How Much Space Is Needed for A Hornby Railway Set - Model Railway Engineer

How Much Space Is Needed for A Hornby Railway Set

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flying scotsman railway setA question asked by many beginners is how much space will they need for a railway set set. It’s a good question but it’s a bit more involved than you might imagine.
The difficulty is down to what is meant by ‘railway set’.

For most people, a “railway set” means one of the self contained train sets from Hornby that contain all the track, controllers and trains needed to get started. They’re easy to set up and provide a lot of fun and great introduction for children or those new to the hobby.

For these OO gauge train sets (see my model railway jargon guide if you’re unsure of what OO means) the minimum area you’ll need is 1090mm by 940mm or 3 feet, 6 inches by 3 feet, 1 inch.

This is for this Hornby Caledonian Belle railway set, other packs require more space. The wonderful Flying Scotsman set (available herefor example will need an area of 5 feet 2 inches by 3 feet 9 inches. To both, I’d add another foot on each side so the track and trains can be accessed without reaching over the rest of the layout.

If these Hornby sets are as far as you plan on going and you have no plans to expand then I can sleep happy tonight knowing I’ve answered your question.

But if you’re planning on using these sets as a part of a more elaborate railway, or you suspect you’ll expand on it in future – with longer stretches of track, buildings and scenery –  and so grow the train set into a model railway there are a whole different set of considerations.


Extra: For the smaller Bachmann N gauge sets (see previous link if this N or OO gauge terminology is new to you) a table or work surface of around 3 feet by 2 feet (depending on the particular set you get) will be fine.


I cover these in the sister article to this post but if this is you then should budget for at least 6 feet by 4 feet of space, and again adding a foot on all sides for easy access. This assumes an oval type track plan, narrow rectangle areas – six foot by 2 foot – are possible but I’m encroaching on the subject of the other article.

Hopefully this has answered your question and in conjunction with the other article on space needed for a railway set you can now begin planning your railway but if you have any other questions please feel free to ask away in the comments below, drop me a line directly via the contact page or see my beginners guide to model railways where I answer this and other common questions. And, if you’re now looking for the best prices on Hornby or model railway train sets, see the next post in this series – getting the best price model railway.



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