Do you have model trains or other items you'd like to sell or donate?

While the Austin Model Railway Society happily accepts some donations of model trains and related items (see below), we do not as a rule purchase used model train equipment. However, there are many people who do, and we love to see old equipment being put to a good use.

If you have old model trains that have been gathering dust and would like to sell them, there are several avenues you could pursue:

  1. You could list them for sale individually on ebay, Amazon, or similar websites. You have to pay a commission to the company and deal with issues like photographs, sales tax, and postage, but you may be able to get a good price if the items are in good condition and in high demand.
  2. You can sell the entire collection either for a flat price or on consignment through a company such as For information about their policies, you can check out their website. Locally, Jim Hinkhouse in Georgetown also sells trains on consignment.
  3. You can rent a table for a weekend at a local train show and try to sell the items there. The Austin Train Show is held annually at the Palmer Events Center, and the next one will be in August, 2024. There are also shows in Temple, New Braunfels, San Antonio, and other cities if you're willing to travel out of town. You can Google "texas train shows" to get more information.
  4. You can ask the AMRS to distribute an email to our mailing list (about 175 people) to see if anyone is interested in what you are selling. We will be glad to do this at no charge. You are most likely to receive positive responses if you can provide a detailed list and/or photos of the equipment you’d like to sell. We will ask the recipients to contact you directly to discuss pricing and other details.

If you're not able to sell all your items and wish to donate any of them, the Austin Model Railway Society does accept donations of HO scale equipment and some related items (books, scenery material, structure kits, etc.) in good condition. Donations are tax-deductible. We are a charitable, educational 501c3 organization chartered to promote model railroading and the history of local railroads.

HO is the most common scale in model railroading and is 1/87 actual size. Model train cars in HO scale are typically about 1 1/2 inches wide and 5 to 12 inches long. They run on two-rail track that is about 3/4 inch wide. The AMRS has an HO scale layout.

Lionel equipment is O scale, which is approximately twice as large as HO. Cars are typically 3 inches wide and 8 to 20 inches long and run on three-rail track that is 1 1/4 inches wide. If you want to sell Lionel equipment, you may want to contact the Tinplate Trackers of Austin, a local club which uses this type of equipment.

Another popular scale is N scale, which is about half the size of HO. Cars are typically ¾ inch wide and 3 to 5 inches long and run on two-rail track that is about 3/8 inch wide. If you have N scale equipment for sale, you may want to contact AustNTrak, a local club which uses N scale equipment.

The Austin Model Railway Society does not offer appraisal services.