English model trains

If you are looking for English model trains, two posts on the site spring to mind:

Loft railway – Dave’s.

english model trains


British model railway.

english model trains

But it’s a funny old world.

Pretty much, every week, I get emails asking, “Why do you show so many American layouts?”

And I get just as many saying, “Can you show more less British and more American layouts?”

Well, the truth is, I’m not fussy – I don’t give a jot where they come from, what their theme is, or their era.

If there’s something to learn from them, or marvel at, I publish.

But I know what folk mean – have a look at these two for example. Polar opposites when it comes each side of the Atlantic:


Barry’s update



Polar opposites… but some real gems of wisdom.

But sometimes, no layout is necessary to tap in to some sage advice. Have a look at the comments in this one:

Pat’s dilemma

Perhaps Bill says it best when it comes to English model trains, or American ones:

“Celtic Thunder sang a song that fits this: “All of God’s Creatures Got A Place In The Choir.”

Sometimes we forget that and start trying to do things our way. We also have a tendency to forget that model railroading is a hobby and not an exact science. If one is a purist, that may be true but a great number of us are not.

Either way, most of the things you post are filled with all kinds of things which turn on the light that says, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

I have found countless things that can be applied to my own little 4X8 island pike.

All of the trains simply run around in circles and it would be infinitely boring to a lot of the folks who frequent your fine website but to me (and no doubt, hundreds of other “kids” in the hobby) it is a lot of fun, very relaxing and the children of friends who come and visit are able to “play” with it – just like me.

I think the best example I have ever seen as to what our hobby is all about was posted on your site some weeks back.

It was Hank’s O gauge layout with several trains running around in various circles, some at breakneck speeds, spilling the occupants’ coffee (or tea, if is on the British side).

I saved that post and play it every once in a while just to keep my 81 year old head in perspective and remind me that I am not a John Allen or a George Sellios, etc.

So, regardless of which side of the ocean they come from, keep posting your videos, helpful hints and photos. I (we) love ’em.

I live, by the way, on the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington state, just 80 miles from the northwesternmost point of the continental U.S. Colonies so there is a whole continent PLUS an ocean between us.

God bless.


So there you go – oh, and one last thing. I also get mails everyday asking why I don’t publish the scale / gauge / track plan of some layouts. It’s all very simple: I publish everything I get. If I don’t have it, I can’t publish it.

That’s all for today. Hope you enjoy the English model trains posts, and the American ones too. I enjoy them all.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

6 Responses to English model trains

  1. Hemi says:

    VERY understandable Al!!!!!! Thats how it goes tho, some want more one side of the pond and others the opposite side of the pond. its actually a no-win situation, as to “each there own” comes into play….. Those reading (like myself) I take anything “good” from either side of the pond as the modeling habits are pretty much the same and some over the pond ideas might be better or vise-versa to the person reading the posting individually… We ALL have to take what we like from each posting to our own use or likes…

    I myself? I model American. sure enough, I am strictly building my layout in the late Steam early diesel era, of 2 railroads that ran pretty close to each other, and to that was later absorbed by one bigger railroad that today is part of a even bigger system……. That said, I plan to make the layout reflect late steam era, BUT I also “collect” all the rails names that followed after the first 2. to be ran on the same railroad.. with some use of “my” Modelers License….. when running those railroads, it will NOT be “true to era” but those “newer” railroads do still run in the area of the US where the older steam era railroads did….-That I’m planning to model!

  2. Lynn Taubeneck says:

    AMEN Alastair!!! Keep up the good work. Those who want more from their country can always start their own blog group. I enjoy the variety that you post and the wide range of cultures and ideas.

  3. Steve Hudacko says:

    Interesting article. The thing I like about this site is I get to see what is going on around the world 🌎 in this hobby. We all may look at trains just a little different but just a little different. I think I can sit down with anyone from anyplace in the world and talk TRAINS. In this day and age that is special. We all love trains. Thanks Al for bringing us all together.
    Steve from Toms River New Jersey USA.

  4. Thomas Murphy says:

    It makes a difference to some folks as to where the model railroads are portrayed, however, what I take away from each and every presentation ~ is the idea behind each concept, craftsmanship and the ability to share one’s ideas with others in a positive way.
    So to you Al and all your contributors; I humbly say, “Thank You.” Please keep this site humming ~ I love model trains and have so for over 60 years.
    Regards, Tom (USA)

  5. NJ Mark says:

    I thoroughly enjoy seeing what others do with their model railroads. It is truly amazing that we can share ideas, see still pictures and videos, and comment and discuss with people around the world about a hobby that we all love. A huge thanks to Al for taking on the task of providing us with what is happening on “both sides of the pond” and globally. I look forward to your next installment.

    Cheers! NJ Mark

  6. Ian McDonald says:

    I love the site. I don’t have the gift to put together an email with videos and photos to share. There seems to be a very wide selection of layouts hints and tips . Thanks Al and all those who send things in. Thanks for sharing.

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