Enterprising student at Wing school set to showcase his model train making skills on television

This 18-year-old's passion for model making means he'll be on the telly before Christmas

By James Lowson
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:04 pm

A year 13 student from a Wing school was headhunted for a new model making programme that first hit television screens this week.

Riley Barnes, who attends Cottesloe School in Wing, will be featured on Hornby: A Model World, a new show which first aired on Monday (October 11).

The 18-year-old's passion and handy craftwork caught the eye of producers on a new series dedicated to model train making on the Yesterday channel.

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Riley Barnes

Set the series to record as Riley won't be popping up on the small screen, until the season finale, slated for December 13.

Producers discovered Riley's handiwork which was featured at Tring and District Model Railway Club.

The Cottesloe School pupil who is currently studying design and technology alongside B-Tech qualifications explained to the Bucks Herald how this can't miss opportunity came about.

Riley said: "[The producers] contacted me through my model railway club's website.

One of Riley's models

"[Saying] we've seen Riley's model railways on the website and we'd like to get in contact with him to talk about a possible tv experience.

"I rang them a few times back and forth, and eventually they said, 'well, we want to film you, what kind of stuff can we film?'

"I said, 'well, I can build a modern railway for you and then you can come and film the process as well."

Riley appears totally unphased about his experiences showing off his handiwork in front of a filming crew.

He did however explain he initially thought, the invitation to appear on television must have been a prank.

He added: "When I read the email I thought it was a wind-up. I thought it was probably one of my friends, who created a fake email trying to wind me up.

"When I read it, I thought 'hold on' this might have some form of truth to it. So eventually, I got quite excited and told many people, then I thought 'let's wait and see what happens'."

This lifelong passion has gone on for as long as Riley can remember, he recollects wanting to learn more about the world of trains from the age of four.

Thankfully for Riley, everything worked out and he will be seen at 8pm on Yesterday this December.

The history-themed channel is available on channel 26 on Freeview and BT television packages, channel 125 on Sky, 129 on Virgin and 159 on Freesat.

He first had a stab at creating a model back when he was just six years old. He said: "I live in Cheddington which is right next to the railway.

"I remember seeing the trains everyday, thinking they're so cool. We'd drive past the railway and if I saw there was a greenlight on the signal front. We'd have to stop and watch for the train and wait for it to come past.

"I remember getting into model railways, by going to exhibitions at the club I'm now a member of. I remember watching an advert for Hornby, about their Pendolino and I was like 'I want that'.

"I would not stop going on at my parents until they got me that for Christmas."

Now, Riley gets to be on a show dedicated to the world-famous railway brand which helped kickstart his passion for trains years ago.