Saturday 2 July 2016

Dick Walker's - HO CPR Melrose Sudivision

D-10 class 4-6-0 locomotives were synonymous with CPR branch line service.  Only on a Sunday would you find all the branchline power congregated at Woodstock.  On the other six days of the week, these locomotives would be switching the coal boats at Port Burwell, interchanging with C&O, Wabash or NYC at St. Thomas, or swinging onto the St. Mary's sub at Zorra.
London and District Layout Tour: Dick Walker's CPR Melrose Subdivision, by Peter Mumby.
Photos by George Dutka and Peter Mumby.

Dick Walker's current layout had its start in 2002, although several sections have survived from three or four earlier versions in London and Woodstock homes.  The layout or subdivision name has changed with each location, but the overall theme has remained constant - a railfan-oriented layout based on the CPR yard at Woodstock, Ontario, and it's contiguous rural area. 

In this scene, Dick is acting as the Woodstock yardmaster.

With its location on the Galt Subdivision near the St. Thomas, Port Burwell, and St. Mary's subs, Woodstock was home to an assortment of 4-6-0 and 4-6-2 steamers, along with the typical first generation GP-9, RS-18, and FA diesels.  Dick operates a fleet of vintage brass locomotives (think Alco Models, Tenshodo, and Van Hobbies).  All units have been re-worked and re-motored to run smoothly on DC power.  Unit numbers have been carefully chosen to reflect those actually seen in Woodstock and environs in the late 1950s.  Similar attention has been paid to his nicely finished rolling stock.  Using kits purchased as early as 1955, Dick commented that his layout features models that in some cases are as as old as the prototypes they represent.

The entire layout features detailed scenery, some of it the work of Dick's wife, Marg.  The springtime greens of the scenery blend well with the subdued boxcar reds and weathered blacks of the equipment to produce a very authentic overall look to the layout.

A typical late 1950s double header waits at the switch near Melrose station.

Here is the namesake station for the Melrose Subdivision.

Lucky number 888 receives some attention at the Woodstock ash pit.

One of Dick's brass-bashing efforts produced this distinctive tender.

Idling at Woodstock is a typical first generation diesel lash-up.

Labatt's streamlined tractor trailer has arrived from London.  This Sylvan Scale Models kit (SE-01) is based on a 1947 prototype.

Things are busy around the Woodstock freight house.

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