Fife model railway club recreate historic St Andrews layout

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Rail enthusiasts in north east Fife will be able to take a trip back in time this month, as St Andrews hosts its popular model railway exhibition.

The 25th St Andrews Model Railway Exhibition will be held at the town hall on August 17-18, packed with working layouts, demonstrations, trade stalls, and much more.

The St Andrews layout.

The St Andrews layout.

But perhaps the highlight of the event will be the layout of the rail lines in St Andrews and Guardbridge, as it would have looked 50 years ago, just before the closure of the line.

The layout has been created by East Neuk Model Railway Club, which organises the St Andrews exhibition.

Visitors will be able to see how the old station – which is now the car park next to the bus station – looked, and how much Guardbridge has changed in the last 50 years.

The group has worked hard to recreate the old lines, using maps to see how the area would have appeared at the time.

Aaron Aird, exhibition manager at the club, said some people had had “emotional responses” to old layouts in the past, and that pictures of the St Andrews/Guardbridge layout shared on social media had attracted positive comments.

“I’ve been on Facebook a lot and showing people the layout,” said Aaron. “It’s been getting a good reaction from people who remember it.”

The East Neuk Model Railway Club was set up in 1984, and has around 10 members who meet in Pittenweem to work on their latest layouts and travel around the country, attending various exhibitions and meeting other groups.

“I like building layouts,” said Aaron. “You won’t find me running trains at home. I don’t have that at the house.

“I get more out of going to exhibitions. For most of those people, it’s as much about the social side as anything else.”

The town hosts the exhibition as the local rail campaign group, StARLink, continues its push to see the rail link to the town re-established.

“There has to be some sort of transport sorted out for St Andrews,” said Aaron. “It can’t keep going the way it’s going.”

The St Andrews Model Railway Exhibition is being held at the town hall on Saturday, August 17, 10am-5.30pm, and Sunday, August 18, 10.30am-5pm.

As well as the St Andrews/Guardbridge layout, other clubs from Scotland will be visiting to show off their layouts.

For more information about the East Neuk Model Railway Club, visit the Facebook page: