AMID the giant engines of the National Railway Museum, staff have turned their attention to trains on smaller scale.

The museum has a collection of railway toys, and wants to track down the country's favourite in time for a major exhibition on Railways and Childhood next year, and to tie in with a half term event celebrating toy trains "Big Fun with Little Trains", which runs May 24- June 1.

The museum's Ellen Tait said: "Young kids love trains and that felt like a great starting point for an exhibition, full of toys, adventures and family fun."

Ellen, whose favourite toy so far is a circus train from the 1990s, added:

"We’ve been looking in our collection for inspiration, but we know that there are a lot of great toys out there that we would love to display that aren’t currently in our collection."

The museum is asking people to tweet, Facebook or email pictures their child and a favourite railway toy, and also wants adults to send a picture of a toy they adored as a child. More information is at