Thursday, 22 June 2017

A Visit To Exporail

Some of the equipment stored outside around the working turntable

The Outside 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

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