The Model Train Festival is Back

The Model Train Festival at Washington State History Museum in Tacoma is back with interactive and educational exhibits about how the railroad transformed the growth and development of our state.

Highly detailed, miniaturized doppelgängers of trains from past and present — from the diesel and steam engines that forged the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s to the Amtrak passenger and Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight trains of today — will be on display and are truly something to marvel.

See up close how trains evolved and shaped the economy and drive a train simulator along a virtual track.

The model train exhibit is a permanent fixture of WSHM, but the festival runs from Dec. 20 through Jan. 1 with Santa Claus making appearances on Dec. 21-23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for photos.

A visit to the model train festival might just convince you to become members of the museum, which has a special promotion through December. Those that become members this month will receive a three-month bonus that includes admission to the current model train festival, next year’s 25th anniversary edition of the festival, and admission to the Animation Academy exhibit in 2021.

If you visit the festival on Dec. 21, you’ll also be among the first to see the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., which tells the story of historic and contemporary African American men who have helped mold our country.

For more information about prices and hours, visit the WSHS website.

is an assistant editor at South Sound magazine. Email her.
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