If you’re thinking of getting into the world of model railways, you’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost. The good news is that there’s a wide range of prices to suit all budgets.
You can get started with a basic starter set for as little as £25. Supermarkets often run promotions where you can pick up these sets at heavily discounted prices. I recently found two Hornby starter sets for £25 each at ASDA, which normally sell for £60 each.
Once you have your basic set, you can start adding more tracks, trains, and models as you wish. Be sure to shop around to find the best deals.
If you’re looking for a digital control system, it will cost more than a basic DC system. However, there are still plenty of affordable options available.
I’m a big fan of flea markets and boot fairs for finding old trains, wagons, and carriages at a fraction of their original price.
As your collection grows, you may want to consider investing in a dedicated home for your model railway. This will allow you to set it up permanently and add landscape, scenery, and buildings.
The cost of a dedicated home ranges from £100 to thousands of pounds, depending on the size of your railway and how much you’re prepared to do yourself. If you’re into DIY and enjoy learning new skills, you can make almost every element of a model railway yourself.
So, there you have it.
Model railways can be started from just a few pounds and added to over time as your budget allows.
If you’re interested in getting started, be sure to check out my guide to the best train sets.
> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.
Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.