A MODEL railway at the National Railway Museum in York has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest complete working model railway.

The model was built in 1912 for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway to be used at a signalling school at Victoria Station in Manchester.

Trainee signallers used the equipment to signal the movement of trains around the layout and learn the rules and regulations.

In 1995, redevelopment forced the signal school to close but, thanks to the efforts of a group of museum volunteers, it was recovered and brought to the NRM.

A museum spokeswoman said the model lay dormant until 1999, when reconstruction work began and it had now been restored to its 1925 reconfiguration.

"This was the year of the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, so there were photographs and written evidence easily available to assist volunteer restorers with this project," she said.

"It is now run by a volunteer group at the museum in York. The signal school, which is based in the museum’s warehouse, gives demonstrations to visitors and school groups."

Bob Brook, volunteer at the signal school, said he was 'absolutely delighted' to have the historical equipment entered in the Guinness Book of Records.

"It has trained up countless signallers in the past and we look forward to many more years of working on it and showing a new generation of rail enthusiasts how it works," he said.

Russell Hollowood, associate curator of museum collections, said: “We are proud to have been part of the signal school’s 100 year history. Having a team of enthusiastic volunteers working on it has been testament to the crucial past that this simulator has provided.

"Restored, the model has returned to doing what it was built for, turning the complex world of railway signalling into an engaging learning experience.”