In November and December, the Pilsen railway modelers will once again make available to the public the model railway yard they have been working on for 35 years. The model on an area of 140 square meters, through which almost 50 train sets pass along 600 meters of tracks, will be opened in the clubhouse in Skvrňany, in Karel Steinera Street.
It will be on display from November 16 to December 17, always from Thursday to Sunday. There is interest in the tours every year and thousands of children and adults come to see them, said Jiří Baudis from the organizing club.
The modelers started working on the railway yard in 1988, and since then they have been supplementing, expanding and improving it. In the last five years, they have been working hard to expand by another 40 square meters. Every year in December, the railway yard is shown to the public. Due to covid, the winter exhibitions in 2019 and 2020 had to be cancelled, the clubhouse was also being remodeled. “After a forced break, we were able to open again last year, when over 10,000 people came. People saw the foundation of the new area last year, but it was not a finished landscape. We heard the news, there is a new hidden track, a hidden station, and this year it is completely finished for the first time,” said Baudis.
The model represents a two-track main line with secondary and local lines. On the track are models of the station in Ústí nad Orlicí, renamed Václavice. There is a model of the Horažďovice railway station on the secondary line and Hrádek u Sušice on the local line, there is a model of the limestone, silo and gates from the České Budějovice line. Because the track represents the so-called third and fourth railway epochs, i.e. roughly from the 1950s to the 1980s, steam, diesel and electric trains meet on the tracks.
Even the landscape and houses correspond to the given period, so visitors would look in vain for contemporary architecture or even the Pendolino train in the model. Modelers are constantly improving and remaking something. “It used to be built out of paper, the precision wasn’t like it is today, when it’s done with laser precision,” Baudis said. The main material is still wood, paper and plastics are also used, modellers also help themselves with 3D printing for precise elements to supplement trains or landscapes. Although almost any decoration and accessory can be bought in model shops, the modelers make them themselves, they do not have any purchased units in the railway yard. “The handwork still remains,” Baudis noted.
There are 32 modelers in the club from seven to 75 years old, of which 18 members are children and youth under 18 years of age. The production of railway models, such as a wagon or a locomotive, takes tens of hours, and the faithful representation of the landscape with hundreds of trees, towns and villages, tunnels, footbridges or rocks elaborated in detail is no less laborious.
The exhibition of model railways, tracks and accessories will always be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There are accompanying events on Saturdays and Sundays. Kindergartens and other larger groups can book a tour outside of public opening hours.