Sunday, September 23, 2018

Manitoba Mega Train Show is happening on September 29 and 30

You've never seen anything like it! 40,000 square feet of trains, trains and more trains! Tons of displays and over 70 vendors! This is the event all of Manitoba's model railroaders and rail fans have been waiting for all year!

Yes, it's Manitoba Mega Train Show time, and the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club will be there in full force, doing the set-up and the take down, volunteering at the admissions table, running the mega-train and holding their own display table.

The two days of fun begins on Saturday, September 29 at 9:00AM and runs until 5:00PM at the Red River Exhibition Place, 3977 Portage Avenue, right by Assiniboia Downs. The hours are the same on Sunday, September 30. Admission is only seven bucks. Admission for youths ages 4-12 is five bucks. A family pack admission is only twenty bucks. Free admission for children 3 and under. Admission includes unlimited free rides on the mega-train. Don't miss this event!

Monday, September 17, 2018

John Longhurst scores another article in Trackside Photographer



 Our good friend and long time WMRC member John Longhurst has informed us that he has a posting in Trackside Photographer, titled "Blowing the Past Away". It's about the abandoned grain elevator in the former town of Thrasher, Saskatchewan. It was deemed a safety hazard and burned to the ground by the owner. It's sad to see the loss of another one of these prairie giants which dotted the landscape. You can view his post at: http://thetracksidephotographer.com/2018/08/30/blowing-the-past-away/

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

See the Gateway Western Railway in action at Railway Days at the Winnipeg Railway Museum

Join the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club and the Winnipeg Railway Museum's annual celebration of railroading and see the Gateway Western Railway, Winnipeg's largest operating HO railway, in action! The Gateway Western Railway is open to the public just twice a year, so don't miss this rare opportunity to view it!

The volunteer crew from the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club and the Winnipeg Railway Museum have been working hard every week on making improvements to the layout, so even if you've seen it just a few months ago in May during Doors Open Winnipeg, you're bound to see something new this time!

The museum is located on the second level of the Via Rail station at 123 Main Street, and is open from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16. Admission by donation.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Double header clinics featured at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's September meeting

We have a thrilling double header, featuring longtime WMRC member Dwight Kjartanson, who will give a presentation about his work as a CN signals engineer. He will also be promoting the Assiniboine Valley Railway dinner train, which will running on September 15 and 16.

Then WMRC program director Dave Downie will present "Rebirth of a model railroad", showcasing his progress rebuilding his layout in the past months, including his venture into creating scenery.

 We'll also be having a 50/50 draw, our monthly model display, and the canteen will be open!  The fun starts on Friday, September 14 at  7:30 P.M. in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Robin Boulevard. Not a member? Not a problem! Guests are always warmly welcomed! Hope to see you all there! 

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Take a ride on the Assiniboine Valley Railway this September weekend

The Assiniboine Valley Railway is holding their fourth public open house of the year this weekend. Celebrate the coming of fall by taking a train ride through the beautiful forested canopy of the AVR!

They're open from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, September 8, and from 1:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, September 9. A ride costs two bucks and you can buy a 12 ride pass for only $20! Kids two years of age and under ride for free. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. The AVR is located at 3001 Roblin Boulevard, just west of Assiniboine Park.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Rail fanning in Melville with Felix Lesiuk

By Felix Lesiuk

On Monday, August 20,  I took a group of people on behalf of Rail Travel Tours to Manitou Springs Spa resort, which is just north of Watrous, Saskatchewan on VIA's Canadian.  It was kind of neat seeing all the spots I usually take pictures of the train but from the "inside" perspective.
    
We stopped in Melville for a crew change and a chance to stretch the legs. Nice to see that they are fixing the old station. Last time I saw it was boarded up and smelled like pigeon crap.  We were making fairly good time until we got stuck for about three hours near Uno, Manitoba. A CN freight had mechanical issues and had to be rescued by another train.


Monday, August 20, 2018

See this video about Canada's oldest railway tunnel in Brockville, Ontario

 A.J. Benoit from Brockville, Ontario sent us a link to a new video about Canada’s Oldest Railway Tunnel. This two minute and 39 second long video was created to help promote the tunnel. The tunnel was reopened in August 2017 after extensive refurbishing effort cost over 2 million dollars.

The tunnel was of particular interest to Mr. Benoit as it was the railroad that brought his family to Brockville over 87 years ago. His grandfather  relocated here from St. Jean Sur Richelieu in Quebec and worked for the CNR for over 40 years. His father George followed his footsteps and also worked for the CNR for 25 years before retiring. You can view this video by going to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVFLfnBtfeY

Monday, August 13, 2018

Felix Lesiuk spots twin VIA 40th anniversary units

 
By Felix Lesiuk

Louis Lenz and I headed out on Thursday, August 2. The weather started off with some rain and the rest of the day was spent with the sun darting in and out of the clouds. Not too hot, not too cool and a slight breeze to keep the bugs away. A perfect rail fanning day.  We bumped in to Cliff Davidson, who was also heading west and rail fanning. He informed us that VIA had tweaked its schedule and was running a bit earlier now. That would explain our surprise of seeing VIA's No 1 heading west at Harte around one o'clock. Super early!

That surprise was complimented by the fact that the westbound had a pair of wrapped 40th anniversary units on the lead. Awesome! The chase was now on. Thankfully VIA was following a freight and CN was fairly congested with traffic. We beat it to Moffat and caught it in Rivers coming into town and leaving. Nice! CN traffic was steady and we even caught sight of some elk near Moffat.  The new VIA schedule might make it possible to catch both at Rivers more easily (I hope).
 

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Assiniboine Valley Railway to hold open house on August 11 and 12

The Assiniboine Valley Railway is holding their third public open house of the year this weekend. Escape the heat by taking a train ride through the cool shade of their beautiful forested canopy!

They're open from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, August 11, and from 1:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, August 12. A ride costs two bucks and you can buy a 12 ride pass for only $20! Kids two years of age and under ride for free. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. The AVR is located at 3001 Roblin Boulevard, just west of Assiniboine Park.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Rapido's Jason Shron will be at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club on August 8

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains is making a very special visit to the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club on Wednesday, August 8. This event is open to all model railroaders in the Winnipeg area, whether you're a WMRC member or not.

Jason will provide an overview of Rapido Trains and take you behind the scenes at the company. You'll see how Rapido products are made, how the company decides what to make and the challenges involved in manufacturing model trains. 


Jason will stay following his presentation and answer any questions that you might have about his company and the model railroad industry – past, present and future.



Rapido Trains is one of the premier manufacturers of model railroad products in the world. This is a great opportunity to meet Jason and learn about his company.



This special presentation takes place at 7:00 PM in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Summer rail fanning with Felix Lesiuk



Our roving correspondent and long time WMRC member Felix Lesiuk went out rail fanning with his good buddy Louis Lenz. They headed out west to catch Via's Canadian at Grant's Cut in Rivers, and stopped by at the Harte grain elevator along the way. CN was fairly steady but not too busy. They saw some vintage cowl units on CN and lots of USA motive power, such as UP and CSX. Felix also reports that there have been very few mosquitoes, which is always good to hear. 



Monday, July 23, 2018

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club presents and evening with Jason Shron of Rapido Trains

You better watch out, you better not cry! You better not pout, I'm telling you why! Jason Shron is coming to town!

Yes, that's right! Jason Shron of Rapido Trains is making a special visit to the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club, and you're all invited, even if you do pout or cry (but we'd prefer if you didn't). This event is open to all model railroaders in the Winnipeg area, or anyone who wants to be a model railroader.


Jason will provide an overview of Rapido Trains and take you behind the scenes at the company. You'll see how Rapido products are made, how the company decides what to make and the challenges involved in manufacturing model trains.
 

Jason has graciously agreed to stay following his presentation and take any questions that you might have about his company and the model railroad industry – past, present and future.

Rapido Trains is one of the premier manufacturers of model railroad products in the world. He is an engaging and humorous speaker, well known in the model railroad community for his videos, including one featuring WMRC Secretary Marvin Fetch. This is a great opportunity to meet Jason, learn about his company and ask him any relevant questions that you might have.


This special presentation takes place on Wednesday, August 8, at 7:00 PM in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. Hope to see you all there!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Dave Downie makes a forest


WMRC Program Chair Dave Downie has been very busy landscaping his layout this summer! First he landscaped a mountain, and now he’s forested it with thousands of home made trees!

For fir trees, Dave used reusable washable furnace filters from Lowes and Canadian Tire. The filter is plastic and is blue in colour. He pulled the material apart, spray painted it green and applied it over  skewers and toothpicks that he had painted brown.

Dave made deciduous trees using a polyester fill material used in pillows and quilts, which he painted. For the trunks he used dead twigs from a Scotch pine in his front yard. He stretched the polyester fill over the trunk and used a hot glue gun to attach the material.
 
Once the tree was shaped, he applied a coat of  hairspray, followed by a dusting of Woodland Scenics Fine Turf. A final spray with hair-spray secured the flock to the tree.  In a few weeks Dave made almost 1,200 trees!


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Assiniboone Valley Railway holds another open house this weekend

The Assiniboine Valley Railway is holding their second public open house of the year this weekend, and it looks like it will be great weather for a train ride!

They're open from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, July 14, and from 1:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, July 15. A ride costs two bucks and you can buy a 12 ride pass for only $20! Kids two years of age and under ride for free. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. The AVR is located at 3001 Roblin Boulevard, just west of Assiniboine Park.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Memories of CP Rail's Marconi Spur


The dog days of summer provide very few things for your faithful WMRC blog editor to post. But our good friend and longtime WMRC member “Long” John Longhurst unexpectedly came to the rescue and provided us with two links from his own Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision blog about CP Rail’s Marconi spur. The spur, also known as the Molson cutoff, connected the Rat Portage Division to Winnipeg, was torn down this year.

You can read about the history of this spur by going to:
http://cprailmmsub.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-railway-line-that-made-winnipeg.html
http://cprailmmsub.blogspot.com/2018/06/more-memories-of-marconi-spur.html

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dave Downie builds a mountain


Long time WMRC member and current program director Dave Downie has been very busy creating scenery on his layout. A good friend of his, who was a year into constructing a large two level layout, challenged him to start scenery.

Dave his a highly skilled model railroader. His benchwork is superb (you should see his helix) and he knows his way around wiring and modern electronics. But his layout was void of scenery. He accepted the challenge and jumped in with both feet.

Using plaster impregnated cloth, molding plaster, Sculptamold, home made ground foam with commercial ballast, he now has hard shell over his entire upper level, and he will be making all of his own trees.

He started building Mount Waverley on the second level, which is almost 20 feet in length.  More detailed work still needs to be done but Dave is quite pleased with the results. The mountain is very imposing and provides an excellent view block between areas of the layout. Keep up the good work, Dave!




Monday, June 18, 2018

MS victim uses model railroading as therapy

Long time WMRC member and noted model railroad philosopher John Longhurst sent us this very moving story about a man with multiple sclerosis who has built a massive O gauge 3 rail Lionel layout in his basement.

David MacKinnon of Whitney Pier in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is unable to work because of his MS, and building this layout was his way of coping with the disease.  He has been working on the layout for 20 years.

This news story was broadcast on CTV News and published online on May 23. You can view the video (which has some great model railroad action scenes) by clicking here.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Portage Model Railroad Club hosts Train Days on June 16

Portage Heritage Inc. & Portage Model Railroad Club will host the 2018 Train Day & Open House at the CP Station in Portage la Prairie on June 16th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. There will be model train displays, souvenir & railway items for sale, and BBQ burgers & hotdogs available for lunch from 11am to 2pm.

There will also be a raffle to wina  ride in the caboose at the Prairie Dog Central Railway! Raffle tickets are $2.00 each. All proceeds from the event go toward the finishing touches of the station renovations. Admission is free!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club blog passes the 200,000 viewers mark!

The WMRC blog passed the 200,000 viewers mark a few days ago. When this blog was started just a little under five years ago we never would've believed that we'd reach so many views this soon! That's an average of 40,000 views per year! That's just a fraction under 110 views a day!

We have 585 posts archived, which anyone can view. We've garnered a worldwide audience! Who would've ever imagined that a blog from a model railroad club in the middle of Canada would have readers from Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany and China? Here's a breakdown of the top 10 countries where we're viewed, and the number of views per country:

United States
77783
Canada
73925
Russia
14003
Ukraine
5410
France
4368
Germany
3757
China
1507
United Kingdom
1315
Spain
884
Brazil
667

Thanks to all of our readers, club members, model railroaders and rail fans who have viewed this blog and have made it so successful!  

Monday, June 04, 2018

Take your first ride of the year on the Assiniboine Valley Railway thie weekend

It's that time of the year again! And what a great time to ride the Assiniboine Valley Railway again!
They're having their first public open house of the year weekend, and it's gonna be a blast!

They're open from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, June 9, and from 1:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, June 10. A ride costs two bucks and you can buy a 12 ride pass for only $20! Kids two years of age and under ride for free. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. The AVR is located at 3001 Roblin Boulevard, just west of Assiniboine Park.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Exclusive images of CP train wreck near Rosser

   Wow! Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Long time WMRC member and intrepid railfan correspondent Felix Lesiuk took these images of the CP train wreck near Rosser shortly after it happened, and he dispatched them to us pronto!
  
 "I was coming back from the farm this afternoon around supper time and just came upon a derailment of an Eastbound CP stack train." Said Felix. "A storm cell had blown the train onto the north side of the tracks. This happened about 20 minutes before I got there between the town of Rosser and the Rosser grain elevator.  Luckily, I wasn't there as it happened. There was a Manitoba storm chaser car driving around so I suppose it was following the storm."
  
 "I took a bunch of pictures from my window as I drove slowly by. When I got to the end the sun came out so I doubled back to get some pictures in the sun. When I was leaving the emergency response team closed the highway after me. The irony for CP is that they just replaced that section of rail with new track last month."




Monday, May 28, 2018

The Gateway Western Railway and the John Allen Timesaver were big hits at Doors Open Winnipeg

There was no stopping this little tyke from seeing the trains at the Gateway Western Railway!

The Winnipeg Railway Museum had a very good turnout during Doors Open Winnipeg this past weekend.  Dedicated WMRC volunteers ran the Gateway Western Railway while WMRC Program Director Dave Downie operated the club's John Allen Timesaver modular switch yard.

The Timesaver's power pack burnt out on Saturday, but Gateway Western Superintendent Gino Kost supplied another power pack that carried it through the weekend. Much appreciated, Gino!

Many of the kids did a great job running the Timesaver (both boys and girls). The club printed out completion certificates which were to be given to the kids for successfully operating the Timesaver layout. Unfortunately, most of the kids weren't interested in them, and neither were their parents.

Dave spoke to many people who expressed an interest in the WMRC and The Manitoba Mega Train Show and many brochures were handed out for both. The Winnipeg Railway Museum did a great job supplying a table and an electrical hookup. Thanks to everyone who helped out!

 WMRC Program Director Dave Downie (left) is seen working the John Allen Timesaver modular switching layout with Gatweay Western Railway Superintendent Gino Kost during the club's open house in April. The Timesaver was a big hit at the Winnipeg Railway Museum during Doors Open Winnipeg this past weekend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Join the fun at the Gateway Western Railway at Doors Open Winnipeg this weekend

It's time again for Doors Open Winnipeg! The Winnipeg Railway Museum will be participating again, and the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club will have the Gateway Western Railway up and running! The Gateway is open to the general public only twice a year, so make sure to grab this opportunity to view Manitoba's largest operating model railway in action!

As a special bonus this year, WMRC program director Dave Downie will have the club's John Allen Timesaver running as well! The time saver is a portable interactive switch yard that you can operate! See how fast you can shunt freight cars to their destination! The Timesaver was such a big hit at our open house in April, and we're bringing it back by popular demand!

The Winnipeg Railway Museum is located at the second level of the Via Rail Station at 123 Main Street. The museum is open during Doors Open Winnipeg from 11:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27. Hope to see you all there!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Watch Marvin Fetch on Global News Morning Winnipeg

If you do a Bing search for the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club, this blog shows up first. Our Facebook link shows up third, and second place is Global News Morning Winnipeg's interview with WMRC Secretary Marvin Fetch! It was broadcast on Friday, April 6 to promote our annual spring train show and open house, which took place on April 7 and 8.

Marv did a terrific job of promoting our club, our hobby and our show! You can view it by clicking on this link: https://globalnews.ca/video/4127891/winnipeg-model-railroad-club-open-house

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Great times at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's 2018 banquet

WMRC President Bob Harrison presents the President's Shield award to former WMRC President Larry Leavens at the annual WMRC banquet held on Friday, May 11 at the CanAd Inns Polo Park. 

Fun times were to be had at the WMRC's 2018 annual banquet, held at the CanAd Inns Polo Park on Friday, May 11, 2018. After enjoying a great buffet meal at Aalto's, several awards were given out and lots of prizes were won for our "arms length" raffle, the elimination draw and our door prizes! It's always a great way to end the model railroad season, and after we all have an enjoyable summer of rail fanning, we're all looking forward seeing everyone again at our next meeting in September!

WMRC secretary Marvin Fetch and President Bob Harrison show off the two HO locomotives that were given away at the elimination draw. 

Veteran WMRC member and NMRA Master Model Railroader Moe Smith is seen with WMRC Secretary Marvin Fetch as he is presented with the Holman award - special event class for his superb modelling work.

WMRC Treasurer John Bate is presented with the 2018 Friesen award for initial modelling achievement by WMRC Secretary John Bate.