Swindon Railway Festival

IMG_4588_1024At Swindon museum of the Great Western Railway Works this weekend, model trains were put alongside their much larger counterparts to be shown off to the visiting public in the annual Swindon Railway Festival. Many different railway and modelling societies come from all over the country to exhibit.

IMG_4575_1024Outside the museum there were some full-sized steam rollers and traction engines. Every so often a replica of the works hooter would sound and that would signal for the engines to do a noisy demonstration of crushing some stone into ballast.

Inside there were many model railway layouts in every available area of the museum and an exhibition hall for traders. In the centre, there was a large O scale layout with trains running all the time where you could sit and watch the trains go by while you rested your feet.

I liked one particularly large layout of a castle and harbour scene with the trains running below the castle walls, and another where they had incorporated a platoon of Dad’s Army characters on the station platform. Click the pictures to go to the gallery to see more.

I have been wanting a set of GWR/BR(WR) chocolate and cream coaches for a while and had spied a special edition set on the internet from Kernow Models. As they were going to be there I took along my birthday/Christmas/piggy bank money to see if I could buy them directly rather than through the internet shop. Fortunately, I was able to purchase the last set that Kernow had brought along as other people must have had the same idea. Thanks for the money Grandmas.

There is flat access from the nearby shopping centre car park and everything else is also flat. Most of the layouts were at a reasonable height so that I could see them from my chair, however there was one where ‘eye level’ was obviously for a giant and most people could not see it. I did comment to the exhibitor but they said that their model was best viewed from the side rather than from above. However if nobody can see it easily what is the point of modelling it at all. There were several stalls selling hot food as well as the Platform One café in the museum. Entrance admission was £12.