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Model Train Collecting Grading Standards
Developed by Lionel Collector's Association of Canada


Lionel Collector's Association of Canada logo.

Lionel Collector's Association of Canada

These Grading Standards were part of Article 3 of the former LCAC’s By-laws. They were designed to provide a uniform method of describing a train’s condition. They are similar to those employed by most other train collector’s organizations, but there are some differences, and in some ways, they are more restrictive.

For example, the LCAC did not recognize nor use the term “MINT”. The LCAC’s top grading is “NEW”, and the item must be in its original box (OB) in order to receive this grade. If the item is not in its original box (OB) then it can no longer considered to be NEW, as someone has had to remove it from the box which of course involves handling, etc.

In addition, the LCAC allows the use of the PLUS (+) symbol to indicate a mid-range grading. For instance, VG+ means a grade that is midway between Very Good (VG) and Excellent (EX). Use of the MINUS (-) symbol is not allowed.

This is how Article 3 was worded:

3.1 Members must use the following grading standards when describing the condition of train articles to other members.

A. NEW Absolutely all original and unused and in original box.

B. LIKE NEW Little sign of use, no nicks, scratches or blemishes; original condition throughout. May or may not be in original box.

C. EXCELLENT Minute nicks or scratches; no rust.

D. VERY GOOD Some scratches; no dents, warpage or rust.

E. GOOD Some scratches, dents or minor warpage.

F. FAIR Well worn and used; rusted or warped.

G. POOR Heavily scratched, dented or warped; used for parts.

H. ALL GRADING STANDARDS pertain to the CONDITION OF FINISH. Missing or broken parts must be stated in any category. Motorized units are to be considered as unrunable unless otherwise labeled. All restored or refinished (RPT) items are to be labeled as such. No grade above excellent may apply to a restored or refinished item.

Use of the following LCAC Grading Abbreviations is mandatory:

NEW - New      LN - Like New      EX - Excellent      VG - Very Good      GD - Good

FA - Fair      PR - Poor      OB - Original Box      RPT - Restored/Refinished

Items are to be considered as “UNBOXED” if the symbol “OB” is not used at any time. An item in any box other than the original is considered to be “UNBOXED.”

LCAC M-115 Rev. 06-86

Standing Information:

1 - NOTE: All cars sold through TrainResource.com are graded NEW.

2 - NOTE: Above, you will see two logos. On the left is the original logo with the REGISTERED TRADEMARK Lionel  'L', which was valid at time of incorporation of LCAC, and for a number of years when the cars made available to members were 100% Lionel. Also shown is the Association's later logo with the slogan, Canada's Train Collectors.

These Model Train Collecting Grading Standards can be printed out to take to a train show with Adobe® Reader®. If you do not have Adobe® Reader®, download the latest version FREE by clicking on the icon below:

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This page is current as of 03.28.2013

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