By Lucy Notarantonio
Three generations of the same family have built a miniature railway across their back garden – and it’s so impressive that it’s now a popular tourist attraction.
David Page, 32, from Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire, has grown up learning about locomotives and was taught how to control them at three-years old.
It was a no brainer for the family to fix the fifty-engine strong railway which has been running for two decades after his grandfather, David Keatley, 87, passed away in 2011.
The delivery driver has revamped the miniature trains by memory after watching his grandfather for ‘as long as he can remember’.
David and his dad Ivan, 64, replaced the deteriorating railway with fresh materials and installed a model village so impressive that is has turned into a tourist attraction.
Dad-of-one, David, said: “My grandad who was an engineer and built everything from scratch, he didn’t have any instructions just sheets of metal.
“He originally spent a year building the railway in 1986 but continued to extend the tracks and years later my grandparents moved to the bungalow where it is now, and he rebuilt it.
“When he passed away, the wood was old, and locomotives were no longer in use, so it was important for my family and I to fix it back up.
“I learnt from him you can build anything if you are willing to try so I brought all the trains home and put them on my dining table for longer than my wife Jane, 30 would have liked.
“It was like a trip down memory lane as everything reminded me of when I would watch my grandad build and fix them as a child.
“I managed to remember what to do as he took me under his wing and let me fix them myself in my early teens.
“He never once sat me down and taught me, I learnt everything I know from being there and watching him like my son Jacob, three, does now.
“The railway runs around my parents garden and through the garage, my dad worked on the cosmetics and scenery whilst I do the engineering.
“I have upgraded all the trains so they can now make real train noises and whistle.
“Just two weeks ago [August 2019], I managed to finally fix my grandads pride and joy the ‘Victoria’ train, it is the only model which can stop and go without any human interaction.
“It was complex to fix, and we never thought it would run again so it was a really special moment when my grandmother, Paula, 91, and mum Sue, 59, witnessed it running again.”
The railway can take up to 50 locomotives including Thomas the Tank engine, which are battery-run and directed using remote controls.
The Page family use the miniature railway to raise money for charities such as Marie Claire and 3 pillars – feeding the homeless.
David added: “The railway has been in my life for as long as I can remember and spans across three generations, and it will be the same with my son too, who can already control some of the locomotives.
“It is great that we can share it with other people who seem to enjoy it just as much as we do.”