The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. would like to thank all the companies involved with the move of the Flanger. We obviously could not have done it without your help.
There has been an incredible amount of things happening since the last update. Our Fall Model Railway Show has come and gone and was a great success for the Museum. There has been constant work happening out at the site, with Wayne M finishing up covering over the upper by windows, which has made big difference in keeping some of the weather out. There has been track work, equipment maintenance and grounds work happening as well. But the biggest news, and our early Christmas present, was the safe arrival of our 1935 ex-CNR snow flanger, #56323.
Countless hours of work went into the planning and execution of the move. The move involved a crane, specialized float trailer, fence removal, Airport cooperation, permits, and of course, general help. The move was all set up and planned for Friday, December 9th. So by 8am everyone was assembled at the Genaire Ltd. hangar at the Niagara District Airport in Niagara On The Lake and plans were worked through to make sure everyone was on the same page. First in was the crane, provided by Amherst Crane out of Port Colborne.
An early morning start, 0745 on December 9th.
Amherst has arrived and is starting to set up.
Hovering over the ground, waiting for the trailer to be ready.
Equipment Express from Ayr was the mover chosen for this job, and they had the perfect trailer for the job. Their crew knew the right route to take and we only encountered one low wire on the entire trip, which easily rolled over the car with the help of the wood skis we put over the car. One of the stumbling points to the move was how to get the trailer into the property. We knew some fence had to be removed, and Greg from Peninsula Construction made sure that was looked after by sending a 2 man crew out to remove and reinstall the fence and barbed wire. Milton of Attar Metals in Fort Erie brought out the flat deck to move the trucks to the shop. Milton managed to fit this into a very busy day, and was running later and later, but arrived at an almost perfect time and we had him loaded and gone quickly.
After 40yrs, the track sits empty.
Genaire loaded the trucks onto the flat deck provided by our neighbours Attar Metals.
Milton and Dan picked the wheels up, and delivered them to the shop.
It was definitely a bittersweet day for Lorraine and her staff at Genaire. For almost 40yrs the car has sat out back of the Hangar, brought there by her father Gerry. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t much productivity at the plant that day, at least not until after lunch. Most of the staff took time to check out the move every once in a while. Some stood outside watching, others watched through the windows. Lorraine’s son Chris, and Maintenance guy Al were right into it, assisting with the crane set up, blocking, and whatever else was needed. We were able to get Genaire to bring out the big forklift to assist with moving blocking and plates, and of course loading the wheelsets. Everything worked out very well for timing. Because the crane had to go up 100ft, we were given a 2hr window from the Airport to get the job done. Once the car was loaded, the crane was packed up and sent ahead to get set up at the Museum. Milton showed up for the trucks, and the permit adjustment allowed the crane and wheels to arrive before the car itself. The day would not be complete without a big thanks to Lisa and everyone that helped from the Niagara District Airport. Having a crane this close to the runways, and having to bring the truck through the airport property need special permission, and escorts on and off the property. The cooperation that happened with everyone involved was fantastic. There was one small issue with the permit fo the car, as after loading on the trailer, it was higher than what was on the original permit. Equipment Express made those changes, and after a short wait, we were on the road for Fort Erie at about 105pm. It was a longer route, taking us all the way to Hwy 3 at Gasline, then over to Stevensville Rd, and east onto Bowen. At the end of Bowen it was up into the yard and down the access road to the shop.
Leaving Genaire for the final time.
Turning off Townline Rd.
Arriving at the west end of the CN Fort Erie yard.
The actual trip to Fort Erie was about 70minute trip, which was great time. With the crane already set up at the shop by the time the car arrived, the unload went very quick. The trucks were on the track in the right order, and only needed to be moved in to position. The slings and spreader bars were put into position and the lift began. Not much more than 15 minutes later, at 320pm, the car was reunited with its trucks at its new home. Once everything was in place, the crane and float packed up and left. The flanger, weighing in at about 22tons, needed to go inside. However, the wheels were not all that free rolling. Ken and Ken were left to move this car inside, and the only thing we had was our Ford 8n tractor. Somehow, the tractor managed to pull the car into the shop (with Ken using a manual car mover at the back), where it would spend the night inside for the first time in decades.
Everything is in position at the shop.
Up in the air, heading for the trucks.
At 1520, the body was resting back on its trucks at its new home.
Our 2 flangers, CN 56452 & 56323 together outside the shop.
As we were finishing up, CN came through enroute to Buffalo.
Thanks to the crews from:
Equipment Express – Rich & Darren, and Tim & Roger with the float and escort truck.
Amherst Crane – Gerald and Derek (operator)
Peninsula Construction – Greg and Morgan & Justin
Attar Metals – Milton & Dan
In addition to the many companies involved, I also thank our members who came out to help, Ken, Ken, Wayne, Garry and Jim.