A young man allegedly attempted to steal a ride-on train before pulling a knife on a volunteer worker in a dramatic incident at the miniature railway in Napier's Anderson Park.

Police said they were alerted to an incident on Kennedy Rd about 1.30pm on Sunday.

A youth, who had earlier been seen riding a miniature train at the park, was reported to have presented a knife before fleeing from the area, a police spokesperson said.

Hawkes Bay Model Engineering Society Secretary and Treasurer Norm McPhee said no damage was done to the ride-on miniature railway, which is run by a group of volunteers, or the worker.

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"I think it was a spur of the moment thing," he said of the heist attempt. "The police came and took a statement and got a copy of the photos that were taken.

"There was nobody at the station at the time – we were having a little comfort stop.

"That is a lesson that we have learnt. We'll have somebody there all the time now."

McPhee added: "We've not had anything like this happen before."

The train was owned by fellow Hawke's Bay Model Engineering Society member Ken Le Prou.

"I was at the track and it was my train that was taken and derailed," Le Prou said.

"No damage done though, luckily."

The 800m track at Anderson Park, Greenmeadows, will remain open despite the incident every Sunday between 12pm and 4pm – weather permitting.

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Police said on Monday afternoon inquiries were ongoing into the incident and no arrests had been made.