The Great British Train Show

The Great British Train Show (GBTS) is sponsored by the Platelayers' Society, formed in 1976 by railway enthusiasts living in Southern Ontario, whose interests are primarily in the railways of Britain, either as modellers or as armchair enthusiasts. Unlike most other railway modeller groups it does not own or rent rooms, but meets monthly in various local venues including at members' homes,  and also participates in area model railway shows. The Platelayers exhibited regularly at the now defunct original annual Toronto model railway show (that started at the Harbour Front Ice House in 1976, gravitated to the Queen Elizabeth building at the CNE, then to the International Centre, before ending its long run at the Toronto Congress Centre). 

The Platelayers also had annual get-togethers with displays at the Toronto Delta Hotel (in those days the Delta Chelsea Inn). In 1992 they put on their first "Great British Train Show" at the Jim Archdekin Community Centre in Brampton, and the GBTS quickly earned a reputation for the high standard of its exhibits. It has consistently attracted visitors and exhibitors from the USA and the UK. The show's principal distinct feature is that it is only put on every two years. This allows exhibitors a better interval to renew or create new layouts and concepts. The show rarely permits "bare boards", and all exhibits must of course be prototypically of British or Commonwealth railways.

While these Railway Pages feature predominantly Canadian-prototype railway modelling under the "Railway Modelling" menu, it would indeed be remiss not to acknowledge the important contribution the Great British Train Show has made (and continues to make) hereabouts to the steadily-growing high standards of railway modelling in general. With that said, the show also delights in presenting exhibits from the European toy train era, and its devotees are able to enjoy their particular "memory lane" fix.

So presented below are vignettes of layouts at some past shows. My viewers' indulgence is requested for the often rather less-than-perfect photography and my sloppy record-keeping where I simply omitted to record at the time the ownership and details of some of the exhibits. I hope that viewers will get in touch and help identify some of them. Also, it should be said that my picture-taking has been happenstance, and so not to infer anything from the inclusion of any particular layout or view - or the absence thereof. When these images were taken, I had no thought that they might finish up on a webpage. So for all perceived shortcomings, I accept responsibility and ask for your indulgence. Note: The four- or six-digit number at the end of each caption is the image identification number. Please quote it and the year of the show if you get in touch with me about any image.  
1998 (Fourth Show)
Identification of some layouts is remiss and the photography is not that hot. However, one layout featured at this show is Brian Fayle's celebrated Knott's Wharf Canal & Railway Company in 1:43 (0) fine scale. The August 2006 Railway Modeller featured this layout as "The Railway of the Month", and it also appeared in Model Railroad Planning 2001.
 
Kingsmarkham, by the Calgary British Railway Modellers    980001

Kingsmarkham, by the Calgary British Railway Modellers 980001

Kingsmarkham, by the Calgary British Railway Modellers   980002

Kingsmarkham, by the Calgary British Railway Modellers 980002

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980007

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980009

980009

 Hornby Dublo 3 rail, by the Hornby Dublo Group   980010

Hornby Dublo 3 rail, by the Hornby Dublo Group 980010

Newquay GWR, by Tom Kidd and Mark Stapleton  P4   980011

Newquay GWR, by Tom Kidd and Mark Stapleton P4 980011

Much Bynding, by the Durham Region British Modellers 00    980012

Much Bynding, by the Durham Region British Modellers 00 980012