Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (38)Trago Mills in Devon is one of a small chain of stores in the West Country and can be found near Newton Abbott.  Last year I visited the store and although I reported on two small layout’s to be found there (click here for more), unfortunately I missed seeing the massive 00 scale layout.  Fortunately this has now been rectified and I am very happy to give you all a short tour of the layout, just over a year after the last report!Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (00)When built in 1988, this was the largest 00 scale layout in the UK.  Although it no longer holds this accolade, the model railway at Trago Mills is nevertheless a very big layout!  It took 18 people 9 months to build this model railway at a cost of £100,000.  The entry price of £1 is therefore very reasonable!

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (02) Thomas the Tank EngineUp to 32 trains can be operated at once on this analogue layout, controlled via AMR Systems, with Reed switches and magnets under each train.  That said, unfortunately far fewer trains were in operation on the day.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (01)Many of the trains run the full “oval” circuits, but this layout is certainly not a “tail chaser”, with three to four control units for each loop.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (03) Trago CentralThe layout is dominated by a massive station that most trains call at.  This station is aptly named Trago Central and as with most of the layout, it is lit and full of modeled people.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (04) Trago CentralIt takes some time to take in Trago Central and is one of many good spots to watch the trains go by.

Moving on, you soon reach yet another impressive area – a harbour filled with real water.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (12) Real Water HarbourIn and around the harbour there is plenty to see; including a burning house, canals and industry.

Around the corner, a beach scene can be found, complete with beach huts, volleyball and an unusual lifeboat!

The working funfair is also a notable area of the layout and one of many features that can be activated by the observer at the click of a button.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (18) FunfairAnother clickable feature is the sound of the RAF Red Arrows display team, that can be seen “flying” overhead!

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (19) Red ArrowsScenes soon become more rural in nature, with large stately homes and castles; complete with a country station.

Overhead are hot air balloons!

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (27) Hot Air BalloonThe next interesting feature is a ski slope with funicular railway.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (28) funicular railwayThe scene soon becomes more urban in nature and a loco yard can be found – quite an impressive one in terms of size.

The final area of the layout is very interesting indeed.  A large Cathedral dominates scenes of pomp; with military displays including the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight overhead.

In one corner, the classic Hornby suspension bridge is present.  This is probably one of the few layouts made that has no shortage of space for this model!

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (41) Suspension BridgeLastly is a small ruined church in the other corner of the layout.

Trago Mills 00 Scale Model Railway - 2013 (40) Ruined ChurchI have missed out some details in this summary such as the helicopters and an N gauge railway.  However, I hope it has given you a good feel of this layout.  Some critics may point out that not all details are perfect and it looking a little old and admittedly it has seen better days.  However, the layout is more fun than anything else and at £1 is very good value.  If you are ever in this area of Devon, I’d recommend having a look, particularly if you have younger children and if it is raining!  I very much enjoyed seeing Trago Mill’s Model Railway and I hope you enjoyed having a look too!  Thanks for reading folks 🙂

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