Series 12 - 7. The Joy of Sets - The Model Railway Story

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Radio Times
Review by:
Jack Seale

“It’s essentially a pointless activity. It’s not going to save someone’s life. But it might save someone’s sanity.” This respectful tribute to model railways, first shown in January, begins its story in Edwardian times when the entrepreneur Wenman Bassett-Lowke put trains big enough to sit on into the gardens of the wealthy. From there it was a process of making model trains smaller and cheaper, until the arrival of sets that could be run in a terraced house. Whatever gauge you’re running, the aim was and is to retain the thrill of seeing a real engine at full tilt.

About this programme

7/10. Documentary exploring the popularity of train replicas, and how what started out as an adult obsession with building fully engineered model railways became the iconic toy of 1950s and 1960s childhood. With contributions from modellers such as Pete Waterman, this programme celebrates the joys of miniaturisation.

Cast and crew


Pete Waterman


Andy Hall
Executive Producer
Michael Poole
Andy Hall
Series Producer
William Naylor