A new family lounge has opened at King’s Cross station, and it has a large model railway in the middle to delight visitors.

Commissioned by LNER, the model railway has been built by Hornby, and on my visit at the weekend had a model of the Flying Scotsman whizzing around along with an Azuma train.

It’s a very good scale model with a lot to look at apart from the railway itself, a remnant of an old castle in the middle surrounded by a moat, some railway bridges, a railway station and a few houses dotted around. I know it’s only a model, but still, it would have been nice if the model station had been supplied with a step-free footbridge.

More cleverly, there’s a staggered walkway around the edge of the model so that people of all ages and heights can get a good view.

The Family Lounge has been designed to give families a dedicated space to wait for trains – and apart from the model railway, has lots of extra seating, a series of booths, and a play area with a slide that comes out of a first-class carriage. A large mural has been painted by Sarah Gummer from Barden Bramble Designs showing the idyllic countryside that intercity trains pass through.

Usefully for parents, there’s a display screen with train departures on it inside the lounge.

You can find the Family Lounge on the main concourse between the Travel Centre and the Sir Nigel Gresley statue. It’s open to anyone though and you don’t need to travel with LNER to use it, and this big kid certainly enjoyed looking at the model railway.

Although the old-fashioned penny press has moved with inflation, and now requires £1.01 to work.


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  1. Andrew says:

    Saw a Penny Press recently that was contactless. Had a container of pennies inside, and you simply tapped your card to get one.

    • 100andthirty says:

      I had to read this twice whilst wondering how a penny press could possibly work if it was contact less!then the penny dropped (sorry!)

  2. Mr Jones says:

    I happened to visit the travel centre yesterday and it is indeed right next to family lounge. It shares the same space

    The din from the kids is intolerable. You cannot converse with the booking office staff. There is no sound proofing. Anyone with reduced hearing would struggle.

    The poor staff are subject to barrage of screams and squeals all through their shifts – they are visably stressed out

    Frankly,it’s a mess

  3. Max Ingram says:

    ‘It would have been nice if the model station had been supplied with a step-free footbridge’.

    Surely, this is a model of a railway from a bygone age when step-free access footbridges didn’t exist.

    • TJ says:

      Some major stations had lifts, and all the others had barrow crossings so they did have step free access.

  4. Mike Dix says:

    It’s a shame they don’t put their huge profits into running a decent affordable service instead of this nonsense. Big business has turned an affordable, comfortable, reliable, publicly owned service into a crappy, expensive, unreliable, uncomfortable, privatised money making racket for the wealthy.

    • ianVisits says:

      Apart from the fact that LNER is a nationalised company so it’s not privatised, what huge profits are you referring to?

  5. Sally says:

    We visited today and it was disappointing that the model railway and flying Scotsman display were not working. Hopefully they will be up and running again soon

  6. Winston says:


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