The project, which has taken more than 1000 hours to complete, has been driven by Men’s Shed volunteer Frank Kopke, who has been making model railways since he was three years old.
The 2.4 metre long railroad has taken its inspiration from Herberton circa 1930s and features 20 buildings complete with pub and hotel, train station, church, saddlery, blacksmith and more.
Around 100 hand painted people, trees, landscaping, period motor vehicles and a picturesque waterfall complete the setting.
“I love model railroading but my number one love in life has always been Australia’s historic villages, and I just adore the Historic Village Herberton,” Frank said.
“I feel incredibly privileged to be able to put my skills to good use and create a beautiful piece that will bring joy to the thousands of people who go through the Village each year,” he said.
While the majority of the model train has been built by Frank, some of the smaller pieces have been built by other volunteers at the Men’s Shed.
The project is just one of many underway at the Townsville Men’s Shed, which offers males over the age 18 struggling with their mental wellbeing a chance to make friends and do something with their hands.
“Some of the men at the shed have helped with the trees and landscaping, which has helped to get their hands moving,” Frank added.
“Since I started the project, Blue Care and other similar organisations have also brought around groups of people to see what I have done. It has been really good for the Men’s Shed here in Townsville.
Craig and Connie Kimberley, owners of the Historic Village Herberton Village said the model railroad would take pride of place in the new toy shop at the Village, which is set to open at next year.
“This will be a wonderful talking point for visitors and we are just so thrilled with the work of Frank and the other volunteers at the Men’s Shed.
“We greatly appreciated all the time everyone has put into the project and the end result definitely shows it,” he added.
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