The Great Train Show, the country’s only coast-to-coast model train show, is coming to Portland! Your little engine master will be shouting, “All aboard!” the minute they lay eyes on the hundreds of train tables just waiting to be explored. Held at Portland Expo Center on January 28 & 29, this family-friendly event is designed for toy trains lovers of all ages and interest levels and has a something fun for every member of your crew. Read on for everything you need to know.


photo: The Great Train Show

The Show
Whether you’re an miniature railroad enthusiast or just curious, the Great Train Show is a wonderful event for the whole family. Founded in 2004, this popular event has grown rapidly drawing the attention of train hobbyists from all across the nation. Both young and older engine lovers interested in getting involved with model railroading will learn everything they need to know to kick off their new obsession as they learn about the different scales and gauges and attend free workshops and demonstrations designed for attendees of all ages.

Fun For The Kids
This train show wasn’t just created for the grown-up kids. Your littles will love exploring a hobby that allows them to be the city planner, structural engineer, and conductor all at once. They can easily spend hours checking out the giant train layouts, each one different from the other. Many of the tiny engines make real train noises bringing the miniature worlds to life! Keep an eye out because your kiddos won’t want to miss the train that is just big enough for them to ride! And look out for the models that simulate live steam!

It’s hard to believe, but the staff at the Great Train Show are so enthusiastic about introducing children to the hobby that every child that attends gets in for free making this event an absolute must!


photo: The Great Train Show

What to Expect
This show offers opportunities for learning, playing and purchasing. Be prepared for the struggle when it’s time to go home. It’ will be a challenged to end the day with so many toys to see and things to do.

The Show’s Model and toy train experts have thought of everything from the pilot to the caboose. The following are just some of the things you can expect from the event:

  • Everything needed to start a first layout
  • Door prizes
  • Operating train layouts in a variety of sizes and scales
  • How-to hobby demonstrations
  • Shopping at the hobby marketplace (Thomas the Tank Engine will be on sale!)
  • Marvel at replica operating railroads from the past and present
  • Seminars on topics like starting a layout, developing scenery, and maintenance


Photo: The Great Train Show

Get on the fast track and get your tickets today! Onsite adult admission is $10 on Saturday (and is good for both days) and $9 on Sunday. We recommend grabbing your tickets online as they are at a discounted price plus there’s a  $2 off coupon. Kids 11 and under are free and do not need a ticket. For more information visit their site.

Portland Expo Center
2060 N. Marine Dr., Portland
Jan. 28 & 29

Have you been to the Great Train Show before? Why did you love it? Post in comments below.

—Kris Wilhelmy