I hear the train a'comin' ...

I hear the train a’comin’ ...

A scene from last year’s big event.

Johnson City will once again play host to one of the largest model train shows in the Southeast in a 64,000 square foot venue. Held annually at Memorial Center on the campus of East Tennessee State University, more than 300 tables of model trains in all sizes and assorted railroad related collectibles will be on sale.

There is still a limited amount of dealer space available but it’s filling up fast. Those interested may contact show coordinator Roger Teinert at 423-791-4937, or visit www.memrr.org.

“The show is an event for the entire family,” explains Dr. Fred Alsop, Director of the George L. Carter Railroad Museum, which features four detailed model railroads in G, HO, N and HOn3 scales, and is also located on the college campus. “You’ll see parents and grandparents bringing the kids, plus we’ll have kids of all ages that love model trains. The museum will also be open during the train show.”

One of the highlights of the show is the working displays of model trains running amidst realistic hand-made scenery. As well, the popular demonstration of operating live steam model trains will be a focal point. These engines operate just like the real ones through fired steam vapor. Jim Milhorn and his dedicated group of scale team enthusiast are heading up this effort.

New this year will be a series of 45 minute Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 seminars on topics of interest to railroad hobbyists These include presentations on historic railroad postcards with author Geoff Stunkhard; model tree construction with Ken Harmon; plus Dr. Fred Alsop discussing modeling Roan Mountain, TN. Another seminar, to be held Saturday at 1 p.m. offers people the opportunity to bring their personal model train and railroad items for a no-charge evaluation of their worth.

“People are familiar with the popular television show Antiques Roadshow and we’re basing this event on it” states Roger Teinert. “Here free evaluations will be given out so folks get a better idea of what they have.”

Friday, May 31 show hours are noon-6 p.m. and Saturday June 1 is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $6 per day and children under 12 are admitted free.

There’s also free parking in the adjacent covered parking garage located on campus. Food booths at the show will also be set up.