New venue marks new era for 43rd annual Dayton Train Show

It’s been a long, bumpy stretch of track for the folks behind the Dayton Train Show, presented at the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds on Infirmary Road in Jefferson Twp. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4. The 43rd annual show, organized by Division 3 of the Mid-Central Region of the National Model Railroad Association, is now in its fourth spot in four years after its longtime home of Hara Arena closed abruptly in 2016.

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“It has been hard in the planning,” said Richard Lach, one of the longtime organizers of the Dayton Train Show. “Every year we have to dismantle the plans we put together the previous year and re-establish a new one based on the design of the building we’ve got.”

The committee members visited fairgrounds and event centers before deciding on the old Elder-Beerman location at the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield for the 2016 show. The month after the show, that space was rented out. The following year, the show moved to a vacant J.C. Penney store at the other end of the mall. This new venue at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds marks a new era for the event.

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“We were dead tired from having to keep looking for a new spot so last fall we started looking at what was going on with the Montgomery County Fairgrounds,” Lach said. “We have a little bit less space and now it’s in four buildings instead of one, but our philosophy was to down-size the number of square feet and begin again with the new fairgrounds and grow with it.”

Show hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 adults, $6 active military and spouses and free for children 12 and younger with paid adult. Parking is free.

“We consider ourselves a first-class train show,” Lach said. “We have nearly 90 vendors and around 30 exhibitors, and we have about 10 historical societies of all the different railroads of the past. We’ve got parts people, how-to clinics, a Boy Scout merit badge program on model railroading, six food trucks and ample parking for the public.

“The Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society has a large electric train they run,” Lach added. “They’re putting down a 120-foot track down so kids and parents will be able to ride that. We have a Thomas the Tank Engine backdrop and people can take selfies in front of it. Every 30 minutes we do drawings of some railroad article so there’s a lot going on both days.”

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What: The 43rd annual Dayton Train Show

Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 645 Infirmary Road, Dayton

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4

Cost: $7 adults, $6 active military and spouses, free children 12 and younger with paid adult

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