Tiny trainspotters will be making tracks to Perthshire this weekend when a dedicated group of enthusiasts throw open the gates to their miniature railway.
The Wester Pickston Railway Centre is set in seven acres of woodland near Methven.
It boasts two tracks which carry lovingly-maintained miniature steam and diesel locomotives around the grounds, as well as woodland paths for steam-powered road trains.
It’s used regularly by around 130 members of the Scottish Model Engineering Trust.
They also hold an open day four times a year when members of the public can visit, tour the site and hop aboard the little trains themselves.
Membership secretary Trevor Goody says recent visitors to the Wester Pickston railway have ranged in age from three to 91. And he and his pals are looking forward to welcoming the latest batch of like-minded souls this Sunday.
“The open days are always well-attended,” he said.
“There’ll be lots going on, and people are just fascinated by steam trains.”
‘Wester Pickston railway is my life’
Trevor, 83, from Forgandenny, is at the centre several times a week.
He grew up to be a trainspotter after travelling by steam train to school in London.
It wasn’t until he retired from Strathallan School, where he was head of mathematics, that his passion for all things rail-related took over his life again.
He started doing woodwork when he retired, and was manning the craft marquee at Blair Atholl Horse Trials when a chance encounter with a fellow exhibitor from the Scottish Model Engineering Trust introduced him to Wester Pickston railway.
“That’s when I was 65,” he said.
“I’ve built two locomotives since then.
“Since my wife died, it’s been my life. I go up there, meet all the people and have a good natter. It’s a wonderful place.”
Centre welcomes fellow travellers
The Scottish Model Engineering Trust bought the Western Pickston site nearly 20 years ago and set about transforming it into the mini-marvel it is today.
The first track was officially opened by John Swinney MSP in 2007.
And since then, members have created a second track and all manner of add-ons to support their hobby.
There’s now a large workshop, equipped with lathes and milling machines, as well as a club room and kitchen.
Since 2019, the Perth and District Model Railway Club has also had its base at the Wester Pickston Railway.
In addition to the open days, the Methven group welcomes regular visits from kindred spirits.
A group of classic car enthusiasts from Fife were entertained there last weekend.
It has also supported various charities and played host to children from Chernobyl.
The centre is three miles out out Methven, on College Road, Glenalmond and the open day will run from 11am to 4pm this Sunday.
Miniature train rides will cost £3 a time, or £10 for four.