue reading "Alternatives to eBay?" »

March 29, 2006

Two Pieces of Lionel "History" For Sale On eBay

Two plaques commemorating Lionel's 25th and 50th anniversaries are for sale on eBay.  The 25th anniversary plaque is up for $19,500 and the 50th anniversary plaque is selling for $25,000.  The  50th anniversary plaque was presented to the founder of Lionel, Joshua Cowen, during a ceremony at Lionel's Hillside, NJ plant and there are photos of Mr. Cowen holding the plaque.  The 25th anniversary plaque was presented to the "Lionel Corporation".

The 25th Anniversary Plaque:


The 50th Anniversary Plaque:


March 16, 2006

Toy Auction at Three Rivers Auction Company

The Three Rivers Auction Company will be holding an auction of toy items including several model railroad items that may be of interest.  Lots 121 through 181 contain many Lionel items and some nice 1:1 scale PRR station signs.  There are also a some Marx toys listed and some American Flyer items.  The auction will be held on March 19th at noon in Washington, PA but on line bids can be placed through the Proxibid website.  You can preview the items on Thursday, March 16th from 3 pm to 8 pm.

The Story Behind the "$50,000" Bronze Prototype

Turbine1_2On March 1st I posted about a listing on eBay for what was thought to be a bronze prototype of a Lionel Turbine engine for a “Buy It Now” price of $50,000.  I was curious as to how this piece was obtained so I emailed the seller, Trains ‘n Hobbies.  The owner of Trains ‘n Hobbies, John E. Charvat, was kind enough to send a response to my inquiry. Here’s John’s response:

I am the owner of Trains 'n Hobbies opened in Oceanside, New York in 1979. We moved to Rockville Centre, NY in 1983, and have been there since. We primarily deal in the smaller scales, especially HO, but do handle the larger scales, including Lionel.  Like most stores, we buy and sell used of all scales. 

One day (in 1992) a man in his twenties came in and asked if we bought used Lionel and I answered in the affirmative. He said he had a brass Lionel loco. I told him that this was unlikely, since Lionel had not made brass models since the WWI era. He insisted and I told him to bring it in. I thought no more about it until he returned several days later with a package under his arm and said he had the brass Lionel loco that we talked about. I had visions of a Number 1 or an early trolley, but when he opened the package my heart sank. Not another Turbine! I looked at it and thought that maybe someone had painted it brass to resemble an HO import. I told him that this was not in good shape and would be useful only for parts. I offered him a very low figure since as I told him; in addition to the condition Turbines were not particularly scarce. After a protest, (I was ready to let him walk) he relented.

I took the loco down to my shop, and was puzzled to discover that the 'paint' wouldn't come off. I took it apart and noticed that the inside looked handmade with screwed together frame pieces and other oddities: the smoke chamber was an aluminum tube; the apron (rear ladder) was screwed on rather than peened over; the E-unit lever was over the drivers; and many of the parts including the motor field were bronze. The basic setup was the same as other horizontal motored locos, such as the early 726, and the motor looks like an Atomic motor, but there are no markings anywhere on the piece. Then it dawned on me that Lionel had built prototypes out of bronze, and this could be one of them.

I was later told that some salesman's samples were also made of bronze, but haven't been able to confirm that. In either case, no bronze Turbine has appeared up 'til now, that I know of. I wrote a letter to Lionel and Greenberg and neither of them could affirm or deny the existence of a Turbine Prototype. I have been unable to track down any information on this very unusual loco and have listed it twice to arouse some interest, hoping that someone will have some knowledge and be able to give me some insight or leads on how to find out more.

View photos here.

If anyone has any information about this piece, please contact John at  By the way, the piece didn't sell and has since been re-listed on eBay.

March 15, 2006

John H. Armstrong Collection Up For Auction

Bob Charles Auctions will be auctioning off the collection of John H. Armstrong, a noted O Gauge model railroader and author.  Mr. Armstrong authored many books and articles on the subject of model railroading and built what was to become a famous and influential O Scale layout, the Canandaigua Southern Railroad, in the basement of his home.   On line bidding for the pieces in the collection will close on March 23, 2006.  The  live auction will be held on March 24 & 25, 2006 in Harrisburg, PA.  There is a total of 417 lots listed for auction on the  Bob Charles site.

Read the discussion about the auction on the OGR forum

March 08, 2006

Large Lionel Collection for Sale

Someone in the Northern Illinois area is attempting to sell a large collection of Lionel trains, over 200 pre-war, post war and modern cars/engines plus accessories and paperwork.  No indication of an asking price.  The seller has information about the collection posted on his website.

March 01, 2006

Keep Your Eye On This One...

There is what is claimed to be an original brass Lionel prototype of a Turbine that is up for auction on eBay for a buy it now price of $50,000.  I can't believe someone will pay that much for a piece that is undocumented.  There are several other auctions that have buy it now prices in excess of $10,000.  See the list in the right hand column of

February 13, 2006

Original Lionel Dealer Display Sells for Big $'s on eBay

D40_display_1An original Lionel D-40 dealer display layout from 1951 was up for auction on eBay this past week and sold for $17,600.  There were 32 bids from ten bidders.  The winner cast only one bid with 40 seconds remaining in the auction.  Another bidder placed a bid of $17,500 with 7 seconds left but it wasn't enough. 

The 4' x 6' layout of 0-27 track with 2 #1122 switches, a #6019 operating track and display shelves with a Lionel semaphore blade sign was pre wired to accept a number of Lionel accessories that the dealer was to supply.  The layout surface still has it original "grass" intact.  The auction included some of the Lionel accessories plus a copy of the original instruction sheet and wiring diagram.  Shipping charges were an additional $500.  The display was originally available to dealers in 1951 for less than $50.00.

February 05, 2006

How much for the New Lionel Acela Set on eBay?

Lionel's Acela set was limited to a production run of 2,000 sets.  The sets started hitting hobby shops over the past week or so.  If you are looking for the set many have shown up on eBay.  How much will you pay?  The highest paid so far is $2,224.99, the cheapest is $1,725.  The set retails for $1,999.00.  Here's a recap of  how the Acela has been selling on eBay to date (date shown is auction ending date):

01/22/06  Buy It Now  $1,999.00 plus $40.00 shipping
01/27/06  Buy It Now  $1,999.00 plus $40.00 shipping
01/29/06  18 bids $1,999.00 plus $40.00 shipping
01/29/06  36 bids  $2,224.99 plus $35.00 shipping
01/30/06  Buy It Now  $1,995.00 plus $30.00 shipping
01/30/06  Buy It Now  $1,999.00 plus $40.00 shipping
01/30/06  Buy It Now  $1,995.00 plus $30.00 shipping
02/02/06  17 bids  $1725.00 plus $35.00 shipping
02/03/06  0 bids  $1725.00, $1995.00 Buy it Now w/free shipping  (re-listed)
02/03/06  0 bids $1,999.00 Buy it Now $40.00 shipping (re-listed)

See all the latest Acela listings

OGW Sponsors

OGW Affiliates

Classic Toy Trains Magazine Trains Magazine

Site Search

  • Google
    Web OGaugeWatch

Recent Reads

O Gauge Products & Accessories Railroad Travel, Hobby & Industry

Home | About | Podcasts | Videos | Photos | Polls | Archives | Links | Advertise