Tag Archive | Model Railroad

49th Annual Mad City Model Railroad Show and Sale


Alliant Energy Center sign

Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall

This was our first time going to this railroad show, cost was $11 at the door. We parked for free one mile away at Olin Park, it would have cost us $7 and it was a beautiful day for a walk anyway.  The major sponsor is The South Central Wisconsin Division National Model Railroad Association Midwest Region.  See the info booklets for the show here.

This building is bigger than it looks, and there were plenty of displays in the hall area. The ticket booths looked like little train ticket counters, cute!

Ticket Booth at Model railroad show

Trains were the main exhibits here, but there was one that stood out from the crowd.   There was an exhibit dedicated to the Late ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald that sank on November 10, 1975.  There was even a ship bell that kids had fun ringing. Jim Ferguson ran this exhibit.

Edmund Fitzgerald Exhibit at Train Show

Let’s hear the bell!

We went inside and were amazed by the sheer volumes of trains of all sizes. The smallest trains were the size of a glue stick to ones large enough to give people rides. There were two of those! Here is a sample of all of this activity.

We also saw booths from some of the train attractions we have visited before.  The Fennimore Railroad Historical Society Museum, home of the “Dinky” train. Read about our visit here in 2013.

Fennimore Railroad Historic Museum

Fennimore Railroad Museum

Another place we have been to represented here was the North Freedom Mid-Continent Railway Museum. We have enjoyed two rides on their full-sized train, lots of fun!  See more about our visits here. The Autumn train ride is especially exciting.

Mid-Continent Railway Diesel Train

This display is by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society. We have seen them at two other events. One was Olbrich Botanical Gardens Holiday Express. Also at Janesville’s Rotary Garden Holiday Light Show.

Wisconsin Garden Railway Society

This very impressive display by the Powers Family is a tribute to the circus.  They will be visiting our church St. Peters in August.

Model Circus train at St. Peters

Foster Family Train display at train show

Enjoy a ride on the large circus train that was there too.

Circus Train ride at train show

Many souvenirs were available for purchase too, from t-shirts to train cars and of course, train hats and whistles.

Train hats at train show

An enjoyable morning for any train enthusiast, we are glad we went.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Holiday Express


Olbrich sign

Boltz Conservatory at Olbrich in winter

This has been a December tradition at Olbrich Botanical Gardens  for years. Their Holiday Express event is a fundraiser that is fun for the whole family!   When you walk in the door, you see a Christmas wonderland!

Olbrich Botanical Gardens lobby


Turn right to find the Atrium, where all the fun is!

Candyland  Olbrich Atrium

This year the displays resembles the game “Candy Land” .  Amidst the displays are model trains contributed and set up by the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society.  There are two trains on separate tracks.  Great job everyone!

Olbrich Garden Holiday Express frame


Lets see the train in action!

Some of the other scenery..

Holiday Express display

Blue Gingerbread House


Here is the other train!

Holiday Express Train 2 frame


After enjoying trains, your adult admission of $3.00 includes a visit to the Boltz Conservatory as well.

Bridge and Koi fish

Bolz Conservatory inside


It’s not just plants in here, birds live here also.  There are Canaries, Finches,  doves and Quail.

Hungry birds




I had a very enjoyable visit on a cold winter day. You will too.