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Grading Issues

Train Repair Parts:
We are primarily a service station dedicated to the repair of toy trains, most of which are those manufactured by The Lionel Corporation during the period the early 1900's through the 1970's. Therefore the majority of the items that we sell are repair parts. As such, attempting to apply any type of grading standard to them is speculative at best as many of these items are 40 to 90 years old. Aside from NOS (New Old Stock), Like New and the like, all descriptions are usually specific to the applicable item.

As far as complete engines, cars and accessories are concerned, we utilize a modified version of the new TCA grading standards as recently released by the TCA. Please read the grading system below CAREFULLY! All returns we authorize will be based solely upon this grading system and no other. There will be no returns unless there is a material difference between the item we ship and the items description. This does not mean your opinion or the opinion of any third party. Material difference means that should the item description state that the item is a C6 and in reality it is a C3, then we will make an adjustment. Should we state that there is no rust and you search with a magnifying glass and find there is a tiny bit of tarnish or two or three specks of rust, that is not a material difference. You should be aware that the TCA grading standard only applies to the visual or external appearance of the item and makes absolutely no reference to whether or not the item actually operates as intended.

Quoting the Train Collectors Association:

"Condition and Grading Standards are subjective, at best, and are intended to act as a guide. It is important and logical that wishful thinking not be allowed to influence the choice of grade."

"Standards for all toy train related accessory items apply to the visual appearance of the item and do not consider the operating functionality of the equipment."

You may read and confirm this information for yourself  by following this link to the TCA website.

Our Modified Grading Scale:
C1 Junk-Parts value only

C2 Restoration required

C3 Poor- Requires major body repair: heavily scratched, major rust, missing parts, major restoration candidate.

C4 Fair-Scratched: moderate paint loss, may have dents, missing parts, surface rust, evidence of heavy use.

C5 Good- Signs of play wear: May have scratches and minor paint loss; small dents; minor surface rust; evidence of heavy use.

C6 Very good: Minor scratches and paint nicks, minor spots of surface rust, free of dents, may have minor parts replaced.

C7 Excellent-All Original: Minute scratches and paint nicks, no rust, no missing parts, no distortion of component parts.

C8 Like New-Complete and all original: No rust, no missing parts, may show affects of being on display and/or age, may have been run.

C9 Factory New or Brand New: All original, unused, may evidence factory rubs and the slightest evidence of handling, shipping and having been test run at the factory. (Lionel test ran every engine they shipped!)

C10 Mint-Brand New: All original, unused and unblemished. (In our opinion C-10 is non-existent unless the item is in a sealed unopened box!)

We do not grade incomplete items, or items that are missing components, to the above standards. Grading for incomplete items is as noted in the particulars for each item! We do NOT guarantee the running ability of any item graded as "Like New" or above unless specifically stated otherwise. Absolutely no returns are accepted on items graded C6 or lower under any circumstances. Items may only be returned upon request and upon your receipt of a return authorization from us; such requests must be requested within 3 days of your receipt of the item from us. We will not accept returns under any circumstances, including items that may be described incorrectly, after 3 days.