Robin was like a little boy who had wandered in to a toy shop today. We visited "Railex 2008", an exhibition of model railways, held at the Kennel Club building in Porirua. As a young lad he used to have his very own Marklin train set but that has long gone.
Families and railway enthusiasts alike crowded into the large hall to see the many kinds of model railways set against lifelike backdrops. Many of the local clubs had displays and there were vendors selling anything from books, railway caps, modelling accessories and rolling stock. With over 50 exhibitors there was something for everyone.
Model trains come in different gauges (Jenny didn't know that) and the variety on show was amazing. We saw a tiny little steam engine blowing what looked like real smoke and sound effects as it chugged around the track. The now defunct (in real life) New Zealand Railway Railcars were doing their thing at another display. Hornby and Marklin trains were well represented.
Clearly the backdrops and accessories are just as important as the trains themselves, and all add to the fun involved. We saw the Rocky Mountains, New Zealand bush and coast, and European and English scenes. Hordes of children crowded around the display made entirely of Lego blocks and parts.
After a while Jenny left Robin to it and went in search of the cafe for a reviving drink. She had a chuckle when the two elderly gents sitting at the same table dipped into their shopping bags and eagerly showed each their train hobby purchases, just like a couple of girlfriends out shopping.