The romance of the road

[b]Grodno doctor Piotr Gorbach has a unique collection of miniature trains, carriages and railway stations at home. The pieces are rare primarily due to being hand-made; his ‘locomotive depot’ boasts over 100 separate items[/b]Dr. Gorbach has been indulging his unusual hobby for many years. It all began back in his childhood. “My parents were long employed as railway workers,” recollects Piotr. “I often stayed with them and was always astonished when I saw locomotives and trains. I was fascinated to sit near the engine driver in the cabin. In this way, I ‘fell in love’ with railways. Simultaneously, I was keen on medicine and long hesitated over which profession to choose. To bring my childhood dreams to life, I began independently creating copies of real trains.”
Grodno doctor Piotr Gorbach has a unique collection of miniature trains, carriages and railway stations at home. The pieces are rare primarily due to being hand-made; his ‘locomotive depot’ boasts over 100 separate items

Piotr Gorbach with his grandson Dima by their railwayDr. Gorbach has been indulging his unusual hobby for many years. It all began back in his childhood. “My parents were long employed as railway workers,” recollects Piotr. “I often stayed with them and was always astonished when I saw locomotives and trains. I was fascinated to sit near the engine driver in the cabin. In this way, I ‘fell in love’ with railways. Simultaneously, I was keen on medicine and long hesitated over which profession to choose. To bring my childhood dreams to life, I began independently creating copies of real trains.”
The handicraft master has been creating models for over 20 years, exactly copying real life examples to a scale of 1:87. Dr. Gorbach admits that, at first, he couldn’t do much, primarily using cardboard, scissors and glue. Today, this virtuoso has an equipped home laboratory, enabling him to make copies to the highest professional level.
In fact, he makes his own metal and plastic moulds, into which he pours liquid rubber and epoxy resin. Piece by piece, he produces his locomotives and carriages, which he equips with engines removed from toys and small household appliances. Each train can run independently on the track.
Each of the master’s models is unique, with many bearing the ‘stamp of time’, purposefully aged: street lamps are broken, inscriptions on carriages are partially worn away and footboards are curved. His rare exhibits are particularly impressive — such as his 1930s locomotives. Models of railway stations, towns and summer cottages, repeating the originals to the tiniest detail, occupy a special place.
Piotr Gorbach has many creative ideas and plans, yet lacks free time. He is constantly busy heading sub-station No.1 of Grodno’s first-aid station. “I hope that my hobby will interest my grandson Dima, who already watches me creating new trains,” he tells us. “I’ll then have someone to continue my hobby.” Once a year, when the professional holiday of Belarusian railway workers is celebrated, Dr. Gorbach exhibits his collection at the Children’s Zaslonov Railway station, in Minsk. It always has many visitors.

By Iosif Popko
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