BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters annual Winter Train show at the Ted Blum 4-H Center, on Milltown Rd., is being held Jan. 27 and 28, 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 free.
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, from traditional landscapes and buildings, to designs incorporating robotics, to possibly even scenery made of LEGO blocks and MINECRAFT.
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 from the Somerset County 4-H People Pick Me-Ups club to pet to keep siblings occupied.
Concessions will be available, from snacks to a full lunch.
Over 60 vendors and crafters are registered to be a part of the two-day event selling a variety of items for the whole family including train related items for railroading enthusiasts. Childrens’ authors Frank McSorley and Ken Lefkowitz, along with authors’ Auzuka Zuke Obi and Carona Davis-Diop are all returning to the Trainmasters event with book signings. From typical vendors found at events such as LuLaRoe and Scentsy, to more unique vendors offering metal signs, handmade knits, soaps, paintings, slimes, and pet treats, there will be something for everyone young and old.
Members of the 4-H Trainmasters range in age from fourth-graders to one year out of high school. It was the first youth-led model railroad club in the state when it formed in 2000. Trainmasters club members complete annual projects based on their involvement in 4-H.
The Black River & Western Railroad, stationed in Ringoes, will be making their debut appearance at the Trainmasters annual winter show with a display as well as information and schedules for their operations. The Black River & Western Railroad has served local industry in the Flemington area of Hunterdon County since acquiring former Penn Central Jersey Central Lines in the 70s.
The Metropolitan Division of the Train Collectors Association (METCA) will be returning to the Winter Show to continue to expand their youth division and to promote and keep the hobby alive.
Also returning to the annual winter show is the New York Society of Model Engineers (NYSME), along with New Jersey Operation Lifesaver with important safety information to remember when around trains and train tracks.
Proceeds from the show support the Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters’ College Fund, support of the 4-H Association, and other club activities.
The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters facebook event is at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1601211349918315. The Trainmasters club’s website, www.trainmasters.sc4-h.org, also contains additional information, especially in the event of inclement weather. 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.