Auctioneer Press Release Turner Auctions + Appraisals LLC


Nov 20,2023 | 15:00 EST By Turner Auctions + Appraisals LLC

Over 235 Trains & Accessories Go Up for Bid on Sunday, December 3

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, November 20, 2023 – Turner Auctions + Appraisals is pleased to present The Armond Conti Collection of Model Trains, Part 4, on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 10:30 am PST. Offering over 235 lots from the estate of a Northern Californian who collected trains for over 75 years, the auction features mostly post-war and modern-era train offerings – some new old stock, some unused, and many in their original boxes. These include locomotives, tenders, cabooses, numerous sets and groupings; a diverse array of train cars, including freight, box, reefers, stock, hoppers, passenger, sleeper, diner, gang, mail, beer, pullman, sleeper, and flat cars; water tenders; TTOS, TCA and LCCA club cars; and more. There are also accessories and train and controller parts on offer. Many lots are Lionel model trains; other manufacturers in the sale are K-Line, MTH, Atlas, Williams, 3rd Rail, Rail King, Weaver, Pecos River, Crown Model, and Peterson Supply. Almost all trains are O gauge, with several Lionel Classics in standard gauge. 

Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its timed online auction on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at 10:30 am PST; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The timed auction will be featured live on four platforms:  LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals’ free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions"). Both are easily accessed through ‘Upcoming Auctions’ at the company’s website:


About Armond Conti & His CollectionA box with a logo

Description automatically generated

Born and raised in San Francisco, Armond Conti attended St. Ignatius High School and graduated from San Jose State in Industrial Technology. He met his wife Chris in the late 1950s, when they were both audience members of the popular radio show of Don Sherwood, who billed himself as the “world’s greatest disc jockey.” In 1964 the Contis and their then-three children moved to Livermore, California, then San Jose, where Mr. Conti worked as a nuclear engineer at General Electric for over 35 years, until he retired.

Armond Conti collected model trains for over 75 years, introduced to a lifelong passion around age 4, with a Christmas present from his parents. He continued to build and enhance his collection through the years, adding top-quality model trains from train shows and online sources. Perhaps no surprise as an engineer with an interest and skills in mechanics and technology, he also began to repair model trains for others, working after his day job at Bill’s Train Station in San Jose for over 15 years. He also set up an 18’ x 18’ shop in his backyard to pursue this aspect of his train hobby. His train layouts burgeoned as well, increasing as his homes got bigger: first at the top of his San Jose garage, where the layout platform hung down two feet from the ceiling and Mr. Conti would stand on a ladder to work on it. Later, when Mr. Conti moved to a nearby town, his train layout expanded to one-third of the basement of the family’s large and spacious new home.


Through the years, Mr. Conti enjoyed ‘train chasing’ with fellow train buffs, and visiting the Tehachapi Loop near Los Angeles, an engineering feat completed in 1876, where he would go watch trains with his son Mike and others. As Mike said, his dad liked trains because they were “big, noisy, and kind of cool.” These traits were shared with Mr. Conti’s other lifelong hobbies – muscle cars and World War II airplanes.
 A stack of boxes with logos

Description automatically generated


After Mr. Conti’s passing, the family decided to part with the vast collection for several reasons: no one has the same love of trains that Mr. Conti did, the family has other interests, and the model train hobby takes up a lot of space. Fellow enthusiasts who share Mr. Conti’s passion for model trains are sure to benefit from and enjoy the astute rewards of collecting for over seven decades.

Here are some highlights of the upcoming online sale (please see lot details in the online catalog):

Lot 31:  Lionel O Ga Postwar 2378 Milwaukee Road F-3 A-B. Reproduction boxes. Estimate $750-$1,000. 

(Photo, top left)

Lot 43:  Lionel Classics Standard Gauge I-390-E Locomotive and Tender with Freight Cars. 6-13100 I-390-E Locomotive and Tender. 6-13200 1520 Searchlight Car. 6-13300 1512 Gondola. 6-13600 1513 Cattle Car. 6-13700 1517 Caboose. All in original packaging. Estimate $800-$1,500. (Photo, right)A yellow and black train

Description automatically generated

Lot 106:  Lionel O Gauge Postwar 2331 Virginian FM with black roof. Clean battery compartment. Estimate $500-$1,000. (Photo, lower left)

A group of yellow train cars in packaging

Description automatically generated

Lot 47: Six K-Line O Ga CLASSIC UP Passenger Cars. 6 K-Line CLASSIC Steel O Scale Extruded Aluminum Passenger Cars Union Pacific City of Los Angeles. K4690-15902 Railway Post Office Car (18"). K4690-16327 Baggage Car (15"). K4690-31305 "Ocean Sunset" Pullman (18"). K4690-31575 "Sun Valley" Observation Car (18"). K4690-37000 Dome Coach (18"). K4690-38003 Dome Diner (18") All in original packaging with shelf wear. Estimate $500-$1,000. (Photo, top right)

A black box with white text and numbers

Description automatically generated

Lot 83:  3rd Rail GE C44-9W 3 rail Santa Fe 654 Locomotive in original packaging. Estimate $500-$1,000. (Photo, top left)

Lot 52: Lionel Standard Gauge 392E Loco & Tender with 424 and 426 Passenger Cars. 392E 4-4-2 Locomotive has paint wear on rub areas. Dirty. Original well-worn box. 392TW Tender with whistle has paint wear on rub areas. Original well-worn box. 424 Liberty Bell Coach in 425 "Apple" well-worn box. 425 Stephen Girard in 424 "Apple" well-worn box missing flaps. 426 Coral Isle Observation in 426 "Apple" well-worn box. Estimate $500-$1,000. (Photo, middle right)A group of toy trains on boxes

Description automatically generated

A blue box with white label

Description automatically generated

Lot 22:  Pecos River Brass O Ga 4011S Santa Fe 4-6-4. Final Rebuild Painted #3458 with sound in original shelf-worn packaging. Estimate $500-$750. (Photo, middle left)

A group of toy trains

Description automatically generated

Lot 219:  Lionel O Gauge Postwar Western Pacific F-3 A-B-A Diesel Locomotive. Clean battery compartment. Horns, steps, trucks and couplers intact. There is paint wear from use and packaging. Estimate $400-$800. (Photo, bottom right)

A box with a picture of a train

Description automatically generated

Lot 107:  Williams O Gauge Southern Pacific Cab Forward 2-8-8-4 in original packaging. Estimate $400-$700. (Photo, bottom left)


Lot 71: Lionel O Gauge Postwar 2322 FM Diesel Locomotive in original box with corrugated liner. Estimate $500-$1,000. (Photo, page 1, left)

Lot 11:  Lionel O Gauge Modern Era Santa Fe 2-8-8-2 Steam Locomotive and Tender 6-38030 in original packaging. Estimate $800-$1,200. (Photo, page 1, right)



Based in South San Francisco, Turner Auctions + Appraisals was founded by Stephen Turner to expand and complement the capabilities of Stephen G. Turner Associates, an auction and appraisal consulting firm founded in 2004. Turner Auctions + Appraisals presents online auctions in diverse categories of personal property ( Among them are Fine Arts, Decorative Arts, Asian Arts, Toys, Jewelry, Militaria, Ethnic Arts, and others.  The company offers a range of auction and appraisal services for buyers, sellers, and collectors.  Online auctions are held several times a month. Working with leading live and online auction houses on the West Coast since 1991, Turner is a professional appraiser of personal property and seasoned auctioneer.  His areas of expertise include fine art, decorative arts, antiques & residential contents.  The company welcomes consignments and appraisals.

For more information about the company, please contact:

Stephen Turner, President

Turner Auctions + Appraisals, 461 Littlefield Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080

415-964-5250 / /

For media inquiries or photos, please contact:  

Jill Turner, Rodin & Shelley Associates /

By Turner Auctions + Appraisals LLC