More than a few people here have said the Springfield show is
Resin vendors: F&C, Sylvan, even Al Westerfield came once...
and specialty resin producers like West Shore, etc
Brass importers: Overland, Coach Yard, River Raisin, Key, MTS,
Railworks, Rail Classics... and brass dealers large and small
Manufacturers: Athearn, Atlas, MDC (pathetic display last year
across from the Athearn mega-display. Hmmmm...), Intermountain,
Branchline, AMB, Tichy, Stewart, City Classics, many specialty
vendors of structures, scenery, bunches of S and O scale vendors
plus Chooch (including Ultra Scale!), all major DCC vendors
Photo & Paper dealers: Many, including Bob's entire collection
(you can easily spend the whole show at Bob's if only the money
would hold out)
Layouts: dozens, literally, including the Amherst Society which
is about 100 modules including a giant, highly detailed hump yard
and modern passenger terminal. And an unbelievable O scale double
track loop with 100+ car trains of mostly O scale brass -- it has
to be seen! How often do you see an O scale GN 2-6-8-0 or a sextet
of beautifully weathered O scale hi tech diesels pulling huge
strings of equally fine freight cars?
Clubs & Societies: many
And 20,000 paying visitors, typically. Even in snowstorms! You'll
meet and talk with dozens of people you know from this list, from
Naperville, from all over the country... It's a gas. Honestly. I
enjoy Cocoa Beach, but it's really a scaled down Naperville, while
Springfield is like nothing else except maybe the NMRA convention
but without the politics.
And the NIGHT LIFE! Well, Al Welch and John Riddell can tell you
all about that. Hoo-ah!