September 26, 2023 – Despite the massive outpouring of people to the Clovis fest event occurring just blocks away, the 6th annual Clovis/Fresno Train Show saw a good crowd of onlookers during the hours of Saturday, September 23rd.
This train show is put on by the Model Railroad and Historical Society that runs throughout California.
Taking place at the Clovis Senior Center, the train show had everything trains, whether it be displays, photographs, videos, or actual railroad and amtrak workers.
With the train heavy population, many walked through the section of the Senior Center in order to discuss and view trains and locomotives while getting the chance to trade or even buy model trains.
Joe Bencivengo, President of the Model Railroad and Historical Society and media contact says that this event was created to keep the hobby alive for the public.
“We have layouts, vendors, and it’s just to keep the hobby alive for the general public. We enjoy doing it and we always get positive comments about the show every year.”
Bencivengo says that if spectators come into their show and want to buy say a certain model train, they are more than welcome to, and actually encouraged to do so. “We have raffle items and a kids raffle. It’s a fun time.”
Joe says he joined the club after his love of trains started when he received his first train set at just three-years old. “Now we have twenty-two members, and we just enjoy getting together. We have a show in Porterville, a show here, and if malls call us and say they want us to bring layouts we’ll do it.”
In Clovis specifically, they have been running this show for six years, and usually run about four to five shows a year. “We come because of the rent, they do give us a discount. We don’t look to make money, we’re just trying to break even. [The Clovis Senior Center] is friendly, they’re accommodating, and this room is gonna double in size next year so we’re hoping to get more vendors and layouts.”
Anyone who is a train vendor or has a larger collection of trains and would like to get in touch with the society should contact Joe Bencivengo at his email firstname.lastname@example.org.
He looks forward to anyone trying to join their club and says that they do not have dues to join.
Joe also says that at the end of the year, their parent club, the Toy Train Operating Society is dissolving, meaning that all dues to join will be obsolete.
This means for anyone wanting to join the Model Railroad and Historical Society, there will be no dues involved whatsoever.