The great days of railway travel will be marked this weekend, when Gainsborough Model Railway commemorates 75 years since the streamlined trains of the 1930s last run.
“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, which had taken at least 8 1⁄4 hours, was reduced within the space of a few years to a best time of six hours.
“And new streamlined trains were introduced for principal services hauled by Sir Nigel Gresley’s A4 class locomotives, of which Mallard, which achieved the world record speed for a steam loco of 126mph in 1938 is the most famous example.
“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.
“The trains were never reinstated after the war, and the special streamlined carriages were put onto normal services, including Manchester – Cleethorpes trains which ran through Gainsborough.
“A London – Edinburgh timing of six hours was not achieved again until diesels replaced steam in the 1960s.
“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, the two terminus stations on our large model railway, will be running at our open days this weekend, to mark 75 years since the train last ran.”
The railway, featuring a collection of more than 180 engines including such famous names as Flying Scotsman and Mallard, can be seen at the clubrooms in Florence Terrace, which are open on Bank Holiday Saturday and Sunday, August 23 and 24, from 1.30 to 6pm and on Monday, August 25, from 10.30am.
Admission is £4 for adults and £3 for children and senior citizens.
There is also s family ticket at a cost of £10.