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April 30, 2022

Trackmobile repairs and equipment moves.

We had a good crew out today. Outside Ken and Mike moved CN Flanger 56452 and TH&B Gondola 2676 down the track about 100ft or so, off of the 80lb rail that is going to be replaced with 100lb rail. The tractor was used to move the cars down, as the Trackmobile was not yet in operation. Once the cars were moved, Nolan removed the spikes to allow the rail to be moved next week. John spent the day giving the grass its first of many cuts for the year. Neil and Jim worked on installing the newly rebuilt starter for the Trackmobile. Once installed, gear oil was added, other checks were done, and the machine started and taken out for a run. Started better than it ever has, and hauled the 25tonner outside like it weighed nothing. This is an extremely useful machine, and the amount of work Neil has put into it has definitely paid off. The GE was fired up to check a track joint that was cleaned up last weekend when James was down. Still needs some work, but it’s an improvement, and will be better when the new rail is installed.

Out newly rebuilt starter for the Trackmobile was installed.
Jim and Neil instructing Nolan on tightening some plugs on the Trackmobile gear case.
CN 56452 & TH&B 2676 moved into their temporary location.
Looking east to the track being replaced.
Nolan pulling spikes so the 80lb rail can be replaced.

Patrick spent his time going over the Detroit Diesel engine in the Plymouth. There is some work to be done on a few injectors before it will be ready to be fired. It’s been 11yrs since this motor last ran, and Patrick has taken it on as a project to get this locomotive in operation. We found that part of the hood could be removed, so it was lifted off to allow much improved access to work on the diesel engine. With the hood off and on the ground, it will be cleaned up and painted.

Patrick discussing the next steps of the Plymouth restoration after the hood was removed.
The hood sitting on the platform beside the Plymouth.

Shot some video footage today (thanks to Nolan and Ken for capturing all this), and it an be found here:

We’re off to the Woodstock Train Show on Sunday where we’ll have a table promoting the Museum. And now we’re also just 2 weeks away from Opening Weekend 2022!! Still a lot to do before we welcome back out guests, but we’re working hard to get everything ready.
Thanks to our group that came out today, Ken, Mike, Neil, Jim, Nolan, John, Patrick and Ken.

April 27, 2022

Mid Week update

Decided to throw something together tonight, just to get a feel of how things will look. The restoration of our snow flanger, CN 56323 is going very well. It’s an exciting project to see the progress over time, to where we can finally start to see the end result. The car will have at least 1 coat of paint before opening weekend, and at least part of the car will have it’s paint finished. The lettering is being worked on, and once the car and lettering are ready, it will be applied. This image is not exact, but is a decent representation of what the car will look like when the lettering is applied.

This coming weekend is yet another busy one. Lots of work happening on Saturday, with work on the Flanger, as well as the compressor and Plymouth diesel. Opening weekend is just 2 weeks away this Saturday, so lots to do before we can welcome back out visitors for the 2022 season.

Sunday is the Woodstock Model Railway Show at the Woodstock Fairgrounds. We’ll have a display there, so stop by and say hi. And remember, we’re always looking for new members to come out and get involved in what is going to definitely be an exciting year.

April 25, 2022

Long days for weekend work.

This weekend was expected to be busy, but it went beyond just busy. It’s a long report, but it has to cover what went on. The mechanics spent the time working on the compressor, getting the bad fuel out, running new stuff through, and by the end of the day, we finally managed to get it back up and running. Once it was running, Ken and Neil finished off the other tire for the Trackmobile. We now have 2 new tires/tubes on the drive wheels, and are just waiting for 2 more for the front wheels. Before shutting the compressor down, a bit of sanding was done on the cab of 9173. Allan and Mike also got the second grab iron off the nose of 9173, as both were badly bent and will be either straightened or rebuilt. Patrick also spent some time working on the Plymouth, lubricating some points, and checking over the injectors and such. Rick was sanding down the side of the flanger to prep it for its next coat of paint. With the grass already starting to grow, we got one of the riding lawnmowers ready to go. Our loader was definitely put to good use once again. A very handy machine to have, with forks and a bucket, it can handle most of the work we need it for. Today was moving rail and ties, and even used it to line the turnout into the new track.
James Petroczi came down this weekend to get as much of the track work done as possible. Didn’t get quite as much done as I hoped today, but the lead is back in service, and the switch stand was installed on the west turnout (track ED17) and adjusted so it’s fully operational and ready for service. It was after 8pm when they packed up to head out.

Sunday James and Nick returned to work on the rest of the track. They did some work on our south track (what will be known as ED19) grinding a few rough joints. Then moved to the north track (ED17) and did some spiking and tie spacing before getting the south rail in place and spiked all the way down to the turnout. They worked into the dark (again), finishing somewhere around 9pm!! We seem to have a bit of a shortage of 100lb rail now, so need to try to get a few pieces so we can finish the job. The track looks good, and it won’t be long before we’ll be able to move between all 3 tracks. That will allow for some repositioning of equipment. Thanks to James and Nick for all the work this weekend, it’s really getting close to being finished and something we can properly use. And a really huge thanks to Neil and Ken Sr. for being out there for much longer than expected, (Neil was out there both days for almost 12hrs each day).
Today (Monday), Allan and Ken Jr. were at the shop for most of the day. Allan spent the time installing the external sheeting on the west wall window panel it looks good, and definitely cuts down the wind. It wasn’t easy getting that panel to fit properly either, required quite a bit of fiddling over the last few weeks. Ken worked on the flanger, painting the end platforms. The east platform now has a first coat, and some touch up work was done on the west end. The more progress that’s made on this car, the more exciting it is to think of how it’s going to look when it’s done. It won’t be long before our sign painter David will be able to add his skills to the look of the car. Thanks to James, Nick, and all our dedicated volunteers (Neil, Mike, Ken, Allan, Patrick, Rick and Ken) who came out to work on the many projects this weekend.

April 17, 2022

Saturday Work and AGM

Had a good group out today, worked on a few different things with multiple crews. Inside the shop Neil, Patrick and Jim worked on getting the compressor back up and running after having some bad fuel mess things up a bit. Still need to drain the bad diesel out of the tank, but at least everything has been cleaned out of the injectors.

Allan, Mike and Ken got the west wall window cover in place (3rd times a charm apparently). It still needs the outer skin, but this will definitely help cut down some of the wind that blows through that window.

West wall window panel in place.

Mike, Ken, Nolan and John worked on getting some of the track back in place, starting with the panel that was removed last week. It needs work still. Some new ties need to be put in place and the rail cut to fit, but it’s not a long piece. The ties were also laid out on the north track and will get rail next weekend. This tractor has definitely been a very useful piece of equipment, and can handle so much work at the shop.

Neil and Patrick also worked on the compressor for the Plymouth, taking pieces off to check measurements. Patrick has taken on the Plymouth as a project, and is starting with the compressor. The unit was heavily damaged and seized when we acquired the locomotive, and was disassembled for repairs that never happened. Patrick has already been researching the compressor, built by Quincy, and has taken the pieces home to work on reassembling it.

Today was also the Museum AGM. Thanks to our members who stuck around/came out for the meeting (Jim, Nolan, Mike, Ken, Allan, Neil, Patrick, John, Aaron, Glen, Russ, Bill and Ken). It went very well, and I thank everyone for continuing to support the existing board as we have worked so hard to keep things progressing forward through some very difficult times. Quite a bit was discussed at the meeting, and it’s leading into what will be a great year. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction.

Want to get involved? We are always looking for new Members for work both on site, and off site at the other events we take part in throughout the year. For more information on how to join, drop us a message, or visit

April 9, 2022

April 9th Work Day

Well, can’t have a great day every time. What started as a good plan, unfortunately didn’t end up that way. We had a new member come out today, and we put him right to work. While Allan and Mike were working on removing the west wall window panel for refitting, Ken, Nolan, Neil and Patrick went out to start moving the ties out of the way so Clayton from Attar could move the track panel and turnout. The ties and track panel were removed easily enough, but the turnout was stubborn, and it got to the point where it just wasn’t practical to continue. Further attempts could have caused damage to equipment, or the track, or injury to someone, and we definitely don’t want that to happen. The turnout just wouldn’t move as much as we wanted. So, back to the drawing board on this one. Hoping we have enough rail to make it fit where it currently sits. Once all that was finished, some of the equipment was pulled outside for the first time this year. The Trackmobile is not yet in service, and is kind of in the way, but it was left coupled to the GE and shoved outside. 46 was pulled out as well to allow us to give the running gear a look over in the daylight. The locomotive was also oiled and moved around a bit as it hasn’t been moved for about 5 months. After lunch our new member was given the run down on the equipment, along with some planning on what needs to be done to what. All in all, not a bad day, just a bit of a bummer we couldn’t quite get things done.

So, thanks to Clayton and Attar Metals for the help, and to our members, Allan, Mike, Ken, Jim, Nolan, Neil, Patrick and Ken.

Patrick running the loader picking up some of the ties.
Nolan moving ties out of the way from under the turnout.
The Trackmobile, GE and 46 outside for the first time in 2022.

April 4, 2022

NRM weekend

Just 4 members out this past Saturday for a few hrs. First thing that had to be done was to remove part of the roll up door cover, which was snagged by the door when we were opening it. This was not unexpected as it has needed some work for a while, but it has now been removed and will be replaced sometime this year.

Once that was taken care of, we spent the time outside working on the track. We are going to be making some major changes out in the yard very shortly and in order to do the work, we have remove a 30ft panel of track between the 2 turnouts. The bolts/bars were removed, along with any spikes that would interfere, so the panel is ready for removal, hopefully this coming weekend. Once the panel is out, the ground will be leveled, and the west turnout will be moved up into its place. This is being done for a few reasons, with the first being what we hope will be a much better line to the north track of the shop. The panel being removed may end up in the north track, or may be used as part of the tail track after the turnout. This work will allow us to finally go between all 3 shop tracks, and move equipment around for display and work purposes. John and Mike worked on removing the bolts while Ken and Ken picked up the track materials for storage.

Mike working on removing one of the bolts in a track joint.

On Sunday Mike and Ken went to the Collectibles show in Ancaster to pick up 2 items donated by Ann and Dave Huskinson, owners of Clearview Station Bed & Breakfast in Creemore, where you can stay in a 1940 Ontario Northland Caboose. The Museum picked up a diesel bell (currently stored for future use), and a train schedule board, which is a new item the collection. Thanks to Ann & Dave for donating these items to the Museum.

Just over a month away from opening weekend now, and we’re hoping things will really start picking up at the shop. Any decent weather during the week will see members out working, and this Saturday has quite a bit of work planned, including track work and work on the CN Flanger, 56323.