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Model Railway shunts into action at Chester Cathedral

Marketing Cheshire Chester visitor economy 01/01/0001

The exhibition will come to life at Chester Cathedral

A massive model railway will come to life at Chester Cathedral this Friday, the result of the Cathedral’s two-year collaboration with lifelong railway enthusiast Pete Waterman OBE.

The event, dubbed 'Making Tracks - Discover the West Coast Main Line' is Chester Cathedral’s fabulous summer event and will see an exciting 74ft long model railway occupy the length of the Cathedral nave until early-September.

Most people think of Pete Waterman as a successful record producer, a songwriter and TV personality, however, he’s had a lifelong love of all things railway, and has, with the ‘Railnuts’ - a group of dedicated friends who live and breathe model railways - created an enormous model railway for the Cathedral, which follows on from their celebrated 2003 creation ‘Leamington Spa.’

Speaking ahead of installing the model railway into the Cathedral, Pete Waterman says “We’ve worked very hard on this model, used some innovative techniques, and created a layout that represents how the West Coast Main Line really appears.

What’s interesting though, is that none of us have seen the whole model together, in one piece; there’s nowhere big enough for us to do it.  Bringing it into the nave of the Cathedral will be the first time the whole entire model is brought together, and I know it will impress model railway enthusiasts and families alike.  People will love it!”
  Pete adds.

The model railway will also feature the work of Thomas Brassey, the Chester-born civil engineer who had, by 1847 built one-third of the railways in Britain, and is memorialised in the Cathedral’s St Erasmus Chapel.

Dean of Chester, the Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford says “Brassey was the most remarkable civil engineer and at his death he was responsible for one in every twenty miles of railways around the whole world.  He is estimated to have kept 80,000 people in employment and is remembered as an honourable and fair man.  

This model railway exhibition was originally planned to take place in the summer that covid cancelled, and celebrates Brassey 150 years after his death.  In it we seek to open visitors’ eyes to something that changed the world but that we often take for granted.”
 He concludes. 


The model railway will be accompanied by Nicky Thompson's "Marvellous Days Out" railway poster exhibition, courtesy of the Northern and Mid-Cheshire Community Rail Partnerships.

'Making Tracks' opens at 10am on Friday 16 July, and runs until Friday 3 September.  The event is open Monday to Saturday 10am - 5pm (last entry 4.30pm).  Tickets are on sale now - at just £2.50 per person.  Click to to book.