An Introduction to Model Railways

What is Railway Modelling?

Railway modelling is creating a miniature railway. From wooden toy railways for small children up to large model railway layouts - create your own model railway in any way you please.


Relive the nostalgic era of steam with a historical or heritage railway layout, or recreate modern diesel and electric railways. Shunt wagons around a fiddle yard, or build loops for passenger trains. Create urban settings filled with houses, shops, and industry, or wide open countryside with rolling hills, woodland, rivers, and rocky cliffs. Build a small layout or fill a whole room with a layout that you can spend years creating.


With a huge range of train sets, locomotives, rolling stock and accessories to chose from there is something for any railway enthusiast to build their perfect layout. Railways models are available in a wide range of scales. We stock OO Gauge from Hornby and Bachmann, N Gauge from Graham Farish, and G Gauge from LGB. We also stock the BigJigs range of wooden toy railway models.

Train Sets

If you are looking for the best way to get started in Model Railways then look no further. These train sets provide everything you need to get started, and allow you to expand your layout with the buildings and accessories range. Train sets include a loop of track, a controller and power supply, a locomotive and several wagons or coaches, and all of the connectors you need. Some sets may also include a scenic mat to lay your track on, extra track sections, or even buildings.


There are a wide range of Hornby Train Sets to choose from as well as LGB Train Sets. You can even recreate the Wizarding World with the Hogwarts Express from Harry Potter


Locomotives are often the most important choice for your model railway. Many modellers build their layout around what locomotives they want to run. Bring back the bygone era of steam with great icons such as the Flying Scotsman and the streamlined Mallard. If a more modern setting sparks your inspiration the popular Class 66 locomotive is available in several freight liveries, and the Class 43 HST is popular for passenger trains of the recent past, especially in the British Rail Intercity 'Swallow' livery, or bring it right up to the current era with the Eurostar high speed train, and you will be sure to recognise the Class 08 as Diesel from Thomas & Friends. These locomotives are beautifully detailed and look striking as they roll around your layout.

What is Rolling Stock?

No matter what kind of layout you are building you will need wagons and coaches for your locomotives to pull. These are collectively known as 'rolling stock'. The range of coaches and wagons add that extra wow factor to your layout. The ranges we stock cover classic British Rail maroon coaches and wagons with company names painted on the sides, right through to modern coaches pulled in high-speed trains and large freight wagons. 

Track & Accessories

Expand your layout by adding more track! Track pieces are available in various lengths, straight or curved, and switching sections. Add extra detail and functions to your tracks with the great range of track accessories on offer, including signals, buffer stops, level crossings, and even powered switches so you don't have to do it by hand.


Hornby produce a range of track extension packs that are designed to build on the track you get in a train set, and match up to the additional sections shown on the Hornby TrakMat.

Buildings & Scenery

Add detail to your layout with the extensive buildings and scenery range. There is a great variety of different buildings to choose from. Add railway buildings such as stations, platforms, signal boxes, engine sheds, lineside accessories, and more. Build villages, towns, and cities by adding cottages, houses, and shops. Get to work, with adding industrial buildings.


Just like with their range of track extension packs, Hornby have made a range of building expansion packs. Each of these again matches to extra elements shown on the Hornby TrakMat.


Our range of scenic materials has everything you need to landscape your layout. Add cork sheets to your baseboard to pin your track to and reduce noise. Build the foundations of hills with plaster bandage. Stretch grass mats over your landscape. Create woodland with scenic trees. Create rocky outcrops with cork bark. Check out our scatter materials for gravel to ballast your tracks, sand for your beaches, coal for your wagons, and static grass for small grassy areas, and snow for winter scenes. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.


Bring your layout to life with the fantastic range of figures and animals. Fill your platforms with passengers and station staff. Populate your towns and villages with people going about their day. Add life to your rural areas with flocks of sheep and other animals. Also check out our range of diecast models for a great selection of vehicles.

Power & Controllers

Your train set will include a single-channel controller that is ideal for running a single track and sidings. If you choose to expand your layout to run more trains with multiple loops, or want to have a train running on a loop while you shunt wagons around a fiddle yard, you will need a controller with multiple channels. You can even add to your layout with remotely-controlled switch points, lights, signals, and a wide range of accessories.


Take the next step and upgrade to digital command control (DCC). Digital is becoming the most popular way to control your model railway layout. While traditional DC controllers work by varying the current supplied to the track, DCC controllers work by sending signals through a permanent current that is interpreted by decoders in your locomotives and accessories. This allows you to control several locomotives independently, from the same control unit, even if they are on the same section of track. There are also a wide range of powered accessories available, controlled with the same system. It is even possible to control a DCC layout through apps for your computer or phone!

Wooden Model Railways

At Wonderland Models we stock the BigJigs wooden model railway range. This extensive range of wooden trains, buildings, tracks, and accessories gives kids the chance to let their imagination run wild. BigJigs recommend their range for children of 3 years and up, making them ideal for the youngest of train enthusiasts.

Start your collection with one of BigJigs excellent wooden train sets. As your child's imagination grows, so too can their train set by adding more sections of track and accessories, and even more buildings. Add to their collection of trains with locomotives and rolling stock. BigJigs even have battery-powered locomotives, such as the famous Flying Scotsman steam engine; just press the button and watch it go!