Despite there being a lot happening in Niagara this weekend (Stevensville rodeo, Canal Days), we had a great Saturday at the shop, one of our best this year. Patrick continued worming on the Plymouth air system. Using our external compressor, he’s been fixing any leaks and working on the lines to/from the brake stand. We found out today that the train brake does work, although the pipes were cut/capped years ago. That will be corrected at a later date, and the train air will be piped in again. By the end of the day the air gauges were showing signs of life, but the air cylinders still need some work. Neil recieved some of the fuel system parts that Ted Lucas of Lucas Liftruck Services Ltd. has been searching for. Still trying to find that elusive distributor, but the fuel system parts get us one step closer to getting INCo 8 up and running again.
Thanks to our crew for all their work today, Neil, Jim, Nolan, Mike, Ken, Patrick and Ken.
On behalf of the Niagara Railway Museum, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who came out to visit this weekend. Saturday was crazy, Sunday was about half, but still busy. We heard nothing but positive comments on so many different projects. It was good to see new guests, and many returning ones. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe the furthest away was Northern BC (in Niagara visiting), or Haiti (moved to Fort Erie 5yrs ago). I like being able to talk to so many of you on the engine. Our volunteers put in a lot of time over the weekend to look after things, and get things ready in the weeks leading up to the event. While I wish a few more things had worked out, I believe we still put on a great show. We really did bust our butts to get things done.
David with the Flanger lettering, Allan with building new tables and getting one of the rebuilt cupola windows installed on the Flanger, new paint on HEPC E7 and INCo 8. The cleaning, grounds, etc. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word to get people out to our event. Your sharing and reposting our event has a positive impact on our attendance.
Have to give a really big shout out to our volunteers Bill, Jim, Nolan, Felicia, Audrey, Mike, Ken, Neil, Rick, Bill, Patrick, Allan, Susan, Aaron and Ken. They put so much into this weekend, and it is so very much appreciated.If you have pictures from the event that you’d like to share, please either post them in a reply (I believe it’s set up to allow that) or you can send them in a message to us here.
We are still open Saturdays from 10am-2pm, and our next big event is RailDays on September 10/11. We hope to have our friends from the Fort Erie LaFrance Assoc. join us at that weekend. And who knows what else might make its way to the event. For me, personally, it has been 25yrs where I’ve been able to see both, ups and downs of the Museum I started. Only 2 other members are from the start, Aaron, and my Father, Ken. The members we have now are a great group that do everything I ask, and then some. This weekend was long and tiring, but so worth it in the end. We have made some great progress lately, and we hope to continue to share that with everyone who follows, and visits us.
Wow!! What a day. Definitely one of the busiest days we’ve ever had. Despite a couple of minor glitches, we got through the day fairly well. We had really great crowds, and while the event wasn’t what I had originally planned, I think it went very well. Because I spent the majority of the day on the locomotive, I have very few pictures to share, but here’s a few I managed to get. My surprise to our visitors was a special 25th Anniversary cake, which I think was enjoyed. Really want to thank everyone who came out to support us on this weekend. We heard nothing but positive comments from first time visitors, and even our repeat guests. We thank you so much for visiting, as our volunteers have worked very hard to get some projects either finished, or further along, to show the progress we’re making. This is a brief report for now as it’s been a long, tiring day, and it’s almost time to crash. Sunday is another day, and in addition to what was at the show today, we will have our friend James Petroczi doing a forging demonstration, turning railroad spikes into knives.
Thank you again to everyone who showed up today. We look forward to seeing more visitors on Sunday.
As we work to get things ready for the weekend, we made some pretty big moves today, and a number of firsts. So, lets start with all the firsts:
– first time the GE has been inside track ED17 (North track)
– first time CN flanger 56323 has been outside since arriving in 2016
– first time 56323 has moved to a different track
– first time HEPC 46 has been to the end of track
– first time the GE, 46 & 56323 have been together
– first time 46 & 56323 will be displayed together
The Flanger will end up back over on the north track after this weekend, but for now, it’ll be outside with 46 for display. While we were switching the equipment around the NS was working in the yard and CP came through heading to Buffalo as well. Here is the video of todays switching moves. https://youtu.be/QLKL9YztINY
The event starts Saturday at 10am. The first 30 people to visit will get a special treat for our Anniversary. Don’t forget, this is your chance to get one of our limited edition HEPC 46 coins for $25. Once they’re gone, they won’t be produced again. See them in our gift shop. Thanks to Mike, Neil and Ken who spent the time tonight to get all this work done.
The Niagara Railway Museum Inc. is pleased to be holding our 25th Anniversary event on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 & 17 from 10am to 4pm both days. Niagara Antique Power Association, Ontario Northland Railway Historical Society, Lego trains, G scale trains, and the artifacts and equipment of the Museum.
Friday July 15th will see an informal night photo shoot from 8-11pm. Equipment will be our steam locomotive, HEPC46, CN flanger 56323 and our GE diesel. There will be no special lighting, so photographers will need to bring their own gear, or use the existing night light. Admission for both events is by donation.
Final work weekend before next weekends 25th Anniversary open weekend. Not a very big crew this weekend, had a few missing, but still got quite a bit done. LOTS of cleaning done, with a bit still left to do, but that can wait until later in the week.
Saturday had David come back out and do the first coat on the lettering on the north side of the Flanger. He also came back out on Sunday to give the lettering the second coat. Might still need some tweaking when we get the car outside into the light. We also switched around some cars with the GE and the Trackmobile to get things ready for next weekend. TH&B 2676 & CN 56452 are now together on ED18. A video of some of that move can be viewed at https://youtu.be/R5o11-f_qSM
The plan is to move CN 56323 from ED17 (north track) to ED19 (south track) for outside display next weekend. This will be the first time the car has been outside since it arrived back in 2016. INCo 8 also received a first coat of yellow paint on the north side, but that’s about as far as that will go before next weekend. Patrick was working on the air system for the Plymouth as we work to put that locomotive back in operation. Ken and Mike also lifted the low spot in the north track. Not perfect, but good for regular use. Since we aren’t using the office area for visitors right now, it was decided to move the Fort Erie scale out into the shop for display.
On Sunday, David, Ken and Neil were out to finish off a few things. As mentioned, David finished off the flanger lettering. Neil was cleaning up one corner of the shop by the door, which looks a lot better. Ken was cutting some grass and a bit of weed eating around the track/cars. This will make it a bit easier to finish up the cutting at the end of the week to prepare for the event. It’s looking good out there, and we look forward to welcoming everyone next weekend.
As mentioned, the night photo shoot on Friday night will be quit informal. The original plan sadly fell through, so if you are coming out for that, equipment available will be HEPC 46, the GE, and the flanger (with marker lights). You will have to bring your own gear, or use the natural existing light.
Getting closer to our next big event on July 16/17 10am-4pm, with a lot of work happening to get things ready for it. Being a long weekend, work was happening all 3 days, with quite a bit done.
David was back out on Saturday to finish off the south side and ends of CN 56323, and hopes to finish the lettering on north side next weekend. The hand painted lettering/number really helps finish the car.
Elsewhere, work was being done on HEPC E7 and INCo Vulcan 8. INCo 8 recieved primer on Friday, and got a coat of yellow Saturday and Sunday. This is only temporary to spruce the engine up for display. New lettering/ number was added on Sunday to really make it stand out. Other work was continued on HEPC E7, with the hood being scraped down to allow for its first coat of black paint. Again, this will be painted later when time and funds permit, but it’s a great start to get it looking better.
A few things were moved around for display as well. The switch stand that once stood out back of Niagara Central Hobbies (The Hobby Shop) at 395 St. Paul St in St. Catharines, was moved from the front office to beside the fireless, where it will be displayed with a switch lamp. Our operating crossing signal was also moved to a more visible location. Thanks to Mike, Jim, Nolan, Ken, John and Neil for helping with these projects, and of course to David for the continued work on the Flanger.
We would also like to welcome, and thank our first sponsor for our 25th Anniversary event, FRONTIER DISTRIBUTING in Fort Erie for their support. https://www.frontdist.com/
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.
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
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.
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.
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.