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posted: 2/28/2013 12:08 PM

Model railroad show rolls into Harper March 10

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  • Families and train enthusiasts will see 19 detailed railroads at the 35th annual High Wheeler Train Show Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, at Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, in Palatine.

    Families and train enthusiasts will see 19 detailed railroads at the 35th annual High Wheeler Train Show Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, at Harper College, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, in Palatine.
    Courtesy of High Wheeler Train Show

Submitted by High Wheeler Train Show

The 2013 High Wheeler Train Show celebrates its 35th anniversary on Saturday, March 9, and Sunday, March 10, when it steams into the Harper College Sports Center in Palatine.

The show runs both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families and train enthusiasts alike will experience 19 detailed railroads that come from throughout the Midwest to participate in the show.

"These are some of the best railroads showcasing incredible craftsmanship that you'll see anywhere. After 35 years, the High Wheeler Train Show has become a local treasure," said Jim Osborn, High Wheeler public relations trainmaster.

The High Wheeler Train Show hosts a variety of railroads featuring all popular sizes and scales of trains from small "Z" scale that can fit into a suitcase, up to large "G" scale trains that kids of all ages enjoy watching zip around the track. The railroads are more than just great trains; they are miniature worlds that display highly unique scenery, buildings and structures (many are even made from scratch), people, animals, cars from different eras, real places, fictional places -- the possibilities are endless.

A few railroads stand out as fan favorites that attendees will want to see while at the show. A 14- by 20-foot railroad built completely out of Lego bricks -- with running trains and many details -- is a showstopper.

Kids like to see Thomas and his friends running the rails on both the Fox Valley Division and North Shore & Western railroads. And, a large-scale favorite is the LGB Club of Chicago's railroad, the biggest layout at the show, occupying 2,400 square feet.

The High Wheeler Train Show is a fun and economical way for families to spend the day. Kids under 5 are always free. Kids age 5-12 can get in free with a printable online pass from, when accompanied by an adult. Admission at the door is cash only. Adults and teens $9, 65 and older $7, 5-12 years old $2 without coupon.

Another bonus at the show is random door prize drawings throughout both days featuring items such as free family passes to the Illinois Railway Museum -- among other items. Door prize entry is included with paid admission tickets.

In addition to door prizes, High Wheeler Train Show organizers want to pass along the hobby by offering families the Fascinated by Trains at the High Wheeler Train Show ability to drop an entry for a chance to walk away with one of four new starter train sets (retail value of $150 each). Starter sets include everything to get up and running -- train with an engine, cars, track, and a power pack. This prize is great for families new to the hobby as it is easy to assemble and operate.

The High Wheeler Train Show offers kids' activities including a train-themed craft and creative coloring. On both show days, kids will be able to express their artistic side as they color pictures of trains and assemble a free, take-home train craft. On Sunday, the kids' activity area will be expanded to offer face painting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A weekend full of family friendly train fun!

There is also plenty to see and do for avid hobbyists and train fans. They look forward to the shopping and deals to be found at local hobby vendors' booths featuring new model railroading products and latest innovation. For those interested in learning more about real railroads, the historical societies are a great stop.

The 35th annual High Wheeler Train Show is a model railroad show brought to you by the nonprofit Fox Valley Division of the National Model Railroad Association. High Wheeler Train Show is held in Building. M at Harper College Sports Center, Palatine. Ample free parking is available, and the show is handicap accessible. A food & beverage concession operates in the exhibit hall during the show.

For more information or to see pictures/videos of past shows, visit or to print free kids passes for ages 5-12.

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