Model train fans turn out in force for Hartlepool exhibition event

Model railway fans have been in locomotive heaven as a popular exhibition makes its return journey to Hartlepool.

The town’s Model Railway Show is taking place Hartlepool College of Further Education, in Stockton Street, this weekend.

Layouts at Hartlepool Model Railway Show.

Layouts at Hartlepool Model Railway Show.

The extravaganza features over 20 individually layouts of varying sizes built by individuals or model clubs from around the country.

Model experts have been demonstrating their skills and have also been able to answer questions on how to make the most of the hobby or just to get started.

As well as the demonstrations events, there are more than 25 specialist traders present selling everything from boxed train sets to the smallest components and accessories.

Visitors from all over the region and beyond travelled have turned out to be part of the event, which was first held over a decade ago, with organiser Paul Appleton telling the Mail he was pleased with the turnout.

Layouts at Hartlepool Model Railway Show.

Layouts at Hartlepool Model Railway Show.

“We did the first one at Manor Academy and then we outgrew it to be honest,” he said.

“It’s great having the exhibition here because it’s such a super venue.

“We are able to just take over the place and put so many different stalls on. It’s perfect.

Mr Appleton added that he thinks visitor numbers for the weekend could well be over the four figure mark by the close of play tomorrow.

“Hopefully, we will have had over 1,000 people in as we as had more than 1,000 at last year’s event,” he said.

“People maybe think it’s a bit of an old man’s hobby, because kids are more into video games and things like that, but we get a lot of children and families coming to the events.

“It is an expensive hobby and if you look at any of the train stalls, there are thousands of pounds worth of items for sale.

“Next year’s event will probably be on the same weekend as this year too.”

Among those visiting the exhibition was Malcolm Smith, 56, from North Yorkshire.

“I’ve come to these kind of exhibitions for years,” he said.

“You’re always made to feel welcome by the people who have put it on and there’s plenty of stuff to have a look at.

“You also get a chance to chat to people about your own collection if you have one.”

Proceeds from the weekend’s fun are set to go to Hartlepool RNLI and Hartlepool Families First, which supports children and young adults with additional needs.

The event will run from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Admission is £6 for adults, £5 for seniors and £4 for children and free for those under five.

A family ticket admitting two adults and up to three children costs just £18.