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Model railroad festival returning to Ogden’s Union Station

By Ryan Aston - | Feb 29, 2024

Photo supplied, Bob Cannon/Hostler Model Railroad Club

An undated photo of a model railroad layout portion. The 34th Annual Hostler Model Railroad Festival will take place this weekend at Union Station.

OGDEN — The Hostler Model Railroad Club, which is touted as the oldest and largest model railroad club in the Beehive State, will be putting on its signature event at Union Station this weekend.

For the 34th time, the organization will hold its annual Hostler Model Railroad Festival. And while the event has almost exclusively emanated from Union Station, this year’s festival comes with the added distinction of taking place during the station’s 100th anniversary year.

“It’s the best venue to have a model railroad show — in a railroad station,” Bob Cannon, one of Hostler’s club officers, told the Standard-Examiner.

The three-day event will kick off at 3 p.m. Friday, with an 8 p.m. closing time. It also will run Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30-3.

Adult single-day admission is $8, and weekend passes are available at a $12 price point. Children aged 12 and under will be admitted to the festival free of charge.

Therein, nine operating railroad layouts will be displayed across both floors of the station. The festival also will feature model and photo contests, entry to the Union Station museums, railroad videos, and vendors from around the country selling new and used equipment.

Additionally, 40-plus Boy Scouts will be on hand to do work toward their railroading merit badges.

Like many of the club’s members, Cannon has had an interest in model railroading since childhood, and he’s been an active hobbyist for decades. Historically, the majority of festival attendees are similarly adults, some of whom have model railroading experience.

However, Cannon noted that attendees also include children and newbies, and club members are there to serve as resources for anyone who’s interested in getting into model railroading themselves, not only at the festival itself, but also weekly at Newgate Mall’s Hostler Model Railroad Museum.

“People in our club are willing to help anybody that wants to get started — help getting their equipment, help starting building a layout or whatever,” he said.

Although brand-new model railroad equipment can be cost prohibitive, Hostler organizes estate sales where people can jumpstart their collections with used equipment. Whether one is looking to jump into the model railroading fray or not, though, there’s enjoyment to be found at the festival.

“It’s a family fun activity, people really enjoy it,” Cannon added. “You always see screaming kids, ‘I don’t want to go!’ Parents try to drag them out. Of course, we all feel that way, us old guys. But the kids really love it and a lot of the parents do.”

For more information on the Hostler Model Railroad Festival, go to https://hostlers.info.


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