Our Exhibition Layout

After our layout ‘Hornby Central’ appeared in the Railway Modeller, we received many enquiries from interested readers, as far afield as Australia, some seeking permission to copy the layout: so we decided to construct an exhibition model for all to see.

The new layout is called ‘Millhead Junction’, Millhead being a village north of Carnforth Station on the West Coast Main Line and only yards from where we live. The layout is simple in comparison to Hornby Central. It needs to be so for exhibition purposes, yet it demonstrates totally the romance and nostagia of the 1950-60s. The layout is 16’x7’, Millhead Junction being at the front of the layout where mainline and local trains pass and turn.

The big station in the centre of the layout is Millhead Quays, a terminal station with a glass canopy and prestigious clock tower. The third station is Millhead, a single track commuter station where the local Push’n’Pull and DMU terminate. It overlooks the city station, hence its name Millhead.

There is little space for landscaping but in each corner is a cameo of our railway memories. The seaside station alongside the beach reflects our teenage days train-spotting at Hest Bank, where we hurriedly scoffed sandwiches outside the camping coaches, the best place from where to watch the Duchesses and Princesses race past. In the top corner of the layout are the reminders of working in the city every day. Black cabs come and go on the station forecourt, frantically coping with the rush hour, children drink from the fountain, the policeman directs travellers and tourists and ‘posty’ is emptying the pillar box - it must be 5.30pm.

But now we live near to the Lake District, so the third corner captures the tranquil life of the sheep farmer amidst moors and ploughed fields and the fourth corner, our junior school days. A Ribble coach is taking a class on a field trip, the teacher is counting them on board.

The layout has now had six outings. Its first time out was at Kendal, where we scooped the Best in Show Cup, the second was at Skipton, where we again caused a stir with several new locos. The greatest of these is our model of ‘Princess Anne’ 46202, simply a Princess cab stuck to a Duchess boiler, with six months of pain-wracked evenings trying to get it to look right. The basic Stanier 9 ton tender makes this loco look even more majestic.

Two new Scots have been added to the shed, ‘Gordon Highlander’ 46106 with its straight-sided blinkers and ‘Phoenix’ 45736 which is a rebuilt Jubilee; a scratch-built cab was the important alteration here.

Gresley’s V2 Prairie ‘Coldstreamer’ makes light work of returning with the Yorkshire Pullman. It seems to grip ever better than the A4 ‘Sir Nigel Gresley’ which hauled it south.

Then, against all the odds, I allowed Tim to include a DMU. (I am not a diesel fan!) The Derby Lightweight is packed with commuters and day-trippers as it scurries into Millhead Junction and leaves as fast as it arrived.

With a nostalgic interlocking of life with trains, who needs to write an autobiography? Our story can be told visually on a model railway layout. If you want to know more about this layout, please contact us

Upcoming Exhibitions

Sorry, there are no upcoming exhibitions. If you’d like us to attend an exhibition you’re organising, please contact us.

Our Track Tricks


Laying the Track

Coaching Stock

Trucks and Wagons

Use of People


Explore Hornby Central

How we make the trains run

Remaking History

The Making of Princess Anne

The Making of the Layout

The Making of our Steam Specials