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Upcoming model railroad show Feb. 17
Hobbyists from the Upper Midwest will gather in Madison for an expanded show for the public

MADISON — The 56th annual Mad City Model Railroad Show has expanded in size to over 100,000 square feet. It is one of the region’s most wide-ranging model train shows — drawing over 7,000 attendees and is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17 and 18 at the Alliant Energy Center, Exhibition Hall in Madison. 

Modular model railroads in a variety of scales (size) will be in operation. These large animated displays are operated by clubs from all over Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan’s upper Peninsula. Well represented are the Milwaukee suburbs, Madison and places farther away like Green Bay, Eau Claire, Crystal Lake, Random Lake, Orland Park and Menomonie.

Visitors to the Model Railroad Show will enjoy railroad mania including exquisitely detailed and operating model railroad layouts, most with scenery and structures in tiny Z, N, HO, S, O and large garden railroad sized G-scales. Plus, there are classic toy trains, historical exhibits and railroad videos.

This will be an exciting, fun-filled family event, especially for kids, where they can take a ride on a circus train carrousel or ride for free on a large indoor train. Guests can register for door prizes that will be awarded hourly. Plus, a total of four train sets (average value $175-200 each) will be given away each day.

Vendors too, come from  a wide geographic area: Quad Cities, Twin Cities, Fox Cities and Chicago. 

Shoppers can browse over 250 tables of model train and rail-related merchandise, including tools, railroad collectibles, videos, models, books, clothing and artwork. There will also be a company store for the sponsoring organization, South Central Wisconsin Division (SCWD) of the National Model Railroad Association, offering previously-owned model trains, structures, track and scenery supplies.

Model Railroading is a fun hobby with much to offer. Electric trains are animated and come in a variety of sizes from very small to large heavy-haulers. Many hobbyists take their trains and situate them in an environment that recreates life, structures and landscapes in miniature.

Show and Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The train show is a great family entertainment value. Tickets for Adults (16 and older) are $14, seniors (65 and older) are $13, and children ages 5-15, $6. Children under the age of 5 are admitted free. For train fanatics, a special 2-day pass can be purchased for $18. A Family Pack special includes tickets for two adults and two children (ages 5-15) for $36. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Admission prices do not include parking. Discounted advance tickets can be purchased online at