Great Train Robbery: Luton Model Railway Club re-creates heist

image copyrightLuton Model Railway Club
image captionA spokesman said Luton Model Railway Club did not condone what happened that fateful night

The Great Train Robbery has been re-created in miniature by a group of model railway enthusiasts.

Built by the Luton Model Railway Club, the diorama depicts the night in August 1963 when a gang of robbers stole £2.6m from a night train in Buckinghamshire.

Scenes depicted include bags of cash being unloaded from a carriage and the robbers making off with their swag.

The club said it did not condone what happened, but felt the infamous heist would "make an interesting display".

'Part of the national consciousness'

It was at 03:00 BST on 8 August that the train travelling between Glasgow and London Euston was stopped by the gang on a bridge between Linslade and Cheddington.

They broke into the High Value Package coach and made off with 120 mailbags weighing about two and a half tonnes stuffed with £2.6m in used banknotes (about £41m in today's money).

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe diorama was created using the 'O' Gauge 7mm finescale model
image copyrightLuton Model Railway Club
image captionThe train was travelling between Glasgow and London when the robbers struck
image copyrightLuton Model Railway Club
image captionThe model train bears all the features of the original
image copyrightLuton Model Railway CLub
image captionIt took the club's members a year to create the scene, which is "accurate" to the location
image copyrightLuton Model Railway Club
image captionThe train was stopped on a bridge in Ledburn where the money was stolen from a carriage

The model railway enthusiasts were inspired by last year's 50th anniversary of the infamous raid, and it took them a year to complete their homage.

Nigel Adams, from the club, said: "We do not condone the actions of the event, but it is a fact that the Great Train Robbery has become a part of the national consciousness for many people over a certain age.

"We have tried to portray this event in a sensitive way, taking due regard for the injuries sustained by the locomotive crew on the night."

The diorama features sound and lighting effects "to portray the account of the event", said Mr Adams.

"There are 15 figures on the display, although we have taken care to present them as just that - figures on a model.

"We do not identify any 'personalities' due to the sensitive nature of the subject."

The historical reconstruction, which includes a commentary, will be on display at Stopsley High School, Luton on Saturday and at the National Festival of Railway Modelling in Peterborough in October.

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