BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a 4-H club and the only O guage 4-H club in New Jersey.

Their annual Winter Train show will be held at the Ted Blum 4-H Center, 310 Milltown Road on Jan. 25th and 26th, from 10 a,m,-5 p.m. both days.

All vendors and crafters will offer free drawings at their tables on both days; the first 20 children through the doors each day will receive a free prize.

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Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12 years old. Children under the age of 2 years old are free. Admission pays for entry to all areas of the show. The Trainmasters will be awarding a $50 prize each day in a free drawing for adult attendees who complete a Boarding Pass by visiting the various vendors throughout the center.

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, winter scenes, and scenery created by the Trainmasters’ imaginations.

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 for purchase each day of the show, from snacks to a full lunch. 

A new addition to this year’s commemorative show will be THE REALM eSports and Game-U “where kids make games” of Flemington. If you are into gaming, THE REALM will be showcasing top-of-the-line gaming stations and hosting tryouts for its recreational league and competitive teams at the event.

And, if you are into game design, coding, animation, art, or robotics, you can speak to the Game-U representative about their programs, who will also be at the event on both days. As computer technology advances, including with model railroading, having tech savy companies at the Trainmasters event are a logical fit.

Over 50 vendors and crafters are registered to be a part of the two-day event, offering free drawings at their tables on both days, and selling a variety of items for the whole family, including train related items for railroading enthusiasts. 

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 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. Twenty years later, there is only one (1) additional model railroad club in the state.

Proceeds from the annual winter 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 Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters facebook event is at: https://www.facebook.com/events/422442158440907/. The Trainmasters club’s website, www.trainmasters.sc4-h.org, also contains additional information, especially in the event of inclement weather.  There are no snow dates. For directions to the show, please visit somerset.njaes.rutgers.edu/directions. For additional information, contact the Somerset County 4-H office at 908-526-6644.  We hope to see you there!