Family Tree Magazine is the read for those interested in genealogy and discovering who their relatives were.
My piece explains how while researching my model of the Hellingly Hospital Railway years ago, I made contact with many people who were involved with the line including both the driver and his grandson.
More recently, members of my local club are researching Kineton station and making real efforts to get out to meet people and track down as much local history as possible.
A well-researched model railway can be a historical document in itself. You'll even find that there is far more material than was used on the layout, I have a find of stories about Hellingly and asylums in general passed on to me by visitors to shows. Just the thing if you are researching your own backstory.