Model Railway Stations
What is a station?
A Railway Station can be defined as a
place where trains load or unload passengers and / or goods.
Historically railway stations dealt with goods just as much as
passenger traffic but nowadays they are almost solely used for
passenger with the possible exception to mail. Goods on the
railways are now transported in containers which are handled at
special container depots.
A railway station usually consists of a
combination of a platform and a station building or shelter, or
only one of either. In the UK every station has a platform to
allow the passengers to get on and off the train but may not
have a station building or shelter.
Station structures may include:
Steam Age Specific
Other Names: Train Station, Railroad
Station, Railway Terminal, Railway Terminus, Railroad Terminal,
Railroad Terminus, Train Depot.
What are my options?
There are three options when it comes to creating
a model railway station and they are
Ready built or modular Railway Station Models
Kit Model Railway stations (require assembly)
The is a good range of ready built model station
buildings and platforms. Hornby produce two types of modular
platform system. The older of the two is made from is made from
grey plastic sections and has sections that include straights,
curves (to fit outside second radius or inside first), end
ramps, as well as special sections that incorporate steps, a
subway or loading ramp. This system has a range of accessories
to go with it including fencing, canopies, Over-roofs, and a
range of platform buildings. This system is used in the Hornby
Trakmat building packs
Hornbys newer platform station system is part of
the Skaledale (Lyddles end for N gauge) range of products and is
made out of resin. These sections come pre painted and detailed
with weathered red brick sides and a grey paving slab top and
also come in sections that include straights (single and double
sided platform), curves (to fit outside second radius or inside
first) and end ramps. There are also two special platform packs,
platform steps (R8604) and loading bay platform and one
assessorial a pack of 4 platform lamps.
Model Railway Station Kits
I didn't find the Metcalfe
kit to be complicated at all. Simply make a paper template
tracing the clearance for your longest piece of rolling stock.
Then simply follow the directions, it took me about one week to
do my platforms (obviously that includes glue dry-time). A sharp
knife is absolutely necessary, without one, you will destroy the
kit completely. PVA glue will work fine even though it is not
listed in the directions. A second pair of hands is also very
helpful for some of the cutting. I accidentally did some DIY
surgery on one of my fingers while cutting the pavement section,
so remember that you must pay attention while cutting thick
card! Make sure that you keep the pavement clean so that the
adhesive stones will attach to the edge.
Overall, I would recommend this way to build platforms. If you
are not familiar with how card kits work, this is an excellent
one to start with (it was my first).
This page has two different examples of how to
make a station platform using different methods and materials.
softwood, mounting card and PVA Glue to create a three
platform station with a terminus and a large area for
the station building to be fitted.
Brick pattern paper and paint give
this model its detail. Station buildings will be bought
and will need a large area to sit on.
wood, hardboard, PVA Glue and nails to create three
separate station platforms which include curved
Brick pattern paper and paint give
this model its detail along with pre purchased station
buildings and accessories.
Model Railway Platforms (method 1)
Partially to save money but also because the
station I wanted could not be bought I decided to build my own
station platform. It is my intention to purchase the station
buildings and accessories as I believe it would take me too long
to build a model as good as what I can buy.
choice of materials were some 2 by 1cm softwood for the sides of
the platform and some 2mm mounting card for the platform top.
I pleased the softwood on my layout in the position I wanted the
station to be in. I then cut them to length. I then measured the
width of the platform top bearing in mind I wanted a 0.5cm
overhang. It my case this meant cutting the mounting card into
6cm wide lengths.
I then marked out the 0.5cm overhang on the card
to give me a guide for gluing and glued the softwood battens to
the card. To ensure a good stick I put paint bottles on top of
the platform. For the ends I cut small triangular pieces of wood
to act as ramps. I allowed a bit of overhang of the platform top
to improve the strength of the join with the ramps. I then glued
a short piece of card on top of the ramp.
On my platform I wanted a large area to put the
station building. I cut some battens to make the sides and
measured and cut out the platform top. I then glued this
together and joined it to the straight platform section i had
already done. I also glued the battens together and the platform
tops together to make it as strong as possible.
The plan from here is to paint the top grey and
then glue prick pattern onto the sides. I will then mask off the
edge of the platform which will be painted white. I may even add
the yellow line you get on many straight through stations to
encourage people to stand back. Their will be more pictures as
my station develops.
To be continued....
Model Railway Platforms (method 2)
Below is my guide to how I made my platforms.
They are very easy, cheap, and much better than off the shelf as
you can fit them to your layout, not your layout to your
Using some old hardboard that had been recycled and some wooden
edging at about 2 quid a strip, the platforms cost less than £4
a piece so far as they each have about 1 and a half lengths of
stripwood each, but hey I'm not really counting. If you want to
buy hardboard its about £1.50 a sheet and you'll have loads
strip wood; £12
paint, nails and glue; pennies
brick print-outs; price of printer ink
Instructions: First I cut
out the platform top, I had to lifted the track and slid the
hardboard under to be able to mark out the platform for cutting.
I marked out the top by putting a pencil to the side of longest
carriage I had to mark out the loading gauge. Once they were cut
to shape I then glued and tacked the sides to the tops. I did
this three times to make the three platforms, sanding any rough
Below is the result. You
can see they fit my track very well.
The I cut some ramp end supports and the ramps themselves.
Then I used polyfilla to
fill gaps between joins in hardboard, and then watered some down
so it was like a paste and brushed it on to create a texture. I
then gave it coat of grey paint.
I then used masking tape
to allow me to paint white stripes on the edge of the platform
I then simply cut and
paste the brick pattern on. This was the NRM brick sheet but
shrunk to match the size of superquick model bricks. And that's
click above to see brick sheet I used
Below you can see the station platform in position with a class
50 and mark 2 coach for effect (on the left). On the right are
some others platforms I made. You can see there is quite a curve
on these ones. The strip wood bends to shape no problem.