Deltic 55 019 and the Ribblehead Resolute at Barrow Hill, 2018

We make laser-cut wooden reproduction headboards for trains. They're usable on mainline services, a fraction of the price of a cast metal one, and we can make them quickly to custom designs.

A full-size complete basic headboard is £85, plus p&p That gets you one of the standard backplate designs, your choice of text, font and colour. A standard plate is just under three feet wide. Construction is wooden, intended to be usable on "a train in the rain" but not for permanent outdoor display. We do our best to use a multi-coat weatherproof finish. For permanent outdoor signage we can offer some other materials instead.

The mounting bracket is a simple steel strip bracket suitable for a standard LMS / BR lamp iron. We've had them used on mainline services at 90mph. If you'd like to wall hang it afterwards, we can offer wall brackets, or put wall hooks on the back of the plate.

If you're looking to cut costs, we can also do the same boards, but unpainted and not fully assembled for £40 plus p&p. It's better to paint the letters before final assembly.

''Lydia'' at Perrygrove, for a Narrow Gauge Railway Society gala day

For narrow gauge, we can also make them smaller - usually half or two thirds size. These are £65 painted, £35 unpainted.

We can make specials and odd shapes too, but there can be artwork costs.

Delivery is usually about 2 weeks, although please discuss deadlines as we try to help when we can.


Pricing for a 'standard' headboard is £85, plus p&p.

Unpainted and not fully assembled are £40 plus p&p

Narrow gauge (15" – 2" wide) are £65 painted, £35 unpainted, plus p&p.


A "standard" headboard has your choice of text, font and colours. It's on one of our standard backplate shapes.

We don't charge per letter, but we do recommend the "less is more" approach to copy-writing. Shorter text allows larger and more visible letters. Most headboards are there to be seen in a photograph from some distance, they're not a manifesto.

We love to make headboards in new shapes and with custom crests added, but these do add a little cost to the standard pricing.


Headboards mostly appeared on the "Big 4" railways in the 1930s. They were in a whole range of shapes and sizes. After the war, British Railways re-introduced headboards but choose some of the best looking designs and used those shapes for most trains, across all the regions. The "classic" headboard shape


The Norfolkman

50th Anniversary

Chuffin' Ukes – a ukulele club from Wigan

Assembling their headboard, before painting

Colour-printed crests



Most headboards (where suitable) are supplied with mirror plates on the rear for wall hanging.

Wooden 'lamp irons' are also available for easy wall mounting, and easy changing to different headboards.

We can also offer table stands to display headboards and nameplates.