All aboard the model train show

The Toy Train Operating Society brings a Train, Toy and Model Kit Show to the Central Valley filled with model trains, vintage toys of all sizes, plastic model kits and a parts dealer

TULARE – For those looking for their very own Polar Express to wrap around their tree this holiday season, a Train, Toy and Model Kit Show is chugging into town just in time for the holidays.

The Toy Train Operating Society (TTOS) is bringing Tulare and the Central Valley their first Train, Toy and Model Kit Show. On Nov. 12 and 13, TTOS will be at the International Agri-Center in the Corteva room from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. There will be more than 200 vendor tables filled with model trains of multiple gauges, vintage toys of all sizes, plastic model kits of cars, boats and airplanes and a huge parts dealer. The event has been postponed for the last two years, so members of the society are thrilled to get the show on the road. 

“The beauty of [the show] is it is just before the holidays and trains and Christmas trees and all that are always a good thing. So it’s actually going to be very good for us being in November,” James Keeley, show coordinator and director at large with the TTOS said. “[The show is] three years in the making, because we’ve been put off twice. So this is finally a hallelujah, we’re gonna do it!”

The show is a weekend event full of fun for everyone. Admission tickets are $10 a person or $15 for a family. Once you buy a ticket it is good for both days and parking is free. Once inside there will be additional door prize drawings throughout the weekend. Additionally there will be three food trucks on both days from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. providing participants with hot dogs, pizza and Mexican food. 

According to Steeley, hobbyists from all over the western United States are coming to participate in the show. There will be members of the local chapter of TTOS as well as model train clubs from Northern, Southern and Central California. Steely said they have had these events in Southern and Northern California, but not Central, so they are happy to bring it to easier access for interested parties. 

There will be vendors with their operating model railroad layouts in all different sizes, standard, O, S, OH and N gauges. Lionel Trains will have an entire area over 16 tables full of all different parts for model trains. Guests can come enjoy the trains on display and hobbyists can get parts for their own pieces. 

The TTOS has been around since 1966 and has different chapters throughout the country. Steely said the society is dedicated to toy trains both in history as well building different layouts. There are several different parts of layout building starting with the planning process to construction, wiring and operations. The technology has grown from using a transformer, to remote control to now bluetooth and operating trains from a cell phone. 

“We have people from all ages and all walks of life,” Steely said. “That’s what totally makes it interesting.”

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