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Niagara Railway Museum Blog

March 31, 2017

It’s about to get busy at the shop.

Its been a while since our last post, and its been a busy time since then.  So lets get started.

The Buffalo show went well. Sunday was definitely a lot busier and we talked to a lot more people. The hit of our display of course was the Woodings motorcar. The Woodings has been out of service for quite a while, and went in for engine repairs upon returning to the Falls after the Buffalo show. More on that later.

The 17th Annual Niagara Model Railway Show has also come and gone during this time, and it was a great show. Vendors from across Ontario, selling all scales of model trains, artifacts and historical displays. The G Scale Vineland Siding Bluetooth controlled switching layout was a hit with the kids.

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The Museum’s live steam Pacific made an appearance at the show again.

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The NRM sales table was fairly busy at the show.

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Golden Horseshoe Live Steamers display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Restoration work continues at the shop with the Plymouth diesel still the main focus. Most of the windows have been reinstalled, with just 2 frames left to clean and paint. Adam has been working on cleaning off the surface rust on the carbody, a slow process, but he is making progress.  This is some of the first work this locomotive has had in a few years. Elsewhere in the shop, Ken has been working inside the office, installing drywall and a ceiling so we can get our office back in order. Another week and we’ll be starting to get things cleaned up and organized around the site. Not too long now until our opening weekend in May.

Conductor side sliding windows back in place.

Conductor side sliding windows back in place.

The Woodings back on track on March 31st.

The Woodings back on track on March 31st.

The Woodings CBI Railcar was taken in for repairs after returning from display at the Buffalo show in February. The car hasn’t run for at least 5yrs, and was in need of motor repairs. After 2 months, and countless hours, the car fired up and ran. There is still some tweaking to do, mostly adjusting  the throttle and choke, but overall, having the car running again will make it a great addition to our 2017 activities.

Woodings CBI Railcar

 

There is so much going on out at the Museum this year as we hit our 20th Anniversary. We have our usual open weekends in May and July, but will also be open on Canada Day as we celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday. We will also be open Saturdays from June to October, with our big event, Rail Days, taking place on September 9/10. We have many more surprises in store this year, so we hope you’ll join us in Fort Erie at the Niagara Railway Museum.mayopen raildays sats

 

February 3, 2017

Looking over the Plymouth

With 2017 being a big year for the Museum, we are looking at getting the Plymouth MDT40t back in to operation for the first time over 25yrs. The motor itself was made operational about 6yrs ago, but without the compressor, the locomotive is not able to operate under its own power. The original compressor was damaged beyond repair, and we are waiting for a replacement. There were some other missing and damaged parts that we are looking to repair and/or replace. The locomotive is missing one side of the exhaust piping, but there is one set that can be used as a pattern, as the missing pieces may have to be custom built. There is some damage on one wheel flange that will be repaired as this locomotive will only be used for demonstrations and backup power if necessary. Once the locomotive is back in service, more work will be done on the air system as the train air lines need to be re-piped. Saturday February 11th we plan to start replacing the windows in the cab and cleaning it to prep it for a coat of paint in the spring. Lots of projects on the go for our 20th year, always looking for volunteers to help, no experience necessary.  Donations can also be made to our  many projects and anything over $25 is eligible for a Charitable Tax Reciept.

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Sizing up the exhaust port for an elbow.

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The existing exhaust piping and muffler.

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A custom built Y will join the 2 sides to go out the carbody.

 

January 27, 2017

Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo gondola #2676

The NRM is pleased to officially be able to announce that we have finally finished the acquisition of the last gondola from the TH&B Railway. #2676 reached its 50th year in February 2016, and after almost a year of negotiations, the car was finally delivered by CP to CN’s Southern Yard near Welland. It was then picked up by Martech Rail Services and has gone into storage on their property until we can move the car by road in the spring.

This acquisition all started when the TH&B Historical Society and a TH&B fan at CP noticed that this would end up being the last TH&B Gondola, and was therefore something that should be preserved. The NRM was contacted about accepting the car (the TH&BRHS is not a Charitable organization, nor do they have space to put such an item), and accepted the offer.  The last thing the Museum needed was another freight car, but with its significance, it was felt that it would be a good addition to the Museum, and allow us to help out another important Historical Society. The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. would like to extend our thanks to Heather Woods and James Gamble from CP who worked very hard on this whole project. James worked tirelessly until the very end to see this through.

The car is in very good condition. It shows normal side panel dents and such, but has no holes in it and the top rails are straight as an arrow. The car recieved a very light covering of black paint at some point, but the lettering and logo can still be seen on one side of the car. In time, the car will be restored back to its as delivered TH&B scheme. The NRM also thanks Martech Rail Services in Welland for their assistance with the storage and movement of the car.

As with everything else at the Museum, we are always looking for financial assistance with this car, and our other pieces of equipment. Donations can be made securely online through Canada Helps at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-railway-museum-inc/

2676 jan 23

Martech’s 1950 GE 80tonner spots TH&B 2676 out behind their shop for storage.

 

2676 jan 27 3

B end of 2676.

 

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A end of 2676.

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The TH&B logo is still faintly visible on one side of the car.

January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017!!

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2017, our 20th anniversary!!

2016 was yet another great year for the Niagara Railway Museum.  While our workforce at the shop was often small, we did get some projects done. Into the spring of 2016 we worked to changout all of our existing florescent lighting and go with LED flood lights.  This has given us a much brighter display area, and we will be finishing that off as we open up more of that area for displays this year. New lighting will also be added down the work platforms and into the shop area.  Our office work is coming along and we hope to have that finished in the spring. Wayne M. used some donated metal siding to start closing up some of the many broken windows in the shop. He started with the upper windows in the heavy repair bay, and had that done by winter. This has made a huge difference in the amount of weather that comes into the building.  We will using this same material elsewhere in the shop as we work to make the building more weather proof.

Equipment had to be switched around as well, and our GE 25tonner did that work with ease. Our 3rd boxcar was unloaded (used for storing 4 Fairmont A4d gangcars), and in March was switched to its current position on the middle track behind electric E-7. The car was then converted for part display and part store, and worked out very well in 2016. We ran 3 very well attended open weekends, and 2 model railway shows. We were also open every Saturday from June to October, which will be repeated again this year. Of course, the biggest news for 2016 was the successful move of our ex-CN wood flanger, which was gratiously donated by Lorraine Warner of Genaire Ltd. The car has been located at their facility at the Niagara District Airport in Niagara On The Lake since 1977. The car now resides inside the shop, and restoration work has already begun.

So with 2016 behind us, what are we looking at for 2017? We once again have our wish list, things we are looking for, items that will aid in the restoration and operation of the equipment and the museum. The list is in no particular order, but the first item is, for us, the most important.

  • Financial contributions – We can always use cash donations. Donations can be made towards specific projects at the shop, and can also be made in memory of someone. All donations over $25 are eligible for a Charitable Tax Receipt, and can also be made securely through Canada Helps
  • Construction materials – like lumber, nails, screws, even shop equipment is all necessary to the day to day operations of the Museum.
  • Rail and track materials – Necessary for our expansion projects in 2017.
  • Railway equipment – Always looking for equipment that has an attachment to Niagara. Looking for a caboose (wood or steel), passenger or baggage car, or even a locomotive. There’s still equipment around that has significance to Niagara.
  • Volunteers – The Museum is an all volunteer site. We rely on our members for a number of different tasks.  You don’t need to have a skilled trade to become involved. We have everything from archiving, to restoration, operation, and even off site displays.
  • General assistance – We are also looking for someone that has fundraising experience, and knowledge of grant applications. Help us get the assistance we need.

As we move into 2017, I thank all of our dedicated volunteers and members who help make the Museum what it is, and look forward to working with all of them in the coming year.  I also extend thanks on behalf of the Museum to everyone who has taken time in 2016 to pay us a visit, and to everyone who donated over the year, financially, for different projects, especially the flanger move, and with materials to allow us to get a few other projects started and completed. There will be more news coming very soon, and we hope to see you out at the Museum in 2017 to see everything we have in store for our 20th Anniversary!!
Ken Jones
President – Niagara Railway Museum Inc.

2016

December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Niagara Railway Museum. All the best to you all.

nrmxmassm

October 22, 2016

As the month of October moves on, so does progress at the Museum. Saturday was yet another busy day.

Wayne M. spent the day up on the roof, installing the metal siding, closing up the upper heavy repair bay windows. He has done a great job and is 3/4’s of the way along. This has made a very big difference when it comes to keeping the weather out.

Ken Sr. picked up a Ford tractor in Niagara On The Lake and brought that out to the shop to replace our Ferguson tractor which is currently out of service for repairs.

Wayne G. brought out part of our latest donation, a large collection of “old, new stock” of LGB G scale trains. The locomotives were put on track and tested and all ran great.  This was the first time any of them have been run as they are all brand new!  All the cars and locomotives have since been placed back into storage until the Museum re opens in the spring. There were also 2 large plastic models, one of a Northern Pacific 4-6-6-4 Challenger, and the other is a Canadian Pacific 2-10-4 Selkirk. These 2 models have gone on display inside the boxcar.

Ken Jr. visited Genaire in Niagara On The Lake to inspect the ex-CNR flanger and formulate a plan for prepping and moving the car. The car is showing significant signs of deterioration. so this has become a top priority for the Museum to get the car on site and inside as soon as possible. This will be one of the most fragile pieces of equipment the Museum has had to move, and we are seeking donations to help with the cost of moving this rare piece to the Museum. Donations can be sent directly to the Niagara Railway Museum, or can be made online through the secure site at Canada Helps. All donations over $25 are eligible for a Charitable Tax Receipt. Please consider helping the Museum with this project.

We are just one week away from the 13th Annual Fall Niagara Model Railway Show at the Merritton Community Centre, 7 Park Ave in St. Catharines. vendors from across Ontario selling model railway items in all scales, as well as paintings, pictures, and collectibles.  More information can be found at http://www.nfrm.ca/nfmrs.php

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Wayne M. up on the roof installing the metal sheeting over the windows.

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The metal sheeting over the windows of the heavy repair bay from inside.

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Great, the stenciled weight was left on the car.

 

 

 

 

 

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The south side is showing significant siding deterioration.

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The inside of the Flanger.

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One of the new LGB engines and some cars on the Museum layout.

 

 

 

 

 

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The model of Northern Pacific 4-6-6-4 #5141.

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The largest locomotives the CPR owned were the 2-10-4 Selkirks.

 

 

October 15, 2016

New track for more equipment

Saturday was a very productive day at the shop with 5 members taking care of a number of tasks. Wayne M. was working on the sheeting covering the windows on the top of the heavy repair bay. This will go a long way to help keep some of the weather out. Ken was working in the office area, while John, Aaron and Ken spent the day working on the yard track realignment. This work included leveling and preparing the area where the turnout will be moved to, and by the end of the day, the south track was lined to a gentle curve and is now ready for the turnout. After that work was done the crew set about getting the new track panels for the north track in front of the heavy repair bay.  This is necessary as the current flanger frame (ex-CNR 56452) will be moved outside to allow the coming flanger (56323) to go inside. The other new piece of equipment, which should be arriving soon as well (we hope to have an official press release on that soon), will also be going on the new storage tracks outside.

It was a great day, and a big part of the track project is complete.  The next step will be to move the turnout into position, and some final prep work on the storage track. In the spring the new north track will also be extended west, and eventually into a turnout to connect all 3 tracks. There is still so much going on before the end of the year.  2 more pieces of equipment are coming to the Museum, and our 13th Annual Fall Niagara Model Railway Show in St. Catharines is just 2 weeks away.

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The new north track for storage, in front of the heavy repair bay.

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Looking east towards the shop, the middle and south tracks are ready for the turnout.

October 14, 2016

NRM acquires ex-CNR flanger 56323

The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. Is very pleased to announce that we have acquired ex-CNR snow flanger 56323 from Genaire Ltd in St. Catharines, Ontario.

We are now seeking donations to assist us with the  move from St. Catharines to the Museum site in Fort Erie. We would like to move the car before winter to avoid the car sitting outside any further.

Donations can be mailed to the Museum at 6521 Burdette Dr. Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 5H4 or through our secure server Canadahelps.org on the main page of our be site at www.nfrm.ca. Please help the NRM preserve the railway heritage of Niagara.

ex-CNR snow flanger 56323

ex-CNR snow flanger 56323

October 5, 2016

Upcoming Railway show

Been having some minor issues with posting on here, but will soon have a full update from our Fall Rail Days in September, and other happenings around the shop.

It’s just a few weeks until the 13th Annual Fall Model Railway Show at the Meritton Community Centre at 7 Park St in St. Catharines, Ont. The show runs 10am to 330pm and features model railway vendors, layouts and historical displays from across Ontario.  Something for everyone, get your Christmas shopping done early! Food is available, including our famous railway chili.

The show is run by the Niagara Railway Museum Inc., and all proceeds go directly to the Museum to allow us to continue our progress in 2017.

Info can be found at www.nfrm.ca/nfmrs.php

September 3, 2016

Just one week left…

As we get closer to our final event, our Fall Rail Days, 5 members spent Saturday moving some of our un-restored maintenance equipment and cleaning the shop. 4 pieces were moved, including our 2 ex-TH&B motorcars, into our other building, and are tucked away, stored with 4 of our 5 ex-CN Fairmont A4d gangcars.

170163sm 170277smThe cars were purchased in a group a few years ago by one of our members. There were parts and motors included, but the cars are not currently in the plans for restoration at this time. One car originally had the Fairmont 2 cylinder opposed piston engine. Sadly, that was no longer with the car.

2carssm

Both cars tucked inside the other building.

After moving the cars, other equipment in the shop was repositioned and cleaned for display.  The floors needed sweeping, and the equipment will be cleaned off during the week.

 

Landscaping is a never ending job at the Museum, and with the big tractor down, everything is being done with the weedeater, push mower and riding mower.  The site is looking fairly decent, but we’re glad the season is winding down.  Milton and Clayton from Attar Metals came over on Friday and moved some old pvc pipes that have been sitting between the old roundhouse and turntable. This will allow us to cut more of the grass down and improve the look of the site. Some work will be done with the foundation of the old roundhouse in the off season, mostly just clearing some of the dirt, brush and grass so we can better interpret the history of the site.

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