Take the Train to the Railroad Hobby Show

The 2022 ARS Railroad Hobby Show has come and gone. We will update this page for the 2023 show in early January of next year.

While waiting for next years show we would encourage you to have a look at this recent video from the Mass Bay RRE group.

In this entertaining and revealing program, longtime Show Director John Sacerdote takes you behind the scenes during the weekend of New England’s biggest train show, and explains in detail all that goes on during the year to get ready for the show in January.

He also shares some amusing anecdotes about his experience as Show Director.


Everything you need to know to take a real train to the 2022 Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show.

What
The 54th annual Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show

When
Saturday, January 29, 2022 | 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 10 am – 5 pm

Where
The Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds (home of The Big E) in West Springfield, Mass.

Show website
railroadhobbyshow.com


Show details

Adults | $15 per day

Children 15 and under, FREE if accompanied by an adult

The show features real life railroads and scale model railroads, historical societies, travel agencies, art shows, flea market dealers, importers, manufacturers and photographers.

Commercial vendors and hobbyists will be selling model railroad equipment, parts and supplies — books, DVDs, ephemera, postcards, timetables — and all sorts of railroad memorabilia.

As they say, “there’s something for everyone!”

Stats (from 2019)

Operating full-size model railroad layouts | 60+

Expected attendance | 23,000 people

Show size | 400,000+ square feet

Registered vendors | 411


Final 2022 floor plan

Final Floor Plan 2022 ARS Railroad Hobby Show (PDF) | As of January 15, 2022

The best options for traveling to the show by train are the Hartford Line and Amtrak’s Valley Flyer. (details below.)

If you can spend the night there are train options available on Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited (Boston – Springfield – Pittsfield – Albany – Chicago) as well as Amtrak’s Vermonter (Washington – New York – Springfield – Vermont) service.

Five reasons to take the train to the show —

  • The shuttle bus service between Springfield Union Station and the show is free
  • Up to four children (ages 2-12) can ride the Hartford Line for just $1/each with an adult1
  • Let someone else do the driving and avoid paying for parking at the Eastern States Exhibition grounds
  • Traveling by train is more environmentally friendly than driving
  • Who wouldn’t want to take a train to get to a train show!

1 For the $1/child fare on the Hartford Line deal you’ll need to purchase your ticket using the CTrail app or a CTrail ticket vending machine.


Taking the Hartford Line to the show

You can take a Hartford Line train from New Haven, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, or Windsor Locks to Springfield Union Station, and from there catch a free shuttle bus (details below) to/from the show.

Scheduled connections between the Hartford Line and Metro-North’s New Haven Line are available at New Haven Union Station.

Hartford Line Weekend Schedule (PDF) | eff. 24 Jan 2022

Sample Hartford Line fares

One-way

Hartford – Springfield | $6.00
Berlin – Springfield | $8.00
Meriden – Springfield | $9.25
Wallingford – Springfield | $10.25
New Haven – Springfield | $12.75

50% discount for senior citizens (65 and older) and people with disabilities

Children (one-way)

Up to four children ages 2-12 with a paying adult – $1 per child

 

Parking at Hartford Line stations

Berlin, Meriden and Wallingford | Free on the weekend

Windsor and Windsor Locks | Free


Taking the Valley Flyer to the show

You can take Amtrak’s Valley Flyer from Greenfield, Northampton or Holyoke to Springfield, and from there catch a free shuttle bus (details below) to the show.

Here’s the schedule for doing this on either Saturday or Sunday:

Valley Flyer train 461 (southbound)
9:15 am | depart Greenfield
9:40 am | depart Northampton
10:23 am | arrive Springfield Union Station

Northbound trains

Vermonter train 54
3:15 pm | depart Springfield Union Station
3:57 pm | arrive Northampton
4:22 pm | arrive Greenfield

   or

Valley Flyer train 488
6:45 pm | depart Springfield Union Station
7:27 pm | arrive Northampton
7:53 pm | arrive Greenfield

If you take the 6:45 pm train you’ll have time for dinner at a nearby restaurant and/or have a closer look at the recently restored Union Station building, before stepping on the train for your trip home.

Restaurants in Springfield can be found on this TripAdvisor link.

Amtrak tickets can be purchased on the Amtrak website [Amtrak.com], or on the Amtrak mobile app.


Free shuttle bus to/from Union Station

The free shuttle buses1 will loop between Union Station and the Railroad Hobby Show starting at 8:30 am on Saturday and 9:30 am on Sunday.

The plan is that a shuttle should depart from each location on the route every 15–20 minutes.

Important note
You’ll need to wear a facial covering on the train, inside Union Station and on the ARS shuttle bus — so please be sure to pack your mask when you head off to the show. Sorry about that, but it is what it is.

Pickup / drop off locations

Springfield Union Station
at the main (north) entrance/exit of the station
(the shuttle will pickup at the south entrance on Lyman Street too)

ARS Railroad Hobby Show
at the Ticket Booths and at Door 7 of the Better Living Center
(check with your driver to confirm your pickup location and time)

Please be sure to allow enough time to make your scheduled train departure.

115 passenger vans are being used this year.


Further information

Amherst Railway Society Hobby Show (Official website)

Hartford Line (official website)

Valley Flyer | Trains In The Valley

Page last change: February 25, 2022
Page last reviewed: January 3, 2022