Boot fair bargains – How I picked up a locomotive and controller for under £10

model trains cheap from boot fairWho says model trains are expensive? 

I’ve written before about getting model railway track cheaply at boot fairs but while at a boot fair yesterday I picked up an absolute bargain.

An old Triang controller and a Triang locomotive for £6.50. Yep, £6.50!

This was all the better as I have a bit of thing for saddle tank locos and this was a BR 0-6-0 Saddle tank, number 748 – it even had an engine driver in the cab. There was no way I was going to walk away from this! The seller wanted £10 but although I’d have happily paid a tenner I haggled and got it down to £6.

The controller meanwhile was selling for for 50p as the seller didn’t know if it worked.

The Triang controller is, naturally for its time, an old school design, solidly constructed and built to last. But even if it didn’t work, at 50p it was worth a gamble.

I needn’t have worried.

Plugging it in, the reassuring hum could be heard. Hooking it up to my test track and turning up the dial sent my test Hornby loco flying. As suspected, these old controllers keep going no matter what and this one with its 16V AC and 12V DC uncontrolled and 12V DC controlled outputs will make a great controller for a future layout.

I wasn’t so lucky with the locomotive.

Putting it on the test track and applying power resulted in… Nothing.

However, a bit of a clean and oiling remedied the problem and it’s now happily whizzing around my track. The body work needs some TLC, it’s not broken but definitely needs a clean but other than that it’s a great little loco. If I find the time I might repaint and add some additional detailing but for now, it’s a nice little saddle tank loco to play with.

So a great couple of bargains picked up.

Under a £10 for a solid controller and train makes me a happy modeller and shows that with a little hunting and a gamble it’s possible to pick up the basics of model railway cheaply. Who says model trains are expensive?

Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

Add Comment

Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.