There are two ways of approaching the business of landscaping. The first is to design a landscape that you are going to run your trains through. The second is to wrap your landscape around your train layout.

Hornby Central is an example of the latter - we created the layout and then built the landscape around it. This is because our priority is trains, not buildings and fields. Anyway, we didn’t have the space to model fields and forests disappearing to the horizon.

So our journey starts at Hornby Central, a large station which serves a city. The railway runs beneath it, the trains emerging from beneath the station booking hall, where three through-platforms are busy with Intercity travellers. We built the city on a board that occupies one corner, hiding a sharp turn in the track and separating the chaos of the station from the tranquil country in only three feet. The city board sits on ledges. It is easily removed for maintenance or derailments, yet sits tight and secure. The buildings are fastened down, but the cars and buses are only resting in place, which means we can move them around and change the mood of the station forecourt.

The southbound trains depart passing Hornby Yard on the left and Warton village on the right. Here, the railway company built terraced housing for their crews one hundred years ago, the pub being the centre of their community.

Past the signal box, round the back of Hornby engine shed and the country opens out before us.

The new halt at Winewall, on our left, illustrates clearly the increase in residents that Winewall village has attracted, now that only a short railbus ride connects them with the expresses heading north and south. Back into civilisation and past Elton shed, we race non-stop through Elton Road, past the tenement blocks and the police station, over the stream and out into the countryside again.

Then, just before you make yourself really comfortable and fall asleep, you have arrived. The train plummets underground, followed by the eyes of watchers peering over the city bridge parapet, and the brakes start their squeaky slow down. You can be wherever you want to be; we don’t want to spoil your dream, but in reality you are back where you began. Welcome home.

We hope you have enjoyed your journey with us and we have given you new ideas on how to develop your own layout.

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