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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:



Ticket Office

Waiting Rooms




Platform Lights

Advertising Boards

Platform Fencing

Telephone Box


Signal Box

Steam Age Specific Buildings


Water Tower

Coaling Stage




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

  1. Ready built or modular Railway Station Models

  2. Kit Model Railway stations (require assembly)

  3. Scratch Built

Ready Built


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.


Platform accessories


Station footbridge

Sitting People

Station signs

Passengers Luggage


Waiting Rooms



Model Railway Station Kits

Author "47806" (forum member)


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).


Scratch built


This page has two different examples of how to make a station platform using different methods and materials.


Method 1 Author: "Simon aka saslord" (forum member)

Using 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.

Method 2 Author: "mumbles" (forum member)

Using strip wood, hardboard, PVA Glue and nails to create three separate station platforms which include curved sections.

Brick pattern paper and paint give this model its detail along with pre purchased station buildings and accessories.



Scratch Built Model Railway Platforms (method 1)

Author: "Simon aka saslord" (forum member)


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.


Materials: My choice of materials were some 2 by 1cm softwood for the sides of the platform and some 2mm mounting card for the platform top.


Instructions: 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....

Scratch Built Model Railway Platforms (method 2)

Author: "mumbles" (forum member)

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 platforms!

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 spare



hardboard; 3
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 edges.


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 it.



New Railway Modellers Model railway Brick Sheet - shrunk by mumbles forum member
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.

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