top of page

Daniel Mason - Meet The Team

This is the first in our weekly "Meet the Team Mondays" where we share more about the people that make MRW what it is today,

Hi I'm Dan!

I started MRW way back in 2018 and have been running the business for the last six years.

I’ve been interested in ride on miniature railways since I could walk.  

He is a pic of me about 3 driving my first portable miniature railway!

MRW is now the biggest supplier of portable miniature railway tracks in Europe and probably the world! After exhausting the batteries on my plastic ride on the railway, my uncle helped me build a bigger one out of wood in the back garden but a house move quickly meant that this had to be taken up. On my 10th birthday I was able to start volunteering on miniature railways and did this immediately at Barton House Railway in Norfolk.

I started off as a porter, then became a guard and eventually a signalman. I was also in charge of all of the passenger carriages and eclectic locos. A lot of responsibility for a teenager! I then took it upon myself to rebuild a number of electric locomotives for BHR including a early Cromer White 0-4-0 and and a 3 ½ inch gauge electric Bo-bo.

I’ve been volunteering on full size railways for a long time too! Starting as a cleaner on the North Norfolk Railway in 2012 at just 16 then progressing on to become a fireman over years of training, practice and learning. 

A Picture of my very first day volunteering on the footplate at NNR

Product design

My background is in product design. Having had a lot of experience with miniature trains throughout my childhood I became fascinated by people like Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Fred Dibnah. I actually met Fred at a “meet and greet” after he did a show at the Theatre Royal Norwich. I have a vague memory of my mum pushing me through crowds of old men to make sure I got an autograph from the man himself. This is still one of my most prized possessions. I was eight at the time!

Signed autograph from Fred Dibnah

Education and Dyslexia

Going through school was very tough as I was diagnosed with Dyslexia at a young age. This has been greatly challenging and can can cause difficulties when writing articles like this or just simple things like writing a product description. 

Dan flying a model glider at school

On the flip side, Dyslexia gives me some luck in being able to visualize 3D form quickly and has benefited me with an ability for logical thinking. I’ve always been a huge advocate for accommodating hidden disabilities and have been lucky enough to meet many other people inside the engineering world who are dyslexic and have achieved great things.

Going through school my difficulties with Dyslexia were very pronounced and meant I really struggled in larger classes and especially in exams. I was however very fortunate that my family fought the local authority for them to give me the support I desperately needed and eventually after going through two tribunals the council were forced to fund a private specialist school. There I was blessed with access to an amazing product design building and lots of very supportive teachers who encouraged “making.” 

I’ve continued to believe strongly in the importance of education. I undertook a year's placement in industry as part of my Product Design BSc Degree and we now offer similar placements to design students who want to gain hands-on experience of manufacture. 

I’m proud to say that during my time in education I got the opportunity to make many weird and wonderful designs such as a 7 ¼” M&GN brake van and driving truck, multiple gilders and a controller stand, a train station as part of my A-Levels, toys for children, multiple pet related products, a product to water your garden for you, a cardboard stool and even a bus stop!

Along came the K2 Loch Rannoch

In 2016, John, my father purchased Loch Rannoch from Station Road Steam. People are often surprised to find out that it was me who passed on my passion for railways to my father and not the other way round! John is now an active member of many miniature railways and his collection of trains has grown. He is also a pivotal person in the history of MRW and will be writing his own article about his involvement with the business in due course.

Dan and John on a steaming of the K2 at Strumpshaw Steam Rally with BHR

After John realised that he prefers to watch other people drive his loco rather than drive it himself, I was tasked with the sole responsibility of keeping this 1993 build loco in running order. This proved challenging after many running days at various events.

At one point during the inception of Top Field Light Railway the K2 was the sole working steam locomotive and hauled a huge amount of passengers. Hence, in 2018 I endeavoured to rebuild the loco by replacing some of the axles and re-quartering the wheels. 

Picture of the K2 mid rebuild showing just the frames.

John's Birthday Bash

John made it clear that wanted his loco ready for his birthday celebrations which set a firm deadline to get the rebuild finished in time.

The Start of MRW

That following year we did Strumpshaw, but this time supporting Top Field Light Railway. This was the inception of MRW. I formed MRW specifically to make the track required for Strumpshaw and over time it grew into a real business that now does much more than just make track!

Since starting the business we have moved premises three times. MRW began in Norfolk in my mum's garage which we quickly outgrew. Then we moved to Nottingham where we rented a corner of Tennant Rubber's larger industrial unit which again we quickly outgrew. We then found a unit in Kirkby-In-Ashfield and have been here for over two years at the time of writing!

What it means to me to work at MRW

MRW has been my baby. I've seen it grow from just a chance conversation about the need for an off-the-shelf portable railway track into a flourishing business with a number of both part time and full time staff. MRW is in essence an "end to end" company. We take a customer's need, establish the design requirements, design a product, build it, test it, develop manufacturing techniques and processes and do all the after care. We then also get the really fun job of promoting our products to the wider world and exporting abroad! Products I have personally designed and made have travelled all around the world and will outlast my time on this earth, making a lasting difference to the people who use them. Most importantly the products and work we do here helps inspire the next generation of engineers and product designers.

190 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page