News

Last Updated 12 June 2017

The Nottawasaga Model Railway's permanent, albeit unfinished, HO layout will be open to the public on Saturday 1st July from 10:00am to 4:00pm. There's no admission fee and both adults and children are invited to run the trains. You'll find us at Bygone Days Heritage Village, 879 Sixth Street, Collingwood, which is about 400m west of the 10th Concession.

Our auction, held on a very wet Saturday, 6th May, was a great success with a record crowd of 111 potential buyers and 26 sellers, likely a result of the demise of the original Boomers auction and a number of their 'customers' migrating to ours. Because it was so busy, with not enough table space to hold everything that was for sale, we're going to run a second auction, to be held on the last Saturday in October, which in 2017 is the 28th. This is the same day the Boomers used to hold theirs. This will give buyers a second opportunity (and one closer to Christmas) to make some great purchases at really good prices and save the sellers from having to hold everything they have for sale until next year.

You'll find all the inforamtion you'll need on our Auction page.

A consortium of members have purchased a 3D printer. Because of the temperature variations at the clubhouse (and to avoid anything untoward happening to it) we keep the printer in an environmentally stable location off-site. We've quickly learned that the printing itself is quite easy. The challenge is producing the drawings that are necessary for any print job. Both John Houghton and Martin Alborough have learned the basics of Sketchup Make™ a free drawing program, so can produce relatively simple drawings. Between them, Martin & John have produced the walls, round tower and witch's hat roof to build Craigleith station because they figure the chances of finding a manufactured kit of something similar as being zero to none John has produced some wonderful bollards for the dock in Collingwood harbour, but how he made them is still, so far, a well-kept secret.

Our club layout bench work is now complete, with the final carpentry being applied to the upper level by Bill Hanke. John Houghton has laid most of the track, the only exception being the three turntables and their approaches at Meaford, Collingwood and Allandale. These are being scratch built so it will be some time before they're installed. John has wired all of the new track, too, so we can now run locomotives anywhere we choose. We'll have a number of operating sessions to make sure the track and hand-built turnouts are in gauge and functioning properly. When we're satisfied all is well we'll start ballasting, which, as experienced model railroaders know, is akin to setting the track in concrete.

The electric furnace and related ductwork worked very well and kept us toasty warm, even on nights when the outside temperature is minus 15°C (+5°F for our American readers). Although it can get 10 - 15°C colder than that in Collingwood it's unlikely even the most hardy of us will venture out in that sort of weather unless absolutely necessary and any that do go to the club will probably be lonely.

Jay Parkes, Bill Hanke and Al White are conducting some serious investigation on the buildings that existed (very few remain) along the railway in Collingwood, Thornbury and Meaford and as their research yields results they will produce scale drawings so we can start reproducing matching models. It's highly unlikely manufactured kits are available, but some may be available that can be be adapted (a.k.a. kit bashed). Failing that, the buildings will have to be built from scratch in styrene, basswood, 3D printed or a mixture of any or all of them. Jay and Bill Hambly have already demonstrated their skills at this particular facet of the hobby. Bill Hanke is an excellent worker with wood, and is putting a lot of energy into the harbour and grain elevators that are still a prominent feature in Collingwood.

Short circuits are inevitable on a model railway, usually caused by a train derailing or trying to go through a turnout that's set against it. Unless the layout is divided into different power districts everything will come to a stop should a short occur. Because this is really a no-no when the public are watching the trains, as at a show, Martin installed circuit breakers on the exhibition layout that divide it into eight power districts. Now, a short on one part of the layout will only shut down one small area while the trains keep running everywhere else.

The photographs below are of Bailey Park and the Easton Mine, both on our exhibition layout, and are excellent examples of the modelers skill, in these cases, Paul Bailey and Brad LeBeck. With the push of a button the mine delivers 'coal' to hopper cars which are then transported around the layout to the power station where it gets dumped through the track into a below-grade conveyor. The old 4-4-0 steam locomotive is a static display in the park and it sits on our DCC programming track.

Click on the images to enlarge them
Bailey Park Bailey Park Bailey Park Bailey Park Easton Mine

The Smarts and Endoline modules on our exhibition layout have been freshened up and have been on display at the shows we attended in 2016, and Paul has spent some time in 2017 sprucing up the remaining modules. He's not finished by any means - nothing happens overnight on a model railway - and his painstaking efforts reflect in quality of any model he works on. We received numerous compliments on the layout which, even if we do say so ourselves, are deserved. We're very proud of this model and the children and parents are always appreciative and grateful that we let them run the trains. We've also installed circuit breakers to divide the layout into eight electrically isolated sections so that should a short occur in one part, the trains on the rest of the layout will keep on running. We've also install 'frog juicers' on some troublesome turnouts which go a long way to ensuring locomotives don't stall when traversing them.