Meet the 18-year-old Whitburn student who has launched his own miniature railway business during the pandemic
A student has launched his own business bringing a miniature railway to events across the North East.
Patrick Allen has pulled out all the stops to get his portable railway business up and running during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 18-year-old has launched business GLMR Portable Miniature Railway while studying for his A Levels at Whitburn Sixth Form.
It sees him operate a portable miniature railway, offering £2 train rides to youngsters and their families at venues around the North East – something he says is unique to the region.
The idea was born from Patrick’s experience working at Lakeshore Railroad in South Shields’ Marine Park and as a volunteer at Beamish Museum from the age of eight.
He then developed his plans over lockdown, when thinking about opportunities for people to do things outdoors.
"I just saw the opportunity to take the railway to people instead of people going to the railway,” he said.
”I want to give as many people as I can the opportunity to have a little bit of fun so I will be going around the North East with it."
The business owner has also tried to make the railway’s design environmentally friendly, using recycled plastic for its sleepers and says the entire track can also be recycled.
Patrick, who plans to continue his studies at Newcastle University, says he will keep the railway business running alongside his degree as a ‘little bit of fun’ and credits his teachers at Whitburn Sixth Form for being ‘very supportive’ of his business venture.
And he says the railway has been a success from the off, with dozens of families enjoying a ride at it’s first ever event, held at Wheelbirks Parlour in Stocksfield earlier in April.
Now he is looking forward to events at Redfox Garden Centre in Gateshead on May 22, 23, 29 and 30.
Patrick said of his first event: "It was a bit nerve-wracking but it went really, really well.
“If any venues are after a miniature train they’re welcome to get in touch - we’d love to travel to some new places.”
For more details and to book visit: https://www.glmrailways.com