Friday, July 12, 2024

Frog and Diamond Hobby Works opens the Rail City Joiners Club in their basement

There was another great event for model railroaders on Saturday, July 6 besides the viewing of the CPKC 2816 Empress steam engine, and that was at the Frog and Diamond Hobby Works! Owner Tony Prud’homme fixed up his basement, which will house four layouts.

Tony has organized an in-house club, and those who join will be able to operate any one of the layouts. He held a contest to name the club. The winning name was the Peg City Rail Joiners Club.

To celebrate the opening (which was also on his birthday) Tony pulled out all the stops and served up hot dogs, chips, drinks and other snacks. He also had a 1950’s Winnipeg Transit bus courtesy of the Manitoba Transit Heritage Association decked out in classic orange and yellow colours parked outside for public viewing.

Customers received a 10% discount on all purchases. They could also take their chance by spinning the “Turntable of Temptations” (an N scale turntable with a engine attached to it) to get a greater, or possibly a smaller discount. Judging by Tony’s groans every time someone spun the turntable, a lot of folks got a bigger discount! 


One of  the layouts currently set up in the basement of the Frog and Diamond.

Other layouts are still under construction. There's plenty of space for four layouts!

Monday, July 08, 2024

WMRC members old and new reunite at the CPKC Final Spike steam tour event

Seen at the CPKC Final Spike steam tour stop in Winnipeg from right to left are WMRC President John Bate, his wife Karen Bate, Karen's sister, Larry Leavens, and Luca Maytas.

What a party CPKC threw in Winnipeg on July 6! And nothing brings model railroaders and rail fans together like a classic steam engine like the 2816 Hudson, which was displayed in Manitoba for the first time in 17 years. 

It was a model railroaders and rail fans homecoming day, as members old and new flocked to the CPKC rail yards to view this magnificent engine and its consist, which included and SD70 in heritage fleet colors, an F7 AA lash-up and a fleet of classic passenger cars painted in CP maroon and black livery.

It was truly the railroad lovers event of the year, or any other year, as thousands of people stopped by to view the train for the four hours it was on display.

Cliff Davidson, John Morris and Brian Schuff chat with a CPKC rail worker who was part of the staff of the final spike steam tour.
Tommy and James South, former youth members of the WMRC, are all grown up! Tommy is living the dream working as a conductor with CN Rail.
Long time members Gary Stempnick and Norm Leathers also attended the event. Norm is recovering from a hip injury, but nothing was going to stop him from seeing The Empress!



Monday, July 01, 2024

The WMRC photo contest special event for 2025 will be the Empress

WMRC photo contest chair Larry Leavens has announced that the special photo event for the 2025 spring open house will be “The Empress”, CPKC’s steam locomotive 2816.  It will be in Winnipeg on display on July 6 from 12PM to 4PM at 949 Jarvis Ave. The train will arrive at 9:00AM on July 6. On July 4 it is moving from Thief River Falls, Minnesota to Winnipeg. On July 7 it will travel from Winnipeg to Brandon. On July 8 it will go from Brandon to Moose Jaw.

CPKC limits the speed of their heritage passenger fleet to 50MPH, but other than the mainline they might not be going that fast. The roadbed on the Emerson sub is not up to the standards for carrying passenger cars, so 40MPH might be a better estimate.

For those wishing to follow the train across the border, the CPKC line closely parallels highway 59 in Minnesota from Thief River Falls to Lancaster. There is no information available as to when it is running on July 4.

The Emerson sub doesn’t parallel any roads after it closes the border into Canada, but there are many level crossings available for photo shoots on highways 201, 205, 23, 305, 311 in Niverville and 210.

There are many photo opportunities after it leaves Winnipeg, especially along highway 221 to Marquette, along highway 26 by Poplar Point and High Bluff, in Portage La Prairie and Town along the Trans Canada such as MacGregor, Austin and Carberry.
CPKC strongly cautions that everyone should keep clear of railway property and the right of way, which extends 15 metres (50 feet) from the centre of the tracks on either side. It is unsafe and illegal to be on railway property. Please keep in mind that if you’re rail fanning in places other than level crossings you might be trespassing on private property belonging to others.