Today, I accompanied my Dad to York’s annual model railway exhibition at York Racecourse.
It’s an event I’ve been going to from a very young age – both my Dad and I have an interest in railway modelling and there’s a large train set at my parents’ house in York. Although it’s gathering dust and hasn’t been used much over the last 10-15 years – I imagine that Dad planned to work on it in retirement but he’s been too busy doing other things.
So, the model railway show. It takes place over the Easter weekend and has run every year (I think) since the 1960s. Whilst I used to go every year, this was my first visit since 2013. There are a mixture of layouts, built by individuals and societies, as well as many trade stands.
The layouts vary greatly in size. Some are huge, requiring multiple people to operate, whereas others will easily fit in the back of someone’s car. The smallest was in a flight case, which used the diminutive ‘T gauge‘. Whilst many layouts used ‘OO’ gauge, which is the most widely available to those with trainsets at home, there were many others with bigger and smaller trains.
As you can imagine, model railways attract a predominantly older, male audience, but it’s popular with kids as well – footstools are available for hire for those otherwise unable to see the layouts. We didn’t take Elizabeth this time as she’s a bit young, and it can be rather crowded – not ideal conditions for a pram. Maybe next year, when she can take an interest in what’s going on.
York is one of the larger exhibitions, both in terms of the number of layouts on show and also in length, as it runs over three days. Opening yesterday, it runs until tomorrow.