NRM Logo
About | News | Galleries | Collection | Our Equipment | Events | Contact | Links | Volunteer

Niagara Railway Museum Blog

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.  

April 21, 2018

Lots happening in the first 4 months

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but it has definitely been a very busy time. We’ve made a lot of progress at the site and continue to move forward with our agenda.  Not much work was done on the equipment over the winter, but that is starting to change now.  Glen built a new controller for our 7.25″ gauge locomotive and got that up and running.  We look forward to taking out for a test run in Hamilton this year. Glen has also been busy wiring up our signals to get them flashing on a smaller electronic relay that he designed and built. A working bell will be added to one of them, and will be operated off a push button. His most recent project has been the electrical on the cab of CN 9173. He got the interior lights working, along with the number boards lights. Once we straighten out the number board frames, we’ll make and install new number boards. The NRM sends its thanks to Penny from the Welland Historical Museum for donating some surplus display cases to us. They will allow us to rotate some different displays through the year.

Other work has been going on with Wayne G, Ken, Mike, Ken and Jim. Some new shelving was built in a new storage room to get some items that are not railroad related out of the way. The Museum also recently acquired a small Yale forklift which will replace our old unit. The newer unit doesn’t have as much lift, but does reach higher, and is a safer machine. We’ve also been working on new safety handrails, and Mike and Ken Jr. have managed to get part of them installed. There was some concrete repairs to do, which Mike took care of on April 21. There’s more work to do on the handrails, and that will be dealt with in the coming weeks.

Project 46 is up and running, and we are seeking help to finish the cosmetic restoration of our 1920 steam locomotive before she turns 100 in 2020. We’re also looking at starting work on our ex-CNR Flanger and have started pricing the lumber to get the exterior work going.  Definitely a lot going on at the Museum and we’re always looking new members to help with our many projects. No experience is needed, but you can’t be afraid to get dirty.  Also, please check out our Facebook page for the most up to date information on the Museum at Niagara Railway Museum on Facebook

NRM’s GE & ALCo

nstdisplay

New images added to the NS&T and Great Gorge Route displays.

xing

Our flasher is flashing again.

electricloco

our 7.25″ gauge locomotive is back in operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

case1

New display cases from Welland.

railing1sm

New handrail beside the Plymouth.

mikeconcrete

Mike doing some concrete repairs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9173lights

9173 now has working cab and number board lights.

 

September 4, 2017

4 days to go!!

It’s now just 4 days to go until Rail Days 2017 and this weekend we had 2 good work sessions at the shop to get things ready.  We’ll still be out there a few more times this week to finish off some things, but everything is starting to look great.

Saturday was a big cleaning day mostly, with some painting being done on 46 as 6 members were out, Wayne G, Jim, Nolan, Mike, Ken & Ken. Monday however was much busier. Ken, Wayne G & JT worked in the office, cleaning, painting, and organizing things for the weekend. Need to make rooom for 3 more small layouts and a few vendor tables. Elsewhere in the shop, Wayne M cleaned, primed, and painted our ex-CNR steam locomotive rerailers, and they will be on display from now on. After that he started working on the TH&B gondola, masking off and getting a basecoat on the TH&B logo on the one side. Hope to have that done by the weekend.

waynererail1sm

Wayne M cleaning the rerailers.

rerailprimesm

Primed and ready for paint.

reraildonesm

All painted for display.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

waynethb1sm

Masking the TH&B logo.

waynethb2sm

Base coat on the logo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ken and Glen worked on 46. Stencils were cut and the striping was masked off and painted. It was a very long project, but it turned out fairly well.  It’s not perfect, but it really doesn’t make a big difference in her appearance.

glen46sm

Glen masking the cab stripe.

46sm2

Engineman’s side.

46sm1

Fireman’s side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who came out to work this weekend.  We’ve been making some great progress the last 2 months, and it’s really starting to show. Really pleased with the amount of work on HEPC 46, she’ll be looking good for the night photo shoot during Rail Days.

August 4, 2017

The gondola has arrived!!

On July 21st, the Niagara Railway Museum successfully moved the last Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo gondola to the shop. It brought to end a very difficult time trying to preserve and move this car.  But after a year and a half, the car is now safe inside and the cosmetic restoration will begin. The car was unfortunately tagged with graffiti while in storage, but that has since been painted over. The 2676 is in relatively good condition. There are no holes in the body, and the sides are fairly straight. The car will receive a proper coat of black paint and have its lettering applied after that.  There is no time frame for this work, it will be done as time permits.

The Museum extends its thanks to Marcel Bill and Steve at Martech Rail Services in Welland for storing the car since the start of the year, Parkway Towing for moving one of the wheelsets from Martech to the Museum, and OWS Railway Contracting for handling the actual move of the car. The unloading didn’t go completely as planned, but Dan and Clayton from Attar Metals came down and saved the day with their help in unloading the gonola. They are the best neighbours we could ask for.

Thanks also to members of the TH&BHS (Lance Brown & James Gamble), for helping negotiate with CP to save this car. And finally, to our many donors who gave funds to assist with the movement of the car to the site, and also with the restoration.

pic1

Pulling the car onto the float.

pic2

Loaded up at Martech, ready to head to the Museum.

pic4

Backing into the north track at the shop for unloading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

inshopsm

First night in its new home.

halfpaintsm

Painting over the graffiti.

fullpaintsm

A couple of hours and the graffiti is gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

attar martech parkwayowslogo

December 11, 2016

Less than 24hrs…

And the flanger is already getting worked on. Spent about 5hrs removing the old paneling from the inside the car to expose the original tongue in groove wall boards. This was necessary in order to inspect the boards for any serious damage, and to put a plan together for the restoration.  Luckily the interior is in pretty good shape, with only a small patch of boards that need to be replaced. The exterior will take more work, but one step at a time.

56323markersm

The Flanger inside the Museum.

insidebefore

Before the paneling was removed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lights were temporarily wired up and replaced with LED bulbs, which provided more than enough light to be able to work inside the car. We’ll be going over the electrical system to see what can be run off the generator. The walls were painted before the car was gutted and the original items that were mounted against the walls show in the paint. With the walls exposed, we can now put together a plan to fix up the interior, as well as the exterior. The 4th window was also reinstalled where the AC unit used to be. The car now also sports a CNR marker lamp.

insideduring

Halfway through the paneling removal, bad section is at the right.

insideafter

The finished product, all the paneling is gone and the car has been completely cleaned up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

openhousepostcard

June 11, 2016

Not a small project!

It was a simple job, or so I thought. The wood between the concrete and rails is worn/rotten and was causing a major tripping hazard. So, Wayne M decided to do something about it. And Wayne being Wayne, he never does something half way. So out came the pick and out went the bad lumber.

wayneclean1sm

Wayne M picking and shoveling out the old wood and dirt.

railsm

After being cleaned out, the clips holding the rail can be clearly seen.

It turned into a much larger task, but one that will greatly improve the safety of our members and visitors. While he was removing the old timbers, we were able to see the different layers used to secure the boards. The boards will go back in the same manner they came out, and part of the work should be completed by the July 9/10 open weekend. The job requires various sizes of lumber from 2×4’s, 2×6’s and 4×4’s.

Wayne G and Ken were working in the office, starting to frame one of the walls as we work to make a more permanent office for our operations. With the acquisition of a used riding lawnmower, we were able to cut some of the grass, but with our main tractor being out of service for repairs, cutting the big stuff can’t happen without the bushhog mower. So our site isn’t looking as decent as it usually does, so if anyone has a tractor/bushhog that they’d like to bring down to the shop to help cut some grass, that would be great.

 

livesteamsm

The live steam pacific in its new location in the display car.

We also decided to move the live steam pacific from the display area into the second display car for safety and protection. The locomotive now resides under the HO model train cabinet, and fits right in.

 

The Museum is working to get ready to be open Saturdays, starting on June 18th, 10am to 2pm until the end of September.  A lot of stuff happening at the Museum in 2016. A new announcement will be coming soon as well.

May 7, 2016

We have a store, sort of…

By the end of our work session today, we actually had a partial store set up in the boxcar.  We installed lights in the other end of the new display car in order to work out how the new store set up was going to work.  We don’t have a whole lot of stock, but we’re working on that. So while we weren’t expecting to have the store actually set up in the boxcar before opening weekend, it looks like it will in fact be ready to go!!

store1sm

Just a few items that will be for sale on opening weekend.

f7cabsm

New cover panels on the side and door have been installed and will be painted before opening weekend.

Wayne M continued painting and working on patching the holes in the brick near the entrance. He also installed the cover panels inside the cab of the CN F7.

ho1sm

NYC, TH&B and Wabash make up the first cabinet.

ho2sm

CN, CP, GO and other local railways are represented in the second cabinet.

 

 

 

 

 

Ken and Aaron were working on the display and store car.  Some of our HO model railway collection is now on display for the first time. We have a very extensive HO scale model railway collection and we are just not able to display even a fraction of it. The majority of the collection is related to the Niagara Region and features a lot of New York Central equipment, including steam and diesel locomotives, and freight and passenger cars that would have run on the NYC across Southern Ontario.  Other equipment is from CN, Wabash, and Lehigh Valley, with freight cars also seen in the Region. We look forward to eventually having a proper layout of the area to be able to run these items on.

waynepaintsm

Wayne started repainting some of the yellow safety lines on the floor of the shop.

flagsm

Our Canadian Flag is flying back in its proper place for the season.

Everything is starting to come together for opening weekend. Our members have been very busy over the last few months making sure everything is looking great.  The new lighting in the office area is a vast improvement over the previous lighting, and all the new paint has really dressed everything up. Artifact displays will be finalized next week, and will include some all new displays from some local railroad families.  The display upgrades are ongoing and we will be changing some things throughout the year to rotate items from the collection through for viewing. Thanks to our members, Jim, Wayne M, Ken, Ken, and Aaron, who showed up Friday and Saturday to keep the progress going.

A big thanks also goes to Mark Wikobrado from Cogeco Niagara for paying the NRM a visit and shooting this short clip for The Source. Really pleased with the outcome, and Cogeco has always been a big help for promoting our event.

 

April 23, 2016

Checking some projects off the list

With just 3 weekends left until opening weekend, our members have been busy again this week trying to get things done.  Wednesday 4 members were out working on electrical, installing more fixtures for the new LED floods, and finishing painting walls and railings. The office area is really looking great, very bright with a fresh coat of paint.

1943sm

Our 3.5″ gauge live steam pacific poses for a pic on the GHLS track in Hamilton.

trolleylightsm

The Trolley is now complete with its new LED headlight.

On Friday, Ken and Ken took the NRM’s live steam pacific up to the Golden Horseshoe Live Steamers track in Hamilton to have the boiler tested. Unfortunately the test couldn’t be performed due to an improper fitting (a new one is being made for the next test). However, we did put the engine on the track and rolled it back and forth a bit to see how it looked, and of course take a few pictures. Looking forward to being able to fire it up (after passing the boiler test) and running it on the GHLS track. Information on their operation can be found at http://www.ghls.ca/ghls-home.

Saturday was another busy day with 7 members (Wayne G, Wayne M, Ken, Ken, Aaron, Jim, Peter) out working on different projects. The trolley from Niagara Central Hobbies finally got its new headlight, and it looks great.  It started out as a ditch light from an ex-Ontario Northland F unit. It was cleaned and repainted, and has had a frosted lense and low watt LED bulb installed. It’s a nice bright light and now makes the trolley look more complete. The switch stand, which used to sit out at the back stairs with the store address on the target is now up with the rest of the Hobby Shop items.  It’s coming together well, and we hope to have that display completed in time for opening weekend.

wayne1sm

Wayne adding a second coat of primer to the stair railing.

railingssm

The railings on the ramp glow with fresh yellow paint.

Wayne M. continued painting the railings, first applying 2 coats of primer, and a top coat of yellow.  Every bit of paint Wayne has done has really improved the look of the shop, and has amounted to hundreds of hours of cleaning the old paint and rough spots off to get a nice smooth finish. All the fresh yellow (and much of the grey & silver) that is seen around the shop has been done by Wayne.

The second display car is coming along very well.  Some major changes were made to the first car as all of the Great Gorge Route items were moved into the new display car to keep everything in one spot. The GGR display will also be expanded a bit with a few more artifacts, pictures, and some history.  Taking the place of the GGR items in the first display car  will be an expanded Niagara St. Catharines & Toronto electric railway display. This new display will feature more photos of the NS&T from across the system, as well as a few more of our artifacts.

jimaaronsm

Jim and Aaron working on a stand for part of the Great Gorge Route display.

newggrdisplay

The GGR display at the end of the day. Still some work to do, but really pleased with it right now.

We are always trying to improve our displays for our visitors and we feel what we have planned for 2016 will really show how hard we’ve been working to get things done. Our work days are generally Wednesday and Saturday, and we’re always looking for new members to get involved.

Be sure to stop by the Museum on opening weekend, May 14th & 15th, 10am to 4pm rain or shine.

 

 

April 9, 2016

Another great work day today, with a lot of work getting done.  5 members were out, continuing the painting in the office area, and working on the new display car.

waynemsm

Wayne M working on the interior of the new display car.

droptablecoverssm

New covers made for the drop table.

Wayne M and Ken Sr. were working on painting in the office area, as we work to getting it all painted before the May Opening Weekend. Eventually a lot of this will be covered over with insulated walls, but for now, we just want to clean it all up. Wayne G was working on the office door, having had to make some adjustments to the frame. The doors to the shop and storage room have been given a coat of CN blue as well, as that’s what would have been there when the shop was in service. The majority of the painting should be done next weekend if the weather stays fairly decent. More will be done between the open weekends. Once Wayne M was done painting in the office he moved into the display car to do some repair work to the old tongue in groove boards on the walls. One of the steel bottom panels was also broken away from its weld, so he secured that back to the wall.

Thanks to our friends over at Attar Metals for cutting us some covers for the various access points on the Whiting drop table. These holes have been covered by wood recently, and we felt it was time to make some proper panels to make walking on the drop table safe for our members, and in the future, our visitors.

Ken Jr. was working in the new display car, hanging the temporary lighting in the display end (one end will be for displays, the other will be for the Museum store), as the store end won’t be ready before opening day (we don’t think anyways).  Once the lighting was installed, Ken and Aaron worked on getting 2 display cabinets installed.  These are the 2 N scale cabinets that used to be at Niagara Central Hobbies. and will display some of our HO model railway collection.

aaroncabinetsm

Aaron installing the glass shelves.

cabinetssm

The cabinets hung and ready for trains.

vapicsm

The first artifact displayed in the new car, a sneak peak of what’s to come.

At the end of the day, the first artifact was hung in the new display car.  Last year we were given items from relatives of the Van Alstine brothers, twins who worked for CN out of Niagara Falls. A few years back we were given a picture that was done for William VanAlstine, but I didn’t actually realise it until just this year. The items from the family of Murray and Morley Van Alstine will make up a part of this new display, and will help tell a bit of the story of these 2 brothers.

Still lots going on out at the shop. If you think you’d like to lend a hand, please drop us a line, we’d be happy to hear from you.

 

 

 

Older Posts »
©2010 NRM