Exhibit at the Show

The mission of the Great Train Show is to promote the hobby of model railroading.  Our staff is dedicated to providing high-quality events that truly promote the hobby in a positive way.  We want people attending our shows to leave so excited about model railroading they can't wait to start building a model railroad! What better way for the general public to become model railroaders than to see operating model railroads up close?

You can be a part of the show and help grow the hobby of model railroading.

Operating exhibits are a vital part of every Great Train Show. The layouts at the show help draw people in to the hobby, attract young people to model trains, provide hours of fascination to attendees, and give people at the show inspiration for how they can improve their own setups. Participation of model railroad clubs in particular is vital to the hobby, as the show can help clubs to gain new members and increase these people's involvement with model trains.

How do you get started?

Model train layouts of all gauges and scales are welcome to apply for inclusion in our shows. You don't need to be a model railroad club; individuals are welcome to bring smaller display layouts to the show as well.  We try and feature as many different layouts at each show as space allows. All you need to do is print the application packet on the right side of this screen and send in the form. Please submit the form as far in advance as practical. You should receive a notice within 10 business days that we received your application. About 3-6 weeks ahead of the show you'll receive a notice letting you know how much space we have available for you at the show, then about 10 days prior to the show you'll receive a notification with details on the show and a floor plan noting your location.

Seminars and clinics

One of the best ways to get people more involved in the hobby of model railroading, or to meet people who might be interested in joining your club, is to host a seminar. The presentation need not be overly elaborate; the important thing is simply to spread knowledge. Seminar topics can range from introductions to complicated topics like DCC, scenery construction, or wiring, to more specialized subjects like 3-D printing, kit construction, or making trees. Think you might be interested in putting on a seminar and passing some of that knowledge along to others? Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Common Questions About Bringing a Layout to the Show

Can I sign up online to bring a layout?

At the present time we do not have a way to accept layout applications online. You can submit your application by mail, email attachment, or fax.

What is the schedule for exhibitors?

If you are bringing a layout, you may arrive at the show to set up your exhibit starting on Friday at Noon.  We are open for layout setup on Friday from Noon until 5:00pm and again on Saturday morning starting at 7:00am.  You do not need to come to the show on Friday if you don’t need much time to set up.  Please make sure you are set up by 9:30am or so on Saturday.  The show is open from 10am to 4pm both days.  All exhibitors must be out of the hall by about 4:15pm on Saturday and exhibitors are readmitted at 9:00am on Sunday (you may arrive whenever you like Sunday between 9am and 10am).  All exhibitors and layouts must remain set up until the show closes at 4:00pm on Sunday.  Leaving early is not permitted.

Do you help with expenses to bring a layout?

Yes we do.  We offer an “honorarium” to offset the costs of transportation to the show.  The amount is based on the size of the layout: $50 for layouts less than 100 square feet, $100 for layouts 100-500 square feet, and $150 for layouts larger than 500 square feet.

Can I present a seminar or clinic?

Absolutely! Educating the general public on the various aspects of our wonderful hobby is important to the show and the growth of the hobby. Being able to see first hand how weathering is done, how DCC works, or how trees are made will inspire more people to get involved.

A seminar or clinic need not be elaborate in its presentation; the important thing is to communicate knowledge.  Most seminars are presented at, or next to, a layout but if you’d like a separate location please let us know.

Pick your favorite model railroad topic and present to people who want to hear what you have to say!  Just sign up using the Workshop section of the layout application form.

Does my layout have to be part of a model railroad club to participate?

No, not at all. Individuals are encouraged to bring their layouts to the show.


The Great Train Show is a TrainShow.com production.


Our mission is to promote the hobby of model railroading.