NORTH Yorkshire will be playing host to a railway gala with a difference over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Enthusiasts from all over the country are expected to attend the Mainline Rally, in the village of Gilling East, near Helmsley.

But instead of watching full-size locomotives in action, they will see meticulously-made working models operating on a five-inch gauge line.

The event has been organised by the Ryedale Society of Model Engineers, a group of die-hard enthusiasts who can spend up to ten years making their intricate engines and coaches.

The models are replicas of trains from the early days of steam right up to the diesel era and beyond.

They will all be in action on the track the society owns, which goes around the village hall.

The trains will not be pulling passengers, but will be operating to strict timetables just like the real thing.

"We will be following the practice of the full-size railways as much as possible," said society chairman Bob Willis yesterday.

The rally will be held next Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 5.30pm.

Admission to the rally is free, and refreshments will be available.