‘Spectacular’ model train discovered near Lichfield could sell for tens of thousands of pounds at auction

Posted on 30/03/2021 in Press Coverage

A ‘spectacular’ model steam train uncovered in a home near Lichfield could sell for tens of thousands of pounds at auction.

The apple green live steam locomotive, dubbed the best model loco of its size ever seen by a railwayana expert, is due to go under the hammer on April 22 at Hansons Auctioneers.

And though the estimate has been set at £24,000 it’s thought keen bidders could help the impressive lot steam to a final price of more than £30,000.

The winning bidder will be the first to experience its full capabilities because the loco, which was completed in September 2020, is yet to be steamed.

The Gemsbok London North Eastern Railway Company 7 ¼ gauge B1 live steam loco 4-6-0, engine number 1020, has been built to a Martin Evans-design by two Midlands-based engineers. Evans (1916-2003) ensured many model locomotive designs in a range of gauges were serialised in Model Engineer magazine.

David Wilson-Turner, head of the toy and railwayana department at Hansons, said: “The attention to detail and quality of engineering is extraordinary. For example, the boiler has been professionally made and silver soldered in copper by Kingswood Copper Boilers of Reading.

"The original engine was built in 1947 at the London North East Company in Darlington. We have guided the engine at £24,000 with the hope of it making above £30,000. In my experience of working at Hansons, I have not seen a better example in this size. It is spectacular.”

Charles Hansons, owner of Hansons, said: “This train is an extraordinary example of quality workmanship and a feast for the eyes for any rail enthusiast. We discovered it at a home on the outskirts of Lichfield. It’s currently taking pride of place in our saleroom.

“As lockdown eases, we much hope to find more impressive items in and around Lichfield and the West Midlands as a whole, perhaps items which have been uncovered during lockdown. The auction market is buoyant with tens of thousands of worldwide bidders keen to acquire rare, unusual and quality objects, and the West Midlands appears to have many hidden gems.”

Auction entries invited

The locomotive is due to be sold in Hansons’ April 22 Toy, Railwayana and Gaming Auction. Entries are invited for all future specialist and general auctions. To arrange a free toy, railwayana or sports memorabilia valuation, email David Wilson Turner: [email protected]. For general enquiries, to arrange a free home visit or to enquire about house clearance and downsizing, email: [email protected].