Model trains hobby runs in the fam­ily

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

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.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

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.

Se­ri­ous hobby:

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.

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