Model rail­ways rule at Rail-X

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

Child­hood fas­ci­na­tions with model rail­ways are ready to be in­dulged this week­end.

Ev­ery two years, Manawatu model rail­way en­thu­si­asts host Rail-X in the Barber Hall.

Mem­bers of the Manawatu Model Rail­way Club have been pre­par­ing their ex­ten­sive lay­out, which is set some­where in the Bri­tish Mid­lands, circa 1950, and run­ning Hornby trains and rolling stock.

Work­ing off pho­to­graphs, the club’s Michael Hard­man has been putting del­i­cate touches to the scenery and the patina or weath­er­ing of the model build­ings and land­scapes.

‘‘I en­joy this cre­ative as­pect of model rail­ways,’’ Hard­man said as he ap­plied his own spe­cial mix of mod­el­ling grass to a vil­lage church­yard.

‘‘This was new last time we held Rail-X, and peo­ple will see a few changes.’’

Four trains at once will be run on the multi-track schema. To trans­port it with min­i­mal dam­age and max­i­mum con­ve­nience, the lay­out has been de­signed to break down into 1800 X 1200 seg­ments to fit into a spe­cially con­structed pack­ing cage.

On the other side of the clu­b­rooms Don Vile is work­ing on the 10 square me­tre ex­ten­sions that have been made to the Euro­pean Model Rail­way Club’s con­tem­po­rary Ma¨rklin lay­out.

Fea­tur­ing largely Ger­man and Swiss trains, the set in­cor­po­rates a Fella Road sys­tem that runs road ve­hi­cles in con­junc­tion with the trains.

‘‘There’s a wire un­der the road sur­face the ve­hi­cle fol­lows,’’ Vile said.

There are also small static scenes staged around the lay­out that add to the over­all de­tail and at­trac­tion. Run in con­junc­tion with Feild­ing’s North­ern Manawatu Club and Scale Rails, these two lay­outs will join 17 other tracks from the lower half of the North Is­land at the week­end.

As well as trade stalls and a dis­play of Mec­cano, mem­bers of the Palmer­ston North Model Engi­neer­ing Club from the Mar­riner Re­serve Rail­way will be op­er­at­ing train rides in the car park. Open from 10am to 4pm Sat­ur­day and Sun­day, ad­mis­sion for adults is $10, un­der 14s $2, un­der 4s free, with a two-plus-four fam­ily pass $20.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY WIL­SON FAIRFAX NZ

Don Vile with the Euro­pean Model Rail­way Club lay­out he is pre­par­ing for this week­end’s Rail-X in the Barber Hall.

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