In 2013 the Quirindi Rural Heritage Village was successful in their application for a grant for $25,852.00 from the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund. The project was to design, construct and operate a model railway based on the NSW State Railways from the 1930's to the present day that would show the history of railways and their importance in conveying goods and people throughout NSW.
A small group of four volunteers Mathew Wilcox, Rod Howell, Troy Yates and Sean Seymour are responsible for designing and building the project to a world class scale.
The HO gauge trains are 1/87th scale and, when complete, will run in their own room at the village. There will be three interconnected levels with nine trains (which can be operated by computer or manually) travelling over 450m of track, as well as 2km of wiring and 92 sets of points. The trains will travel through a variety of scenery, built to scale, that depicts the local area including the local village's history, agriculture and coal mining. There is even a railway station named "Shenhua Watermark" in recognition of the funding granted for the project.
The huge endeavour has already caught the eye of two English publications that have written articles on the model railway, and is a popular attraction with the local schools with four of them already visiting to check on the progress of the project.
Rod Howell said, "The Quirindi Rural Heritage Village Model Railway Group would to thank the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund for the wonderful sponsorship of our new project. The model railway is an exciting new addition to the extensive exhibits on display and will help to promote tourism in the area and bring in new members to the organistion thus cementing the Village's place in the community for generations to come".
The project is almost completed with an official opening expected to be held in May 2017.
The model railway under construction showing the coal loader.