Train and toy show to pull in to Monroeville Convention Center
Model train and locomotive enthusiasts are expected to pull in to the station that is the Monroeville Convention Center this weekend.
Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show returns to the center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
It’s one of the largest and longest-running model train and collectible toy shows in the country, and typically comes to Monroeville three weekends a year.
About a dozen operating train displays and 100 vendors will be on hand.
Organizers said this tour stop will be bigger and better than their last visit in January.
“Pittsburgh is just a great train town,” Show manager Frank Hicks said. “It’s got such a tremendous history of railroading, heavy industry. It was the center piece of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and there are other famous railroads that ran through Pittsburgh. There’s always been tremendous interest in railroads.”
He said the South Hills Model Railroad Club and Keystone Division plan to team up for a 1,000-square-foot HO scale train display, one of the more popular model scales.
Pittsburgh S-Gaugers had an interactive train display with buttons children used to activate whistles, catch a mail bag, dump lumber and load coal at the last show.
Roger Schneider, the S-Gaugers’ hi-rail interactive layout coordinator, said they are excited for this weekend’s event.
“Our goal with the interactive layout is to give kids (of all ages) the chance to operate a variety of accessories which are located around the layout, while they watch trains on the layout,” Schneider said. “Throughout the show, we operate freight and passenger trains with steam and diesel engines from the 1950’s and also have some of the most recent modern diesel engines pulling trains.”
Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are expected to check out the trains at the convention center.
“It’s really a lot of fun,” Hicks said. “Families with kids bring them to the show to see all these miniature towns and mountain ranges and, obviously, railroad lines. There’s a lot of stuff that we’re trying and geared toward people with just a little bit of interest.”
Schneider said his group has seen a spike in interest when it comes to model railroads.
“We’re very pleased that there seems to be a lot of renewed interest by younger children and their parents in the hobby of model railroading,” Schneider said. “Many of us in the Pittsburgh S-Gaugers got our start when we were in grade school in the 1950’s and 1960’s and we still love the hobby. We love to see the excited looks on the kids’ faces when they push the buttons and see the action. We’re hoping to get a whole new generation interested in the hobby we’ve enjoyed since we were very young.”
Greenberg’s Great Train & Toy Show has made the Pittsburgh area a tour stop the past 38 years with shows in January, July and November.
Admission is $10 on Saturday and $9 Sunday. Children 11 and younger get in free. Parking is free.
More information is available at trainshow.com/monroeville.
Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .