Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Gateway Western Railway meets tonight at the Winnipeg Railway Museum

   Tuesday nights are Gateway nights, and the WMRC's layout over at the Winnipeg Railway Museum is coming along just great! We're getting into some might fine landscaping which is making the layout really come alive! Dave Downie, our Vice-President, sent along these images to us to show the remarkable progress they're making on the layout!

    The gang meets tonight at 7:00 PM at the Winnipeg Railway Museum, located on the second level of the Via Rail Station at 123 Main Street. It's really cold outside, but the Gateway is housed in it's own heated building within the museum!

     Former WMRC President Suzanne Lemon modeled this lovely lake for the Gateway Western.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Lantern's photo contest deadline is December 29!

    Robert Weaver, the stalwart editor of The Lantern (the official publication of the WMRC) , would like to remind all members that the deadline for January's photo contest is fast approaching! The deadline is on Monday, December 29 at midnight. Up to $30 is available in prize money, and you'll get you photo on the cover of The Lantern if you win!

   December's theme was "The Spirit of Christmas". This month's theme is "snow" (but we'd like to see a train somewhere in there as well). It doesn't have to be a prototype photo - we accept images of model railroads too, as long as they've got some snow on or around them somewhere.  Be sure to submit your image in a vertical format!

   December's winner was the dashing and intrepid Paul Lemon, who shot this wonderful image of the CP Holiday Train. Paul is one of 10 members we have from across the pond, and we're grateful to each and every one of them for their many contributions and devotion to the club!

   

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club!

   We at the WMRC all hope that you're having as good a Christmas as this little tyke pictured here, who got his very first Marx electric train set on Christmas day - exactly 60 years ago today! We understand that he still has this train, and has picked up a few others in the past six decades. No one knows what happened to the spiffy race car in the foreground!

    Here's to having a Merry Christmas full of trains, trains and more trains, plus a New Year with more of the same!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Assiniboine Valley Railway is rolling again this weekend!

   We are very pleased to announce that the Assiniboine Valley Railway is having their next open house this weekend. The trains will be running from 1PM to 4PM on both Saturday and Sunday at 3001 Roblin Boulevard.

    Last weekend, they held their first winter open house since the passing of their founder, the late great Bill Taylor, in August of 2013. Outside of former WMRC President Ed Mulholland's announcement of the AVR's forthcoming open houses at the WMRC's December meeting, there was virtually no publicity for the event (not even a mention on their own website).

    The day after the WMRC's December meeting,  the news was posted on this blog site and on the WMRC's Facebook page. The FB notice got 500 views in just a few hours! Watching the numbers come in was like watching the gas gauge at the pump turn while you're filling up your car! This shows not only the power of social media, but of the interest in the AVR itself!

    We sent our top investigative reporter out to the AVR open house to cover the event last Sunday. As you can see by the photographic evidence, it was business as usual at the AVR! They had steady and respectable crowds on both days, and they're hoping for the same this coming weekend.

    And they'll certainly get that! Another FB post about the AVR on the WMRC's Facebook page has garnered over 4000 views and 50 shares! AVR President Len LaRue was on CBC Radio One's noon program on Wednesday, They gave him a full ten minutes to promote the event! He was also on the CBC 24 Hours supper time news show that night, and the evenwas also promoted on the noon hour radio news on boxing day.

    Riding the AVR at Christmas has become an important Winnipeg traditions for many Winnipeg families. Although the lights aren't up and there are no evening runs, people still want to ride the trains through the forest! And there's still plenty of deers to see while you're enjoying the ride!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Morgan Turney dazzles Klinic Karnival attendants with his tree modelling skills

   Morgan Turney, WMRC Program Director and organizer of our annual Klinic Karnival, also found the time to run his own clinic on how to model trees out of weeds and ordinary garden cuttings. Watching him employ his impressive skills are Bob Shawcross, our head librarian, and long time WMRC member Brent Tingey.

    Morgan is not only a talented and highly skilled modeller. He's served as president of the WMRC many times and has been our program director for several years. He's also has been the organizer of our annual spring open house. He is also the publisher of Canada's foremost model railroad magazine, Canadian Railway Modeller, now celebrating its 25th year of publication! There's nothing Morgan can't do when he puts his mind to it!

   Except when it comes to putting ketchup on a hot dog (he has some very strong opinions about that).

    All kidding aside, if there's anyone who has been proven absolutely indispensable to the club, it's Morgan! Thanks for all of your help throughout the years!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club salutes our hard working canteen staff

    Pictured from left to right are Jean South, Andrea Leader and Frances South, who worked so hard at our December meeting making hot dogs and serving donuts, chip, pop and coffee for our annual "Christmas Dinner".

    The unsung heroes of our club have to be the volunteers we had had working at our canteen at every meeting. It's often a thankless job which not only involves serving the food, it also involves purchasing and delivering the food, as well as making the coffee and cleaning and storing the coffee maker.

     The canteen was started in 1999 when we moved to Christ Anglican Church. At our previous venues, there was always a soda machine, and after the business meeting we'd have a "Coke break". Seeing there was no vending machines in the church, Chuck Huard, our enterprising former President, started a canteen in the kitchen of the church's basement. This was an ingenious move on Chuck's part, as it also provided a revenue source for the club.

   Chuck and his wife Lise were the first proprietors of the canteen. They were joined by their friends, Ken and Roberta Anderson, who later took over for the Huards. These canteen volunteers also provided snacks at our annual spring open houses and the WMRC's Great Canadian Train Shows. Chuck and Ken would always be barbecuing hot dogs and burgers outside of the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, sometime in some rather inclement weather!

   LuElla Rietze took over from the Andersons, and she served us faithfully for several years. Then Andrea Leader took over the job. She was joined this year by Jean South. Jean's daughter Frances often helps her mom and Andrea in the kitchen.

     The WMRC wishes to thank Jean, Andrea, Frances and all of the past volunteers we've had in the canteen over the past 15 years. We deeply appreciate all of the time and the effort you've all put intomaking the canteen a success!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad club presents a cheque to St. Amant at December's meeting

   WMRC Treasurer Gary Stempnick presents a donation to St. Amant's Juliette Trudeau Mucha at the club's meeting in December at the Charleswood Legion.

   The WMRC was honoured by the presence of St. Amant's Juliette Trudeau Mucha at our last meeting. Juliette presented a short video showcasing the wonderful work of St. Amant and was given a cheque from the club.

   The donation the club gave to St. Amant represents a portion of the proceedings of the money earned from September's Manitoba Mega Train Show. The club also donates a portion of the money earned at their annual spring open house to St. Amant. In 2013, St. Amant had a large display at the spring open house. Many volunteers from St. Amant were present at the show to promote the work the organization does in the community.

   The WMRC is a not-for-profit organization and it is also a charity-minded organization. We have had St. Amant as our charity of choice for about two years, and we are delighted to have chosen such a worthwhile and hard working organization.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Everyone had a great time at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's Klinic Karnival

   John Morris demonstrates his decal skills to Ron Einarson and Larry Ziffle. Yes, that's John's sign.

   The WMRC's annual Klinic Karnival was well attended, and everyone had a great time soaking up model railroading knowledge from the 10 clinics that were held.

   Our good friend John Morris once again held his popular decal clinic. John is a model railroad detailing professional who has many clients across the country. For anyone who has struggled applying a stubborn decal to a model, this clinic was a must!

   To make the evening even more memorable, we held out annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, pop and chips, so there was plenty of good food for the members and guests to eat while they viewed the clinics.

    There were so many interesting clinics going on that it would be impossible to fit them into all one post. During the rest of December (and perhaps into January) we'll be dedicating a post to every clinic held.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Assiniboine Valley Railway to hold two open houses in December

Great news! Due to popular demand, the Assiniboine Valley Railway will be holding two open houses this month! There will be no Christmas lights, but you can ride the trains all you want! They'll be holding their open houses on the weekends of December 20-21 and December 27-28 from 1PM to 4PM.

   To a lot of people, it just wouldn't be Christmas without a ride on the AVR, and we're very pleased to announce the return of this cherished annual event. Just remember to dress warmly! The weather promises to be milder than it was last winter, but it's not going to be as mild as depicted in this image, taken by WMRC member John Longhurst!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club holds their annual Klinic Karnival on Friday, December 12

   The big day is almost here! Tomorrow is the WMRC's annual Klinic Karnival! We have a great group of Winnipeg's finest model railroading experts all set to share their knowledge with you, and it's absolutely free! If you were to attend a model railroad convention in the States you'd have to pay big bucks to attend any series of clinics they would hold. But we're not charging one red cent! Best of all, you don't have to be a member to attend! Guests are always welcome!

     We're also going to hold our annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, chips, and pop. And if you're not full from that. you can always join us after the meeting for pizza at Santa Lucia's on 4 St. Mary's Road!

    When we held our Klinic Karnival last year, we were in the middle of a bone chilling cold snap. It was -45C, but we still had a pretty good crowd. This year, it looks like it'll be +3C, which is excellent weather for coming out to the meeting!

     If you ordered one of our brand new, very spiffy 60th anniversary T-shirts, they'll be available for pick up at the meeting. 

      The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. There's plenty of parking available! Please enter through the western entrance.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The new Winnipeg Model Railroad Club T-shirts are here!

    WMRC President Larry Leavens shows off his brand new T-shirt at the club's Gateway Western layout, which is located in the Winnipeg Railway Museum.

     The T-shirts, designed by WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich, have been delivered and are ready to be picked up for all who have ordered them at our next meeting on Friday, December 12 at the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard.

     The meeting starts at 7:30, but there will be a lot more to do besides picking up your T-shirts! We're having our annual Klinic Karnival, featuring Winnipeg's top model railroaders sharing their talents with you, and our annual "Christmas Dinner" of hot dogs, pop and chips! And if you're not quite full from that, there's always pizza after the meeting at Santa Lucia's on St. Mary's Road!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Cliff Davidson wins Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's first photo cover contest

   Cliff Davidson, recording secretary for the WMRC, won the very first photo cover contest held by the club. He received a  prize of $15 and got his photo on the cover of The Lantern, the official publication of the WMRC. November's theme was “Railway Faces” and the possibilities were endless!

   "This is definitely a new face in the city." Said Cliff.  It was taken as the oil train was getting ready to head east out of the CPR yard on Oct.17th, 2014 at 5:07 PM. It was taken with a Canon Power ShotSX50 @ 1/200 sec., ISO-125, at F5.6. This Kansas City Southern ES44AC, #4683 was paired with CP AC4400, #9539. They had just backed unto an oil consist which would be heading south on the Emerson Sub. KCS is my favorite US Railroad and color scheme."

   One prize will be awarded each month in the amount of $30, if the Lantern editor receives 10 entries or more. If there are fewer than 10 entries then the awarded prize will be set at $15.

    Only one entry per member will be accepted and the document must be in a vertical format, 7.5" x 10" with a minimum resolution of 130 pixels per inch. Each entry must be taken during the current club year. Please include your name, the date taken and a brief description of the entry. If possible, please include the technical camera information regarding the exposure, etc.

    All entries to be submitted to the Lantern editor on the Saturday preceding The Lantern mailing (two weekends before the next meeting). The December issue of The Lantern should be in everyone's inbox very soon. The theme for the December issue was "In the spirit of a railway Christmas." Who will the winner be this month?

Friday, December 05, 2014

Klinic Karnival next week! All are welcome!

   The WMRC will be holding its annual Klinic Karnival next Friday, December 12. Program director Morgan Turney (the hardest working man in show business) would like to remind everyone that the Klinic Karnival is OPEN TO ALL! You don't have to be a member to join in on the fun! There will be many clinics conducted by Winnipeg's top modellers, all under one roof at the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard!

     We'll also be having our annual "Christmas dinner" that night (meaning hot dogs, chips and pop), so be sure to bring your appetite! The fun starts at 7:30 PM. Hope to see many new faces there!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Larry Leavens' very first Craftsmen kit

   For our October model display, WMRC President Larry Leavens entered the very first Craftsmen kit that he assembled way back in 1976 when he was a novice twenty something modeller.  His notes on building it were so amusing that they're definitely worth repeating on this post. When you're reading this, keep in mind that we've all been there (including mistaking actual red for boxcar red).

 By Larry Leavens

   The other week I had a conversation with a friend about the first train model that I built. It was in the summer of 1976 while I was living in the Kettle Construction Camp just outside Gillam, Manitoba. On one return trip to Winnipeg I dropped by Gooch’s on Portage Ave. and purchased a Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific boxcar. The word Winnipeg in its name was probably the reason I bought the car. At his point in time my modelling skills were limited to building a few plastic airplane models while I was a kid. I had much to learn. Once back in Gilliam I examined the box’s contents to find a bunch of wood and many pages of instructions. It started off by congratulating my on buying this wonderful CRAFTS-MEN kit, whatever that meant.

   The first instruction was to cut the wood to length. Oh my, I need TOOLS! Into the shaving kit to find a double edged razor blade to cut the strip wood. Glue pieces together? This I did right and purchased some white glue from a hardware store in Gillam. Things progressed along until I had to mount the grab irons and other metal parts. Drill with a # 72 drill bit. What is that? I was able to find a 1/16” drill bit in the Gillam hardware store, but that was the smallest that they had, (but that was still way too large). I ended up using a darning needle to poke holes in the wood to mount the grab irons.

   Once all of the wood and parts were assembled, it recommended using boxcar red to paint the car, whatever that colour was. The hardware store back in town had a small selection of spray paint including – RED. I want to paint a boxcar red so this must be the correct colour. I painted the car outside the bunkhouse one night and then placed the model in my room to dry. It did not take long before the little room smelled like I had painted the car in there.

    The dry transfers are still attached to the model so I must have done that right. It will never be a contest model but it was the first railroad kit that I built – craftsmen, whatever that meant.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Tuesday nights are still Gateway Western nights!

    Now that's a lot of track! The Gateway Western Railway is progressing very nicely!

  The weather outside is frightful, but it's always warm and accommodating at the Gateway Western Railway, located in its own heated building inside the Winnipeg Railway Museum, located on the second level of the Via Rail station at 123 Main Street!

    Tuesday nights the gang has its usual building and operating session, starting at 7:00 PM. Come on down and join in on the fun - but plug in your car before you go!

    WMRC Treasurer Gary Stempnick shows off his brand new CN locomotive, getting ready for a run at the Gateway!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ron Einarson's other old time coal conveyor models

   For reasons that can't be explained, the WMRC blog post about Ron Einarson's old time coal conveyor has consistently been one of the top posts of this site. Hoping that lighting will strike twice, this post features his latest effort in modeling a few more old time coal conveyors, submitted at the model display at November's meeting.

    Ron found three more Walthers kits hanging around in his place (also for reasons that can't be explained). He painted them right on the sprues so he could easily clamp in an upright position to dry. Then he trimmed the sprues and touched up any areas that were missing paint.

    He used "Krazy" Glue (Cyanoacrylate), as it dries much faster than styrene glue. After letting everything dry fro a day or two, he gave the models a dusting of black chalk dust to give them a used appearance. They're a perfect compliment to the coal trestle display he exhibited at last year's model contest at the WMRC open house last March!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Photos of the original Gateway Western in the 70's and 80's

    Mark Perry, who is one of the WMRC's Facebook friends, has shared these wonderful photos of the original Gateway Western Railway on the club's FB page.

   The first Gateway Western was in its own room on the main floor of Winnipeg's Union Station, long before Via Rail took the building over. It was a landmark for decades until the club was forced to demolish it to make way for a new bathroom.

   Since then, it has been revived first as a modular group, then as a permanent display at Gooch's Hobbies, and no finally back to its original place (albeit one floor above) back at the station in the Winnipeg Railway Museum!

    The image above was taken in the 70's.  Bob Whitehouse is seen on the left, bending over the layout as Lindsey Fuller looks on.

    The image below was taken in the 80's. Jim Jenkins is seen in the back, while Dave Kyliuk switches out one of the industry tracks on the layout.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Watch Steve Boyko's video of the CN Christmas train

That's right. There is a CN Christmas train. 

Our good friend Steve Boyko, author of the popular blog, "Confessions of a Train Geek" took this great video. Steve also gave the WMRC one of the finest shows we've ever had at our November meeting when he made his presentation about Manitoba's vanishing grain elevators.

Capturing the CN Christmas train is a rare find indeed. It's not publicized at all, and it doesn't do the cross country charity route that rival CP does with their annual holiday train. But it does exist! However, it's only for CN employees and their families. WMRC member (and CN employee) Dwight Kjartanson even took a ride on it!

Steve caught the train at night at the Waverley crossing (which is a great place for rail fans, but absolute hell for commuters in the south end of town). Fans of vintage first generation diesel power F-units (and who isn't) will love the sight of the perfectly restored CN 103 leading the way, literally lit up just like a Christmas tree!

Our thanks to Ian Lisakowski for sending this video our way. Watch it by clicking here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

There will be no Christmas lights at the Assiniboine Valley Railway this year

   This image, taken by our good friend and WMRC member John Longhurst, now only serves as a sad reminder of what was a wonderful part of Winnipeg's Christmas season that is no more.

     For the second year in a row, the AVR will not be having their Christmas light display. This is because of a lack of resources, manpower, and most significantly, the absence of AVR founder Bill Taylor.

     Bill was the Christmas light master of the AVR. There were 100,000 lights on display, which was TEN TIMES the amount Chevy Chase had on his house in the classic movie, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". As the AVR was on his property, he had more time than others to string these lights. He was also the only one who knew the proper electrical schematics for wiring them all together (It's safe to assume that you don't just plug in 100,000 light into an ordinary 110 volt socket, even when they're LEDs).

    It's been a tough year for the AVR, but they managed to hold their usual monthly open houses in 2014. But they weren't able to hold their annual "Dinner Train". Hopefully, the lights will be up again for Christmas in 2015.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The CP Rail Holiday Train is coming your way!

   It's that time of the year again! The CP Rail Holiday Train is coming to Manitoba, and it will be making five stops in our province. The CP Rail Holiday Train is North America's longest rolling food bank fundraiser and since they started in 1999, the program has raised close to $9.5 million and 3.3 million pounds of food.  Over the three weeks of the program, musicians will play more than 150 concerts from a boxcar we've turned into a traveling stage.

   The concerts are free, but you are encouraged to bring a donation for your local food bank -- either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay in your community.

   Their first stop in Manitoba will be on December 3 at Whitemouth on Railway Avenue, across from the Whitemouth Hotel, at 6:45 PM. They arrive that same night in Winnipeg at 9:00 PM at Molson Street, between Panet Road and Munroe Avenue.

   On December 4, they arrive at Portage La Prairie, opposite the Centennial Arena at 390 1st. Street NW at 4:45 PM. They roll in to Brandon that same night at 7:45 PM by Assiniboine Avenue, west of the 8th. Street overpass.

   Before heading to Saskatchewan, their last stop in Manitoba will be at Virden on December 5 at 9:15 AM, on the north side of the tracks on 5th. Avenue South between Lyons Street and Ashburton Street.
 
   Entertainment for the Manitoba leg of the trip will be provided by Roxanne Potvin and Odds.

  The full CP Holiday Train schedule is now available on cpr.ca.

   Supporters can also join the Holiday Train on Facebook and follow the two trains on Twitter, and Instagram @CPHolidaytrain #CPHolidayTrain. For additional information, photos, a route map, and downloadable pictures of the two trains, visit: www.cpr.ca.


































Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CN Rail helps celebrate Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's 60th Anniversary

   WMRC President Larry Leavens sent in this photo of a CN rail grain hopper with the WMRC's 60th anniversary logo on it while he was out rail fanning last Saturday. Suspicions have been raised as to whether this is actually a prototype image, or one taken of a model on someone's layout. But Larry swears that it is prototype, and as we all know, chief executives never lie (except when they're not telling the truth). However, if you choose to believe him, we'd like to sell you the Chief Peguis Trail bridge. No reasonable offers will be accepted.

     All kidding aside, the WMRC is having their 60th anniversary in 2015, and one of the ways we're celebrating is with our annual model contest. This year's special event is to use our 60th anniversary decal (specially designed by blog editor Paul Ullrich) on any railroad related model. It could be an engine, a piece of rolling stock, a building, or anything else you can imagine!

   You can purchase these decals from WMRC Program Director Morgan Turney at our next meeting, which will be held on December 12 at 7:30 at the Charleswood Legion at 6003 Roblin Boulevard. A limited number of these decals have been made, so don't put it off much longer than that!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club mourns death of long time member Wayne Spector

   We were saddened to hear that long time WMRC member Wayne Spector passed away recently. Wayne had been a member of the group since 2007, when he joined with his life long friend Oscar Lakatos, whom he knew since they were in high school.

   Wayne was also a member for the Prairie Dog Central Railway, the Winnipeg Railway Museum and the NMRA. He attended conventions held by the NMRA's Thousand Lakes Region in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Wayne rarely missed a WMRC meeting, and he always enjoyed going for Pizza with some of the members at Santa Lucia's on St. Mary's Road.

   "I will always be grateful for the advice he gave me when I was the Convention Director for the 2010 Steam on the Prairies convention." Said WMRC Blog Editor Paul Ullrich. "I had absolutely no idea where to hold the banquet, and Wayne came up to me and suggested that the Prairie Dog Central could ride us to a place where we could hold our banquet called  the Hitch'N'Post. It was a great idea to combine the train ride with the banquet, which is what we did, and everyone loved it."

   Wayne was very devoted to his mother. After she died in April of 2013, Wayne's health began to rapidly deteriorate. He survived her by just over a year and a half. Wayne is survived by his sister Terri-Mae and her family.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Donald Gordon's model of the Portage gate Lift Bridge in northern Michigan

The WMRC's monthly model display has always had a fascinating showcase of unique and superbly crafted models, and many of them will be posted on this site. But this model of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge modeled by Donald Gordon, submitted for our October meeting,  deserves some special consideration.

   The Portage Lake Lift Bridge, (officially the Houghton—Hancock Bridge), connects the cities of Hancock and Houghton, across the waterway which cuts across the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

   The original 1959 design by Hazelet and Erdal of Chicago of the bridge’s liftspan had roadways constructed on both upper and lower levels with rails embedded in the road surface on the lower deck. With the closing of the copper mines and the end of rail service in 1982, the railway portion is no longer used.

   This model has only one level and is constructed as a railway bridge. It is HO scale, based on estimated dimensions taken from the photographs. It is constructed from mahogany strips with a steel structural frame.

   And get this - it's motorized! Donald used an auto-mobile window motor which he purchased from the model railroader's unofficial hobby shop,  Princess Auto. Members had a lot of fun operating the brig at the meeting!

   LED lights illuminate the bridge deck, machine rooms and aircraft warning lights.  On Donald's home layout, the bridge crosses over a ship canal leading to a container loading facilities. Power is provided to the track, deck lights and deck signal lights by 3 wire flexible cables that were salvaged from earphones. These  fine wires were difficult to solder but appear to have sufficient current carrying capacity to power the locomotive.

        And here's the real thing! Donald put in a lot of effort to make his model close to prototype.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Steve Boyko to give presentation about grain elevators at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's November meeting

   The dapper and erudite Steve Boyko, creator of the popular rail fanning blog, "Confessions of a Train Geek" (which has had over 725,000 views), will be giving a special presentation about grain elevators at the WMRC's November meeting, which will be held on Friday, November 14.

   If you're a rail fan living in Western Canada, you know all too well about the importance of these "prairie giants" that dotted the landscape from the Whiteshell to the Rockies. Grain was king in the prairies, and the railroads served every community that had a grain elevator. Sadly, these landmarks have been disappearing at an alarming rate, as grain is now stored in massive concrete silos.


   Besides our usual business meeting ,we'll also have our monthly model display, the ever popular 50-50 draw, and the canteen will be open! After the meeting, there's always pizza at Santa Lucia's on St. Mary's Road!

   The meeting starts at 7:30 PM at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. You can't miss the place - it's the one with the tank in front of it! Please enter on the west side of the building.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Selkirk Model Railroad Association holds open house on November 15 and 16

    Our good friends at the Selkirk Model Railroad Association are holding their fall open house this weekend. They will have no less than four operating layouts on display, ranging from N gauge to O gauge! Their open house is a must-see for any model railroad enthusiast, and if you haven't been there before, this is your golden opportunity! The group holds two open houses every year, so if you miss this one, you'll have to wait until spring!

   Hours are from 10 to 4 on Saturday, and from noon to 4 on Sunday. They're easy to find! They're located at 217 Clandeboye Avenue in Selkirk - that's right off main street, one block north of the bridge. Admission is $4.00 or free with a "tin for the bin".

Sunday, November 09, 2014

View Ken Epp's Cougar River Subdivision on-line

In the November issue of The Lantern, the official publication of the WMRC, member John Longhurst authored a moving article about his late brother-in-law Ken Epp's layout, the Cougar River Subdivision. Unfortunately, this publication is only available to members of the WMRC. But you can still view Ken's layout on-line on two links!

The first link is from the Sweden Freezer website. This site was the on-line home of the WMRC until Bill Taylor's passing last year. Bill created and maintained this website for the club, starting at the time when not many of us even had computers, not to mention internet access. The site for his business still exists, but links have been created to re-direct viewers to the new websites for the WMRC and the AVR. However, the link to view Ken's layout still exists! It was last updated in 2003, with several images taken by our own Ron Einarson. View it by clicking here. 

The other site to view Ken's layout is at John Longhurst's own website, the Manitoba and Minnesota subdivision. You can view his tribute to Ken and see several images of his layout by clicking here. 



Friday, November 07, 2014

Watch Backtracks: A video about Winnipeg's streetcar history

   Here's something our good friend Zenon Lisakowski sent us. it's a locally produced retrospective film on Winnipeg's  streetcar system. It's well stacked with archival photos and old film footage. This 30 minute film, produced by Jeff McKay and Beth Azore, was originally commissioned for television broadcast by MTS Cable and  has also been screened at Winnipeg's Cinematheque. Click here to enjoy the film!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Selkirk Model Railroad Association holds 20th anniversary supper



 Tom Reeve, as we remember him, sitting by the door during one of the Selkirk Model Railroad Association's open houses, registering guests and handing out draw tickets.

Our good friends at the Selkirk Model Railroad Association are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a special supper in honour of the late Tom Reeve, who was President of the group up until his death in July of this year. The supper marks the official inauguration of the club's Thomas Wesley Reeve Fund.

The supper will be held on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at the Selkirk Golf and Country Club, 100 Sutherland Avenue in Selkirk. Cocktails start at 5:30, and supper will be served at 6:00. There will be a door prize and several other draws. Tickets are $35 per person, and there are only 100 tickets available.

For more information contact Peter Hall at 204-482-7412 or Joe at 204-795-1952.

Monday, November 03, 2014

NMRA Canada's first Winnipeg public train show was a resounding success


    A crowd of enthusiastic youngsters take turns trying their hand at operating an N scale layout at NMRA Canada's train show last Saturday.

Over 250 very happy people attended NMRA Canada's very first public train show last Saturday. Although the show was scheduled the day after Halloween and at the same time as one of the biggest comic book conventions in Western Canada, the event still managed to draw a surprisingly large crowd of train lovers, and raised a respectable amount of money to be donated to St. Amant.

The No. 1 Northern Division's Free-Mo group, which had the largest display at last month's Manitoba Mega Train Show, had the largest display this time as well. The group (dubbed the "blue shirt guys" by the show's visitors) received many compliments not only for their layout, but their willingness to share all aspects of their hobby and answer any question the viewers had about their group, and of model railroading in general.

Veteran model railroaders Ron Einarson and Rob Gairns held popular clinics. WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich (using his alter ego as "The Giraffe Car Man") wowed the kiddies once again with his hands-on Lionel layout. There was also a hands-on N Scale layout, and a G scale display run by Manitoba Mega Train organizer Maurice Dorge. 13 year old Michael Leader, the group's youngest member,  was also on hand to run the John Allen Timesaver Module.

No. 1 Northern Superintendent Dennis Rietze ran a demonstration on how to run a model railroad with a cell phone. He was also interviewed by CTV News Winnipeg, which ran the segment on their Saturday evening news program. Several NMRA members were also on hand to promote the organization and its many benefits to model railroaders.

It was also great to see a lot of old, new and familiar faces at the show, such as former Elmwood Hobby Works proprietor Vern Gibson. There were lots of families and plenty of kids , who stayed for many hours enjoying the World's Greatest Hobby!


    Ron Einarson held clinics all day, displaying many of his award winning models.


    Lookee here! Could that be our old friend Kent, the former WMRC Lantern Editor with his son, enjoying WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich's portable Lionel display? It sure is!

       Two of the "Blue Shirt Guys" (not to be confused with the Blue Man Group), Alan Graham (Centre) and No. 1 Northern Treasurer Sid Greenstone (L) promoting the many benefits of NMRA membership at  the show.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The National Model Railroad Association's Winnipeg train show is on tomorrow!

Saturday, November 1 is the big day! The NMRA is holding it's first ever train show in Winnipeg, and it's open to the public! You don't have to be an NMRA member to attend! They're going to have lots of layouts, including the No. 1 Northern Division's Free-Mo layout, the Lionel 027 "Giraffe Car" layout, a portable N scale layout, and a G scale layout! There will be clinics and a demonstration on how to run a layout with a cell phone. Try your hand at runing a miniature switching yard with the John Allen Timesaver module!

The fun starts at 10:00 AM this Saturday at Whyte Ridge Baptist Church, 201 Scurfield Road! Admission by donation. Handicap accessible! Portions of the proceeds will be donated to St. Amant.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Log onto railpictures.ca and view a great railroad photo gallery

Here's a neat website that Peter Newman, our good friend from Orlando, Florida sent us. It's railpictures.ca and it has thousands and thousands of great Canadian railroad photos, taken by rail fans just like yourself! Anyone can contribute to the site, and registration is free! You create your own photo page and profile and post your own images, and even get feedback from other members! We can't show you any of the images on this site without permission, as all contributors hold their own copyright, but all you have to do is log on to railpictures.ca and see all the great train images they have!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Read Rene Gourley's Pembrooke:87 blog

Peter Newman, who sent Morgan Turney the information we posted last month about Del Rosamond's amazing photos posted at http://www.CanadianSteam.Smugmug.com, also sent us another fascinating post: http://pembroke87.wordpress.com/. It's a great model railroading and rail fanning blog all in itself, and it also features a post on Del Rosamond's photography, which he posted on September 5, which you can read by clicking here. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Learn how to operate a model railroad with a cell phone at the National Model Railroad Association's train show in Winnipeg on November 1

Want to learn how to run a model railroad with a cell phone?  That's one of the the exciting clinics and demonstrations that the No. 1 Northern Division of the National Model Railroad Association is holding at their annual train show this November 1st at Whyte Ridge Baptist Church, located at 201 Scurfield Boulevard.

There will be several operating layouts, including the No. 1 Northern's Free-Mo HO layout, a portable N scale layout, the Lionel 027 Giraffe car layout, and a G scale layout! You can also test your skill at switching with the John Allen time saver module. There will also be continuous video presentations during the show.

Admission is by donation, and the church is handicap accessible. Hours are from 10AM to 4PM. Hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ken Epp's memorial service well attended



A band with over 75 members played at the memorial service for our good friend Ken Epp. Ken led an exemplary life of service to others, not only to the model railroading community but to the music and basketball community of Manitoba. He was the executive director of the Manitoba Band Association for 29 years and also served as a referee with the Manitoba Association of Basketball officials.

   Ken worked at many levels of the game, including many high school provincial championships and Canadian national championships at the university level. Under Ken's leadership, music instruction through band programs became available to students across the province, making Manitoba a leader in music education.

   Of course, Ken will always be fondly remembered for organizing the WMRC's Great Canadian Train Show for so many years.

The Winnipeg Free Press covered his memorial service. You can read the article by clicking here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A BNSF SD40-2 built entirely out of Lego

Here's something our good friend Ian Lisakowski sent us from the Friends of BNSF website. Dennis Glassker, a Dutch modeller, built a detailed BNSF SD40-2 out of Lego blocks. And it's huge! It's built at 1:16 scale, it's 52 inches long and weighs 44 pounds. Just to put that size in perspective, LGB G scale trains are 1:22 scale. He even modeled the interior! Check out his work at:https://www.friendsofbnsf.com/content/BNSF-locomotive-model-Legos

Friday, October 17, 2014

John Longhurst's tribute to Ken Epp

 Ken Epp (L) is seen with John Longhurst at John's layout, the CP Rail Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision. The photo was taken two weeks before Ken's death.

Long time WMRC member John Longhurst wrote a tribute to his brother-in-law Ken Epp in his most recent post on his blog, the CP Rail Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision. It has been mentioned before on a previous post on this site, but it was so moving that it warranted another posting.  The best quote was one from Ken himself, reflecting on his many trips on Via Rail and Amtrak.

“I have to say that sitting in the dome car at night as the train goes across the Canadian Shield, watching the signals get knocked down, seeing the northern lights and the snow on the trees—I don’t know if what heaven is like, but for me, that’s heaven.”

 We can only hope that heaven is as nice a place as that.


Ken's funeral service will be held on Sunday, October 19 at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church, 1315 Gateway Road at 2:30 PM.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club mourns passing of Ken Epp

Long time WMRC member Ken Epp passed away yesterday. He was recently diagnosed with cancer of the liver and given just a few weeks to live.

Ken was a long time member of the WMRC. He will be most remembered at the club for organizing the Great Canadian Train Show from 1997 to 2011. This was no easy task. Ken had to deal with dozens and dozens of displayers and vendors, then he had to fit them all into the two levels of the gymnasium space allotted to the club at the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute within the constraints of the fire marshal's regulations.

Ken was the Executive Director of the Manitoba Band Association, a non-profit charitable organization which promotes the growth and development of band in Manitoba through regional and provincial programs and charities. His love for music rubbed off on his son, Jeremy, who held the position of Principal Timpani in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra until he joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra last month.   Ken was also the brother-in-law of long time WMRC member John Longhurst, who also assisted Ken in organizing the club's Great Canadian Train Show for several years.

Ken will also be remembered for his truly unique layout, the HO scale Cougar River Subdivision. Ken managed to combine his desire for a large layout with his family’s need for basement living space. The result was a club-size layout that features a 530-foot mainline run, yet ensured that the rest of the basement is available to the family (a large recreation room, bedroom, full bathroom and utility area).

He accomplished this by using an around-the-walls double and triple deck design. The loop-to-loop layout, with its nine-scale mile run, ran through and around all the basement rooms, but didn't interfere with activities since the shelves in the living areas were only 6 to 12 inches wide. To make the layout compatible with other living areas, Ken finished off the edges with hardboard fascia and was careful to keep wires and other clutter from view. The tracks punched through the walls 19 times! It took 25 minutes for a train to traverse the layout from the lower staging yard to the upper staging yard. Ken's layout was showcased in every major model railroad convention we've had in Winnipeg, and was frequently featured on local television programs.

 Ken's funeral service will be held on Sunday, October 19 at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church, 1315 Gateway Road at 2:30 PM.

Below is an image from Ken's Cougar River Subdivision. You can view more of his magnificent layout by clicking here. For a further tribute to Ken, please go to John Longhurst's Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision blog site by clicking here.

 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Watch the making of the telephone and telegraph line along the Newfoundland Railway


 We had a great meeting last night! It was movie night, complete with free popcorn! After viewing a classic Warner Brothers Road Runner cartoon (which also had a train) we watched Newfoundland Long Lines, a fascinating film chronicling the making of the telephone and telegraph line along the narrow gauge Newfoundland Railway lines during WW2. The 21 minute film was in colour, which was pretty rare for a documentary at the time.

Speeders were used to lay the cable, and local trees were used to make over 30,000 poles. Because there was little or no communication between Army HQ and the bush, the crews were never really sure when the trains were coming. During WW2, there were lots of trains running - usually 16 a day!

Our program director Morgan Turney received this link from Paul Levin, Director of Marketing at Puce Creek Hobby Distributors, located in Concord, Ontario. 

But if you missed last night's meeting, you can still enjoy the movie by clicking here.  Check out the segment on the video when two men in a speeder had to swiftly dismount their speeder and then throw it off the track to get out of the way of a freight train!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Newfoundland Railway video featured at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's October 10 meeting

Our main program for our meeting on Friday, October 10 is a fascinating U.S. Army documentary made in 1943 about the making of the telephone and telegraph line along the narrow gauge Newfoundland Railway lines during WW2. The 21 minute film is in colour, which was pretty rare for a documentary at the time.

Speeders were used to lay the cable, and local trees were used to make over 30,000 poles. Because there was little or no communication between Army HQ and the bush, the crews were never really sure when the trains were coming. During WW2, there were lots of trains running - usually 16 a day! Wait until you see the segment on the video when two men in a speeder had to swiftly dismount their speeder and then throw it off the track to get out of the way of a freight train!

After a short break, we'll see a National Film Board movie from 1958 by Guy Cote called Railroad-ers. The movie depicts the life of CPR railroad men out of Revelstoke as they run their trains and maintain the line through the Rocky Mountains. The original Canadian Pacific Railway Canadian is featured throughout the film.

Our meeting starts at 7:30 PM at the Charleswood Legion Hall, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. Access is through the west entrance. Guests are always warmly welcomed. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

This weekend is your last chance for a ride on the Assiniboine Valley Railway for 2014

The Assiniboine Valley Railway will hold their last public open house for the 2014 season this weekend on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday October 12. The weather looks promising, so either day might be a great day to ride the AVR for one last time this year! There will be no dinner train this year, and the trains will not be running for the holiday season.

The hours are from 11:00 to 5:00 on Saturday, and from 1:00 to 5:00 on Sunday. It's only two bucks for a ride, and kids under three ride for free! A 12 ride pass is available for $20, which is good at any AVR event.

It's also the Thanksgiving day weekend, but if you have Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, you can ride the trains on Saturday or Sunday, or on both days! What could make for a better long weekend than that?

The AVR is located 3001 Roblin Boulevard, just west of Assiniboine Park. There will be signs posted on the road. For more information please visit their new website at http://assiniboinevalleyrailway.org/blog/

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Winnipge Model Railroad Club blog site is one year old!

On October 3, 2014, the WMRC blog site passed a significant milestone. We made it to the one year mark! And what a year it has been! As of this writing, we've had over 27,000 viewers from all over the world, and we'd like to thank each and every one of them for doing so! We've had over 150 posts, and we will continue to post news not only about the WMRC, but from other groups in the city, the province, the country and around the world about what we love - model railroading and rail fanning!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Watch Ian Plett's video of the Manitoba Mega Train Show - shot from an HO flatcar!

WMRC member Ian Plett has created a truly unique video of the 2014 Manitoba Mega Train Show. He built a car out of Lego and mounted a camera on it! Then he ran it on the No. 1 Northern Division Free-Mo Group's enormous layout (it was 95 feet long - the biggest display in the show). As the layout was just about in the middle of the show, you get a very interesting view of what was going on.  Please note that the video was shot early in the morning while the crowds were still light. As most visitors would attest, it got pretty crowded later in the day! Click here to watch this amazing video!

Friday, October 03, 2014

Watch Ken Spicer's fantastic video of the 2014 Manitoba Maga Train Show

This year's Manitoba Mega Train Show was a resounding success! We had more displays, vendors tables and visitors than ever before! Unfortunately, most WMRC members were so busy displaying, volunteering, buying and selling that they didn't have time to take any images of the show.

But Ken Spicer came to the rescue with a wonderful video he shot, edited and uploaded on YouTube of the event. It gives a great view of all of the layouts on display at the show. Check out the footage he shot of the G gauge modular layout in action - he shot a moving G gauge train coming at him while he was walking backwards!

Due to the crowds, lot of us who were volunteering or displaying at the show didn't even have the chance to see the rest of the displays. This video gives us all a chance to see just what we missed!

Click here to view Ken's video.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Canada’s late steam and early diesel era featured on Canadian Steam website

   Here's something Morgan Turney, our Program Director, discovered for the WMRC blog:

  Peter Newman, who is a rail fan and a commercial airline pilot,  has created Canadian Steam, a website gallery that features the photography of the late Del Rosamond. Del spent a lifetime capturing scenes of steam trains and early diesels that were part of Canadian Pacific and Canadian National freight and passenger consists.

  The images were taken primarily in the Pembroke, Ontario region. Peter has had these slides for over 35 years, and he knew that someday they had to be professionally restored and shared. There is a lot of detail in these shots, and they would certainly be valuable to anybody modelling this time period and area.

  Canadian Steam provides a rich experience in time travel with visions of an era in transportation that has gone the way of chariots.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The 2014 Manitoba Mega Train Show was a Mega success!

Wow! What a weekend! What a party! We had an estimated 2400 visitors to this year's Manitoba Mega Train Show held at the CanLan Ice Sports Centre! That is up from the record crowds of 2,000 we had last year. We had hot, sunny weather on Saturday, and cold, rainy weather on Sunday, but that didn't stop everyone from coming!

We had 64 vendors, two G gauge layouts, two HO layouts, two O gauge layouts, two N gauge layouts, the ever popular Lego layout, a balloon sculptor, a face painter, and the Mega Train itself, giving unlimited rides to everyone!

A big thanks to everyone who came! Next year's show promises to be even bigger and better than this one! The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club wishes to thanks all of the members who volunteered for set-up, take down, admissions and everything else that needed to be done!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Watch Manitoba Mega Train organizer Maurice Dorge on CTV Morning Live

The Manitoba Mega Train Show is getting all sorts of great publicity this year! Last week Maurice Dorge was featured on a Manitoba Moments segment on CTV Morning Live. The clip showcased his compact garden railway, and why no dogs are allowed at Mega Train! You can see the segment by clicking  http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/ctv-morning-live/manitoba-moments.

Each copy of the Monday edition of the Winnipeg Free Press, has a post-it note on the cover about the Manitoba Mega Train Show. With a press run of 75,000 that's bound to get the word out!

Be sure to get up early on Friday Morning because there will be a segment about Mega Train on City TV's Breakfast Television!

Last year Mega Train had over 2,000 visitors, and this year we're expecting even more! The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club is partnered with Mega Train. It is a major source of revenue for the club, and a good portion of our take for this event goes to our charity of choice, St. Amant.

Volunteers are still needed for Mega Train! If you have some time to spare, help is always needed for set-up, take-down, and admissions. Set-up won't start until Friday noon this year, and take-down will start at 5:00 PM on Sunday. The more folks we have helping out, the faster it'll go! You can volunteer by clicking here.

The Manitoba Mega Train Show is being held at the CanLan Ice Sports Complex (formerly known as the Highlander) at 1871 Ellice Avenue. Hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on both Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28. General Admission is $5.00. Children ages 3-12 get in for $3.00. Kids two and under get in for free! A family pass is available for $15 for the day.

The 17,000 square feet of fun includes the No. 1 Northern's Free-Mo modular layout, which is the largest modular layout in the province and is a full 95 feet long this year! There will also be the spectacular Lego train display, the ever popular Lionel layout with all of the giraffe cars, a face painter, a balloon artist, 60 vendor tables and the Mega-Train itself! Admission gives you free unlimited rides on the 7.5" scale Mega Train!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Volunteers needed for the Manitoba Mega train Show this coming weekend

   This is the Big Kahuna. The biggest train show in the province. 2,000 people came to last year's show, and even more are expected this year! Yes, it's Manitoba Mega Train Show time again, and the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club will be out there in full force. We are partnered with this event. It's our major source of revenue, and the source for funding our charity of choice,  St. Amant.

   This is a big show, and volunteers are needed for set up on Friday, take down on Sunday, manning the admissions tables and the WMRC table as well. Set up starts at 12:00 noon on Friday, when the 7.5" scale Mega Train will be set up.  It's the biggest sectional track layout you'll ever have a chance to set up, and it's a lot of fun to put together!  Volunteers are also needed to set up the tables for the displayers and the vendors. Please note that vendors and displayers will not be allowed to set up until 2:30 on Friday, after the Mega Train is set up.

   Volunteers are needed for the admissions tables and the WMRC table. Volunteers are especially needed on Sunday evening for the take-down of the display and the vendors tables and of the Mega train. Take down starts at 5:00, and the more volunteers we have, the faster it will go!

   The event takes place at the CanLan SportsPlex at 1871 Ellice Avenue. The hours are from 9:00 to 5:00 on both Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28. If you can spare the time, please click here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Railway Days at the Winnipeg Railway Museum this weekend

It's another great weekend for Winnipeg rail fans and model railroaders as the Winnipeg Railway Museum kicks off another exciting weekend with their annual Railway Days celebration! The hours are from 10AM to 4PM on both Saturday, September 20 and Sunday, September 21.

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club will be there in full force, operating the Gateway Western Railway, a spectacular HO model railroad that is housed in its own all weather, four seasons structure inside the museum. The WMRC has partnered with the museum to create this project, and it has to be seen to be believed!

Of course, there as many other marvelous things to see at the museum. The jewel in the crown has to be the famous Countess of Dufferin, the very first locomotive to run in Manitoba, which has been lovingly preserved by the dedicated volunteers of the museum.

The museum is located on the second level at the Via Rail station, located at 123 Main Street. If you enter through the main street entrance, just walk right through the atrium. There will be a sign leading you to the platform upstairs where the museum is located. If you are entering through the back entrance near The Forks,  keep walking through the corridor until you've almost reached the atrium. You can't miss the sign leading to the museum!

It's going to be a big weekend at The Forks, as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is having their grand opening. Please be advised that parking spaces might be hard to find in the area.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has been subject to a lot of controversy. The Manitoba Metis Federation has protested that Ray St. Germain wasn't allowed to sing at their opening ceremonies. But we'd let Ray St. Germain sing at the Winnipeg Railway Museum, or any event held by the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club as many times as he wants to.

As long as he sings a couple of songs about trains, of course!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club taking orders for their 60th anniversary T-shirt

The WMRC has started taking orders for their 60th anniversary T-shirt. The shirt is powder blue with the 60th anniversary logo, designed by WMRC blog editor Paul Ullrich, printed in the middle. Orders have been taken at the last WMRC meeting, and will continue to be taken at our next meeting on October 10. Please note that the price will be determined on how many T-shirts will be in the order. We don't require anyone to give us any money yet. All we need to know is how many people are interested in purchasing one of these T-shirts, and what size should be ordered.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Steam Whistle Brewing introduces "Last Spike" bottle opener


Steam Whistle Brewing is honouring Canada’s rail heritage with “The Last Spike”-inspired 10th anniversary in-case opener. It will be available in both six and twelve packs of Steam Whistle Pilsner  starting September 15.

“We wanted to do something special for our 10th year adding openers to our cases, so we went back to the brewery’s roots and explored the link to Canada’s rail history,” explained Greg Taylor, Co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing. “The Last Spike is a symbol of unity and hard work and we cherish those values at Steam Whistle.”

Designed in the shape of a rail spike, the 2014 opener pays homage to “The Last Spike” of the Canadian Pacific Railway, driven at Craigellachie, B.C. on November 7, 1885.

For Steam Whistle, Canada’s rail story has special significance. The Brewery itself is located in the John Street Roundhouse just south of the CN Tower and Union Station. The Roundhouse opened in 1929 as a CP Rail repair facility.

“This is the tenth year we’ve included our retro openers in cases. Folks have shown us so much love and we look forward to rewarding them with this token of our appreciation,” said Cameron Heaps, fellow co-founder of the brewery. “We think we really hit the nail on the head with this one,” he joked.

Steam Whistle packages Premium Pilsner in non-twist bottles because of the superior seal that the bottle cap provides. While this non-twist bottle helps keep Steam Whistle Pilsner fresh, it might add some inconvenience to people who don't own a traditional bottle opener. To answer this need, Steam Whistle launched the free retro opener feature back in 2005 and has continued to release a new design each year. Learn more at: www.steamwhistle.ca/opener.

Steam Whistle won the 2012 Gold Medal winner at the Canadian Brewing Awards. To learn more about the brewery,  visit www.steamwhistle.ca
Become their fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/SteamWhistle

This distinguished gentleman enjoys a can of Steam Whistle beer, which was not opened by their new Last Spike promotional bottle opener.