Full steam ahead as thousands flock to Doncaster for model railway exhibition

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.   L>R Tony Glenn, Bob Matkin, Don Gott.  Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse. L>R Tony Glenn, Bob Matkin, Don Gott. Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust

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Railway enthusiasts were going loco at the weekend as thousands of them descended on Doncaster for the annual Festival of British Railway Modelling.

The two-day extravaganza at Doncaster Racecourse attracted an estimated crowd of around 5000 people to enjoy a feast of model railway layouts.

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.

Saturday and Sunday’s event had a ‘Best of British’ theme with experts on hand with live demonstrations. Those attending were able to enjoy more than 30 layouts and 80 stalls to top up their own collections.

Sam Porter, logistics coordinator for event organisers Warners Group Publications, said: “This was the 20th event we have staged here and it was a fantastic success.

“All of the model railways were made by either individuals or clubs. A lot of time and dedication goes into making them and they ranged from four ft to as big as 53 ft.

“Some of the designs were really elaborate and really impressed the crowds.”

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.  Steve Brammer, Bif, Charlie Petty

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse. Steve Brammer, Bif, Charlie Petty

The event, organised in association with the Racecourse and the Doncaster and District Model Railway Club, will return to the venue next year on February 11 and 12. It also formed part of the wider Doncaster Rail Week to celebrate the town’s lasting contribution to the railway industry.

The famous Doncaster Grammar School railway collection, a massive horde of railway memorabilia from the golden age of steam, went on show at the Mansion House last Thursday and will remain until February 18. The exhibition is open from 11am to 4pm daily and entry is free.

Elsewhere, Doncaster Brewery launched a new ‘rail ale’ on Saturday and later that day rail buffs were able to meet Patrick Stirling, the great, great grandson of the famous railway engineer of the same name.

The Mansion House also hosted the Doncaster Railway Convention where the team behind the Cock O’ The North project, an ambitious scheme to rebuild a full-size locomotive in Doncaster, updated enthusiasts on their work.

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.   L>R Mauric Rourke (Event Organiser for OO Live System Club), Val & David Price

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse. L>R Mauric Rourke (Event Organiser for OO Live System Club), Val & David Price

To round off the week, visitors were invited on a guided tour of Hyde Park Cemetery to hear about stories of some of Doncaster’s esteemed railway engineers.

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse.   Brian Bartholomew

NDFP Festival of British Railway Modelling at Doncaster Racecourse. Brian Bartholomew