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However it took him 20 years to be able to purchase his first model train — a secondhand one.
Now the firefighter has a collection with more than 30 models in his house.
Mr Read was among the 19 enthusiasts who showed their models at the Invercargill Model Train Show over the weekend.
"It is an enjoyable hobby to fill the time."
Event organiser Geoffrey Checketts said the event was a great day out for the family, and part of the proceeds of the show would be donated to the Southland Charity Hospital.
He was happy with the turnout.
"About six train shows have been cancelled in the South Island this year due to the Covid-19.
"We had people coming from all over the region for the event. I think people were starved for a model train show."