Lifestyle

All Aboard for Family Fun! New Braunfels Train Show on Track

By  | 

We hate spam too, we'll never share your email address

 

 

Texas has a fascinating history, and there’s nothing more historically exciting than how trains helped make the Lone Star State the great place it is today. Trains were used to open up the state for settlement and development. Railroad companies were also a vast source of employment. Plus, there’s even a select group of Texans who made their living by becoming skilled train robbers! The stories that can be told as a result of these icons of 19th-century growth and commerce are countless, which is why a love of trains continues to this day – including the growing love of model trains and train sets.

Lucky for us, the New Braunfels Train Show is taking place in the Texas Hill Country coming up on October 27 and 28 at the New Braunfels Civic Center. The show is one of the largest of its kind in the state. Train enthusiasts of all ages and all walks of life who are planning a trip to this show certainly won’t be disappointed. The event has been running for over a decade now, and according to the show president, James “Jimmy” Edmondson, it started out with approximately 185 tables and has since grown to 367 and counting! Jimmy took the time out of his planning schedule to give an interview about the show, as well as what it means to the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and to area residents.

All Aboard for Family Fun! New Braunfels Train Show on Track

Photo: Facebook/New Braunfels Railroad Museum

Over 2,000 people attend the show each year. “This is our big fundraiser,” Edmondson explained. “We get approximately 150 to 200 new people each year.” The New Braunfels Railroad Museum (also known as the New Braunfels Historic Railroad and Modelers Society) is dedicated to the preservation of artifacts belonging to railroad developments. They also focus on education about trains and the railroad system. Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, the museum is open to the public, free of charge, and, subsequently, its members coordinate fundraising activities to ensure they can continue to share their rich history and entertaining displays. The New Braunfels Train Show happens twice yearly (once in the spring and then again in the fall) and is sponsored by the railroad museum as one of their integral fundraisers.

All Aboard for Family Fun! New Braunfels Train Show on Track

Photo: Facebook/Aunt Heidi’s Toys

Jimmy, the show president, is a Texas transplant, but he brought his enormous love and vast knowledge of trains with him from New York State. He moved to Texas in 1996 with his own train layouts and projects that he had been modeling since 1962. He found a home for his interest with the New Braunfels Railroad Museum and has been the key contact for the biannual train show for the last 8-10 years. “We advertise in roughly 136 newspapers,” he said, “and in October a couple of representatives from our group will be appearing on TV to talk about the show as well. We’ve definitely grown. We started with a small group of vendors and this year we’re up to 75 and over 300 tables. We also have interest from eight out-of-state vendors who travel to various shows.” Clearly, the New Braunfels Train Show has become a model by which train enthusiasts gauge potential growth and interest. The picture shown above is, in fact, from a vendor who has attended the show since its beginnings, featuring train toys for everyone of all ages. And, visitors from Florida, Virginia, Missouri, Louisiana, Nebraska, California, and Colorado also make time to attend this Hill Country hot bed of railroad enthusiasm. Many of their set-ups range from three to 24 tables.

All Aboard for Family Fun! New Braunfels Train Show on Track

Photo: Facebook/New Braunfels Railroad Museum

The show will feature a variety of model railroad displays in a number of scales. Visitors to the event can not only look and learn but also buy, sell, or trade for their own collections. Be sure not to miss the silent auction, which will boast 70-80 top-quality pieces on which guests can bid. There’s also going to be a mini food court, a large exhibit of LEGO trains in conjunction with the other models, and kids will get the opportunity to run the trains as a Junior Engineer! Admission is $8 per person for ages 14 and up, or $2 per child ages 3 to 13. More information about the fall show, held October 27 and 28, can be found at the link provided here under the events tab of the New Braunfels Railroad Museum website.

All funds raised by this event are earmarked for the ongoing work, displays, and information found at the museum. If you haven’t visited this museum yet, you’ll definitely want to make a trip! The layouts, artifacts, and photographs on display are, for the most part, linked directly to train operations in New Braunfels, including the MOPAC, the International & Great Northern, and the MKT railroads. The museum is open to the public, free of charge, and everyone is welcome! You can also find them on Facebook to learn more about upcoming events such as the spring and fall New Braunfels Train Shows or to follow their posts.