Great Model Railway Challenge: The Grand Final

In the grand final of the Great Model Railway Challenge, the Basingstoke Badgers, Fawley Fliers, Railway Video Division, Strangers on a Model Train and Team Aberdeen each built a brand new layout in just 36 hours. It was tough and it was touch and go whether some of them would make it.  There were a range of themes based on a journey through time, starting with the 1850s and ending in the future.  They all then had to join up into one long 50 foot run.

It was incredibly tough to judge as there were 5 great layouts.

Warning!  There are over 300 photos below so it may take some time to read!

Behind the Scenes Photos

Final Pictures

What did I learn?

Wow, these teams were all great. They were innovative, built amazing layouts that all ran well, were chockfull of animations and overall blew my socks off!

I realise that what draws me to a layout is quality; quality of build, quality of running and a quality idea. 36 hours to build a whole layout is not conducive to great quality but the teams did an amazing job.  I have been consistently surprised through the whole series how much teams have built in such a short amount of time – they are all winners for just taking part and finishing in my book!

Overall, the show has inspired me to build a new micro layout for my YouTube channel and Steve Flint, my fellow judge and editor of Railway Modeller, was superb at inputting ideas, recognising stock from photos and helping scope it all out.  I’m going to use some of the techniques I saw in the competition and I have some new toys (tools) to play with!  That will be coming up over the next few months so keep an eye out for it.

I know that as a result of the show, a number of people have been to exhibitions, sought out friends with railways and even bought starter sets. I hope you really enjoy what you have seen and that this has inspired you to have a go.

I’m really pleased that the series has been renewed for a second season. If you want to take part – get your applications in soon:

Hopefully the show will continue to introduce people to this great hobby.


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