Shropshire Star

Major collection of scale model locomotives to be auctioned in aid of Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

An auction selling an impressive model railway collection is hoping it will help the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway get back on track.

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Kenneth Abbott, owner of the locomotive model collection

Gildings Auctioneers is offering the chance to acquire locomotives from the collection of one of the UK’s most prominent model railway enthusiasts, with proceeds of the sale benefitting the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway.

Due to Covid-19, the railway has lost revenue from temporary closure and has said it will not reopen until at least August. The proceeds of the auction will boost the railway's Tracks to Recovery appeal which has so far raised more than £50,000.

The extensive collection of more than 70 locomotives will be available in their upcoming Live Steam auction, which due to Covid-19, will take place as an online-only auction in two parts on Tuesday, August 18.

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The collection forms part of the estate of collector Kenneth ‘Mike’ Abbott. It is rare for a collection of this scope to come to auction, and it is hoped the sale will result in a significant boost for the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway’s Tracks to Recovery campaign, which has been set up in the wake of the pandemic.

"We are excited to offer this fantastic collection of live steam train locomotives at auction,” said Gildings’ model railway specialist, Andrew Smith.

A model of the Flying Scotsman

“The extensive collection dates back to the 1990s and includes locomotives made by many leading model train companies such as Accucraft, Bachmann, Aster and Locomotive Works. Each part of the collection was produced in very small numbers and most of it remains highly sought after by collectors today.”

Given Mr Abbott’s lifelong enthusiasm for railways, it is fitting that the proceeds of the sale will benefit the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, which was built in 1903 to link farming communities with the market town of Welshpool.

Following its closure in 1956, a group of enthusiasts began the process of reopening the line in 1963. Today it is a treasured tourist attraction that relies on private support for its upkeep.

"The fact that a Leicester-based railway enthusiast chose to bequeath the proceeds of the sale of his collection to the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway, is a testament to the importance of this much-loved heritage railway line; both to enthusiasts and tourists across the whole of the UK,” added Mr Smith.

The catalogue is available at and clients can register their interest now via the website or book an appointment to view the collection on 13, 14 or 17 August in line with government guidelines.