Model Railways & Trains For Beginner’s

beginners guide

Hi! as you’ve arrived here I’m guessing you want to learn about and get Hornby trains and model railways. If so, this page is for you.


If you are looking to buy a Hornby
Train Set click here
If you’ve already got one and are
looking to build your train set click here.

I’m Andy, aka the Model Railway Engineer, and on this blog, I’ll show you how to make model railways. From Hornby-style train sets to stunningly realistic model railway layouts I’m here to help.

But before going further, you might be interested to know why I like model railways and why they’re so popular.

Building a model railway is fun, challenging and rewarding.

Fun Fact: The World’s Longest Model Railway
The longest model railway track in the world is Miniature Wunderland in Germany. It has an astonishing 13,000 meters of model railway track!

It’s a pastime with something for everyone.

Model trains are great for beginner’s of every age, from young children to way past retirement age. They offer something for every lifestyle with enthusiasts from all walks of life including teachers, software engineers, physicists, actors, politicians and even Formula One drivers and pop stars.

Enthusiasts include Tom Hanks, Rod Stewart, Peter Sellers, Pete-Waterman, Johnny Cash, Winston Churchill, David Hasselhoff & Frank Sinatra to name just a few.

It’s no wonder an estimated 17,000 people are expected to attend the National Model Railway Exhibition at the Birmingham NEC in November this year and over 10million people have visited the world’s largest model railway Miniature Wunderland in Germany.

“every three years Model Railroader magazine puts me on their cover, which is better than Rolling Stone”
Rod Stewart

A little about me

model train beginners guideFor me, the best thing about building a model railway is that there’s always something new to learn with all manner of different skills to be mastered.

It’s also a great way of discovering new interests and meeting some incredibly talented new friends and all while developing a hobby that’ll last a life time.

Personally, I’ve been making railways since I was a small lad and set up this site to help others get the most from this unique, fun, hobby. If you want to know more about me read this.

But enough of me.

Let’s get back to why you’re here, to get started with your first railway.

As mentioned, part of why I like model railways is there’s so much to learn and many different skills involved, from wood work to electrics to digital control to te creativity of model making. All of these are covered in the articles and posts on this blog but I appreciate that when you’re just starting out this can be a bit overwhelming.

For this reason, the main manufacturers (Hornby etc) produce beginners sets.

model railway

These are all-in-one kits that have everything you need and all the instructions to quickly get your trains running.

They’re without hesitation the best way to get started. But even these can be overwhelming. There are so many now.

To get you going, I’ve polled followers of Model Railway Engineer and picked the best trains sets for children, young adults, those returning to the hobby after a few years away and the best all-round set to help. It also has some next steps and pointers to my most popular articles on maintaining your train set.

Read the guide here; alternatively, if you already have a starter set and want to set up it start here. I’ve tried to keep this guide jargon-free but if you have any questions feel free to have a look around this site. I write all my posts and articles in easy, simple to understand language and all the guides and tips here are completely free to read.

And if there is a particular word you’re still stuck with drop me a line via the contact page or head over to Facebook, like my Model Railway Engineer page and ask any questions you have there. I’ll be happy to help.

Good luck, have fun and welcome to the world of model trains!


Model Railway Engineer

PS: Don’t forget, read my guide to the best train sets and see what the collective wisdom of the Model Railway Engineer community of model railway gurus think are the best train sets to start your new hobby with. Read it now.

> 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.

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