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Trainfest building steam

By | July 21, 2022

Kalmbach Senior VP says vendors' responses are positive

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HO-scale model of a logging locomotive hauling a train in a prairie scene.
A model train layout that appeared at Trainfest 2019.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Trainfest planning continues for a November return of the show, says Nicole McGuire, Kalmbach Media Senior Vice President for Consumer Marketing.

“The response has been really positive. We’re seeing a lot of the big names you’re used to,” McGuire says.

Among those names are Wm. K. Walthers Inc., Rapido Trains Inc., PIKO America, Bachmann Trains, Kato USA Inc., Accurail Inc., Lionel Trains LLC, Woodland Scenics, and more.

This year will be Kalmbach’s first year producing the Milwaukee-area family friendly model train and railroad show in partnership with Great American Train Shows. Previous organizers canceled the show in 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic-related concerns.

Though the organizers have changed, Trainfest returns to the Wisconsin State Fair Park in suburban Milwaukee 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 12 and 13. The entire show is expected to cover approximately 150,000 square feet of event space with an eye to keeping a balance among displays from manufacturers, retailers, and layouts.

“This is and continues to be an event for all ages,” McGuire says. “It’s affordable and we’re going to continue to make it affordable for families.”

Of special interest is an emphasis on “hands on” layouts available during the show. McGuire says that in the finite space available, there will be a “nod toward those organizations who are going to let people operate trains.

“Kalmbach is committed to keeping this hobby alive and well, and introducing it to new audiences,” she says. “Trainfest has always been a great avenue for that.”

More information is available online.

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Toy trains blur past a roller coaster on a giant O gauge layout at Trainfest in 2019.