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I enjoy looking at the items for sale on Forum sponsor Trainz – - and I scroll through the listings for modern O gauge steam and diesel locomotives almost every day. It’s like visiting a train store and looking at what’s on the shelves. Of course, I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to buy something.

I’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of diesel B-units for separate sale. This morning, I counted 94 B-units for sale out of a total of 635 modern O gauge diesel locomotives – almost 15 percent of the items in this category. That seems like a large percentage to me and I’m wondering why that is.

Do people not like B-units? Do they sell them because ABA diesel locomotives are too long for their layouts? Are they trying to raise cash for another purchase? Any other reason? What do you think?


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IMO it's because they're overpriced.  Not just Trainz but everywhere.  I'm speaking of dummy B's.  In most cases, they have no functionality at all.  My locomotives are almost exclusively diesels and mostly cab units.  So I own a lot of B's.  I'll buy one if I can get it for less than $100.  Otherwise, I'm not interested.

I believe the reason they show up as separate sale items on the secondary market is usually the decision of the seller (in this case, Trainz).  I frequently buy from Trainz.  They routinely list A units and list the matching B unit for separate sale at the same time.  On several occasions, I've purchased the A.  That orphaned the B unit and added it to the list of 94 you're seeing.

Many years ago. I purchased a MTH DL 109.  Three different rd. numbers were offered and a separate sale B unit. I purchased 1 New Haven A unit. Decided to look for another road number to run with it. These became desirable. The NH never had B units. It took a few years. Many for sale. But you were forced to buy the matching B at a higher than original MSRP price. Eventually I purchased both missing numbers.

I just never got. The ABA concept of marketing. Forcing you to buy all 3. Especially if you have a smaller layout and start adding a string of passenger cars. It takes up a good portion of the RR.

More Examples.  Southern Railway never had EMD E8B's or ALCo PB's. (i'm sure there are more examples).  Yet Weaver and MTH made both.  I've had several hobby shops that know I am a Southern fan try to sell me the ones they got stuck with.  None for me though.

I saved one odd E8B to make a C&NW Crandall Cab out of.  Not that I am a C&NW fan, but the Crandall Cabs are some homely looking they are just neat.

For those of us that don't care, ABA looks cool. ABBA looks really cool.

I have to agree with  Bill ABA/ABBA do really look cool. My biggest issue with either ABA or ABBA is having a siding long enough to park them when not running them as taking them off the layout(most all of mine are MTH except Post War) is a Really Big PIA with all the tethers between them. I have 2  8 foot sidings just to park ABBA’s on 4 sets of them and a set of E8 that are almost 6 feet long on display no where else to park them. But they are still really cool and would want to let any of them go.

My guess is whoever sets up the sales doesnt know A B A go together.  From what i see on that internet auction site, they cannot grade their trains very good either - alot of C7 and C6 very goods that are very obviously worse for the wear.  I called them out on one that at first glance i was interested in and they did change the rating.  Saw another the other day tho - broken trucks, bad paint, missing parts but graded very good?

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