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Full steam ahead for model rail show

The annual Trainwest Model Railway Exhibition returns to Melksham on the weekend of 11th and 12th April.

Trainwest is the largest model railway exhibition in Wiltshire. The show will be held at the Christie Miller Sports Centre and will feature 62 stands, including 22 working model railway layouts.

One of the highlights will be the extensive Gresley Beat layout from Kent. This is one of the largest portable model railway layouts in the country. It travels in two large vans and takes a team of nine people at least 10 hours to set up.

This is the ninth year in which the exhibition has been held in Melksham, having moved from Chippenham when some of the facilities at the Olympiad were closed.

Admission costs £8.00 for adults and £5.00 for children, but local enthusiasts can save £2.00 per person with advance tickets. These can be bought from the Christie Miller Centre and Gas Cupboard Models in Trowbridge. As Sunday is the quieter of the two days, visitors who arrive after 1.00pm will have to pay just £5.00. Each paying adult will also be able to bring a child free of charge.

There is still a connection to Chippenham with a free bus running on Saturday from the railway station. The bus will leave Chippenham Station at 09.30, 10.30, 11.30 and 13.30. Return buses will leave the exhibition at 12.40, 14.40, 16.15 and 17.40. The bus will also call at Melksham Station to meet trains from Trowbridge and Westbury on the TransWilts rail line.

This may be the last year in which the show is held in Melksham. The Christie Miller Sports Centre is due to close and its replacement facility in the centre of town will be much smaller.

The exhibition organisers are still looking for a new venue, which ideally should have 15,000 square feet of exhibition space, catering facilities for more than 2,000 people over the weekend, and parking for several hundred cars. Any suggestions for suitable venues in north Wiltshire would be welcome.

For further information about Trainwest, visit the website at www.trainwest.org.uk or telephone Geoff Endacott on 01249 657283.