FAQ

Placing an Order:

1. Do I need to create a TMC account?

You can browse on our website and add items to your basket without creating an account, and you can check out as a guest. However, we do advise you to create an account by providing an email address and creating a password. Once you've created an account, you can log in to your account and check the status of an order, making shopping with us in the future even easier. If you choose to subscribe to our newsletter, we'll keep you up to date with all the latest news. We’ll only send you email newsletters if you ask us to. We’ll never pass your details onto anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time.

2. Why can't I sign into my account?

If you’re having trouble signing in, please check you’re using the same email address and password you used to register with us. Our passwords are case sensitive, so check you haven't accidently left caps lock on.

If you forget your password, you can reset it by clicking on the forgotten password link on the login page. An e-mail containing a link to create a new password will be sent to the email address with which you registered. If you cannot find the email then please check your junk mail folder as it may be there.

3. I have selected customisation, how long will I have to wait?

Please click here to view our lead times.

4. Can I pay by American Express?

We accept payments by American Express, however you have to use the PayPal option, see images below for more information

Step 1, click on pay with PayPal

Step 2, click on pay with a credit or debit card

5. Will I be charged VAT?

All TMC products include UK value added tax (VAT), where applicable. Customers ordering from outside the European Union (EU) will have their VAT deducted automatically. 

Customers outside the EU may need to create an account or log in to an exisitng account in order to get their VAT deducted. Vat deductions may not be displayed until you get to the checkout. 

6. Do I have to pay import duties or taxes for orders outside the UK?

All TMC orders are shipped from the UK, so you may be charged import duties or taxes when the parcel reaches the delivery country. These charges vary and must be paid by the recipient of the parcel. If you have any questions related to customs charges, please contact your local customs office.

7. Will I receive confirmation that my order is successful and on its way to me?

Once you have successfully submitted your order, you will receive an automated email confirming your order details. Our warehouse team will then process your order, and you will receive a confirmation email when your order is dispatched for delivery.

8. I can't check out with PayPal as I get an error message stating my email address is already registered.

If you get this error message then you have previously placed an order and created an account. You will need to log into your account on www.themodelcentre.com before you start the checkout process. In doing so the system will not try to create you another account and the error message should not occur.


Delivery & Tracking:

1. When will my order be delivered?

If all the items you placed on order are in stock then you should receive your consignment within two working days of receiving a dispatch notification. If you selected any TMC customised work such as fitting DCC,  weathering or renumbering, then there will be a delay whilst we carry out the work. If however you ordered an out of stock item then please allow up to two weeks for us to fulfill your order. Pre-order times may vary, please contact us for further details or consult the relevant manufacturers website for a delivery estimate. Orders being shipped outside the UK could take much longer, please contact us for an estimate.

2. What shipping do you offer?

We only use the UK's leading delivery partners, to ensure you get your order reliably and safely. You can choose how your order is delivered during the checkout process. We use Royal mail or DPD Local in the UK. Outside the UK we use Royal Mail, FedEx and DPD Local. 

UK Express Delivery

Orders placed before 10am Monday to Friday will be delivered the next day.

Orders placed after 12pm on Friday and before 10am on Monday will be delivered on Tuesday.

Please note if the items aren't in stock or you're having customisation work done, your order will not be delivered next day, we'll advise you as best we can at checkout. For information on our lead time for customisation work click here.

UK Express Next Day Delivery from £6.95

Delivery will take place between 08:00 and 18:00 and in some cases a signature may be required. If nobody is available when your parcel is delivered and there isn't a safe place to leave the parcel, the delivery driver will leave a calling card with instructions on how to rearrange delivery.

We are unable to deliver on Bank Holidays so please allow an extra working day for this.

UK Express Delivery is unavailable when delivering to the following locations (however UK Standard Delivery is):

  • The Scottish Highlands & Islands
  • The Isle of Wight
  • The Isle of Man
  • Northern Ireland

Please use our Standard service for these destinations.

You can also use our collect in person option and visit our showroom to collect your order.

UK Standard Delivery

Orders are estimated to be delivered within 1-4 working days of placing your order, providing the items are in stock when placing the order, and aren't having any customisation work done. For information on our lead time for customisation work click here.

UK Standard Delivery costs £3.95.

We are unable to deliver on Bank Holidays so please allow an extra working day for this.

Deliveries to the following locations may take up to two working days longer:

  • The Scottish Highlands & Islands
  • The Isle of Wight
  • The Isle of Man
  • Northern Ireland

Delivery will take place between 08:00 and 18:00 and in some cases a signature may be required. If nobody is available when your parcel is delivered and there isn't a safe place to leave the parcel, the delivery driver will leave a calling card with instructions on how to rearrange delivery.

You can also use our collect in person option and visit our showroom to collect your order. 

International Delivery Services (Outside the UK)

Delivery is available to a number of countries outside the UK (for more information see http://www.royalmail.com/parcel-despatch-low/international-delivery/country-guides). Delivery times and charges vary depending on the destination so please contact us with any queries you may have.

We also use DPD Local and FedEx to deliver outside the UK:

Often DPD Local and FedEx can provide us with a more competitive postage rate to ship to your location, use the 'request postage quote' to get an exact price for the cost of shipping to your location.


Regular Customer Questions

1. I like the customisation services you offer, could you explain the differences in weathering you offer?

Yes no problem, please see below:

VALUE is a light to medium weathering, or lighter if more historically accurate, typically using two colours.

STANDARD you can choose from light, medium or heavy weathering using more colours and showing more detail than value weathering.

DELUXE uses various techniques and as many colours as necessary to interpret dirt, rust, grime, soot, water, limescale, oil deposits and much more. Pictures can be supplied to guide our technicians to your exact specification.

More information is also available by clicking HERE

2. A Question About Starting Out in Model Railways

QUESTION

Hello

I have recently become interested in creating a model railway. In normal circumstances I would go to my local club to chat with local enthusiasts to progress my interest but given I am a vulnerable person and so currently have to self isolate, I was wondering if you could help.

I would like to model a section of railway close to my childhood home.

I have a number of preferences:
1) OO
2) DCC
3) Peco bullhead rail

I could send you a sketch of my initial circuit.

A couple more thoughts
1) I'm not sure how far I want to go down path of recreating the scenery
2) I'm not that keen to spend hours soldering.

BTW Being new to model railways I'm always trying to improve my knowledge. For example, what is the difference between points and a slip.

Thanks

ANSWER

Thankyou for your e-mail regarding starting a model railway.

If you have never had any experience in model railways before then going straight in using Bullhead track is something we would definitely not recommend. It involves cutting and laying flexitrack and using fishplates (rail joiners) that are very small and fiddly to assemble. Having said that the finished results with Bullhead track are very visually pleasing.
It also severely limits the track plan choice as at the moment there are only very few points available in Bullhead vs. regular Streamline or Settrack (more below).

If the rolling stock you are intending to use has all been manufactured inside the last 6-8 years it should run on Bullhead, however, remember that the clearances and flangeways are set up for the finer scale wheels, so anything older and things like Hornby Railroad locos and rolling stock will simply derail unfortunately.

If you have locos and rolling stock made pre-1985 then use code 100 track. 80% of items made after 1995 should run on code 75 and anything made in the last 10 years will certainly do so - EXCEPTING Hornby Railroad and certain diesel locos where they have retained the thicker wheels. You may get these to work but in our experience the majority don’t and either derail or the flanges run on the chairs (sleepers).

Note that all Settrack (ie rigid track with pre-formed non flexible curves) from the manufacturers of Hornby, Peco and Bachmann (in OO) is code 100, but it is of a completely different geometry to code 100 Streamline track (Peco). This leads me on to ask how much space have you got available for your layout please? If it is say, 6ft x 4ft or maybe up to 10ft x 6ft then stick with Settrack. You will get a lot more in the available space. If you wish to do an end-to-end layout and you have say, 12ft x 2ft then you could go with Streamline. However, remember that with Streamline points you have to use flexitrack for the curves.

We would like to point you towards the Peco series of pamphlets entitled ’Shows You How’. Although they do promote Peco components, the knowledge and methods used are really good useful information that covers all aspects of building a model railway. They are quite inexpensive too, being in the range 50p or £1 each. Have a look on our website HERE
They cover subjects ranging from planning, baseboard construction to electrics, scenery and DCC.

As you may have probably already have discovered, TMC stock quite a large range of DCC controllers and accessories, and offer a full back-up service of advice and knowledge to help in your choice and implementation of DCC control for your model railway. There are ways to cut down the amount of soldering required on a model railway and we can help with finding the right solution for you. Note that the decision to go with DCC control is not an absolute necessity and many people stay with the traditional DC or ‘Analogue' method of operating trains which is fine - again we can help with advice on this.

By all means, a look at your proposed track plan will help us clearly to get an idea of what you are proposing to achieve.

To answer some of your specifics: Points or Turnouts (the terminology is freely interchangeable in British Railway Parlance) are to enable a train to leave the main track and travel down a diverging route. They do this by having a set of pivoted, moveable rails attached to a tie-bar at what is known as the toe-end of the point. Strictly speaking they come in different gradings denoted by the angle of the crossing V (commonly known as the Frog area where the rails cross), however, in model railway terms we talk about the radius of the diverging or curved part of the track to differentiate them. All Settrack points have a curved radius of 438mm (2nd Radius)(nominal), whereas Streamline points come in radius’ of 2ft (small), 3ft (medium) and 5ft (large). All modern made locos do NOT go round radii of smaller than 438mm, so using 1st radius Settrack is NOT recommended at all. Wherever possible, use the largest radius curves that will fit on your baseboards. A Slip is effectively 2 points connected toe-end to toe-end, but in a condensed or shortened form to save longitudinal space. Slips can be Single or Double, ie to allow a train to only slip-left (OR slip-right) or allow both.

Hopefully this has been of some help,

All the best, TMC