Katanning Miniature Railway has kept engines running at the club circuit for more than 35 years. The group provides not only entertainment for tourists and the community but a place for passionate hobbyists like club president Derek Stock to pursue their passion. “Heidi, the club steamer, it’s a proper steam engine that burns Collie coal,” Mr Stock said. “We have to put water in as we’re going around, coal in, keep an eye on the pressure, the water on the boil.” The club boasts a range of trains, including electric and petrol-driven engines, but it is the steam train that holds the most fascination for Mr Stock. “There’s always something going on with the steam engines, always something to adjust,” he said. The steam trains are certified once every four years, a process that involves pressure testing. While the engines are the centre of attention for visitors, the club must divide its focus between train and track. “They need a bit of maintenance, just wear and tear,” Mr Stock said. “Every Wednesday we’re here to do track work.” Club vice-president Margaret Ball and fellow members John Palm and David Millet proudly drive their polished trains along the tracks, towing delighted passengers throughout the year. “We get people from Albany, Esperance and Perth, we get people from all over, a lot of day-trippers,” Mr Stock said. The club workshop houses a number of engines, including a smart jet-black steam train built by Mr Stock’s late father Tony Stock and named Patience. “It took a lot of patience to build,” Mr Stock said. The detailed trains are essentially scaled down versions of full-sized engines. Unfortunately the ability to drive a miniature train doesn’t translate to the operation of a full-sized iron horse. “Some things are slightly oversized, you can scale things to a certain extent but some things you can’t scale right down,” Mr Stock said. The trains travel at a leisurely 5km/h, giving passengers plenty of time to experience the fauna that inhabits the bush circuit. “We could really use some skilled people, there’s a lot of track and grounds maintenance,” club treasurer and founder Julie Stock said. “It’s like the Sydney Harbour Bridge; by the time you get from one end to the other, you start at the beginning again.” People who want to get involved with the Katanning Miniature Railway can call Mrs Stock on 0458 214 390.