5 'must-see' layouts at The London Festival of Railway Modelling

01 March 2024
With almost 40 fantastic layouts, 80+ traders, and numerous clubs and societies in attendance, it's easy to see why model railway fans love The London Festival of Railway Modelling.

Hand-picked by the Model Railway Club, the attending layouts cover a wide range of scales and gauges from the UK, Europe and further afield. We’ve been given the arduous task of selecting five layouts that you’ll not want to miss – although, admittedly, we think they are all worthy of a visit. Here are our picks…

1. Fredstone Lane - N

Alsager Railway Association's expansive N gauge layout includes four tracks of main line, plus a heritage railway circuit, it’s one definitely that needs to be on your list. A layout that took a decade to make, ‘Fredstone Lane’ is full of cameos and personal tributes, plus a wide variety of stock to keep visitors entertained. 

2. Newchapel Junction – O

This huge O gauge layout is always a popular sight at exhibitions as it’s a perfect layout to watch the trains go by. An operator's playground, you can expect plenty of trains running, plus operators on hand to talk you through the busy schedule. Representing the post-grouping period somewhere in the Yeovil area where the SR and the GWR ran together, the layout recreates the operation of a busy railway in its heyday.

3. Solent Summit - N

Packed full of detail, this modular American N scale layout is a real work of art. Constructed by members of the Gosport American Model Railroad Group, it was started in 2010, and new modules are still being produced by members today.

In its full form, Solent Summit has about 200ft (4.5 scale miles) of scenic track, plus return loops with scenery and includes stations, industrial sidings, passing loops, coal mine, power station, tunnel, steel viaduct, trestle bridges, chemical plant, sawmill, pickle works, cement works, and various bits of countryside.

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4. Abingdon – OO 

Return to 1960s Oxfordshire with the fantastic ‘Abingdon’, a former branchline terminus full of scenic cameos and a variety of trains to keep things entertaining – it’s one not to miss. 

5. Gordon’s Lane – OO

This modern-day layout, based somewhere on the Wessex Mainline, features a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) maintenance depot alongside the running lines. DCC controlled with full-colour light signalling, a large assortment of available rolling stock will be operated on the layout for your viewing pleasure. 

Picture copyright: Greg Marshall

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