The Ashford International Model Railway Education Centre(AIMREC) will be hosting a two-day festival this April celebrating Ashford’s rich railway history.

On Saturday 6 April and Sunday 7 April, Ashford Town Centre will be the hub of all things model
railway when AIMREC run their Ashford Festival of Railway Modelling. The weekend will feature a
model railway exhibition, a photographic exhibition, museum open days, children’s activities and a
beer festival!

Ashford Borough Council will once again be working with AIMREC to ensure that this year’s event
is as successful as Ashford 180 which was held in November 2022 to celebrate the 180th
Anniversary of the South Eastern Railway arriving in Ashford in 1842.

Over the weekend of 6/7 April there will be over 45 model railway layouts in different scales from G
to N on display, accompanied by trade stands and heritage societies. A special section called
Tracks Across the Spectrum located in the Elwick Club showcases model railways for and by
people with autism.

This year the photographic exhibition looks at 140 years of the Maidstone East
to Ashford West line with a month-long display in Ashford Gateway Plus between the 25 March
and the 27 April – entry is free but it’s closed on Sundays.

For those seeking refreshment after the excitement, the Coachworks will be organising a beer
festival over the two days with visiting railway-themed guest ales and music on Saturday evening.
Many locations around the Town Centre will open their doors as part of the festival, including
Ashford College, The Elwick Club, Ashford Gateway Plus, The Parish Hall, Ashford Museum, The
Craftship and Coachworks.

Entrance to the venues will by wristband which can be ordered in advance on the AIMREC website, purchased at Made in Ashford, or purchased at any of the main venues on the day. Wristbands cost £10 with under 16s and carers free. Opening Hours are 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10.30am to 4pm on Sunday. Ashford College, The Elwick Club and The Parish Hall will open at 9.30am on Sunday morning for people with accessibility or other special needs to enjoy the models and displays in a quieter atmosphere.

If you would like to find out more information about the festival, please visit AIMREC’s website.

By Ed

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