Policy Regarding Donations and Purchases of Secondhand Equipment


From time to time the society is offered items, and even whole collections, of model railway equipment, either as donations or for purchase. This page sets out the society’s normal approach in dealing with these.

Valuations and Advice

The society does not offer advice on the value of secondhand items, nor how best to dispose of them. Any such advice given by individual members is their personal opinion, and the society cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Items Offered for Sale to the Society

As a general rule, the society will not purchase secondhand items, either for use or resale, although exceptions may be made if an item is of particular interest/value. At the discretion of the Trading Officer, items may be accepted for sale on a commission basis.

Items Offered for Sale to Members of the Society

The society will accept listings of items for sale to publicise to our membership if we believe they may be interested. Lists should detail the items for sale, with an expected price and an indication of whether the seller is open to offers. The more detail that can be given, the better the chances of getting a sale.  Any sales resulting are private transactions between the individuals concerned.

Donations to the Society

Items donated become the property of the society, and may be kept, sold (to members or externally) to raise funds for the society, or scrapped as seen fit. Donations will not normally be accepted with conditions on their use or disposal.

Notes on Specific Types of Items


Model railway layouts tend to be very personal in nature, of variable quality, bulky to transport and store, and often take a good deal of maintenance to keep them looking and working well. Most have very little secondhand value and, if accepted, may be broken up to salvage useful components. We have limited storage space and manpower, and cannot undertake to keep donated layouts intact and operational. If you want it to stay intact for sentimental reasons, keep it or dispose of it somewhere else.

Locomotives and Rolling Stock

The value of these can vary enormously according to their age, rarity and condition. If you think you may have valuable items, you are urged to seek a professional valuation. For every rare, mint condition model in pristine packaging that is worth a fortune to a collector, there are thousands of boxes of battered rusty old toys with broken and missing bits, barely worth breaking for parts to restore other models. The chances are that that box in your dad’s attic is one of the latter.


In general, unopened complete etched kits from the better manufacturers are probably most valuable. Opened, (badly) part built ‘el Crappo’ kits with bits missing are not worth much to anybody.

Books and Videos

We already have a lot of books, and limited space for more. Unless they are particularly rare and in excellent condition, they are probably of limited value. Videos are not generally accepted even by charity shops, and we do not require more.


Magazines take up a great deal of space, and are of little to no resale value. We already have a great many, and additional collections are likely to be sent for recycling.