Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Southport Post 1: Model Railway Village...

Hi all. Now, when the family decided on a visit to Southport I had to check for any railway-related item's of interest in the area. Sure enough, I discovered three very different pieces of interest which will feature across three seperate posts on this blog. The first visit was the Southport Model Railway Village. Having a garden railway myself, I always find Model Village's interesting. However, though most model village's will have some kind of simple model railway, this one is a bit different; it's a railway with a model village! Located on the edge of Marine Lake, the Model Railway Village includes over 500 metres of double-track garden railway. Made to 45mm (Gauge 1), all of the trains are products of the famous train model manufacturers known as 'LGB'. The tracks run in a large, meandering circuit around the well-landscaped gardens and pass around 200 model buildings on their way! Open since 1996, the Model Railway Village is an interesting, pleasant family attraction which is well worth at least an hour of anybodies time. Overall, it is a MUST for youngster's though, Adult's Beware; you may end up staying for ages! I have decided to include a good few pictures in this post to keep you all interested and so, here we go. The village, though scale, is of course open-air and therefore is not exempt to the birds. Unfortunately, these are not scale and even seem to stalk the villagers as they go about their daily business!...
Below, a Mallett-class tank engine hauls a short freight whilst being stalked from the lineside by a small bird which in real life would be taller than "Mayflower"!...
Three trains were running clockwise on the outer line, block-sectioned and kept apart by colour light signals and sensors. All three trains (2 steam & 1 diesel) were freights. Below, a blue 0-6-0 tender-tank speeds along the track on a section that seemed riddled with 'drop joints'...
About 1/3 of the way around the gardens, trains meet a yard area; the only one of its kind on the railway. There are wagons stored here and also engine sheds, a water tower and signalbox. Outer line trains don't enter the yard, only the inner line (anti clockwise) does. Below, the green Mallett has been held at the signalbox whilst the blue 0-6-0 clears the next section. The yard is spotted behind...
A close up of the Mallett. LGB are very good at what they do; making robust, powerful and very much weather-proof model locomotives...
Below, a close up of just a few of the model buildings...
Once away from the signalbox, trains round another sweeping bend before crossing a girder bridge over a stream. I waited here until two trains met and managed to capture a shot of them approaching the bridge. A diesel loco, on the outer line, approaches the bridge in a clockwise direction whilst another Mallett works anti-clockwise on the inner line...
Today, only one train was running on the inner line; a quaint 3-coach passenger hauled by a dark green Mallett. The inner line is also colour-light signalled but there isn't really any need with only one train running! However, being a passenger train, the inner line train automatically stops at both the station and the yard area before starting off again after a short wait; that's computer-isation! Below, the Mallett has just left the station and is beginning a new round trip of the inner line...
As you walk around the village, there are many benches; allowing you to sit back and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere whilst watching the trains go by; very nice! The path meanders around the site in a clockwise direction, following the railway and the buildings for most of its route. One of my favourite bits was this very nicely made tunnel which the light green Mallett has just appeared from in the image below...
Overall, I spent about 45 minutes in the Model Railway Village and this included two quick walks around the site. As far as I know, you can walk around as many times as you want during your visit and the admission prices are very reasonable indeed. I for one enjoyed my visit very much and I would recommend a quick look if you're in the area. However, if visiting the village, be careful of the 'huge' birds which stalk the grassy plain's! Thank you for reading folks, now on to the next appointment...

No comments: