Sunday, August 02, 2015

NFB's Railroaders showcases railroading in the Rockies in the 1950's

    Railroaders is a 22 minute documentary about winter railroading in the Canadian Rockies, and the men who keep the lines clear. The film focuses on the stretch of the CP line between Revelstoke and Field, British Columbia, which is a snow-choked threat to communications. The film shows the work of section hands, maintenance men, train crews and telegraph operators. For diesel lovers, this 1958 film has some great shots of classic CP F units and rolling stock, plus some nostalgic views of life and work in small Canadian mountain towns like Revelstoke from over 50 years ago.

   To view this film,  go to

Thursday, July 30, 2015

NFB's Trans Canada Express documents Canadian railways service during World War Two

   WMRC Vice President Dave Downie found another great NFB video! This one is titled Trans Canada Express, and it documents the important contributions Canada's railways made for the war effort during World War 2.

   The 1944 film also gives us a brief history of the making of the Canadian Pacific rail line through the Rockies (complete with a poem), some classic clips from Buster Keaton's "The General", and a rousing finale that takes us from coast to coast (complete with a song)!

   Best of all, this 19 minute video gives us some great views of railroading in the 1940's when steam was king, and some breathtaking views of Canada's scenery (albeit in black and white). To view Trans Canada Express, click here.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Construction begins on a snowshed for the Gateway Western Railway

The WMRC Gateway Western HO scale layout has reached another scenery stage!  A snow/rock slide shed is planned for an area where a mountain pass will create the need for such a structure. The shed is being built from stripwood according to a plan designed by WMRC Program Director Morgan Turney. In the above photo, Morgan tests the master 'bent'  for clearances.  Upon passing inspection, 18 bents will be constructed using a master jig built from strip Styrene to support the shed roof.

Here's the master jig Morgan designed. It will sure make it a lot easier building the rest of the bents!

As you can see from the photo below, this model of CP Rail's classic Canadian passenger train has no problem passing through the bent!