On track for a great show

Chris Thomas with a railway layout at a previous Rotarail event in Fareham.
Chris Thomas with a railway layout at a previous Rotarail event in Fareham.
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The romance of steam trains will be brought back to life at Fareham College tomorrow – in miniature.

The Rotary Club of Fareham is hosting Rotarail, a charity model railway exhibition to take place from 10.30am to 5pm.

Exhibition manager Chris Thomas says there will be 21 miniature railway layouts spread around the college’s sports hall, running trains of different sizes and gauges.

‘We try to get a broad variety across the board of gauges and sizes.,’ he says.

‘The biggest is huge - 30ft by 10ft.

‘We always try to make it a good, fun, family atmosphere for everyone.’

There will also be 12 traders there selling model trains and other bits of equipment.

Chris says building model train layouts is an absorbing hobby that attracts people of all ages.

‘It’s a fascinating hobby,’ he says.

‘People have this fascination with model steam engines in particular, although we also have models of diesel trains.

‘ You can be fairly creative with building the scenery and everything.’

Chris says he will have two layouts in the exhibition which he has built based on stream-train networks that once operated in different parts of the country.

He says: ‘I come from a railway family myself.

‘I have got two exhibit layouts and they are both based on actual places.’

Chris says the event has got bigger annually since it started three years ago and he hopes more than 50 people will make it along to tomorrow’s show.

‘It has really grown a lot. A majority of the layouts come from people within the county but we also have some that come from outside.

‘Some people come down from Worthing and Reading.’

Money raised will go to the Haven in Wessex, a support centre for breast cancer patients.

Meals and light refreshments made by the college’s catering staff will be on offer.

Rotary members will also be there to answer questions.

Chris says the club is grateful to college principal Nigel Duncan and his staff for their help producing the exhibition despite refurbishment work currently going on at the college.

Admission is £5 for adults and accompanied children go free. Visit rotarail2015.webs.com for more information.