VotW – British Model Train Sets for Christmas

I teased it last week but to my surprise, you reacted with encouragement so this week our Video of the Week is about British model trains. The video we have below is one part of The Joy of Train Sets. Don’t worry, the other parts are linked further down. This 2012 documentary is from BBC Four’s Timeshift series.

Fully titled The Model Railway Story: From Hornby to Triang and Beyond, this documentary explores how the British have been in love with model railways for more than a century. What began as an adult obsession with building fully-engineered replicas became the iconic toy of the 1950s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modelers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturization. Just don’t call them toy trains.

 

 

The videos above all together make up the whole of the Joy of Train Sets documentary, but I want to give you one more video to keep you going over the next week. This following video even has a strained connection to the automotive world in that its host is James May of Top Gear fame.

This video is Episode 1 from the second season of The Reassembler. The Reassembler is a BBC Four documentary programme focusing on the reassembly of various pieces of technology from the past.

Much like Santa Claus, James May has spent the year in his workshop getting ready for Christmas, in a festive special in which he reassembles his favourite childhood Christmas present.

But this isn’t just any Christmas present, this is the one that changed his life and sent him on to a path of mechanical intrigue and reassembly. This is the Hornby Flying Scotsman with realistic chuffing sounds which James ripped open on Christmas Day 1972.

Laid out in all its 138 tiny component parts, James lovingly reassembles the train as well as his memories of Christmases and toys past. From the exhilarating remagnetising of the motor’s magnets to some thrilling wheel-quartering amidst a backdrop of James’s continued bafflement of electricity, we watch as James rebuilds the entire train set and hopes at the end his Christmas wish will come true and the train will start up and realistically chuff into the night.

— BBC Four Description

Michael Carnell
Editor at Just British
Michael Carnell is the editor and founder of the Just British Online Motoring Magazine. As a lifelong British car fan, he has owned or driven British cars of all ages from Austins and MGs to Jaguars and Triumphs. He currently owns a 1966 Vanden Plas Princess 1100, a 1977 MGB, a 1978 Triumph Spitfire, and a 2002 Land Rover Discovery.

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