Full steam ahead for model railway club in Chadwell Heath

You can ride the club's steam locomotives at open days.

You can ride the club's steam locomotives at open days. - Credit: Archant

Train enthusiasts are gearing up for the first steam day of the year in Chadwell Heath next month.

The Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club (IWEMRC) welcomes visitors to ride on its miniature railway once a month from April until September.

But the pressure has been on in the run-up to the first open day of the year on April 7 after the boiler of the much-loved locomotive, Excalibur, broke.

When it comes back from repairs in May, club members will have to meticulously re-build the train.

The club, which was founded in 1930, also has another locomotive called Thomas Junior, which will be carrying passengers next month.

One or both of the trains run on open days and the club house is opened to the public, who can explore models and a library.

Member Tony Spencer has been a model railway enthusiast since getting his first train set as a child.

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He said: “Railways are a unique form of transport and it brings together so many skills from electrics, to carpentry, history and architecture and model building. It’s so satisfying when it all comes together and it brings pleasure to a lot of other people too.”

The first steam day is at the IWEMRC headquarters next to Chadwell Heath train station, in Station Road. Admission is free but train rides cost 50p a time or £3 for an all-day pass.

New members are welcome at the club and can use facilities to build models, carry out research and use the library.

For information, visit www.iwemrc.org.uk.