Gauge I and larger early Toy Trains:  From the first tinplate carpet toy trains dating from the 1850s through to the superb German gauge I and larger (gauge II, III and IV) trains manufactured until the First World War, a period known as the Golden age of trains follow the history and evolution of the train in miniature.  The largest country producing toy trains for the world during this period was Germany with such famous makers as Marklin, Bing, Carette  and Schoenner to name but a few manufacturing superb trains that could be operated by live steam, clockwork mechanisms or electric, many of these creations where of sturdy construction and hand painted to the highest standard.  These companies also produced a wide range of track accessories and buildings again to the highest standard and very desirable in today’s market place.  English companies such as Steven’s Model Dockyard producing brass live steam engines and the famous Bassett-Lowke model company of Northampton which manufactured model and toy trains to rival any coming out of German are all very sought after by collectors today.

0 gauge, Hornby  and the Inter-War years: Frank Hornby, perhaps the most famous of all names associated with toy trains produced his first 0 gauge train in 1920 and quickly became the most popular train manufacturer for children, throughout the boom times of the 1920s and 30s his trains could be found in all toy shops country wide offering famous locomotives such as the Flying Scotsman, Schools class Eton, Bramham Moor and culminating in the large 4-6-2 Princess Elizabeth locomotive introduced in 1937, as well as locomotives Hornby produced a large selection of rolling stock and track side buildings and accessories, other lesser known English manufactures include Exley, Bowman, Bonds and Leeds.  As well as the German makers still exporting toy trains to England Bassett-Lowke continued to successfully produce quality trains, American companies such as Lionel although very popular in America had some success in England.  During the late 1930s as many households became smaller the need was for smaller scale train sets and in 1938 Hornby Dublo was released to meet this demand.

Post-war years, HO/ OO gauge and smaller trains: Although Hornby and Bassett-Lowke continued to produce 0 gauge trains the most popular was now 00 (Dublo) gauge trains and Hornby in England, Trix in German and Trix Twin in England produced many wonderful train sets throughout the 1950s, Tri-ang (later Tri-ang Hornby) produced popular plastic bodied engine and rolling stock and throughout the 1960s/70s and 80s many companies have entered the toy and model train market place including Airfix, Bachmann, Lima, Mainline and Wrenn in England and Marklin, Fleischmann, Jouef, Rivarossi in Europe to name but a few.  During the 1970s N gauge was introduced and is today very popular with collectors.  In recent years there has been a resurgence for 0 gauge and in 1995 ACE trains started to reproduce classic Hornby trains and together with Bassett-Lowke 0 gauge collectors trains have a strong following at auction. 

Read more »

Request a valuation

From a single item, to a private collection, our knowledgeable team will be on hand to guide you through the selling process

1. Tell us about your item(s)

2. Choose some images to upload

3. Enter your details

Department Specialists

picture of Leigh Gotch

Leigh Gotch

Sale Date: Specialist in Antique Dolls, Teddy Bears, Fine Toys, Trains and Auctioneer

Recently sold

Sold for £160

Sold for £160

Hornby Dublo EDP2 Passenger Train Set Boxed

Sold for £420

Sold for £420

Roco Thirteen HO Gauge Locomotives

Sold for £440

Sold for £440

Trix Twin (Pre War) Coronation Presentation set

Sold for £850

Sold for £850

0 Gauge (16Mm Scale) Darjeeling Himalayan 0 4 0

Sold for £190

Sold for £190

Wrenn HO 00 W2226A City Of Carlisle Locomotive

Sold for £380

Sold for £380

Bassett Lowke Special Limited Re Built Patriot

Sold for £550

Sold for £550

Hornby Dublo 2245 3,300 HP Electric locomotive

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Related News & Views

James Opie’s Pre-Auction Newsletter No. 15

James Opie’s Pre-Auction Newsletter No. 15

Covid-19 Operating

Covid-19 Operating

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sandown Park

Sandown Park

Join our newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news and insights from C&T Auctioneers