On Bank Holiday Monday I went to the Reading Society of Model Engineers’ club house for their public running day. They have two large gauge model railway loops in a corner of Prospect Park where you can see, and ride behind, miniature steam and diesel locomotives.
The smaller loop of the two is raised off the ground because you sit astride the carriage of the train with your legs hanging either side of the track. Each train can only carry two or three people. The larger loop is at ground level and able to carry bigger trains so therefore more passengers can get on board.
Inside the club house there is a large OO gauge layout which had several trains running, including Thomas the Tank Engine and Toby the steam tram. On some tables there were colouring sheets for children. Tea and coffee was also available.
All the people that I spoke to were extremely friendly and I had a private tour of the engine preparation area, and was also able to grab a few photos.
Access to the club house is via a small footbridge but they can open a section of track to provide flat access if required. There is no flat access to the station as this is also via a small footbridge, although the club members were more than willing to stop the trains at other points.
It was a very relaxing way to spend the Bank Holiday afternoon.