Trainfest 2020 and Beyond

Lot’s of big program plans are in the hopper to make Trainfest even bigger and better.

It’s one of the benefits of being an all-volunteer, nonprofit effort! We get to plan big and make it happen.

See Layouts from Around the World at Trainfest 2020!

It’s “20/20. Clear Tracks Ahead” for Trainfest to open a New International Layout Exhibition in 2020.

The layouts – from across the globe – will be in addition to the 70 US Operating Model Railroads already on display!

All railfans, hobbyists and Trainfest supporters are encouraged to help support the program by going to “2020 Trainfest,” and making a donation on our “IndieGoGo” page. Funds raised will help pay the transportation fees of these international railroads.

Have a layout you want to see? All operating railroad scales and gauges are encouraged to exhibit. Click the button below and fill in the form or post the suggestion on our Facebook page.

Interested in exhibiting?  Click the button below and fill in the form and we’ll send you an application.

Mark your calendars for Trainfest 2020 – November 14 & 15, 2020.

Trainfest Builders Launches in 2019

Thanks to Wm. K. Walthers Inc., traditional train layouts will receive a brand new perspective when children ages 5-14, display their personal creative train layouts in the new “Trainfest Builders” Kids Layout Section at Trainfest 2019.

Trainfest is collaborating with a number of educators and clubs to ensure the program supports, promotes, and culminates the benefits of a STEAM education. (The grouping of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math academic disciplines to enable children to apply classroom knowledge successfully through analysis and problem solving.)

All children ages 5-14 are invited to participate. Three categories of exhibiting are offered: layouts of toy trains themed by the child; a display of running railroads that incorporates elements of model building; or creation of a Module to spec.

50th Trainfest Anniversary

We are in the thick of planning a spectacular anniversary show. We’re finalizing details now. Stay tuned. We promise it’s worth the wait!

Mark your calendars for Trainfest 2021 – our 50th Anniversary – November 13 & 14, 2021.



In 2015 we introduced the Celebrate-a-Railroad program.

As part of the program, we create a spectacular museum quality 32-panel display on the railroad. The exhibiting model railroads run the designated railroad. Manufacturers and hobby shops sell special commemorative railroad merchandise too.

The Burlington Route Historical Society has been hard at work this year combing their archives for display materials and the history on our 2019 featured railroad … the CB&Q. Their efforts have surfaced many fun facts and beautiful photography to be used in creating the display which is sponsored by the BNSF Foundation.

The Wisconsin Central will be our featured railroad in 2020 and the Green Bay and Western in 2021.

Celebrate-a-Railroad Displays Available

Trainfest makes available the 32 panel Celebrate-a-Railroad displays to be used by train shows, events, or for promotional purposes by railfans.

You can use all 32 panels or a portion of them. Mix and match by theme, i.e. Rail Disasters, Women on the Rail, etc. There is a modest fee – and it’s modest – plus the shipping and insurance fees.

Click here and complete the form to make arrangements to rent these displays:


Soo Line

Milwaukee Road

Great Northern

All Aboard Giveaway

New in 2019! Thanks to the generous donation by Bill of Duplainville Clock Co., the “All Aboard” Giveaway has been established and will launch at Trainfest 2019.

The custom made Train Clock, which has been especially designed for Trainfest to mark the event’s 48th Anniversary, will be the grand prize of the giveaway. A Display Case (HO or N) from Prairie Railway Display and train rides on the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad round out the other prizes.

Winners will be selected from a random drawing on Sunday afternoon of Trainfest 2019.

Bookmark this page to stay up to date on future Trainfest plans!