Junk Night – Nuit de Junque

This past Saturday, the WRMRC marked an annual tradition that dates back to times before the formal creation of the club. Our infamous ‘Junk Night’ operating session.

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Engineer R.Bosma carefully backs a cut of Toronto-bound cars into the interchange track at Romford ON. Locos for this Junk Night edition of the North Bay Turn are a CN GMD-1 / SD40-2W motive power duo.

It is much better described as a non ’70s CP session, where our usual Sudbury Division trains are powered by whatever locomotives our members wish to showcase. Railway, era, prototype or totally fictional; for one day none of that matters.

Many have asked us how we came up with the name. After all, none of the motive power is ‘junk.’ All are high-quality models.

Well, there is a bit of history to it.

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A fictional MR&T widecab GE Dash-8 leads two Conrail GP40s on a Junk Night edition of CP train 921 near Sprecher ON.

Like many model train clubs, the WRMRC was born from a private home layout. That owner (and founding president) had a large pike depicting the CP MacTier Subdivision, forged from his memories of cottage country in the 1960s. As the MacTier Sub motive power fleet was being improved, earlier locomotives purchased to get the layout up-and-running had been retired. These were mostly old ’70s-era models, mainly Athearn ‘blue box’ and Atlas ‘yellow box’ locos painted for various US railroads. So in the middle of a regular CP MacTier Sub operating session, he once quipped that we should hold a session where we break out all this “old junk power.” And from that our junk night sessions were born.

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WRMRC member S. Lyons brought out his lovingly rebuilt brass model of CN J-4-e #5126 (4-6-2 MLW-built ‘Pacific’) to fill the duties of the Sudbury east yard switcher. Models like this are what cause some to question our ‘Junk Night’ moniker. Now you know the full story.

It should also be noted these sessions had been held on Saturday evenings in the past. This explains the ‘night’ part in Junk Night, as we’ve switched to afternoon-held operating sessions for a number of years now. Finally, the traditional day for Junk Night was always the operating session that fell closest to April Fools Day. With the WRMRC eliminating April sessions in recent years, this now applies to our May operating date.

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No, this train did not take a wrong turn at St Thomas. Baltimore & Ohio power finds its way to Sudbury on this Junk Night operating session.

Junk Night has always been a big hit at the WRMRC. It often morphs into a show-and-tell session, with members often displaying their models in various stages of completion, sometimes even in different scales. So if you ever visit the layout for our May operating session, don’t be surprised if you spot an Erie Lackawanna SDP45 leading one of our trains. It’s not leased power, and it’s not a detour; it’s ‘Junk Night.’

May Operating Session: Saturday May 12, 2018

Extra 8798 West

Extra 8798 West rolls through Sudbury Yard on the WRMRC’s CP Sudbury Division layout.

A reminder that the next regularly scheduled WRMRC operating session will be held on Saturday 12 May 2018, from 12:00 to 6:00PM.

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

For a full list of upcoming club events, see the calendar page.

2016-2017 Operating Session Times and Dates

After some discussion at the June Annual General Meeting of the club, the operating schedule for the 2016-2017 season has been set. Please note there have been some important changes from previous years.

Firstly, the times of the sessions have been changed, and beginning this fall the sessions will begin at noon instead of 4pm and should run until about 6 without a mid-session supper break. (Anyone that wishes may go out for an informal social dinner following the session.) There was a general consensus leading into the meeting that the time change will much better accommodate several of our out-of-town members and guest operators that travel a longer distance to attend as well as generally not have the sessions end late in the evening and encourage participation in the sessions which require a minimum number of people to fill all the positions.

Secondly, for the 2016-2017 we have decided to try scheduling the sessions every other month throughout the year (beginning with the September 2016 session) instead of every month. Historically certain sessions (particularly December due to work and family parties leading into the Christmas holiday season) have ended up regularly cancelled anyway, and trying to work in both an October session and Open House around the Thanksgiving holiday puts a serious crimp in construction activities in the fall.

Thirdly, with the change in schedule we are adding a summer session in July 2017 which has historically never happened as May-August was typically the major construction period. However the additional spacing between sessions should allow for better progress throughout the year and the added session makes up for any losses with the schedule change.

Accordingly, the formal operating sessions for 2016-2017 will be held on the following dates and times:

September 10, 2016 12pm-6pm

November 12, 2016 12pm-6pm

January 14, 2017 12pm-6pm

March 11, 2017 12pm-6pm

May 13, 2017 12pm-6pm (“Junk Night” session)

July 8, 2017 12pm-6pm

Additionally our fall open house will be held on October 15, 2016 from 10am-5pm – as always the Saturday following the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, also known locally as the end of Oktoberfest.

See also the Calendar page for updated information on club events and activities.