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Model Train Festival rolls into State History Museum in Tacoma

A train runs down the tracks in a model railroad built by the Pierce County Lionel Club, part of the Model Train Festival at Washington State History Museum in 2010. This year’s festival will run from Monday through Jan. 1, except Dec. 24-25.
A train runs down the tracks in a model railroad built by the Pierce County Lionel Club, part of the Model Train Festival at Washington State History Museum in 2010. This year’s festival will run from Monday through Jan. 1, except Dec. 24-25. Staff file, 2010

Model trains of all sizes and complexity will be on display when the Model Train Festival returns to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.

The 20th annual event showcases model train displays designed and assembled by model train enthusiasts across the state, said Erich Ebel, marketing and communications director for the museum.

Visitors will find displays on every floor of the museum, including the largest permanent model train layout in the state.

Among the groups that will have displays are the Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club, 4D PNR NTRAK, Kitsap Live Steamers, the Pierce County Lionel Club and Mount Rainier N-Scale.

“Each year, I’m amazed by the intricacy and detail of the model railroads on display during the festival, and it’s a wonderful experience to see both young and old alike fall in love with a fascinating hobby that has deep roots in history,” Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society, said in a prepared statement.

The festival includes several days of hands-on activities for children. Balloon artist Jami Kraus will free balloon animals and other objects for visitors. Dan Parker, also known as The Lego Guy, will provide thousands of Lego pieces for children to build their own creations. Santa Claus even make appearances at the event.

When: Monday through Jan. 1; special activities occur 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 23. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, but will be closed Dec. 24-25.

Where: Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma.

Admission: Included with museum admission. $11 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and older), military and students.

Information: 253-272-3500, washingtonhistory.org.

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