Trainfest bill’s itself as America’s largest operating train show and whether that’s true or not, it is one of the biggest. Contained under 200,000 square feet of space at the Wisconsin State Fair park in West Allis, Wisconsin, Trainfest runs over two days and draws more than 15,000 people. Since Milwaukee area is fairly close to our Chicago home, we venture up to the show each year to see what’s new in N scale. Here is our N scale report from Trainfest 2017:



Athern had no new announcements at Trainfest, but did have on display their recently released 4-6-6-4 challenger locomotives, GATX tank train and other recent releases.

Images from Athearn’s booth:



Atlas has several new announcements for the show. All new tooling of SD60E units (full information can be found HERE) and N Scale ALP45DP locomotive with matching bi-level passenger cars  (full information can be found HERE). They had preproduction samples on display at the show of both the SD60E:

and the ALP45DP and passenger cars:

A preproduction sample of the GP39-2 was also on display:

Images from the Atlas booth:




Bluford Shops just announced their new bay window steel caboose line at Trainfest:

They had most of their currently available lineup on display as well.



Broadway limited didn’t have any new announcements at Trainfest, but brought along samples of most of their current lineup. One thing caught our eye though, samples of what looks to be Cryo Tank cars in N scale which haven’t been officially announced (although they offer them in HO):

Other items are on display in the gallery below:




Matt at Fox Valley had his just announced SOO Line box cars on display:




GC Laser had this new car repair shop on display. We’ve haven’t seen it on their website yet, but expect it to be offered very soon:




Intermountain’s big announcement at the show is their all-new GP10 Paducah locomotives. These will be available in DC, DCC and DCC with ESU sound. Our full article on this unit can be found HERE.  

Intermountain also had a sample of their forthcoming superdome on display:

The rest of the models on display are in the gallery below:




Kato’s big recent addition is the Milwaukee Road Olympian Hiawatha which just shipped this past week. Kato says they have been very happy with the response so far. We would expect Kato to offer the set in Armor Yellow at some point in the future (our words, not theirs 🙂 ). We also put our two cents in on a vote for a North Coast Limited set at some point and Kato only says that it is something on their bucket list, but nothing planned. They did however ask about interest in the New York Central 20th Century Limited. They are currently running a poll looking for feedback that you can find HERE. Elsewhere in their booth on display were samples of their forthcoming F3 and PA units, their holiday Metra units and a few other odds and ends. The gallery of images from their booth are below:




Micro-Trains had their just announced November offerings on display:

Plus a few other odds and ends in the gallery of images below:




Monroe Models offers a number of nice looking kits that we’ve used on our own layout before. One item that caught our eye is this nicely done engine house:




Rapido and the boys from Canada had a few N scale items on display. First was a 3D printed sample of their forthcoming Turbo Train (info on their website HERE).

Samples of their N scale New Haven passenger coaches (more info HERE):

And lastly, Rapido has announced a relaunch of the GMD-1 (more info HERE). A few more images from their booth follow below:




Scale Trains had samples of their outstanding detailed GE GEVO Tier 4 locomotives on display:

Also on display are their Union Pacific water tenders and Thrall 4727cf carbon black hoppers:

Scale Trains has some more N scale announcements coming soon including more rolling stock and another locomotive. Stay tuned. Meanwhile we look forward to getting our hands on the GEVO units to see how they run.

A few more photos from their booth:




Any time Scenery Express is at a show, I always try and stop by to see what’s new in scenery materials. It also gives me a chance to see some items in person to better gauge what would actually look right in N scale. Two items caught my eye…

First is a new line they picked up from Europe called Martin Welberg. I’ve seen this in their new catalog and now saw the one remaining item that wasn’t sold yet (these went fast) and it is impressive:


Hedge rows of bushes are always tough to get right in N scale but a new product from Noch called Multi-Scale Boxwood Hedges:

While these might pass for actual boxwoods in HO or larger scales, they would actually make nicely manicured bushes in N scale.




Trainworx recently announced new Denver and Rio Grande Western steel caboose and had samples on display with very nice detail:




Walthers had a few samples of newer N scale structures on display in their booth, but not much else N scale related. Rumors circulating seem to indicate they sold off their n scale passenger car tooling and are negotiating selling off their n scale locomotive tooling. So long as it falls into good hands, it will be nice to see some new runs of more than a few of these models. We’ll see what happens. 




Wheels of time had samples of their 50′ exterior post insulated boxcar on display:

Also on display were a couple of pet project Matt has been working on and is looking for feedback on (you can contact him HERE to let him know if you are interested). First is a generic step-van:

The second item is a Pullman-Standard Southern Pacific class 77-C-1,2,3:

As is typical of Wheels of Time’s attention to detail, the 3D printed samples showed extremely fine detail:

Wheels of time is trying to figure out whether there is enough interest to offer these in kit form or short run. Other items on display in their booth are in the gallery below:




Woodland Scenics had all of their new water products on display. There are now a wide variety of tints, types of water effects and base colors to choose from. The new water looked good on their display models and is an improvement over previous products. There were also a few new figure sets, vehicles and structures on display.

More photos from their booth below:



Lastly, here are the complete gallery of images below. Hope some of this was helpful!

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