BLOG: Three weeks to the Great Electric Train Show

Photo: Carl Woodwards' Vale of Oxbury in 'N' gauge will be representing the Western Region in the 1960s.


Time flies and it barely seems like five minutes ago that we were packing up after the Great Electric Train Show in 2017 with Twelve Trees Junction after a marathon build. But, here we are, 12 months later and the real count down to the 2018 Great Electric Train Show is on.

Since 2013 the Great Electric Train Show has been held at the British Motor Museum near Leamington Spa, but this year we have moved the event to a brand new venue in Milton Keynes at the Arena MK. Why? Quite simply so we can make the show bigger, better and more attractive to the thousands of modellers who have already attended. The new location is so much easier to get to from all parts of the country – there is even a direct train from Clapham Junction (provided by Southern Railway) on the Southern Region through to Milton Keynes – while if you are attending from the north Virgin Trains services come from all points on the West Coast Main Line to Milton Keynes Central (just be sure to check that your service stops there!). Local services by London Northwestern Railway also serve Milton Keynes Central.

A free shuttle bus will be running from stand Z6 at Milton Keynes Central station both days of the Great Electric Train Show.

To make it simple for visitors arriving by rail to reach the venue we’ve laid on a free bus service for both days of the show running on the hour and half past throughout the day with the first bus departing at 9am. It will use Stand Z6 outside Milton Keynes Central railway station which is literally a minute’s walk from the front doors of the station.

If you are arriving by car the journey is simple too. Using the M1 you can use either Junction 13 (from the south) or 14 from the north or east then follow the signs for the football stadium which will bring you right to our front door at Arena MK. Our parking attendants will direct you to space in the spacious free tarmac car park.

Glenfinnan is travelling from Scotland for the Great Electric Train Show.

Colin Snowdon’s Batcombe models a Southern Region seaside terminus in the 1950s.

So now you know how to get to the show, what will you get? This year we have put together our biggest line up ever for the Great Electric Train Show. 32 layouts, 44 traders and eight demonstrations make up the event with a list of layouts drawn from across the country. We’ve got exhibitors travelling from all corners of the UK including Cornwall, Scotland, the Wirral, Lancashire, Kent, Gloucestershire, South Wales, Somerset, the North East – all to make the Great Electric Train Show better than ever.

Behind the scenes we work hard to bring layouts to the area which haven’t been seen before while picking favourites from past issues and future feature subjects too. Region, scale and period are all considered too with this year’s layout subjects being as diverse as the Isle of Wight, the London suburbs in the 2000s, Western, Southern and Midland region models in the transition era, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s diesel and electric era models and much more. The full list is available to view at or you can read our full preview to the event in the latest issue of Hornby Magazine.

Loftus Road by Worthing MRC models the London suburbs in the early 2000s.

Steve Thompson’s ‘O’ gauge layout Dubmill Sidings has been reworked this year with new scenery at one end.

Of course no Great Electric Train Show would be the same if the Hornby Magazine team wasn’t burning the midnight oil to complete a new project or extension. Last year we delivered Twelve Trees Junction in its brand new continuous run format, but this year it is the turn of our BR Western Region terminus Grosvenor Square for a facelift. And by facelift we mean an 8ft extension to the scenic section making this already large layout even bigger.

Regular readers will doubtless have seen the 24hr challenge feature in the latest issue, but we’ve included the time-lapse video of the layout under construction here as a taster of what is to come.

The work we have done so far is by no means the end as we are planning to add new details to the station – including passengers which have been notably lacking from the seven platform terminus – but with another project in the workshop right now for the Yearbook some of those finishing touches might be added to the layout during the set up on Friday for the Great Electric Train Show.

If you haven’t taken advantage of our discount advance tickets yet they are still available with prices reduced to £9 for adults and £7 for children (£12 and £9 respectively on the day) plus we also have our brand new VIP package available – a new ticket for 2018 – which includes a package of discount vouchers, the latest Key Publishing railway and modelling titles, VIP parking and more. Check out the full details here.

We are all excited to open the doors to the Great Electric Train Show at its new venue and the next three weeks are sure to fly by. We look forward to seeing as many Hornby Magazine readers as possible over the weekend and we look forward to your thoughts and feedback on our greatest Great Electric Train Show yet.

I hope you enjoyed this latest post and if you have anything you would like to comment on, drop us a line to

Posted in Blogs, Mike Wild


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