Model Trains Connecting Community Through Hobby

A Fremantle model train club is bonding the community through the generations old hobby, bringing both enthusiasts and fans of the past-time together.

The Fremantle and Districts Model Railway Association believes there is still growing interest in the hobby, with young and old enthusiasts coming to the club to share their love for model trains.

“People just seem to be attracted to trains and it hasn’t changed much,” the club’s president Bob Redman told Western Perspective.

Mr Redman said the currently 20-member club had generated interest over its 43 years in existence, with a range different of members visiting taking part in the hobby.

“We have members that are primary school right up till nearly towards their nineties,” he said.

“We have lady members as well.”

He said the club has especially been popular with children, who came to the club to run their trains on the club’s expansive layouts.

“We’ve got a number of young kids that are club members that come here and run their trains and really enjoy it,” Mr Redman said.

“They haven’t got a track at home so they come here and run their trains here.”

Mr Redman, who had been interested in model trains when his children were younger, believed the hobby had become more modernised, but it had helped continue the interest in them from generation to generation.

“Things have progressed a long way,” he said.

“The electronics are quite involved now and we’ve got signals and all different electronics running on it and they’re all computerised.”

“(There are) always new people coming through that want to learn.”

Member Patrick Cropley believed a major drawcard for visitors and members were the elaborate settings.

“You like to see trains running and as you’re older, you start to actually put it together a layout, all the scenery and I was actually involved in doing one of the layouts to automatically to get them running,” he said.

“They (the club’s visitors) come in here, they see it and they think ‘oh my heavens, that is something to look at’ and they come and join.”

The 87-year-old believed it is the operation of the train layout along with the trains that bonded both members and visitors.

“They (members) can bring their own trains and run their own trains right here, or if they don’t have any trains, they can still come here and enjoy the actual movement of it,” Mr Cropley said.

“A lot of our members actually bring the trains here and running the trains which is very interesting to them and everyone else who is looking.”

Despite the club’s current small club space near Fremantle Prison, Mr Cropley hoped more people would come visit the club.

He believed there would be more new members in the future.

“I hope it’s not too much of a secret because we like people to come and see us and if possible come and join us,” he said.

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1 Comment

  1. Martin Stulpner Reply

    An excellent club with a very friendly atmosphere and heaps of activities, including exhibitions in shopping centres and at model exhibitions and regular sausage sizzles. Very encouraging of younger members becoming involved and learning about model trains, electronics and model building.

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