About Miniature Railway Workshop
It all started with a discussion down at the local Model Engineering Club in 2018.
We were comparing the challenges found with existing portable tracks and how these could be solved with an updated design. Soon the idea grew to a full range of straights, points, buffers, ramps and everything needed to build a portable miniature railway.
Not only did we want the track to be unbelievably easy and hassle free to lay, the club members also wanted a rail that would be stable under the load of large locos such as Tinkerbells or Large-Staffords. It was also recognised that they should be easily handled by one person who could ideally carry two sections of track at a time.
As well as building a great product, we wanted to prove that it is possible to have British made products at a reasonable price, ethically source raw materials and employ people right here in the UK who are fairly compensated for the hard work they put in. From those principles Miniature Railway Workshop (MRW) was born and today three years later we are proud to tell you more about our journey.
Some of the very first panels made by MRW.
We know the hobby inside out.
Dan Mason (MRW’s MD) drew upon his years of experience with railways ranging from N gauge to standard gauge and nearly every scale in between. With his experience of both permanent and portable railways, we were able to follow a design process to innovate and develop an end product that achieved everything we wanted it to. Through the design process we were able to refine the manufacturing to give a track panel that connects simply and can be laid in seconds.
Utilising laser cut components and computer aided design (CAD), we could standardise the components giving better reliability and interchangeability. MRW are the first manufacturers to use recycled plastic wood sleepers as standard for our portable track. A portable railway traditionally used wood or plywood sleepers but generally over time the sleepers failed while the track was being moved around. However, the plastic wood we use is very resilient to impact and thus far we have never had reason to replace a sleeper on any of the track panels we have produced.
At the time of writing we have manufactured over 700 track panels which is over 1000m of track. Every single one has been made by us and with an average count of 20 welds per panel that's 14000 welds!
An S shape track built from curved ( I ) Radius portable track 9.4M [30.9ft] radius curve.
We started going straight then it all took a turn.
Our straight panels are carefully designed so they're easy to lift and handle but also not too small. We have worked to create an entire track system that will allow customers to build complex layouts with just standard components of straights, curves and points.
All our track components are interchangeable. This allows an almost infinite variation when designing your railway.
Through our range of products we have kept the panel length under 1.5m and a comfortable 1 person lift. This size also allows us to post track panels cheaply and our (5’ 4” tall) MD can comfortably carry two panels at once, one in each hand.