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July 1, 2022

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!!

Meant to post this first part the other day. If you’re in Niagara, make sure to stop by and see our friends at the Niagara Antique Power Association and Show on Wilhelm Rd in Sherkston https://niagaraantiquepower.org/ The show runs July 1st to 3rd. Only 2 of us out today.

David came by and painted the weight/inspection info on both sides of the flanger, as well as the ID/number on the ends of the car. He will do touch up work after the final lettering is done. Really starting to all come together. Ken spent the time freshening up the paint on HEPC electric E7. The black was painted a few yrs back and then the cab was needle scaled off. Now it all matches. Hope to do a bit more on the hood on Saturday, depending on how much help we have.

2 weeks ago Mike was able to pick up the spare rods for the Porter Fireless locomotive. These were buried in a locked, overgrown compound at the Fort Erie Railroad Museum. We knew they were there, but just never got around to making arrangements to get them. Thanks to Nicole from the FE Railroad Museum for having them dug out, and members of the Fort Erie Fire Dept for carrying them over to a more accessible spot for pick up.

The spare rods for the Porter Fireless are now at the shop

We are 2 weeks from our next open weekend. which is our 25th anniversary event. Lots of work happening right now as we prepare the shop for that weekend. We are open again Saturday from 10-2

June 11, 2022

June 11 report

11 volunteers were at the shop today working on multiple projects. David was out doing some touch up painting on the Flanger lettering, and will return in 2 weeks to finish off the south side, and start on the ends and north side. Jim and Ken were working around the shop, cleaning, and helping put our Ariens riding mower back together.

David did a second coat of paint on the lettering, and adjusted the bottom line to match the top.

Outside, Rick and Nolan were working the shovels, digging 3 trenches for ties, and spreading some ballast to prepare the new track for a bit of a lift and tamp. A panel track is being constructed to the north side, and will eventually become track ED16, and be connected to ED17. This panel will allow us to move our ex-CN Flanger 56452 off of the main yard tracks and out of the way. This track, once built, will give us a much needed outdoor storage track. While they were working on digging spots for the ties to go, Ken and Mike were dumping stone in the low spot on ED17, and placing rail for the panel. We are hoping to have the low spot lifted, panel track built, and flanger moved by the July event. Some equipment will be moved around to different tracks for display for the 25th Anniversary event as well.

Inside the shop, 3 of our mechanics, Neil, Patrick and Evan were working on the Plymouth and manifold for INCo 8. A new compressor is being installed on the Plymouth. It will not be the same as the original, but will be enough to allow the locomotive to operate. This project is moving along quite well, and we look forward to finally being able to demonstrate this locomotive. There’s still quite a ways to go, but everything is a step in the right direction. Allan was working on the safety barriers for CN Flanger 56323, and then installed the shingles on the new covers to replace the rotten ones on the roof exhaust vents.

While it doesn’t have anything to do with the 25th Anniversary, we have managed to secure about 700ft of track, all 100lb rail. It will require some work to remove, but this will allow us to add the storage track and replace the 85lb rail with all 100lb in our yard.There is a lot happening, and a lot coming up that will be announced in the next week or so. As we are now just over a month away from our 25th Anniversary event, we will be starting to share what you can expect to see and do.

June 4, 2022

The Plymouth comes alive!!

Was a bit breezy and cool at the shop today, but we had a few visitors, and reached yet another milestone (sort of). John and Ken were cutting the grass (a never ending endeavor), cleaning up the grounds. Mike was running the loader while Rick and Nolan were cleaning up/sorting some of the old ties that were removed from the track during the various trackwork being done. Still a bit to go, but looks better.

Meanwhile, Ken and Jim were working on mounting some new direction signs, as well as dealing with our visitors. David was back today to work on the Flanger lettering. A second coat was applied to the lettering, and the number has now been added. While starting the work, an unexpected issue came up, but thankfully David was able to work around it and get the number on. It’s really looking great, and more complete every time. With the Flanger getting this attention, Patrick was over working on our Plymouth MDT40t diesel.

Patrick is our newest member, and is a heavy equipment Mechanic by trade. He joined up just a couple of months ago, and decided to take on the Plymouth and its Detroit Diesel engine as a project. He has done some great work, and the time he has spent on it paid off today when the diesel engine was started for the first time in 11yrs. It started and idled very smooth (like it did 11yrs ago), and we look forward to actually having this unit back in periodic operation in the future. A short video of todays startup can be seen here: https://youtu.be/PkKvbRiAdX4

Another great day at the shop. Each week we continue to progress with various projects, and we are still always looking for more volunteers to join our team.

June 1, 2022

HEPC 46 arrival and restoration

Well, 12yrs ago today we welcomed our first piece of equipment to the new Niagara Railway Museum shop in Fort Erie. Hydro Electric Power Commission ALCo (Cooke Works) 0-4-0ST #46 was moved from Uptergrove, near Orillia, on June 1st, 2010. And now, at 102yrs old, we’re finally moving forward with the plans for her cosmetic restoration. The main part of this will be the complete rebuild of the deteriorated cab.

The month of June is the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, and it is a big way to help with this restoration as we work to reach a goal of $5000 towards these repairs. And every dollar donated at https://www.canadahelps.org/…/niagara-railway-museum-inc/ gives us a chance to win $20000. We want 46 to continue to look great in her retirement, and you can help.

May 28, 2022

Saturday update

We had a decent day at the shop today, started off pretty chilly, but the sun came out after lunch and it definitely improved.


With the recent posting about our coins, We want to send out a thanks to the company that made them, Strike Your Coin , located in Kanata, Ontario. There is an interesting history on these Challenge Coins, and you can read the history at the link below:

https://strikeyourcoin.com/blogs/articles/the-history-behind-challenge-coin-tradition
As our members present today were able to take a good look at the new coin, they were quite happy with the quality and detail that came out on the final product. We are also very pleased that our coin has been added to theie website at www.strikeyourcoin.com

As for today, we had quite a few visitors through and some puttering done around the shop. It was too wet to cut the grass, (which really does need it), so that’ll have to wait until next week. Outside we used the Trackmobile to move CN Flanger 56452 further east on track ED18. Here is a short video of the move: https://youtu.be/UZ0WcsZmHnY Plans are currently being made to set up a panel track to put this car on, so it’s off our yard tracks and out of the way. The panel will be on the former track ED16, which is the first track north of our existing track, and will be under the north sand towers. Some training was also done on the Trackmobile, so our members have a better understanding of the use and functions of the machine. Overall, a pretty good day. Still a lot of work happening, and working to finalize some details for our 25th Anniversary event in July.

May 26, 2022

New Fundraising Coin

I have some exciting news for this update. Something that has been being worked on for a while now has finally arrived. The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. would like to present a special fundraising coin, with the proceeds going towards the cosmetic restoration of Hydro Electric Power Commission steam locomotive #46. The coins measure 1 3/4″ and will come with a special photo card with information about 46 on the back. The pics don’t do the coin justice. Each coin will sell for $25.00 (plus shipping if applicable). The supply is limited to 100. If you would like to order a coin, please send us an email at info@nfrm.ca.

We are open on Saturday, 10am-2pm, rain or shine. A few things planned for this weekend, including finishing painting of Flanger 56323, and also laying out a few sticks of 80lb rail to build a panel track to move our other Flanger, 56452 onto, and out of the way of the regular yard tracks.

Lots going on, come on out and see us.

May 21, 2022

Moving 2676 and lettering 56323

Another great day at the shop, quite hot, but thankfully there was a (strong) breeze keeping things sort of comfortable. John spent part of the day cutting the grass (which he only did a week ago, but it grows pretty quick). Last weekend was a big time for track with James & Nick, and this weekend was all about CN Flanger 56323.


We started off by moving TH&B gondola 2676 back over to track ED17, and figured while we were doing that, we’d do some training as well so some of our members could learn the safe way to work around the train in the yard. There is more training to be done, but it’s a good start, and we got to use the new track, which is just amazing to finally get to do.

The GE & TH& 2676 at the end of track.


However, while all that was going on, our sign painter, David Vance was working on CN 56323. This is something that we’ve been excited about since the painting of the body started last year. As a sign painter, David put a lot of time and effort into sizing and adjusting the lettering for the car, not to mention handmaking all the lettering patterns. We don’t have any proper drawings, so he had to work it all out just from pictures of various cars, and, every picture is pretty much different. To see the process of how it’s all set up and done is quite interesting. David has had to do many adjustments on the lettering, and after setting up some of it on the side, it was decided to resize some of the lettering as it looked a bit big. He was able to start with the Canadian National lettering, and it is looking great. We will get the north side and ends of the car painted next weekend so he will be able to continue there when he’s ready.


Patrick came out and went back to work on the Plymouth, working on freeing up some of the stuck injectors, to prepare it for a test start in the coming weeks. The Plymouth hasn’t been started since we had it running some 10yrs ago, but the time is getting close to fire it up again.


Thanks to everyone who came to help out today, Jim, Nolan, Mike, Neil, Patrick, Ken, John, Rick, David and Ken.

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.

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