Friday, June 24, 2016

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club mourns death of former member Dan Kirlin

This most recent picture of Dan Kirin was taken in 2015 at the S Scale Can-Am Social in Lowbanks, Ontario. Dan is in the second row, between the man in the white shirt and the man in the beige shirt. 

We just received news that former WMRC member Dan Kirlin passed away yesterday. He suffered a massive heart attack while he was mowing his lawn. He would've bee n60 years old in October. 

Mike Salfi, a friend of Dan's, reported on the CanModTrains chat group that Dan had been short of breath and had gone to the doctor. He was told that his heart was strong  but he had a defective valve, which was to be replaced later this summer. 

Dan was a very active member of the club in the late 80's and in the 90's. He was one of the few S gauge enthusiasts in the club. He and the late Al Meacham started an S gauge modular group which they displayed at several of the WMRC's open houses.  

While he lived in Winnipeg, he worked as a manager for a local Red Lobster restaurant. He also opened a hobby shop called Kirlin Scale Models in St. Boniface. Dan closed his shop and moved to southern Ontario, where he continued Kirlin Scale Models as a mail-order operation. Local model railroader and former WMRC member John Morris, operator of Morris Locomotive Works, was known to do business with him. 

Andy Malette, one of the members of the S Scale Can-Am group Dan belonged to, said, "Dan was always friendly with me and helped me when I first got into S scale. Dan was always full of ideas and projects. He was more involved in S scale in the 1980's and 1990's.  I saw some of his diesels which had won contests at an NASG convention in S Gaugian. Whenever I needed drawings and if Dan had them, I got copies just for the asking."

It's been a sad year for Winnipeg's model railroad community. Former WMRC member Brian Schuff commented on his Facebook page that former WMRC President Ken Regula and Ken Martin, former owner of Ye Old Hobby Shop and Warehouse Hobbies, have also passed away recently. 

Funeral arrangement have been made at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, Ontario. Visitation hours are on Sunday, June 26 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM and from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. WMRC member Marcel Blair will be attending the funeral. The service will take place on Monday, June 27 at 4:00 PM. To view Dan's obituary, please click here. 

 Dan Krilin (left) is seen talking to Gerry Prystai during a WMRC meeting in the early 1990's in the CN veteran's room in the basement of the Via Rail station.  
Photo courtesy of Dave Downie. 

Dan Kirlin (center) is seen talking to John Morris at the same meeting. 
Photo courtesy of Dave Downie.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's T-shirt design seen on Miniatur Wunderland video

How cool is this? WMRC Vice-President Dave Downie was watching a recent video posted by Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland, when all of the sudden someone wearing the club's t-shirt pops up!

When Dave Downie visited Miniatur Wunderland last year, he presented a member of the staff with two of the club's t-shirts, which were designed by WMRC Social Media Executive Paul Ullrich.  After he came back, he received an email from Wunderland's founders and owners, Frederik and Gerrit Braun, with the above photo attached.

Receiving that image was quite a feather in the club's cap, and most of us thought that it ended there, until Dave uncovered that video. The club's t-shirt shows up around the 4:30 mark. You can view the video by clicking here. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Rapid transit proposal puts Winnipeg Railway Museum and Gateway Western in jeopardy

By Paul Ullrich,
WMRC Social Media Executive

Winnipeg city council is in the throes of rapid transit fever, and the Winnipeg Railway Museum and the Gateway Western Railway might be their victims.

According to an article written by Bartley Kives, posted on the CBC Online News Digest on June 10, Winnipeg Transit has an agreement in place with CN Rail that will allow the city make use of tracks One and Two, where the museum is currently located. Winnipeg Transit engineer David Patman is quoted as stating that the museum would be relocated to somewhere else in the station or in the Forks. 

The most difficult task any non-profit model railroad or rail fan organization has to deal with is a location, and the more stuff you have, the harder it is to find a place. And the Winnipeg Railway Museum has the most stuff of all. However, this is not going to happen overnight. A study will be made of this proposal, which is expected to be completed in 2018.

We just lost the Selkirk Model Railroad Association because the new owners of the building they were occupying raised their rent so high that they couldn't afford to stay there anymore. The Winnipeg Railway Museum was originally the Midwest Rail Society, and they were the caretakers of the Countess of Dufferin, and other pieces of equipment that you now see in the museum. The main goal of the society was to establish a museum for this equipment, and they succeeded in finding a home at Union Station.

But they're there only by the good graces of Via Rail, and that may end soon. Relocation plans sound vague, at the very least. That's a lot of equipment to move! Who's going pay for it? Where is it all going to go? And what about the Gateway Western, which is housed in its own structure inside the museum itself?

This week, Winnipeggers watched in shock as the money grubbing Ganeffs at Manitoba Hydro more than quadrupled the price of a parcel of land they owned that was earmarked for a rapid transit corridor. Winnipeggers then watched in horror as city council caved into Hydro's demands and paid that grossly inflated price with hardly a protest.

Union Station is certainly under utilized. Only Via Rail's Canadian and the Churchill train operate out of the station. The museum, which is now housed in an unheated stall on tracks one and two, would certainly benefit from a new location. If there's enough taxpayer money around to pay a publicly owned utility an outrageous price for land, there certainly should be enough left over to assist the Winnipeg Railway Museum when they're forced to move.