Click to see the Wall Street Journal article
and video featuring Howard's layout
and his always trenchant commentary on the hobby!

We "speak brass." FLUENTLY.

Specializing in fine and sometimes quite rare
out-of-production HO Scale brass models.


Click here link to see a listing of my current
brass sales inventory, including over 350
model locomotives and cars!

(Photos available on request & shipping is available)




Part of Howard’s 100+ piece Erie brass collection….all painted and detailed by Zane.

They're beautiful, aren't they? Real works of art. FINE art in fact. Detail at microscopic size. Fit and finish that only a watchmaker could match.  Built up as individual units by hand. Perfect replicas of the real world inspiration for them. Whether for operation, or for their stunning visual appeal, there is nothing like them anywhere else in the world.


Possibly the finest New York Central brass collection I’ve ever seen. Many models are quite scarce. All are in excellent to mint and new condition. All are either factory painted or beautifully custom finished. All boxes and liners are in new condition. I’ll only have the inventory list right now - photos to follow. Our pricing is considerably BELOW guide pricing. All models run quite well. I do offer discount for bundling, listen to reasonable offers, and a copy of my book ( “My life with model trains” will accompany each order.

These new models and many more may be seen at the October Timonium ( show and Brass Expo (
Or of course at my studio in Columbia, Md. ( , but please call for an appointment first. Zane’s House of Brass now has about 1000 models in stock. I will now ship and soon site will have photos of all models being offered. (Ain’t retirement grand!!!!)



A Personal Message:

I am Howard Zane. I have been  consumed by brass trains since 1962 as both operator and collector. Under my Father's influence and example, I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s with O gauge, and then O scale model trains. Our layout (well, HIS layout) was gigantic.

In 1961, I graduated college and went almost directly into the military. My childhood home and the gigantic layout were sold. I thought at the time that model trains were going just to be another fine memory, but in 1962 while still in the Army, I discovered the works of John Allen and saw for the first time a brass model. This was an Akane B&O Q4b and it was on sale for $33.95. I could not believe this kind value for such a low price, so I of course  purchased it immediately. The switch was thrown.

The rest, as they say, is history. My collection grew to almost 2,000 models including nearly 2 complete PFM Crown collections. I learned first-hand that these exquisite models were more than just collector's items - they were (and they are) actual investments. I know this because I sold most of the Crowns to help finance two kids through college and graduate school.

I began my Piermont Division business in 1987, specializing in selling and purchasing brass models, and I co-founded the original Brass Expo in 1995 (this venue has been recently revived). I sold the Piermont Division, the now famous, and most of my collection to Dan Glasure in 2005. Dan’s sales are mostly via the Internet and auctions. Rather than compete with him and others in those domains as I once did, I have decided to sell person-to-person. I would rather "talk brass" and enjoy the camaraderie with customers and fellow vendors.

The "State of the ART":  Today, I believe well over 95% of brass is sold on line, be it site or auction. This is expedient, of course, but more importantly, it tells us a great deal about marketing fine art in general. Specifically, the experts or experienced collectors who already know what they want will tolerate looking at pictures and ordering from an electronic "menu" as long as authenticity is assured, and reasonable pricing is offered. That, however, is a limited audience.

But "e-commerce" works against those who have a high index of interest or curiosity, but no special background or expertise based on actual visual and tactile contact with the object and an association with known, reputable dealers or collectors. Some folks will purchase in the blind, but understandably many won't. So, for those who want to keep their eyes open, where is a trusted marketplace? No matter how much ink is spilled to describe a brass model on the web or in print, nothing will ever substitute for personal contact with those whose expertise and whose reputations are above reproach.  So, where IS the trusted marketplace? Where are the resources? Who do you trust? Who do you talk to?

Those questions are what have driven me to create this web site as one way to reach out. Very few train shops feature brass models as they did in days of yore. Trading this fine art on line, as is the norm today, is a travesty greatly lacking the respect these wonderful models deserve. Thus, I won't develop this site for e-commerce. But I DO introduce it as a "way in" to this most fascinating collector, investor, and hobby interest. I won't even say much about my own credentials. Serious collectors and investors already know about the test of due diligence, and I have reason to believe any vetting process applied to me will support my prominence both as an expert and as an ethical businessman. Not braggin'. Just sayin'.

Consequently, the time has come to promote this most valued hobby niche, which is why I have revived the "brass expo" (link below) and why I have created THIS site, where the heritage may be passed to new generations of hobbyists and collectors on a personal basis. As the side bar at right suggests, there is no question about the value of brass. What we need to do now is present the product in a comprehensible and accessible way.

In addition to brass models, I’m an avid model railroader and custom builder….both of complete model railroads and structures in HO and O scale.  I also have a HUGE collection of craftsman rolling stock kits - follow link, below.

But for NOW, click to learn more about my vast inventory of brass trains and the neighborly manner in which I like to do business.


I believe so.  Here's why: The number of collectors is dwindling owing to their age. More and more brass model collections are coming into the marketplace. This means a temporary increase in the number of available brass models  together with a decrease in price while the market absorbs the collections being offered.

But the opportunity won't last, for three reasons.  First of all, the number of brass manufacturers, importers, and dealers is vastly reduced now as compared to just a decade ago.  Collectors compete for  product which already exists.

Second, the price point of high-end plastic models (and the very word, "plastic" does make me cringe) is going UP.  It is not unusual to find plastic steam locomotives with a retail price approaching $600 per copy. Thus the cost to "step up"  to brass is shrinking.

That brings us to the third reason: a brass model has an intrinsic value, being the material itself and the craft and artistry which created it.  As with any precious material or work of art, the prices may fluctuate, but the over all trend can only be up. The "value" of a  plastic model is an artifice, entirely driven by marketing and advertising but NOT by underlying worth. Rare is the plastic model whose value increases over time.

Given that many brass models are much more accurate replicas of the original, and have been so for may decades, the choice is clear for the experienced investor, and a remarkable opportunity is at hand for new collectors.


Brass Expo The Great Scale Model Train Show Zane's Structures

Zanes Trains (my books!)