Trainfest is launching a New Annual International Layout Exhibition starting in 2020

It’s “20/20. Clear Tracks Ahead” to make Trainfest a global event and become the World’s Largest Operating Model Railroad Show!

We need your help. Support this effort today!

Travel the World at Trainfest

America's Largest Operating Model RR Show is getting one better!

This is going to be fun. Just imagine … 

Visit sites of Great Britain. Stop in the Swiss Alps. Explore Asia. Then go “down under” to visit the Aussies.

Only at Trainfest will you be able to explore and experience the world of model railroads from one place, in just one weekend. 

The more you contribute or the more Perks you buy, the more displays from more countries on display at Trainfest!

Volunteers Make it Happen

Did you know that Trainfest is organized and run entirely by volunteers … and we are a nonprofit? Yep. True!

We love trains and appreciate the artistry of model railroading.  

Since our passion is shared with so many train crazy kids to centurions at Trainfest, we thought, let’s invite some the best railroad layouts from around the world to join the 70 spectacular USA layouts on display.

We are doing the coordination of bringing the world to Trainfest 2020 but need some help to offset the shipping expense of the layouts. (Did we mention we were volunteers and operate as a nonprofit?!)

Because of the generosity of people like you,

We've already committed to exhibit two displays from Great Britain!

We have railroad inquiries from New Zealand to Japan from those wanting to display at Trainfest. The money we raise here will help pay for the shipping of these unique global railroad layouts.

We need your help.

Support this effort today!

Help us ship the displays,

And we’ll sweeten your Trainfest 2020 experience!

Show your support and get free Trainfest tickets to model trainsets!

While every penny helps – and we’re most grateful for all the pennies – the $10 and more contributions will make the program happen faster and bigger!

We’ve created a number of Perks to make your giving easy … and to say thank you for supporting Trainfest.

You can choose to donate by purchasing a Perk or making a contribution of your choice.

The Perks are loaded with with the most popular Trainfest items. Choose to be a Dispatcher or Conductor to Switch Operator or Gandy Dancer. How fun is this?!

England’s Moorside Valley Railway is coming to Trainfest 2020

D-Day Immortalized in Overlord Layout

How would you like to see the massive 40 ft. “Overlord” depicting the Allies’ preparations for D-Day? It’s amazing.

Please make a contribution to bring this award winning Great Britain layout to Trainfest 2020.

Together we can make it happen … just like they did 75 years ago.

Railfans, Makers, Hobbyists, Historians and Train Fans – our goal is to make the Int’l Layouts Exhibition a regular addition to Trainfest. These special railroads will be in addition to the 70 US spectacular operating railroads!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is paying the travel expenses of the international layouts?

The railroad layout group will pay for their personal travel expenses. Trainfest is raising money to pay for the shipping expense of the layouts.

How many international layouts do you expect at Trainfest 2020?

Our goal is a dozen, but we’ll have as many on display as the money raised will allow.

Why is Trainfest expanding through an International Exhibition?

Trainfest is held in Milwaukee, the birthplace of model railroading, and has for decades been considered the premiere US train show. We take our responsibility very seriously to offer the best of the hobby and it seemed only natural to add exhibits from around the world.

What happens if you fall short of your fundraising goal?

If this were to happen, we will just invite less international layouts to display.

I'd like to purchase a perk but remain anonymous, ie I don't want my name in the credits.

No problem. After you purchase your perk, just email your request to us at

No Passports Needed! Visit railroads from around the globe in one spot at Trainfest 2020!

Perks make great gifts too!

What better way to remember the railfan in your life and support a great cause?!

Have a suggested Railroad layout we should invite?

Let us know!
Either post it on the Trainfest Facebook page or email us.

All operating railroad scales and gauges are encouraged to exhibit. 

Applications are available now.

Help Spread the Word

The more we raise, the more layouts we can invite!

While railroad owners will pay their own travel expenses, it’s up to us – the volunteers of Trainfest – to raise the money to pay for the shipping of the displays.

Support this effort today! Make a contribution or buy a Perk!