It was full steam ahead for the Bundaberg Model Railway Club's search for new members at its first open day for the year today.
Club members were engaged in the workings of the miniature railway, as trains chuffed around the 30 metre railway lines, and they explained the smallest details to interested community members.
Those small details included Catastrophe Corner, which caught the eye of the open day attendees as the passed around the large artistic displays.
Bundaberg Model Railway Club founding member Alf Eckhart said the notorious corner of the model railway display gave members a chance to express their creative and yet playful side as they made tiny examples of real-life experiences.
“If anybody has an accident, we make up a little scene here in this corner,” Alf said.
“We have the gentleman lying flat with scattered Aldi shopping bags after a fall outside of Aldi.
“It’s just like everything in the club, all done in a bit of fun.”
Alf said the Bundaberg Model Railway Club started in 1974 and showed no signs of slowing down more than 40 years later.
“We used to show the railways at the Harvest Festival many years ago,” Alf said.
“Then we would show the model railways at the show, but they are too big to move today, and are permanent structures now.”
Bundaberg Model Railway Club president Rob Gibson said his passion for model railways came at a young age after his father was in the railway and would come home from work with fascinating stories about his career.
“It’s a wonderful pastime, it really is,” Rob said.
“My dad was in the railways, so since I was a little tacker I have been involved in them.”
Social side to the Bundaberg Model Railway Club
The largest model railway display, that also incorporated Catastrophe Corner, has a variety of different trains and carriages moving endlessly, and is able to run up to six trains at any one time.
“We are always trying to get young people to come in and take an interest – they are the future of the club,” Rob said.
“One thing about this club is that, right from the beginning, if you have an American loco and an English carriage behind it, what the heck you’re enjoying it and so it doesn’t matter.
“It’s all fine, we don’t have certain rules when it comes to that, we all just want to have fun and enjoy ourselves.”
Rob said the beauty about the Bundaberg Model Railway Club was not only the chance that was provided to spark a little creativity but also the opportunity to make new friends and socialise up to four times a week at the club house.
The doors to the club doors are open four times a week for meetings, Tuesday and Wednesday 4.30-7pm, Thursday 8-10am and Saturday from noon to 3pm.
Rob said the next open day would be held on the second Saturday in August, but community members who have an interest in model railways didn’t have to wait until then to check out the miniature railways.
“They're welcome to attend any of our meeting days to see what it's all about.”
- Earlier report: Model railway open day to spark your imagination