Model trains hobby runs in the family
Retired builder Kevin Clark is fascinated by trains, so much so that after building his family home he added an extra room to house his model railway.
His father had a train set he kept in the sitting room and gave young Kevin his first locomotive when he was 8 years old.
But it wasn’t until Mr Clark’s own son Aaron was about 5 years old that he remembered the gift and brought it out for him.
Aaron’s interest rekindled Mr Clark’s passion and the hobby grew from there. The 66-year-old joined the Auckland Model Railway Club to get some advice on how to go about building a model railway.
‘‘I thought I’d have a go. As it’s got bigger I’ve also had to learn the electronic side of it but I’ve had great help from a member who is an electronics expert.
‘‘That’s the beauty of being in the club, there are plenty of people to show us how to put a kit together and build it so it runs smoothly.’’ The hobby has brought him great pleasure.
‘‘I just enjoy seeing trains going around the track. I used to come home all wound up from work and then I’d come downstairs, turn it on and run the railway around for say quarter of an hour. That would help me relax.’’ His model is based on the railway in Worcester, a city in the West Midlands of England. He has done a lot of research in order to make it as true to life as possible and there are even plans to expand into the next room.
He has made many of the items which make up the surrounding villages including terraced houses, pubs, trees and shrubs.
Among his most prized items is a train modelled on the original Stephenson’s Rocket which was built in 1829 by Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle.
It was possibly the most famous locomotive ever built so his model only comes out of the cupboard on special occasions, he says.
His wife Daphne was initially not a fan of trains but she has since got on board by combining her love of jigsaw puzzles with the railway. Her framed train scenes decorate the walls of the kitted-out room.
Go to aucklandcityharbour news.co.nz and click Latest Edition to see an extra page of Jason Oxenham’s photos of the trains plus a video of English railway enthusiasts.
Kevin Clark has been collecting train sets and making railway scenes for the past 35 years.
Precious collection: One of the main engines in Kevin Clark’s collection.