Author Topic: Wesley Spear  (Read 1568 times)

Steve Klare

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Wesley Spear
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:04:58 AM »
It's on the SR&RL website that Wes Spear passed away this winter.

I'll always remember him the way I met him back in 1982.

Here I was, all of 20 years old. Every summer I went on some kind of Railfan vacation. When I was 19 it was East Broad Top, but the following year it was my favorite: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes, and for the very first time.

We had been camping down in Farmington that week and explored Farmington, Strong and Phillips already, but I wasn't there on a run day.

The Third Sunday of that July my Dad and I parked at the Sanders end and heard the squeal of standard gauge freight car wheels on 16 pound rail and the rumble of a Ford 292 V8 coming up the line and soon SR&RL engine 4 and coach 18 swayed into the station and down climbed Wesley Spear.

He was pleased to meet a young rail fan (even one "from away") and he talked to us about building number 4 and rescuing the cars from the area  (he had to build trailers just to move them.). He said they'd only recently gotten rail up to the edge of Bridge Street. The landowner across the road was going to give them permission to cross soon, and they would put in a crossing and had 3 miles of right of way after that. (to this day, the end of rail is still right there.)

He was all enthusiasm and resourcefulness: just the kind of guy it took to make something from pretty much nothing,  just to make a beginning. Yes, later on somebody should find original Laconia coach seats and have correct copies made. Wes was the kind of guy who would scour junkyards for Volkswagen Beetle seats so a coach that had been an empty shell for decades could carry passengers again. It was for later people to raise money to build and restore vintage steam engines, what was needed back then was a guy who could build a Forney powered by a car engine.

-he was the pioneer.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 01:22:28 AM by Steve Klare »