WRMRC Fall Open House – Saturday 14 October 2023

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club cordially invites you to our Fall Open House on Saturday October 14th, 2023.

Here is your chance to see everything we have been working on over the past year.

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The layout be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Feel free to invite any friends or family members interested in model railways, and plan on a fun day of train watching and socializing.

For maps and more information visit our WRMRC website, or our Facebook page.

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Extra 5025 East rolls under the LaSalle Blvd bridge on the CP Sudbury Division Layout.

Admission:

  • Adults: $5.00
  • Seniors and Students: $3.00
  • Children (12 and under) are FREE, but must be supervised by an adult

 

Begin/End CTC Romford

Our big push for the Doubleheaders Tour this past March was to finally fill in the scene at Romford ON, the junction where the Parry Sound Sub from Toronto joins in to the Cartier Sub. This finally enclosed and hid the helix we had built in this corner of the layout that carried the tracks from the Parry Sound Sub staging yard to the upper level deck where Romford is situated. But really the scenery was just roughed in at the time, and many more details were required to finish the area. Our upcoming Fall Open House has provided us with a cause to continue the scenic efforts from here further down towards Coniston ON (diamond crossing with the CN Bala Sub), and to populate Romford with more details.

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Approaching Romford junction in the cab of the Toronto Section of the ‘Canadian’ at Sudbury, ON on 06 October 1971 (Roger Puta photo – Marty Bernard collection)

Being a mainline junction, Romford was a controlled interlocking. In the 1970s Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) governed train movements over the Cartier Sub from this point (mileage 72.4) eastward to North Bay ON (mileage 0). Westward for the six miles between here and Sudbury, the Cartier Sub was double-tracked with Automatic Block System (ABS) signals protecting movements in one direction only (right-hand running). The Parry Sound Sub travelling south was single-track ABS territory. Because the CTC section began, or ended (depending on which way you were going) at this interlocking, dispatchers would refer to this spot as ‘Begin/End CTC Romford’.

Beyond the obvious signals, real life interlockings are filled with all sorts of trackside details such as large signal bungalows, relay cabinets, battery vaults, electric switch motors, and if you’re railroading in Canada; switch heaters, and associated fuel tanks. With this in mind, we felt further enhancement of this scene should be done before our next open house.

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Looking east from signal 724 – Romford. From this point east to North Bay, the CP Cartier Sub was CTC territory.

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Signal 724 and its companion dwarf signal, along with a GRS model 5H dual-control switch motor, an oil-fired switch heater (it gets very cold here in winter), and signal relay cabinet. The old-school switch stand here guards a storage track, which is obviously controlled manually by crews.

We are still waiting for the actual station to be completed, along with a custom-built cantilever signal bridge that is required to elevate signal 1217 over the Parry Sound Sub (both are in development). But in the mean time with telephone poles added, more vegetation and ground cover, and all these interlocking details, we are at a level where Romford can almost be called complete.

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Guarded by signal 723 (westward signals are odd-numbered, and eastward even) this area of the junction is full of assorted CTC details. The Parry Sound Sub to Toronto is the line curving to the south here. A cantilever signal bridge that governs this line will be added in the future.

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Signal 723 with associated relay cabinet and a battery vault. The manual switch stand here controls the Romford set-off track.

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Not just CTC details, we’ve also finished off the swamps surrounding the Parry Sound Sub’s approach into Romford. Oh, incidentally, don’t drink the water here.

We’re starting to get excited about the open house, and wanted to share these photos of our progress. There are many other additions and improvements we’ve made since the Doubleheaders Tours this past spring, let alone last year’s open house. All of this will be here for you to explore this Saturday October 14th. Hope to see you there.

 

WRMRC at Breslau Train Show – Sunday 24 Sept 2023

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club will have a display at the Breslau Model Train Show this coming Sunday, Sept 24th, 2023.

Some of you may remember this as the former Paris Train Show. It may have a new location, but it is still the same great show presented by the Western Ontario Division – Niagara Frontier Region NMRA. There will be more than 75 tables of manufacturers and retailers available, and at least five operating layouts on display. Also there will be NMRA craftsmen showing how they build their models, free public clinics, and door prizes. More information can be found here: https://www.wod-nmra.ca/upcoming-events/

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Our display will feature club photos, a video presentation, and club members working on various modelling projects. As always, we will also have a side table with surplus models and equipment for sale. If you are attending the show please stop by and pay us a visit.

Hope to see you there.

Rapido TOFC Flatcars and Trailers

An order deadline is coming up soon for some very important models required by Canadian rail-modellers in general, and for us working on the CP Sudbury Division layout specifically. These are for Rapido Trains’ latest announcement of CP and CN specific piggyback flatcars, along with 26ft and 45ft Canadian-built Can-Car and Trailmobile trailers to haul on these flats. Basically, if you are modelling any mainline of either of Canada’s two principle railways between the late 1960s to the early 2000s, you need these models. Or for that matter if you’re a US mainline modeller in that era, you may want to pick up one or two of these piggyback flatcars as well.

Rapido's Marine Industries CP 63ft piggyback flat plus 45ft Trailmobile trailer, weathered by Bob Fallowfield.

Rapido Trains pre-production samples of the Marine Industries CP 63ft piggyback flat plus 45ft Trailmobile trailer, weathered by Bob Fallowfield.

It seems not a lot has changed in modeller’s perceptions of flatcars since we published these lines in a previous blogpost regarding the Wheels Of Time CP Napanee Flat:

Flatcars are probably the most under-appreciated pieces of rolling stock in the world of railway modelling. Due to their being, well, ‘flat’, they appear very simple and lack the visual impact of a boxcar or covered hopper. But they are actually among the most specialized cars around, possibly second only to tank cars. This under-appreciation is likely why we still need more flatcar variety in model production.

Jason Shron has found this out firsthand, as he’s had to relaunch these flats due to much lower than expected sales commitments prior to the initial order deadline. In a recent Rapido newsletter, he reported that hobby shop owners told him many customers had expressed concerns about the prices.

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Rapido’s Jason Shron isn’t lying when he says there’s an insane level of detail on these TOFC flatcars. Just click on this photo and look at it.

Sadly, but not surprisingly to us, many hobbyists hold this unfounded perception that because flatcars are smaller than boxcars they should somehow cost less. This thinking is complete and utter rubbish.

The cost of producing these trailer-on-flat-car (TOFC) piggyback flats are actually higher than a standard boxcar. Due to the high level of detail on a smaller footprint, there are higher tooling cost involved, and thus a higher unit cost when compared to a typical boxcar. Adding to this, Rapido’s flatcar body is largely diecast metal with etched-metal grilles. This is much more difficult to work with than plastic.

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You appreciate the level of detail even more with an overhead view.

In our opinion, we are actually getting a break on the pricing since Rapido is trying to hold the cost of these TOFC flatcars in relation to their other recently released freight car models.

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Not just piggyback flats, Rapido’s Canadian dry-van trailers are great models too. This is their 45ft Trailmobile van with side-door in CP Rail colours, weathered by Bob Fallowfield.

So Rapido has attempted to reach out to Canadian modellers on the complexity of these flatcars and trailers, and we at the WRMRC are doing our part. As the Sudbury Division was (and remains) an integral mid-section of the Canadian Pacific transcon route across Canada, we need quite a lot of these TOFC flats. Large blocks of TOFC flatcars would be seen on our priority freights, along with some potentially being hauled on a few manifest trains too.

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Exhibit ‘A’ in our need for the Rapido TOFC flat. A hot eastbound freight receives train-orders by the Sudbury Division HQ building on 14 March 1981. Behind the stock cars and lone container flat, we see what is surely a long string of CP TOFC flats. (Mike Cleary photo)

The extended deadline for ordering these models is July 17, 2023. You can order these through your favourite hobby shop, or direct from Rapido.

Link for the CP and CN piggyback flatcars is here: https://rapidotrains.com/ho-scale/freight-car/canadian-piggyback-flatcar.html

Can-Car and Trailmobile trailers are here: https://rapidotrains.com/vehicle/can-car-trailmobile-trailers.html

To answer any US modellers who wonder if these Canadian TOFC flatcars ever operated south of the border, that’s a most definite yes. CP Rail cars were naturally operating on the joint CP-SOO intermodal Chicago-Toronto run-throughs that travelled across Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. I also distinctly remember seeing these CP 505xxx-series cars on Conrail ‘TV’ trains back in the day, mixed in sporadically within the large collections and various models of TTX piggyback flats. Additionally Rapido has posted a photo of them operating in California, so they definitely got around.

CP 505747 at Hinsdale IL 20May89 M.J.Budo photo

Photo evidence of a CP 505xxx-series piggyback flat operating in the USA. CP 505747 at Hinsdale IL on 20May89. (M.J.Budo photo)

Before closing, we’d like to thank fellow CP Rail aficionado Bob Fallowfield for sharing these Rapido pre-production models with us. This is all a part of our mutual need to see these flats and trailers become a reality. We managed to take a few model shots on our recently sceniced Romford junction section of the layout too.

Tail-end of train 965 exiting Parry Sound Sub

CP 505625 brings up the tail-end of train 965 exiting the Parry Sound Sub at Romford ON on the CP Sudbury Division layout.

To close, here is a promotional video of the Canadian piggyback flatcar and trailer re-launch, in the usual humorous tradition of Rapido Trains.

Don’t feel too bad for Bob here either, he has a history with pilferage of railway property.

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Not so fast with those brass cabooses Bob!

WRMRC at the Kitchener Train Show – Sunday 19 March 2023

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club will have a display at the Kitchener Model Train Show being held Sunday, March 19th, 2023.

The show will be at the Bingemans Conference Centre (Marshall Hall) located at 425 Bingemans Centre Drive, Kitchener ON from 9:30am to 3pm. More information can be found on the collectorshows.ca website, and on their Facebook page. The show features many vendors, displays, several operating layouts, and railway memorabilia.

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Our display features both club and prototype photos of the area modelled, a video of club operations, and displays of various modelling projects. There is also a side table with second-hand or surplus models and equipment for sale. If you are attending the show please stop by and pay us a visit.

Hope to see you there.

Doubleheaders Layout Tour – Saturday, 25 March 2023

The Doubleheaders Layout Tour is back!

100_2860On Saturday, 25 March 2023, our club’s CP Sudbury Division layout will be open to the public in participation with the annual Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph and area tour, organized by the Doubleheaders Model Railway Club. This is a self-guided tour of a large number of club and private home layouts in the area.


Though there were a couple of virtual Doubleheaders tours held during the pandemic, this will be the first actual, in-person layout tour since 2019.

If you are new to the Doubleheaders tour there are over 30 different layouts you can visit, varying from large club setups to small N-scale pikes, and you can see everything from tinplate trains to scratch-built prototype models. However the layouts are spread over a large area, which makes it difficult to see them all in a day. So you should prepare for a full day of layout touring, and also maybe consider making this an annual, or at least semi-annual event to frequent over the years.

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For more details and ticket information please visit the Doubleheaders Model Railway Club web site.

Please note: Though some layouts on the tour are open later, the WRMRC will only be open from 9 am to 5 pm.

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The camaraderie among modellers and sharing of information are always the best parts of our hobby. We hope to see you on March 25th.

 

January Operating Session: Saturday Jan 14, 2023

We hope that everyone enjoyed the holiday season, and that the new year brings you peace, joy and good health.

Speaking of the 2023, our first operating session of the year will be held this upcoming Saturday, January 14th 2023, from 12:00 until about 6:30PM.

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If you are interested in attending the operating session as a guest, please contact us via our Facebook page or send us e-mail so we know how many people to expect.

(Note: we will do our best to accommodate visiting operators, however this is dependent on session attendance numbers and available operating positions.)

For a full list of club events in 2023, please see our calendar page.

 

WRMRC Fall Open House – Saturday 15 October 2022

On Saturday, 15 October 2022, the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club cordially invites you to our Fall Open House to visit the CP Sudbury Division layout. This is the first time our club will be open to the general public since the COVID pandemic.

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The layout be open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Feel free to invite any friends or family members interested in model railways, and plan on staying a while to see what’s new.

For maps and more information visit our WRMRC website, or our Facebook page.

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Extra 5025 East rolls under the LaSalle Blvd bridge on the CP Sudbury Division Layout.

Admission:

  • Adults: $5.00
  • Seniors and Students: $3.00
  • Children (12 and under) are FREE, but must be supervised by an adult

2022 Virtual Tour Video

For your viewing entertainment, our club is sharing what we hope will be our last ever virtual layout tour video.

To give some background, this was prepared as our submission for the 2022 Doubleheaders Tour last March, and features absolutely no (zero / nil / nada) trains operating. This was because every past video we’ve produced shows practically nothing other than trains running, and we wished to do something more instructive and completely different this time around. So sit back, grab a beverage, and listen as WRMRC VP Ted Kocyla  bores  enlightens you for 23 minutes about what the club has accomplished over two years of pandemic restrictions.

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eNgZkcBe98r-EzmWHKptGvwZUZB4Xkxw/view?usp=sharing

If nothing else, this video helps us advertise all the new things you can see at our upcoming Fall Open House, where we hope everyone can visit us in person again. Stay tuned for more information about that. But for now, this video will have to do.

 

Virtual Doubleheaders Tour 2022

This weekend, from 9am Saturday March 26th to 9pm Sunday March 27th 2022, the Doubleheaders will be hosting a free, online Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph model railway tour. The tour features a number of great home and club layouts from the area that you’re sure to enjoy.

The CP Sudbury Division Modellers will be participating again this year, with a new video featuring the recently added structures, new scenery and CTC signalling progress that the WRMRC has made through the COVID pandemic.

This year the presentations will be posted as YouTube video links available on the Doubleheaders Facebook page, in addition to their main website.

With all videos being available throughout the weekend, this virtual experience will be more like the traditional home/club tour where you are able to view the layouts according to your personal schedule, and in any order.

For further information, please email:

dhtour at gmail.com (all together, replacing at with @)

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