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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

September 17, 2017

Rail Days 2017

A VERY big thank you to everyone who came to Rail Days at the shop this weekend. It was the biggest event we’ve ever held at the shop and it was an overwhelming success. Thanks to the Ontario Northland and Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo Railway Historical societies, and our vendors for joining us at this event. Our night photo shoot was small, but there were some great pics from it, and we look forward to holding it again in 2018. The event wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our great group of volunteers who gave up so much of their time this weekend to put together a great event. (Aaron, Adam, Bill, Garry, Ken, JT, Jim, Nolan, Audrey, Wayne G, Colin, Mike, Wayne M, John and Lynn).

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One of the Wainfleet bog cars (converted to a flat car) on display.

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This small diorama was displayed on the bog car, and shows the Wainfleet Bogs original Brookville locomotive.

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The GE and TH&B gondola outside on display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NRM Member Adam Puchalski was able to get this neat shot of the GE & 46 from above.

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Looking down the lead at dusk.

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The TH&B gon, Flanger and sand tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunset at the shop, with the GE & 46 outside before the night shoot.

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HEPC46 with a bit of blue light at the night shoot.

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A simple shot with the phone with the GE & 46.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right after Rail Days, we were able to acquire an old rail siding and turnout from a company in Toronto. The rail was removed by the property developer and we were able to get OWS Rail to pick the rail up on Friday, and deliver it to the Museum site. This track, when combined with the siding we still have to remove from a local industry near the Museum, will go towards rebuilding the north track, and eventually connecting all 3 shop tracks again for the first time in almost 3oyrs.

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OWS Rail Contracting picked up the rail in Toronto.

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Bill from OWS delivered and stacked all the rail at the shop.

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The finished stack of rail.

 

 

 

 

September 4, 2017

4 days to go!!

It’s now just 4 days to go until Rail Days 2017 and this weekend we had 2 good work sessions at the shop to get things ready.  We’ll still be out there a few more times this week to finish off some things, but everything is starting to look great.

Saturday was a big cleaning day mostly, with some painting being done on 46 as 6 members were out, Wayne G, Jim, Nolan, Mike, Ken & Ken. Monday however was much busier. Ken, Wayne G & JT worked in the office, cleaning, painting, and organizing things for the weekend. Need to make rooom for 3 more small layouts and a few vendor tables. Elsewhere in the shop, Wayne M cleaned, primed, and painted our ex-CNR steam locomotive rerailers, and they will be on display from now on. After that he started working on the TH&B gondola, masking off and getting a basecoat on the TH&B logo on the one side. Hope to have that done by the weekend.

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Wayne M cleaning the rerailers.

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Primed and ready for paint.

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All painted for display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Masking the TH&B logo.

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Base coat on the logo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken and Glen worked on 46. Stencils were cut and the striping was masked off and painted. It was a very long project, but it turned out fairly well.  It’s not perfect, but it really doesn’t make a big difference in her appearance.

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Glen masking the cab stripe.

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Engineman’s side.

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Fireman’s side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who came out to work this weekend.  We’ve been making some great progress the last 2 months, and it’s really starting to show. Really pleased with the amount of work on HEPC 46, she’ll be looking good for the night photo shoot during Rail Days.

August 26, 2017

2 weeks to go!!

With just 2 weeks to go until Rail Days, significant progress is being made at the shop, and things are starting to come together for the event.

Another great day with 9 members out working on things. Ken and Peter worked in the office display area cleaning and moving things around, Colin was working on the new safety railing for along the work platform, Adam started cleaning up under the inspection pits, Wayne G. was out cutting the grass, Mike worked on the compressor on the GE 25tonner, and Glen drilled new holes in the coupler mounting plate on HEPC 46. Ken Jr. also made a run to Toronto to bring back 2 original 2ft gauge cars once used in the Wainfleet Peat Bog outside Port Colborne. One of these cars will be rebuilt back to a bog car for display. Also dropped off 2 rerailers, used for getting equipment back on the rails, and once hung on the side of steam locomotive tenders. Thanks to Bob Hayes for donating these great items to the Museum.

All in all, it was another banner day at the shop, and so much has been getting accomplished lately.

 

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newly acquired steam locomotive rerailers.

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former Wainfleet peat bog car.

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HEPC 46 posing for pics with her new pilot beam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a link to the youtube video of HEPC 46’s test move with new coupler install.

 

August 19, 2017

Major progress on many fronts

Today (August 19th) was an absolutely incredible day. 10 members were out and everyone was taking on a project. The big news today was the arrival of the new front pilot beam for Hydro-Electric Power Commission ALCo 0-4-0ST #46. Derek Costello has been working on this for just over a month, and we have been eagerly awaiting this delivery. Needless to say, we were definitely NOT disappointed. It looks great.  Derek had to fabricate the new coupler cut lever and mounting brackets, a grab iron across the length of the beam, and one of the spindals for the grab iron. The beam was installed easily, but we ran into an issue with the coupler installation, so we need to make some adjustments to that next week. All in all, this is a great step in the restoration of 46. There is still some work to do on the front, but it really does make a big difference, and we’re really pleased to be able to show this progress off at Rail Days in 3 weeks.

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Derek arrives with the new beams.

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Unloaded from the truck.

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Getting ready to lift the beam in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The beam in place for the first time in decades.

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Footboard brackets installed, footboards are next.

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Checking the coupler height. everything looks great on the engine.

Elsewhere at the shop, Wayne M was outside working on the north track, spiking and gauging track so we can move the TH&B gondola outside for the event in 3 weeks.  Wayne G and Ken worked in the office, painting and cleaning, Adam and Colin worked on the brush cutter, and managed to get it to fire, but could not get it running, but it’s a good start. Mike, Ken, Jim, Glen and Nolan all worked on 46 installing the beam and cleaning up in the area.

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Need a few adjustments, but it’ll do for now.

So very pleased with how much work got done out there today. Everyone jumped in and helped out and we are starting to accomplish things with the help of some of our new members. I hope to have more news coming in regards to HEPC 46 very soon, and am very excited to see this project getting the attention it so very much deserves.

August 7, 2017

46 Pilot beam progress

Wow, Derek has been moving right along with the front pilot beam and it is looking really good. Derek has created an impressive looking front beam in just over a week, and we can’t wait to see it on 46.

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Derek drilling through the pilot beam.

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3/4 view of the new beam.

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Head on shot of the new beam.

August 4, 2017

HEPC 46 restoration begins.

The cosmetic restoration of Hydro-Electric Power Commission 1920 ALCo 0-4-0ST #46 has begun. Thanks to the generous assistance of Derek Costello, new wood pilot beams are being fabricated. However, there are a fair amount of pieces missing, so some will need to be fabricated. Some we have 1 of, others we have none. New coupler cut levers also need to be made. Derek came to the Museum a week or so ago to take measurements of where the pilot beam needs to mount. He took what parts we had as well, and has already cleaned and painted them. We are very grateful to Derek for taking on this part of the project, and we really look forward to having this part of it done.  I’m sure it’ll look great when complete. We will add more pictures as the work progresses.

There is still a long way to go with the restoration of 46. We are seeking help from someone that can do all the steelwork on the cab. Another large piece of this project, but once complete, it would allow us to have visitors safely access the cab.

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New hardwood pilot beams.

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Push pole pockets cleaned and ready.

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Front footboard brackets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 of the grab iron end posts.

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Newly fabricated cut lever brackets.

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The assembled cut lever brackets test fit.

 

 

 

The gondola has arrived!!

On July 21st, the Niagara Railway Museum successfully moved the last Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo gondola to the shop. It brought to end a very difficult time trying to preserve and move this car.  But after a year and a half, the car is now safe inside and the cosmetic restoration will begin. The car was unfortunately tagged with graffiti while in storage, but that has since been painted over. The 2676 is in relatively good condition. There are no holes in the body, and the sides are fairly straight. The car will receive a proper coat of black paint and have its lettering applied after that.  There is no time frame for this work, it will be done as time permits.

The Museum extends its thanks to Marcel Bill and Steve at Martech Rail Services in Welland for storing the car since the start of the year, Parkway Towing for moving one of the wheelsets from Martech to the Museum, and OWS Railway Contracting for handling the actual move of the car. The unloading didn’t go completely as planned, but Dan and Clayton from Attar Metals came down and saved the day with their help in unloading the gonola. They are the best neighbours we could ask for.

Thanks also to members of the TH&BHS (Lance Brown & James Gamble), for helping negotiate with CP to save this car. And finally, to our many donors who gave funds to assist with the movement of the car to the site, and also with the restoration.

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Pulling the car onto the float.

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Loaded up at Martech, ready to head to the Museum.

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Backing into the north track at the shop for unloading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First night in its new home.

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Painting over the graffiti.

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A couple of hours and the graffiti is gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 14, 2017

July open weekend

We’ve been very busy both at the Museum and off site. Canada Day weekend we had a display in Ridgeway for the Canada 150 celebrations, while being open at the Museum at the same time. A big thanks to our members who stepped up and covered both events.

The Canada Day weekend was followed by our July Open Weekend. Saturday was as usual the busier day, and we were given a Certificate from the Town of Fort Erie, congratulating the Niagara Railway Museum on its 20th Anniversary. Our members BBQ on Saturday night was attended by Mayor Wayne Redekop and Councillor Stephen Passero. Mayor Redekop made the presentation to Museum President Ken Jones, and his father Ken Jones, in front of our invited members and guests. We are very pleased to be recognized for this milestone in Museum history. After the BBQ the Mayor joined Ken in the cab of our 25tonner for a short trip down the Museum track.

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The GE and HEPC 46 outside in the sun.

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Ken Jones, NRM President Ken Jones, Mayor Wayne Redekop and Councillor Stephen Passero during the presentation of the certificate from the Town.

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Our Certificate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The mayor takes his turn at the throttle.

HEPC 46 was even pulled outside for display. Saturday was just for some nortmal photos, but Sunday we were visited by the Antique & Classic Car Club of Canada – Niagara Region Chapter. 2 of the cars were posed with 46 and we were pleased to have them visit the Museum. The weekend was very well attended with the furthest visitors coming from Germany (ok, so they didn’t come from Germany just to visit the Museum).

46car2 46car1There is still so much more to come at the Museum in 2017. We will have new equipment arriving soon, including the last gondola from the Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo Railway. We have had some extra donations come in, including some very much needed track materials from a local industry that no longer has rail service. In less than 2 months the Museum will be holding our biggest event at the site ever, Rail Days. While we’re still working on the event, we do have 5 model train layouts confirmed, and we’re waiting to hear back from a few model train vendors as well. Still so much to see this year. Rail Days will celebrate not just the railway history of the area, but the 20th Anniversary of the Niagara Railway Museum Inc., which strives to preserve and protect that railway heritage. We hope you will join us on September 9/10.

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May 30, 2017

Museum updates

It’s been a very busy time in life and with the Museum. The updates haven’t been as frequent on our website, but have been on our Facebook page. However, as things progress this year we will work hard to keep this up to date.

Opening weekend in May went well, and we are now already planning for our big weekends during Canada Day and our second open house the second weekend of July. The Museum will have a display at the Canada 150 celebrations in Ridgeway on June 30th to July 2nd. We’ll also be open for Canada Day at the shop on July 1st.

Work is continuing on a regular basis, Wednesday and Saturday, and this coming Saturday, June 3rd we start opening every Saturday 10am to 2pm until the end of September. We have a lot of projects on the go and some starting soon. Our steam engine, HEPC 46 will be getting new end beams to start her multi year restoration as we head into her 100th birthday in 2020. The Window work on the Plymouth is continuing and the GE will receive some work as well.  We are also sourcing 1″x4″ tongue in groove boards for the ex-CN Flanger.

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Peter and Garry looking over 46.

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46 will soon have new wood end beams.

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Giving some of the new LGB trains a run during Opening Weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting June 1st, (page coming soon) for every dollar donated online, the Museum will get a chance to win $10000!! Needless to say, this would be a huge boost to the Museum and allow us to get some much needed work done to some of our equipment. Please consider making a donation between June 1st and 30th, and help us win $10000!! You can make the donation project specific as well. Just enter what project you’d like to support (Steam engine 46, Electric E7, the GE, Plymouth MDT, ex-CN Flanger, TH&B Gondola 2676 or our general account).

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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.

 

 

 

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