BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters annual Spring Train show at the Ted Blum 4-H Center, 310 Milltown Rd. Bridgewater is being held on June 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12 years old. Children under the age of 2 years old are admitted free. The first 20 children through the doors each day will also receive a free prize.
The Trainmasters’ 40-by-60-foot layout will be on display and continuously running throughout the event. Multiple trains will run across thousands of feet of track simultaneously through numerous scenery displays. The scenery represents a range of styles — each created by different members of the club.
The club has an expansive collection of O-scale trains, including Thomas the Tank Engine and The Polar Express, as well as rare and classic trains. There will be interactive play activities for younger children, as well as craft activities, and small animals to pet to keep siblings occupied owned by members of the Somerset County 4-H People Pick Me Ups Club.
A varied selection of new, and quality pre-owned train items will be for sale, as well as a few select vendors and crafters will fill the main train layout area. Concessions will be available for purchase each day of the show, from snacks to a full lunch. A seating area will be offered to enjoy some time off your feet.
Members of the 4-H Trainmasters range in age from fourth-graders to one year out of high school. The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters Club currently has over 30 members from Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, and Warren Counties. It was the first youth-led model railroad club in the state when it formed in 2000 with six kids.
The Metropolitan Division of the Train Collectors Association (METCA) will be returning to the Spring Show to continue to expand their youth division and to promote and keep the hobby alive.
METCA is made up from 20 counties in three states, NJ, NY, and Ct., building friendships through collecting and operating model trains. Free METCA youth memberships will be available at the event on both days for children up to 18 years of age.
Also returning to the annual spring show is New Jersey Operation Lifesaver with important safety information to remember when around trains and train tracks.
Proceeds from the annual spring train show support the Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters’ College Fund, support of the 4-H Association, and other club activities. Each year the Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters Club awards a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating Senior who is a member in good standing of any Somerset County 4-H club that will pursue a course of study in the field of Science, and sends a club member to the National Railway Historical Society rail camp each summer.
The Trainmasters club’s website, www.trainmasters.sc4-h.org, contains additional information about the club. For directions to the show, visit somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/directions. For additional information, contact the Somerset County 4-H office at 908-526-6644.