Workington Model Railway Exhibition
Workington has hosted Model Railway Exhibitions in the town for several decades. Originally in the Carnegie arts centre and organised by the Workington Model Railway Club, when faced with declining membership, the club folded and the future of the exhibition looked bleak. In stepped Alistair Grey and the Workington Transport Heritage Trust who were instrumental in finding a new home in the Moorclose Sports Centre and ran the event as a fund raiser with the help of several local model railway enthusiasts.
The WTHT, with limited resources were unable to continue supporting the exhibition and it was once again in jeopardy.
A group of local railway modellers, rail enthusiasts, and model engineers, (some with long associations with the exhibition) got together and formed a not-for-profit company with the goal of continuing the annual model railway exhibition. In 2014 the exhibition moved to the excellent ENERGUS venue where we have staged the event very successfully since.
There was no exhibition in 2020 due to the global pandemic. The November 2021 attendance was slightly down on previous years, with generous local support, particularly from Numech. We remain on course for several more years of exhibitions.
Solrail comprises a small number of dedicated volunteers. We are always happy to welcome anyone willing to contribute to the running of the exhibition. If you would like to exhibit, or help support the 2 day event, during or leading up to the exhibition, we would love to hear from you.
We make a special effort to welcome family visitors which is why we do not charge admission for accompanied children.
We attract support from several local groups and are especially grateful for the help and cooperation we enjoy from the West Cumberland Guild of Model Engineers.
The Exhibition Manager is Mr. P. Tuer
Our 2022 Exhibition was another significant step forward for the team. After a very difficult year from a personal standpoint and with several booked layouts and traders dropping out, Phil Tuer was able to put together another remarkable group of layouts.
"Fencehouses" the largest 2mm finescale layout on the Exhibition circuit made one of it's rare appearances and made a very welcome appearance at the exhibition. It was testimony to the quality of other layouts that it didn't secure one of the 4 trophies on offer. With the possibility that the Wigan Finescale Exhibition may not survive, the Workington show could find itself in the vanguard of finescale exhibitions in the North.
While our visitor attendance was slightly up on 2022 numbers, our costs increased considerably and we will have to consider raising our prices in 2023. That we only charged £5 per adult and free entry for accompanied children made our exhibition an outstanding day out for families, especially one parent families. We were delighted to welcome the return of some families on the Sunday after visiting on the Saturday and having a great time.
We want to pay special thanks to the Energus team, our hosts. We count ourselves extremely fortunate to enjoy a magnificent venue that is staffed by a brilliant and welcoming team who give us 100% support. We really appreciate it.