For the last 11 years, Washington’s largest train show has been bringing model railroad enthusiasts and train history buffs of all ages to the Evergreen State Fairgrounds for an enormous expo on all things rail-related.
And Feb. 2 and 3, the show returns, larger than ever.
“We have a wonderful show in store for everyone, our largest ever in the new fairground location,” announced Susan Evans, the United NorthWest Model Railroad Club event coordinator. There will be 26 model train layouts, 350 tables for over 100 vendors, presentations by noted railway historians Noel Holley, Martin Burwash and Robert Zenk and various how-to clinics for model railroaders.
The event will fill three entire buildings at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds.
“We draw from all over the state,” said Jamey Morrison with the United NorthWest Model Railroad Club. “Vendors come up from as far as Portland. We are expecting about 5,000 people this time.”
Among the lectures on the agenda is one specific to the Sky Valley. Martin Burwash, a leading historian on the Wellington disaster, which occurred in the upper valley and took the lives of nearly 100 people a century ago, will give a talk on the catastrophe.
“The best part is watching the expressions of delight and fascination by kids of all ages viewing the model trains,” said Keith Lyons, a founding member of the United NorthWest Model Railroad Club, established in 1975.The UNW began organizing local train shows with other clubs in 1992, and as shows grew larger, a charitable partner was added and event proceeds were donated as a fundraiser.
Proceeds from the annual event benefit the show’s charitable partner, the Snohomish County 4-H Foundation. In the last two decades, UNW has raised over $250,000 in funds for various charities and non-profit groups. The Snohomish County 4-H Foundation has benefited the last five years in co-hosting the show with UNW.
“This show partnership has been a wonderful opportunity to develop leadership and organizational skills among our youth volunteers,” says Nancy Franke, volunteer coordinator with Snohomish County 4-H. “The fundraising from the show also benefits a broad range of 4-H programs throughout the year.”
The show takes place Saturday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission, good for both days, is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and up, as well as kids 10-18. Kids 9 and under are free.
Complete details and schedules for the event can be found at www.unwclub.org/unwshow.