Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 08:44 UK

Model train record bid off track

James May
The record attempt will be shown on James May's Toy Stories later this year

A bid to recreate the Barnstaple to Bideford railway line using the world's longest model train track has failed.

Cameras filmed the world record bid for a new BBC television series hosted by Top Gear presenter James May.

The 10-mile (16km) track was completed on the Tarka Trail, but the Javelin train stopped about three miles (4.8km) short of its target at 0030 BST.

Earlier the attempt had been hindered by thieves stealing part of the track, vandals and heavy rain.

Simon Kohler, from Hornby, which provided the track and engines, said despite all the problems, there was still a chance the attempt could make it into the record books.

"Even though the last locomotive gave up the ghost at Instow, we did link the track - in fact I finished it at about 2230 - so we'll just need to wait and see what Guinness make of it," he told BBC News.

About 400 volunteers took part in the attempt.

Model train
The track was completed but the engine "gave up the ghost"

"I think we are all disappointed because an awful lot of effort went into it and the strength and tenacity of the helpers was simply extraordinary," Mr Kohler said.

"We had spoilsports who stole parts of the track and at one point someone used 2p coins to create problems and blow the train's battery, but we refused to let it ruin things.

"It's sad, but it was a really brave effort."

The attempt will be shown later this year on James May's Toy Stories on BBC Two.

The series of challenges will involve some of the UK's best-loved toys, including a full-size Lego house, a garden made from Plasticine and a life-size Meccano bridge.

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