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What to look for in 2nd hand (used) 9V Train Sets?

MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard Member Posts: 320
edited July 2011 in Collecting
I've recently become interested in buying a 9V LEGO train and the price on the secondary market seems more reasonable than MISB. Is there anything I should look for when I am examining the used train to determine if it has been taken care of?

I would assume that rust of the tracks in a bad sign or if the light on the regulator doesn't work. Does anyone with more experience have any suggestions?


  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    edited July 2011
    I think most 9 volts are relatively well taken care of, but I think you hit it on the head: track condition. I have received tarnished tracks and dusty track( and usually use something like wd40 to clean them off, or a metal polish (gentle enough for track plastic).... The Engine is a hit or miss IMO. If someone says the engine 'runs' how well it runs is also determined by the condition of the track.. I have had engines run fine, but have issues on certain parts of the track.. Also remember that it is the inside sliver of 9v track that matters, not the top.. The steel wheel for the motor runs online the inside of the track.
    Usually most people should be able to test their transformer/power regulator with something Lego.. it is rare that someone has a regulator but has no train to test it on.. Otherwise it is hit or miss, but rarely have I received a power reg that does not work (plus you can still find those MISB) I would say if you see an eBay auction then ask the seller to test the engine (unless it does already mention it was tested in the auction) and ask if the train/engine can go around the track without issues, or if it seems like the track is dirty.. again a good polish should clear up any issues with the train track, unless you see rust.. then it depends if it is just light surface rust, or heavy rust.. in which case you may need to brillo pad it which may damage the plastic.

  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,694
    ^ The only thing I would add is that the plastic clips on the ends of the motor ( there are 2 on each end ) tend to be broken off. For some models, these clips are needed to build the model properly. Other than that I have only ever received 3 motors that I thought were abused. One I took apart to inspect and lubricate it and it ran a lot better afterwards. If you get tarnished track you can go to a model train store and get a hobbyist track cleaner that works well.
  • MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard Member Posts: 320
    Thanks for the suggestions and help. I bought my first 9V train this weekend (Cargo Railway) and it works great! I'm looking forward to putting the 9V motor on the Emerald Night and Maersk trains.

    Now I just need to figure out how to find more train tracks for a reasonable price...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,787
    ^--- as silly as it can sound, the best bang for the buck can sometimes be the large lots of track that appear on eBay. The price per piece may be lower than if you look for only 8-16 pieces here or there.
    Also I believe now would be a good time to look on eBay.
    In theory, there are less people on eBay now than during Early Spring, Late Fall and winter months....
    I know there are remarks about 9 volt track at ME Models but from what I have seen their track is the same cost IMO, and Id rather have official Lego track than buy a reproduction for the same price.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,694
    edited July 2011
    ^^ Just be patient and wait. Good deals are still out there. Don't jump at the first thing you see.

    ^ I agree with @madforlegos a good large lot with several switch sets will kind of drag down prices because people have enough of them I think.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,694
    ^^ Oops, Also you don't need the mega amount of straight track everyone thinks. Plan your layout first and you won't waste money buying too much traight track you don't need.
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