George Washington Train Show this weekend

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Clifton Forge, Va. – Expanding back to pre-pandemic levels when the George Washington Train Show virturally took over the Town of Clifton Forge with events for all ages at multiple venues, the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society is excited to bring its winter fundraising event back to the Alleghany Highlands of Virginia.  The non-profit organization has announced the return of the full George Washington Train Show, taking place Saturday, March 2 from 10 AM – 4 PM and Sunday, March 3 from 12 PM – 4 PM.  Three locations will be active during the train show:  the C&O Railway Heritage Center, Clifton Forge Fire Department, and Mountain Gateway Community College in Warren Hall Auditorium.

Despite an increase in expenses since last year’s event, the C&O Historical Society has made a point to keep admission to the entire event at $5.00, which includes entrance to the extensive C&O Railway Heritage Center museum.  For several weeks leading up to the event, C&O Historical Society employees have made preparations at the Clifton Forge museum campus and updated the onsite Depot Gift Shop.  Visitors to the two-day festival have a special opportunity to see the rail-history group’s full lineup of historical gifts and models, saving money on shipping and handling by purchasing onsite.

IMG 1290Two-day event will also include:

  • The C&O Historical Society’s O-scale layout will be operating all day and showcasing large-scale model trains. The museum’s model layout represents the C&O Railway’s route from the Virginia shore to the Ohio River.
  • Showcasing the Society’s mission to share C&O Railway history, and demonstrating the depth of the George Washington Train Show weekend, a lineup of C&OHS contributors will present a variety of captivating subjects. Presentations are being held at Mountain Gateway Community College in Warren Hall Auditorium, 1000 College Dr, Clifton Forge (full list of speakers and topics included).
  • The museum will feature a new railroad photo exhibit on Chessie the Railroad Kitten, the long-time mascot of the C&O Railway, following her 90th birthday in 2023.

    N-Scale Layout and hands-on demonstrations at the Heritage Center train depot by C&OHS member and crowd favorite Dale Perry. Come see a variety of specially-imported Kato passenger sets running including Amtrak throughout the day and hear industry information first hand as Dale demonstrates his catalog of N-scale equipment. Great for visitors of all ages.

  • Operation Lifesaver will be exhibiting their crucial message for citizens of all ages regarding railroad safety and security.
  • Traveling from the New River Valley to participate, the Roanoke Valley Model Railroaders will feature a kid-friendly interactive layout. Their volunteers allow kids to operate their three-track HO Scale Layout in an effort to spread the joy and excitement of model trains to today’s children.
  • Door prizes (full list included) donated from suppliers for the George Washington Train Show. These door prizes include items for men, women, and children.
  • The Clifton Forge Little League will be onsite selling food (full menu attached) from their concession trailer.
  • On Saturday, the Clifton Forge School of the Arts will be offering a special Train Drawing Workshop as part of the 2024 George Washington Train Show. This class, taught by instructor Heather Baker, is open to all levels and will introduce 3-D drawing with tips and techniques to master drawing trains. Whether you’re an experienced artist, a train enthusiast, or a complete beginner in both fields, this class will offer an exciting learning experience and an opportunity to explore the world of train drawing.
  • The Clifton Forge Little League will have their Concession Trailer at the C&O Railway Heritage Center during the George Washington Train Show. Their menu will include, but not be limited to, soda, water, barbecues, hot dogs, nachos, French fries, and onion rings.  The Clifton Forge Little League is a non-profit organization for boys and girls ages 4-16 to play t-ball, baseball, and softball.

BK 24 501Long-time C&O Historical Society employee Brandy Dudley stated, “A long-time annual fundraiser for our non-profit organization, in the post-pandemic years, we have kept this tradition alive with a streamlined ‘George Washington Expo’ at our C&O Railway Heritage Center.  Now, for 2024, we are expanding back to our traditional format that allows for additional vendor space during the two-day event in Clifton Forge.”

Ms. Dudley continued, “Ee are utilizing the C&O Railway Heritage Center at 701 Main Street and the Clifton Forge Fire Department at 701 Church Street. For $5 admission, guests receive access to both locations that will feature vendors, speakers, food, exhibits, gift shopping, and more.”

George Washington Train Show:

March 2, 2024, 10 AM – 4 PM


March 3, 2024, 12 PM to 4 PM


For questions, please call 540-862-2210 or email brandy@cohsorg.

The C&O Railway Heritage Center is open six days per week, Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 AM – 4 PM at 705 Main Street, Clifton Forge, VA.  Information about the museum is posted to

The C&OHS archive database is available online at  Updates and additional information about the 54-year-old organization can be found on Facebook under or on Instagram at @ChessiesRoad.