Model railway events are always a great way to see the latest models on the market and meet with like-minded people to discuss how to get the best out of your own collection.
So how about seeing three in the same day and get there with the help of a steam engine? Well here is your chance. This summer the Great Central Railway (GCR) will be offering model enthusiasts the opportunity to travel between its various stations to see different layouts and engines. The Giant Model Rail Expo is unlike any other traditional model railway exhibition and will be spread over a variety of venues compared to just under one roof.
Taking place over June 20th and 22nd over 50 model railways will be on display along the GCR line. Each station will have a different theme with visitors able to travel all of them aboard steam trains. The GCR is the UK's only double track, main line heritage railway and runs between Leicester and Nottingham. Along the way it passes through the likes of Loughborough, Rothley and East Leake and has become a big favourite among the steam train community.
It is supported by The David Clarke Railway Trust and runs trains every weekend of the year as well as bank holidays and certain weekdays throughout the summer months. The Giant Model Rail Expo will not only give people the opportunity to see some impressive model layouts but also allow them to travel along this famous heritage railway.
Speaking about the event, Kate Tilley, GCR marketing manager, said: "We've been asked many times to put on a model railway exhibition and we're pulling out all the stops.
"This is genuinely an event people can spend all day visiting, travelling between our stations, changing trains to inspect layouts and visit traders. We have plenty of cafes and a superb garden railway at Rothley, so bring the whole family to watch the trains go by – small or big!"
Along the line there will be a host of activities on offer for visitors. At Loughborough, GCR Immingham will have its 30ft model layout of Loughborough station set out complete with a number of N gauge layouts while traders will be on hand to offer advice and sell people the latest products on the market. Moving along to Quorn & Woodhouse where Expo HQ will be held with layouts, traders and catering outlets all available.
When the train pulls into Rothley, visitors will be treated to garden railways and an Isle of Wight gauge 3 layout known as Blackgang. The final stop on the GCR service is Leicester North where there will be a family zone set up for visitors to relax and take in some more sights.
All the layouts will depict some section of the GCR line along with other parts of the country with the likes of Kingswear, St Marnock Engine Shed, Bodmin, Tan-y-Bwlch and Leicester South among those set to be recreated.
Tickets for an all-day pass cost £15 and includes train travel and entry to all the model shows.