Monday, March 11, 2019

What happened on March 16 1995

March 16 1995 was a Thursday. And you ask yourself what made this day special? Well, in world history terms-- mainly nothing. Nobody famous was born or died.


in LGB history terms, 3 guys met on a plane..................   

Klaus, as you know, is by trade a Lufthansa flight captain for A 340. Now retired,  in 1995 he was in the dream years of his career.  LH  456 was to fly from Frankfurt to Los Angeles departing FRA around 10.00 a.m. and arriving in LAX around 13.30  or 1.30 p.m.. Klaus had worked with LGB by then for well over 10 years  having established close relations with Wolfgang Richter himself and the LGB family.
In the early 1980's Klaus was introduced to the Massoth company by Klaus Baumann, then Vice president Sales&Marketing LGB. Klaus  had developed and pre-designed the firebox for the Mogul and had built a prototype firebox in a Mogul. Klaus demonstrated this prototype to Mr. Massoth Sr . Mr. Massoth Sr saw this and said: "This has to go to Nuremberg (LGB) instantly. They are working on putting a cab light into a Mogul 2019S and need to see this."

The following day Klaus traveled to Nuremberg demonstrating this prototype to Mr. Ruhland (Head of Molding), Wolfgang Richter and Rolf Richter. The idea was instantly accepted. The Massoth Co. was chosen as the manufacturer for the firebox electronic while Klaus was to deliver  a producible reflector for the firebox as to ready the unit for serial production. The Mogul 2019 s was the first model train worldwide to feature the firebox light and was presented to the market in 1983. Gradually the firebox light was implemented in many more LGB steam locomotives.

So- as you can see, Klaus knew the top tier at LGB quite well as well as the guys at Massoth. Now, Klaus did all this important work for LGB while being a flight captain. As Klaus likes to say:" On some flights you really have time to think a lot. Technical stuff is what I do best next to flying".

Fast forward another 10 years when in 1995 Klaus was approached by Christoph Massoth who had joined his father's company by then. Christoph wanted to accompany Klaus on a special flight  from Frankfurt to Los Angeles with the goal in mind to get some sound recordings. The focus was on Disney Land in Anaheim/CA which featured a real life Mogul. The sales rep for LGB of San Diego had worked out the meeting arrangements.

Christoph was to fly on a so-called 'cockpit-ticket' which put him in the observer seat behind the Captain and Co-pilot in the cockpit of the A 340. While boarding Christoph told Klaus "Somebody else is on this flight today who we both know" and pointed out Rolf Richter among the passengers ready for boarding. Rolf  was to fly to San Diego on a regularly booked First Class ticket and was completely unaware of Klaus being the Captain and Christoph being another passenger.

There you have it.  No multi-billion company does permit what happened on March 16, 1995 : 3 men who did and were to impact LGB in awe-inspiring, extraordinary and also shocking ways on the same flight to further the abilities of LGB trains.
And to top it all off Klaus did invite Rolf into the cockpit for landing.

Courtesy trains
The Disneyland visit was later cancelled due to repair problems with the Mogul. So Klaus called Knott's Berry Farms and was able to arrange a visit and recording admission  for Knott's Berry Farms' real life narrow gauge steam loco in their amusement park. Rolf Richter left Klaus and Christoph to see to his LGB business in San Diego.

Rolf Richter passed away in 2009. Christoph Massoth retired in 2012 from Massoth Co. and went into sheep breeding and herding.

And Klaus? Klaus retired from flying in 2001 and went to establish a series of technical companies of which TrainCraftbyKlaus is still active and operating. As of March 2019 Klaus is again open for installation, restoration and repairs of LGB trains. Call him for an appointment for your LGB treasures. And please check out our blogs TrainCraftbyKlaus and  TrainCraft Trove.

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