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Milwaukee’s Trainfest sets attendance record

By Hal Miller
Published: November 16, 2010

Building on last year’s record attendance, the 2010 Trainfest show in Milwaukee on Nov. 13-14 drew the largest number of model railroading enthusiasts in the event’s 39-year history, setting a new record and cementing its spot as “America’s Largest Operating Model Railroad Show.“ 


The 2010 Trainfest drew 23,476 unique attendees, plus nearly 1,800 exhibitor personnel. The show’s Saturday attendance — nearly 13,000 — marked a three-year high, while a record number came through the turnstiles on Sunday.


The event drew 21,000 people in 2009.


“Across the board in every attendance category we track — kids, adults, hobby enthusiasts — attendance was up,” said John Tews, Trainfest executive director.  “The event even drew visitors from Japan and Germany!  We are thrilled that so many friends of model railroading attended the event.”


At least one vendor reported good sales at the show. Southside Trains’ Tom Palmer said he thinks people spent a little more than they did at last year’s show.  “I could feel a high enthusiasm level for the hobby by the attendees and that translated into better sales," he said. “It's always been an extremely well run show and I think the extra advertising and hard work put in by the Trainfest organizers really paid off.”