Shop Tour – The Model Train Centre

Welcome to The Model Train Centre! We are a local model railway shop situated in Nelson, Lancashire above a traditional hardware shop. We have a fantastic range of products from the big names such as Hornby and Bachmann to the more specialist manufacturers like DCCConcepts and Metcalfe Models. We have a vast range of OO & N gauge models, figures, buildings and scenery as well as humbrol paints, albion alloys and styrene profiles and sheets.

Below is a short video and some images of the shop giving a virtual tour of what we look like.

A still image from our fantastic shop layout, Rushton Brook showing a Jubilee locomotive sat in the hand crafted station getting ready to depart with an eastbound service.

The shop is open to the public from Monday – Saturday 9am – 4pm. We are also an exhibition trader – below are a couple of bits from the Pendle Forest Model Railway Society exhibition at Colne in 2019 showing a scene from the exhibition and our first exhibition stall with Les Brown, the proprietor, at the helm with Andy Marshall of DCCConcepts offering support. We are open to exhibition invites – please email to find out more.

Check out the range we have in store by visiting the shop home page, and earn loyalty points with purchases.

Check out our social media channels too! We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

Facebook –

Twitter –

Youtube –

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can do so by email or by giving us a call on 01282601488. There is always someone here onhand to help.

We are also working on many more fantastic and exciting projects. We are currently in the process of restoring an old clock that dates back to when the building opened in the 1890s, and have just obtained some old interior fittings from a BR Mk2 which over the next few months will be used to create a seating area for our customers to unwind and have a friendly chat!

Rail Charter Services – The 2021 Staycation Express

Rail Charter Services – The 2021 Staycation Express.

Rail Charter Services have this morning released some of their plans for the 2021 operation of ‘The Staycation Express’, a daily scheduled charter service operating over the Settle Carlisle line.

Following on from the success of the 2020 season, a few alterations have been made to the service, with it this year running between Skipton and Carlisle and utilising a HST set formed of First Class vehicles. The vehicles in question are two former East Midlands Railways (EMR) powercars, and five ex Great Western Railway (GWR) coaches. It will be formed of x3 TFs (First Class), x1 TGF (First Class with Guards compartment) and x1 TRFK (First Class with a buffet) coaches.

Rough timings are as follows, but are subject to small amendments as timetables are finalised.

0930 Appleby – Skipton

1130 Skipton – Carlisle

1500 Carlisle – Skipton

1730 Skipton – Appleby

The train is expected to run every day except Fridays and will run over the summer season between mid-July to early September, similar to the 2020 operation.

As per 2020, the coaches will be Covid friendly and socially distant. Perspex screens will be installed between seating bays and only window seats will be allocated to allow the sufficient two metres between passengers. Passengers in a larger bubble of 4 people will be able to sit together, with the opposite table being kept free to keep everyone safe and socially distant. Below is the seating diagram of a Mk3 First Class vehicle, very similar to what is being used. Green indicates seats that will be allocated, red indicates seats that will remain unoccupied for social distancing and black highlights the tables in the bays.

More information on this charter service will follow in April.

Welcome to Rushton Brook

Inside The Model Train Centre we have a little gem of a layout –


Rushton Brook


A late 1950s/early 1960s era OO gauge scenic layout.

A Hornby 4-6-0 5P5F ‘Black 5’ passing under the Meerbrook Road bridge.

Rushtons corn mill with the brook passing under the sluice gate.

The 1437 service to Bosley, with Jubilee 45555 at the helm sits in platform 2 at Rushton Brook station awaiting a timely departure.

Rushton Brook tavern – The Railway.

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To see our little layout in its full working glory, come and visit us at The Model Train Centre for a brew and a natter!

96-104 Every Street

Nelson, Lancs


Virtual Expo

Trip to Lincolnshire 12/02/20

On Wednesday 12th Feb I decided with my day off to go and explore new territory for me, and that is Lincolnshire. I started off by driving to Burnley Manchester Road station to pick up a train bound for Manchester. From there I headed down to Sheffield with TransPennine Express and waited for my next Northern service heading to Lincoln.

We left a few minutes late at approximately 1240 and began the journey to unfamiliar ground. The train headed North out of Sheffield through the suburbs towards Darnall and Woodhouse slowly picking up speed as it worked its way out of the city. After passing through Kiverton heading towards Worksop & Retford the countryside began to open out. After calling at Worksop & Retford where we passed under the East Coast Main Line the countryside started to become rather quite spectacular in its own way.

We continued East towards Gainsborough passing Cottam & West Burton powerstations passing through plenty of cropped fields that were visible for miles! We continued towards Lincoln via Gainsborough and Saxibly arriving at approximately 1445. The journey felt slow for the distance covered, but was rather scenic!

I had 45 minutes in Lincoln where seemingly not a lot happens. In the time I was there an East Midlands Railway Class 158 departed towards Peterborough via Sleaford and Spalding and an LNER ‘Azuma’ Class 800/2 departed towards London via Newark. By now I was torn between heading to Sheffield back the way I came or continue through new territory and head to Nottingham via Newark. I chose the latter. Again the journey was very scenic working its way through the countryside and sleepy little villages and crossing over the historic Newark Flat Crossing, the last of its kind left in the UK. We arrived at Nottingham spot on time.

At Nottingham I boarded another East Midlands Railway service bound for Sheffield, however due to Clifton Bridge in Nottingham being closed for safety reasons our driver was well over 40 minutes late in due to the severe congestion resulting in the city. As a result the decision was made for the train to divert away from Sheffield to try and make up some lost time. I left the train in Chesterfield and waited for the Northern service that was 10 minutes behind it. Time to head home now, so I boarded a Liverpool bound train to Manchester before catching a tram across the city and train back to Burnley, only to discover that I had a flat tyre on the car. Oh joy……………..

Looking across the stunning Lincolnshire fields near Gainsborough


An East Midlands Railway Class 156 sits at Lincoln


Class 60 passes through Lincoln Central on an oil train


LNER Azuma & EMR Class 156 at Lincoln


Hornby announces 2020 range!

Hornby have released details about their 2020 range, with a whole host of fascinating products. Plenty of retooled models can be found such as the APT and Class 91 as well as original models with a vast variety of different liveries such as the Class 390 ‘Pendolino’ in the new ‘Avanti West Coast’ livery to the classic ‘HST’ in the ‘ScotRail Inter7City’ colours.

With over 250 releases for this year, there is definitely something for everybody! There’s even a small range of ‘limited edition’ models too so if you’re a keen collector then this years range is definitely something to keep and eye on!

We do have some of the 2020 range in stock here at The Model Train Centre so if you see something that you may like, either pop in store, give us a call or check our online shop out!

Northerns New Train Introduction

Northerns New Train Introduction

The Model Train Centre had a great day out doing their favourite pastime – travelling on a train.

On the 1st July 2019, Northern launched their fleet of brand new trains, Class 195s and Class 331s. They launched 9 new units that day, 5 in Cumbria, 2 in Liverpool and 2 at Leeds.

I decided that I had to take a trip out on one, being a historic moment – the north getting new trains for the first time in many many years – so decided to take a trip up to Ulverston after work and catch one from there back down to Preston and change for the usual pacer back home.

First impressions were good. Clean, comfortable, plugs and WiFi, aircon and very well spaced out, even seats that align with the windows. Acceleration for a diesel unit was fantastic…0-60mph within a matter of seconds.

Well worth the late night for the scenery of the stunning Furness Coast line and the experience of a proper modern train on Northern.

One of the new Class 195 units at Preston, 195112, on a test run accumulation fault free mileage.

195112 Preston

One of the new Class 195 units at Preston, 195112, on a test run accumulation fault free mileage.
A small snippet of the gorgeous scenery of the Furness Coast line – Morecambe bay from between Carnforth and Silverdale.

Furness Coast

A small snippet of the gorgeous scenery of the Furness Coast line – Morecambe bay from between Carnforth and Silverdale.

Model Train Centre Comes to Lancashire

Traditional store expands into model railways.

Clarks Hardware / The Model Train Centre

In business since 1922, Clarks Hardware started life as a hardware shop / ironmongers / mill furnishers.

Many changes have taken place in those 98 years. Different owners, different premises and now, different products.

Whilst the store still retains that traditional “feel” and is still very much a hardware / ironmongers shop, we have added a vast new and exciting range of model trains, many of which are DCC controlled, a relatively new concept for running trains.

Situated in Nelson centre, the shop has just opened its doors to the people of Lancashire and beyond. The Model Train Centre will become a hub for modellers , showcasing the latest model train technology, but not forgetting the DC modeller.  Currently, the shop offers ‘N’ gauge & ’00’ gauge at every price level, and will soon be stocking ‘0’ gauge in the near future. 

DCC control allows the modeller a wide range of easy to use options, most notably the introduction of authentic sound and lighting within a locomotive.  

One of the questions often posed by existing modellers is whether to make a layout analogue or digital. There is, of course, no right or wrong answer, as both methods are quite capable of making stunning layouts which bring many hours of enjoyment to the modeller. However, there are many considerations which can influence your decision. If you are a new modeller starting a new layout from scratch with no inherited loco’s, track, buildings etc then a digital starter set is a quick cost effective way to get started and will enable the modeller to familiarise yourself with DCC ( digital command control).  

Analogue starter sets provide a cheaper route into model railways, but you quite often find that the controllers provided within the sets are built and supplied to get you started and will require upgrading at a later stage when your model railway expands. The staff here at The Model Train Centre can guide you through that first process with ease and hands on demonstrations.

At The Model Train Centre we have a large range of DCC ready and DC locomotives and coaches which can be seen running prior to purchase. This will give the potential modeller a glimpse into what is available and whether it suits your vision.

New advances in the quality of scenic products and the methods used by the modeller to use them have resulted in extremely realistic looking layouts being obtained. Water features being especially realistic with companies such as Woodland Scenics offering reasonably priced products which obtain fantastic results.

Buildings are another area of railway modelling that suppliers have significantly improved upon, some carry the finest and tiny details enabling the perfect capture of bygone eras or the use of tiny LED light panels within a electric locomotive which can bring a modern layout bang up to date for the present era modeller.

The Model Train centre can provide you, the customer, with all the materials, products and technical expertise to carry you along the journey of building a model railway layout. Our services are quite varied, as well as selling locomotives from any era ( steam through to electric) rolling stock, track, points, controllers, scenery, lighting and everything else needed to complete a layout, we also offer baseboard building, decoder chipping, weathering service and of course product instruction. We also sell a range of die cast vehicles to compliment a layout. From scratch build to plug and play, we have something to suit every train modeller. 

Our new shop area in which The Model Train Centre is situated has opened many customers eyes with the building resembling a Victorian train station and waiting room areas.  The shop is light and airy capturing the atmosphere of railway stations from the past, a must visit destination just to admire.

In the near future we intend to hold demonstration days in conjunction with suppliers to showcase their products and the benefit that they can bring to the railway modeller. New stock is constantly arriving and any modeller who requires anything out of the ordinary will be accommodated wherever possible.