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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…/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:
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

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: 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

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:

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.

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.

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