Toy Train Grading Standards

There are commonly used standards for grading trains. The grading system was designed by the Train Collectors Association and almost all collectors now use it.

Here are the TCA grades:

Mint - MT - This means the train is brand new unused in the original packaging.

Like New - LN- Very little signs of use. Free of blemishes nicks or scratches. Usually trains in LN condition have their original boxes. A train that has been cleaned is not like new.

Excellent - EX- A toy train with minute (tiny) nicks or scratches; no dents or rust.

Very Good - VG - A toy train with few scratches, exceptionally clean, no dents or rust.

Good - GD - The toy train has scratches, small dents, and is dirty. Sometimes dirty trains can be cleaned to very good or excellent condition.

Fair - This term is not used much by collectors. Similar to good, but with rust or warped castings.

Poor - PR - Toy train is good for parts or restoration only.

Restored - REST or R - A toy train refinished to look like an excellent original. This means it has been repainted with correct colors and lettering.

Repainted Toy trains repainted by owners or kids. Repainted items are usually in poor condition.

Many sellers exaggerate the condition of their toy trains. Most trains that have been played with are in good to excellent condition. Buyers tend to be more picky and see the toy trains defects.

Remember, these grades only pertain to the toy train's cosmetic appearance. The train doesn't have to run. Also many toy trains made before 1936 have decayed wheels. Wheels are cheap and easy to replace. Other castings like frames will lower the condition if damaged.

Toy Train Values

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