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I have built a Culvert Unloader from parts found under the tables. Took quite a few years. I've done the same with the Dispatching Station.

 I've found a set of SG #19 & 190 passenger cars (combine and observation) for my wife for $15, already stripped for painting (I'm thinking Polar Express colors), a #3454 Merchandise car that only needed new wiring, a AmFlyer Mail Car whose mechanism is now inside a Lionel aluminum combine, and a manual prewar #721 072 LH switch for FREE in a box of rusty track just when I needed one. 

I'm still looking for a mint, unopened 700K .

artyoung posted:

 I've found a set of SG #19 & 190 passenger cars (combine and observation) for my wife for $15, already stripped for painting (I'm thinking Polar Express colors).

A Tinplate Polar Express, that is something I'd love to see (...and have).  Art, please keep us posted w/ pics on your progress.  I've been mulling the idea of stripping down a couple of O-gauge 600 or 2600 series prewar cars and re-painting to Polar Express colors.  IIRC Hero Boy had a tinplate train running around the family Christmas tree in the Polar Express movie.

Although tinplate production from MTH is on a hiatus, hopefully w/ enough hints (requests) @MTH might consider a North Pole Railroad themed tinplate offering.  They've already dipped their toe into the Polar color palette w/ their Railking cars and accessories.  Maybe MTH could test the idea/interest by offering a Polar Railroad colored MTH RR Club Tinplate membership car offering?

Last edited by Keystone

Well, the most memorable find occurred several years ago.  Not a biggie, but it made a friend's day!

He was a vendor at a local train show.  We chatted about this and that...and Ebay.  He commented that he had just lost out on a bid for a issue #1 of Classic Toy Trains magazine....the one with Richard Kughn on the cover.  Now at that time...again, several years ago...that issue in new/excellent condition could bring in the neighborhood of a ten dollar bill....or more.

Well, wife and I resumed our wandering of the aisles.  We really had nothing definite we were searching for.  Then about 10 tables down the aisle from my friend's location we saw a couple boxes of magazines under a  table.  Normally I'd pass those by, but my friend's Ebay regret was fresh in the mind.  The boxes were marked "All magazines 50 cents each".

I looked in the first box, got to the third magazine in the stack, .....and there it was.  Crisp.  Nary a mark or ragged edge.  Like it was fresh off the rack.  Fifty cents.  I left it in the stack, had my wife stand guard, and returned to my friend's table.  Told him to go to the table where Deb was standing, look in the first box, underneath, and the third magazine in the stack.

Priceless enjoyment for wife and me.  Fifty cents, price of ecstacy for our friend.

Whereas I still don't have much personal interest in the under-the-table stuff, my wife enjoys mining for miracles.  I'm well into the getting-down-is-easy-getting-up-not-so-much years.   And without good under-table lighting (at train show tables?) I can't read box labels or see into deep shadows.  

Good memories help us through the day.

KD

Last edited by dkdkrd

My greatest under the dealer table happened this year at a local meet.  Looking through the usual junk boxes I found a very dirty DCS remote for $2.  When I got it home I removed the old batteries, cleaned out the corrosion and with new batteries installed it fired right up.  I upgraded it to the latest software and now I have my long planned spare remote!

Rolland

My most recent "under the table find" was a cute little Lionel MPC Bobber Caboose.  Normally I just hunt K Line smoking cabooses.....but something caused me to look under the table at the vendors junk box.  And hence this thread.....next York I will do this to make train meet "hunts" more interesting. When the twin grandsons get older (now just 4 months) I may invoke "child labour" and ask/have them search those lower boxes.....after all they will stay under 4 feet tall at least for a few years!!!!

artyoung posted:

I have built a Culvert Unloader from parts found under the tables. Took quite a few years. I've done the same with the Dispatching Station.

 I've found a set of SG #19 & 190 passenger cars (combine and observation) for my wife for $15, already stripped for painting (I'm thinking Polar Express colors), a #3454 Merchandise car that only needed new wiring, a AmFlyer Mail Car whose mechanism is now inside a Lionel aluminum combine, and a manual prewar #721 072 LH switch for FREE in a box of rusty track just when I needed one. 

I'm still looking for a mint, unopened 700K .

I dreamed about this everytime I attend a show. A 700E in the bottom of the box!

Well, I found a Red 6262 Lionel wheel car with the rest of the set in a box under a table at an antique store, and had to dig before I found the car.  Ended up buying the whole pile and had to unscrew the track from the old layout.  Got the set with the 6262 in it and a prewar set with a 252 and a prewar marx steamer and a bunch of track and accessories.  Same trip different antique store I found a complete early 1946 freight set that contained a near perfect  early 2454 Orange boxcar with Pennsylvania spelled out on the side versus the common Baby Ruth.  Picked that up as well...  Was a good trip...

 

One year set out looking for a 12 car set of Weaver Coal hoppers. Well in the Red Hall, someone had them. They were is a somewhat distressed state but I had lots of Weaver trucks at home to make the necessary repairs on the few cars that needed them. We chatted and struck a price we were both comfortable with. As he was packing up the cars he mentioned UNDER THE TABLE you also get these with the cars... 12 new Blue Mountain coal loads.  Probably my best York Deal.  The cars were Erie Lackawana 4 bay hoppers. 

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