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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

April 13, 2017

Easter weekend

Lots of work going on at the Museum this weekend. Crews will be out both Friday and Saturday trying to get some work done in preparation for the opening weekend of our 20th year.

Our first AGM in the Flanger

Our first AGM in the Flanger

Last weekend we held our Annual General Meeting at the Museum inside our EX-CNR Flanger which we moved last December. Was a great day to have a meeting at the shop. We also had the Woodings CBI Railcar and GE 25 ton diesel outside in the sun.

 

The Museum will be open  while we’re working on Saturday.  If you’re in the area, stop by.

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The Woodings motorcars and GE diesel together outside the Museum.

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Limited edition Canada 150 hopper. $6.00 through the Museum.

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Engineer Rubber ducky is also now available.

 

 

 

March 31, 2017

It’s about to get busy at the shop.

Its been a while since our last post, and its been a busy time since then.  So lets get started.

The Buffalo show went well. Sunday was definitely a lot busier and we talked to a lot more people. The hit of our display of course was the Woodings motorcar. The Woodings has been out of service for quite a while, and went in for engine repairs upon returning to the Falls after the Buffalo show. More on that later.

The 17th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show has also come and gone during this time, and it was a great show. Vendors from across Ontario, selling all scales of model trains, artifacts and historical displays. The G Scale Vineland Siding Bluetooth controlled switching layout was a hit with the kids.

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The Museum’s live steam Pacific made an appearance at the show again.

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The NRM sales table was fairly busy at the show.

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Golden Horseshoe Live Steamers display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restoration work continues at the shop with the Plymouth diesel still the main focus. Most of the windows have been reinstalled, with just 2 frames left to clean and paint. Adam has been working on cleaning off the surface rust on the carbody, a slow process, but he is making progress.  This is some of the first work this locomotive has had in a few years. Elsewhere in the shop, Ken has been working inside the office, installing drywall and a ceiling so we can get our office back in order. Another week and we’ll be starting to get things cleaned up and organized around the site. Not too long now until our opening weekend in May.

Conductor side sliding windows back in place.

Conductor side sliding windows back in place.

The Woodings back on track on March 31st.

The Woodings back on track on March 31st.

The Woodings CBI Railcar was taken in for repairs after returning from display at the Buffalo show in February. The car hasn’t run for at least 5yrs, and was in need of motor repairs. After 2 months, and countless hours, the car fired up and ran. There is still some tweaking to do, mostly adjusting  the throttle and choke, but overall, having the car running again will make it a great addition to our 2017 activities.

Woodings CBI Railcar

 

There is so much going on out at the Museum this year as we hit our 20th Anniversary. We have our usual open weekends in May and July, but will also be open on Canada Day as we celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday. We will also be open Saturdays from June to October, with our big event, Rail Days, taking place on September 9/10. We have many more surprises in store this year, so we hope you’ll join us in Fort Erie at the Niagara Railway Museum.mayopen raildays sats

 

February 18, 2017

Buffalo Train Show – Saturday Feb. 18

The Niagara Railway Museum went on the road again this weekend, taking part in the Buffalo Train and Toy Show held at the Hamburg Fairgrounds in Hamburg NY.  This bi-annual show draws from all over, and we are very pleased to be a part of it. We took the CP Woodings CBI motorcar and our small display. As a bonus, we were placed beside a restored Kalamazoo Velocipede, so it showed 2 different eras of track equipment. We spoke to many people about the Museum, and what we have planned for our 20th anniversary this year.  A lot of show and open house flyers were handed out, as were Museum brochures and business cards. Hoping for another great day on Sunday.

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The motorcar is always well received as part of our small display.

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Ken & Adam discuss the day before the show opens.

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Our 1985 Woodings CBI beside an 1883 Kalamzoo Velocipede.

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Flower City Hi Railers have a rather impressive O layout. This is a dream scheme GT unit.

February 12, 2017

More work on the Plymouth

It was perfect working weather at the Museum on Saturday, very comfortable for working inside. Ken Sr. continued working in the office, finishing some drywall and sizing up the supports for the ceiling. Ken Jr. and Adam spent the day working on the Plymouth, starting to install the windows that were smashed out by vandals 6yrs ago. The first panel in front of the engineer was installed first, followed by the conductor side sliding windows. There is still some work on those windows as the bottom slide supports that lock the windows in place need to be installed. 4 more window frames (2 large. 2 small) need to be prepped and painted before the glass.  Hopefully another 3 work days and we’ll have this work done and the Plymouth will have a full set of windows again.

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The first new windows installed.

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The view from the Engineman’s seat through the new window.

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Still a long way to go, but the windows are a great start.

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The conductor side windows are in place, but still need to be properly secured.

February 3, 2017

Looking over the Plymouth

With 2017 being a big year for the Museum, we are looking at getting the Plymouth MDT40t back in to operation for the first time over 25yrs. The motor itself was made operational about 6yrs ago, but without the compressor, the locomotive is not able to operate under its own power. The original compressor was damaged beyond repair, and we are waiting for a replacement. There were some other missing and damaged parts that we are looking to repair and/or replace. The locomotive is missing one side of the exhaust piping, but there is one set that can be used as a pattern, as the missing pieces may have to be custom built. There is some damage on one wheel flange that will be repaired as this locomotive will only be used for demonstrations and backup power if necessary. Once the locomotive is back in service, more work will be done on the air system as the train air lines need to be re-piped. Saturday February 11th we plan to start replacing the windows in the cab and cleaning it to prep it for a coat of paint in the spring. Lots of projects on the go for our 20th year, always looking for volunteers to help, no experience necessary.  Donations can also be made to our  many projects and anything over $25 is eligible for a Charitable Tax Reciept.

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Sizing up the exhaust port for an elbow.

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The existing exhaust piping and muffler.

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A custom built Y will join the 2 sides to go out the carbody.

 

January 30, 2017

Mechanical help needed

The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. is celebrating 20yrs in 2017, and our goal is to have any equipment that operates, back in service for this year.  With the arrival of the GE 25tonner in November 2015, it gave us a locomotive with enough power to move around any of our equipment. However, we also have 2 other pieces of motive power in the collection that we want to get back in service. Our Plymouth MDT 40t is waiting for an air compressor, and then should be able to be returned to limited service. The main piece we want to get back into operation is our Whiting 2TMA Trackmobile.  This unit was restored by one of our members back in 2014 and was used a few times for demonstration purposes and to move equipment outside for cleaning. However, while it is fine operating condition, something came loose in the transmission, and it will no longer disengage with the clutch. The Museum is looking for a mechanic that would be willing to assist us with this project, as it really is a very useful piece of equipment.  If anyone knows someone that might be able to help, please contact the Niagara Railway Museum Inc. ASAP so we can get this item back in service.

January 27, 2017

Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo gondola #2676

The NRM is pleased to officially be able to announce that we have finally finished the acquisition of the last gondola from the TH&B Railway. #2676 reached its 50th year in February 2016, and after almost a year of negotiations, the car was finally delivered by CP to CN’s Southern Yard near Welland. It was then picked up by Martech Rail Services and has gone into storage on their property until we can move the car by road in the spring.

This acquisition all started when the TH&B Historical Society and a TH&B fan at CP noticed that this would end up being the last TH&B Gondola, and was therefore something that should be preserved. The NRM was contacted about accepting the car (the TH&BRHS is not a Charitable organization, nor do they have space to put such an item), and accepted the offer.  The last thing the Museum needed was another freight car, but with its significance, it was felt that it would be a good addition to the Museum, and allow us to help out another important Historical Society. The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. would like to extend our thanks to Heather Woods and James Gamble from CP who worked very hard on this whole project. James worked tirelessly until the very end to see this through.

The car is in very good condition. It shows normal side panel dents and such, but has no holes in it and the top rails are straight as an arrow. The car recieved a very light covering of black paint at some point, but the lettering and logo can still be seen on one side of the car. In time, the car will be restored back to its as delivered TH&B scheme. The NRM also thanks Martech Rail Services in Welland for their assistance with the storage and movement of the car.

As with everything else at the Museum, we are always looking for financial assistance with this car, and our other pieces of equipment. Donations can be made securely online through Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-railway-museum-inc/

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Martech’s 1950 GE 80tonner spots TH&B 2676 out behind their shop for storage.

 

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B end of 2676.

 

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A end of 2676.

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The TH&B logo is still faintly visible on one side of the car.

January 15, 2017

Welcome to our 20th Anniversary!!

The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. was founded in 1997 by Ken S. Jones as the Niagara Falls Railway Museum. After years of having no luck in Niagara Falls, it was decided to change the name and search for a new home elsewhere. In 2010 the Museum made arrangements with the owner of the former Canadian National Railway diesel locomotive shop in Fort Erie, Ontario, and immediately began cleaning the interior along with building new track outside, and moving equipment onto the site. Fast forward to 2017 and the Museum’s 20th year. 2016 ended with the arrival of an ex-CNR flanger donated by the family of Gerry Wool of Genaire Ltd. in Niagara On the Lake. There was also a second car donated to the Museum which is currently stored offsite, and more information will be coming this week. This car will be moved in the spring.

There is just so much happening at the Museum this year, and we hope you’ll stop by at some of the great events we have planned. Just some of the coming events we have planned.  And don’t forget, the Museum is open Saturdays from June 17th to September 30th. Our second big open weekend at the Museum will be July 9th & 10th, and of course our Fall Model Railway Show on October 29th. More information on many of these coming events will be provided as the time gets closer, but be sure to check out our first event, the 17th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show on March 5th.

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January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017!!

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2017, our 20th anniversary!!

2016 was yet another great year for the Niagara Railway Museum.  While our workforce at the shop was often small, we did get some projects done. Into the spring of 2016 we worked to changout all of our existing florescent lighting and go with LED flood lights.  This has given us a much brighter display area, and we will be finishing that off as we open up more of that area for displays this year. New lighting will also be added down the work platforms and into the shop area.  Our office work is coming along and we hope to have that finished in the spring. Wayne M. used some donated metal siding to start closing up some of the many broken windows in the shop. He started with the upper windows in the heavy repair bay, and had that done by winter. This has made a huge difference in the amount of weather that comes into the building.  We will using this same material elsewhere in the shop as we work to make the building more weather proof.

Equipment had to be switched around as well, and our GE 25tonner did that work with ease. Our 3rd boxcar was unloaded (used for storing 4 Fairmont A4d gangcars), and in March was switched to its current position on the middle track behind electric E-7. The car was then converted for part display and part store, and worked out very well in 2016. We ran 3 very well attended open weekends, and 2 model railway shows. We were also open every Saturday from June to October, which will be repeated again this year. Of course, the biggest news for 2016 was the successful move of our ex-CN wood flanger, which was gratiously donated by Lorraine Warner of Genaire Ltd. The car has been located at their facility at the Niagara District Airport in Niagara On The Lake since 1977. The car now resides inside the shop, and restoration work has already begun.

So with 2016 behind us, what are we looking at for 2017? We once again have our wish list, things we are looking for, items that will aid in the restoration and operation of the equipment and the museum. The list is in no particular order, but the first item is, for us, the most important.

  • Financial contributions – We can always use cash donations. Donations can be made towards specific projects at the shop, and can also be made in memory of someone. All donations over $25 are eligible for a Charitable Tax Receipt, and can also be made securely through Canada Helps
  • Construction materials – like lumber, nails, screws, even shop equipment is all necessary to the day to day operations of the Museum.
  • Rail and track materials – Necessary for our expansion projects in 2017.
  • Railway equipment – Always looking for equipment that has an attachment to Niagara. Looking for a caboose (wood or steel), passenger or baggage car, or even a locomotive. There’s still equipment around that has significance to Niagara.
  • Volunteers – The Museum is an all volunteer site. We rely on our members for a number of different tasks.  You don’t need to have a skilled trade to become involved. We have everything from archiving, to restoration, operation, and even off site displays.
  • General assistance – We are also looking for someone that has fundraising experience, and knowledge of grant applications. Help us get the assistance we need.

As we move into 2017, I thank all of our dedicated volunteers and members who help make the Museum what it is, and look forward to working with all of them in the coming year.  I also extend thanks on behalf of the Museum to everyone who has taken time in 2016 to pay us a visit, and to everyone who donated over the year, financially, for different projects, especially the flanger move, and with materials to allow us to get a few other projects started and completed. There will be more news coming very soon, and we hope to see you out at the Museum in 2017 to see everything we have in store for our 20th Anniversary!!
Ken Jones
President – Niagara Railway Museum Inc.

2016

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Niagara Railway Museum. All the best to you all.

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