Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Gateway Western Railway meets tonight at the Winnipeg Railway Museum

   Tuesday nights are Gateway nights, and the WMRC's layout over at the Winnipeg Railway Museum is coming along just great! We're getting into some might fine landscaping which is making the layout really come alive! Dave Downie, our Vice-President, sent along these images to us to show the remarkable progress they're making on the layout!

    The gang meets tonight at 7:00 PM at the Winnipeg Railway Museum, located on the second level of the Via Rail Station at 123 Main Street. It's really cold outside, but the Gateway is housed in it's own heated building within the museum!

     Former WMRC President Suzanne Lemon modeled this lovely lake for the Gateway Western.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Lantern's photo contest deadline is December 29!

    Robert Weaver, the stalwart editor of The Lantern (the official publication of the WMRC) , would like to remind all members that the deadline for January's photo contest is fast approaching! The deadline is on Monday, December 29 at midnight. Up to $30 is available in prize money, and you'll get you photo on the cover of The Lantern if you win!

   December's theme was "The Spirit of Christmas". This month's theme is "snow" (but we'd like to see a train somewhere in there as well). It doesn't have to be a prototype photo - we accept images of model railroads too, as long as they've got some snow on or around them somewhere.  Be sure to submit your image in a vertical format!

   December's winner was the dashing and intrepid Paul Lemon, who shot this wonderful image of the CP Holiday Train. Paul is one of 10 members we have from across the pond, and we're grateful to each and every one of them for their many contributions and devotion to the club!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club!

   We at the WMRC all hope that you're having as good a Christmas as this little tyke pictured here, who got his very first Marx electric train set on Christmas day - exactly 60 years ago today! We understand that he still has this train, and has picked up a few others in the past six decades. No one knows what happened to the spiffy race car in the foreground!

    Here's to having a Merry Christmas full of trains, trains and more trains, plus a New Year with more of the same!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Assiniboine Valley Railway is rolling again this weekend!

   We are very pleased to announce that the Assiniboine Valley Railway is having their next open house this weekend. The trains will be running from 1PM to 4PM on both Saturday and Sunday at 3001 Roblin Boulevard.

    Last weekend, they held their first winter open house since the passing of their founder, the late great Bill Taylor, in August of 2013. Outside of former WMRC President Ed Mulholland's announcement of the AVR's forthcoming open houses at the WMRC's December meeting, there was virtually no publicity for the event (not even a mention on their own website).

    The day after the WMRC's December meeting,  the news was posted on this blog site and on the WMRC's Facebook page. The FB notice got 500 views in just a few hours! Watching the numbers come in was like watching the gas gauge at the pump turn while you're filling up your car! This shows not only the power of social media, but of the interest in the AVR itself!

    We sent our top investigative reporter out to the AVR open house to cover the event last Sunday. As you can see by the photographic evidence, it was business as usual at the AVR! They had steady and respectable crowds on both days, and they're hoping for the same this coming weekend.

    And they'll certainly get that! Another FB post about the AVR on the WMRC's Facebook page has garnered over 4000 views and 50 shares! AVR President Len LaRue was on CBC Radio One's noon program on Wednesday, They gave him a full ten minutes to promote the event! He was also on the CBC 24 Hours supper time news show that night, and the evenwas also promoted on the noon hour radio news on boxing day.

    Riding the AVR at Christmas has become an important Winnipeg traditions for many Winnipeg families. Although the lights aren't up and there are no evening runs, people still want to ride the trains through the forest! And there's still plenty of deers to see while you're enjoying the ride!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Morgan Turney dazzles Klinic Karnival attendants with his tree modelling skills

   Morgan Turney, WMRC Program Director and organizer of our annual Klinic Karnival, also found the time to run his own clinic on how to model trees out of weeds and ordinary garden cuttings. Watching him employ his impressive skills are Bob Shawcross, our head librarian, and long time WMRC member Brent Tingey.

    Morgan is not only a talented and highly skilled modeller. He's served as president of the WMRC many times and has been our program director for several years. He's also has been the organizer of our annual spring open house. He is also the publisher of Canada's foremost model railroad magazine, Canadian Railway Modeller, now celebrating its 25th year of publication! There's nothing Morgan can't do when he puts his mind to it!

   Except when it comes to putting ketchup on a hot dog (he has some very strong opinions about that).

    All kidding aside, if there's anyone who has been proven absolutely indispensable to the club, it's Morgan! Thanks for all of your help throughout the years!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club salutes our hard working canteen staff

    Pictured from left to right are Jean South, Andrea Leader and Frances South, who worked so hard at our December meeting making hot dogs and serving donuts, chip, pop and coffee for our annual "Christmas Dinner".

    The unsung heroes of our club have to be the volunteers we had had working at our canteen at every meeting. It's often a thankless job which not only involves serving the food, it also involves purchasing and delivering the food, as well as making the coffee and cleaning and storing the coffee maker.

     The canteen was started in 1999 when we moved to Christ Anglican Church. At our previous venues, there was always a soda machine, and after the business meeting we'd have a "Coke break". Seeing there was no vending machines in the church, Chuck Huard, our enterprising former President, started a canteen in the kitchen of the church's basement. This was an ingenious move on Chuck's part, as it also provided a revenue source for the club.

   Chuck and his wife Lise were the first proprietors of the canteen. They were joined by their friends, Ken and Roberta Anderson, who later took over for the Huards. These canteen volunteers also provided snacks at our annual spring open houses and the WMRC's Great Canadian Train Shows. Chuck and Ken would always be barbecuing hot dogs and burgers outside of the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, sometime in some rather inclement weather!

   LuElla Rietze took over from the Andersons, and she served us faithfully for several years. Then Andrea Leader took over the job. She was joined this year by Jean South. Jean's daughter Frances often helps her mom and Andrea in the kitchen.

     The WMRC wishes to thank Jean, Andrea, Frances and all of the past volunteers we've had in the canteen over the past 15 years. We deeply appreciate all of the time and the effort you've all put intomaking the canteen a success!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad club presents a cheque to St. Amant at December's meeting

   WMRC Treasurer Gary Stempnick presents a donation to St. Amant's Juliette Trudeau Mucha at the club's meeting in December at the Charleswood Legion.

   The WMRC was honoured by the presence of St. Amant's Juliette Trudeau Mucha at our last meeting. Juliette presented a short video showcasing the wonderful work of St. Amant and was given a cheque from the club.

   The donation the club gave to St. Amant represents a portion of the proceedings of the money earned from September's Manitoba Mega Train Show. The club also donates a portion of the money earned at their annual spring open house to St. Amant. In 2013, St. Amant had a large display at the spring open house. Many volunteers from St. Amant were present at the show to promote the work the organization does in the community.

   The WMRC is a not-for-profit organization and it is also a charity-minded organization. We have had St. Amant as our charity of choice for about two years, and we are delighted to have chosen such a worthwhile and hard working organization.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Everyone had a great time at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's Klinic Karnival

   John Morris demonstrates his decal skills to Ron Einarson and Larry Ziffle. Yes, that's John's sign.

   The WMRC's annual Klinic Karnival was well attended, and everyone had a great time soaking up model railroading knowledge from the 10 clinics that were held.

   Our good friend John Morris once again held his popular decal clinic. John is a model railroad detailing professional who has many clients across the country. For anyone who has struggled applying a stubborn decal to a model, this clinic was a must!

   To make the evening even more memorable, we held out annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, pop and chips, so there was plenty of good food for the members and guests to eat while they viewed the clinics.

    There were so many interesting clinics going on that it would be impossible to fit them into all one post. During the rest of December (and perhaps into January) we'll be dedicating a post to every clinic held.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Assiniboine Valley Railway to hold two open houses in December

Great news! Due to popular demand, the Assiniboine Valley Railway will be holding two open houses this month! There will be no Christmas lights, but you can ride the trains all you want! They'll be holding their open houses on the weekends of December 20-21 and December 27-28 from 1PM to 4PM.

   To a lot of people, it just wouldn't be Christmas without a ride on the AVR, and we're very pleased to announce the return of this cherished annual event. Just remember to dress warmly! The weather promises to be milder than it was last winter, but it's not going to be as mild as depicted in this image, taken by WMRC member John Longhurst!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club holds their annual Klinic Karnival on Friday, December 12

   The big day is almost here! Tomorrow is the WMRC's annual Klinic Karnival! We have a great group of Winnipeg's finest model railroading experts all set to share their knowledge with you, and it's absolutely free! If you were to attend a model railroad convention in the States you'd have to pay big bucks to attend any series of clinics they would hold. But we're not charging one red cent! Best of all, you don't have to be a member to attend! Guests are always welcome!

     We're also going to hold our annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, chips, and pop. And if you're not full from that. you can always join us after the meeting for pizza at Santa Lucia's on 4 St. Mary's Road!

    When we held our Klinic Karnival last year, we were in the middle of a bone chilling cold snap. It was -45C, but we still had a pretty good crowd. This year, it looks like it'll be +3C, which is excellent weather for coming out to the meeting!

     If you ordered one of our brand new, very spiffy 60th anniversary T-shirts, they'll be available for pick up at the meeting. 

      The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. There's plenty of parking available! Please enter through the western entrance.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The new Winnipeg Model Railroad Club T-shirts are here!

    WMRC President Larry Leavens shows off his brand new T-shirt at the club's Gateway Western layout, which is located in the Winnipeg Railway Museum.

     The T-shirts, designed by WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich, have been delivered and are ready to be picked up for all who have ordered them at our next meeting on Friday, December 12 at the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard.

     The meeting starts at 7:30, but there will be a lot more to do besides picking up your T-shirts! We're having our annual Klinic Karnival, featuring Winnipeg's top model railroaders sharing their talents with you, and our annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, pop and chips! And if you're not quite full from that, there's always pizza after the meeting at Santa Lucia's on St. Mary's Road!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Cliff Davidson wins Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's first photo cover contest

   Cliff Davidson, recording secretary for the WMRC, won the very first photo cover contest held by the club. He received a  prize of $15 and got his photo on the cover of The Lantern, the official publication of the WMRC. November's theme was “Railway Faces” and the possibilities were endless!

   "This is definitely a new face in the city." Said Cliff.  It was taken as the oil train was getting ready to head east out of the CPR yard on Oct.17th, 2014 at 5:07 PM. It was taken with a Canon Power ShotSX50 @ 1/200 sec., ISO-125, at F5.6. This Kansas City Southern ES44AC, #4683 was paired with CP AC4400, #9539. They had just backed unto an oil consist which would be heading south on the Emerson Sub. KCS is my favorite US Railroad and color scheme."

   One prize will be awarded each month in the amount of $30, if the Lantern editor receives 10 entries or more. If there are fewer than 10 entries then the awarded prize will be set at $15.

    Only one entry per member will be accepted and the document must be in a vertical format, 7.5" x 10" with a minimum resolution of 130 pixels per inch. Each entry must be taken during the current club year. Please include your name, the date taken and a brief description of the entry. If possible, please include the technical camera information regarding the exposure, etc.

    All entries to be submitted to the Lantern editor on the Saturday preceding The Lantern mailing (two weekends before the next meeting). The December issue of The Lantern should be in everyone's inbox very soon. The theme for the December issue was "In the spirit of a railway Christmas." Who will the winner be this month?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Klinic Karnival next week! All are welcome!

   The WMRC will be holding its annual Klinic Karnival next Friday, December 12. Program director Morgan Turney (the hardest working man in show business) would like to remind everyone that the Klinic Karnival is OPEN TO ALL! You don't have to be a member to join in on the fun! There will be many clinics conducted by Winnipeg's top modellers, all under one roof at the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard!

     We'll also be having our annual "Christmas dinner" that night (meaning hot dogs, chips and pop), so be sure to bring your appetite! The fun starts at 7:30 PM. Hope to see many new faces there!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Larry Leavens' very first Craftsmen kit

   For our October model display, WMRC President Larry Leavens entered the very first Craftsmen kit that he assembled way back in 1976 when he was a novice twenty something modeller.  His notes on building it were so amusing that they're definitely worth repeating on this post. When you're reading this, keep in mind that we've all been there (including mistaking actual red for boxcar red).

 By Larry Leavens

   The other week I had a conversation with a friend about the first train model that I built. It was in the summer of 1976 while I was living in the Kettle Construction Camp just outside Gillam, Manitoba. On one return trip to Winnipeg I dropped by Gooch’s on Portage Ave. and purchased a Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific boxcar. The word Winnipeg in its name was probably the reason I bought the car. At his point in time my modelling skills were limited to building a few plastic airplane models while I was a kid. I had much to learn. Once back in Gilliam I examined the box’s contents to find a bunch of wood and many pages of instructions. It started off by congratulating my on buying this wonderful CRAFTS-MEN kit, whatever that meant.

   The first instruction was to cut the wood to length. Oh my, I need TOOLS! Into the shaving kit to find a double edged razor blade to cut the strip wood. Glue pieces together? This I did right and purchased some white glue from a hardware store in Gillam. Things progressed along until I had to mount the grab irons and other metal parts. Drill with a # 72 drill bit. What is that? I was able to find a 1/16” drill bit in the Gillam hardware store, but that was the smallest that they had, (but that was still way too large). I ended up using a darning needle to poke holes in the wood to mount the grab irons.

   Once all of the wood and parts were assembled, it recommended using boxcar red to paint the car, whatever that colour was. The hardware store back in town had a small selection of spray paint including – RED. I want to paint a boxcar red so this must be the correct colour. I painted the car outside the bunkhouse one night and then placed the model in my room to dry. It did not take long before the little room smelled like I had painted the car in there.

    The dry transfers are still attached to the model so I must have done that right. It will never be a contest model but it was the first railroad kit that I built – craftsmen, whatever that meant.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Tuesday nights are still Gateway Western nights!

    Now that's a lot of track! The Gateway Western Railway is progressing very nicely!

  The weather outside is frightful, but it's always warm and accommodating at the Gateway Western Railway, located in its own heated building inside the Winnipeg Railway Museum, located on the second level of the Via Rail station at 123 Main Street!

    Tuesday nights the gang has its usual building and operating session, starting at 7:00 PM. Come on down and join in on the fun - but plug in your car before you go!

    WMRC Treasurer Gary Stempnick shows off his brand new CN locomotive, getting ready for a run at the Gateway!