The great days of railway travel will be marked this weekend, when the Gainsborough Model Railway commemorates 75 years since the streamlined trains of the 1930s last ran.
“While the nation has recently been marking the centenary of the First World War, in less than a fortnight it will be 75 years since the start of the Second World War,” said society chairman Chris Wragg.
“The 1930s saw rail travel reach new heights of both speed and luxury.”
“The journey from London to Edinburgh was reduced to a best time of six hours, and new streamlined trains were introduced for principal services hauled by new locomotives, of which Mallard is the most famous example when it set a world record speed for a steam locomotive of 126mph.”
“In 1914 people believed that the war would be over by Christmas, and it took several years of increasingly bitter conflict before the impact on rail travel was really felt.”
“But in 1939 the realisation of what was to come meant restrictions were immediate, and with war being declared on 3rd September, the streamlined trains ran for the last time the previous Friday.”
“The trains were never reinstated after the war, and the special streamlined carriages were put onto normal services, including the Manchester to Cleethorpes trains which ran through Gainsborough.”
“The late 1930s are widely regarded as a time when steam railways reached their zenith and our model of the West Riding Limited, the streamlined service which ran between London Kings Cross and Leeds Central will be running at our open days this weekend, to mark 75 years since the trains last ran.”
The railway, featuring a collection of over 180 engines including such famous names as Flying Scotsman and Mallard, can be seen when the clubrooms on Florence Terrace are open on Saturday (23rd August) and Sunday (24th August) from 1.30pm to 6pm, and on bank holiday Monday (25th August) from 10.30am.
Admission is £4 for adults and £3 for children and senior citizens. A family ticket is £10.