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IDAHO FALLS — All aboard, model railroading hobbyists! Eagle Rock Railroad Historical Society’s Railshow 2019 is set for Saturday and Sunday at the Idaho Falls Rec Center.
Railshow brings collectors, vendors, and exhibitors under one roof. The show gives hobbyists a chance to pick up new pieces for their own railroads while allowing all who attend to geek out about model trains with like-minded people.
ERRHS spokesperson David Shaw said the local model train hobby community is excited about this weekend’s show.
“They’re hungry to see trains in their town again because there’s nothing here that sells trains on that level,” said Shaw. “For one thing, it’s a chance for people to buy stuff they don’t usually see here locally, and for another thing, it’s a place where they can go and trade or sell what they have to other people.”
Along with the vendors and people willing to trade their trains, Railshow also features all manner of display layouts. The displays feature trains of various sizes and gauges, with intricate, detailed scenery.
People from across the region and as far away as Oklahoma are coming to participate and show off their trains. The show features some cool new additions this year.
“We’ve got a guy coming with a 3D printer,” Shaw said. “He’s been printing railroad-related parts and pieces. The LEGO guys always bring something new and different. It’s always fun to see what they’ve got. And then we’ve got a guy coming from Oklahoma City that’s got N-scale modules; they’re called T-Track – that’s the standard, and you can put a whole N-scale layout on a banquet table, 30 inches by 6 feet.”
In addition to the new trains, Railshow will include video shown throughout the day, a garden-size train setup in the parking lot that people will be able to ride, door prizes and other goodies. The event has something for everyone, from the veteran model railroader to those looking to get into the hobby.
Shaw said the show also fills a void left by the lack of local stores that sell model trains and accessories.
“A lot of people wait because they know the show’s coming every year,” he said. “They wait to come buy things at the train show if they don’t want to travel to Ogden, which had the closest train store. This brings it right to their doorstep. Some people save up for it, and that’s when they buy a new engine or a new train set for their grandkids. … It gives them a chance to touch base with that thing they don’t really see, other than online. You can see anything you want online, but you can’t touch it, you can’t hold it, you can’t put your hands on what you’re buying.”
The show runs Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Idaho Falls Rec Center. Tickets are $3 per person with at least two cans of food, and $4 per person without food. The event is free to those 10 years old and under.
And if Railshow doesn’t satisfy your model railroad cravings, the Eagle Rock Railroad Historical Society’s model of the rail line from Ogden to Missoula in the 1950′ is set up in the Rec Center basement year-round. People who want to come and hang out can do so on Thursday nights at 7:30.
“The railroad shows you what Idaho Falls looked like in the ’50s,” Shaw said. “It’s kind of a touchback to the way things used to be and what it’s changed to be now. So come on down, bring your group down, get a hold of us. We try to be a resource for the community educationally and historically so that people can have a place to come and ask questions.”