Leeds Model Railway Exhibition

It was by chance little M and I came across the 61st annual Leeds Model Railway Exhibition which was held at Leeds Grammar School, but what a fascinating discovery for this weekends activity.

Alongside Fireman Sam, trains are still holding an equal first place position in little M’s interests and although perhaps not fully aware of the hours and hours spent designing, building and finessing the model railways on display, he was clearly interested in the environments and moving trains.

 

With our brio track at home and a basic OO gauge train set firmly in its box away from mischievous hands, I did feel we were tourists at the event against a backdrop of scale replica stations and line sections developed by dedicated enthusiasts. This doesn’t mean we were uncomfortable, in fact, quite the opposite with several of the operators encouraging little M to press buttons or ask which train he would like to see move next.

The exhibition took over the main sports hall, foyer and canteen of the Leeds Grammar School, with over 20 miniature displays and demonstrations in action and a few stands promoting local railways such as Middleton Railway in Leeds.

November Model Railway Exhibition Leeds-10

Amongst the displays, there were also several trade stands, which offered a variety of trains, memorabilia, scenery elements and construction tools suitable for beginners through to expert modelers. There were so many ideas here, it was a good job I hadn’t brought a credit card.

This was the great thing about the exhibition, it wasn’t trying to force you to buy anything or sell you something. Every person we spoke to was a passionate experienced individual who wanted to display and inspire visitors and the next generation of model railway enthusiasts.

The detail in the miniature railways was impressive and really showed dedication of the creative individuals who immerse themselves into the modeling hobby. The fictitious 11ft long layout of Bridge Street (below) by Neale Burrows was one of my favourite’s combining an industrial feel alongside a commuter line.

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Entrance to the event was £6 for adults, which on our early morning activity chart, was one of our more expensive ventures, however, with our packed lunch was the only cost incurred. It also felt worthwhile, since it was for the Leeds Model Railway Society who had organised the event.

The barriers in front of each of the displays designed to keep people a safe distance, were also perfect for letting M sit on, which meant I wasn’t carrying him around everywhere. A pram would be difficult to navigate and to low to view any of the model railways properly. A front facing sling/carrier would be a good alternative.

Other practicalities such as food and drinks were well managed by the Leeds Grammar School canteen, which had snacks and meals all available. In a rare occasion, we had pre-made sandwiches which we ate in the canteen.

To find out more. Visit leedsmrs.org

It might not be for everyone, but if you are interested, you will leave full of ideas!
  • Adventure Rating
  • Value for Money
  • Child Friendly
  • Adult Experience
3

Summary

A tricky one to score, since it isn’t targeting children and toddlers, however, the event holds many of the features which are key to a successful adventure. There was so much to point at, ask questions about and watch moving around, that time quickly disappeared.

Being indoors with fantastic facilities, we only took a small rucksack with the knowledge everything for little M was on hand and we could leave the stresses of the unknown behind.

If your toddler is keen to run around and wouldn’t like being carried around or watching the models, then this might not be for you. However, if you have an interested adult or child, or baby and need to get out of the house… this could be the perfect activity.

Add your own comments at the bottom of the page.

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It might not be for everyone, but if you are interested, you will leave full of ideas!
  • Adventure Rating
  • Value for Money
  • Child Friendly
  • Adult Experience
3

Summary

A tricky one to score, since it isn’t targeting children and toddlers, however, the event holds many of the features which are key to a successful adventure. There was so much to point at, ask questions about and watch moving around, that time quickly disappeared.

Being indoors with fantastic facilities, we only took a small rucksack with the knowledge everything for little M was on hand and we could leave the stresses of the unknown behind.

If your toddler is keen to run around and wouldn’t like being carried around or watching the models, then this might not be for you. However, if you have an interested adult or child, or baby and need to get out of the house… this could be the perfect activity.

4 comments

  1. I can’t believe how detailed some of these look, they’re amazing. There was a sign up near us at the weekend for a model railway show, but we didn’t go. I’m not sure my 20 month old would fully appreciate it yet, but maybe something for the future! x
    #DaysOutWithAToddler

  2. The detail was incredible, it is clearly a passion for the enthusiasts. For a quick trip out on a rainy day, it was great fun. Little M enjoyed watching all the trains move around or appear/disappear into tunnels… his interest in Thomas the Tank, no doubt helped as well!

  3. We’ve been to York Railway Museum before, where they have a little model railway, but James has never really been enthusiastic about trains – shock horror – not even Thomas!
    We have a steam train museum very near us, and he enjoys watching them run along the track, though I fear that is mostly mummy’s enthusiasm rubbing off.
    One day!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #daysoutwithatoddler!

  4. We go through phases, little M had his longest sleep on his first trip on the North Yorks Railway when he was several months old. At one point we were wondering if we could pay the driver to do a night shift for us!

    Beyond that, it has been a steady interest however, Fire Engines, Fire Stations and Fireman Sam (series 5 only) are his current obsession, so the model trains were a nice change for us!

    Delighted to be a part of #daysoutwithatoddler!

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