The first virtual model train show to replicate the in-person train show experience, an event dubbed World’s Greatest Hobby Online, will take place on April 17th. The event is sponsored by the World’s Greatest Hobby, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It will feature digital exhibits and keynote addresses from some of the best-known model train companies including Atlas, Bachmann, Kalmbach, Kato, and Walthers.

World’s Greatest Hobby Online will differ from previous virtual train shows in that content will be user-selected. Attendees will be presented with a variety of booths on a virtual “show floor” and will be able to enter and leave these booths as they like. Merchandising will be a part of the virtual event too. Online retailers will be present, offering special deals on their e-commerce outlets to attendees of the show.

Additional content will also be available for attendees to browse at their discretion. Videos of operating model train layouts will be shown and attendees will be able to vote for which model railroad will win the grand prize. Educational seminars, complete with live Q&A sessions, will be presented with subjects geared towards both novices and experienced modelers.

“The difference between this event, versus other virtual train shows that have been held, is that people can visit the booths they are interested in,” said David Swanson, who is working to develop World’s Greatest Hobby Online. “Our goal is to make the experience as similar as possible to walking around a real train show.”

Attendance at the show will be free for the first 10,000 registrants. It is intended to be a nationwide event and will be timed to appeal to the entire country. The show will start on April 17, 2021 at noon Eastern/9:00am Pacific and will close at 7:00pm Eastern/4:00pm Pacific.

More information can be found at including exhibiting information and an advance registration page for attendees.