A much-loved miniature railway needs more volunteers to help keep running popular locomotive rides in Newtown.

Mid Wales Model Engineering Society members said it is "critical" that they get new members to help man the stock of electric and steam locomotives for children, young people and grown-ups on weekends.

The rides have become so popular since the new playpark was built near the 160-metre track which was built almost 35 years ago.

Graham Griffiths, Mid Wales Model Engineering Society chairman, said: “It’s a real asset for the town as long as we can man it and keep the locomotives going.

"There aren't many places around here that have got a miniature railway. It is unique. We’re the only one that is actually wide open to the general public.

“The playpark has suddenly changed the whole thing and we’re busy all of the time.

"Parents and children have been absolutely over the moon. People keep saying that it’s good to see it back. We’re very appreciative of the level of donations we get.

“Seeing the expression on the kids’ faces is absolutely amazing. They can’t believe it. We get a lot of satisfaction from it."

The Society would like to run rides every Saturday and Sunday but to do so they would need up to 20 active members to volunteer their time.

"It’s a bit difficult at the moment because there are so few of us," Mr Griffiths said.

“We hope to be an asset and help Newtown and support all these things that are going around us, that’s the main thing. But membership is critical for us so we’re fortunate that we’ve picked up four members this year. We’ve also had a couple of young people that we’d like to see increase.

"A lot of people have this misapprehension that a model engineering society is just about railway locomotives, and it’s not.

“The Society has the facilities and the knowledge of its members to help anybody who hasn’t got any engineering knowledge so anybody can join and also they don’t have to be building locomotives."

For more information about the Mid Wales Model Engineering Society, please contact Graham Griffiths on 01686 670270 or email midwalesmes@engineer.com