A brief history of railway street and station lighting

A brief history of railway street and station lighting

Written to provide the modelling enthusiast with a brief history of the period our product range reflects.

Up until the 1920’s all electrical lighting was set up by wealthy individuals, companies or local authorities. With the formation of the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) followed by the start of the National Grid, came the standardisation of the whole electrical distribution. This had the effect of;

1) Producing  a uniform supply.

2) All parts of the UK being supplied, irrespective of location.

3) Businesses could plan production and standardisation of their products.


Prior to standardisation companies etc designed their own variety of lighting styles and installations. This has enabled today’s modellers to choose their layout designs from a variety of historical styles.


However, with the enforcement of regulations came the demise of these individual styles and with them the foundries that cast the items.


Rural locations remote from the main supply would have been the last to have seen the introduction of change in supply and technology. Financial constraints would have also had an effect on rural modernisation. Consequently in some areas throughout the UK old posts remained and were adapted to take an electric lamp. (Within our range of product we have designed a short platform lamp which is a reproduction of a lamp first fitted to be run on oil and then altered to gas. Originally this design would have extended the life of the lamp into the 1950’s.)


We at Model Rail UK are always on the lookout for evidence of original lighting with a view to bringing these designs into our range of product.

Leave a Reply