Category:1930s Model Railway Layout

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Display Area

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01 - 1930s Model Railway Layout
Arch Three

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The Museum's gauge 0 model railway layout forms the main centrepiece of the Museum, and its three-rail track is packed with around fifty gauge 0 locomotives and trains. Apart from the central buildings in the layout (which were designed to approximate Brighton architecture), the trackside buildings and accessories are authentic period-piece accessories.

The layout was created by museum Founder Chris Littledale, and is designed to produce an immersive impression of city and town life in Britain in the 1930s.

1985: Early artwork produced by Chris Littledale for the layout
Layout, "goods yard" side


The Märklin "Grand Station" (modelled on Liepzig Station) is a particularly grand piece of tinplate art, and the large Märklin bridge with illuminated beacons and side walkways is the only example of the piece known to exist.

The layout's items range from 1910 to 1960. Most of the locomotives, rolling stock and accessories were manufactured by Hornby (Meccano), Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Märklin, Georges Carette, Elettren, Mills Bros., Bond's, Leeds Model Co., Exley, Marescot, Jouet and Charles Rossignol. The tin plate road vehicles are clockwork Triang Minics from the 1930s and 1950s.

This collection will eventually pass to the Littledale / Brough Trust, the intention being for the collection to remain intact for the benefit of future generations.

Limited interactivity on normal opening days

Most of the central layout is designed for manual operation, and is primarily a static display. Visitors can also normally make one train perform a single circuit of the layout by pressing a button alongside the display ... however, this is real vintage 1930s track, and it can sometimes be a little temperamental – and sometimes the pushbutton section is offline while we wait for a service person to examine the track and find a bad electrical connection.

Due to the irreplacability of some of the items on the layout, very few people are allowed access to the layout, so getting it fixed when a problem arises can take a while.

Train Running Days/Train Running Evenings

Anyone with a particular interest in seeing the layout running in its full glory is recommended to visit during one of our themed Train Running Days. As a rule we run two of these each year (one in Spring and one in Autumn/Winter), and on these occasions we run multiple vintage locomotives and trains on multiple sections of track, with lots of people on hand to jump in and fix things if there's a problem.


Before the museum's creation in 1991 the layout would be displayed at events at the British Engineerium in Hove.

External links


This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.

Pages in category ‘1930s Model Railway Layout’

The following 74 pages are in this category, out of 74 total.

Media in category ‘1930s Model Railway Layout’

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