Science Museum of Virginia Hosts 43rd Train Event Weekend after Thanksgiving

All Aboard! Make Sure You Have Your Tickets Prior to the Model Railroad Show

November 10, 2020
kat simons

It wouldn’t be the weekend after Thanksgiving in Richmond without train-themed fun at the Science Museum of Virginia’s Model Railroad Show, presented by Dominion Energy. While the event will look different this year due to capacity limitations, the Museum is excited to host the model train club displays for the 43rd year November 27 through 29.

The three-day event features six different train displays with various scaled locomotives riding through intricate landscapes and miniature cities. Created by HO, O and N-scale model train enthusiasts from across Virginia, guests will also enjoy seeing the classic scenes in the displays of clubs that have participated in previous Model Railroad Shows for decades.

“The Model Railroad Show is a nearly half century Virginia holiday tradition,” said Chief Wonder Officer Richard Conti. “It was important to us to keep the tradition going, but to do so in the safest manner possible. Every change we’ve made to this year’s event is designed to help manage guest flow to create a safe and enjoyable event for families to create lasting memories.”

One of the most important changes for this year’s event is that all guests – including Museum members – must purchase tickets in advance through the website or by calling guest services. No walk-up tickets will be sold at the Museum. Tickets go on sale on the Museum’s website today, Nov. 10.

To manage the flow of guests, the Museum is offering timed entry both to the Museum and to the Model Railroad Show with a limited number of tickets available in each timeslot. When purchasing a ticket, guests will select their Museum entry time. Entry to the Model Railroad Show, held in the Dewey Gottwald Center, will be 30 minutes after guests arrive at the Museum.

The Museum will offer member-only hours each day from 8 – 9:15 a.m.; general public entry times will begin at 9:30 a.m. daily. The last ticket time slot will be 3:45 p.m. each day to allow guests time to experience the Model Railroad Show before the Museum closes at 5 p.m.

The Museum has adjusted operating procedures, including requiring masks, so guests are encouraged to review the reopening policies on the Museum’s website at before their visit. There is no reentry to the space housing the Model Railroad Show and/or the Museum all three days of the event.

While at the Museum during Model Railroad Show weekend, guests can take in free planetarium shows offered in the Dome at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Guests can also help with a collaborative railroad scene and make a conductor hat in The Forge. Museum educators will offer steam engine demos in various places around the building, and this year’s event also includes a display of historical Broad Street Station items from the Museum’s collection. In addition to the themed activities, the Museum’s “Speed,” “Boost!” and “Giant Insects” exhibits will all be open for guests to explore.

The Museum is grateful for Dominion Energy’s continued support of the Model Railroad Show as they return as presenting sponsor for the third year.

“We are especially pleased to sponsor this event again this year,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “The expansive display of model trains will bring some much-needed joy and fun to our community as 2020 comes to a close.”

Model Railroad Show activities are free with Museum admission. Museum members and children two and under are admitted free. The Museum offers discounts for military, teachers and EBT cardholders. Qualifying guests should call 804.864.1400 for details about reserving those tickets with the discount code.

Planetarium shows in the Dome are free of charge all weekend, and seating is first come, first served. Each showing is limited to 50 people, and there is no food or drink allowed in the Dome. The Museum’s gift shop will be open each day of the show, but the café and concessions will be closed.