Model railroad show pulls into Monroe

  • Wed Feb 1st, 2012 6:39pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

Trains will replace prize-winning pigs and Ferris wheels at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds when the 21st annual United Northwest Model Railroad Show and Swap Meet chugs into Monroe on Saturday and Sunday.

This popular show, which attracts thousands of enthusiasts every year, is a model-train lover’s paradise for kids and adults alike. About 100 vendors with lots of train and train-related paraphernalia will be set up for business.

Young enthusiasts can explore interactive displays and train layouts.

The dozens of operating track layouts range in sizes from 8 feet to 38 feet long. Most of these layouts incorporate elaborately detailed scenery as well, some with multiple trains running at the same time.

Train layouts are presented this year by such groups as Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club, the Puget Sound Lego Train Club and Whidbey Island Model Railroad Club.

Train fans can also attend hands-on clinics to learn the different aspects of building a model railroad.

Clinics will be offered both days of the show and kick off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday with “Milwaukee Road Electrification.”

The clinic is presented by Noel Holley who will show slides of the Milwaukee Road, a world pioneer in the use of electric locomotives. The presentation will illustrate how these fascinating locomotives traveled from Montana to Seattle and Tacoma.

There will also be clinics on soldering — joining metal pieces — on how to simulate age on your railroad cars by mimicking the effects of dust, dirt and rain; on scenery techniques using natural material; and on layering track.

Kids can visit the coloring station or pretend to be a real railroad engineer by using a simulator owned by Operation Lifesaver.

There will also be a switching game where kids are timed dropping off and picking up rail cars in a particular order, and kids can also run trains on a very large wooden train railroad.

The 21st annual United Northwest Model Railroad Show and Swap Meet runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, 14405 179th Ave. SE, Monroe.

Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for juniors and seniors and free for kids 9 and under. All proceeds go to benefit Snohomish County 4-H Foundation.

For more information go to

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;