Bob Webber <no17@...>

I think the best way to describe Springfield is a two day amalgam of shows - take a large GATS (like the Wheaton show used to be, 4 buildings (yeah, in Illinois, we used to have one monthly, now it's a Greenburg and it's going down hill fast); take a RPM subtracting the clinics (although Springfield DOES have hands on demos); add a railroadania show, add a collectors meet; add a NMRA train show portion; ensure that there are 10-15 HS and maybe 5 brass importers (I think maybe more now that I think of it); and perhaps 20-25 manufacturers; and perhaps 20-30 discount hobby emporiums; 5-10 photo dealers; and then add 10-20 small in-house manufacturers of stuff you'd never see "the big guys" make: and stir for about six months. Add 20K+ people, nice balmy weather; and an Amtrak stop in town and you have yourself some fun.

It's something you have to do if you ever thought the NMRA train show was too tame or too "corporate" or too structured. It's something you have to do if you want to see everything made at one place - think the Detroit or Chicago Auto show for model trains.

Every time I've gone I've come back with enough photos (of D&RGW material) to make it worth my while. Every time I've gone I've needed the extra bag I've brought. My only real problem with it is the timing is so close to the Sn3 Symposium - and this year THAT is in Seattle. Now going to Springfield from Chicago is no big deal, but going from there to Seattle having been to Cocoa Beach means that all I have to do is go to San Diego in between all that to be judged clinically insane. Which I grant you is not that much of a leap.

No, Springfield should not be compared to Cocoa Beach or Naperville. It should be more compared to a GATs or a NMRA train show - or perhaps the two together. The only thing is - you *can* obtain the photos there (in Springfield), the kits there and the detail parts there - and in many cases - *only* there (due to it being close to the source, people bring their entire inventory there).

At 04:03 PM 8/25/2005, you wrote:

Mike Brock wrote:
I gather that Springfield is a "train show". To be sure, Prototype
Rails at
Cocoa Beach is not.
Excellent point, and the same comparison can be made between
Naperville and a train show. Personally, the "train show" (without the
tinplate) that does the most for me as a westerner is Winterail, but
that's another topic. As for Naperville vs. Cocoa vs. Springfield, I've
been voting with my feet for some years and expect to continue to do

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history
Bob Webber

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