Model Train Shows Are Still Popular
Model train shows are happening in Bergen County and the surrounding area. This is because Christmas and model trains go together. When I was a child, a model train set circling a Christmas tree was nearly an obsession. Model trains are still extremely popular even though AI and video games have replaced so much. They’re also no longer just a Christmas thing too.
Train shows out of Bergen County are 30-35 minutes away. I can tell you I’ve been everywhere when my son was a little boy. It’s been fun so have a blast taking with a child or just going yourself.
New York Society of Engineers Is Actually in Bergen County
The New York Society of Model Engineers is a model train club in Carlstadt. Easy to get to, this club opens its doors every December as a fund raising gift to the public. For only $8 per person (kids under 12 are free) you can spend as much time as you’d like looking at their gorgeous train displays. They are open to the public for the next 3 weekends on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. It’s easy to get to at 341 Hoboken Road (right off the Route 17 South Exit for 120 South Paterson Plank Rd).
Here’s an idea – go have lunch at the Meadowlands Diner which is right at the Route 17 South Exit only 2 blocks from the show. Then go see the model trains at the New York Society of Engineers club house. Wouldn’t that be a great afternoon? If you’d rather have coffee and dessert afterwards, go to the Candlewyck Diner up the street a bit and over 1 block. Wait till you see their amazing desserts.
Mahwah’s Donald Cooper Model Railroad
Housed in the Mahwah Museum is the Donald Cooper Model Railroad that’s always open to the public. This beautiful model railroad display is open Saturdays from 1 to 4. While they run 11 different trains, they alternate them every weekend so coming back it’s always different.
While you’re there, take a look at the other exhibits. This is really a very cool museum. They have an exhibit on Les Paul who invented electric guitars. Les lived in Mahwah and a lot of his artifacts were donated to the museum. You’ll also learn about the area’s history which dates back to the 1600’s. There’s a lot of interesting fun here in addition to the model trains. Admission is $8 adults plus 12 and under are free.
Passaic County runs along Bergen County’s western border. Because it’s so close, I’m including 2 terrific model train shows. In addition, you might want to keep a look out for the model train swap meets that happen there. I used to take my son to the Wayne VFW Hall for swap meets during the year. It’s easy to get to because it’s just above Route 80 off of Route 23 North. If you’re a train buff, just Google Wayne model train swap meet from time to time.
Garden State Model Railway Club
This is the 64th year that this club has been hosting a holiday train show for the public. Club train shows during the holidays are often held as fund raising events for the public. This is why admission is charged but at a typically modest level. The Garden State Model Railway Club is open now through early January at only $8 for adults and 11 plus.
This is a very intricate, highly detailed train display that’s also a history of railways in Northern New Jersey. Go to the Garden State Model Railway Club website and on to the About section to read about their history. It really is impressive. The club is open from 12 to 5 on December 3, 4 10 and 11 plus January 7 and 8. It’s located 575 High Mountain Road in North Haledon.
NJ Hi-Railers Train Club
The NJ Hi-Railers Train Club will tell you that this is the biggest 0 gauge layout in the world. What I can tell you is that this is a very big and super impressive model train display and one of the most prestigious train shows around..
This amazing, lifelike in it’s detailing display is so spectacular that it’s caught the eye of the news media. It’s been written up in news articles, on local TV stations and even featured in New Jersey Monthly Magazine. This is definitely under the category of you have to see it to believe it. The club is located at 185 6th Ave in Paterson and is open from 10 to 4 on Sundays. Dates are December 4, 18 (with Santa), January 22 and February 19. Admission is $7 adults; 5-11 is $5 and under 5 free.
Wayne Police Athletic League Train Show
The date is Sunday, December 18th and the time is 9 to 2 for the Wayne Police P.A.L.Train Show. They put on train shows like this a few times each year but this one might be their biggest. It’s primarily a swap meet with major dealers offering everything and anything for model train enthusiasts. There’s also a working model train set up as well.
The Wayne P.A.L. does so much good work with youth that I’m asking those of you to come here and forget ordering from Amazon. Admission is $7; children 10 and under are free.
Model train shows are popular because you never outgrow the fun of it. Every one of these model train shows are from non profit organizations so remember to bring cash because they’re not set up for anything else. Have a good time watching these trains whiz by!