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On this weekend: Family fun on track at the Sea to Sky Model Train and Hobby Show

Get On Board: Railway Museum in Squamish hosts annual model train extravaganza, March 23 and 24.

Do you or your children like big trains, little trains, RC cars, Harry Potter, Thomas the Tank Engine and everything in between? If so, you will want to enter this two-day event into your spring calendar.

The third annual Sea to Sky Model Train and Hobby Show is back at Squamish’s Railway Museum of British Columbia on March 23 and 24. Tickets are on sale now.

This year's event will have even more for families to see and do spread out over the CN Roundhouse and Car Shop exhibit spaces and beyond.

When The Squamish Chief visited the museum on Feb. 13, Gordon Hall, one of the organizers and registrar of the show, was excited to have just received confirmation that Little Obie, a scale model ride-on CN locomotive, will also be at the event.

It will run through the parking lot.

For the die-hard hobbyist, there will be new and used model trains, model railway equipment, hobby tools and supplies.

And if you come to shop, there will be toys, diecast models, plastic model kits, RC cars, and trucks for sale. 

Much to see and do

Dozens of vendors and exhibitors are coming from nearby, including Squamish’s own Men's Shed, and farther afield, including the Victoria Model Railway Club and the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society.

Hall said the goal has been to open the event up to more and more types of hobbies. 

For example, the Automotive Model Builders – Collectors of Greater Vancouver club is coming this year.

Most of all, there will be many hands-on activities for children of all ages.

There's the Harry Potter village and trains, as well as wooden and battery Thomas the Tank Engine train tables.

"We've got the hands-on Thomas things where the kids can run the controls," Hall noted.

If radio-controlled (RC) vehicles are your kids’ thing, the West Coast Scale Trail RC group will have a large display of a crawler hill climb track.

And Langley hobby shop, RC Pitstop, will have an RC racetrack. 

"So the kids can try out remote control race cars in the car shop," Hall said.

On Sunday, he added, the plan is to have time trials for RC vehicles.

"How fast can you go around the RC course," said Hall, adding this is meant to be a fun, light-hearted activity for families.

Other activities

All weekend long, attendees can climb aboard the Mini Rail Ride (for an extra $3). 

On Saturday only, there is the opportunity to ride aboard the Woss Speeder (tickets $5).

"It was built in the 1940s ... it's an old, basically, rail bus that took crews to work along the rail lines; it came from the logging camp that was on Vancouver Island," Hall said.

On Sunday only, families can get on board the BC-21 Budd Car for a ride (tickets are $10).

"The unique thing about that is it'll be running north a little ways on the BC Rail mainline across the bridge so you can have a good view and then it will run it into our car shops across the road—the repair shops—so people can get a view of the work in there," Hall said.

Also, on Sunday only, there are free site tours. 

Snacks are available and a food truck will be on-site for hot meals, or bring your own grub if you like.

Parking is free.

Tickets are available for one day or for the whole weekend.

“The fantastic thing about this show is that … there are so many people that are coming up from the different groups, [exhibitors and vendors] to do this show because they want to enter it. They want kids and families to enjoy it,” said Hall.

Find out more or get tickets by going to the Railway Museum of B.C. website. 


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