Train Festival celebrates 25 years at Tacoma State History Museum

ByDavid M. Conte

Dec 16, 2021


Model train enthusiasts can put a lot of them into one layout, and starting this weekend, the Washington State History Museum will be putting a lot of them in Tacoma.

The annual Downtown Museum Model Train Festival marks its 25th year starting Friday. The festival runs until January 2.

Seven clubs and groups make arrangements to the museum for the show. They operate at different scales.

Mike Slease, member of the National Model Railroad Association, will represent the HO Modular Group. He calls it a midrange scale.

There are benefits for both young and old, he said.

“The smaller the scale, the more railroad you can build,” said Slease, of DuPont. “The larger the scale, the easier it is to work on it. “

The hobby is more than trains running on rails. This can include art, electricity, computers, and carpentry.

“All of these things are part of model railroading,” he said.

New for 2021, festival-goers can collect collectible train club cards with every layout. Back this year, a train-themed green screen photo opportunity.

The museum and the clubs that make up the festival have mistaken 2020 for COVID.

The Downtown Tacoma Museum has a 1,700 square foot permanent exhibit, and permanent exhibits include the history of Washington’s trains.

If you are going to

What: Model train festival

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday Dec. 17-Jan. 2, (The museum will be closed on December 24 and 25).

Or: Washington State Museum of History, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma

Tickets: Timed for social distancing. See website for pricing.

Information: ModelTrainFestival.org

This story was originally published December 16, 2021 5:00 a.m.

Craig Sailor has worked for The News Tribune since 1998 as a writer, editor and photographer. He previously worked for The Olympian and for other newspapers in Nevada and California. He graduated in journalism from San Jose State University.