Pirate Pete's "Wasaga Short Line Railway"
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Pete, his wife Thailyn and their grandchildren are building a walkaround HO layout that’s 28’ long by 3’ wide. It's been christened the "Wasaga Short Line Railway" but as Peter's fellow NMR members have not seen any champagne, let alone drink it, to make it official we'll assume the name is temporary.
When the club vacated its old home at Wasaga Beach United Church the fixed layout was dismantled. Like the exhibition layout, it was made up of 6 foot modules and Peter purchased some of them, built a couple more himself and they form the backbone of the WBSL. It’s a point to point switching design with no loop-around or circle, running from Port Whitt to the Thai Mine.
The Thai Mine is the eastern terminus of the WSLR. The mine building, as can be seen, has been in service for many years, but the owners like to say, "If it ’ain't broke don't fix it", so there’s no expectation of it being rebuilt, or even repaired, anytime soon. It somehow mangages to stay standing.
Rumour has it that the federal government is going to designate it a National Heritage Site because it was here that gold was first found in the late 19th century, which resulted in the 2 year 'Georgian Bay Gold Stampede'.
A Family Affair
The gold seam may be no more, but the owners continue to mine nickel, cobalt and uranium, albeit in small but profitable quantities.
The WSLR has evolved into a family project. Thai's brother Bob is working on improving the Port Whitt facilities for a planned increase in marine activities.
Port Whitt Terminals
All of the grandchidren have their own sections on these modules where they have built, painted and planted Addison Pond, Aimee River and Lake Carter. New facilities planned or under construction will be Zariah Hall of Fame and Coleville.
The layout is anchored in the West by the Port Whitt Terminals. The module originally formed part of the clubhouse layout when the NMR was located in Wasaga Beach. It had many serviceable turnouts and forms the basis of the port yards. Port Whitt Terminals provide bulk goods handling services, storage and Marine Train Barge service to Victoria and Vancouver.