Icons Information

What do Our Icons Mean?

To make it easy for you to find the right models for you we employ an icon system to highlight key information about each of the products we stock.


Eras relate to periods of time in the history of the railways, each era is defined by significant railway dates, companies and events. 

  • Era 1. 1804-1875 Pioneering
    The early days of the railways. During this period locomotives were in their infancy and pioneer engineers of the time such Robert Stephenson were experimenting and building the first engines such as Stephenson’s Rocket.

  • Era 2. 1875-1922 Pre-Grouping
    During this era the British railway network was made up of over 200 small railway companies. A hugely significant era for private owner wagon enthusiasts.

  • Era 3. 1923-1947 Grouping
    The Golden Age of steam dawned when the Grouping Act of 1921came in to force. The act signalled the end of the numerous smaller railway companies and the creation of the Big Four. Four railway companies who operated distinct areas of the network, the Bug Four were -, Great Western Railway (GWR), London Midland Scottish (LMR), London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) and SR (Southern Railway). This era would last until the nationalisation of the railways and the creation of British Railways.

  • Era 4. 1948 – 1956 British Railways Early Crest
    Nationalisation lead to the creation of British Railways. This early period (which followed the 2nd World War) was characterised by a fleet of steam locomotives.

  • Era 5. 1956-1968 British Railways Late Crest
    In 1955 the ‘Modernisation Plan’ was implemented the following period saw widespread developments across the railways. Kay changes included the replacement of steam locomotives with diesel, production of new rolling stock, electrification of main lines and standardisation of signaling.

  • Era 6. 1957-1971 British Rail Pre Tops
    A period which saw significant change due to Dr. Richard Beeching’s infamous report on the railway network. It led to a large proportion of the network being taken out of commission and saw more than 4,000 stations closed. During this era British Railways became British Rail and the classic ‘double arrow’ logo was introduced.

  • Era 7. 1971-1986  British Rail Tops
    The era of British Rail blue saw the introduction of TOPS (‘Train Operating Processing System’) a computer system adopted by British Rail. A programme of systematically renumbering the trains occurred during this period and high speed rail began.

  • Era 8. 1982-1997 British Rail Sectorisation
    During this era British Rail was divided into different sectors such as InterCity; Regional Railways, Network South East and more. All of the sectors came under the broad umbrella of British Rail branding but each had their own livery. 

  • Era 9. 1996-2008 Privatisation
    Privatisation of British Rail occurred between 1994 and 1997. Passenger services were split up into 25 units which were operated by a number of different private companies. The track was managed by Railtrack.

  • Era 10. 2006-2017 Network Franchising 
    The next step after privatisation was to divide the network into numerous franchises such as Southern, West Coast Main Line, East Midlands Rail, Virgin and more. Each franchise would operate trains on the network.

  • Era 11. 2014 onwards – Present Day
    The railway network is comprised of numerous franchise companies, operating with numerous liveries. 

  • Multi Era
    Can be used on a variety of layouts regardless of era.

DCC Fittings

Digital Command Control (DCC) is a standard for a system to operate model railways digitally. When equipped with DCC, locomotives on the same electrical section of track can be independently controlled.

  • DCC Only Product is not not fitted with a DCC decoder or socket. It may be possible to retrofit a decoder however do not assume that this is will be the case.

  • DCC Fitted the engine is already fitted with a DCC decoder and is programmed to the default settings.

  • DCC Ready  the engine is setup and ready to accept a DCC decoder but does not contain one at present. In order to use the engine with a DCC layout, you will need to buy and fit a decoder.

  • 6 Pin DCC the engine accepts a 6 pin decoder.

  • 8 Pin DCC the engine accepts a 8 pin decoder.

  • Next18 Pin DCC the engine accepts a Next18 pin (NEM 662) decoder.

  • 21 Pin DCC the engine accepts a 21 pin decoder.

  • DCC Plux 22 22 Pin DCC the engine accepts a 22 pin decoder

  • DCC Sound Fitted the engine has a sound decoder fitted.

  • DCC Sound Ready the engine does not have a sound decoder fitted but is ready to receive one.

  • Details and Features

  • Weathering Icon – Product has been weathered 

  • Wagon Load Icon – Product has a wagon load

  • Internal Lighting Icon – Product has internal lighting.

  • Passenger Figures Icon – Product has passenger figures feature

  • Directional Light Icon – Product is fitted with directional light

  • NEM Icon – Product has NEM couplings

  • Limited Edition Icon – Product is a limited or special edition

  • New Icon – Product is a new item

  • Like New Icon – Product is pre-owned but in like new condition

  • Pre-owned Icon – Product is a pre-owned item