Nathaniel Baze, 7, at left, talks with Steve Dryke of the North Olympic Railroaders group at the Clallam County Fair in August. The club returns to the fairgrounds this weekend for its 20th annual show. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Nathaniel Baze, 7, at left, talks with Steve Dryke of the North Olympic Railroaders group at the Clallam County Fair in August. The club returns to the fairgrounds this weekend for its 20th annual show. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Railroaders to celebrate 20th train show at county fairgrounds

Event becoming so big, organizers considering expansion again

PORT ANGELES — Trains stopped traversing the North Olympic Peninsula decades ago, but passion for them keeps chugging along.

This year marks the 20th year for the North Olympic Peninsula Railroaders’ Train Show and Swap Meet. It’ll be their second year at the Clallam County Fairgrounds, 1608 W. 16th St., after they moved to seek more floor space.

“It went fantastic,” club Vice President John Kumparak said.

“It turned out really great. It was a good move.”

This year’s free show at the Home Arts/Hobby Barn runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday and features numerous train displays and raffles.

Kumparak said one of the highlights is the Bremerton Northern Club bringing its two large model train layouts in HO (30 feet by 43 feet) and N (5 feet by 40 feet) scale.

“They have the distinction of it being the largest traveling HO scale in the Northwest,” he said.

The local model railroad club plans to bring its N scale models as club members continue to rebuild their traveling HO set.

“Our focus is on the North Olympic Peninsula from Forks to Port Townsend,” Kumparak said.

“We want it to be more realistic in keeping with the history.”

Club President Steve Stripp said the display has gone through a lot of variations over six-plus years but the Bremerton club took 10 years to build theirs.

Those who attended the Clallam County Fair this summer likely got a small sample of what the club’s show looks like.

Stripp said some club members plan to bring various train layouts in N scale, Lego, Brio and others. The club also brings out its HO and wooden trains and tracks for children to try.

Peninsula Railway and Lumbermen’s Museum plans to bring a speeder display from Shelton.

Along with trains and displays, club members anticipate about 40 exhibitors selling, trading and appraising trains at the show.

“We’re considering two buildings for next year,” Kumparak said.

“The best we’ve had [before the fairgrounds] was 13 or 14. It’s gotten really big.”

Club members also shifted the show a month earlier for two reasons — parking and to avoid competition.

Kumparak said disabled parking will be open for the September show because in October fair officials typically shut down the lot across from the Arts and Hobbies barn due to swampy conditions. This weekend, he expects ample parking.

The club moved a month earlier to avoid competing with other Washington shows in October.

“We’re trying to separate from other groups,” Kumparak said. “We hope they’ll come here.”

The North Olympic Peninsula Railroaders meet at 3 p.m. the last Saturday of each month at the Sequim Library, 630 N. Sequim Ave.

Also, look for the club at the Dungeness River Festival on Friday, Sept. 27.

For more information, call 360-582-1316 or email to [email protected]

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