Running our model trains
is only a part of what the Toy Train Operating Society is about. Many of us are
also avid train collectors. Collecting is a fascinating hobby because it offers
an infinite array of specializations. Since the Pacific Northwest Division is
located in Washington and Oregon, many of our members concentrate their efforts
in collecting model trains and artifacts from Western railroading history. There
is much to choose from!
Because prices on model
trains, old and new, can easily reach into the thousands of dollars, collection
standards have been established to allow comparisons of train values based on
condition at the time of purchase. In 1983, TTOS established the following
grading standards for use by TTOS members. The standards echo those of the TCA
(Train Collectors Association), another national group involved in the hobby.
Grading standards are
issued primarily to the finish conditions. Parts can be missing in all
categories other than Mint or Like New. Missing and replacement parts must be
noted in the description of the item. Refinished or restored pieces must be
noted, and cannot be graded above Excellent. In between grades are not
recognized by TTOS.
||Brand new, absolutely unmarred,
all original and unused.
||Free of any blemishes, nicks or
scratches, original condition throughout, very little sign of use.
||Minute nicks or scratches, no
dents or rust.
||Few scratches, exceptionally
clean, no dents or rust.
||Scratches, small dents, dirty.
||Well-scratched, chipped, dented,
||Beat up, junk condition, some