This post was on an other forum by me. The topic was the new Lionel catalog and the seemimnly dramic price increases . I responded that the new prices dont effect me. I wrote: Lionel wont miss my sales. I cant begin to think of buying new catalog items these days. I have themes for railroading and work to achieve those and in doing that I buy at lot of ebay and show vender stuff. I have gotten 3 new engines since the K Line Big Boy came out but that is not a lot. Mostly I buy cheap or items in disrepair and fix them up. I have concentrated on K Line and Industrial marked down pieces locally. My Christmas Lists contain well researched stuff so my family can get the most for the bucks. My personal income in a year is what many of you all make in a month so I haven,t a lot to spend. Last night I bid on and won a like new K W for about $100 and ask the fellow before the auction closed if I could pay him after the 1st if it went over the $75 I had bid. He was nice about it. I would love to have a ZW but some where I have a TMMC set up and cant see the expense. My point is I can't buy out of the new catalogs any given year but I still manage to enjoy myself. A big hit was 3 years ago this winter a series of floods destroyed almost every thing I had. Dozens of engines and cars I spent 15 years plus accumulating. Now what I have done this winter is build a Bachman coaling tower and ask Bubbette to get me a K Line warehouse sale 6 pac of coal hoppers. I bought 12 more on ebay of post war Lionel and that post 70s cheap stuff for about $7 per unit shipped. I got two Industrial Rail hoppers also. So I have about 20 nice hoppers now, half with loads for around $200 total. I also got a Lionel Coaling station for $20 and shipping this weekend that I am kit bashing into a coal tipple. I repainted a Berk and a couple of the hoppers. Touched up a few old heavey plastic Lionels and cleaned and dull coated them all and now I have a nice Coal line ready for a new lay out. Most black, two gray and two tuscan, a nice mixed lot of coal hoppers. I spent the money over several months and now I am quite pleased with the results. I really am not directly impacted by the market and prices. The two New preoreded engines I have, I paid like a layaway and when the came they were paid for. This is the fun part for me, finding and fixing. When I was a kid I would drag home every trike and buggy wheel I could fine and make go carts to coast down the hills with. Later on it was bicycle frames and wheels. Now it is old toy trains. I am happy as hell doing it to. Some testers spray paint, decals, polish and craft paint is the only tool I need besides some imagination. Rusty pre war is great to rehab, it cleans up really well. I am not saying Hi Rail is not a great hobby and Big Buck collectors and operators like Tony Lash are not having fun also, I admire them and what they do, truly but for Gil and Bubba, we have the most fun working with in our limitations and I encourage all the guys like me to make the most of what you have and enjoy it.