Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by jflessne, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    My father in law called today and told me one of his uncles recently passed away. The uncles wife will be going to a nursing home soon and wanted him to have a basement layout etc.

    Apparently his uncle had a very very large somewhat complete layout in the basement of the home.

    Long story short my father in law would like to give me/my son the layout. :)

    Several hundred things went Thur my head. Here's a short list

    - It's in Minnesota. I'm in Arizona and my father in laws in Illinois.
    - Should I get someone from a local hobby shop to break it up?
    - Should I donate the layout to a local club? And grab the rolling stock and Engines?

    I'm trying to get some pictures of it...if I do I wll post. I suspect I will have to get someone over there to inventory. Me flying to Minnesota is not an option at this time. :( I'd Love to however. My father in law did voleenteer to drive over there to break it down etc. He's a real estate agent with some serious disabilties. (One being AADD!)

  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Having done this for a friend already, I have some observations.

    ---Take the rolling stock and engines first and foremost. At risk of sounding crass, most of the value lies in them. Through someone you can trust, have them carefully packed and sent to you. Rather than airfare, you'd only be out the price of shipping and a thank you gift for the one who did the work for you.

    ---The layout is another matter entirely. Most are built with little regard for portability and so, without someone knowledgable in their construction, tear down is a difficult proposition. Most buildings and track would be difficult to remove and, depending on the age of the layout, most technologies on it would span several types and techniques. I would recommend donating it to a local club, salvaging only loose track, buldings and accessories for yourself.

    I'm sorry for the loss of an uncle and wish I could help more. One sad part of our hobby is the overwelming hodge-podge we can accumulate, only to leave it for bewildered family who have little clue as to what to do with it. Having lost my late father's collection to a haphazzard landlord, I hope better things for your uncle's.
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    as Bob said the rolling stock and locos would be the best thing to get as for the layout and buildings if your uncle was a scratch builder i would take some of the buildings he built just because:) the rest if there is not a local club you might think of donating to a local charity.
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    This sounds familiar. A friend told me that another member of an auto club he belongs to had passes away and his wife sold a vintage Mustang and a rather large N scale layout to yet another member. He paid $300 for the layout and stock, but had no use for any of it, (well,he did want to keep the Mustang) so they contacted me. This layout was built in four sections and was relatively easy to take apart except for the legs. It could be transported locally but there was no way that it could have gone any great distance. I paid him what he paid and we moved everything into storage until I could figure out what to do with everything. The good thing is that we only had to move it about 25 miles. I wanted the rolling stock and engines, but had no place for this layout... then I remembered that Ray Marinaccio was trying to get something going with a kids RR club.

    Bottom line is that Ray moved the layout in his truck about another 60 miles north to Dewey. What he got was an 80 square foot N scale layout complete with structures and control equipment, I wound up with some 250 cars and 29 engines. I think that Ray would agree with me that unless you were going to pick the layout up yourself and drive it back in a U-Haul or something, it would not pay to try to ship it to Phoenix any other way. There's still no guarantee that if you did pick it up, that it would make the 1000+ mile trip in the same condition it left in. I'm thinking cracked plaster, broken structures and loose parts. Remember too that our climate here is much different than in Minnesota and that could cause problems in itself.

    Your best bet is as Bob suggests, donate the layout to some club or kids organization and have someone ship you what's left.

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