Ticket to ride . . . Gore Model Engineering Club member Colin Robinson takes (from left) Blake (6) and Maddison Ulrick (3) of New South Wales, Kiahna (9), Rhayden (4) and Richie Marsh (8) of Gore for a ride on a train at Hamilton Park on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

One of Gore’s popular activities might be derailed unless more volunteers are found to help out. The Gore Model Engineering Club, which runs the scale model railway at Hamilton Park, is short staffed.

Twice a month, volunteers run the trains and give passengers rides.

Club president Rhonda Wilson said unless more people were found to help out, the trains would stop running in April.

‘‘We have lots and lots of kids coming to ride, but our problem is we don’t have enough [staff] to run it.’’

The club runs the train ride days onthe second and fourth Sunday of the month.

‘‘We have a lot of fun.’’

The club will hold a have-a-go day on Saturday, October 8, at 1pm, for any adults who would like to learn how to drive a train.

‘‘We can train you — come and have some fun and see what it’s all about.’’

At present, the locomotives used to pull the carriages were owned privately, she said.

If the club had more members, it might be possible for it to buy its own locomotives, which would be stored at Hamilton Park for members to use.

The club was started by a group of engineering enthusiasts in 1988.

‘‘In the first few years, they used a portable track that they would unpack off a trailer and lay flat on the ground, be it concrete, grass, or asphalt, in order to run trains on it and take people for rides.’’

The group would travel throughout Southland, attending events to fundraise for the club.

The money raised was enough to buy and move the Gore railway south signal box, which became the clubrooms at Hamilton Park.

‘‘Soon after the clubrooms were erected, the construction of the raised railway track alongside the clubrooms began.

‘‘This took many a winter working bee.’’

A 250m-300m track was completed.

Later, it was decided to extend the track and build the station.

‘‘We now have an amazing asset for the Gore district to enjoy with approx 475m of multi-gauge track.’’

The club won the Gore Parents Centre family friendly award for things to see and do.

The track is beside the park’s playground and a barbecue has recently been installed nearby.

For more information, people can check out the club’s social networking page or contact Mrs Wilson, telephone 027 257-8895.