Model train is set to sell for record-breaking £200,000 at auction

Model train is set to sell for record-breaking £200,000 at auction

Model train that took 10 YEARS to build and is only two of its kind is set to sell for record-breaking £200,000 at auction

  • A one-eighth scale Duchess of Buccleuch model train is tipped to reach a record £200,000 at auction 
  • It is fitted with hardwood floors, sliding fire doors, wheel reverse gear, pressure gauges and a copper boiler 
  • It was made in the 1970s by train builder Harry Powell who used original drawings to create a working replica
  • The train operated on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow for a quarter of a century

It is a throwback to the era when steam trains set world records. But this model locomotive is tipped to break a record of its own when it goes up for auction.

The one-eighth scale version of the Duchess of Buccleuch, described as one of the finest ever built, is expected to fetch £200,000.

It is one of two models of the loco made by renowned train builder Harry Powell. 

An auction house assistant makes sure the Duchess of Buccleuch model looks its best. This model locomotive is tipped to break a record of its own when it goes up for auction

The model train features intricate designs and stunning detail. It is being sold by his estate at auction house Dreweatts, in Newbury, Berkshire, on March 12 with a pre-sale estimate of £150,000

The other sold for a world record £183,000 seven years ago. 

The 10ft long locomotive and tender took Mr Powell 18,000 hours to build over ten years and is believed to have been completed around 1970.

He used original drawings to create an exact working replica of the Duchess of Buccleuch, which operated on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow for a quarter of a century. 

Painted in the original crimson London, Midland and Scottish Railway’s livery, it belonged to prominent model maker Ted Martin, who died aged 88 in 2010. The model is being sold by his estate at auction house Dreweatts, in Newbury, Berkshire, on March 12

The 10ft long locomotive and tender took Mr Powell 18,000 hours to build over ten years and is believed to have been completed around 1970. The one-eighth scale version of the Duchess of Buccleuch, described as one of the finest ever built, is expected to fetch £200,000

Giant from the golden age of rail

  • Built in 1938 at Crewe, the Duchess of Buccleuch was 74ft long and weighed nearly 60 tons. 
  • It was one of 38 Coronation Class steam locos designed by William Stanier for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway. 
  • It hauled passengers at speeds of over 100mph and was used on the Royal Scot service between London and Glasgow. 
  • The loco survived a minor derailment in 1949 – but the advent of diesel and electric trains saw it taken out of service in 1963 and cut up for scrap.

The attention to detail is such that it is fitted with a copper boiler, safety valves, regulator, blower, whistle, brake, wheel reverse gear, sliding firedoors, pressure gauges, twin water sight gauges and a hardwood floor.

Painted in the original crimson London, Midland and Scottish Railway’s livery, it belonged to prominent model maker Ted Martin, who died aged 88 in 2010. 

It is being sold by his estate at auction house Dreweatts, in Newbury, Berkshire, on March 12 with a pre-sale estimate of £150,000.

Michael Matthews, of Dreweatts, said the model is ‘as close as you can get to the real thing’ and could easily fetch £200,000.

He added: ‘Harry Powell is considered to be the Rembrandt of the model train making world. I would say it is one of the best railway models ever built.’


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The 10ft model is pictured on a trolley as the auction assistant makes sure the model looks its best for auction day. It was painted in the original crimson London, Midland and Scottish Railway’s livery

The front of the train is even fitted with a smoke box door, which was used to stop char from escaping out of the chimney. The train is one of two models built. The other sold for a world record £183,000 seven years ago

The attention to detail is such that it is fitted with a copper boiler, safety valves, regulator, blower, whistle, brake, wheel reverse gear, sliding firedoors, pressure gauges, twin water sight gauges and a hardwood floor

An auction assistant peers inside the cabin to view the intricate controls in astonishing detail. The model is one eighth in size to the original train, and is fitted with a blower, whistle, and a brake

Mr Powell used original drawings to create an exact working replica of the Duchess of Buccleuch, which operated on the West Coast Main Line between London and Glasgow for a quarter of a century

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