The Central Layout

1930s model railway layout, created and assembled by Chris Littledale, Brighton Toy and Model Museum. Ultra wide-angle image, Eric Baird 2017

The heart of the Museum is its central 1930s gauge 0 model railway layout, constructed by Chris Littledale and transplanted from the Hove Engineerium in 1991. With the exception of a handful of modern tinplate locos and some post-war Exley carriages (and some “architectural model” buildings), almost everything else on the layout – signalling, lights, trackside buildings, accessories – dates from the 1930s and could be found in a 1930s toyshop. The sixty-odd road vehicles on the layout are from the Tri-ang Minic range and are painted tinplate with clockwork motors.

Trackside buildings are by Bassett-Lowke, Hornby Trains, Jouet de Paris, and Märklin. Locomotives and rolling stock are by Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Georges Carette, Hornby Trains, and Märklin. Trees and plants are by Britains. The overhead tinplate Zeppelin is a Märklin reissue.

A 3D photogrammetric computer model of the 1930s layout. An interactive version is available on the Sketchfab site, at  https://skfb.ly/6MBEx
A 3D photogrammetric computer-generated image of the layout. An interactive version is available on the Sketchfab site, at https://skfb.ly/6MBEx

The named buildings on the layout – “Wulf Never Importers“, “F. Burridge Electrical Engineers” and the Hefford engineering works – were all created in memory of original members of the museum team who have since passed on.

Although the selection of trains on the layout contents has a habit of changing, a main listing of the layout’s pieces can be found on the museum’s online encyclopedia.