3 Simple Precautions You Must Take To Protect Your Railway In Case of Theft

They’re your prized possession and worth a lot of money. But have you taken these 3 simple precautions to hopefully get them back or get at very least get compensation via insurance if you get burgled? 

Model trains are increasingly expensive and quick to sell which is making them ripe targets for burglars.

Just take the case of a garden centre theft in Manchester (story here). After the burglary, Police said,

“Whoever was responsible did seem to pay particular attention to stealing Hornby model railway equipment”

protect your railwayIn this theft, the burglars made off with an estimated £5,000 to £6,000 of Hornby train sets, miniature water towers, signal boxes, and hydraulic buffers.

Making matters worse model trains, unlike many other equally priced items, aren’t uniquely marked so if they do get stolen tracing them can be impossible and proving ownership to file an insurance claim difficult at best.

During a discussion about this, between ModelRailwayEngineer and @TheGrubbyDuck71 (Dave Seddon), on Twitter Dave suggested three great ideas which, with his kind permission, are listed here.

#1 Keep Detailed Records

You can’t make an insurance claim unless you know what was taken, insurance businesses will also want to see proof of ownership. Dave keeps a comprehensive spreadsheet with details of all his models, including the receipts.  He also keeps a copy of the spreadsheet printed off, just in case.

#2 Security Mark Everything

Model trains aren’t uniquely marked so even if Police do the recover stolen property it will be difficult to prove it was yours. Dave suggests Selectamark & Selectadot to mark trains and engines.

#3 Photograph All

Dave also keeps photographs of his rolling stock. This not only helps the insurance claim but can also aid recovery, especially if your engines are unique (weathered perhaps?).

If you have any other security tips to protect your railway, share them here and help others.

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.

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