PREVIEW: Model World LIVE model railway layout updates

With just a few weeks to go until Model World LIVE, we preview a selection of the latest updates and projects on the model railway layouts attending the show on April 27/28 2024 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Twelvemill Bridge in TT:120 scale by Key Model World.

Above: Twelvemill Bridge is one of three layouts from the Key Model World collection which will be at Model World LIVE. Visitors can take their turn at the controls to attempt a perfect station stop to become a certified 'TT:120' scale driver.

The new event takes place at the NEC in Birmingham and combines railway, scale and radio control modelling in one event. More than 35 model railways will be taking part in the new event alongside an array of trader offering everything from locomotives and rolling stock to accessories, electronics, tools, materials, 3D printed products, building kits reference material and more. These are joined by more than 35 scale modelling displays feature the best in aviation, military, martime, automotive and sci-fi modelling.

The centrepiece of the show is the biggest portable 'OO' gauge model railway ever built - Making Tracks: The Final Frontier by Pete Waterman and the Railnuts. This huge undertaking adds more than 100ft of new scenic layout to the 152ft long layout seen at the 2023 Great Electric Train Show by wrapping the scenery around the end and back towards the 150ft long storage yard. The full layout will model Hillmorton Junction, Kilsby Tunnel, Blisworth, Milton Keynes Central station, Tring Cutting, Northchurch Tunnel, Watford Tunnel, Watford Junction station, Bushey viaduct, Bushey station and Carpenders Park bridge.

On top of this visitors to the show can expect Make and Take stands from Model Collect Create and House of Hobbies, stunning full-size exhibits including tracked military vehicles from Midland Military Vehicles, demonstrations for railway and scale modelling and more. The full event details are available to view on the dedicated Model World LIVE pages and advance tickets are on sale now offering a saving over on the door prices and early entry to the show from 9.30am each day.

The gallery below features the latest models and upgrades created by a selection of the model railway layouts heading for Model World LIVE.

Model World LIVE 2024 is sponsored by:


Model World LIVE 2024 is sponsored by Accurascale, Bachmann Europe, Model Collect Create, House of Hobbies and TMC


Bury Thorn and Son

Bury Thorn and Son layout update

Above: Bury Thorn and Son's Joshua Haworth has added a new Goodwood Scenics gantry carne to this 'O' gauge layout along with a Modelu3D printed figure painting the gantry. A Tower Models kit built Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST has also been going through the works to receive a weathered finish with paints and powders from Greenscene and Vallejo.


Allerby BBA steel wagon for O gauge.

Above and below: New steel wagons are going through the works for the Allerby wagon fleet including BBA with a coil load and an SPA with a tarpaulin cover.

SPA steel wagons for Allerby.


Gresten HOe gauge model railway by Malcolm Rochford.

Above: A new Austrian narrow gauge 2095 B-B diesel locomotive has joined the Gresten fleet. An unusual feature of this layout are the narrow gauge wagons carrying standard gauge stock. The layout is also rarely seen outside of the north of England and Scotland - Model World LIVE presents a rare opportunity to see it in the Midlands.

Layout upgrades gallery for Model World LIVE 2024

Blair Atholl towards Drumochter

Blair Atholl towards Drumochter in 'OO' gauge.

Above and below: The River Tilt Caravan Park has seen considerable upgrade works since it closed for the season last November, the touring pitches have been properly graded for a level holiday experience and three new static caravans arrived early January. The site's joiners have been busy building new decks for these and the existing riverside lodges. We think one of the statics facing the railway is on a popular holiday rental site so better be quick for that 'get away' break with a lineside view! Season opened on the 1st of March but as it's still quite chilly in Blair Atholl there's not to many people out and about. Temperatures are expected to rise towards the end of April so expect to see the new hot-tub that #4 lodge has ordered getting some use and touring caravaners out enjoying the highland air. The static caravans, touring caravan awnings, #4 lodge, all the lodge decks, garden sheds and LPG bottles have been designed and 3d resin printed in-house. Look out for a full feature on Blair Atholl towards Drumochter in the May 2024 issue of Hornby Magazine - on sale from April 4 2024.

Blair Atholl towards Drumochter in 'OO' gauge.

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Above: Making Tracks: The Final Frontier will expand the 152ft long layout seen at the Great Electric Train Show in 2023 with 100ft of new scenery. It will feature three stations, a viaduct, tunnels and more! At the 2023 Great Electric Train Show, 66789 British Railway 1948-1997 leads a long container train through the cutting between Northchurch Tunnel and Watford Tunnels.

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Above: Detailing of the new stations for Making Tracks has now started. In mid-March Pete Waterman begins the intricate process of adding the platform markings to Watford Junction's platforms.

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Above: Scenery on Making Tracks will now wrap around the 'southern' end of the layout to allow modelling of Bushey viaduct and station and expansion of the scenic area along the rear of the layout.

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Above and below: Key Model World's Mark Chivers and Mike Wild have been building the 14 modern terrace houses that will model the housing estate above Watford Tunnel for Making Tracks. These new kits are due to be launched at Model World LIVE through the Key Model World Shop stand.

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Making Tracks: The Final Frontier at Model World LIVE 2024

Above: At Bushey station the DC lines are being modelled in front of the West Coast Main Line tracks which are currently receiving laser-cut catenary gantries to progress the scene.

Patrick Lane Flask Terminal

Patrick Lane Flask Terminal

Above: Patrick Lane Flask Terminal by the Little Layout Company's Neil Mason has been fitted with a brand-new design of CNC machined legs. They have adjustable feet and have also raised the layout for improved viewing. Model World LIVE will be this layouts public debut.

Norman Colliery

Norman Colliery O gauge model railway layout.

Above: Geoff Brain's 'O' gauge layout Norman Colliery has received a new water column at the shed. This has been built onto a raised platform and bedded into the scene.

Natford TMD

Natford TMD will be on display on the Hornby Magazine stand at Model World LIVE 2024.

Above: The Key Model World team is making final preparations for the shunting puzzle challenge on Natford TMD for Model World LIVE. Visit the Key Model World stand to take on the challenge.

I'Ad That

I' Ad That vintage model railway layout.

Above: The latest rolling stock additions to Andy and Windy Miller's I'Ad That vintage layout are Southern electric Motor Luggage Vans and a 4-TC. One of the MLVs passes Syward Junction signalbox.


Allerby in O gauge by Steve Thompson.

Above: The superb Allerby in 'O' gauge by Steve Thompson and family is working on a collection of new rolling stock including a Cartic-4 for the layout.

Fence Houses

Fence Houses Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0ST

Above and below: Ian Forsyth has completed a High Level kit of a Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0ST together with a scratch built model of the Bowes Railway Reel Wagon for option on Fence Houses at Model World LIVE on April 27/28. The Reel Wagon was used for steel hawsers on the inclines when they needed replacing.

Fence Houses Bowes Railway Reel Wagon.


Scarlington model railway layout upgrades.

Above: The NOEL Model Railway Group has been working on repairs to the storage yard for its 'N' gauge layout Scarlington as well as restoring operation of the cliff lift, adding new loads to Revolution Trains Cawoods containers, Cavalex Models PGA stone wagons and repairing the couplings on the MGR train. The final upgrades are a set of four 'Warwell' wagons built from N Gauge Society kits loads with Land Rovers.

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