Four-year-old Tyler Steffensen of Paradise Valley has never been on a real train.
"But," he said, "I really think they’re cool."
Steffensen and his 6-year-old sister, Kayla, were excited about all the trains they saw Saturday at the 25th annual Railfair at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.
"We’re going to ride a real train today, just like this one," said Kayla, pointing to her Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt.
Their grandfather, Walt Dalton, 71, said he was happy to be there.
"I can think of no better way to spend a Saturday than with my grandkids and looking at trains," he said. "That’s how I used to travel with my mom and dad."
Brad Lewis, the park’s assistant coordinator, said the park is normally an everyday city park, with a playground and grass and picnic benches.
Large train car displays hold the park’s train museum and a gift shop. Some models can be rented for birthday parties and special events.
"It was created with train enthusiasts in mind," Lewis said. "It’s just a place where people can come and hang out."
Saturday, however, the park was lined with booths and special exhibits, including model train displays. Fairgoers also could get information about trains, get their faces painted and learn about train safety.
The Arizona Gunfighters performed three Old West gunfights and "robbed" trains between shows.
Admission to the fair is free, but guests can purchase $1 train and carousel rides. The revenue from this, Lewis said, helps fund the fair each year.
"The goal of this," Lewis said, "is to keep people enthusiastic about trains."
Lewis said he expected 5,000 people throughout the day, and another 5,000 today. Usually, he said, there are about the same amount of children as adults who come take part in the activities.
Bob and Sheryl Whitland, both 78, drove down from their north Phoenix home to take a look at all the displays. "We’re selfproclaimed train dorks," Sheryl Whitland said, "but we don’t care. We have fun."
Where: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Rd., Scottsdale
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today
Information: (480) 312-2312