Making tracks to miniature world

Luke Hall, 6 at a public open day at the New Plymouth Model Railway club.
Luke Hall, 6 at a public open day at the New Plymouth Model Railway club.

Once a week in a hot, cramped shed in Bell Block men of all ages tinker with their toy trains.

Every Monday night in January the New Plymouth Model Railway Club opens its doors to the public.

Behind those doors lies 200-odd metres of model railway tracks, which make up a not so accurate New Plymouth to Palmerston North railway line.

Scores of model trains and hundreds of carriages grace the model landscape featuring handmade bridges, canyons, mountain ranges, power stations, stockyards and even a mini replica of New Plymouth.

Club president Rob Heaven said the club had about 20 members who met every Monday.

Some brought along their own model trains while others played with locomotives belonging to the club.

Mr Heaven said he had been with the club since its inception in 1979.

The Monday night open evenings were a chance for people to have fun and learn something about modelling, he said.

"It gives the public a chance to come out to see something and hopefully we'll collect another member or two who have an interest in what we do," Mr Heaven said.

Annual membership fees are $30.

People were attracted to modelling for all sorts of reasons, he said. Mr Heaven said he got into model trains because he wasn't allowed them as a child.

Fellow club member Vaughan Jones, 42, said he liked the size and power of good quality model trains.

He also liked making things with his hands.

"I like modelling because there's so much you can do," Mr Jones said. "It's the aspect of taking something that's real and recreating it."

Taranaki Daily News