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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

May 21, 2016

Opening Weekend

Sorry for the late posting on Opening Weekend, but here it is.

On May 14/15 the NRM had it’s opening weekend under rather poor weather conditions, experiencing wind, rain, sun, and even snow!  However, the weather didn’t keep the visitors away, with 2 very busy and steady days.

Our guests were treated to a fairly new Niagara Railway Museum.  Inside there were many changes, as we’ve been reporting over the last few months, including the major lighting upgrade inside the office area. Our 3rd boxcar was converted to a second display car, and also had a permanent store added to 1 end.  We are working on increasing our stock, but for now, it’s decent as it is.

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Thanks to Dave Torbett for building us 2 new cabinets for the display car.

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Wayne M got a little painting done on the middle door during the open house.

We had w new display cases made by David Torbett, and they were installed in the new display car in time for the weekend. We have a bit of tweaking to do on them before the next open house, but they were definitely a great addition to the car. They are used to house the Van Alstine and Mills collections.

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The new display on the Van Alstine twins on the CN.

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Tools of the trade for the display about Fred Mills, ex CNR Carman.

The new store is a great addition as well, as it now gives us a semi permanent area to sell Museum goods throughout the season, without having to set it up and take it down every time. We will be adding new items, such as NRM t-shirts and sweatshirts before the July open house. Also inside the display car was a case showing some pieces of railway china from CN & CP, both hotel and railway.

The Cab of CN 9173 was open for visitors, and is undergoing some work as we installed covers over the openings inside the cab  where the windows and such are.  This will receive another coat of paint over the summer, and will hopefully also see the damaged front window replaced.

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The Ontario Northland Historical Society brought their display out once again.

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The HO layout from The Hobby Shop, along with the old trolley coffee bar were a hit as well, as people reminisced about the store. Here a taxi had a bit of an incident.

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Our small G Scale layout was up and running as well.

Bill Woods and Garry Eller brought the Ontario Northland Historical & Technical Society display out to the shop as well. Bill & Garry are both members of the NRM, and have been displaying with us at our train year model railway shows, and our Museum events for 16yrs. The other new displays for this year were the items from the former Niagara Central Hobbies in St. Catharines. People were able to sit at the trolley and see some of the pics that were displayed on the various activities over the last few months, as well as watch the trains run on the layout. Our small G Scale layout was also running with new trains on loan from the Jones family.

 

As far as equipment goes, HEPC 46 was moved forward to allow for some better pictures, as she is usually back beside the work platform.  We will be starting up our Project 46 fundraising campaign again this year as we work to raise funds specifically for the cosmetic restoration of the locomotive, starting with the cab. She will also hopefully receive a new coat of paint. The ex-Atlas Steel Porter Fireless will also receive some new paint this year, once some metal work is done on the body. The plan is to repaint her back to the yellow she wore at the plant and upon initial arrival at Fort Erie.  She currently wears black with white trim, which was only applied to match 6218 when it was at the Town owned museum. The GE 25tonner performed perfectly after having a set of new batteries installed just days before the open weekend. The GE will be getting some front end work at some point, as we believe there is some spring damage.

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HEPC 46 was moved forward for display.

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The GE tucked away for the night.

 

The Niagara Railway Museum would like to extend its thanks to everyone who came out to support us over the weekend.  We had a great time, and hope you all did as well.  We received a lot of very positive comments from new and repeat visitors. We will continue to work hard to improve the visitor experience and hope to be able to announce some good news in the coming weeks.  Thanks also to our dedicated members who came out to help run the event.

Our next big event will be July 9 & 10, 10am to 4pm rain or shine. However, the Museum will also be open Saturdays from Fathers Day weekend to the end of September, 10am to 2pm. Admission for all events is by cash donation with every bit of it going directly towards the Niagara Railway Museum.

March 7, 2016

Niagara Model Railway Show

The 16th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show has come and gone.  It was one of our better shows at this location to date and we are very pleased with the end result.  The table count even grew during the show to where we were pretty much to the maximum we could fit in the space. We had  4 museum/historical societies, 4 layouts (N, HO, 5/8″N2, G), and vendors selling model trains of all sizes, artifacts, photos and railroad art prints.

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Superior Art Editions selling a range of railway prints.

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Show attendees peruse what the vendors have to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nolan Currie brought a small Thomas The Tank Engine table and helped entertain the kids that came along.

 

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The NRM’s display, complete with our new steam locomotive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Weekenders once again brought their N scale modular layout. They have been with us at every show since the start.

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The Museum’s new 7/8″ scale Pacific live steam locomotive made its debut, and was very well received.

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Jim Cherry his 5/8N2 narrow gauge layout in operation, and added to the layouts that were on display.

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The Laxton’s brought their Vineland switching layout. This is a very hands on switching puzzle and was popular with all.

This is just the start of what will be an amazing season at the Museum. we extend a thanks to everyone who came out to the show, and to all of our over 40 vendors who came out to sell and display what they had to offer.  I also offer a big thanks to our dedicated volunteers who came out to help out at the show. It takes many people to put on a show, from set up, to the kitchen, to manning tables and dealing with vendors. Our group has always done a great job making sure things go smoothly, and this year was no exception.  Thanks to Ken, Ken, Aaron, Wayne M, Wayne G, Peter, Deanna, Charles, Jane, Melody, Jim, Audrey and Nolan. Thanks also to Susan and Jane for making some extras like cookies and butter tarts, and to Jane, Melody and Ken for our most popular item, our famous chili.

With the March show out of the way, we now look forward to the rest of the 2016 plans.  Don’t miss our opening weekend on May 14th & 15th.

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In April we’ll be starting our spring cleaning to get everything into shape for the May opening weekend. We are still open Saturdays from mid-June to the end of September. There is a lot going on this year, be sure to set some time aside to pay us a visit.

 

March 5, 2016

The train show is here!!

It’s yet another very busy weekend for the Museum.  We picked our newest addition today, a 3 1/2″ gauge, 7/8″ scale 4-6-2 live steam pacific locomotive. Fred Mill, a local former CN Carman had need to downsize, and passed this great looking engine over to the NRM.  It will have its first display at the Niagara Model Railway Show on Sunday. The locomotive and tender weigh in at about 230lbs (empty). It also comes with a custom built display stand and lift, and a custom built flat car. The locomotive will undergo a complete inspection before being test fired over the coming months.

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NRM’s newly acquired live steam pacific locomotive.

 

 

 

Sunday March 6th is the 16th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show. This is going to be one of our biggest shows yet with new vendors and displays. Come out and support Railway Heritage in Niagara. Hope to see you there.

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January 7, 2016

Events for 2016

Our events are starting to come together for 2016. We start off the year with our 16th annual Niagara Model Railway Show on Sunday March 6th, 10am-3pm at the Merritton Community Centre. Our Open House dates are May 14/15, July 9/10 and September 10/11.  All Open House weekends run 10am to 4pm, rain or shine. We will also be open each Saturday from mid-June to the end of September, 10am to 3pm, rain or shine.

 

There has been so much happening over the last few months. A lot of changes have taken place, and even more are on the way. We’re just one week into the new year, and wheels are already turning on potential new developments. Make sure you plan a trip to the Museum in 2016 to see what’s new. Look for all the latest news right here, and on our Facebook page.

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The former Niagara Central Hobbies HO Layout is up and running and on display at the Museum

October 20, 2015

Niagara Model Railway Show

The Fall Niagara Model Railway Show is just a few days away, Sunday, October 25th from 10am to 330pm.  It will once again be held at the Merriton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave. in St. Catharines, Ont. Admission is $5, and a the show flyer can be found at www.nfrm.ca/nfmrs.php.  All proceeds go to the Niagara Railway Museum to help with our many projects. Get your Christmas shopping done early for the Railroader you know.

August 31, 2015

A Very Busy Summer

I’ve been a bit slow updating the actual news site of the page, as we have been doing a lot on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. It has been a very crazy summer for the NRM. Our Saturday open days have been very well received. We’ve added some great new displays and had 2 busy open weekends.  Our next open weekend is September 12 & 13, 10am to 4pm both days, rain or shine. There will be a few new display items in the display car, and as well as in the office display area. We’ve been working hard to get 2 of our tracks connected to allow us to move the 3rd boxcar inside for the winter. Much of this track work has been made easier with the help of hydraulic track tools that have been loaned to the Museum when needed from Trillium Railway Company in Welland. This has allowed us to progress with the track construction at a much quicker pace as opposed to the alternative way of manually spiking the track. Within the next month we hope to have the tracks connected, with enough room past the temporary turnout to allow 2 pieces of equipment plus the small Plymouth diesel (when restored) or the Trackmobile.

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The Barco speedometer installed in the cab of #9173.

We still have a lot of work to do, but we are making progress. HEPC electric E-7 and the Hydro Plymouth diesel have both had work done on the interior of their cab, with new paint and cleaning to make it a better visitor experience. The cab of CN F7a 9173 has recently had a replacement Barco speed recorder and air flow meter installed, which were donated to the NRM by Don Brown in Rochesterm NY.  These 2 items bring the cab close to completion. The cab is accessible for viewing, so be sure to climb up the stairs and have a look.

The year isn’t slowing down anytime soon.  Our next open house is September 12/13, and the Museum’s Summer Saturdays will be extended right through to the end of September. October will see the start of the new railway show season, with the Niagara Model Railway Show in St. Catharines on October 25th. There is a lot more going on, so come on out and see the amazing progress we continue to make, as we work towards acquiring the property and creating a fully operational Railway Museum.

 

 

October 23, 2014

Niagara Model Railway Show Sunday

The Niagara Model Railway Show is this Sunday, October 26th, 10am-3:30pm at the Merritton Community Centre. More information is available at: www.nfrm.ca/nfmrs.php

July 3, 2014

Open House this weekend

Just a reminder that the Museum will be open this weekend, July 5 & 6, 10am-4pm both days, rain or shine. New this display will be the periodic operating demonstration of our recently restored Whiting 2TMA Trackmobile. This demonstration will take place at the west end of the building throughout the weekend. Other displays include our steam, diesel and electric locomotives, track equipment, railway artifacts and model trains. Admission is by donation. Come on out and support Railway heritage in Niagara.

January 16, 2014

NRM Open House Weekends

We have finally set the dates for the Open House displays for 2014.

Our first display weekend will be May 10th & 11th, followed by the second one on July 5th & 6th, with the final show on September  6th & 7th.  Displays are open 10am to 4pm on all days, and 3 weekends run rain or shine.

There may be other times the shop is open, and those days/times will be posted on here.

2014 is shaping up to be a very busy year for the NRM. All new displays, and additional equipment displays will kick off the year in May. Returning again will be the Southern Niagara Model Railway Club and Ontario Northland Historical Society.  We also hope to continue our relationship with the Fort Erie LaFrance Association Museum with the display of one of their beautifully restored LaFrance Fire Engines. It is still early, and more information will be posted as things are finalized.

September 23, 2013

A late update

I know this is a bit late, but work and life sometimes gets in the way.  Anyways, it’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  We had a very successful open house on September 7  & 8, 2013. With all the recent press from Niagara This Week and Cogeco, attendance was excellent. New and repeat visitors were impressed with our facility and the progress we’ve made. The Fort Erie LaFrance Firefighting Museum paid us a very short visit on Saturday. Unfortunately just after they arrived with their 1947 LaFrance Imperial Pumper truck, it started to rain.  Because their equipment is restored to perfect condition, they had to get the truck back to their Museum and out of the weather. However we look forward to working with them and having them at our site next year. We also gained some great donations, including 60+ photos of CN at Niagara Falls, including the visit of the famous Flying Scotsman. Steve Konig donated an HO model of Bridge 17 at Dain City built by the late Wilf Pierson . This model joins the G scale Flanger and Spreader also built by Wilf. The Ontario Northland Historical Society also joined us for the open house with their HO layout and artifact display. Despite the rain on Saturday afternoon, it was still a great turnout, and Sunday was even better.  A big thanks to everyone who came out to support the Museum and Railway history in Niagara.

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The Fort Erie LaFrance Firefighting Museum’s 1947 LaFrance Imperial Pumper on display before the rain came in.

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The Fairmont M19 on it’s first trip to the new end of track, which was extended by 50ft in August.

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Condensed HO Scale model of Welland Canal Bridge #17 at Dain City.

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NRM’s HO scale model of the Niagara Falls Station on Bridge St. Constructed by Brian Vasselsue.

Other work that has been progressing has been the windows, and the Whiting 2TMA Trackmobile.  The transmission is in the pit and ready to be placed into the Trackmobile in the next 2 weeks. We hope to have the machine back in service in the next month. We also picked up a switch stand and a used Racine rail drill, which will be very useful in our continued track construction.  We have also been offered about 30 sticks of 80/85 & 100lb rail, which we are currently looking into moving to the Museum site.

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Racine Model A rail drill.

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CPR style switch stand.

Lots of things happening at the Museum.  We thank everyone for a great 2013, and look forward to seeing you at the Niagara Model Railway Show on October 27th, 2013 at the CAW Hall in St. Catharines. Our next full open house will be in May 2014. However, visitors are always welcome if someone is at the shop on Saturday.  If you’d like to visit the Museum, please contact us to arrange for a tour.

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