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