Topic: Levin Model Railway Club

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For some time a group of Model Railway enthusiasts have got together and formed a Club.The Club meets and operates in The old Court House building at the rose Gardens in Cambridge Street, Levin. The members have developed and are building a Model Train layout in the rooms.This is a must to see. The layout is fantastic, the workmanship and artistry makes the models look so really amazing. During the next few weeks photographs and history of the club will be added to this sight.



                                        A report printed in the Horowhenua Chronicle on 25th June 2014 by Peter Franklin

                                                                                                  Model Railway Club showcases history 
At the weekend, Waikanae model Railway enthusiast David Waddilove became visitor number 6000 to  the Levin Model
                          Railway Club's display in the old courthouse.
A photograph and report is shown at the bottom of this page.

                                        Wednesday January 12 - 2011    Visitors steaming through to the Model Railway
                                                                  By PETER FRANKLIN      Horowhenua Chronicle        Wednesday January 12 - 2011
                                                                                                    The Levin Model Railway Club



IMG_1334 Levin Model Railway Club Members 2012 sign

by henryphillips

     The Club Rooms of The levin Model Railway Club         
 The Home of Levin model railway Club by henryphillip

    Model railway ready to roll in the school                                   holidays

 By KELVIN TEIXEIRA – Horowhenua Mail 27/9/2012

     Levin Model Railway Club's display is returning in the upcoming school holi­days.
     On Monday to Friday next week a modified and enlarged Wilcox Memorial Layout will be on show.

     Club president John Morrison said the model railway display is always popular with children.
     "But not so popular with parents when their kids don't want to leave," he said.
     However weekly open days at the club-rooms, in the old courthouse at Levin's rose gardens, are held every Saturday and Sunday and public holidays from 1pm till4pm, he said.
     There they would be able to see the club's new model replicating the railway line between Levin and Shannon.
     After 18 months of work Mr. Morrison said it was "really going ahead" and likely to be completed by the end of the year.

"We've exercised a bit of creative licence and taken a few liberties here and there, including a large bridge over the Manawatu Rive rwhich isn't quite the same," he said. "But we will be keeping it real, by running NZ Rail rolling stock, including locomotives and carriages."
     Mr. Morrison said one the challenges was compressing the line between the towns into a model about eight metres long by 2.5m wide.
     "But we have some very smart people in our club who can do some amazing things."
     Mr. Morrison said this included making buildings using pizza boxes and matches, and miniature trees from plant cuttings.
     While this was nothing new, incorpor­ating a state-of-the-art digital operating system from the United States was a first for the club.
     "This is all well beyond toy trains. It is real scale models worth thousands of dol­lars - and I wouldn’t like to think how many hours of work." he said.
     "But it's something we all like to do and it keeps us off the streets."

Train time:    Levin Model Railway Club members Bev       and Trevor Parrant and President John Morrison

Levin Model Railway Club members by henryphillips 



   Visitors steaming through to the Model Railway

By PETER FRANKLIN      Horowhenua Chronicle                                            Wednesday January 12 2011

     With more than 1000 visitors, Levin Model Railway Club president Trevor Parrant is chuffed with the public response that the club has had since their move into an old building that is set among the rose gardens.
"Our 1000th visitor, Stephen Phillips, walked through the doors on Boxing Day. Since then another 150 people have come in to see the display," Mr Parrant said.
     On Monday the display will be uplifted and taken to the Levin Shopping Mall for the four days and then it will be taken to the AP and I showgrounds for the three days of the annual event.
     While that layout is doing the rounds, another will be set up in the courthouse for people to see.

Mr Parrant said the major project for the club is to put together a historical display that features the Levin and Shannon railway yards and stations.
     "This has always been our intention," Mr Parrant said.
     "There is not much left, old buildings have gone, the        railway is all but gone nothing like it used to be.
     "I don't think the old courthouse is 100 years old," he said.
"What 100-year-old houses are still here? Nobody would know where to find them."
     Levin and Shannon were built because of the railway and Levin was named after one of the directors.
     "That is why we believe it is important to create a scale model of the railway system as it was," he said.
          Anyone interested in joining the club can get information at the old courthouse.     

   Stephen Phillips The 1000 th Visitor to the Levin Model        Railway club on their open day in the old Court House         12/01/2011  

 IMG_1360 The 1000 th Visitor to the Levin Model Railway club by henryphillips

A History of the Levin Model Railway Club

    As a result of informal talking among a group of model railway enthusiasts a decision was made to investigate the possibility of forming a club.
    Our first informal meeting was held on the 4th June 2008 with 8 members attending. By the 18th June 2008 a constitution had been adopted and a committee elected.
    The first public display to announce our presence was held in the Levin Mall in July. Although quite basic, this was very successful in attracting new members and attracting interest from the general public. We have since had more of these displays to keep up the interest of the hobby.
    In August, news of the shifting of the old courthouse led the Club to approach the Mayor and other councilors to express our interest in utilizing this building. We were not successful in our application but it was a worthwhile exercise going through the process.
    At a meeting in October it was decided to start collecting information on Levin as a railway town and to find people with memories to share on the early days. This activity is progressing slowly.
    A major decision also made hi November was to adopt the railway layout formerly in the Southward museum as a Club project with a view to making it the basis of a public display. This layout had been bought by a local couple who were happy to make it available as a Club operation. This project has recently been put on hold until a suitable building can be found to house it as it is currently in three sections in different locations.
    November saw the second Mall display and was also the month the Club affiliated to theNew Zealand Association of Model Railway Clubs.
    In February 2009 the Club was gifted a smaller layout which will be refurbished as a transportable exhibition piece to take to shows and displays. This will now become the first project.
    Also early this year the Incorporation process was completed as another step in the development of the
    Levin Model Railway Club. The current number of paid up members is over 40 and we have others interested. Members ages range from 8 to 86.
    Club outings have also been organized to Foxton, Raumati and more locally to view the layouts and learn more about the 'World's Greatest Hobby'. More layout visits are planned.


Levin Model Railway Club
No 1   -    July - August 2OO9

    Welcome to your first newsletter, I hope you enjoy and I am able to help and inform with snippets of local and maybe not so local items of interest to all tabletoppers.
    It is with regret we report the death of Charles Wilcox on9 June 2009. Deepest sympathy goes out to Charles's family. He will be greatly missed.

Presidents Report:

Levin model railway club august 2009 by henryphillips 

Hello Tabbletoppers and welcome to the first newsletter of the Levin Model Railway Club. From the humble beginnings of 4 model railway nuts the club has grown to just over 40 paid up members, all under 12 months. It is really gratifying to be involved with such a committed group. Your     1 committee has been working hard to achieve the milestones of having club shirts printed and holding displays in the mall during school holidays, including the current display which is providing a lot of interest. Thanks to mall management for allowing us to have an empty shop at no cost. Committee are also in the process of finding club rooms. There are a number of members who are in the proces of building their own layouts that we can visit at some time in the future.
Happy modelling. Trevor Parrent. 

The official Opening of the Levin Model Railway Club in the old Court House building in the Rose Gardens, Cambridge Street, Levin 14th August 2010.

The opening of the levin model train track 14-08-2010 by henryphillips 

ON TRACK:   After the official handover of the key to the old courthouse
to the Levin Model Railway Club, president Trevor Parrant, left, explained the work involved in building a set up like the one on display to Labour MP Darren Hughes and Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy, right.

1 Club President - Trevor Parrent,  2 MP - Darreen Hughes, 
3 Levin Mayor    - Brendan Duffy. 


 Trains take over courthouse

By PETER FRANKLIN, Horowhenua Chronicle

    IN front of a full courthouse, Horowhenua District Mayor Brendan Duffy handed over the ceremonial key to the front door to Levin Model Train Club president Trevor Parrant.
    Mr Duffy said he was pleased to see a group like the model train club make use of the building and the opportunity it opened for the club to grow.
    Mr Duffy said trains of all sizes have had a fasciation for boys from a young age to a not so young-age.
    He also thanked the Rose Society for the ongoing work they were doing around the building, planting and maintaining an extensive array of roses. "I hope they see the benefit of the building and utilise it for meetings and storage.
    "The society have done, and continue to do a fabulous job," he said.
    Labour MP Darren Hughes said Levin has a real connection with rail, the town was named after one of the directors of the railway company.
    And to see a detailed set up like this on public display in one of the town's classic buildings alongside the railway line was "just fantas­tic".
    Mr Parrant said the club were over the moon when the decision was made to allow them to move into the old building. "I believe this will be as good for the club as it will for the town," he said.
    On the first open day hundreds of people streamed through the building asking questions about the set up on display and about the club in general. Mr Parrant was pleased with both events — the official opening and handing over of the key, and the open day.
    "It has given the club a lot of exposure, and that is what we need to have if we are going to grow," he said.

Visitors, Dignitories, Club members, at the opening ceremony  of the new club rooms 14th August 2010

Visitors at The Levin model railway opening ceremony 14-8-2010


Model railway club on track with display
HOROWHENUA CHRONICLE,Wednesday, May 19, 2010 

    Levin model railway enthusiasts are buzzing at the chance to be part of Rail-Ex, being held in Palmerston North on July 16 and 17.
    Levin Model Railway Club president Trevor Parrant said it is certainly a big deal for club members.
    He said, not only does it give the club members a chance to meet other likeminded people and share ideas and thoughts on the hobby, as a club they have the chance to show off their own skills and set up a layout amongst the 40 to 50 other club displays at the event.
    He said the club have several projects on the go at the moment including Rail-Ex. They will be putting another display on at the Levin Shopping Mall starting the first week of the school holidays.
    Plus the one that all the mem­bers are really excited about the reconstruction of the Levin railyards.
    "Levin has strong links with the railway.

     "After all the town was named after one of the directors of the Wellington-Manawatu Railway Company," he said.
    Mr Parrant said there is so much more available to enthusiasts now, just walking into a model shop is like having Christmas all over again.
     He said Ken Gurney of Sports World has been a godsend for the club — nothing is too much trouble and he constantly gets updated catalogues and chases around searching out suppliers for them.

     Mr Parrant said the Levin club has members as young as nine and some that are 80-plus, but the important thing is that everyone has a real love for trains.
    Club  member  and publicity officer Sue Wilks said she has been brought up with trains.  Her father worked on them and as a child he would take her on the train, sitting in the guards van playing cards or just watching the countryside roll by.
    His passion for the steel-wheeled monsters rubbed off on Ms Wilks. "Dad was a train chaser, every time he heard one we would be off looking for it.
    "Sometimes we would travel for miles, it was great fun," she said. Mr Parrant said what the club need now is younger members who have computer skills that the older generation don't have.
    "Technology has finally caught up with us, even model trains now have computer chips and run on a DCC system," he said.
    Mr Parrant said what they want to do is be in a position where the older members can pass on the practical knowledge they have to a new generation of enthusiasts.  
     Anyone interested in finding out more about the club, joining a great bunch of people and having some fun contact Trevor Parrant on telephone 368-5204 or talk to Sue Wilks at Sports World Levin. 

 Model railway club on track with display

Trevor Parrent and Sue Wilks 

TRAINS AND MORE TRAINS: President of the Levin Model Railway Club Trevor Parrant and club member Sue Wilks check out the latest range of locomotives, wagons, buildings and other accessories now available in Levin. 

       Model Steam Locomotive 
                        Model Steam Locomotive 

 Railroad draws a crowd

 Railroad Draws a crowd by henryphillips

 Young and old: Levin Model Railway Club member James Parrant, 15, drives the trains at Levin Mall, with Bernard Carmody, left, and grandfather Trevor Parrant looking on.


 Railroad draws a crowd

 By KAREN GAZLEY 6th June 2010

    A model railway display set up in Levin Mall for the first week of the school holidays has delighted youngsters and big kids alike, said Levin Model Railway Club chairman Trevor Parrant.

    "It takes me back to my childhood. I can even hear the clickety-clack as the trains go by," said "big kid" Jacqui Danne. Five-year-old Quentin Hakaraia said he liked the trains because they were "going around". His older brother Sheldon, II, thought they were "cool".
    Fifteen-year-old club mem­ber James Parrant, a com­petent model train driver, had raised $2000 for the club in the past two years and sold raffles during the week in the mall.

   When the club is estab­lished in its new premises it will set up a "big town Levin" display, with Levin station and yards on one side and possibly a portrayal ofShan­nonon the back, said James.

   Meanwhile, setting up the club's "Wilcock memorial lay­out" - a fictitious small Amer­ican town running three trains on different levels and in two directions - had put the club on-track for the upcoming Rail X 2010 event in Palmerston North, he said.

 Rail X 2010 runs on July 17 and 18 at Barber Hall in Arena Manawatu, 10am till 4pm. Inquiries: Trevor Parrant 06 368 5204.

Model railway club on track


    About 60 guests celebrated the opening of Levin Model Railway Club's new home at the old courthouse in Levin's Rose Gardens last week.

    An old brass "jail house key" was pres­ented to the club by Mayor Brendon Duffy.

    The club's display is an upgraded version of a layout that belonged to former member Charles Wilcox. However, plans are on track to build another layout of Levin and Shannon as it was in the late '50s-early '60s. Club president Trevor Parrant said the club is keen to attract younger people. It plans to set up an interactive push button-operated Thomas locomotive.

    "It will serve two purposes: to get them interested in model rail, and for the good of the community trying to keep them off the streets," Mr Parrant said.

    He hopes the club -can support new young members by giving out some locomotives and rolling stock, "so all they have to do is buy some track and controls".

    Mr Duffy thanked Labour MP Darren Hughes for his part in arranging for the old courthouse to be given free and relocated at no cost to the council. He said the model railway club was chosen from a long list of potential occupants because it offered an attraction for the greatest number of people, of all ages. "This club has the oppor­tunity to display our history," he said.

    About 300 people visited the displays on the opening day. Opening hours: weekends1pm to 4pm, school holidays,10amtill4pm, gold coin donation. 

 Model railway club on track

Model railway club on track by henryphillips

Spanning generations: Levin Model Railway Club's youngest member Warren Vowell, 9, from Fairfield School, drives the digital command control locomotives with oldest member Derek Wheeler, 82.

Club winds up in court

22cnd July 2010

    Levin Model Railway Club has found a new home as the first tenant in the refurbished Levin courthouse.
    In an announcement last Friday, Mayor Brendan Duffy said the club planned-to use the main area to display model trains within their "detailed miniature settings" and will fea­ture a display replicating early rail in Levin as one of the scenes.

    "This is an exciting initiative to provide yet another opportunity for young and old to enjoy this age-old interest," he said.
    Levin Model Railway Club chair Trevor Parrant said the display would be officially opened on August 14, by invi­tation only.

    It would incorporate one main change highlighted at recent exhibitions in the Levin Mall and at RAIL-X in Palmerston North - the need to lower the layout by about 15 centimetres to accommodate younger people and those in wheelchairs.

    The club plans to open to the public from1pm till 4pmin the weekends and during the school holidays.
    "Now that we have a home we are aiming for the younger generation."
    It has already received invitations to display in Whanganui and Masterton next year.
   The Rose Society will also util­ise the building, and historical photos will be on display as a reminder of the town's heritage.

  Club Members at the club rooms opening ceremoney    14th August 2010


 Members at the opening day ceremony

The grand Levin model railway Club rooms opening                                        ceremony cake

 Opening day cake and brass door key

Club mwembers and dignitaries at the opening ceremoney  14-8-2010 
 IMG_1335 Levin Model Railway Club the front end of the track lay out
IMG_1337 Levin Model Railway Club  Model farm on the side of the layout

    Levin model railway club layout -  West side

The detail in this layout is incrediable and still being developed. 

IMG_1336 Levin Model Railway Club the West side of the track lay out by henryphillips  

Levin model railway club layout  East side of the layout 

IMG_1338 Levin Model Railway Club  East side of the layout by henryphillips

                        Levin model railway club layout 

 IMG_1339 Levin Model Railway Club  East side of the layout by henryphillips



Artist Hits the tracks

                        ARTIST HITS THE TRACKS

By KELVIN TEIXEIRA  Horowhenua Mail 20 December 2012

    Levin painter Ron Horne has just completed his first mural - but not on any canvas or wall.
    He painted a landscape on the 16m by 3m backdrop for Levin Model Railway Club's new layout representing the line between Levin and Shannon.
    The well-regarded artist admit­ted it was a new challenge, especially having to lean over the model railway tracks, buildings and trees, as well as painting a narrow vertical face of plywood.
    "But I'm very pleased with the result. It's come up terrific." 
    While Mr Home was no stranger to painting trains, he said maritime scenes, ships and other boats were his favourite.
    Mr Home, a retired shoe repairer and Horowhenua Arts Society member, completed the backdrop in about 10 hours. "That is two hours at a time over two weeks."

    Levin Model Railway Club president John Morrison said members were delighted with the new painted backdrop.
    "It makes such a difference to the look of the layout. It's absol­utely wonderful." I The new Levin-Shannon layout is available to view at the club's premises inside the old courthouse building at Levin's public rose gardens, every Saturday and Sunday and public holidays between 1pm and 4pm. 

        Levin model railway club layout East side of the  


 IMG_1340 Levin Model Railway Club  East side of the layout by henryphillips

       Levin model railway club layout  East side of the layout 

 IMG_1341 Levin Model Railway Club  East side of the layout by henryphillips

  Levin model railway club layout  Southside of the layout 

 IMG_1342 Levin Model Railway Club South side of the layout by henryphillips

  Levin model railway club layout  South east side of the layout 

  by henryphillipsIMG_1343 Levin Model Railway Club South side of the layout

Levin Model Railway Club 

 IMG_1344 Levin Model Railway Club by henryphillips

 IMG_1345 Levin Model Railway Club

IMG_1346 Levin Model Railway Club

IMG_1348 Levin Model Railway Club by henryphillips 
        A Painting of a steam train by Mr. Ron Horn

  IMG_1349 Levin Model Railway Club

 Levin model railway club layout 

IMG_1347 Levin Model Railway Club by henryphillips 

 Levin model railway club layout 

IMG_1350 Levin Model Railway Club by henryphillips


  Levin model railway club layout  A beautifully made Viaduct on the         south side of the layout. 

 IMG_1351 Levin Model Railway Club Levin Model Railway Club iaduct on the south end of the layout by henryphillips

  Levin model railway club layout  
Serious work going on 

 IMG_1352 Levin Model Railway Club Repair work going on by henryphillips

    Levin model railway club layout  Some of the club                                              sponsors

IMG_1353 Levin Model Railway Club Some of the Club Spondors by henryphillips  

 IMG_1354 Levin Model Railway Club  Part of the work room come kitchen by henryphillips IMG_1356 Levin Model railway club by henryphillips 

Levin Model Railway club
Levin Shopping Mall Display Sept. 2013 

3248 levin Model Railway layout on display in Levin mall 8-10-2013 by henryphillips  

Levin Model Railway club September 2013


During the school holidays the LMC sets up one of their track layouts in The Levin Shopping Mall and runs it as a working demonstration.
  This creates a lot of interest amongst the public and school pupils, and helps to promote club activities.

Club members are rostered to run the display over a two week period.




Levin Model Railway club
Levin Shopping Mall Display Sept. 2013  

 3252 John Morrison and John Embling LMRC in the Levin Mall 8-10-2013 by henryphillips

Levin Model Railway Club
A recently refurbished layout in their club rooms 

3254 Levin Model Railway club refurbished layout by henryphillips 

Club working on a model of Levin and Shannon Railway     yards         By Peter Franklin , Levin Chronicle 

    Levin Model Railway Club members are on the brink of finishing a major project, a scale model of the Levin and Shannon railway yards. Club secretary Sue Wilks said all credit must go to the small group of dedicated club members who have put in a huge amount of time and effort and helped fund the project.
   She said once completed the layout will give both locals and visitors to the district a "small" look at what the yards and surrounding buildings looked like during the 1950 and 60s.
  Visitor numbers to the club, based in the old courthouse at the LevinRoseGardens, had been steady, however there has been a lot of interest in the new layout. Ms Wilke said it had been amazing to watch the two yards take shape over the months, each tree, house and associated building, all carefully made by hand and placed in the right position.

   "A lot of research has gone into it, old photos have been studied to make sure everything is in the right place and to scale," she said.
   With an eye for detail the builders have included the news stand that once stood on the platform of Levin station.
   Ms Wilke said like a lot of clubs they are always on the lookout for new members, and encouraged anyone with an interest in rail to attend one of their club nights which are held each Wednesday at7.30pm.
   While there is a lot happening within the club, they do get away every now and again. Club members travel to other centres to see what other clubs are working on. One annual trip that is always popular is the Taupo hobby expo.
  "We try to get up to the Taupo, now that is a lot of fun and it caters for all hobbies." She said.
Again these school holidays the club will have a layout operating in the Levin Shopping Mall, club members looking after the layout during the day will be able to answer any questions.


Levin Model Railway Club
A recently refurbished layout in their club rooms

3253 LMRC a refurbished layout in their club rooms by henryphillips



                                       Model Railway Club showcases history  

                                A report printed in the Horowhenua Chronicle on 25th June 2014 by Peter Franklin 

  At the weekend, Waikanae model Railway enthusiast David Waddilove became visitor number 6000 to the
Levin model Railway club's display in the old courthouse.

Club president John Morrison said Levin and Shannon were two historical railway landmarks in the lower North
Island of New Zealand. both were named after directors in the Wellington Manawatu Railway Company founded in
1881, William Hort Levin and George Vance Shannon.
 The Club has created models of the Railway systems based on the 1960s, the layout has become an important
historical feature of Levin - so much so that the Horowhenua District Council has granted the Club a lease to use
the unique old court house, built in 1903.

The era was chosen so that both steam and diesel-electrics could run at the same time.
Authentic NZR rolling stock and locomotives are gradually being collected and members are hungrily searching
the internet for affordable engine classes that ran through the area.

Accurate models of the station, goods sheds and staff houses have drawn warm appreciation from visitors who
easily recognise their authenticity.

A small layout is available for children to operate and, of course, the club Thomas that the push of a button.
Work has begun on on an "N" gauge line fom Manakau to Otaki, designed by former engine driver Charles Wilcox
- before his death he offered it to The levin Model Railway Club.
Club members have a movable layout and it is 
 displayed during school holidays in Levin Mall,
at the local AP&I show as well 
as Wanganui,
Dannevirke, Palmerston North and Taupo Rail Expos.
 Apart from the working models the club put 
together a substantial library of railway books and

Onre project of significance the club is preparing
relates to level crossing safety and members
have plans to help educate children about
dangers around crossings.

The Levin Model Railway Clubrooms are open
to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons,
1pm to 4pm.
 Well worth taking the time to see this amazing 
Inserted by Henry Phillips 26-6-2014 

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