Photo courtesy of McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park

As fall chugs into the Valley, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is gearing up to host its annual Railfair celebration from September 30 to October 1, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The much-anticipated free event is a nod to all things railroading.

A major highlight will be the vibrant displays from various model railroad clubs. In addition to the permanent exhibits in the Model Railroad Building, attendees can marvel at an array of outdoor model train layouts. Railroading enthusiasts from across the Valley will present these exhibits, shaded under tents, and strategically positioned near the Merci Train Car and the Model Railroad Building.

For those who love the thrill of live action, the Scottsdale Live Steamers are set to make a return. Having taken a summer hiatus, they’re back to offer rides aboard the Arboretum Railroad. The embarkation point is conveniently located behind the Model Railroad Building entrance. While the rides come without a ticket price, donations to support the service are warmly welcomed.
Another attraction reopening for the season during the Railfair weekend is the Scottsdale Railroad Museum. Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of railroading history by exploring a vast array of artifacts, including a special collection from the historical 40 & 8 Merci Train Car. Adding to the immersive experience, the museum will offer guided tours inside the prestigious Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, offering glimpses into the luxury of presidential rail travel.

Train aficionados and families alike can look forward to rides on the park’s celebrated steam engines. The Paradise and Pacific Railroad’s iconic locomotives will traverse the main track throughout the day, offering scenic journeys around the park. There’s a chance to experience a rare “double header” ride, where engineers will couple engines #10 and #11 for one outstanding circuit around the park.

With an array of activities and displays, Railfair 2023 promises an immersive journey into the world of railroading. Whether you’re a seasoned rail enthusiast or a family looking for a delightful weekend outing, the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale, beckons. For more information, visit