NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – One of the area’s most extensive model train collections was on display Monday afternoon at the Basinger Auctions on Market Street in North Lima. It was the collection of Ron Rapp, who died two years ago.
Rapp was best known as the owner of several of the area’s Dairy Queens — and for his model railroad collection.
The display at Basinger Auctions was part of an open house for people looking buy during an online auction that begins Tuesday night.
“It’s a large collection. Many different pieces,” said Rick Kershner, of Boardman.
“I’m looking for a Black Widow, another New York Central, a big Amtrack, probably the Zephyr,” said Les Travis, of Youngstown.
The Rapp collection is all Lionel — every kind of engine, car and accessory a model train enthusiast would want.
There were an estimated 3,000 pieces scattered around the room Monday.
“It’s substantial, it’s big and it’s almost complete,” Jay Basinger said.
He was responsible for organizing and setting up the display.
“This is, essentially, a large post-war set collection that Ron wanted to accumulate, trying to acquire one of every set that Lionel released during its post-war period,” Basinger said.
Looking around the room, one could see the time devoted just to setting up and organizing the collection.
Model train people know what they’re looking for and Basinger’s had to get the descriptions right.
“There’s so much information in a Lionel program — model numbers, set numbers, car numbers — and all this needs to be documented so that people who are buying this know that they’re getting the right cars with the right set,” Basinger said.
He estimated the total value of the collection at $30,000 to $35,000.
There will be another open house Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., then the online auction starts at 6:30 Tuesday night.
There are 530 lots to be sold. It’s expected to take about three hours.