Thomas The Bank Engine: £850 vintage train tops list of most valuable toy trains - have you got a fortune in a toy train in your attic?

By Sue Wilkinson
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 12:25 pm

A leading personal finance guidance platform has revealed the valuable toy trains that the public might unknowingly have stashed at home.

The platform, Forbes Advisor, partnered with toy expert Peter Jenkinson to create the guide, which identifies the most valuable toy trains and the prices they can command, and offers suggestions for budding collectors on what to invest in and keep an eye out for when starting a train collection.

The five valuable train sets people may have in their attic, and their values, are:

Marklin 0 Gauge Loco - £850

Most Popular

    Bachmann Spectrum G-Gauge - £700

    A complete set of station staff in the original box, including stationmaster, military policeman, guard waving flag, porters with trolleys and various pieces of luggage -  £550

    Thomas the Tank engine Hornby clockwork train 1983 - £500

    Bournemouth Belle made by Hornby Dublo, 1963 - £500

    Marklin 0 Gauge Loco could be worth £850

    The five most valuable train sets ever sold or listed for sale, are:

    Lionel Brute with a 213 Lift Bridge offered for sale at $1m (£754,705)

    Lionel Standard Gauge Set from 1934 – a mint-in-the-box train set with a 400E Engine & State Passenger Cars - £187,000

    Lionel Brass Prototype for the 700E Hudson - £58,000

    A hand-made coal powered model of the Flying Scotsman circa 1930 - £30,000

    Flying Scotsman could be worth £30,000

    Barby G-Gauger model railway - £22,000

    With Brits spending an estimated £84.7 billion over the past Christmas period and train set manufacturer Hornby making a profit for the first time in more than a decade, toy expert Peter Jenkinson has provided tips for new collectors looking to invest in the toy train sector:

    UK, German and American markets hold the most interest in toy trains, and are the most potential for profitable investments.

    Lionel pre-war 700e Hudson

    Original packaging is always important, and can boost value, however for trains this is not as important as for other toy collectables.

    Prototypes or limited editions of certain engines hold their value extremely well, but the condition is key for these types of investments.

    Any Thomas The Tank Engine pieces from the 1960s or celebratory pieces from the 60th anniversary in 2005, with original packaging, can increase in value.Financial expert, Kevin Pratt, of Forbes Advisor, said:

    “We all must wonder now and again if we have any ‘cash in the attic’, as the popular BBC TV (and from 2022 Channel 5) programme styles it.

    "And the rising popularity of vintage toys means we don’t need to rely on finding a piece of Ming-dynasty porcelain that once saw service as a fruit bowl or a forgotten masterpiece by JMW Turner. Humble toy trains from recent decades can command prices into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

    Lionel Standard Gauge Set from 1934

    “Key things to look out for when you’re rooting around the loft, garage or shed are the condition of the items - ‘mint’ might make you a mint - and collectability. So if you do a bit of research on an unearthed attic asset and discover it is rare and much sought-after, you could be onto a winning ticket.”