When you start looking into it, there are a surprising number of activities, venues and events related to trains and railways. How do I know this? Having a train-obsessed son might have something to do with it.
When train-boy’s birthday fell on the last Sunday of the month, which just happens to be the day that the Lake Macquarie Live Steam Locomotive Society run their model trains at Edgeworth, it was like a sign from above. We organised a party at the park where the trains run, invited a few families to join us and set out for an afternoon of train fun and frivolity.
With 3, 5 and 7.25 inch gauge tracks, children and adults can ride on a variety of trains pulled by both model steam and diesel engines.
An afternoon at Edgeworth trains is a great way for families to spend some time together. We had 15 adults and 21 children aged from 10 days to 13 years with our group. Admittedly Lola, the baby, didn’t show much enthusiasm, but everyone else seemed to only return to the picnic blanket to grab a drink and something to eat before heading back for another ride. I actually had to bribe train-boy to come back to blow out the candles on his cake.
The kids are just fascinated by the trains and I always find it amazing that they wait so patiently in line, sometimes for 15 minutes or more, to get have their turn only to rush to the end of the line again once they get off. Each ride lasts for around 7 minutes. You must be wearing enclosed shoes to ride on the trains. There are no exceptions to this rule, so if you want to avoid tears of frustration (and that’s just from the adults) then make sure that everyone is wearing suitable footwear.
It is absolutely amazing in this day and age, but the very generous members of the LMLSLS run their trains for free for the general public on the last Sunday afternoon of each month. Donation tins at the site allow people to contribute towards the maintenance of the grounds and costs associated with running the trains for the public, but the majority of expenses are covered by the LMLSLS members themselves.
The model trains are Edgeworth are one of Newcastle’s hidden treasures – a wonderful and inexpensive way for the family to relax and have fun together. Mark their run days on your calendar and remember to take along a picnic lunch and a donation to help support this wonderful service to the community.
As for me, I’m just counting the days until train-boy realises that he could build one of the engines himself and join the LMLSLS. I’m sure he would look quite dashing in the black T-shirt with the LMLSLS logo. I wonder how old you need to be before they let you drive a train…
Location: off Velinda St, Edgeworth with limited off-street parking.
Run Times: Last Sunday of the month (except December). Trains run between 1 – 4 pm, with a brief break for the drivers at 2.30pm.
Parking: A reasonable amount of off-street parking is available, however this fills up fast so it is best to arrive well before lunch to ensure a parking space in the car park.
BBQs – wood burning barbecues only. Wood is provided.