Model Railway TV Shows


Over the years there have been a large amount of TV shows featuring Model Railways. Below we have listed some that you can currently watch online now. Many are available on BBC iPlayer or the equivalent from other terrestrial TV channels so can also be viewed directly through Smart TV apps.

The Great Model Railway Challenge

Having completed its second series, The Great Model Railway Challenge features railway modellers competing to create miniature masterpieces against the clock in a knockout tournament format. This show was a major success for channel 5 and dominated the schedule and news coverage here in the UK.

You can view episodes online through the my5 player here:

James May's Big Trouble in Model Britain

A two part series introduced and narrated by model train enthusiast James May, that follows a year inside Hornby Hobbies - an iconic British toymaker on the brink of collapse. A great view of life inside the company as it attempts a turnaround.

You can view this online when available with BBC4 here Unfortuanatly BBC4 shows are not always availible for viewing.

There is also a 10 minute Money Program segment on the same subject from14 years earler available here as a nice companion piece.

The Joy of (Train) Sets

Part of BBC 4’s Timeshift series, 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 50s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modellers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturisation. As with some of the BBC 4 archive this show is not always available to watch, however it usually comes around a couple of time a year.

You can watch it (When available) online here

Mr Bentley's Trains (Bob the Builder)

One for the children (and nostalgic adults) orgionally bropadcast in 2003 as part of the original Bob the builder series voiced by Neil Morrissey. Train enthusiast Mr Bentley is away for the day because he is going to a meeting of building inspectors, and, in his absence, Mrs Bentley decides to surprise her husband by asking Bob to build him a brand new model railway in the shed.

You can view this online with BBC iplayer here

Model World

This 1975 episode of model world covers a wide range of model railway topics, including a brief history of Gauge and a dive into narrow gauge with Don Boreham. A very informative episode.

You can view this online with BBC iplayer here

Blue Peter

In this Blue Peter clip from 1969 Peter Purves shows off a massive model railway in “a big London store” showcasing many capital cities and a city of the future.

You can view this online here:


If you have a suggestion to add to this list please let me know.

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