Time to play trains at model rail show
5:30am Saturday 8th March 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
Swindon Model Rail Club will be showcasing some of its finest work at Modrail 2014 today at the Steam Museum.
The event enables people to see trains from around the globe and use some layouts.
Club chairman Ian Burbidge said he expected a great turn-out after the success of previous years.
“Rail modelling is a diverse hobby,” he said. “We are going to have layouts representing different parts of the world, including America, Japan, Britain and France.
“A lot of it is about the scenery. While people will recognise British designs, the Americans are more about freight movement, and the Japanese are more about high speed passenger traffic, like the bullet trains.
“People will try to use parts of what they enjoy, and it is about what appeals to you individually.”
The club’s members have been working on their designs for months, each with their own unique input.
“One of our members has a replica of the old Abingdon railway station, and recreated exactly how it used to look,” Ian said.
“There are also fictional places based on certain areas but adapted slightly.
“If you go back through British history a lot of railway lines were proposed that never got finished.
“There was a time when they considered joining up every Welsh town with railway tracks, but it never happened.
“People like to design a model to make it look how it would if these projects had gone ahead. There are a lot of ‘what if’ scenarios.
“It lets people be a lot more creative after doing a bit of research.
“That is the appeal to people, they do it because nobody else has done it before.
“You have got to lay out the track, seeing what is around you in the real world and adding to it.
“You then have to put some wiring in and that could be simple or more complex.
“There are computer controls now which means you can use a mobile phone to operate a layout.
“That allows kids to do the things they are used to. They can play on an app, but this app will drive a train two feet away.
“It is a bit more about interaction, and for the younger generation that is quite an appeal.
“We have also got some guys here modelling the contemporary stuff. You have the basic track standards but within that remit you can go from the 1900s to 2014.
“When you get a group who all have the same passion we can all learn skills from each other.”
The event runs from 10am to 5pm at Steam. Adult tickets cost £4, and children under 16 go free if accompanied by an adult.
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