This is probably the oldest and biggest model railway in the country. It represents the LNER main line between King’s Cross to Leeds, based on a time somewhere between the mid 1940s to the end of British Railway days.
The layout occupies all the ground floor in an old school and has over half a mile of track, over 130 locos, with 100 in service. The oldest was built in 1947 and is still running. There are over 100 coaches, representing all the different types in operation as well as 250+ wagons and vans. Add on nine stations, three goods yards and five locomotive depots with turntables…..
The track is divided into ten block sections each with its own control panel and trains run to a strict timetable. Standard bell codes are used as trains pass from one section to the next. There are fifteen complete trips per hour and then add on shunting in the goods yard and local services out of King’s Cross, it is quite an undertaking and there is plenty to watch.
The track is O gauge and all the locos, rolling stock, buildings and scenery have been built by members. It is an impressive layout. Stations are busy places with passengers, porters, and taxis waiting.
The track is 2-3’ off ground level so is low enough for the kids to be able to stand and watch without being held. The track does take up nearly all of the rooms with only a narrow space round the edge for visitors. If it is busy, it can be difficult to pass people. There is no room for wheelchairs and there are a few stairs.
Society members meet every week, but the model railway is only open a few times a year for visitors. Dates can be found here.
They produce an excellent souvenir brochure with a lot of information about the layout and operation. Wives also serve hot and cold drinks and home made buns.
The grandchildren loved it. There were plenty of trains to keep their attention. The adult gricers also enjoyed themselves. It is a very slick operation and a very worthwhile visit.