Annual Cheshire show draws train enthusiasts from around northeast

Annual Cheshire show draws train enthusiasts from around northeast


CHESHIRE — Train enthusiasts, parents and kids from across the region filled Cheshire High School to near-capacity on Sunday morning for the annual train show.

“It’s the largest show in the state of Connecticut and the longest-running show in the state,” said Tom Kotulski, a teacher at Dodd Middle School. “It has a life of its own. As soon as the show ends the vendors will ask me if they can sign up for the next show.”

The cafeteria, gymnasium, commons and hallways were lined with boxes and boxes of model trains.

“People come from all around to this show,” said Kotulski, who has helped organize the event since its inception in 1978 and watched it grow to over 60 vendors.

The show was started as a way to raise funds for different classes that he advised along with Armond Mazzetti and Joan Natale.

The train show now raises money for the Cheshire Marching Band.

“We were all science teachers and we were all class advisers and we decided we would do a fundraiser for the Class of 1978,” Kotulski said. “We used to drag all the tables from the science classes and bring them to the cafeteria and we would set up initially just the cafeteria. Then it grew into the gym and then into the commons and now we fill the entire area.”

Vendors and fans alike came from Maine, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut,

Cheshire resident Steve Magnani, a local high school graduate, has been coming to the show since its first year.

After he graduated from college, Magnani started working with Mazzetti and they eventually opened up a hobby shop in Wolcott in 1981.

“I’m going to say that 25-30-percent of these people I know, they’re old customers,” he said.

Those in attendance were able to buy train sets or unique pieces. The kids were also able to take a photo with the Easter Bunny and create and play with their own train sets in the children’s area. 203-317-2235 Twitter: @PetePaguaga

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