Express & Star

20,000 model railway enthusiasts attend Black Country club's annual exhibition

Almost 20,000 model railway enthusiasts turned out for a Black Country-based club's annual exhibition.


The Warley Model Railway Club held the popular event at Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.

On display were laid out railway track scenarios with model steam engines and intricately made platforms and scenery.

More than 90 layouts were featured, each including finely laid out railway tracks along with detailed stations and raised grass banks.

Along the tracks, model trains were controlled running in circles while watched by interested rail enthusiasts behind barriers.

Among those holding the displays was club member Ian Woodward.

One of the model tracks on display at the Warley Model Railway Club exhibition which took place at the NEC, in Birmingham

The 60-year-old from Rubery set the speed for the trains, while making sure none of the valuable engines collided with each other.

He said: "It is a hobby shared by many people still today, mainly men from the older generations - it's a bit like big boys with toys.

"We see some young people come and have a look too."

He added: "It's great to put on the show and talk through the models and the lay-outs with people."

Club publicity officer Dave Moorhouse said about 17,500 people attended the event over the weekend.

David Moorhouse, from the Warley Model Railway Club is pictured with the 'Bellerophon' - a full size working steam train they had on loan from the Foxfield Railway

He said: "Many people in the Black Country grew up with the rail industry surrounding them.

"They become interested and then like to play some part themselves by putting on displays like the ones we have at the event.

"Interest isn't waning. We had the same this year as the year before."

It was not just models on display at the event. There was also a steam engine called the Bellerophon on display.

It was built in 1874 and was used for the Haydock Collieries in Merseyside up till 1887.

It is now used on the Foxfield Railway in Staffordshire.

Displays at the event were put on from model railway clubs across the country.

There was also more than 150 trade stands.

The Warley Model Railway Club has 240 members.

To find out more about the club visit

Alternatively, pop into one of their club evenings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7.30pm.

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