All Aboard! Strates Shows Prepares “Fair Train” For A Return To Rails In 2024!

The railroad yard at Strates Shows Winter Quarters is busy with activity as crews prepare the famous James E. Strates “Fair Train” for a journey up the Eastern Seaboard. Rail cars that have been dormant for the past several seasons are being mechanically overhauled and restored, including the application of a retro-inspired paint scheme and lettering.
This will be the first time since the Fall of 2019, and the subsequent 2020 pandemic related shutdown of the fair industry, that Strates Shows will utilize the train. The James E. Strates Shows is regarded as the operator of the last remaining “show train” in the world.
The reactivation of the Strates Shows rail program will coincide with a celebration to commemorate its partnership with the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York (Buffalo). 2024 marks the 100th year relationship between the Erie County Agricultural Society and the James E. Strates Shows that began in 1924. The exclusive partnership is a historical milestone in the modern amusement industry and is considered the longest continuous run of any carnival midway in the United States. The 2024 Erie County Fair opens on Wednesday, August 7th through Sunday, August 18th.
Strates Shows has worked closely with its mainline railroad partner, CSX Transportation to enable the historic show train movement to occur. The “Fair Train” will move in general freight during its trip up the Eastern Seaboard from Strates Shows Winter Quarters in Central Florida to Western New York State. Details about the train’s arrival into Hamburg, New York will be released at a later date.
To commemorate the “Fair Train,” Strates Shows has partnered with Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc. to release models depicting trains from two different eras. The models will be announced for pre-order reservations in Atlas’ O scale catalogs, beginning with the first of the announcements during Summer 2024. For more information and to be notified of future announcements, please visit and sign up for Atlas’ email newsletter – the Atlas Insider.
-via Press Release

This article was posted on: June 20, 2024