About the Show

The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour

Simply put, the World's Greatest Hobby on Tour is about promoting the hobby of model railroading.
 
Sponsored by the Hobby Manufacturer's Association - Model Railroad Division and by the World's Greatest Hobby Program, the show is intended to introduce the general public to model railroading in an entertaining, lively and family-friendly atmosphere. The hobby of model railroading has a unique ability to bring the family together in activities that teach many skills. Model railroad skills span from carpentry to artistry, from electrical engineering to historical research. Model railroading is truly the World's Greatest Hobby.

The shows feature:

  • 100,000 square foot exhibit hall
  • 50,000 square feet of huge operating model railroads
  • Walt Disney’s Railroad Story by author Michael Broggie
  • Free riding train for kids
  • 200+ Booths of manufacturers and retailers
  • 100 Trains for kids to play with
  • Demonstrations, seminars and new products

Photo Gallery

Images from previous shows

More Info

The show only returns every 5 to 10 years.
Be sure to go when it's in your area!

Walt Disney’s Railroad Story

Disney_FrontCoverSharon and Michael Broggie will again represent Walt Disney's railroad legacy.CPHS RR logo w-TM

Michael will give his highly popular presentation, "Walt Disney's Railroad Story," which is based upon his award-winning book of the same title. Based upon exit surveys, his presentation was consistently rated among the top five attractions of the tour.Roger Broggie running the Lilly Belle at Walt's Carolwood home

This year marks the release of Michael's revised 4th edition of his book that chronicles the lifelong connection between Walt Disney and America's railroad history.

The Broggies are cofounders of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, a global membership organization dedicated to preserving the personal history and railroad legacy of Walt Disney. Michael presents each day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.

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World’s Greatest Hobby Program

wghlogo_colorThe World's Greatest Hobby, Inc. (WGH) is a non-profit educational program to promote the enjoyment and benefits of model railroading.  The WGH goal is to provide both the information and inspiration to help YOU become a model railroad hobbyist.   
WORLD'S GREATEST HOBBY IS SPONSORED BY:
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Operating Model Railroads

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 The World's Greatest Hobby on Tour is a TrainShow.com production.

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Our mission is to promote the hobby of model railroading.

Common Questions About Attending the Show

Do you accept credit cards if we purchase at the door?

No, we only accept cash at the door, as an alternative on line registrations can be purchased until the close of the show using a smart phone and on line registrations accept credit cards as a form payment. On line registrations can be scanned from your smart phone.

Do kids need a ticket?

Kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult and do not need tickets.

Do I need to print the tickets or just have the image on my phone?

While it is faster if you have printed the tickets, we can scan the bar code image on your phone or look it up on line.

Can I get tickets at the door?

Yes you can however tickets are discounted when purchased online. Tickets purchased at the door are $15 for adults and kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult. Since kids under 16 are admitted free with paying adult they do not need tickets.

What is the World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour?

The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour is a high-quality model railroad show designed to introduce the general public to model railroading.  We target both consumers and die-hard modelers. The WGH on Tour features many exciting attractions for attendees including a Thomas the Tank Engine riding train and play area, operating model railroad layouts, product demonstrations, hobby shops, how-to seminars and much more.  It’s NOT a swap meet, flea market or junk show.

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Since 2004, World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour has been promoting the hobby across the country. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best 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!

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Does it cost anything to ride Thomas the Tank Engine?

No, it is a free ride for kids.

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Are wheelchairs available at the show?

This varies by facility. Many facilities have wheelchairs available for loan. Usually they will ask for a drivers license to keep on hold for the duration of the wheelchair use.

Go to the page for the show you want to attend and there will be a link to the facility. Most facilities will have information about wheelchair availability listed on their website.

Will the show be coming back next year?

The World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour travels around the country every January through March visiting 4 to 6 cities each year. The show only returns to cities every 5 to 10 years so be sure to visit the show when it is in your area.

Can I take photos and video at the show?

cameraguyAbsolutely! We encourage you to take photos and video. Be sure to take photos and video of the fabulous model railroads. Perhaps they will inspire you to start building your own model railroad.

Is there enough for the scale modeler at the show?

Absolutely! The show encompasses all aspects of the model railroad hobby.

Yes, the show has emphasis on reaching out to new people in the hobby but the show is not just about Thomas the Tank Engine toys and train sets. We can all agree the hobby of model railroading is one that should be shared and promoted.

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Obviously, every model railroader had a first encounter with the hobby of model railroading. Maybe it was a relative or neighbor with a large layout in the basement. Maybe it was a department store train display. Maybe it was a model train set for Christmas. Maybe it was simply a visit to a hobby shop.

The show aims to be that first impression for people to see the hobby. Who better to show what the hobby is about than the seasoned model railroader? That’s why the shows attract the leading model railroad manufacturers from the smallest companies to the largest manufacturers. They understand the need to promote the hobby to the new hobbyist as well as their most loyal customers.

wghweb (35)600x600So, yes of course, the show has plenty for the scale modeler!

 

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 World’s Greatest Hobby on Tour and the internet. Like anything new, you may have questions. At every show there are 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.

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?

If you inherited a collection of trains you may feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start understanding the value of what you have.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself on what you have. Speaking with our experts at the show is a great way to get first hand of the market value of your collection. 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.

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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 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!

 

A Few of the Featured Exhibitors

Bachmann Trains

Bachmann Trains

Bachmann Trains is now known for its extensive and award-winning line of model railroading products, but the company started in 1833 as a producer of handcrafted ivory accessories, beginning a 180-year commitment to quality that continues to this day.

Kato U.S.A.

Kato U.S.A.

KATO U.S.A. was established in 1986, with the first U.S. locomotive model (the GP38-2, in N-Scale) released in 1987. Since that time, KATO has come to be known as one of the leading manufacturers of precision railroad products for the modeling community. KATO's parent company, Sekisui Kinzoku Co., Ltd., is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

Walthers

Walthers

Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., is dedicated to manufacturing and distributing high quality model railroad equipment worldwide. They provide information on over 200,000 different items for your trains from over three hundred manufacturers -- and supply them to thousands of hobby shops around the globe!

Caboose Industries

Caboose Industries

Caboose Industries manufactures manual ground throws for model railroaders. Their high-quality injection molded Delrin switch stands are made In America with American materials and labor, and are available for N, HO, S, and O scale.

MTH

MTH

With over three decades of model railroading excellence M.T.H. offers full product lines in HO scale, two-rail and three-rail O Gauge, One Gauge, and Lionel Corporation Tinplate.

Athearn Trains

Athearn Trains

For more than 60 years, Athearn has delivered a wide range of top-quality models in a variety of scales. Athearn trains share the detail, high quality and value that appeal to all modelers.

Lionel Trains

Lionel Trains

The 115-year-old company has made sure it stays on the cutting edge of technology. The Lionel name has always been synonymous with Christmas and a train set under every Christmas tree, and now more than ever the company’s ensuring that they are a major player in any holiday plans. For Lionel, the future is indeed bright.

ScaleTrains.com

ScaleTrains.com

An upstart model train manufacturer founded by a team with more than 125 years experience in the model railroad hobby and Industry. They are currently developing several innovative HO and N scale models. See their products at the shows.

Broadway Limited Imports

Broadway Limited Imports

Broadway Limited Imports, LLC designs and manufactures limited-run HO scale and N scale model railroad locomotives and rolling stock.

PIKO America

PIKO America

PIKO America is the exclusive American source for the complete range of PIKO trains, track, buildings and more! Retailers all across the USA and Canada can rely on PIKO America to have the full line of more than 600 affordable, German-Made, quality PIKO G-Scale products available year-round, so they can supply whatever you need for your growing railroad empire.

Ross Custom Switches

Ross Custom Switches

Ross Custom Switches has been building O-gauge turnouts since 1972. Today they have over 45 different switches and crossings, and 18 different sizes of track. They also have track accessories and other items to help you in the construction of your dream layout.

Sundance Marketing

Sundance Marketing

The premier manufacturer of First-Class™ Custom lapel pins and railroad emblems. In business since 1986, Sundance Marketing's First-Class™ pins have come to be recognized as the finest available anywhere.