AN impressive train museum, after two derailed attempts, is now officially open for business.
Previous attempts to officially open the South Coast Model Railway History Museum and Milton Ulladulla Model Railway Club's premises in Lake Tabourie were both shunted due to the bushfire crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it's full steam ahead now for this impressive facility which is expected to be a popular place for visitors and locals to visit over the summer holidays.
It's an impressive place full of interesting rail history and the amazing number of model trains are mesmerising to watch.
Group president Chis Trimble had the honour of conducting Wednesday's official opening.
John Reynolds from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust, State Member for the South Coast Shelley Hancock, and Councillor Patricia White from Shoalhaven City Council were among the special guests.
All three were in agreement - the museum is a wonderful attraction for the entire South Coast.
Seeds for the museum and clubrooms started in 2006 when former group president, Bob Goodwin, placed an ad in the Milton Ulladulla Times looking for model railway enthusiasts who would like to start a club.
Members, for nine years, gathered at Mr Goodwin's home, until he left Milton with his wife Enid.
The club, over the next two years, had a home at the Dunn and Lewis Centre and then in May 2018, once the land in Tabourie was secured thanks to the likes of council's Allan Baptist, and a State Government Community Building Partnership Group, work on the group's new home started.
"Club members have, with a little blood, lots of sweat, nearly tears and tireless toil - together with additional grants from the Community Building Partnership Program and the Veolia Mulwaree Trust - furnished what you see today," Mr Trimble said.
Bob Goodwin, as he sat watching the official opening, looked happy.
Mr Goodwin always loved trains and did his apprenticeship as a fitter on the railways.
He then got involved in a model train club in Sydney.
'It's the fascination essentially and it's the sound, the smoke and smell, particularly with stream trains," he said.
"You can also travel from point A to point B without someone hitting you."
Mr Goodwin did get to drive a train when he was an apprentice in Enfield.
However, it was an "illegal" drive and after he almost hit the chief engineer he was fined.
"I just always loved trains," he said.
He loves the group's now officially opened base.
"It's fantastic and I could never ever imagine from when I started the club that we would ever get to this stage," Mr Goodwin said.
The next generation of train buff is already coming up the tracks.
Year three Milton Public School student Sam Johnson was at Wednesday's event.
Nine-year-old Sam loves the power and the look of trains.
After you soak up some interesting South Coast rail history, you'll be drawn to the model train displays.
The detail in the display is incredible and you almost feel like you are a giant looking down on a real railway system.
Over the holiday period, there is plenty of time to come and visit the museum and display, located on the Princes Highway next to the Jack Nicholson Museum.
The school holiday opening times are:
December 12 10am to 3pm
December 19 10am to 3pm
January 1 10am to 3pm
January 9 10am to 3pm
January 16 10am to 3pm
January 23 10am to 3pm.
Cost to view the trains is $5 per person or $10 per family.
And yes folks - Thomas the Tank engine does hit the rails.