Above: Ted Bossert stands next to his On3 Wells River Railroad at the 1988 Railroad Hobby Show. Photo Credit: Jan Luth
Above: The two rail O scale switching layout on display at the 1988 Railroad Hobby Show. Photo Credit: Jan Luth
Article By: Jim Spavins
Show Date: February 1988
During the club's second visit to Springfield in 1988, the group expanded its displays in the Better Living Center to include not one - but three separate layouts. Along with the HO scale layout, two O scale switching layouts were also put on display. While the club is best known for our HO and G scale layouts, these two switching layouts would be the first of many O scale layouts which the club would bring to the show. The layout, pictured above, was a three foot narrow gauge layout and a standard gauge two rail switching layout was setup just on the other side of the On3 layout.
The On3 layout was called "Wells River" and built by one of the early active members of the club - Ted Bossert. The stories of how quickly he managed to build his layouts are legendary in the club. The layout pictured a above - which featured all handlaid track, scratchbuilt structures, and custom painted brass equipment - was all built in the couple of months leading up to the show. Given how little was commercially available 30 years ago, this was quite the feat.
The two rail O scale switching layout - was the start of a larger two rail modular layout which would eventually be featured in O Gauge Railroading in 1997. For this show, some track was laid and trains were running but scenery was tough to find.