Fun runs full steam at rail expo

George Durkin, 3, of Newstead, operating a U-drive display from a steam engine cabin at yesterday's North Rail Model Expo.Picture: MARK JESSER

George Durkin, 3, of Newstead, operating a U-drive display from a steam engine cabin at yesterday's North Rail Model Expo.Picture: MARK JESSER

STUFF from the recycle bin and a few dollars for basic equipment is enough to get started in model trains and thousands of people are seeing how it is done this weekend.

North Rail Model Expo organisers expect the yearly event at Launceston's St Ailbe's Hall would have attracted about 3000 people when it finishes today.

Co-organiser and model train enthusiast Steve Oppermann said yesterday that the expo, with 30 exhibitors and traders, promoted model trains to the younger generation.

Mr Oppermann said much material needed to build a model train landscape was in household recycle bins - cardboard for stations, foam for sculpturing hills and newspapers for other features.

Exhibitor John Rush, of Legana, has an interactive display that allows children to drive trains.

It is based on the cartoon character Thomas the Tank Engine.

"It lets the kids get involved in something different, because it is mostly computers these days," Mr Rush said.

"I have been dabbling in model trains for 30 years."

One of the junior drivers yesterday was George Durkin, 3, of Newstead.

His mother Andy Durkin said her son loved Thomas and was interested in "anything that moves and has wheels".

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