WRMRC Op-Session and Activity Update

Due to Ontario’s extension of emergency orders regarding COVID-19, the WRMRC has cancelled the annual Junk Night operating session which was scheduled for Saturday May 9th; 2020.

At this point the club is planning to start the 2020-21 operating season again in the fall, with the next scheduled op-session planned for Saturday 12 September, 2020. Please continue to monitor this blog along with the WRMRC’s Facebook page for future updates.

While layout progress may have been hampered by the public health crisis, our members have been busy working on many projects from home, or coordinating amongst themselves to limit numbers when visits to the club are required. Here are just a few club ventures while under quarantine.

Romford/Coniston signal project

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Romford Operator Panel

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Reverse side of the Romford Panel – for those who love wiring

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Searchlight signals for Romford and Coniston

Wanapitei River Bridge

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Wanapitei River bridge (in development)

Nelson Street Bridge

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Bridge abutments and scenery repairs (in progress)

Sudbury Ice House

Ice House

Ice House (in development)

Ice House

Ice House

The club is also preparing to work on scenery in a number of areas which will require trees. Many, many trees.

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One silver lining to the cancellation of operating sessions is that preparations have begun to build the permanent trackage into Espanola, home of the large E. B. Eddy paper mill. Thanks to Fast Tracks, a number of code-70 turnouts have already been built towards this goal.

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Code-70 right-hand turnout built with Fast Tracks jig.

While we certainly miss the comradery that comes with our group work sessions, we are fortunate to live in a time where we can connect digitally. All of us at the WRMRC wish you good health, and to keep up your spirits with good model railway projects.

 

WRMRC March Public Activities Cancelled

On the advice of medical officials, is with reluctance that the WRMRC executive has decided to cancel all club public activities over the month of March in order to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes the operating session scheduled for tomorrow, and our participation in the 2020 Doubleheaders Tour. The following is a letter from our president.


Dear WRMRC Membership,

As you know developments in the COVID 19 corona virus situation have been coming fast and furious. Since my email to the group earlier today changes in advice from public health professionals have led the officers of the club to take a hard look at our plans. I have also been receiving emails from members indicating that they will be restricting their activities in coming days. As a result the officers have decided by unanimous consent to cancel the March operating session which was scheduled for this Saturday and to cancel our participation in the DoubleHeaders Tour scheduled for Saturday, March 28. We will decide on the May operating session as we get closer to the date and see how the situation develops.

We have taken this action reluctantly. We all do love to “play with trains” and were looking forward to the session. We also enjoy sharing our hobby with others and regret missing the tour. Given the advice from public officials and concerns of our own membership, we believe that this is the more responsible option. Since the Wednesday work sessions involve smaller groups we have not cancelled those at the moment, but individual members should feel free to take a break from Wednesdays as they feel necessary. Continue to monitor this group (our groups.io page) for further news.

Everyone stay safe and, as best you are able, healthy.

Bob Kelly

WRMRC President

 

March Operating Session: March 14, 2020

A reminder that the next regularly scheduled WRMRC operating session will be held on Saturday 14 March 2020, from 12:00 to 6:00PM.

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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 club events in 2020, please see our calendar page.

 

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.’