TrainMen - Stills

Tracey McEachran

 

Artist | Educator

TrainMen

Train Men

 

The world of model railways is another world to me, something very much outside my understanding. What is it that these modelers - almost all of them men - find so fascinating about trains?

 

I have a son so as a parent I have taken him to model railways. There is no doubt they are beautiful things. There is something quite magical about watching a miniature train running around a beautiful constructed life like track. For me though, the magic lasts around 30 minutes.

 

So my question was about the origin for the motivation to spend so much spare time creating a miniature world of trains.

 

This series of images of Train Men were taken over a period of 5 years. I started the project working with men from The Engine Shed - a model railway retail outlet. I went along with my camera and a sound recording equipment to capture images and interviews. I wanted to discover why they build model railways. After photographing and interviewing three men, there was a clear synergy on how they had been introduced and continued to love trains and model railways. However, the material I had collected wasn’t conveying the message I had been seeking.

 

It wasn’t until I sat down with Edward Bull, the narrator of the film that the project came together. Edward is the son of family friends who came to stay with us. Over breakfast while everyone else in the house was still asleep Edward told me about his love of trains. Edward so eloquently express the views of every modeler I had met.

 

After capturing Edward’s thoughts and feelings about both full scale and model trains, I completed the project by photographing members of the very well attended Victory Model Railway club.