Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Happy holidays from the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club wishes to extend their warmest wishes to our members and all of our readers for a happy holiday season. 2020 wasn't the year anyone expected or wanted to be, but we sincerely urge everyone to stay safe, practice social distancing, count your blessings and make the best of it that you can through the holidays. We hope to see all of you as soon as possible once it it deemed safe to do so. Until then, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and keep 'em on the rails!

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Felix Lesiuk's graffiti gallery

Felix Lesiuk has sent us many interesting images of train graffiti throughout the years. Whether you approve of them or not,  you have to admit that many of the designs are very striking and some are very well done. 
Graffiti taggers don't restrict themselves to any particular type of rolling stock. Grain cars are their favorite, but they also tag auto loaders, plug door refrigerator cars and even the narrow sides of intermodal cars. But you have to wonder not only how long it takes them to do such work, but why they never get caught, and how much they spend on spray cans of paint!

Saturday, December 05, 2020

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's first virtual test meeting was a success

Seventeen happy WMRC members participated in the club's first virtual test meeting on Zoom, which was held on Friday, December 4, at 7:30 PM.  WMRC treasurer John Bate did a sterling job of guiding our members through the process.

The club is now well prepared to hold their first official member's virtual meeting on Friday, November 11, at 7:30PM. After a short business meeting, the club will hold two clinics. John Bate will give a demonstration of LCC, or layout command control system, and Dave Downie will hold a clinic on the elements of layout design.

Those whose names are on our members e-mail lists have already been informed about this meeting. All members on the e-mail list for the past season have been invited. You have until December 31, 2020 to pay your dues if you haven't done so already.  

If you are not a member and wish to join us in our virtual meeting please contact us at wmrc.trainclub@gmail.com and we'll see if we can fit you in.


Monday, November 30, 2020

Two great programs scheduled for the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's first virtual meeting in December

The WMRC's very first virtual meeting is going to have two great programs for your viewing pleasure. First on tap is John Bate, who will present a short introduction and demonstration of LCC, or layout command control system. LCC is intended to operate items on a model railroad such as panels, turnouts, signals, as much as DCC runs the locomotives. John will give a short demonstration of a few simple
actions using switches and LEDs.

Next Dave Downie will present the elements of layout design. The design for a model railroad can make or break the layout. Dave will discuss some of the points that you should consider before starting to build a layout. He'll show you photos illustrating examples of what he's talked about and show you where you can see how a professional layout builder designs layouts for a living. Dave will also show how you can build a model railroad in a small area.

The meeting is scheduled for Friday, December 11, at 7:30 PM on Zoom. There will be a short business meeting prior to the clinics. We will also be holding an informal test meeting on Friday, December 4, at 7:30PM. This meeting will give you a chance to practice with Zoom if you haven't used it before. There will be no business meeting or clinics, but if you have something you've been working on, please give us a look!

Those whose names are on our members e-mail lists have already been informed about these meetings. All members on the e-mail list for the past season have been invited. You have until December 31, 2020 to pay your dues if you haven't done so already.  

If you are not a member and wish to join us in our virtual meetings please contact us at wmrc.trainclub@gmail.com and we'll see if we can fit you in.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club to hold a Zoom meeting in December

And now for something completely different! The WMRC will hold its very first  member's meeting on Zoom! The meeting will be in two parts, on two different dates.

The first meeting will be held on Friday, December 4 at 7:30PM. It will be an informal meeting which will serve as a test run. There will be no business meeting or clinics. If you have something for an informal show-and-tell, bring it along! This meeting will give you the chance to practice with Zoom if you've not used it before. It will also give the moderator a chance to practice managing the meeting. Be prepared to be a guinea pig!

Having ironed out the bugs (hopefully), we will hold our official monthly meeting on Friday, December 11at 7:30PM. There will be no canteen or 50-50 draw. There will be a short business meeting and two clinics.

Those whose names are on our members lists have already been informed by email about these meetings. If you are not a member and wish to participate please email us at wmrc.trainclub@gmail.com and we'll see if we can fit you in.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Enjoy the CP holiday train concert at home on December 12

This year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the CP Holiday Train Celebration is moving on line. On Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 7 PM CST Serena Ryder and The Trews will headline CP's 2020 Holiday Train at Home concert, which will stream via Facebook Livestream on CP's Facebook page. The concert will also feature performances by JoJo Mason, Logan Staats, and Kelly Prescott.

The event will raise money and awareness and help local food banks collect much-needed donations.
Holiday Train fans will be able to view the concert by visiting facebook.com/canadian.pacific at the show's start time. An archived version of the show will remain on the page for later viewing.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Neil Carleton is keeping busy creating a new Free-Mo module

WMRC vice president and NMRA No. 1 Northern Division Superintendent Ian Plett recently emailed members, asking them how they  “spent their summer vacation”. Long time member Neil Carleton sent some images of the excellent module he’s created.

Neil had originally planned his module for display at a train show in Regina, which was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. It’s built to the original NMRA specs but using code 83 rail and with his existing two foot adapter modules, it will fit in with other free-mo modules.

The streetcar tracks are girder type to allow a clear groove for the wheels. They are soldered to copper pc board ties and the tinted spackling is troweled on using home made tools, to leave the rail heads a bit proud of the road to allow for cleaning. He painted and weathered the road.

The overhead wire works. The Bachman streetcar is switchable from two rail to one rail and overhead. The poles are brass and connected to the wiring bus. The power goes to the span wires attached to the poles and are soldered to the running wire using lost wax brass castings. The span wires are not soldered to the poles to allow slight adjustments.

He used a special tool to bend the girder track and some turnouts, so the next modules will have loops to allow continuous running. He used information online at East Penn Traction Club and Trolleyville School as well as a multipart article he downloaded from Model Railroader.

The poles and small brass parts were sourced from a fellow in Ohio. The track is from Custom Traxx. A few other pieces came from Micromark. The sanding tower is a Kanamodel kit as is the water tower. The oil tanks are ABS plumbing pipes with added details. The lunch stand is a Bar Mills kit.

Monday, November 09, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club cancels their November meeting

We are deeply saddened to announce that the November meeting of the WMRC, scheduled for Friday, November 13,  has been cancelled. When October's meeting was cancelled due to the city going into code orange from COVID-19 concerns, we were hoping that things would improve in a month. But now the situation has worsened, and we've gone from code orange to code red. 

Hopefully, things might improve in December. If so, our next meeting will be on Friday, December 11. We will continue to inform and entertain our members and the general public as best we can social media on Facebook and this site.  Stay safe, everyone!

Friday, November 06, 2020

Fall rail fanning with Felix Lesiuk

Our stalwart photographer Felix Lesiuk didn’t do much Rail fanning last month as weather just wasn't cooperating. But he always travels with a good camera and he travels regularly to St. Eustache, Manitoba and back, which follows Canadian Pacific's mainline on Hwy 221 from Winnipeg to Marquette, Manitoba.
Felix claims that this was not necessarily rail fanning, as he was just catching stuff as it comes by. Nonetheless, he took some excellent photos of some unique maintenance of way equipment, some weather-beaten CP GE units and a beautiful heritage unit in Marquette.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Gino Kost lights up his model building

  Gateway Western Railway superintendent and long time WMRC member Gino Kost used LED technology to illuminate a structure that he submitted for the club's monthly model display at our last public meeting in September. By using a 9 volt battery the building is completely portable and independent of the layouts power supply, which means it can be used and illuminated anywhere on the layout. The interior of the building is removable.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Take an N scale shopping trip to Pete's Market

Long time WMRC member Richard Mikolayenko brought this excellent N scale model to the club's monthly model display at our last public meeting in September. The wooden kit was assembled with white glue and painted with a poster paint wash. He scratch built the cooler shed behind the building with left over wood scraps. He modeled some crates from scrap wood and stacked them on top of it. The outhouse was assembled from a kit.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Christopher Robinson’s rolling stock gains weight during COVID-19

Many of us have gained weight due to COVID-19, but Christopher Robinson decided to have his rolling stock gain weight instead. He had a set of Rivarossi heavyweight passenger cars which the bought at the 1983 Railway Jamboree, the NMRA national convention held in Winnipeg. The heavyweight cars were anything but heavyweight, weighing just two ounces, so he hefted them up to six ounces as his COVID-19 modelling project.

He found interiors for the coaches which added two ounces of weight, making the cars weigh five ounces. To bring them up another ounce, he turned the cars upside down and put lead shot in a 1/4 inch gap between the centre sills under the door.

He secured the lead shot with diluted white glue and painted it aircraft interior black. He painted the floors, walls and bulkheads in MOW grey, and the chair frames in railway tie brown. The seat cushions will be painted light Tuscan oxide red.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

John Bate brings a great model to Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's monthly model display

Since our October meeting was cancelled due to the social gathering restrictions of COVID-19, we will be featuring model displays this month from all of those who submitted during our September meeting. These submissions, which usually appear in The Lantern, the official publication of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club, will appear on the WMRC blog site instead.  

WMRC Treasurer John Bate brought a terrific model to September's display. He modeled an N scale shipment of bales, which were transported to Western Canada in the drought years by the federal government. The pickets were scratch built from Styrene, and  the bales were made out of jute twine and tape. 

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club cancels October meeting


The WMRC's October meeting, which was supposed to take place on October 9, has been cancelled. The cancellation was made because of the orange alert which was imposed by the city of Winnipeg that limits all social gatherings to ten persons due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. This alert, which started on September 28, will last for four weeks. If it is not extended we will hold our next meeting on Friday, November 13.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

CP Holiday Train has been cancelled for 2020

The CP Holiday Train has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic. This is the first time since the train’s inception in 1999 that it has been cancelled. The train has raised money for local food banks, but this year CP will donate to food banks across the route of the holiday this year and host virtual concerts.

The holiday train has raised $17.8 million while collecting 4.8 million pounds of food for local food banks over the past 21 years. Details about the virtual concerts will be released at a later date. CP said it plans to resume the holiday train in 2021.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Neil Carleton brings two models to the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's September monthly model display

WMRC member Neil Carleton brought two excellent models that he has been working on to the WMRC's first monthly model display of the season. He took an undecorated Rapido FP9 B-unit and installed a Loksound sound decoder. He primed it with Tamiya primer and spray painted it with Rapido and other brands of paint. Decals are from Black Cat. The finished model was sprayed with Testors Dullcoat. 

His second model was of a 1945 Chevy truck box. He used a CC Laser cut wooden truck kit to turn a Classic Metal Works highway tractor into a delivery truck. The model still needs to be primed and painted. It will be lettered for the Allan Transfer Company of MacGregor, Manitoba, using signs made with his computer.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's first social distancing meeting was a success

Everything went very smoothly at the WMRC's first social distancing meeting of the year. This was also the club's first meeting of the season, which begins in September and ends in May. Members and the general public were advised via email and social media to respect social distancing measures and wear masks. 

The Charleswood Legion did a sterling job of sanitizing the tank room before the meeting. Chairs were spaced six feet apart, and everyone brought their own masks. Hand sanitizers and paper masks were available at a table by the entrance.  A new microphone was purchased so that everyone could hear. Two power point presentations put together by program director Dave Downie were well received.  

A clever touchless annual membership registration system was devised. A basket with envelopes containing the registration forms was placed on the table by the entrance. Members could then fill out the form, put their completed form and their cheque into the envelope, then place the envelope into another basket on a table on the other side of the room. 

Our next meeting will be held at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard on Friday, October 9 at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club to hold their first social distant meeting of the season

Two power point programs are scheduled for our first meeting of the season. First, Mike Budde will demonstrate how to create your own model using hollow core resin castings.

Mike is a model railroader with a passion for cars and trucks  He wanted to model the bi-level and tri-level auto racks used by railways in the 1960's and 70’s, but he couldn't afford to buy models of the cars or trucks to fill his auto racks, so he learned how to make his own. Learn how Mike creates exquisite models. Mike is a regular on the “What's Neat This Week” YouTube channel.

After that, we will have a power point demonstration featuring Winnipeg railroads in the 1950's, which includes CNR steam, CPR steam, a few Royal Hudsons and street cars. Very few of these photos have ever been published. Some are in colour.

The meeting starts at 7:30PM on Friday, September 11 in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard.  We will still hold the photo and the model displays, but the canteen will be closed. 

There will be no 50/50 draw. Chairs will be properly placed as required. The draw for the two diesel engines, which usually takes place at the AGM, will be held at this meeting. Social distancing will be observed, and masks are mandatory.

Monday, September 07, 2020

See the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's Gateway Western Railway at the Winnipeg Railway Museum this weekend during Doors Open Winnipeg

 The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's Gateway Western HO Railway, located in the Winnipeg Railway Museum,  will be open to the public for the first and only time this year during Doors Open Winnipeg, which takes place this weekend, September 12 and 13. 

 The Winnipeg Railway Museum is located on the second level of the Via Rail station at 123 Main Street.  It will be open from 10AM to 4PM. To help keep everyone safe, wearing a mask and social distancing is mandatory. The maximum capacity of the museum is 50 guests. 

If you wish to take a guided tours of the museum, you must preregister. Click here to preregister. Tours are 15 minutes in length, with a maximum of 10 guests per tour.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club mourns passing of long time member Roger Kiendl

Roger (far left) is seen with Ron Einarson, Paul Ullrich Dennis Rietze and Sid Greenstone in from of the Prairie Dog Central’s #3 locomotive during the 2010 TLR convention in Winnipeg. 

Long time WMRC member Roger Kiendl passed away in Regina earlier this year.

Roger was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He had a long career in electronics and worked for companies such as Bulova, Gulf and Western, Curtis Wright and the Westinghouse Corporation. He was the designer and Project Engineer for the nuclear reactor rod control system installed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise.

He met his wife Beverley, a nursing student from Manitoba, while she was working at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. They were married in 1963 and moved Winnipeg in 1971. He worked as the sales manager of video systems for Servo Electronic Systems, providing television systems for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario until he retired in 1999.

Roger was a member of the WMRC and the NMRA for close to 40 years. He attended the NMRA national convention in Winnipeg in 1983 and TLR conventions in 1996, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010. When the TLR’s local group, No. 1 Northern Division, was in danger of being delisted he was a driving force in helping the group’s reorganization.

Roger saved the lives of three of his fellow WMRC members Arnie Walker, Norm Leathers and Paul Ullrich in 2003 when they were travelling to the TLR convention in Thunder Bay. When it was his turn driving, a moose suddenly walked onto the Trans Canada Highway east of Dryden. He expertly swerved, braked, and honked, scaring the moose out of the way.

Roger was on the organizing committee for the 2010 TLR convention in Winnipeg. He came up with the name of the convention, “Steam on the Prairies”. He was a tireless and dedicated volunteer for this convention, assisting in securing the venue, the rental of the Prairie Dog Central Railway, choosing the restaurant for the banquet, renting the bus for the rail fan trip to Portage La Prairie and the rental of the banquet tables for the Friday night barbecue.

Roger was also a member of the Winnipeg Rotary Club, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Winnipeg Executives Association, the Manitoba Protective Officers Association, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, and was a Board member for St. Amant. When the WMRC was seeking a charity to sponsor, it was Roger who recommended St. Amant.

He and former WMRC Treasurer Dennis Rietze designed the modules for the No. 1 Northern Division’s Free-Mo modular layout. Roger continued to be active in the TLR and the WMRC until Beverly’s passing in 2014. He moved to Regina in 2015 to be closer to his son, Anthony. He died peacefully in Regina at age 85.

Roger is seen taking a photo of a layout during the TLR convention in Duluth, Minnesota in 2008.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Dennis Rietze makes more progress on his apartment layout


During these trying times of COVID-19, former WMRC Treasurer Dennis Rietze is keeping busy constructing his HO layout, which he calls the Twisted Creek Railway and Construction Company.

Dennis designed the layout to fit in the spare bedroom of his apartment. It is completely modular, built in sections which can be removed without any damage to the layout or to the room. By using a series of rectangular posts instead of 2x4’s to support the layout, it provides ample room for storage underneath, and it is wheelchair accessible.

Dennis’ latest project has been bridge construction, and as you can see he’s even modelling it, using HO scale dump trucks and earth moving equipment.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Prairie Dog Central cancels the rest of their 2020 season

The remainder of the season for the Prairie Dog Central has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. This is the first time in 21 years that their season has been completely cancelled. The last time one of their seasons was cancelled was when they relocated to their present location on Inkster Boulevard.

Paul Newsome, general manager of the Vintage Locomotive Society which operates the train, stated that they felt that they could not live up to social distancing inside the train coaches without putting families and passengers at risk. 

All events planned for May, June and July for the Prairie Dog Central had already been cancelled. The fall season brought such popular events such as the fall supper diner train and the Halloween train.

The railway's remaining source of revenue is a commercial train car storage business, where the trackage is used to store rolling stock from other railroads.

Monday, August 03, 2020

Felix Lesiuk's first July rail fanning trip

Long time WMRC member Felix Lesiuk took two rail fanning trips with Louis Lenz riding shotgun. They headed west and made it to Harte and Moffat, two popular rail fanning sites. Harte has an iconic grain elevator which makes for some spectacular shots. Despite light rail traffic due to track maintenance, he managed to take some excellent pictures. After experiencing some heavy rain, he was rewarded with a rainbow that took direct aim at some MOW equipment.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The 2020 Manitoba Mega Train Show has been cancelled

The 2020 Manitoba Mega Train show has been cancelled. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers don't feel it is safe to run this year. The maximum allowable numbers for an inside event are too low to host the event, the logistics are far too difficult, and the health risk to everyone is too high.

If you have booked a table, the organizers will be in touch with you directly, and the money will be returned to you. The next Manitoba Mega Train Show is scheduled for Sept 25 & 26, 2021.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Portage La Prairie Model Railroad Club to hold open house this Saturday

The Portage La Prairie Model Railroad Club will be holding their annual open house on Saturday, July 25, from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. The club features three working layouts, including a Lionel display which you can operate yourself, plus several displays. The club is located in the renovated Portage La Prairie CP station on 251 3rd. Street NE, across the street from the CP yards.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Stormy train images along the CP main line

Our longstanding contributor Felix Lesiuk sent us some striking photos he took along the CP mainline along highway 221 near Rosser, Manitoba. Highway 221 has been a longtime favorite spot among Winnipeg rail fans, as it's close to the city and it hugs the CP mainline from the perimeter to Marquette, Manitoba.

These photos were taken as a storm was brewing, and we applaud Felix's courage in braving the weather to take them. He even captured a lightning bolt in one of them!