Whats the Most You've Paid for a Freight Car?

JMaurer1 Apr 11, 2019

  1. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

    Usually I'm very...frugal when it comes to buying rolling stock. I don't think I have EVER paid more than $20 for a car...that is until recently. Currently the two most expensive cars I have bought are the Bluford SP transfer caboose ($28 online plus shipping) and the MT SP impact car ($48 online plus shipping). I did wait too long to buy the two car pack of Chateau Martin reefers from NSE (while I don't drink wine, there were more than a few wine tanks and reefers on the RR I model as well as in the area I live). I have noone to blame but me since they came out with three different pairs, but at $81 a pair, I just couldn't pull the trigger. $40+ for just a 'standard' MT reefer, but now I'm starting to wish I had bought at least one pair. With seeing how some MT cars have gone for $100's and even on occasion $1000's of dollars, I started wondering:

    Whats the most expensive piece of rolling stock you have bought and why?
    Doug Gosha and BarstowRick like this.
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Near $30 (MSRP) for an Atlas Master Line Virginian boxcar at a hobby shop in Roanoke, VA. I wanted a souvenir car for our vacation and nothing else I could find suited, so I grimaced and bought it.
    Doug Gosha and BNSF FAN like this.
  3. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

    $43 for a ESM Despatch Shops Class X65 Boxcar. To be fair, this is a beautiful model, with crisp lettering, see through end platforms, under body air brake detail, metal wheels and Micro-Trains compatible body mounted couplers. The reason I purchased this car is because it's being sold in two different style P&LE paint schemes. The first scheme I picked up was the P&LE Jade Green scheme. My next purchase will probably be the same car in the P&LE Deep water Green scheme.
    Doug Gosha likes this.

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

    Wow, this is a dangerous topic if the wife ever reads it. I'll play anyway though. The M/T fuselage load set with the 2 flats for approximately $80 and the for a single car was an Athearn N 57' Mech Reefer w/Sound for about $50.
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    These are worth it, a stunning beautiful model for sure. As a gift, I received both LVs and greatly treasure them.
    Doug Gosha and Rich_S like this.
  6. Carl Lawson

    Carl Lawson TrainBoard Member

    Fine detail and crisp printing are wonderful things, but when weathered and rolling by in a train consist, I can’t tell the difference between the most expensive cars and the cheap MDC Roundhouse cars I bought 20 years ago. Since I don’t plan on mounting any magnifying lenses around the layout, I’m going for cheap whenever possible.
    mtntrainman, Doug Gosha, MK and 2 others like this.
  7. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter


    Same here -- I try to be as cheap (frugal) as possible. However, I couldn't pass up the MT SP impact car. As far as I know, it the most expensive single car that I have purchased. I gave $39.99 plus shipping for it. Purchased with other stuff -

    Doug Gosha likes this.
  8. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Mine had to be the laser cut wood kits for the pickle cars followed by the laser cut wood Caboose kits. I had to buy the flatcars for the pickle car kits and the trucks for the cabooses so those things added to the costs.
  9. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I paid $230 for a Schnabel kit. I still had to put it together, detail it, and paint it. It also cost me another $80 to get the 18 BLMA trucks it needed.
  10. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    I paid 60 bucks, almost 20 years ago, for one of the four A1G 80 foot Hi-Cubes. I think it was the B&O one. I was afraid I'd never see another on eBay. :D What's weird is I didn't pay that much for any of the four 96 foot tankers, in like new condition.

    Rich_S and Hardcoaler like this.
  11. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

    I've been lucky, and managed to find my n scal freight cars for 12 to 15 dollars each. I think the most I've paid was like 24 or 26 dollars for a spectrum Western Maryland caboose.
  12. SP 9811

    SP 9811 TrainBoard Member

    Like Doug, I also spent the most on A1G's, accept mine was for the whale belly tanks. I still need the GATX version, but that one is hard to find. Oh the price I paid on em was $60.
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  13. Carl Lawson

    Carl Lawson TrainBoard Member

    My most expensive rolling stock are 2 brass UP CA-11 cabooses. I got a good deal for both from the same dealer, but they are far and away the most expensive items I have.
  14. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

    Since somebody said "caboose", I will admit to spending $35 on a Fox Valley B&O wagontop caboose when they first came out. But, that is not really a freight car.
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

    This! But to answer the question, $13.95 for an ARR Atlas caboose (I think it might have been a Trainman one too!). Why? I needed an ARR caboose.
    Rich_S likes this.
  16. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Here it comes. Remember, you asked!

    Tooooo$$ much. Talking about N Scale. By that I mean anything over $20.00 for a freight car and $30.00 for a passenger car. It is in my opinion more money then I want to spend. I'd prefer $10.00 for freight cars and $20.00 for passenger cars but figure that's a lost dream.

    Starting in the early 60's. Now talking about HO. I was spoiled with the Athearn Blue Box offerings that cost me under $5.00. That was still a lot of money for a kid who is earning his way. Polishing cars at the mortuary, mowing lawns for neighbors and working the apricot sheds. I ended up with what I thought was an impressive collection of passenger and freight cars.

    No they weren't 100% accurate. Had those awful horn hook couplers. The diesels were somewhat oversized to accommodate a rather large electric motor. The flanges on the wheel sets would cut pizza.

    They didn't run as well as today's offerings but it made this kid one happy customer. That was after we got past the Hi-fi drive and the super powered stuff.

    Then as now, the search was on to find a transformer where we could start our engines-out by creeping from a stand still to speed. Pulse was supposed to be the answer, not!! What came later and MRC as well as others discovered, Momentum. Solid state momentum. Now we are talking. No more jerky fast starts requiring us to cram those wire wound rheostats back to regain control of the lash-up. :sick::confused::eek: I digress.

    Today, I look at the prices I can find on mail order sites, internet sites and the proverbial auction websites. Toooo Much $$$$.:mad:

    Occasionally, I find something on E-pay I can't live without. As was the case with my Uncle Neil. Next time give your nephew a call. :whistle::coffee::p

    This is not a cheap or frugal hobby. It is moving from a time a kid, like I.. was with limited income could build a layout, to those who are blessed with more and able to afford such. I wouldn't trade the time I had growing up in the hobby with anything else!! Except maybe playing football at the local high-school. Another story for another time and place.

    Now if you think the hobby is dieing. Not true. Certain applications perhaps. This retired mortician can assure you, I keep finding a pulse and new youngsters as well as oldsters are getting into the hobby. There's more of us today then there was when I first started. For the Love of Trains.

    Yes, we've lost many of our brick and mortar hobby shops but that isn't always the fault of the hobbyist. Oh, it would of helped if we purchased everything from them. It did prolong some stores for a while. Most closed because the family of the owner didn't want to continue running the store. I saw that happen time and again. San Dimas, CA., Train Stop, was a good example. Hated to see it close. :sick: o_O

    Thought of the day. The product providers (manufacturers) available today and the variety of train equipment out there has never been better. The quality is amazing and the attention to details is Awesome. In most cases worth the price.

    Pay Attention, you can almost find anything you want in any scale.
    Now is the time to be buying. Snooze you loose.

    Okay, I've vented and foamed long enough. What do you expect from a Train Foamer? :LOL::ROFLMAO::Do_O I said with pride! :sneaky:(y):cool:
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    Rich_S likes this.
  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

    Those were such COOL cars. I have the GTW and SP, bought when I was young, though my SP is missing a truck. I need to see if I have one around here somewhere. These used those extended neck trucks.

    I just looked at mine. The price stickers are white with age, but they are both dated 11/73. I can't read the price ….. looks like $3-something. These cars are much too large for my current railroad, but they still make me smile.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  18. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

    The $50 that MT is charging for autoracks these days are the most expensive cars I have bought.
  19. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    I forgot that that price was for "like new in the box" so it's not quite as bad as it sounds. :D

    Later, I got another one, not boxed but still like new, for about 10 bucks. Actually, the SP is my favorite of that group. Those arrows.

    Hardcoaler likes this.
  20. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    $40.00. It was for the excellent ESM CB&Q Class XML-14 50 foot boxcar. It is rare in N scale to find cars this accurate out of the box. It matches the image in my Burlington Freight car book and operationally, the low profile metal wheels, body mounted couplers and correct ride height makes a small switching layout a pleasure to operate.
    Hardcoaler likes this.

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