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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

September 5, 2020

One week until RailDays 2020!!

We had 8 members out to the shop today to get things ready for RailDays 2020 on September 12th & 13th. Really pleased with the amount that was done. We finished off the stairs to the Flanger and Boarding car, and they will be painted in the off season, after RailDays. Items that weren’t needed or were in the way were moved and put away, or elsewhere out of the way. The floors have been swept, and HEPC 46 was pulled ouside for the day. Allan spent the day in X-759 and reinstalled one of the doors, along with 2 plywood panels to allow us to mount pictures of the move. New LED lights will be added before RailDays, although these will not be permanent. A new display will be going into the display car in time for RailDays. Thanks to our volunteers who came out to help, Mike, Neil, Jim, Nolan, Glen, Allan, Ken & Ken.

With so many events being cancelled in 2020, we are very lucky, and very pleased to be able to move forward with our RailDays event. It is scaled back a bit, but we are doing our best. We are big believers in working with other groups, and we are pleased to say that the Fort Erie LaFrance Association will be taking part in the event by bringing one of their antique fire trucks over for display on Saturday from about 10am-2pm. We are also hoping to a display from members of the Niagara Antique Power Association on Sunday. We thank both of these groups for everything they do to help preserve our history, and we welcome them to our site and hope you will come out and support not only the Railway Museum, but these other groups as well. It has been a difficult year for all of us, your support will help us all move forward.

GE 25tonner & HEPC 46 outside for the day.
Allan and Mike work on a display panel for inside TH&B X-759.
The recently restored Fairmont Gang Carrier couple to the Woodings CBI motorcar for display.

August 30, 2020

2 Weeks to go!!

We have just 2 weeks to go until RailDays 2020, and we’re really working to get everything ready at the shop. This weekend we continued working on the stairs for the Flanger and Boarding car. Saturday the Flanger stairs wre finished off with the railing. We also had some visitors though on Saturday, including our local MP Tony Baldinelli. Neil and Ken spent a few hours at the shop on Sunday finishing off the railing on the Boarding car. Still need a cross piece for safety, but that’s a quick fix next weekend. Labour Day weekend will be a cleaning weekend, getting things moved and put away, and sweeping up the messes made from our recent work. Sunday we also had a desk donated/delivered to the shop that came from CN in Port Robinson. It’s in nice condition and will go in our office to replace the steel one we have in there now.

August 27, 2020

New stairs and other work

August 22nd was a busy day building new stairs for the various pieces of equipment at the shop. 3 crews worked on different tasks. New stairs were built for the Flanger, Boarding car and GE. There is still work to do on the handrails, but they will all be ready for our visitors at RailDays.

We are working on displays for inside the Boarding car, including the builders plats from TH&B X-755, the Jordan Spreader that was scrapped, pictures of the move, past and present, and the TH&B No Trespassing sign.

TH&B X-759 arrives

On August 20, 2020 the NRM successfully moved TH&B Carpenters Boarding car X759 from Fenwick to the Museum site in Fort Erie. It was a perfect day for the move and everything went fairly well. Had a slight hiccup in the morning which put us behind a bit, but things quickly improved after that and we were done earlier than expected. Loading the car was the slow part, as the stem winder handbrake stuck up almost a foot over the roof, so the front had to be lower than the back. There was some tweaking of the timbers to get it just right. All the brake rigging and air system was also still on the car which hung down almost to the deck. Once the car was loaded the wheel sets were placed on another trailer, the crane packed up, and away everything went.

The crane arrived at the Museum site first, wheels next, and the carbody shortly after. Everything was unloaded and put back together fairly easily, although one end of the car wasn’t quite sitting down into the truck bolster as far as it should. The car is still safe for our needs, but that will be addressed at a future date. One wheel set was a bit tight and didn’t roll very well. The car was pushed inside and with some movement started rolling better. It is now in place on the drop table and stairs will be built to allow visitors access to the inside.The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the Robbins Family for donating the car and other items to us. The car will be restored over time, but for now, it’s at least inside. Our plan is to add pictures of the original move to their farm, and the pics to our site. For the most part the car will be restored as close to it was as possible.

The Museum would like to thank:

Tom and Gerrit from Falcon Crane in St. Catharines for doing such a great job with the left.

Colton from Pioneer Heavy Haul of Welland for delivering the car safely to the site.

Chris from Stewart’s Deliveries of Welland for getting the wheel sets to the site.

Milton from Attar Metals for bringing over the loader to shove the car inside the building.

And of course our volunteers that spent a very long day making sure this car got moved, Neil, Mike, John, Jim, Nolan, Ken Sr. and Ken Jr. All these people and companies shown above rally made everything come together, and we really couldn’t have asked for better move.

Thank you everyone for following along with this move today, we appreciate your support and hope you’ll come out and see our new car.

July 26, 2020

Switching around Equipment

On Saturday, July 25th, we decided to take the opportunity to reposition some equipment, and while doing so, bring all 4 locomotives outside for some pictures. This is the first time that all 4 have been outside, and the first time both Hydro Electric Power Commission locomotives, 1918 electric E-7, and 1920 steam locomotive 46. 6 of our members were out to make all of this happen, so thanks to Neil, Mike, Adrian, Rick, Ken and Ken.

Part of this move was also to get ready for the arrival of our wood boarding car, TH&B X-759. We are still working on the logistics of this move, and will have more information on the move soon.  We also hope to be able to still have our annual RailDays event in September, and will be following the current situation in the Region closely.

E7 was first out for the day.
The GE has just pulled the Plymouth and HEPC 46 outside.
HEPC E7 and HEPC 46 together outside.
Head on view of all 4 locomotives from the sand tower.
Overall yard view from the north sand tower.
The final pic of all 4 locomotives outside.

July 16, 2020

TH&B X-759

The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. is pleased to announce that we have acquired one of the rarest, if not the rarest, railcars from the Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo Railway. X-759 has been in private ownership for decades, and was recently donated to the Museum.

X-759 was built by National Steel Car in December 1913 as wood boxcar #3775. It was renumbered to 3105 in 1941. It was assigned to MOW Service as the Carpenters boarding car, numbered X-759 by 1947, and retired and sold to Equipment Broker S.G. Paikin in June 1979. It was moved to Welland for scrapping, but was saved from the torch by a local businessman who had an interest in the railway. He moved it to his farm, where he intended to rebuild it into a pool house. However, (thankfully) this never happened, and the car has retained the majority of its original interior.

In December the Museum approached the family to see if they would be interested in donating the car for preservation. After 7 months, the family informed us that the car was ours. We are now working on the logistics of the move and have started fundraising to help with the cost of the move to the Museum site. If you can help the Museum with this great project, donations can be made securely online by visiting:

https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-railway-museum-inc/

All donations over $25 are eligible for a Charitable tax receipt. We are pleased to have X-759 added to the collection, and it joins another TH&B car in the shop, the last gondola #2676.

TH&B X-759 out of service.

June 3, 2020

Great Canadian Giving Challenge

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is a way to support your favourite charity, and we hope you will consider the Museum in this manner. For every dollar donated, we are entered for a chance to win $20000. This prize would get so very far with our restoration projects. It would allow us to finish the cosmetic restoration of our 1920 steam locomotive HEPC 46, and our 1918 electric locomotive, HEPC E7. The Museum operates on donations, and every little helps, but in this case, it could give us a big boost to accomplishing some of our goals.

Donations can be made securely online through Canada Helps, or by clicking the link below to go directly to the secure page.

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

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