Oregon Rail Supply
It recently came to my attention that the Oregon Rail Supply three aspect signals I have been using for my block signals on the Piedmont Southern were almost impossible to find. Just about everybody including Walthers was out of them and almost everything else made by Oregon Rail Supply. To get to the bottom of the problem I sent an email to the company and I received a nice response. As it turns out Dick Yager, the founder and operator of the business died about 2 years ago. His wife has been running the business while also working her regular job since then. In January she had some health issues which put her behind in production. However she is rapidly catching up with retail orders and soon expects to have a shipment ready for Walthers.
So, this takes me back to one of the long-term realities of model railroading—many of the parts, kits, and supplies we depend on are produced by small companies with few if any employees other than the owner/operator. So what does this mean for us? Well, one thing to remember is that if you need something buy it now! If you need 20 signals for your layout buy all of them now! Although most of the companies eventually pass to other owners upon the current owner’s retirement or death there can be down times when production backlogs mean the product you suddenly need may not be available for weeks or even months. Buy it now!