Take a trip back in time at Dayton Train Show

Model expo is one-stop for gifts and education



Many holiday shoppers are concerned about the breakdown in the supply chain making it difficult to finding certain hot-ticket Christmas gifts this year. Miami Valley Division 3, MCR, of the National Model Railroad Association is providing a unique shopping alternative with its 45th Dayton Train Show at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 6 and 7.

“It concerns me with everything they’re saying about the shipping containers and how there won’t be a whole lot of stuff available this holiday season,” said Richard Lach from Division 3. “We’ll have items for the public to buy in terms of railroading, from trainsets, shirts and mugs to coloring books, trinkets and that type of thing just in time for Christmas.”

No simple plaything

Miami Valley Division 3 is incorporated and registered as a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the real-world applications of model railroading.

“We have seven people on our Board of Governors and we have bylaws indicating we have to have a model railroading event in November, which is National Model Railroading Month. We educate the public by having the historical societies there. We talk trains and we give instruction on the hobby. We promote the hobby. We tell people how to do it and we provide all the materials.”

In an age when many children and adults alike spend too much time staring at screens, model trains offer tactile, teachable lessons while providing a break from the virtual world. Lach is living proof. He was a 6-year-old in Akron when his grandmother gifted his family a Lionel trainset in the early 1950s. He was immediately hooked. He embraced the hobby as a teenage Eagle Scout and continued to indulge his love of model trains throughout his career with the United States Air Force and, now, in retirement.

“Model railroading is a wonderful hobby in terms of understanding scale, modeling skills and understanding electricity, because there is AC and DC electricity,” Lach said. “Within, modeling skills you’ve got painting, design work, track work and you’ve got working with wiring and backdrop painting. All of that goes into model railroading.”



Back on track

After a COVID-19 forced break in 2020, Dayton Train Show returns from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The model expo features food trucks, vendors, hands-on activities and train displays in various sizes, from N scale miniatures to the larger G scale.

“This year’s theme, ‘Back on track to having fun,’ is an allusion to the fact we still want to have a good time,” Lach said. “We’re still interested in showing our hobby to the public. We bill this as a family-oriented event where the kids can come and have good time.

“We’d love to have the public renew their relationship with us after one year off,” Lach added. “We just ask them to consider this an inexpensive alternative to sitting at home or doing something that’s much more expensive to occupy their time.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.


WHAT: The 45th 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. 6 and 7

COST: $8 adults, free children 12 and younger with paid adult. Parking is free

MORE INFO: 937-424-6413 or www.daytontrainshow.com

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