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May 16, 2022

Opening Weekend 2022

Opening Weekend 2022 has come and gone, and what a weekend it was. A great start for our 25th year. We’ll get into all the history that was made later. For now, thanks to everyone who came out both days to visit. We had quite a few people from previous visits, and many who were first timers. Had a chance to talk to many of you on the locomotive. We hope you’ll come visit us again (it sounds like many of kiddos will be bringing you back at some point).

Early morning has the GE & 46 outside.

The Museum has to send out the biggest thanks to James Petroczi and Nick Kempert for the incredible amount of work they did over 3 days to get the track done. They were very long 12hr days, but this has been a very long time coming, and a major accomplishment for the Museum. James has a particular eye for detail and the turnout and track around it is dead on, and was a nice ride through on the locomotive. We still have some work to do on the track. It needs to be lined, has to have some ballast added, and some extra ties need to be installed (James already marked where they go on the rail). It was so great to be able to use all 3 tracks to move stuff around. This will give us many new options for displaying and working on our equipment. A video of some of the work can be seen here: https://youtu.be/4FmwdlafvOg

Pulling CN Flanger 56452 from track ED17.
The Trackmobile and 56452 sitting on track ED18.

So now lets look at all the history/firsts that happened this weekend:

– First time since the shop closed all 3 tracks are connected.

– First time CN 56452 & TH&B 2676 moved to a different track.

– First time CN 56452 & TH&B 2676 have been coupled to the GE.

– First time since being retired, TH&B 2676 has had air to the brakes.

– First time both the Trackmobile & GE have been on all 3 tracks.

– First time we were properly able to use both turnouts.

Previously, switching equipment took a long time, hours actually, because of how the one turnout was set up. Now, instead of having to do all sorts of extra work, we throw the switch (as it should be) and it’s done. Once we have a better line on the north track, both cars will be moved back over.

The weekend wouldn’t have been possible without our dedicated volunteers that spent so many hours at the shop. John spent 5hrs on Friday cutting grass, until being relieved by Ken in the evening to be out there while James & Nick worked on the track. Over the weekend many of our other members were there to help, so thanks also to Audrey, Felicia, Jim, Nolan, Mike, Neil, John, Allan, Ken, Aaron and Ken.We are now open for the season, every Saturday, 10am-2pm, and work will be happening during the week and weekends. Lots more to come this year, and we again, thank everyone who came and visited over the weekend.

May 8, 2022

Into the home stretch to Opening Weekend.

8 members were out at the shop on Saturday working to get things ready for opening weekend on May 14/15. Still have some cleaning to get done through the week, but for the most part, things are looking pretty good. Mike and Ken spent the day cleaning up outside. The rail was sorted and moved to a new, better organized pile and marked for keeping or scrap. Good rail was moved into position in the track, ready for the next track work session. We have just enough rail to complete the north track. The 2 extra frogs were moved onto the deck of the flanger, out of the way. The old pieces of 85lb rail on the north track were removed and stacked and replaced with 100lb. The north track will be entirely 100lb rail. Still a bit of cleanup to do, move some rail onto the rail rack, but that will wait until after opening weekend. Elsewhere outside, the grass was cut around the former turntable/roundhouse area, and Mike was using the loader to clean up some other stuff.

Mike running the loader moving the 85lb rail out of the track.
CP train heads towards the US as Mike moves a frog onto the flanger
Both frogs are on the deck of the flanger for storage.
100lb rail in position to finish off the north track.

Inside the shop saw a lot of cleaning. Rick was actually working on the Flanger, painting the grooves between the boards. The South side is now done, will get some touch ups done, and be ready for lettering. John, John, Nolan, Jim and Ken were sweeping and cleaning around the shop, wiping down equipment, getting signs ready, etc. The TH&B caboose stove we acquired a few weeks back was finally moved into the TH&B boarding car. Thanks to Jim, Nolan, Rick, John W, John M, Mike, Ken and Ken for all the work on Saturday.

Rick painting the grooves between the boards on CN 56323.
the TH&B stove is now in place in the Boarding Car.
The Trackmobile and 25tonner outside in the afternoon sun.

One week to go until Opening Weekend 2022 on May 14th & 15th. 10am to 4pm both days, rain or shine, admission by donation. We look forward to welcoming everyone back.

May 3, 2022

Getting closer to Opening Weekend

We are less than 2 weeks away from opening weekend on may 14 & 15. Our members have been working hard to get things ready, and this weekend will be no different. We will be getting the display cars cleaned up, the store set up, and give the shop a general clean up as well. As a reminder, this is a working shop. Our equipment is being worked on, and while we do our best to clean the equipment, there is dirt that may track onto your clothes. Equipment that is open for viewing is displayed that way. There are no restrictions in place, but some of our members may wear masks for their own health, and visitors are welcome to do so as well. Hand sanitizer will still be available at various equipment around the shop.

We look forward to welcoming back our visitors for our 25th anniversary year in 2022. We hope you enjoy your visit and the amount of work that our small group of volunteers have been doing, and is still ongoing in the off season.

April 30, 2022

Trackmobile repairs and equipment moves.

We had a good crew out today. Outside Ken and Mike moved CN Flanger 56452 and TH&B Gondola 2676 down the track about 100ft or so, off of the 80lb rail that is going to be replaced with 100lb rail. The tractor was used to move the cars down, as the Trackmobile was not yet in operation. Once the cars were moved, Nolan removed the spikes to allow the rail to be moved next week. John spent the day giving the grass its first of many cuts for the year. Neil and Jim worked on installing the newly rebuilt starter for the Trackmobile. Once installed, gear oil was added, other checks were done, and the machine started and taken out for a run. Started better than it ever has, and hauled the 25tonner outside like it weighed nothing. This is an extremely useful machine, and the amount of work Neil has put into it has definitely paid off. The GE was fired up to check a track joint that was cleaned up last weekend when James was down. Still needs some work, but it’s an improvement, and will be better when the new rail is installed.

Out newly rebuilt starter for the Trackmobile was installed.
Jim and Neil instructing Nolan on tightening some plugs on the Trackmobile gear case.
CN 56452 & TH&B 2676 moved into their temporary location.
Looking east to the track being replaced.
Nolan pulling spikes so the 80lb rail can be replaced.

Patrick spent his time going over the Detroit Diesel engine in the Plymouth. There is some work to be done on a few injectors before it will be ready to be fired. It’s been 11yrs since this motor last ran, and Patrick has taken it on as a project to get this locomotive in operation. We found that part of the hood could be removed, so it was lifted off to allow much improved access to work on the diesel engine. With the hood off and on the ground, it will be cleaned up and painted.

Patrick discussing the next steps of the Plymouth restoration after the hood was removed.
The hood sitting on the platform beside the Plymouth.

Shot some video footage today (thanks to Nolan and Ken for capturing all this), and it an be found here: https://youtu.be/exWOACpUWCE


We’re off to the Woodstock Train Show on Sunday where we’ll have a table promoting the Museum. And now we’re also just 2 weeks away from Opening Weekend 2022!! Still a lot to do before we welcome back out guests, but we’re working hard to get everything ready.
Thanks to our group that came out today, Ken, Mike, Neil, Jim, Nolan, John, Patrick and Ken.

April 27, 2022

Mid Week update

Decided to throw something together tonight, just to get a feel of how things will look. The restoration of our snow flanger, CN 56323 is going very well. It’s an exciting project to see the progress over time, to where we can finally start to see the end result. The car will have at least 1 coat of paint before opening weekend, and at least part of the car will have it’s paint finished. The lettering is being worked on, and once the car and lettering are ready, it will be applied. This image is not exact, but is a decent representation of what the car will look like when the lettering is applied.

This coming weekend is yet another busy one. Lots of work happening on Saturday, with work on the Flanger, as well as the compressor and Plymouth diesel. Opening weekend is just 2 weeks away this Saturday, so lots to do before we can welcome back out visitors for the 2022 season.

Sunday is the Woodstock Model Railway Show at the Woodstock Fairgrounds. We’ll have a display there, so stop by and say hi. And remember, we’re always looking for new members to come out and get involved in what is going to definitely be an exciting year.

April 25, 2022

Long days for weekend work.

This weekend was expected to be busy, but it went beyond just busy. It’s a long report, but it has to cover what went on. The mechanics spent the time working on the compressor, getting the bad fuel out, running new stuff through, and by the end of the day, we finally managed to get it back up and running. Once it was running, Ken and Neil finished off the other tire for the Trackmobile. We now have 2 new tires/tubes on the drive wheels, and are just waiting for 2 more for the front wheels. Before shutting the compressor down, a bit of sanding was done on the cab of 9173. Allan and Mike also got the second grab iron off the nose of 9173, as both were badly bent and will be either straightened or rebuilt. Patrick also spent some time working on the Plymouth, lubricating some points, and checking over the injectors and such. Rick was sanding down the side of the flanger to prep it for its next coat of paint. With the grass already starting to grow, we got one of the riding lawnmowers ready to go. Our loader was definitely put to good use once again. A very handy machine to have, with forks and a bucket, it can handle most of the work we need it for. Today was moving rail and ties, and even used it to line the turnout into the new track.
James Petroczi came down this weekend to get as much of the track work done as possible. Didn’t get quite as much done as I hoped today, but the lead is back in service, and the switch stand was installed on the west turnout (track ED17) and adjusted so it’s fully operational and ready for service. It was after 8pm when they packed up to head out.

Sunday James and Nick returned to work on the rest of the track. They did some work on our south track (what will be known as ED19) grinding a few rough joints. Then moved to the north track (ED17) and did some spiking and tie spacing before getting the south rail in place and spiked all the way down to the turnout. They worked into the dark (again), finishing somewhere around 9pm!! We seem to have a bit of a shortage of 100lb rail now, so need to try to get a few pieces so we can finish the job. The track looks good, and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to move between all 3 tracks. That will allow for some repositioning of equipment. Thanks to James and Nick for all the work this weekend, it’s really getting close to being finished and something we can properly use. And a really huge thanks to Neil and Ken Sr. for being out there for much longer than expected, (Neil was out there both days for almost 12hrs each day).
Today (Monday), Allan and Ken Jr. were at the shop for most of the day. Allan spent the time installing the external sheeting on the west wall window panel it looks good, and definitely cuts down the wind. It wasn’t easy getting that panel to fit properly either, required quite a bit of fiddling over the last few weeks. Ken worked on the flanger, painting the end platforms. The east platform now has a first coat, and some touch up work was done on the west end. The more progress that’s made on this car, the more exciting it is to think of how it’s going to look when it’s done. It won’t be long before our sign painter David will be able to add his skills to the look of the car. Thanks to James, Nick, and all our dedicated volunteers (Neil, Mike, Ken, Allan, Patrick, Rick and Ken) who came out to work on the many projects this weekend.

April 17, 2022

Saturday Work and AGM

Had a good group out today, worked on a few different things with multiple crews. Inside the shop Neil, Patrick and Jim worked on getting the compressor back up and running after having some bad fuel mess things up a bit. Still need to drain the bad diesel out of the tank, but at least everything has been cleaned out of the injectors.

Allan, Mike and Ken got the west wall window cover in place (3rd times a charm apparently). It still needs the outer skin, but this will definitely help cut down some of the wind that blows through that window.

West wall window panel in place.

Mike, Ken, Nolan and John worked on getting some of the track back in place, starting with the panel that was removed last week. It needs work still. Some new ties need to be put in place and the rail cut to fit, but it’s not a long piece. The ties were also laid out on the north track and will get rail next weekend. This tractor has definitely been a very useful piece of equipment, and can handle so much work at the shop.

Neil and Patrick also worked on the compressor for the Plymouth, taking pieces off to check measurements. Patrick has taken on the Plymouth as a project, and is starting with the compressor. The unit was heavily damaged and seized when we acquired the locomotive, and was disassembled for repairs that never happened. Patrick has already been researching the compressor, built by Quincy, and has taken the pieces home to work on reassembling it.

Today was also the Museum AGM. Thanks to our members who stuck around/came out for the meeting (Jim, Nolan, Mike, Ken, Allan, Neil, Patrick, John, Aaron, Glen, Russ, Bill and Ken). It went very well, and I thank everyone for continuing to support the existing board as we have worked so hard to keep things progressing forward through some very difficult times. Quite a bit was discussed at the meeting, and it’s leading into what will be a great year. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.

Want to get involved? We are always looking for new Members for work both on site, and off site at the other events we take part in throughout the year. For more information on how to join, drop us a message, or visit http://nfrm.ca/volunteer.php

April 9, 2022

April 9th Work Day

Well, can’t have a great day every time. What started as a good plan, unfortunately didn’t end up that way. We had a new member come out today, and we put him right to work. While Allan and Mike were working on removing the west wall window panel for refitting, Ken, Nolan, Neil and Patrick went out to start moving the ties out of the way so Clayton from Attar could move the track panel and turnout. The ties and track panel were removed easily enough, but the turnout was stubborn, and it got to the point where it just wasn’t practical to continue. Further attempts could have caused damage to equipment, or the track, or injury to someone, and we definitely don’t want that to happen. The turnout just wouldn’t move as much as we wanted. So, back to the drawing board on this one. Hoping we have enough rail to make it fit where it currently sits. Once all that was finished, some of the equipment was pulled outside for the first time this year. The Trackmobile is not yet in service, and is kind of in the way, but it was left coupled to the GE and shoved outside. 46 was pulled out as well to allow us to give the running gear a look over in the daylight. The locomotive was also oiled and moved around a bit as it hasn’t been moved for about 5 months. After lunch our new member was given the run down on the equipment, along with some planning on what needs to be done to what. All in all, not a bad day, just a bit of a bummer we couldn’t quite get things done.

So, thanks to Clayton and Attar Metals for the help, and to our members, Allan, Mike, Ken, Jim, Nolan, Neil, Patrick and Ken.

Patrick running the loader picking up some of the ties.
Nolan moving ties out of the way from under the turnout.
The Trackmobile, GE and 46 outside for the first time in 2022.

April 4, 2022

NRM weekend

Just 4 members out this past Saturday for a few hrs. First thing that had to be done was to remove part of the roll up door cover, which was snagged by the door when we were opening it. This was not unexpected as it has needed some work for a while, but it has now been removed and will be replaced sometime this year.

Once that was taken care of, we spent the time outside working on the track. We are going to be making some major changes out in the yard very shortly and in order to do the work, we have remove a 30ft panel of track between the 2 turnouts. The bolts/bars were removed, along with any spikes that would interfere, so the panel is ready for removal, hopefully this coming weekend. Once the panel is out, the ground will be leveled, and the west turnout will be moved up into its place. This is being done for a few reasons, with the first being what we hope will be a much better line to the north track of the shop. The panel being removed may end up in the north track, or may be used as part of the tail track after the turnout. This work will allow us to finally go between all 3 shop tracks, and move equipment around for display and work purposes. John and Mike worked on removing the bolts while Ken and Ken picked up the track materials for storage.

Mike working on removing one of the bolts in a track joint.

On Sunday Mike and Ken went to the Collectibles show in Ancaster to pick up 2 items donated by Ann and Dave Huskinson, owners of Clearview Station Bed & Breakfast in Creemore, where you can stay in a 1940 Ontario Northland Caboose. The Museum picked up a diesel bell (currently stored for future use), and a train schedule board, which is a new item the collection. Thanks to Ann & Dave for donating these items to the Museum.

Just over a month away from opening weekend now, and we’re hoping things will really start picking up at the shop. Any decent weather during the week will see members out working, and this Saturday has quite a bit of work planned, including track work and work on the CN Flanger, 56323.

March 27, 2022

Busy at the end of March.

Waited until today to make the weekend report as there’s been quite a bit happening. Saturday was a shorter day, but there were 8 of us out, working on the windows on the west wall. The wind hits this end of the building hard, and Allan made up a panel to fit into the wide open area of the windows, behind the cab of CN 9173. This will really keep the west wind out. We managed to get the panel in place, but there is one spot that prevented it from fitting exactly as planned. Still, it’s in place, and there’s definitely a difference. It will be adjusted this week. Allan has also been working on the cab of 9173, cleaning up the back where the rest of the body was cut off. Also on Saturday we picked up a small donation from a local family. We gained 2 railway crossing lights and 2 bells, a couple of small CNR oil cans, and the new item to the collection, a C&O Ry oil can.
On Sunday, members went to Beamsville to pick up a TH&B caboose stove. This item will be moved into X-759, our |TH&B Boarding Car, and will be a much better representation than the current stove that is on temporary display. We also checked out the stove owners (under construction) O scale layout.
Thanks to our volunteers that came out Saturday, Ken, Neil, Mike, John, Allan, Jim, Nolan, John, and Ken, and the crew on Sunday (which was more than we needed, but worked out great), Ken, Mike, Allan, John, Evan, Mitch, and Ken.

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