A railway book with added value

I’m not actually much interested in the cash value of items but even so, when I was reading through a Railway Magazine from February 1999 I kind of sat up and took notice when I read that spotters books can ‘fetch extraordinarily high prices at collectors’ auctions – up to £150 for any unmarked good condition Combined Volume published between 1948 and 1957’.

A little later it continues, ‘the scarcest and most valuable of all ABCs is the 1956 Combined Volume depicting a Crosti boilered 9F on the cover’.

Hang on, I thought. I have a copy of that book. I certainly didn’t have it as a train spotter for it is too early for that. I think I bought it for no more than 50p at a sale at some point in the last 20 or so years. Anyway, here it is.


Well, we can see straight away that it is not in top notch condition – but amazingly it is unmarked. There is page after page of pristine numbers.


Would you pay anything like £150 for that? No, nor would I. But of course, virtually all types of loco used on the railways are photographically illustrated – a lot of photos so here’s my favourite Terrier class loco.


Fascinating to know that it could have value. A quick check on Ebay shows one of these books – better condition than mine – with an asking price of £245.

Mine is not for sale.

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