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By Mike Stella

I attended a local toy train meet for the first time in many years and was pleasantly surprised that it was well attended AND there was a wide variety of trains to look at and to even purchase. I'd forgotten the pleasure of actually holding an item before plunking down my money as opposed to just looking at a picture on the Internet and hoping it was as in as good as condition as the seller stated. I'm still trying to figure out "great condition for it's age"? What does that mean?

Anyway, I bought some original smoke pellets (always can use another bottle of these but can't tell you when I've actually used any!) and a few other small items and thought I was going to get away from this meet pretty cheap.

Then I saw the #601 Seaboard Switcher and it caught my "trained" eye (pun well intended) because I remember that all the guides state it comes in two variations. I'm always on the lookout for anything I don't already have but couldn't remember which variation I have on my display shelf so I opted not to purchase this item. Wrong move!

When I got home I went right to my #601 and it was the other variation. Darn!! Luckily I knew the seller from years of attending swap meets and club meets and I knew I had his number written down somewhere.

I called him and he still had his #601 and a deal was quickly consummated. One more variation for my collection. One more great deal on a postwar locomotive. One less thing to look for the next time I attend a toy train meet.

The #601 is a great looking switcher with red stripes that comes in two different but not so obvious ways.

One variation has stripes with ROUNDED ENDS while the second variation has SQUARED ENDS.

A small difference but a difference nevertheless!


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