United Kingdom

All aboard! Model railway enthusiast turns his garden into tourist attraction creating ride-on train

A model railway enthusiast has opened up the mini village in his garden to the public in order to raise money for charity - with visitors even welcome to hop aboard the ride-on-train.

Geoff Powell has been building the G-scale (45mm wide track) model railways in his garden in Colwyn Bay, north Wales, for 25 years. 

What began as a hobby has now turned into a major fundraiser for the local St Davids Hospice charity, with Mr Powell set to host open days in the near future when Covid restrictions allow.

Visitors can donate money using a donation box but Mr Powell hopes to be able to raise more when easing of restrictions allow people to have a go on the garden's ride-on train.

Speaking to North Wales Live, Mr Powell said: 'I do it all as a hobby for myself and for the enjoyment of others.

Geoff Powell has been building the G-scale (45mm wide track) model railways in his garden in Colwyn Bay, north Wales, for 25 years. Pictured on the ride-on-train

The model railway track takes a lot of maintenance to ensure the track is clean and well looked after as a single piece of rust could affect the entire system

'I have always had a passion for trains and model railways and I am a member of many clubs from up and down the country.

'Everything I do is all at my cost for the enjoyment of others and to keep myself busy maintaining the track.

'People come from all over to visit and we can't wait for restrictions to ease properly so we can start hosting open days and help raise as much money as possible for St David's Hospice.'

The model railway track takes a lot of maintenance to ensure the track is clean and well looked after as a single piece of rust could affect the entire system.

What began as a hobby has now turned into a major fundraiser with Mr Powell set to host open days in the near future when Covid restrictions allow

Geoff Powell with his garden railway at Colwyn Bay. Originally from Glossop, Geoff moved to Conwy in 1992 and has been working on his extensive layout since 1996

Various models including a tiny dinosaur can be spotted on the tracks of the north wales mini train-line

Mr Powell added: 'During lockdown I came up with the idea of building an 'in the box railway'.

'This was to allow people to still see what we had to offer and what was to come once things get back to normal.

'I spent 188-hours constructing the set-up which would allow people to see trains in motion along with moving items across the track.

'Fully Covid secure, I ensured there was sanitiser available for anyone turning the track on and using the additional switches I added to give the set-up more character.

As well the G-Scale track, Mr Powell also has a sit down ride-along train running through the front garden of his Colwyn Bay home

Visitors can even tour the spectacular ride-on train when covid restrictions allow

'People don't expect the scale of the project and each person either leaves with a 'wow' or a positive attitude of returning again.'

As well the G-Scale track, Mr Powell also has a sit down ride-along train running through the front garden of his Colwyn Bay home. 

Open days are currently being planned for people to visit the attraction.

Mr Powell and his wife moved to Rhos-on-Sea in 1992 from Glossop originally moving into a flat with no garden before moving to their current house in Colwyn Bay where they moved in 1996.

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