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Hand-built model train may roll past $100,000

Pete Waterman, best known for his work in pop music, and less known for his train modelling and railway preservation prowess, is offering a portion of his legendary collection of model trains during an auction presented by London's Dreweatts & Bloomsbury, April 16.

LONDON — Music mogul Pete Waterman will auction off $1 million worth of the finest

Watterman and train

Pete Waterman and one of the model trains of his legendary collection. (Photo courtesy Dreweatts & Bloomsbury)

scratch-built model trains from his collection on April 16.

Specialist auctioneers Dreweatts will conduct the sale, which will be held at the Mallett of Mayfair. Online bidding will be facilitated by Dreweatts, as well as and

The collection includes a locomotive Waterman argues is the finest model ever built, the Beyer Goods, valued at $106,000 to $127,000.

Waterman, the man who helped set pop guru Simon Cowell on the road to success has also carved out a pre-eminent role for himself in the world of train modelling and railway preservation over the past 50 years.

Now he has decided to sell what amounts to around 10 percent of his collection in order to raise enough money to secure the future of his beloved Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, which holds his collection of full-size steam engines, currently housed at sites around the U.K.

“These full-size engines won’t be back in steam for ten years. I’m 68 now and this is probably the last chance I will have to restore the engines held by the trust, so I’m making sure there is enough money in ten years’ time to continue the job,” he explained.

The train expected to roll away with the top lot status is the Beyer Goods locomotive.

Side view of locomotive

Exhibition quality model of a 7 1/4 gauge Great Western Beyer Goods locomotive, may fetch between $106,000 and $127,000. (Photo courtesy Dreweatts & Bloomsbury)

“The greatest steam railway engine built in miniature,” Waterman said of the Beyer Goods model. “It’s an unglamorous goods engine, but David Aitken, the only one of the four great modellers still alive, built it for himself with no thought to cost. It just has everything.”

Waterman has chosen to sell only the live steam side and the smaller models from his collection. “They no longer fit into the wider collection. It’s almost like I was into Pre-Raphaelite art and I’m now a modernist,” he explains.

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