Are Hornby Trains Valuable? A Look into Some Hornby Trains Sold at Auctions
Train enthusiasts around the world know about Hornby Trains. The company has been around for over a hundred years and produces some of the most popular model trains in the market. Some collectors believe that Hornby trains are worth more than other brands of model trains. The company has been in business since 1901, and many of the original trains from that period are now worth a lot of money. But what Hornby trains are worth the money? What factors make these trains valuable? That’s what we will talk about in this post.
There are Hornby trains that are valuable, particularly the ones that are old and are in mint condition. Furthermore, there are also Hornby trains in limited edition, which could also drive its price, such as the 1937 Princess Elizabeth train set, which was sold for about $4,200, and the 1963 Hornby Stephensons Rocket Train sold for about $920.
This post will give examples of some Hornby trains that are worth the money. We wouldn’t look at the book value of the product. Instead, we will look at how much these model trains were sold. Lastly, I will give some things to consider to figure out how much you could sell your Hornby train.
Are old Hornby trains valuable?
There are valuable old Hornby trains, such as the 1937 Princess Elizabeth train, which was sold for $4,200, and the 1963 Hornby Limited Edition Stephenson Rocket Train, which was sold for $920. Another is the 1959 Hornby Dublo 2-Rail sold for about $420.
Generally speaking, old metal Hornby trains are valuable. With Hornby trains being around for a century, they made a lot of model trains that are now considered collectibles.
One of which is the 1937 Princess Elizabeth train set sold for around $4,200 in an auction.
However, take note that in the 1950s, there were Princess Elizabeth Train sets sold that were made out of plastics. While they can also fetch a good price, it is not as valuable as the metal ones made in the 1930s.
Many factors can drive the price of a train model. However, one of the largest is age.
Generally speaking, vintage Hornby models can go for $200 – $400. However, this does not factor in if the model is in limited edition or is well maintained.
For example, A Vintage 1976 Hornby Silver Jubilee Freight Set R684 Model Train, which is already used, was sold for about $220. This is a good price considering that the train model sold was used with some visible marks leading to a lower price.
However, if you add a vintage model in mint condition, you can get a better deal.
For example, the 1959 Hornby Dublo SR 0-6-0 in a Rare Dealer’s Box was sold for about $420. This is because not only is the model old, it is also sold in a rare dealer’s box. However, it was slightly used. Thus, its price couldn’t get higher.
But what if we have a model that is not only vintage but also in limited edition and mint-in condition? Then we have something that can fetch a really high price.
For example, the 1963 Hornby R3809 Stephensons Rocket Train Pack, a Centenary Year Limited Edition, is a vintage model train in limited edition and mint condition. This model was sold for about $920 in 2022.
As you can see, old Hornby trains can be very valuable, especially if it is in limited edition.
What you need to understand is that price is relative to demand. This means some even newer Hornby trains can get expensive.
A perfect example is the rare 2019 Hornby R3685 GWR HST train pack sought by many collectors. Since it is rare, people are willing to buy it for a lot of money.
The good news for them is there was an auction for this model in mint condition. Later on, it was sold for around $550 or AU $730.
As you can see, there are new Hornby trains that can also fetch a lot of money.
If you want to get the most value out of your collection, the best thing is to keep them in mint condition as much as possible.
If you want to use the model, make sure to maintain them properly so you can still sell them for a premium.
Also, get the limited edition ones.
It is also worth noting that some Hornby trains can be more expensive, like the 1937 Princess Elizabeth Train sets and the 1938 Hornby Southern Tender Eton Locomotive.
The 1937 Princess Elizabeth Train sets and the 1938 Hornby Southern Tender Eton Locomotive can be sold for about $5,000 with the current market trend. However, these models aren’t something that can come by daily.
In fact, the Princess Elizabeth Train, sold for $4,200, was sold many years ago.
How do I know how much my Old Hornby Train is?
To know how much your old Hornby Train is, the easiest way is to go to eBay and enter the details of your model such as the year and the type of train. By doing this, you can find some models that are close if not the same as your old Hornby Train and get an estimate on your train’s market value.
Recently, I got an email asking for the easiest way to know how much their models are, and my answer is to check the marketplace.
The current marketplace for vintage model trains is eBay. In there, you can check how much your models are and if there are models that are close to the ones you have.
By doing this, you can estimate how much your model would be.
Another tip is to check the condition.
Generally speaking, models outside their box cost 20% less than those in mint condition. Thus, if you have a model that’s not in mint condition and the listed ones are in mint condition, you can subtract 20% to get the price you can sell the model for.
However, this only applies to models that are in excellent condition. If the model isn’t well maintained, it would have a lower value.
Since this post is about the valuable Hornby trains, let me introduce you to the most expensive Hornby train sold.
What is the most valuable Hornby train?
The most valuable Hornby train sold is the 1937 Hornby Princess Elizabeth locomotive 6201 which was sold for $4,200. This model train is the biggest and greatest 0 gauge model Hornby ever made and they’ve put a lot into its design and attention to detail such as a tapered boiler and oval buffers.
But why is the Princess Elizabeth locomotive too special?
For one, it was Hornby’s first and only six-wheeled locomotive, notably, a 4-6-2 locomotive.
Another is that it is Hornby’s first attempt to scale modeling, which makes it historically significant for the company.
Furthermore, since it is their first model towards scale railroading, the model is one of the most vintage Hornby trains you can have.
For reference, it stopped production in 1940.
Lastly, this model train is based on a record-breaking steam locomotive that was built in 1933.
What made the actual train special is it was the first steam train to travel continuously for 400 miles at 70 mph, which was unheard of at that time. Furthermore, it went as fast as 95 mph.
All of these factors contributed to how expensive the Princess Elizabeth locomotive is.
However, as I said, this is rare, and auctions of this model happen only once every few years.
What’s Next? Did you know the story of Hornby’s first OO gauge train? Why is it different from HO, and why can it fit HO tracks? It is an interesting story, and you can find more about it here: HO vs. OO gauge.