The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

Heritage Train Weekend show a success

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent writer

Hundreds of model train enthusiasts of all ages flocked to the Van Wert County Fairgrounds over the weekend for the annual Heritage Railroad Weekend Model Railroad Show and Swap.

A circus display is part of a railroad layout featured over the weekend during the Heritage Railroad event held at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

Working layouts, along with dozens of vendors looking to buy, sell, and trade all different kinds of model train paraphernalia were stationed in three different buildings on Saturday and Sunday, making for a train lovers paradise. The show also featured “The Banana Express”, a train display with plenty of bananas for the kids.

While looking over the late Sunday morning crowd, show spokesman Chuck White deemed the yearly event a big success.

“Attendance is better than expected,” White stated. “Saturday was our best attendance ever, and we call Sunday the day for our ‘stroller’ crowd, or the church crowd.”

“It’s phenomenal that we have a show this size in a town the size of Van Wert, and in the summertime,” White added. “You don’t do model railroad shows during the summer, but here we are in the middle of summer with a pretty successful train show.”

White also said he received mostly positive feedback from people at the show as well as vendors.

“I think the public in general likes what they see, but the vendors – it depends on who you talk to,” White said. “Some have said they’re doing great and they’ll be back next year.”

“That’s the key — if they do decent, they’ll come back, and while I do get some complaints, they keep coming back,” White added.

One vendor, who wished to remain anonymous, was pleased with the turnout.

“A lot of people have looked at my table, and I’ve been able to sell a good number of my items,” the man said. “I’ll definitely be back.”

Preparations for next year’s show are already underway, and organizers are planning even more enhancements.

“It’s probably as big as we’re going to be, and we hope to have a fourth building in use,” White said. “We’re also talking about having a Lego layout as one of the displays next year,”

He noted something else big is planned for 2019, with more details coming once plans are finalized with another organization.

POSTED: 07/30/18 at 7:37 am. FILED UNDER: News