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Bassett-Lowke O Gauge Model Railroads & Trains

Bassett-Lowke was a British toy company that specialized in model railroads, model ships, and constructions sets. Founded about 1899 by Wenman Joseph Basset-Lowke, the company operated out of Northampton, England. Basset-Lowke was primarily a mail order company, with its first catalogue issued in 1899. Most of their model railroad stock was manufactured in Germany.

The demand for model railroad products in their catalog inspired Bassett-Lowke to begin to manufacture their own model railroads in Northampton beginning in 1901. By 1909, they were producing large-size model railroads in O, 1, 2, 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 7 1/4, and 15 gauges. These trains were ordered by private individuals all over the world, including the Sultan of Turkey. Trains were also manufactured and shipped to exhibitions in Scotland, Switzerland, and France.

During World War II, Basset-Lowke produced models for use in training aircraft and ship recognition. They continued to sell model railroads from their pre-war stock. After the war, Basset-Lowke resumed producing model trains, but only in O gauge. Their business began to decline in the late '50s, and the company went out of business in 1965. Subsequently, several efforts were made to revive the Bassett-Lowke brand name. Finally, in 1996, the brand name was purchased by Corgi, who relaunched the model railroad products in O gauge. Corgi was acquired by Hornby in 2008 and the Hornby company continues to offer O gauge model railroads under the Bassett-Lowke name.


Quick Facts

  • Bassett-Lowke made the smallest railway in the world in 1924 for the Queen’s dollhouse
  • Bassett-Lowke’s pre-World War II railroad stock included larger model railroads that could accommodate human passengers. These trains were popular at parks, tourist attractions, and exhibitions
  • One of the rarest model trains is Basset-Lowke’s The Coronation from 1937. This model of the bullet-nosed Pacific locomotive and tender sold at auction in 2013 for £7800

Recommended Items at Auction

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A BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE 2-6-0 MOGUL LOCOMOTIVE
May 29, 10:00 AM BST
A BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE 2-6-0 MOGUL LOCOMOTIVE
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£600 Bids
A CLOCKWORK BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE 4-4-0 LOCOMOTIVE AND TENDER
May 29, 10:00 AM BST
A CLOCKWORK BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE 4-4-0 LOCOMOTIVE AND TENDER
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £80- £120
£800 Bids
A MIXED BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE LOT
May 29, 10:00 AM BST
A MIXED BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE LOT
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£600 Bids
A GROUP OF BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE GWR COACHES
May 29, 10:00 AM BST
A GROUP OF BASSETT-LOWKE O GAUGE GWR COACHES
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£600 Bids
A GROUP OF THREE BOXED O GAUGE BASSETT LOWKE LMS COACHES
May 29, 10:00 AM BST
A GROUP OF THREE BOXED O GAUGE BASSETT LOWKE LMS COACHES
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £80- £120
£800 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Bassett-Lowke O Gauge Model Railroads & Trains


Chiswick Auctions

Chiswick Auctions