Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Visit To Exporail

Some of the equipment stored outside around the working turntable

The Outside Collection....by Don Janes

     After I spent time browsing the indoor exhibits I started strolling around the grounds at Exporail. There are a surprisingly large number of track throughout the grounds and a varied collection of equipment.  A lot of the pieces were starting show some heavy weathering and rusting.  Much of it was more "modern" than what is on display inside. I am assuming this might be more recently acquired equipment or pieces they feel are still in good enough shape to be stored outside until such time they are restored.   I also think they are out of any more indoor storage facilities. There is also another large building, the one I remember from my last visit to Exporail, which has a very nice collection of well preserved equipment.  It was quite dark and aisles were very narrow so I didn't try to take many photos in there. Some of the more noteable items were a CPR 2-10-4 Selkirk, CNR 4-6-4 #5702, CN 4-8-4 #6153, CNR 4-6-2 #5550 and a very nicely restored CPR MLW switcher #7077 and C424 #4237.
      Exporail also has a few diesels that have been restored to working condition that they use to pull coaches up and down a short stretch of track.  These include a beautifully restored CNR 1200RS #1382 and a rebuilt CPR GP-9 #1608. 
     Hopefully in the future they will be able to raise enough funds to add another exhibit hall and get the remaining rolling stock restored and put inside out of the weather.  The folks at Exporail have done a fabulous job on the museum.  It is a "must see" stop for anyone interested in railway history who is in the Montreal area.  I know I am really glad I took the side trip from Ottawa to Montreal to take it in.

VIA LRC unit 6921 is still in relatively good shape. Unfortunately the placed a boxcar against the nose so I couldn't really get a good shot of it.  I remember working a couple of trips on these and was surprised how spartan the cabs were compared to the streamlined exterior.
Another Bombardier locomotive on display was SLQ 3569.  This ex CNR M420 likely started life as CNR 2569. I made many trips on these and they were my least favorite units to work on, cramped cab, noisy and rough riding. I was glad when CN got rid of them. 
One of the units CN ran in Newfoundland was on display.  It sat on a piece of narrow gauge rail.  Although you might think my photo is crooked, it is actually the track which took quite a dip causing the engine to lean.  Notice the olive green paint bleeding through on the cab roof.


Above are three more pieces of rolling stock that once operated in NFLD. All are in reasonably good condition considering their age
VIA 6309 is starting to look a little worse for wear.  Hopefully when it is restored it will be painted in it's original CN green, black and yellow passenger paint scheme
This Canadian Government RR 36' boxcar is in really good shape.  It is a good candidate to photograph and get some modeling details from.  That's one of CN's 70 tonners that worked in PEI sitting beside the boxcar
These two pieces of MOW equipment were quite interesting.  The little crane is small by today's standards. 
This interesting semaphore signal was used to direct traffic at a diamond.
CNR 1382 has been beautifully restored to operating condition and is used to pull cars in the museum  It is one of the last batch of GR-12's that CN bought.

One final shot of CPR 1608 and VIA 6309

Monday, 19 June 2017

A Visit To Exporail

This electric locomotive was used to power commuter trains through the Mount Royal Tunnel

The Inside Collection - Part 2....by Don Janes

     As one continues to stroll through the huge indoor display at Exporail you keep discovering new and unique pieces of equipment.  If you were to read evey information plaque and go through every open car you could easily spend several hours just in the "Great Hall". For anyone who has not visited Exporail I highly suggest you add it to your "to do" list.  It makes for a great outing.
    So, lets continue our tour and once we get through the indoor collection we'll head outside to see what they have on display there.
This CPR inspection car was in immaculate shape.  I looks like CPR officials road in style.  The nickname "the Leaky Roof" railroad sure doesn't apply here.
CNR 49 was a 4-6-0T which was used on suburban runs in Montreal.  Here she is preserved in excellent condition.  Compare this photo to one of sister 47 take in Steamtown, PA in Oct.2016.  Seems a shame to let her just sit and rot.
This CNR Rotary Snowplow has been beautifully restores.  Notice from the tender this was an oil burner when retired. The last time I was at Eporail it was sitting outside gathering rust. Indoor storage certainly assures these pieces will be around a long time and good shape.
CPR cabooses were represented also as can be seen by this great looking wood sheathed caboose.  Many old CPR cabooses had plywood sheeting added to them in later years.
CPR 8905 was one of a fairly large group of F-M Trainmasters that CP used on their southern British Columbia line.  Most were based out of Nelson, BC. 8905is a long way from her old stomping ground
UTLX 11204 is a very old tank car.  Note how high the running boards were on these cars.  That would be quite a climb to get to the handbrake in a hurry
This car had quite a different hand brake setup.  It looks like it would be pretty awkward to get to and use.
#77 was one of CNR's first diesel switchers and featured an early style of carbody that allowed good visibility.  Note that the crew had to enter the locomotive through the red door on the side as these units had no end platforms.
CPR 4744 was a one of a kind M640.  It had  an ALCO 251F, 18 cylinder engine rated at 4000HP. It was retired in 1992 and donated to Exporail in 1998. 

Sunday, 18 June 2017

A Visit To ExpoRail

A Small 2-4-0 Steam engine sits on a section of bridge at the entrance to the Exporail site

The Inside Collection Part 1...by Don Janes

     As you have read, this past week George and I did a presentation at the OVAR monthly dinner in Ottawa.  On our way home we made a side trip to Montreal to visit the Exporail Railroad Museum in Saint Constant, QC.  This was my third visit to Exporail, the last time being in 2006.  I was amazed at how it had expanded.  The main "Great Hall" was new and what a excellent venue it was to display and preserve a bulk of the beautifully restored pieces of railroad equipment.  It was bright and spacious with lots of plaques giving a brief history of each item on display.  The equipment ranged from small street cars, vintage passenger equipment and cabooses and old steam engines to a large modern CPR MLW locomotive, all in beautiful condition.  
     The original metal building that I remembered was still there and it was also full of beautifully preserved equipment also although they were squeezed in much tighter and it was quite dark so photo opportunities were very limited.  There was also a lot of other equipment stored outside in various states of repair.  I will cover the outside displays in another post.
   So, lets take a tour of the "Great Hall"
As you enter the pavilion, one of the first items you will see is this beautifully restored British steam engine, the "Dominion of Canada".The stair to the right of the engine take you to a pit where you can see the underside of it and adjacent CPR  Royal Hudson 2850
A view from the Balcony of these two beautiful steam locomotives


This large CNR 2-10-2 was one of a small group of engines that spent most of their career in transfer and helper service between Mimico and Danforth yards in the Toronto area

One of my favourite diesels were CNR's FPA4's, a passenger locomotive that lasted into the VIA era.  I had quite a few trips running these locomotives

Were are in the engine room of CNR 9400, Canada's first modern diesel freight locomotive.  It shows what these beasts looked like inside.  It featured a  recording of the MLW 244 series engine used in these locomotives. It went through the  start-up equence and as it was rev'd up.  A very good idea to show just how they sounded.
This is a very old 36' CNR stock car that has been nicely restored.  There is a full size model of a cow in the car which gives you a perspective of just how small these cars were back in the day
CNR wooden caboose 78214 was nicely restored and was open to look through.  It was interesting to see how railroaders lived in these cars while at their away from home terminal
CN RS-18 3684 and CPR D-10 492 pose at the south end of the building.  Quite a contrast in motive power.


Saturday, 17 June 2017

White River Division - Photos

A B&M passenger is arriving at Bellows Crossing before the remodel a few years back. The station is actually a Rutland Car Shops kit of the North Dorset, Vermont station. Clare at Sylvan Scale Models produced the kit for RCS.
I have posted a few of the photos of my layout that I presented earlier this week for you to enjoy. I presented 60 views while Don had another 90. The original plan was to squeeze these into an hour. Guess what, it took us an hour and twenty five minutes with a bit of rushing near the end. Hope we did not put too many of the guys to sleep...George Dutka

A baggage car is left behind at the WRJ station platform, a Rapido offering.
A scene out front of the station before the remodel of the WRJ scene. This is the CV side of the station.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago which is a nice overview of Westboro shop area and also the WRJ station and yard.
A Rutland Ry. van hop headed by a RS-1 is in behind the homes at Proctorsville, Vt. This is a scene made up of building flats.

Using my pocket camera this scene captures the rural look of the WRD. A Proto offering heads some Branchline CPR coaches toward Bellows Crossing.

An Athearn GP-7 once again is seen passing a farm house and apple orchard on the WRD.

And the last view is of a B&M way freight once again in the countryside just beyond the B&M milk platform. A BEST Models general store is seen in the background.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Snapshot - June 2017

I had just bailed out of Don's car in Smith Falls as the train passes us by.
Following a visit to the rail museum in Smith Falls Don and I headed over to the CP yard and station. This was not before Don got out of his car at the museum for a few more photos he forgot to take. Needless to say when we arrived at the CP yard Don was cussing as we just missed a CP eastbound and the Ottawa bound VIA was on the move at the junction location. By the time we bailed out of Don's car the head end was already by...but we did get a few nice views anyhow. This was the first time I have seen the VIA 150 coaches and engines in person...what 5 minutes does when railfanning...George Dutka

VIA 903, Smith Falls yard June 12 2017.

The tail end of the EB VIA as the train picks up speed following a meet with a WB CP freight.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

OVAR June Presentation

An overview of the station and display at Smith Falls railway museum. June 12, 2017
Don and I made a three day trip to Ottawa for a presentation of our two layouts to the OVAR. Hope the boys liked it. We ran a bit over what we thought we would, but trying to squeeze two layouts into the time of one can be tough.

Greg Stubbings was a great guide and host showing us the town plus a couple of great layouts. More on the layouts in later posts. The models on display was really nice to see at the dinner and being election night Don and I are glad we don't hold positions in the OVAR now. There was about 100 members at the dinner that are a great gang of modelers that really made us feel at home.

I was surprised to see a new station in Belleville. Here we see the new with the old.
On our way to Ottawa we made a short stop to stretch at Belleville and a longer break at Smith Falls to check out the museum and CP yard. Don had planned on staying longer in the area checking out more layouts and heading to Montreal for a visit at the ExpoRail. I had a rail ticket for Wednesday morning to head home. Don changed his plans a bit offering to get me home by Wednesday night if I tag along via ExpoRail for a short visit. Being a nice sunny day and getting a really good start from Ottawa we were able to spend a couple of hours at the museum and still get home by 9pm....more on all of this later...George Dutka

Some of the models on display at this months OVAR dinner.

Here we have from left to right Bill Scobie, Mike Hamer and Don Janes just before dinner. The dinner meeting is held in the middle of the Little Italy district and in particular the Italian club. One knows there was going to be way more food than one can eat including of course pasta.
On display was this nicely built model by Greg Stubbings our guide and host.
We visited with Bill Scobie and operated for a bit on his Sn3 layout. Here we have Greg our guide, Don and Bill.

Greg took us over to Tom Hood's Canadian Northern layout. Tom was the man behind those great CDS dry transfers.

Don is the switchman on Tom's layout for a bit.

At ExpoRail there is a trolley one can ride with a stop right at the enterance. There was a lot of school groups with this gang about to board for a ride around the ground.

An overview of the turntable area.