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So, I had a happy dream where I was walking my dog and came across layout  parts with track, switches, etc attached, next to someone's trash cans. I opened the cans to find trains accessories, etc.

I found more and more as I sorted through my find, in greater and greater detail as I went along.

In real life I never found trains in the trash - HAVE YOU?

A certain vendor at out local train show frequently claims that he does, I never believed him

Last edited by Lionelski
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Yep,….I had a paper route as a youngster,…..found A LOT of Lionel, American Flyer and Marx in the trash wee hours of the morning, …..sometimes requiring multiple trips,…..I even befriended the garbage guys and bribed them with free newspapers for life if they found trains to keep them for me,……that actually paid off,…..also being out wee hours in the morning meant first dibs at yard sales,…..way back when 5-10 bucks landed a box full of Lionels……I was that kid!…

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Yep,….I had a paper route as a youngster,…..found A LOT of Lionel, American Flyer and Marx in the trash wee hours of the morning, …..sometimes requiring multiple trips,…..I even befriended the garbage guys and bribed them with free newspapers for life if they found trains to keep them for me,……that actually paid off,…..also being out wee hours in the morning meant first dibs at yard sales,…..way back when 5-10 bucks landed a box full of Lionels……I was that kid!…

Pat

Holy poop Pat.

Now THOSE sound like the good ol' days!

@Lionelski posted:

Holy poop Pat.

Now THOSE sound like the good ol' days!

Yep,…grew up in Poughkeepsie NY, trash days were Tuesdays and Thursdays,……best days of the week,….the shopping was amazing,…….toy trucks, trains, slot cars, you name it ,…….one of my paper route customers was an American Flyer operator, he’d trade me Lionels for Flyer every time I found some,……I had found some rare Flyer switcher he wanted, and traded me an entire 2343 Santa Fe set with the cars for it,…..I came home like Peacock that just won the lottery,…..still have that set,….I was wheeling and dealing at the ripe age of 12,….😉

Pat

In 1964 I was in 6th grade and would stop in my next door neighbors garage whenever the lights were on.  They had a son who was into racing cars and I would watch him, ask questions etc.  One time I looked into the trash can in the garage and there was a Lionel 1033 transformer.  I asked if I could have it and they said yes.  His mom said there were more trains in the attic and a set of race cars with track that she gave him for X-mas.  She said he played with them that night and never again. I took the 1033 transformer which I still use this day.  The rest never panned out. Oh well.   JP

I work at a college. One of my coworkers found a G scale set in a dumpster on move-out day a couple of years ago. He runs G scale so he took the set home and got it running.
I had a paper route too but never came across trains in the trash. I have had friends give me their old stuff but no mother-loads in the garbage.

The CEO would say I have enough trash in the basement as is......

Once in the late 60’s, the corner variety store near where we hung out, threw out about a half dozen new, but disassembled Lionel exploding boxcars. I took them home, and managed to piece together a brand new car for my layout. All the parts to all the cars seemed to be there, and I could never figure out why they threw them in the trash.

A friend called me one day and said their was a whole model RR layout sitting out at the curb near his house. It seems a neighbor had moved out of a rent house and put the layout at the curb. I took my trailer and went to look at it. Boy, it was a big HO layout, about 10'x10', and was completed through the track laying stage. It was complete with code 100 Atlas flex and Atlas switches, with switch machines. It was all wired up with Atlas wiring components, like their Selectors, etc. I got it apart into two halves, then hauled it home. Salvaged all the HO off of it, and salvaged all he nice wood it was built with. Used the wood on my current "O" gauge layout, and sold all the HO at a train show. What a deal.

Never found trains, but had a friend who found a bunch of Hot Wheels and track.  I found some baseball and football cards.  In both cases, it was due to a child being punished.  Odd form of punishment; IMO it would have been more of a punishment if the parent gave the items to one of the kid's friends so he'd have to watch someone else enjoy them.

I was coming home from work on trash pick up day. As I got off the bus there was a pile of trains in a cardboard box waiting for trash pick up. I picked them up. What was in the box? A post-war 675, An NYC 2344 AA, A bunch of post war operating and box cars. A G-Gauge steam engine in need of repair and a G-Gauge live stock car. I sold the G-Gauge stuff for several hundred $. I am still running the 675 and 2344. They needed a little TLC, but by and large were in excellent condition.

Several years ago while walking the dog I was looking over a large pile of what appeared to be a basement clean out setting by the curb.  I noticed some flanged wheels sticking out from under old carpeting. When I realized what it was I hurried the dog home and returned with my car.

I brought home a very rusty but complete child sized handcar. A bit of googling showed it to be a Deopke Yardbird from the mid 1950's. I cleaned and painted it and added reproduction stickers. To display it off the floor I built a stand and motorized it for a bit of action.

These were made to run on 7 1/2" track. It would have been a blast to have had rich parents and a big yard with one of these set up.

-Mark

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Maybe 8 years ago I missed a yard sale on a saturday. On Sunday I drove by they had the remainder of the stuff they didn't sell out with the garbage with a sign "take what you want do not leave a mess"I was shocked there was a box with flyer track and a school house still in the box. It was in almost perfect condition only a small scratch where the bell swung. I sold it on the bay for 650.00. also sold the track which was a few switches  turns and straights.

I haven’t found any train related item in the trash but I have a friend who belongs to one of the national clubs and attends their monthly swap meets. They have an auction of donated “stuff” and to help out the club my friend will bid on boxes that no one wants. For $5 or $10 dollars he comes home with his treasure. Most of the contents are not salvageable but occasionally he will find a nugget. I tend to be the recipient of some of the items that need repair. He’s given me a 1130 Scout and a #60 Trolley, both need gears replaced but the bodies are in very good shape. I also received a 2-bay hopper, a gondola, and a porthole caboose. They all needed a good cleaning and lube but are otherwise in great shape.

John

We’ll, I didn’t find it in a trash can, but an empty lot. In grade school I was working on building a rocket (I didn’t know what I didn’t know).  I was going through an empty lot looking for materials. The lighting wasn’t good, but I picked up what looked like some tin cans (perfect skin for a rocket).  I stuck them in my pocket and called it a success.
When I got home, and wanted to look them over, I got quite the surprise.  They turned out to be tuna cans, and my pocket was full of, and stank from , all the tuna oil that had dripped out of the cans.
The thought of designing a submarine instead of a rocket crossed my mind.

Alan

Last edited by ajzend

Neighbor found a pair of 042 manual switches at the township landfill in the 1960's..........I found the set box for a Lionel mic era 027 southern train sticking out the top of a trash can,I thought it was empty and wanted to put a set of set of engine and cars together. It was full of trains,a little southern steam switcher engine and 4 cars ,track, and transformer....I got $ 50 for it at the show held at Lucas co . rec center in Maumee-Toledo,Ohio

This one didn't happen to me (never my luck), but one of those friend of a friend stories. Story goes guy saw a house with a dumpster in front of it, and saw all this stuff in there, but the kicker was there was a ton of train stuff in there, apparently in several big boxes with open to[s.. Was in front of one of these large, newer houses (tract mansion, whatever you call it).

The friend knocked on the door to inquire, in case they had made a mistake, it was expensive stuff and to get permission to take it if it interested him. Turns out to be one of those stories you sometimes here, husband ran off with some younger woman, wife was ****ed, and to spite him decided throw it out (usually with these stories, the husband leaves a note for the wife telling her to sell his stuff and send him the money..IDK if that happened here). In any event, supposedly got a pretty nice collection of modern train stuff that way, along with some other items. Again it was a friend of a friend, so it could be bs, but it is a nice story

I did not find any in the garbage. When I bought my house, there was an old dresser in the basement. One day I decided to clean it up. In the bottom  drawer was a Lionel steam engine. Starter set but there was the airforce missile car missing half of the roof, exploding boxcar and a few other cars. A year later was making a garden, I found the other roof half.

My plumber stopped by one day. He was working in a basement. There was a pile of debris and cat litter. On top of the pile were lionel boxes. Owner said take them. He ended up with Santa Fe AA F3, some automated cars, station and other cars. He had a big smile with his acquisition..

Last edited by DMASSO

I guess I got screwed. I delivered an afternoon paper, so the trash was all picked up by the time I hit my route after school.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone complain about how his mom threw  his trains out when he was in the service or away at college. If all those stories were true, the landfills must have looked like York, but some of those stories are undoubtedly true.

Back then, few people saw Lionel trains as collectibles. They were simply toys. When Junior outgrew them and moved on to cars and girls, they were fair game for mom to throw out or give away to a younger cousin.

Thankfully, my mother saved my trains (and my baseball cards, too).

@Joe Connor posted:

I guess I got screwed. I delivered an afternoon paper, so the trash was all picked up by the time I hit my route after school.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone complain about how his mom threw  his trains out when he was in the service or away at college. If all those stories were true, the landfills must have looked like York, but some of those stories are undoubtedly true.

Back then, few people saw Lionel trains as collectibles. They were simply toys. When Junior outgrew them and moved on to cars and girls, they were fair game for mom to throw out or give away to a younger cousin.

Thankfully, my mother saved my trains (and my baseball cards, too).

Kind of ironic, these days people see Lionel trains as collectible and wouldn't throw them out, when the reality is most common Lionel and other train items are not collectible, given the current prices of post war and the like. Been to a number of garage sales and shook my head at the prices people wanted for common PW stuff, being told "it is a valuable collectors item" and such

Over 50 years ago I was driving home from work and spotted about 5 bushel baskets of Lionel track and accessories at the curb, of course I stopped to look....It was mostly rusted Lionel track but there were a number of accessories that I salvaged...BUT NO TRAINS  I knocked on the Ladies door and told her I was a train nut and asked if she had any of the trains left.... She told me her son was injured in the 2nd World War and the Doctors told him to get a hobby to help him recover, He picked trains...He had past away and the woman was cleaning out the basement and if I wanted what was left she would call me when she was ready. About 2 weeks later she called... She gave Me a Lionel GG1, a 622 Switcher, a Union Pacific FA Diesel  2023 with B unit and a Lionel Steamer 2025, All in working order with a little TLC....50 years later they are still running on my layout. Except for an old Lionel 261 tinplate that was my Fathers the trash find started me on  my journey of collecting and modeling Lionel trains. My American Flyer I had when I was a younger Kid were sold in the 1990's to make room for my growing collection of Lionel's....

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An american Flyer passenger set with track at the local town dump.

A Lionel santa fe F# set with track and transformer.

A large box of rusty Marx track with switches and controllers.

Many boxes of 0-27 track.

Ho starter sets a month after Christmas when the trees were taken down.

Peg Pergo ride on train with track and cars.  a new 6 volt battery and I sold it.

all sold or traded for other items for my collection.

1 - not in the trash, as such - but I was over at my friend's house one afternoon when we were 12 or so and noticed that the garage side door stop (literally) was a Lionel 2035 "K4 Pacific" ("Pacific" - yeah, right). It had been Jerry's and he was no longer interested, and the 2035 is one heavy little steamer, so - doorstop. It had been sliding around the concrete floor for a while. I asked Jerry if I could have it since he didn't want it and he (and his mother) said yes. I kept it for decades in a drawer (trains were not in my life for a long time), then "restored" it (to be kind) in the 1980's. Still have it. It ran about 20 years ago.

2 - a friend of mine with not much patience and a lot of money was prone to taking an uncooperative loco - MTH "ding-ding" PS1's with scrambled chip issues were his main targets - and simply throwing them in the city trash. Never seen again. Still in "Reset" at the bottom of the dump. I tried to explain that he was causing most of the issues (trying to run with a dead battery), but he wouldn't listen. He could be hard on machinery. And people. (Late at night you can still hear the sad little ding-dings if you listen carefully....)

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