Model trains on track to fetch between £7,000 - £10,000 each at Harborough auction

Two rare and highly sought-after model locomotives will be sold in a live online Die-Cast, Models, Toys, Trains and Aero-engines auction on Wednesday, 27th March at Gildings Auctioneers.
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Due to their pristine condition, incredible detail and unrivalled craftsmanship, the scratch built locomotives, which measure just 24 cm long, 3.5 cm wide and 6.5 cm high, are being offered with a guide price of £7,000 – £10,000 each.

Both the model trains were built by James Stanley Beeson (1906 - 1990). Best known as ‘Stan’, Beeson is regarded by collectors as the leading model railway maker of the twentieth century.

As a result, all Beeson model locomotives are highly coveted by collectors. However, these two examples are particularly prized as they are in the rare smaller EM or 'Eighteen Millimetre' gauge, used by the most discerning modellers as it is closer to scale than the standard gauge.

The Beeson model locomotives in the auctionThe Beeson model locomotives in the auction
The Beeson model locomotives in the auction

The first of the Beeson locomotives in the auction is a scratch built fine scale steam locomotive and tender named LMS ‘Crab’. The second train is a scratch built fine scale EM gauge steam locomotive LMS class 7F.

Beeson built both locomotives to order for Leonard Bramson, a graphic designer who designed film posters and advertising leaflets for Columbia Pictures from the 1930s until the 1960s. Both model trains are being offered in display cases complete with their 1966 paperwork.

Beeson is known as the ‘Fabergé’ of the model railway world thanks to the exquisite and unsurpassed metalcraft he consistently achieved using jeweller’s tools. His 55-year career began in 1924 and produced over 1,600 models, A famous perfectionist, he strived for every model to be his best yet and insisted on making every part of each locomotive himself, including the wheels, mechanisms and castings.

“A James Stanley Beeson locomotive coming to auction is always a special event. However, much of his work is in O gauge, so to find examples in the smaller and much less common EM, or eighteen-millimetre gauge, is quite remarkable,” explains Gildings’ toys and model railways specialist Alex Bradbury. “When we offered a trio of O gauge Beeson locomotives back in 2022, they almost quadrupled their combined pre-sale estimate to make an incredible £27,000. So, although it remains to be seen if the bidding will be as frenzied this time around, there is no doubt that excitement levels among collectors will be sky high ahead of this sale!”

During his distinguished career Stan Beeson produced model trains for well-known names such as Bassett-Lowke and Exley. He also took on many commissions from private clients like Leonard Bramson and made models for the film industry, including 1932’s ‘The Rome Express’ and the 1938 Hitchcock classic, ‘The Lady Vanishes.’

The auction features over 500 lots including a vast choice of Dinky, Corgi, Matchbox and Tri-ang diecast cars and many more model locomotives from collectable brands such as Aster, ACE Trains, Basset-Lowke and Hornby.

The online Die-Cast, Models, Toys, Trains, and Aero-engines auction begins at 10 am on Wednesday, 27th March. It can be viewed at To make an appointment to view any lots or discuss the sale of similar items, please call 01858 410 414.

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