Saturday, April 21, 2018

Memories of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's 2018 Spring open house

WMRC Gateway Western Superintendent Gino Kost mans the popular interactive John Allen Timesaver layout at the club's 2018 spring open house and train show.

What a party! We had a great turnout at our spring open house and train show this year, and we raised twice the amount of funds that we raised in 2017! Much thanks to all of our displayers and volunteers who worked so hard to make this show a resounding success. Everyone had a great time, and we all look forward to seeing all of you next spring!

NMRA No. 1 Northern Division Superintendent Ian Plett and Neil Carlton run the division's Free-Mo layout, which was the largest operating display at the show.

Marcel Blair was kept busy running John Sinclair's collection of G gauge trolley and streetcars.

Robert Weaver ran a modelling clinic for both days during the show. 
WMRC blog editor and Social Media Executive Paul Ullrich (a.k.a "The giraffe car man") happily ran his very popular and kid-friendly Lionel O gauge portable layout all weekend.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Master Model Railroader Stafford Swain has passed away

Stafford Swain is seen to the right of Frank Gerry and Paul Ullrich at his home in Winnipeg in 2010 during the TLR regional convention. This was the last public display of his layout, which was taken down shortly after the convention.

We are very saddened to report that long time WMRC member and legendary model railroader Stafford Swain passed away on April 11. He was 73 years old.

Stafford was a Master Model Railroader (MMR #98),  former President of the WMRC, and past Chairman of the 1983 NMRA National convention held in Winnipeg. At the time, the 1983 convention was the most profitable in the history of the NMRA.

He's had over 80 articles published in magazines such as Model Railroader, Mainline Modeller and Railroad Model Craftsman.

Stafford had a huge impact on bringing down the cost of model railroading to all Canadians by working to eliminate the Federal Duty levied on imported model railroad supplies. Until Stafford won his argument with the Customs Canada, there was a 20% duty levied on all imported model railroad supplies.

Stafford was a loyal CN fan and a devoted member and co-founder of the Canadian National Railways Historical Association (formerly CN Lines SIG). Stafford did just about everything for the organization, including stuffing envelopes on a regular basis at Nick Andrusiak's place whenever another issue of CN Lines was fresh from the printers and ready to ship.

 A glowing tribute to Stafford and his many accomplishments has been published in Canadian Railway Modeller, Train 17, Track 3. You can also read about Stafford at WMRC member John Longhurst's Manitoba and Minnesota Subdivision blog at

Thursday, April 12, 2018

John bate to hold a clinic on XTrackCAD at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's April meeting

At our April meeting, WMRC treasurer John Bate will present a brief introduction to layout planning software called XTrackCAD. It is a powerful design tool tailored specifically for model railroads and it's available for free online!

Then Bart Hasselfield will make a presentation that he calls “Confessions of a Model Railroader”. It's a visual history of the planning and construction of his first model railroad, from its inception in March 2015 to its present state of chaotic incompletion.

 We'll also be having a 50/50 draw, our monthly model display, and the canteen will be open!  The fun starts on Friday, April 13 at  7:30 P.M. in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Robin Boulevard. Not a member? Not a problem! Guests are always warmly welcomed! Hope to see you all there!

Monday, April 09, 2018

Winner of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's HO starter set draw announced

We are pleased to announce that the winner for our Bachmann HO starter set draw, held at our annual open house, was Jim Ksiowzyk, who came to our show because he saw the sign on the street!

We had a very successful show with a record attendance, and we raised more money on Saturday than we did during the entire weekend last year!

 Thanks to everyone who attended, as well as our many hard working volunteers and club members,  that made our show such a success! We're looking forward to seeing you all next spring!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club to give away an HO starter set at their annual open house

How cool is this! We're having a draw for a Bachmann HO starter set at our annual open house and train show this coming weekend! The set, which we bought from our good friends at Toad Hall Toys, comes complete with a Santa Fe F-unit, three cars, a loop of E-Z track and a power pack!

This is the first time we've ever had a draw, and we're hoping it will inspire more young people to get into the hobby. There is no purchase necessary. All you have to do is fill out a draw ticket.

Our show starts on Saturday, April 7, in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin boulevard. Hours are from 10AM to 5PM on Saturday, April 7, and from 10AM to 4PM on Sunday, April 8. Admission by donation. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to St. Amant. Hope to see you all there!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Winnipeg Model Railroad Club to hold their annual train show and open house on April 7 and 8

Mark your calendars! It's that time of the year again! The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club is holding their annual open house! We're going to have some great layouts, featuring an expanded version of the NMRA No. 1 Northern Division's Free-Mo layout. The Giraffe Car man will also have his portable Lionel layout running again!

We'll also have plenty of displays, including our annual model and photo contest results. The canteen will be open, serving plenty of hot dogs, chips, coffee, pop and donuts.

The fun starts on Saturday, April 7, in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin boulevard. Hours are from 10AM to 5PM on Saturday, April 7, and from 10AM to 4PM on Sunday, April 8. Admission by donation. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to St. Amant. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Winnipeg's Anthony David James models graffiti on model railroad rolling stock

The neat thing about this site is that you never know when a fellow hobbyist or modeller will come out of the blue with a surprising creation. This happened just last week when Anthony David James contacted us through the WMRC Facebook page. He’s a very talented artist and designer who has created some striking and realistic graffiti designs on model railroad rolling stock.

He is offering them for sale, and he will also do custom design work. He is based in Winnipeg, You can contact him via email at

Friday, March 16, 2018

Watch the Gateway Western Railway in action on Shaw TV's Off the Hook

Garth Bowman, host of Shaw TV's "Off The Hook", just sent us this great You Tube link for the latest episode of his show, which features the WMRC's Gateway Western! The 30 minute show also showcases our own Darryl Audette and his marvelous work as a professional set designer, featuring his work in an upcoming stage production of Frankenstein.

There is also a piece about  Legions Maxximus, Winnipeg's premiere model hobby show, who are having a show this weekend, March 16 through 18, at the #4 Legion Hall, 1755 Portage Avenue. For more information of this great event, go to

The segment on the Gateway features an interview with Gateway Superintendent Gino Kost, interspersed with some great shots of the Gateway's trains in action. You might also recognize a few handsome faces of some of our members operating the railway.

If you're not a Shaw TV subscriber, you can see it right on You Tube by going to:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Richard Mikolayenko builds a Z scale village

Richard Mikolayenko, an undisputed master of modelling in miniature, brought these five Z scale building kits that he's been working on for our monthly model display at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's March meeting, held on March 9. To give you an idea on exactly how small these models are, we placed a dime next to them. Now that's small!

The WMRC holds a regular monthly non-competitive model display at their meetings. All members are invited to bring something they've been working on to display to the club.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Tour California with Cliff Davidson at the Winnipeg Model railroad Club's March meeting

Cliff Davidson, the WMRC's own gregarious, globetrotting, gallivanting gadabout, has just returned from a whirlwind rail fanning tour of southern California, and has prepared a terrific presentation about all of his adventures. The dapper and erudite Cliff, a legendary raconteur among rail fanning circles, is guaranteed to give us a truly memorable presentation at our next meeting!

Cliff's road trip to the sunshine state included such hot rail fan sites as Napa, Lodi, Tehachapi and Caliente, and he's got lots of images and stories to share with us! There are also a few neat Canadian rail fanning scenes that he took along the way. 

We'll also be having a 50/50 draw, our monthly model display, and the canteen will be open!  The fun starts on Friday, March 9 at  7:30 P.M. in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Robin Boulevard. Not a member? Not a problem! Guests are always warmly welcomed! Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Take a ride on the Gateway Western Railway

Graham Leathers, son of our longest serving member Norm Leathers, got this neat mini cam, attached it to a flat car and ran it on the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's Gateway Western Railway! You've to to see it to believe it! It's like taking a ride on the railway itself, and you get to see close up all the great modelling work the club has done!

The Gateway Western Railway is housed in the Winnipeg Railway Museum on the second level of Winnipeg's Via Rail Station and owned and operated jointly by the two organizations. To see this great video, just click here.

Friday, February 23, 2018

John Bate shows how to assemble Fast Track Turnouts at the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's annual Clinic Carnival

At our annual Clinic Carnival held on February 9, WMRC treasurer John Bate held a fascinating clinic about assembling N gauge Fast Tracks Turnouts. John, who is a master at constructing all things N gauge, put together turnouts at his demonstration table with the greatest of ease!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Ian Plett demonstrates using Decoder Pro and Wi Throttle at Winnipeg Model Raolroad Club's Clinic Carnival

One of the highlights of the WMRC's recent Clinic Carnival held on February 9 was Ian Plett's demonstration on how to use Decoder Pro and Wi Throttle.Ian set up a compact layout complete with a passing siding and a turnout and operated several engines using these hi-tech cutting edge software systems.

Despite the cold weather, the club had a very good turnout for their annual clinic carnival. There were four clinics held, and each one will be showcased on this site in the days to come.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains will be at Warehouse Hobbies this week

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains will be at Warehouse Hobbies on Thursday, February 15 at 6PM. He will have with him his model of the N gauge Turbo, an HO SW1200RS and an RDC. He may also bring the first pilot model of the CPR Royal Hudson. There also will be an opportunity to place orders for his upcoming items. Warehouse Hobbies is located at 265 Rouge Road.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

It's time for the WMRC's annual clinic carnival!

Step right up and join us for our annual Clinic Carnival! Once again we have some great clinics held by some of Winnipeg's finest model railroaders. Ian Plett will be demonstrating how to use Decoder Pro and Wi Throttle. Virginia Braun will be holding a clinic on structures. Larry Leavens will show you how to work with styrene, and John Bate will hold a clinic about using Fast Tracks Turnouts.

We'll also be having a 50/50 draw and the canteen will be open! But there will be no model display this month due to the Clinic Carnival. The fun starts on Friday, February 9 at  7:30 P.M. in the Tank Room at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Robin Boulevard. Not a member? Not a problem! Guests are always warmly welcomed! Hope to see you all there!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Toad Hall Toys scales back its model railroad section

Toad Mountain, an HO model railroad display at Toad Hall Toys created by WMRC member Darryl Audette, will be dismantled later this month.

Toad Hall Toys has announced in their monthly email that they are scaling back their model railroad section. 
   The message states,"Having no resident expert and a change in buying patterns for those that love the hobby of model trains, we have made the decision to shrink this area and concentrate on the beginning train model enthusiast for sets, with a small selection of rolling stock and engines. We will be concentrating on accessories and scratch model building supplies, as they cross over to plastic modelling, miniatures, architectural models and more."

Toad Hall Toys had recently discontinued carrying O gauge trains and equipment.  The model railroad display known as Toad Mountain, which was built by WMRC member Darryl Audette, will be taken down this month. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Watch the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in action

Former Winnipeg Free Press reporter Manfred Jager sent us this video of the end of season parade of Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, which is a 15" gauge light railway in Kent, England, operating steam and internal combustion locomotives. The size is very unique, as it's 1/3 scale, which is larger than the Assiniboine Valley Railway, but smaller than prototype.

The railway has been in operation for 90 years, and  has 13 1/2 miles of track and four stations. They also have a model railway exhibition, a 1940's museum and a kid's play park. You can view the video at

Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter rail fanning with Felix Lesiuk

By Felix Lesiuk

Louis Lenz and I headed west for the first time in 2018. Finally got a break from the deep freeze. The forecast for the weather was calling for a mild day with partly sunny skies.

It was a mild day but it was mostly cloudy. After I picked up Lou, we headed out along Wilkes Avenue heading out of town. We caught a bunch of CN trains including two parked east bounds waiting to head into Winnipeg.  It was looking promising!  We headed north and followed CP out to Portage la Prairie but only saw some maintenance crews around.

Just past Austin, we headed out to follow CN. The farther west we went the more we realized CN was having issues. Other one moving westbound everything was parked in sidings and on the mainline. CN was a giant parking lot! We got as far as Moffat and saw a parked oil train there.

We decided not to sit around and stare at empty track and headed south to try our luck with CP, but we saw nothing there as well.  Headed to Portage la Prairie, nothing in town. Closer to Winnipeg around Elie, CN finally started to unplug the drain. We saw a few in the fading daylight. Too bad it wasn't summer, with a longer day we would have sat at Elie and probably caught a ton of backed up trains.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

View Christopher Robinson's videos of CPR's Canada 150 train

WMRC member Christopher Robinson has taken three great videos of CPR's Canada 150 train as it traveled through Winnipeg during the summer. He has recently posted them on You Tube, and they're definitely worth a watch. Click on the link here and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Felix Lesiuk goes to York Factory

At the WMRC's next meeting, the intrepid Felix Lesiuk will conduct a presentation on his recent trip to York Factory, where he served as a guide for Rail Travel Tours.

The fun starts at 7:30PM on Friday, January 12 at the Charleswood Legion, 6003 Roblin Boulevard. We'll also be holding our monthly model display and the ever popular 50-50 draw.  Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 05, 2018

John Bate displays scratchbuilt N gauge trestle at Winnipeg Model Railroad Club's December meeting

WMRC treasurer John Bate brought in a scratch built 45’ N scale trestle for the club’s monthly model contest during our December meeting. John had also entered the model at the NMRA national convention held in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2016, where he scored a total of 88 points and won an honourable mention certificate. Way to go, John! Keep up the great modelling!