GET ON TRACK: West Wisconsin Railroad Club Preps For Upcoming Show
chug on over to the YMCA Sports Center for this October's train show
The West Wisconsin Railroad Club Train Show is swiftly approaching, the Oct. 14-15 show bringing just about every kind of train model and layout you could want from folks across Wisconsin and out of state, traveling to our neck of the woods for the regional show.
The show will offer traveling layouts, displays, and vendors, bringing hundreds – if not thousands – of feet of model rail at the YMCA Sports Center (3456 Craig Rd., Eau Claire). The West Wisconsin Railroad Club (WWRC) is involved in much more than building and viewing models and layouts, though.
With members from all over western Wisconsin as well as Minnesota, folks with a broad interest in anything to do with railroading make up the group: traveling as a group to other train shows, studying railroad history, railfanning (watching and photographing “real” trains), operating train layouts prototypically, and more.
"My guess is that there will probably be over 20 scale miles of track on display when totaled from all the layouts."
At this October’s train show, attendees will be able to view more than 20 displays and layouts as well as interact with as many vendors. From a Disney-themed layout to one tiny enough to fit on the top of a guitar (yes, it will literally be set atop a guitar!) to the largest layout at the event from Minnesota Garden Railway Society (about 1,000 square feet), it's safe to say there will be something that excites everyone.
WWRC Show Coordinator Paul Almquist continued, noting there are lots of quality layouts between the smallest and largest. He noted the Capital City Ngineers, a group from Madison, will be bringing a large layout utilizing small trains, while a similar-sized layout with very long trains will be brought by the Cool Train Guys from Minnesota. There will even be a father-daughter team from Minnesota, each bringing their own layout, and a Menomonie local exclusively displaying British trains.
In the scale the WWRC models, every actual foot of track is equivalent to 87 scale feet. The WWRC’s model railroad is nearly 250 linear feet of track, which is 21,750 scale feet – more than 4 miles of track.
“My guess is that there will probably be over 20 scale miles of track on display when totaled from all the layouts,” Roger Elliott, WWRC President, said. “I don’t think we have ever calculated (the total number of model rail at the event by foot) but I think it’s safe to say that it would number in the hundreds and probably in the thousands of feet of model rail.”
Elliott pointed out some personal “must-sees,” including the Barron Model Railroad Club’s layout, a Western Wisconsin-themed model, and the Minnesota Garden Railway Club’s display – "These trains are designed so that they may be used on an indoor layout or even year round on an outdoor layout. Yes, winter included," Almquist noted. – featuring large gauge trains that run on a network of tracks laid out on the floor and is popular with kids.
"A couple of layouts are designed specifically to give kids the opportunity to run trains themselves," Almquist said.
Tickets for the WWRC show are $8 for adults or $7 with non-perishable food donation, $3 for those ages 6-16, and free for those 5 and under.
The WWRC’s mission includes promoting railroad safety and operation in Western Wisconsin, something further fulfilled at the upcoming event with the national Operation Lifesaver program being a vendor at the event. They will promote safety at grade crossings and more.
Take a look at last year's WWRC show in this video: