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Trainfest draws thousands to State Fair Park’s Expo Center

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WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- 42 years ago, Trainfest began, and today, it is the largest weekend event at Wisconsin State Fair Park's Exposition Center, and the largest event of its kind in the country.

On Sunday, November 10th, Wisconsin State Fair Park's Expo Center was packed for the last day of the three-day festival celebrating model trains.

With detailed displays highlighting scores of different life-like scenes, it is enough to capture just about anyone's attention and imagination.

"This is the largest operating model railroad show in the country," Trainfest Executive Director John Tews said.

Tews has served as Trainfest's Executive Director for the past 22 years.

"We had 15 layouts back then. Now we have 70 different layout groups here," Tews said.

Among them was Jim Maslowski of the Badgerland S Gaugers, who says even with an elaborate layout, he gets back more than he puts out.

"They, you know, yell out 'Polar Express!' or, you know, 'Here’s a steamer!' and that type of thing. They’re in awe. It’s really neat to see their faces—how excited they are to see the trains!" Maslowski said.

The largest operating model train show in the country managed to draw 12,000 visitors on Saturday alone!