Three of the Rarest Model Trains

June 9

Three of the Rarest Model Trains Dennis Financial

If you are a model train hobbyist, or if you’re just interested in model trains, you may be asking yourself if those old sets are worth anything. You might be headed into retirement and thinking about living your life to the fullest by enjoying a new hobby like building train sets. You might be interested to know that depending on the condition and model type of the train, some of them can be worth quite a lot!

Here are some of the most expensive model trains ever sold.

700E Hudson Brass Prototype

When it comes to authentic train prototypes, every piece of information matters. An antique brass model of a train from 1939, once owned by Joshua Cowen, who was one of the founders of Lionel Trains, sold for $77,000 at an auction. The price was driven by various factors, such as the age, condition, and history of the train.[1]

400E Lionel Standard Gauge Set

This set sold at auction for $250,000. Lionel began producing model trains in 1900, so this isn’t the oldest set around. But it is very rare to find a set from the early days of the company that is completely mint and well preserved. The 400E Standard Gauge was produced by the company from 1906-1940. This particular set was produced in 1934, and it was, at the time of sale, new in the box and totally untouched.[2]

“The Brute” and 213 Lift Bridge

It is suspected that this combination of pieces was sold privately for one million dollars. If this is true, it would be the most money a model train has ever sold for.[3]

The reason this set sold for so much is twofold. First: “the Brute” train was not something that was readily available to consumers because it was much heavier than other trains. It was primarily used by toy shops for displays and often wasn’t for sale. The second reason for the price is the limited nature of the lift bridge. It was commissioned in 1950 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lionel company, but it was never released. It was manufactured and produced with all of the normal material, but it was never sold, making it extremely rare.[4]

You may not have the world’s most expensive train set in your basement. But if you are a hobbyist looking to focus on your hobbies in your retirement, reach out to us so our professionals can handle your finances while you spend time on what you love.



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