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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

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.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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