ALMOST 800 vintage model trains and cars are set to go under the hammer in Rayleigh... and could fetch upwards of £50,000!

The collection is expected to pull in tens of thousands of pounds at Stacey’s Auctioneers, in Rayleigh, when the items go up for sale next Monday.

Some individual items are valued at £600.

The huge collection is owned by Dr David Whitmore, who began collecting in 1965.

In his early collection days, Mr Whitmore collected Meccano and began making and designing models, before going on to join the South East London Meccano Club.

By the late 80s he was collecting model trains.

Initially he collected Hornby, but he was quickly converted to TwinTrix as he felt the German models were better made.

Also, unlike many other model railway enthusiasts, he did not want to upgrade these sets with modern hi-tech controllers, opting instead to use the original technology.

He expanded his collection over the years, picking up all sorts of Dinky and similar model cars.

A spokesman for the auction house said: “He was constantly working making models, he loved steam, the engines that required steam and the engineering was from an earlier time.

“To make the small parts required for some of these sets was almost impossible but the larger static engines he made and then had to provide boilers and steam to make these work.

“The construction of steamboats as well as the repair of ‘O’ gauge engines was all very much to a standard that would meet the standards of those models when they were first sold, he did not spend time trying to improve them or use radio-controlled technology.

“It was all very much to meet a standard that would have been the aim of the toy when first purchased.”

The highest priced items at the auction could fetch £600, while there is a full range valued between £40 and £60.

It will take place on Monday, at 10.30am.