Model railways can provide an endless amount of possibilities for a collector and become a lifelong hobby.
The great thing about the pastime is people can get really creative with how they use their own collection. Modelling clubs spend hours upon hours developing intricate layouts, which the little trains can happily chug their way through. They can depict real life landscapes or something completely out of the ordinary.
Innovation is a key factor when building a model railway layout. Many clubs have created real-life stations such as London King's Cross or anything more suited to their specific location. This help to recreate the day-to-day running one of the busiest train stations in the UK and would make for a real impressive feat once completed.
It isn't just the ordinary modeller that is intrigued with building layouts as some of the rich and famous share a passion for building model railways. For example, Rod Stewart famously built a layout depicting a 1940s New York and Chicago. Both these boast famous train stations with Grand Central sitting proudly in Manhattan while Union Station is the main terminus in the Windy City.
Building a layout is all well and good but what if you could incorporate a model steam train into the entertainment of a major event. Like a concert, exhibition or sports match? Well a football team in Germany has embraced this.
Hamburg-based FC St Pauli is known across the world as being the anti-establishment, fan-powered football side. Their home stadium, the Millerntor, attracts fans from all over the globe as they experience the true ethos of a "punk" football team. While they may be nicknamed The Buccaneers of the League, the "Kult" club has also created an innovative feature for their VIP guests.
When you think of Germany, what usually tends to spring to mind? That's right – beer, sausage and lederhosen. Well in 2010, St Pauli combined two of these things to create a truly unique experience for supporters. Alongside the VIP section having an individual beer pump and plasma TV for action replays, there is an extra special treat.
Germany is renowned for its bratwurst and currywurst and St Pauli are no different with their chefs cooking up tasty sausages throughout all home games. But how does everyone enjoy these treats without missing any part of the match – by model train of course.
The Metro reports that the model railway snakes its way through the VIP section and is stocked with bratwurst and currywurst every five minutes. The train then trundles its way to hungry supporters who can enjoy a snack and beer while not taking one eye off the game.
Speaking to the news provider at the time, designer Mathias Mueller-Using said that the upgrade in the stadium was made as "a tribute to the club we love and its very special fans".
St Pauli's little innovation shows what can be achieved with a little thought when it comes to developing a model railway.
Maybe set a similar one up in your home to impress dinner party guests? You will no doubt be the talk of the neighbourhood.