Those who have yet to visit Trainfest often have questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Q.) What is Trainfest?
A.) Currently chugging into its 42nd year, Trainfest is an annual celebration of model railroading. Although it may sound like it’s just for train experts, Trainfest is an event truly designed for everyone. One weekend each November, thousands of model railroad buffs, families, and all of types of railroad fans meet at Trainfest to marvel at more than 60 unique running railroads–the heart and soul of the hobby. New products from dozens of manufacturers are on display and available for purchase.
Q.) Is Trainfest stroller and wheelchair friendly?
A.) Absolutely. We’ve intentionally designed our show with wide aisles to cater to such needs.
Q.) Are the layouts placed too high for my kids to see?
A.) Most of our layouts are at a height viewable by kids. Some are even built to be low off the ground. But to be safe, we encourage you to bring a little step stool for your tots.
Q.) Do any visitors or exhibitors dress in train conductor attire?
A.) You will certainly see your share of suspenders and engineer hats. Feel free to wear yours as well!
Q.) Is Trainfest only for collectors and model train enthusiasts?
A.) Not at all! Trainfest is an experience to be enjoyed by all. Whether you’re a family with kids or an avid model railroader looking for new ideas, Trainfest is for you. Visit The Trainfest Experience section to learn more of what Trainfest is all about.
Q.) I have asthma. Should I be concerned about large amounts of model train smoke?
A.) No. While the smoke is very realistic, it’s not considered harmful by the manufacturer.
Q.) What is the Friday Product Showcase?
A.) The Friday Product Showcase is an exclusive event that takes place the Friday evening before the public opening of Trainfest on Saturday. The event offers serious train hobbyists, aged 18 and over, an opportunity to meet one-on-one with 60 manufacturers, see their latest products, and share tips and experiences in a less crowded setting. With a Friday Product Showcase ticket purchase, you gain entry into the event, you’ll enjoy a catered dinner and receive a train product gift bag. Plus, you will have the chance to win one of several door prizes including starter train sets. For more information, visit the Friday Product Showcase page.
Q.) What’s the difference between a “layout” and a “module”?
A.) A module is a specific scene, based on a real place or an original creation that features a crossing railroad track. A layout is an assemblage of numerous different modules. Layouts can really contain any number of modules.
Q.) Why is Trainfest in Milwaukee?
A.) Model train hobbyists have a long history in Milwaukee. The National Model Railroading Association (NMRA) established itself in Milwaukee in 1935. Over time, members of the Wisconsin Southeastern (WISE) division of the NMRA developed a regular single-day railroading show for all local model train hobbyists. In 1972, the first ever Trainfest was held on 6th Street in Downtown Milwaukee. This single-day event grew rapidly in participation and attendance, and has now developed into America’s Largest Operating Model Railroad Show. In 2011 Trainfest celebrated its 40-year anniversary in Milwaukee, and we look forward to many future anniversaries in this great city.
Q.) Are children allowed at Trainfest?
A.) While we do limit our Friday Product Showcase to guests ages 18 and over, our doors are open to train fans of all ages on Saturday and Sunday. We welcome families, offering ample room for strollers, activities for children, and exhibits viewable by all.
Did you find the answer to your question? If not, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help.