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If you’re interested in trains, the Ozarks Model Railroad Association’s Spring Show this weekend is something you might want to check out.
The event will include a track laying contest, clinics—including one for beginners, the chance to meet and visit with manufacturers of model railroad products and more. Attendees will be able to buy chances to win one of two signed and numbered prints by nationally known watercolor artist John Fulton. And there will be door prizes including train sets and tickets to ride the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad.
There will also be lots of kids’ activities including a Kiddie Train that kids can ride on and a switching challenge. And young people will be able to take the controls of a virtual locomotive.
Ron Williams, a founding member of the Ozarks Model Railroad Association, says there will also be opportunities to purchase train parts…
"For the hard core, we have the swap meet, and we have over 100 tables with used and new equipment that people can take advantage, and usually there are bargains out there to be had, and it helps reduce the cost of the hobby because you can find very useable equipment for very reasonable prices," he said.
Williams became interested in trains when he was a kid and his grandfather was a conductor for the Chicago & Alton Railroad. His grandfather once took him along for the ride.
He now has a model train in his basement…
"Mine is set in 1970s--I say 70s because I don't want to be pinned down to a day and a time, but it's 1970s in Springfield, Missouri. We have the yard out in northwest Springfield and then we have several different industrial zones where we go out and switch cars," he said.
Williams hopes people of all ages come to the OMRA’s Spring Show on Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Crosslines, a project of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks. Christine Moses is a spokesperson for the council…
"Crosslines is a service agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks and is primarily a food pantry. Right now we are seeing a significant increase. One of the local pantries closed at the end of last year and has caused quite a flux of folks coming in," she said.
Admission to Saturday’s show is $7 for adults, and kids 12 and under get in free. Hours for the show at Remington’s, 1655 W. Republic Rd., are 9 to 3. For more information, omraspringfield.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.