Registered charity number 1126173

The Light is Visible at the End of the Tunnel!

Maybe not just yet, but the Famous Trains model railway in Markeaton Park, Derby, will be open to the public as soon as we are allowed to open when Covid restrictions ease. The Government has scheduled Step 3 of the easement to take place no earlier than 17th May. If this date is maintained, then we can open our model railway building to the public the following weekend, which is our plan. We will confirm this as soon as the Government confirms its intentions.

Meanwhile, we are getting our displays ready for you to see. Members of the Famous Trains model railway charity are now allowed to work inside our building on specific weekdays and are working to have many 'famous' trains running on our Chinley model railway as well as other trains that were or are more local to Chinley itself.

When do open, we will still all need to observe social distancing and wear face covers, but that's only polite in these strange times!

Watch this space for more positive news in May!

Famous Trains expect to re-open soon

Derby's biggest model railway!

Open as above from 11am to 4pm.

Famous Trains Model Railway Palatine
The famous engine No. 70004 'William Shakespeare' restarts the Palatine express train from Manchester Central to London St. Pancras away from Miller’s Dale in the Derbyshire Peak District. This scenic main line was closed during the Beeching cuts in the mid-1960s.

Watch the model trains go by – learn about our railway history and how railways operate – keep dry when it rains in the Park! This is a Derby-based charity working to improve the local community by providing entertainment and education in an enjoyable way.

Cheapest entrance fees

Adults pay £2.50 for a day ticket, children pay £1, and families pay £5.

We believe that these are the cheapest entry prices for any public model railway in the country in a free location such as a city park.

Why a model railway?

The million visitors each year to Markeaton Park in Derby have required more facilities there. The idea of a model railway has brought something of unusual interest in a city where the railway is a key part of its history.

In 2013, we refurbished a large building in the park and Derby City Council is leasing the building to us for fifteen years to support our operations.

A generous benefactor, Derek Chandley, gave us his 40 foot-long model railway. This is an 00-scale layout based on Chinley station in Derbyshire in the 1950s when it had four main line tracks running through it. We have extended the model railway to almost 60 feet in length. It has storage loops for 16 full length trains so that visitors can see plenty of variety. Visitors may see the progress made when they make repeat visits. We open on 150 days each year, principally on weekends and Mondays.

Visitors can watch a succession of model trains go by, and can see what happens at terminals, goods yards and on the main line. There will be much, much more. Look through this web site to discover our world of fun!

A stunning Shelf Railway is now up and running. Click here to download and view a video.

How to reach us

By Road

Famous Trains model railway is situated in Markeaton Park, west of Derby City Centre, by the main car park which is accessible from the A52/A38 Markeaton Island Roundabout. The nearest post code is DE22 3BG, but that is deeper in the park.

Location of FTMR in Markeaton Park

By Bus

The Arriva Service 8/9 busses and the Trent Barton SW1 busses from the Bus Station or Albert Street, Derby City Centre, call at Markeaton Park, at a stop which is five minutes walk from the Famous Trains model railway building.

The same busses may be caught to get back into town.

Public Opening Dates

During the span of the Corona-Virus pandamic, Famous Trains model railway opening is restricted as indicated at the top of this page

Slide Shows

Download a MS Powerpoint presentation about the project. (6MB, Opens with Powerpoint 2001 (XP) or higher).

Download a PDF version of this presentation. (5MB, Opens with Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Customer Surveys

Famous Trains model railway is always in the first quarter of Trip Advisor ratings belonging to activities in Derby.

What do you think of Famous Trains model railway? Click Here to take a trip to the Trip Advisor website!