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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

May 6, 2019

Opening Weekend

Opening Weekend is just a few days away, and we’ve been doing a lot of work recently to get things in shape. We’ve spent a lot of time on our steam locomotive, HEPC 46. We are working on her cosmetic restoration in time for her 100th birthday in 2020. She has new rear wood beams, and the coupler will be mounted shortly. We are also working on getting the cab replaced/rebuilt and are still always looking to raise more funds for this and the rest of our projects. Work will start up on the ex-CN flanger again shortly, just waiting for a bit of drier weather.

Glen installed new lighting over the Easter weekend down the centre platform between the boxcars. Neil an Rob have been working on the Whiting Trackmobile, to get that back in service. It’s been a very busy time for the Museum, and we look to make 2019, our 21st year, a great one.

April 9, 2019

Despite the lack of posting on our website, the Museum has been very active. The most up to date news can be found on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. A lot has been happening since last year.  We’ve had 2 successful model railway shows, one in October, and one in March. This winter was especially cold, and we didn’t get a whole lot done out at the shop, but the plans have been made for 2019.  In February, we held our AGM at the Museum, inside the flanger (a few heaters really warms it up quick), and welcomed our returning and our 2 new board members, Mike Anderson and Glen Morrow.

Jim and Glen removing the last of the boards from the side of the Flanger in February.

Other items over the winter months was a sizeable financial contribution which has been put in reserve for future use.  There have also been some contributions towards our various projects, which include the continued cosmetic restoration of our ALCo steam locomotive, Hydro Electric Power Commission #46.

The Museum sends its thanks to Matt Hingston and Hingston Metal Fabricators in St. Catharines for fabricating and donating the new front plate for 46. This plate goes between the coupler and the wood pilot beam.  This will help preserve the beam as the engine is moved around. Both the new front plate and original rear plate will be cleaned up and painted before being installed. We are also working on getting the new rear timbers drilled and ready for installation along with the rear coupler.

Old and new plates

There is a lot going on in 2019. While we are not yet open for the season, visitors are always welcome. Generally work days are every Saturday, and sometimes through the week.  If you’d like to stop by, just send us an email or give us a call to set something up.  As always, donations can always be made through our secure online provider, Canada Helps.


The GE & 46 outside together on April 6th, 2019.  

October 4, 2018

Last open day of 2018

2018 has been a fantastic year for the Museum. Visitors count has increased, RailDays was a great success, and we have a lot going on into 2019. Come out for a visit on our final open day for 2018, this Saturday, October 6th, from 10am to 2pm. Admission is by donation and we are open rain or shine.20180922_100927

August 28, 2018

RailDays 2018

RailDays is just around the corner, and we continue to improve this yearly event. We are pleased to once again welcome the Ontario Northland Railway Historical Society, the Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo Railway Historical Society, and new this year, a great new addition to our displays, Trevor, the Time Travelling Historian, with his display showing the transit history of Toronto, done in Lego!! He will also have information on the proposed Toronto Transit Museum. We are looking forward to this very unique display.hepc46outside M19-1 outshop1 raildays18_2 transitbricks Outside you’ll see our 1948 GE 25ton diesel on the south track, alongside our 1950’s ex-CNR Fairmont M19 motorcar.

This event will run rain or shine, and there is something to see and do  for all ages. We look forward to seeing you at the biggest railway event in this part of Ontario.

July 4, 2018

July Open weekend

Lots going on right now. Our July open weekend is july 7th and 8th from 10am to 4pm both days rain or shine.  Admission is by donation. Elsewhere we’re about to start our biggest restoration project yet. We now have the boards to redo the exterior of the ex-CN flanger that was donated by Genaire Ltd in December 2016. Really looking forward to seeing this project through. The new timbers for the rear pilot beam for HEPC 46 are also on site, and will be getting installed shortly.

Lots happening, and we can always use help. If you’re looking for something to do, why  it become a member and volunteer some time to help the museum progress. No experience is necessary. We can also always used financial and material contributions.

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The new tongue in groove boards are all cut and ready at Boardmaster Sawmill on Sodom Rd.

The new tongue in groove boards are all cut and ready at Boardmaster Sawmill on Sodom Rd.

April 21, 2018

Lots happening in the first 4 months

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but it has definitely been a very busy time. We’ve made a lot of progress at the site and continue to move forward with our agenda.  Not much work was done on the equipment over the winter, but that is starting to change now.  Glen built a new controller for our 7.25″ gauge locomotive and got that up and running.  We look forward to taking out for a test run in Hamilton this year. Glen has also been busy wiring up our signals to get them flashing on a smaller electronic relay that he designed and built. A working bell will be added to one of them, and will be operated off a push button. His most recent project has been the electrical on the cab of CN 9173. He got the interior lights working, along with the number boards lights. Once we straighten out the number board frames, we’ll make and install new number boards. The NRM sends its thanks to Penny from the Welland Historical Museum for donating some surplus display cases to us. They will allow us to rotate some different displays through the year.

Other work has been going on with Wayne G, Ken, Mike, Ken and Jim. Some new shelving was built in a new storage room to get some items that are not railroad related out of the way. The Museum also recently acquired a small Yale forklift which will replace our old unit. The newer unit doesn’t have as much lift, but does reach higher, and is a safer machine. We’ve also been working on new safety handrails, and Mike and Ken Jr. have managed to get part of them installed. There was some concrete repairs to do, which Mike took care of on April 21. There’s more work to do on the handrails, and that will be dealt with in the coming weeks.

Project 46 is up and running, and we are seeking help to finish the cosmetic restoration of our 1920 steam locomotive before she turns 100 in 2020. We’re also looking at starting work on our ex-CNR Flanger and have started pricing the lumber to get the exterior work going.  Definitely a lot going on at the Museum and we’re always looking new members to help with our many projects. No experience is needed, but you can’t be afraid to get dirty.  Also, please check out our Facebook page for the most up to date information on the Museum at Niagara Railway Museum on Facebook

NRM’s GE & ALCo

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New images added to the NS&T and Great Gorge Route displays.

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Our flasher is flashing again.

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our 7.25″ gauge locomotive is back in operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New display cases from Welland.

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New handrail beside the Plymouth.

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Mike doing some concrete repairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9173 now has working cab and number board lights.

 

January 4, 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. 2017 was the best year ever at the Museum, celebrating our 20th Anniversary. We saw a decent increase in visitors, and our 2nd Annual Rail Days event in September was our biggest event at the shop every.  The NRM now moves into 2018 celebrating the 70th birthday of our GE 25ton diesel, which was built in January 1948. 2018 is also filling up with a full schedule of events both on and off site.

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newproject46sm 46smRestoration work will continue this year on HEPC 46. In 2017, thanks to a donation from Derek Costello, 46 received an all new front pilot beam and footboard. The coupler was mounted and she is now able to be moved around, and brought outside for display. We are looking to do the rear pilot beam this spring and would like to raise extra funds to start the cab rebuild. Donations can be made to Project 46.

Other work around the shop will be TH&B gondola #2676, which involves returning the car back to its as delivered TH&B lettering. CN flanger 56323 will also start to receive work, with new wood on the outside, and some on the inside as well. The goal will be to have one side restored in 2017 as time and funds permit. September will see the 3rd Annual Rail Days event, and we are continuing to work on growing this yearly event.

 

raildays18smHowever, before we can get to any of those events, we have the Niagara 18th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show in St. Catharines.

The Museum is a Charitable Organization, and can issue tax receipts for any donations made. We are always in need of financial contributions to help further our many restoration projects, and of course, those projects can’t get done without our dedicated volunteers/members, and we’re always looking for new members. Material donations can be made by contacting us dierectly to arrange for pick up or drop off. Financial contributions can be made through our secure provider,Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-railway-museum-inc/

All in all as we head into our 21st year, the Niagara Railway Museum Inc. has another busy year ahead, and we hope to see you out at some of our many events.

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.

 

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