About the Show

The Great Midwest Train Show began in 1972 and is the world's largest monthly train show with an average of 180 exhibitors at each show.

The show features trains of all scales and gauges.

Discounted prices on over 550 table of trains.

5 Buildings - plus outside sellers.

Exhibitors from more than 10 different states.

New and used products include HO Scale, N Scale, Lionel, O Scale, G Scale, American Flyer, Standard gauge, hobby tools, die-cast vehicles, train whistles, scenery items, railroadiana, slides, T-shirts, videos, railroad gift items, books, photos, and much much more!!

Show Hours: 9 AM to 3 PM. We suggest arriving before noon so you'll have time to see all of the show.

FREE Parking.

Admission: Adults: $7.00, Kids Under 12: FREE! (No limit to the number of kids per adults).

Valley Model Railroad Association

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Every month the Valley club brings their portable HO scale model railroad to the show. The Valley layout is built at a kid friendly height and most importantly is made for kids to run. The layout operates realistically with working signals and a DCC control system. Basically the trains run just like the real ones and your kid is the engineer. After a short instruction on how to run the trains and what the signals mean your youngster is handed a throttle and become the engineer of a train. 

Common Questions About the Show

Are there people who repair model trains at the show?

Yes, bring them to the show for a free inspection and evaluation. Minor repairs are done on the spot at no charge. Stop by the show office in Building 1 and we’ll show you who can help you with your repairs.

Is there an early bird admission?

Yes, we offer early admission to the show between 7:00 and 9:00. Early admission is $10 and it allows you access to the show before it officially opens to the public. This means you can look for the deals before the main crowd comes in the show.

Does it cost anything to park?

Nope. Parking is free.

Is there anything for kids to do at the show?

Absolutely! If your child is interested in trains then this show will help inspire and create childhood memories. The show features several operating train displays including a LEGO layout in Building 1, several smaller N scale layouts scattered throughout the show, a G scale layout in Building 2, a multi-scale layout in Building 4, and an HO scale layout they can operate in Building 3. Show your child how cool model trains are!

General Questions About Model Trains

How do I get started in the hobby of model railroading?

Getting started in model railroading is easy thanks to shows like the Great Midwest Train Show and the internet. Like anything new, you may have questions. Every month there is hundreds of people at the show who can answer your questions about the hobby.

The World’s Greatest Hobby program has a wonderful page with plenty of information on where to begin.
Getting Started in Model Railroading

The hobby of model railroading is fun and rewarding.

What is the most popular scale?

HO Scale is the most popular model railroad scale.

There are several common sized model train scales. Here is a description of each:
Guide to model railroading scales and gauges

What are my trains worth?

We get asked this quite often. If you inherited a collection of trains you may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start understanding the value of what you have.

While there are literally hundreds of people at the show who can assist you, we have a list of about 30 people who specialize in particular aspects of the hobby who have expressed their willingness to help customers understand what they have. The list is available, along with a show floorplan, in the show office located in the northeast corner of Building 1.

If you bring a few pieces of your collection, or photos of your trains, to the show it will help determine things like the scale, era, and condition of your trains which then helps determine the value.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself on what you have. In addition to speaking with people at the show, you can check eBay by looking for similar items to what you have and see what they sold for. Books like the Greenberg price guides are somewhat useful as well – although prices have fluctuated in the past several years and since the books are printed they can only show you the estimated value at the time the book went to press.

The one thing we always stress is to not sell your collection to the first person who makes you an offer. We can’t emphasize this enough.

If you have decided you want to sell your trains there are really two ways to approach it. If you sell your trains yourself piece by piece on eBay or at a train show you will get the most money out of the collection because you will be selling to the end user.

If you sell your collection in one lump sum to a reseller you may only get 50 cents on the dollar since this person has to sell everything piece by piece, carry the inventory from show to show, and pay out a large amount of money to you in advance to purchase the collection.

There are way too many stories of people only getting 5 to 10 cents on the dollar from a reseller because they didn’t know the value of what they had.

It pays to do your research and understand what you have!

World’s Greatest Hobby Program

World’s Greatest Hobby Program

Your guide to the hobby of model trains.

-Model railroading 101
- Printable booklet -- Getting Started in Model Trains
- Scenery basics for model railroaders
- Build a table for a small model railroad
- The basics of model railroad track
- Basic flextrack tracklaying techniques
- Plus much more

Video of the Show

Share your hobby

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Excelle Lubricants

Excelle Lubricants

Specialty Lubricants for your models. Ultra-Light, light, medium, heavy oils, gear oils, bearing greases, specialty kits for model railoaders. Whatever model railroad lubricant you are looking for you'll find from Excelle. Don't know what grease to use for Delrin gears vs. brass gears, or what grade oil is best for freight car wheel journals? Excelle Lubricants will know what will work best for you and extend the life of your models. It makes a difference in performance using the correct lubricant.

Excelle is quickly becoming THE standard for model railroaders everywhere! See them at the show every month in Building 1. Excelle products are made in the USA.

The Great Midwest Train Show is a TrainShow.com production.

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Our mission is to promote the hobby of model railroading.