ERTL Gold Rail Series of diecast Thomas trains and playsets were offered in the early 1990's exclusively by ERTL (1993-1994). This Gold Rail Series of diecast trains consisted of 14 engines and cars based on the main characters, all of which featured unique magnetic couplings to join them.
This exclusive line also offered 4 playsets and it's interesting to note that train tracks were available but this is consistent with the other diecast series of Thomas trains made by ERTL. The scale of these die-cast trains was considered smaller than a standard HO scale train but they were very detailed to say the least. The actual box is printed with the words "Highly detailed die-cast metal with magnetic couplings".
Parallel to this offering of Shining Time Station Gold Rail series trains was a similar series made in Japan by Bandai Tecs. Apparently the Japanese Bandai Tecs series was more extensive offering many train characters and more plays than the short series by ERTL Gold Rail. These Gold Rail trains of die-cast are fun to collect and are not very expensive at all.
Since being retired as of 1993 these are not common and this one is in excellent condition.
This is the list of die-cast Gold Rail series trains and cars:
Annie, Ben, Bertie, Bill, Clarabel, Edward, Foolish Freight car, Harold, James, Percy, Thomas, Toby, and Troublesome Truck
This is the list of die-cast Gold Rail series playsets:
Ffarquhar Playset, Lower Suddery Playset, Sodor Shipping Playset, Turntable Playset
Other Lists of Thomas the train manufacturers