The aims of the centre
- To preserve for posterity some of the finest model railways created in all scales, over the last 60 years, many of which are regarded as Works of Art. There will be some 20 permanent layouts operating along with several visiting layouts that will change every three months to constantly refresh the visitor experience.
- To preserve and archive the history of manufacturing of model railway items from clockwork to today’s digital control systems.
- To build a representation of York station from the 1930s in O gauge.
- Create a 200 foot long HO layout, depicting North America, enabling 100 box car trains to be run in a realistic setting.
- Create a German/French border railway for our European visitors.
- Around the 2.5 acre site will be a multi-gauge live steam railway attraction.
- To provide facilities to educate school children, undergraduates and Open University students regarding the social and industrial impact that railways played in Victorian Britain and of their spreading throughout the world.
- The south facing wall of the building will show in both text and pictorial displays the life of Ashford works during the First World War, where the first tanks in the world were constructed and the Second World War where the works were involved in building large gun barrels for the navy. During both hostilities the work force at Ashford increased from 3,000 to over 6,000 men and women.
- For the centre to be sustainable the floor space will be divided into the past, the present and the future. The future will contain a fun multi-media element in order to keep the children returning to the centre.