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Neil Young Is Auctioning Off His Model Trains

Neil Young
Taylor Hill, Getty Images

Neil Young is selling off some of his collectibles as a benefit for the Bridge School in California. Included are more than 230 trains, studio gear and a few of his automobiles.

The trains are predicted to sell for as much as $9,000 a piece, while Young’s cars could fetch bids as high as $300,000, according to Reuters.

Young began collecting model trains in the ’90s with his son Ben, who has cerebral palsy. “It is just relaxing,” Young told David Letterman in 2012. The Bridge School aids kids like Ben with severe speech and physical impairments.

Later, Young began working with Richard Kughn, a Detroit businessman who owned Chesterfield, Mich.-based Lionel Trains, to develop a remote control that made operating the trains easier for the handicapped. Young also developed an audio device that replicates real train sounds, then partnered with an investment firm called Wellspring to buy Lionel, when the company fell on hard times. They also purchased the Lionel trademarks in a separate transaction.

Highlights of the auction, to be handled by Julien’s in Los Angeles on Dec. 9, include a Lionel Hudson prototype locomotive, a H.O.A.R.D tour psychedelic Vanderbilt Hudson locomotive and a 50th-anniversary edition 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark convertible. The steering-wheel hub of the Buick says “customized for Neil Young.”

“Collecting all of these items has been my great joy,” Young said in a statement. “They have provided a source of inspiration, fun and creativity throughout my life. Now, it is time to share them with others in the world whom I hope will enjoy and love them as much as I have.”

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