Watch a model train chug-chug through a miniature alpine village and listen to a train whistle echo off papier-mâché mountains at the 14th Annual Rails in the Rockies model train show held over President's Day weekend, Feb. 19-20 in Estes Park.
More than 4,000 people are expected to gather at the Estes Park Conference Center's Grand Ballroom at 201 South St. Vrain Avenue from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20.
"This is not just an event for serious model railroaders, but it is an event for kids of all ages," said Laura Trump, director of the Rails in the Rockies. "It is truly a show for the entire family."
Sponsored by the Estes Valley Division of the National Model Railroad Association, the show is in its 14th year and boasts more than 16,000 square feet of working train layouts and examples of fine modeling. Attendees will be able to see all the popular scales, from "Z" scale (1/220 actual size) to a "G" scale garden layout that modelers will build onsite. Other popular scales will be "N" scale (1/160 actual size), HO (1/87 actual size) and "O" scale (1/48 actual size).
On both days the show will offer "how to" clinics on special modeling techniques. This year's theme will be building and weathering realistic models, Trump said.
In addition, the show sponsors vendors selling model trains and other railroad-related products. Many vendors offer train show specials with complete train sets selling for under $50.
The club's mission is to promote model railroading as a hobby for both youth and adults. Trump said younger children can run trains on two fun layouts, play a Seek and Search Game, and have their faces painted by an artist. Also, the club raffles off valuable prizes to youth.
"Each year we give away two complete Lionel Train sets valued at approximately $500 each," Trump said, adding that the winner must be 16 years old or younger. "These train sets are donated by Lionel Train Company specifically for this event."
Admission is $5 per person, with those under 12 admitted free with an adult. Also, Partners Mentoring Youth of Estes and scouts in uniform are admitted free. To further engage the area's youth, Estes Park High School National Honor Society students and Estes Park Partners Mentoring Youth help out with the show. The Estes Park Model Railroaders encourages everyone to bring donations for Crossroads Ministry.
Trump emphasized that proceeds from the show are reinvested in the community and Colorado. The Estes Valley Division sponsors Youth in Model Railroading, The Estes Valley Public Library, the Quota Club, the Crossroads Ministry, and other youth programs. The club also sponsors model railroad projects and the restoration of historically significant railroad projects.
For information about the event, call contact Laura Trump at 970-577-0343 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .