PHILIP SUTTON is a well-known face on the railway scene, having been an enthusiast since the age of 10. His involvement in model railways has always mirrored his fanatical interest in the British Rail scene of the late-1970s, which was focused around the area where he was born and bred – London’s East End.
After providing regular written and photographic contributions to several national magazines, a journalistic career followed with publishing company EMAP. As well as taking on the role of traction editor for RAIL ENTHUSIAST, helping the magazine transition from monthly to fortnightly frequency, he was responsible for developing and dramatically growing the title’s modelling content. This resulted in the highly popular ModelRAIL supplements, a proposal for a stand-alone magazine and a number of specialist exhibitions.
In 1996, Philip was instrumental in forming a new, competing, publishing company in order to launch RAIL EXPRESS magazine, capitalising on the dramatic changes taking place on the railway during privatisation. The glossy new title with its ‘super-size’ colourful format also featured a significant pagination given over to model railway coverage. Dedicated exclusively to British diesel and electric modelling, it quickly became a showcase for top quality layouts and detailing projects.
After a 15-year tenure as owner-editor, he gave up the magazine to lead a new commercial venture. RAIL EXCLUSIVE was developed from the merchandising section of the magazine, which specialised in bespoke model railway commissions. Uniquely working with all the major 4mm scale ready-to-run manufacturers, it has accumulated an impressive back catalogue of over 30 limited and special edition locomotives, all of which have been extremely popular and are highly sought after.
Philip’s own modelling interests are centred on locomotive detailing and weathering, having made great use of Lima products whilst wielding a scalpel in his early years. The BR corporate blue period is his true passion, which he recreates in 4mm scale, as well as dabbling in ‘O’ gauge. He is a member of the Chester-based Barrowmore Model Railway Group, best known for its large continuous run ‘P4’ layout, Mostyn, which depicts the North Wales Coast line in the summer of 1977.