Prototype Modelling Ontario "Hall of Fame"

Category A: Models of a good to excellent standard that incorporate recognizable prototypical landscape and railway features
Category AB: Models of a good to excellent standard that blend recognizable prototypical landscape and railway features with Category B features to produce an illusion of exact replica reality.
Category B: Models that are exact replicas of an actual railway operation in a defined time frame, subject only to compression by space limitations.
Category BB: Models that are exact replicas of an actual railway operation in a defined time frame.

INDEX
"Arrivals & Departures" - the CPR in Owen Sound (Grey County) - by the Bluewater Modellers - Category BB - 1910 - Scale N
Aberfoyle Junction Railway - permanent layout formerly at Aberfoyle - by the Aberfoyle Group - Category AB - 1970s to 2012 - Scale 0
Hagersville Subdivision - home layout by Richard Chrysler - Category B - Scale H0
Ontario & Eastern Railway - travelling layout, originally by Brian Dickey, John Spring, Jim Ellis, John Mellow - Category AB - 1990 to 2005 - Scale H0
Ontario & Quebec Railway - travelling layout by Tony Van Klink - Category A - 2005 - current - Scale H0    
H.O.M.E.S. TH&B (former "Skyway Plaza") - Hamilton, Ont. club layout - Category AB - until 2007 - Scale H0
H.O.M.E.S. TH&B (current "Robert Land")  - Hamilton, Ont. club layout - some sections Category AB, mostly Category B - Scale H0.  
Bayview Junction - Railview Modellers Associates former permanent layout - Category B - 1999 to 2013 - Scale H0
Milton, Ont. CNR CPR Crossing - diorama by Andy Reynolds - Category BB - Scale H0
Kinmount Model Railway - permanent layout - Category AB - Scale H0
In the Footsteps of the Maine Two-Footers - travelling layout - built by Larry Murphy - Category AB - Scale 0n30
Victoria County Heritage Modules - permanent (rotating) display - Victoria County Historical Society - built by Larry Murphy - Category B - Scale H0
Kirkfield Quarry Module - permanent display - Kirkfield Historical Society - built by Larry Murphy - Category B - Scale H0
The Peterboro Project - travelling layout by Trevor Marshall and Pierre Oliver - Category AB - Scale H0
S Scale Workshop - travelling layouts by Pete Moffett (Category A) and Jim Martin (Category B) and group - Scale S
Cobourg & Peterborough Railway - travelling layout by Ted Rafuse - Category AB - Scale H0
Dolores 6957 - travelling layout by the "Maple Leaf Mafia" - Category B - Scale 0n3
Peterborough - travelling layout by the Peterborough Model Railroaders - Category A - Scale H0
The Trent River Ore Cars - working diorama by George Parker - Category BB - Scale Fb66 
Float your Fanny down the Ganny - travelling layout by the Ganaraska (Port Hope) Model Railroaders - Category A - Scale H0 
Kawartha-ish - home and travelling layout by the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders - Category A - Scale H0
 

INTRODUCTORY
The concept of prototypical modelling, that is to say the scale model replication of an actual railway scene, has been around for years, especially in the UK, but was slow to mature in Canada as the hobby struggled in the latter half of the 20th century to obtain credibility and recognition as a serious art form, as opposed to freelance model railroading, often unfortunately at shows with unimaginative track designs, indifferent scenery and lack of detailing, all of which tended to reinforce a negative public perception of "grown-up kids playing with trains".

For the Ontario home of UK prototype modelling, visit The Great British Train Show.

As a starting point, this most thought-provoking article "Modelling the Prototype" by the late Rich Chrysler (whose "Hagersville Subdivision" layout is featured below), is a "must read first".

Since bridges are a part of (well, almost) all layouts, this informational article "Bridging the Gap" by Rick Hunter of Hunterline is also valuable. 

Also of related interest may be my article The Credible Model.

Please check out my Opinion Piece on the significance of prototype model railroading for the future of the hobby.

With that as backdrop, the purpose of this page is to showcase Ontario-built layouts emulating North American/Canadian prototype that have appeared at shows; or are, or have been, open to the public in the southern Ontario modelling region, representing past and/or present railway scenes where the public can expect to identify familiar local prototypical features.

Arguably, as a result of some "prototype pioneering" layouts featured below that have shown the way, representation of the prototype is becoming a steadily-increasing ingredient of model railroading. Originally this was work by one individual or by a small group of like-minded modellers who were/are not necessarily part of a traditional model railway club. Since model railway clubs, by virtue of their nature, have to cater to a wide range of member preferences and interests in layout design, they have, as a generality, been slower to adopt a prototype theme in their layout designs, but this has started to change, as more and more club layouts now at least include local prototype features and others move to layouts that have adopted a layout-wide theme of prototype representation.  

This is a most encouraging development, and will benefit the hobby enormously in public recognition as a medium for commemorating our railway history, and thus providing relevance in the public domain, and serving as a stimulus for more research and increasingly higher modelling standards. While some layouts and names have been singled out on this web page, one is not to conclude that that is all there is - on the contrary - there are modellers and clubs everywhere that seek to incorporate railway history and prototypical railroading. There are many fine examples of prototypical reproduction about - all one has to do is to look a little more closely and to ask a few more questions. Some of these are also featured on my "Superdetailing Ideas" page.

"Arrivals & Departures" - The CPR in Owen Sound - Grey County - by the Bluewater Modellers

This exquisite Category BB diorama in 1:160 (N) scale, of the Owen Sound harbour (CPR side) is the work of five modellers known collectively as the Bluewater Modellers. The project began in their respective basements and workshops, and came together after an estimated 8,000 hours of combined work, as a magnificent centre-piece of the finest detail at the Grey Roots Museum (just south of Owen Sound on Grey 18 near Rockford).  
The year 1910 was chosen because of the availability of photographs in that time frame, and the layout is based on 1907 fire insurance maps.
(Notes:
1. Flash photography is not permitted in the museum, hence the ambience of the images below.
2. A tip to intending visitors – exhibits do rotate. Grey Roots is a great museum to visit in any event, but if you plan to see this particular exhibit, do check first.)

The Bluewater Modellers L to R: Stan McClellan, Brian Swanton, Mike Marshall, Clive Morgan, Tom Hakala - photo by James Masters of the Owen Sound Sun-Times - at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives

The Bluewater Modellers L to R: Stan McClellan, Brian Swanton, Mike Marshall, Clive Morgan, Tom Hakala - photo by James Masters of the Owen Sound Sun-Times - at the Grey Roots Museum & Archives

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Aberfoyle Junction Model Railway
Frank Dubery's landmark Category AB contribution culminated in the creation of the Aberfoyle Junction Model Railway, which closed at its Aberfoyle, Ont. location in 2012, re-opening in St. Jacobs, Ont. in late 2013. It has been written up on a separate page on this website. The Aberfoyle Junction Model Railway was featured in the March 1979, February 1987, August 1998 Issues of the Model Railroader, and in the February 2003 Issue of the Railroad Model Craftsman.
 
Hagersville Subdivisionthe late Richard Chrysler
I first met Rich at a Toronto model show early in the 1990s. Rich had heard that I was planning a major update of my Rails To The Lakes, and we got into conversation about the former Hamilton & Lake Erie Railway (between Hamilton and Port Dover, Ont.). He told me that he was using Rails To the Lakes as a reference work to his planned re-creation of "the Daily Effort", as this operation was known locally in the 1950s, the railway service of the day between Hamilton and Ports Dover and Rowan, Ont. We promised to exchange research material and one day Richard and I toured both "Ports" to locate and identify original rights-of-way and the former location of various railway adjuncts such as turntables, water tanks and engine houses. In due course Hamilton's Other Railway was published and became the "bible" for his project. Incidentally, one question mark unresolved at the time of publication was the fate or whereabouts of the Glanford Station (between Hamilton and Caledonia). It was Richard who emailed me some years later in great excitement that he had located it. It was now a home and no further away than a long stone's throw from its original location! 

In Rich's official obituary there was a reference "for him the research was as rewarding as the project itself". Indeed, research is the essential ingredient of prototypical modelling, and can be more time-consuming than the creation of the model itself.

Rich's Category B home layout was written up by his friend Trevor Marshall and was also featured in the March 2003 Issue of the Rail Model Journal, starting at page 44.

I had the privilege of viewing Rich's home layout in 2003 and 2005.
2003
James St. Hamilton station area.
The upper level frame of the layout that will be reached by a helix is already in place.

James St. Hamilton station area. The upper level frame of the layout that will be reached by a helix is already in place.

Ferguson Ave Hamilton freight shed, just south of Barton Street.

Ferguson Ave Hamilton freight shed, just south of Barton Street.

A panorama view of Ferguson Ave., as the freight shed stretches south to Cannon St.

A panorama view of Ferguson Ave., as the freight shed stretches south to Cannon St.

Rymal station area looking north

Rymal station area looking north

Caledonia station area looking west

Caledonia station area looking west

The Grand River bridge just put in place

The Grand River bridge just put in place

2005

(Note: These photos were all taken by Rich Chrysler - pop-up images not available.)

James St. station looking NW towards the John St. bridge

James St. station looking NW towards the John St. bridge

South end of freight sheds at Cannon St

South end of freight sheds at Cannon St

Yard engine working the Ferguson Ave freight shed sidings

Yard engine working the Ferguson Ave freight shed sidings

Houses along Ferguson Avenue

Houses along Ferguson Avenue

Corner of Ferguson Ave and King St looking north east

Corner of Ferguson Ave and King St looking north east

Escarpment right of way approaching Mt Albion, looking SW

Escarpment right of way approaching Mt Albion, looking SW

Train M233 leaving Rymal southbound approx. 9:30 AM, Thursday June 8, 1950 (according to Rich)

Train M233 leaving Rymal southbound approx. 9:30 AM, Thursday June 8, 1950 (according to Rich)

Caledonia station area looking southwest with Hwy. 6 on lower left of picture

Caledonia station area looking southwest with Hwy. 6 on lower left of picture

A wayfreight southbound across the Grand River bridge

A wayfreight southbound across the Grand River bridge

2012

Richard's son Geoff has advised that this layout was dismantled in late 2012 following Rich's passing earlier that year. One of his final wishes was to have the layout shown again publicly for the Hamilton area layout tours in November 2012. Geoff did however keep his sections of Port Dover. He has kindly provided  these "2012" images and a 10 minute video (that comes with a great big band accompaniment!).
The Daily Effort ready to depart at James St., Hamilton

The Daily Effort ready to depart at James St., Hamilton

Rymal station

Rymal station

Glanford station area

Glanford station area

Caledonia station area aerial view looking west

Caledonia station area aerial view looking west

Caledonia station area with old HLE mainline, now a yard. (The freight shed was built for Rich by John Mellow).

Caledonia station area with old HLE mainline, now a yard. (The freight shed was built for Rich by John Mellow).

Hagersville station

Hagersville station

Southbound wayfreight crossing the CASO at Hagersville

Southbound wayfreight crossing the CASO at Hagersville

Garnet flagstop (built by John Mellow.)

Garnet flagstop (built by John Mellow.)

Jarvis station area looking south

Jarvis station area looking south

The Daily Effort leaves Jarvis for Simcoe. The former American Hotel is on the right.

The Daily Effort leaves Jarvis for Simcoe. The former American Hotel is on the right.

The turntable area at Simcoe. Port Dover branch to the left, Port Rowan branch to the right.

The turntable area at Simcoe. Port Dover branch to the left, Port Rowan branch to the right.

Port Dover station area aerial view.

Port Dover station area aerial view.

A wayfreight arrives at Port Dover.

A wayfreight arrives at Port Dover.

Port Dover station

Port Dover station

Lake Erie laps at the sandy beach, with the two-stall engine house in the middle ground, and a disused spur that ends without as much as a wheel stop.

Lake Erie laps at the sandy beach, with the two-stall engine house in the middle ground, and a disused spur that ends without as much as a wheel stop.

Richard's other major contribution to the hobby was his participating partnership in the Ontario & Eastern Railway, an H0 scale travelling layout that appeared at many Ontario model railway shows from 1990 onwards until its last appearance at the Copetown (Ont.) show in 2005, when the joint owners disbanded the layout. 
 

Ontario & Eastern Railway
The summary history below has been provided by John Mellow, one of its partners:

   "The two original partners who built the layout modules were Brian Dickey and John Spring. They invited Jim Ellis and me to join them when layout work began which included track work and scenery. The first two modules were my two Napanee sections.

   "Gradually we added more sections but only with completed scenery, no bare plywood, and closed the 'loop' to have a 16 foot square layout. This was expanded with two more modules which were added which made a 16 by 20 foot layout. That is as large as it reached, although we did have a small staging yard located inside the layout that operated off of one of John Spring's sections.

   "Through this expansion period Tony Van Klink joined our group for a period of time and owned one of the corner sections. When Tony decided to step down to pursue other endeavours, Rich [Chrysler] came on-board and owned Tony's corner plus one of the two new straight sections. This lasted until the layout was sold except for my four Napanee sections which I still have. Tony bought all but one of Brian's sections and the two sections Jim Ellis had, which he has now incorporated into his "Ontario & Quebec" layout that he and some other fellows take to several shows. Brian did an article showing the track plan and several photos of the O&E which appeared in the February 1998 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman.

[Ed. note] In my view this layout was a landmark step forward in Canadian show modelling (the layouts at the bi-ennial Great British Train Show aside) in its high overall standard, its consummate attention to detail and its reliable running. No matter how often it appeared, it always attracted crowds of admirers, and the secret of its popularity was viewer recognition of actual Ontario locations such as Napanee or Paris, the attention to detailing that created interest in viewing the layout even if no trains were running, the insistence on no "bare sections", and the superb craftsmanship of the scenes themselves. A fine Category AB layout.
 
All except three of these scenes were taken at the layout's final showing at Copetown, Ont. in 2005:

Layout diagram by Brian Dickey

Layout diagram by Brian Dickey

A panoramic view of the last appearance of the original O&E layout at the 2005 Copetown show.

A panoramic view of the last appearance of the original O&E layout at the 2005 Copetown show.

Port Junction town in 1997, general view

Port Junction town in 1997, general view

Port Junction to the left of the bridge, in 2005.

Port Junction to the left of the bridge, in 2005.

Port Junction to the right of the bridge, 2005.

Port Junction to the right of the bridge, 2005.

Port Junction reclamation yard. The tracks curving out to the right lead to the hidden staging tracks inside the display. 1997.

Port Junction reclamation yard. The tracks curving out to the right lead to the hidden staging tracks inside the display. 1997.

The Palmerville engine terminal with its four-stall roundhouse (modelled after the Palmerston facility). 2005.

The Palmerville engine terminal with its four-stall roundhouse (modelled after the Palmerston facility). 2005.

An aerial view of the Palmerville roundhouse and engine facilities, 2005.

An aerial view of the Palmerville roundhouse and engine facilities, 2005.

The delightful Napanee station with its freight shed, the first section of the O&E to be built. 2005.

The delightful Napanee station with its freight shed, the first section of the O&E to be built. 2005.

The Napanee station area in 1997.

The Napanee station area in 1997.

The west-side outskirts of Napanee, served by a number of spurs. Note how the backdrop is utilized to give the scene depth. 2005

The west-side outskirts of Napanee, served by a number of spurs. Note how the backdrop is utilized to give the scene depth. 2005

"Palmerville", a very Ontario-ish country town that fades cleverly into the backdrop. It has the ambience of Palmerston, and there is a grocery store now where the tracks once crossed main street. 2005.

"Palmerville", a very Ontario-ish country town that fades cleverly into the backdrop. It has the ambience of Palmerston, and there is a grocery store now where the tracks once crossed main street. 2005.

Unmistakably the imposing Paris, Ont. station, with a station area that gives way to the horizon on the backdrop. 2005.

Unmistakably the imposing Paris, Ont. station, with a station area that gives way to the horizon on the backdrop. 2005.

The "Paris", Ont. station area looking towards Port Junction, 2005.

The "Paris", Ont. station area looking towards Port Junction, 2005.

The mainline wends its way through some lush Ontario countryside past a typical rail-side hamlet. 2005.

The mainline wends its way through some lush Ontario countryside past a typical rail-side hamlet. 2005.

A long CNR freight has just rolled through "Paris, Ont." from the direction of Port Junction, as the late Rich Chrysler looks over the backdrop. 2005.

A long CNR freight has just rolled through "Paris, Ont." from the direction of Port Junction, as the late Rich Chrysler looks over the backdrop. 2005.

Ontario & Quebec Railway
As John Mellow, in his recollection of the Ontario & Eastern Railway above, has noted, Tony Van Klink acquired portions of the O&E, which have been reconfigured into a worthy successor of the Ontario & Eastern, in that it has perpetuated the high standard of that layout in a new rectangular format. It may be seen as a travelling layout at select model railway shows. It is essentially scratch-built with code 83 track, and a 10-track staging area that allows a variety of trains to run, including GO-trains and a CN Turbo, admittedly none of which ever appeared on the original O&Q of central Ontario fame. On the other hand there is an exquisite model of the Sharbot Lake station  (although without the prototypical adjoining K&P branch), and viewers will recognize "Palmerville" from the originating layout, together with an enhanced "Palmerville" roundhouse, and engine servicing area with coal chute and water tank. Click here for a video of this layout at the 2013 Midland show. 
A fine Category "A" layout.

A fine Category "A" layout.

A long freight recedes through a portal into the left side of the staging area, while below is a planned diorama of an electrified Grand Valley line.

A long freight recedes through a portal into the left side of the staging area, while below is a planned diorama of an electrified Grand Valley line.

Coming into the straight past the delightful Sharbot Lake station, with Palmerville in the distance.

Coming into the straight past the delightful Sharbot Lake station, with Palmerville in the distance.

An aerial view of the Sharbot Lake station area in the opposite direction, curving round to the  left entrance of the staging area in the background.

An aerial view of the Sharbot Lake station area in the opposite direction, curving round to the left entrance of the staging area in the background.

"Palmerville" lives on.

"Palmerville" lives on.

The "Palmerville" roundhouse, modelled after the Palmerston 4-stall facility of years-ago.

The "Palmerville" roundhouse, modelled after the Palmerston 4-stall facility of years-ago.

A handsome waterfall, with the mill and its waterwheel superbly blended in as part of the backdrop - a hallmark feature of the parent O&E model, conscientiously carried on by its successor.

A handsome waterfall, with the mill and its waterwheel superbly blended in as part of the backdrop - a hallmark feature of the parent O&E model, conscientiously carried on by its successor.

A credible rock cut, as the tracks wend their way to the right hand portal of the staging area.

A credible rock cut, as the tracks wend their way to the right hand portal of the staging area.

A work still in progress approaching the right-hand portals of the staging area.

A work still in progress approaching the right-hand portals of the staging area.

The spacious staging area from left to right.

The spacious staging area from left to right.

H.O.M.E.S. (former "Skyway Plaza") TH&B layout
The H0 Model Engineers' Society's (Hamilton, Ont.) depiction of the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway is a fine Category AB layout that I had the opportunity of visiting in 2006 when it was still at its Skyway Plaza, Stoney Creek venue.  As with all model railway groups that do not own their own space, the issue of a place to call home is a chronic Damocles' Sword.

In 2007 the layout had to be dismantled and moved, and a new layout has been designed and constructed at the Robert Land Community Centre in Hamilton (see below). Throughout, H.O.M.E.S. has maintained its close connection with the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway Historical Society.

Below are some pictures taken in 2006 at the Skyway Plaza venue in Stoney Creek, Ont.:

The visitor reception and research area just outside the layout room.

The visitor reception and research area just outside the layout room.

The Aberdeen St. roundhouse and area under construction.

The Aberdeen St. roundhouse and area under construction.

The Hunter St., Hamilton, Ont. station.

The Hunter St., Hamilton, Ont. station.

The Hunter St. station area. Note the stair-rail-type ledges for visitors to have support when viewing the display.

The Hunter St. station area. Note the stair-rail-type ledges for visitors to have support when viewing the display.

The TH&B crossing with the CNR Hagersville Subdivision. The CNR line curves towards Ferguson Ave.

The TH&B crossing with the CNR Hagersville Subdivision. The CNR line curves towards Ferguson Ave.

Industries near the Hagersville Sub. crossing.

Industries near the Hagersville Sub. crossing.

The Page Hersey plant along the TH&B out of Hamilton.

The Page Hersey plant along the TH&B out of Hamilton.

Rolling south into Smithville.

Rolling south into Smithville.

The Skyway Fertilizer elevator at Smithville.

The Skyway Fertilizer elevator at Smithville.

The Smithville station area.

The Smithville station area.

Smithville village

Smithville village

Bridge 15 across the Welland Canal

Bridge 15 across the Welland Canal

TH&B wayside shops.

TH&B wayside shops.

H.O.M.E.S. (current "Robert Land") TH&B layout  

By Brandon Bayer:

HOMES started work on its sixth ‘permanent’ club layout in January 2008. One of the scenes of the previous layout at Skyway Plaza - the Hunter Street Station scene - had generated such a positive response from the public that club members agreed this was the way to go. So many visitors had stopped in surprise at that aisle to exclaim “that’s the GO station”, or “I work in that building”, or even “that’s my apartment, right there”. The big smiles told members their modelling had succeeded.

In the summer of 2007, while tearing down the Skyway layout on Tuesday club nights, planning meetings on Wednesdays started by coming up with a list of scenes the new layout needed to have. This included important locations for running the railway, such as Aberdeen Yard, but also places members of the non-railfan public would recognize or remember. Hunter Street had to be there again, of course, and be the first thing people saw on entering the layout room. Other locations where locals see real trains included Lawrence Road alongside Kinnear Yard and the Hamilton Pressed Brick, the preserved station at Smithville, Bridge 15 in Welland, and the unique intersection of Main & Gage, where the TH&B Belt Line runs right next to houses and stores and diagonally through the intersection.

An overall plan for the room and benchwork was agreed (no track yet), with the desired scenes assigned places in the correct prototype order and orientation, and in a way that also worked as a model with no duck-unders and almost no hidden track. This gave each scene a fixed size, so prototype track plans were then adapted to fit the available space for that scene.

The photos below were taken in the autumn of 2016 by Bill Goddard, except where otherwise noted.
All captions are by Brandon Bayer.

(H.O.M.E.S. has maintained its close connection with the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo Railway Historical Society.)

The club occupies a 44’6” x 33’6” layout room, plus a 16’ x 33’6” lounge/workshop/staging room.

The club occupies a 44’6” x 33’6” layout room, plus a 16’ x 33’6” lounge/workshop/staging room.

Built in 1895, the tunnel allowed the TH&B to enter directly into central Hamilton, unlike the Grand Trunk which was along the bay some distance from downtown.

Built in 1895, the tunnel allowed the TH&B to enter directly into central Hamilton, unlike the Grand Trunk which was along the bay some distance from downtown.

TH&B’s beautiful Hamilton Station and head office opened in 1933, as part of a huge grade separation project. It was the first “International Style” building in Canada, and rare smaller-city example. This model was scratch built by Dave Paterson MMR, from the original TH&B plans.

TH&B’s beautiful Hamilton Station and head office opened in 1933, as part of a huge grade separation project. It was the first “International Style” building in Canada, and rare smaller-city example. This model was scratch built by Dave Paterson MMR, from the original TH&B plans.

The TH&B station was beautifully restored, and re-opened as the Hamilton GO Centre in 1996. It serves 4 GO trains, and dozens of GO buses every weekday.

The TH&B station was beautifully restored, and re-opened as the Hamilton GO Centre in 1996. It serves 4 GO trains, and dozens of GO buses every weekday.

In the 1950s, the Hunter St station served dozens of trains to and from Toronto, Goderich, Brantford, Buffalo, and on to New York City and other US points.

In the 1950s, the Hunter St station served dozens of trains to and from Toronto, Goderich, Brantford, Buffalo, and on to New York City and other US points.

Located right at the east portal of the Hunter St tunnel is McNab St Presbyterian Church, currently the home of the Hamilton Society of Model Railroaders - Hamilton’s venerable O-scale club.
The church was scratch-built by Dave Paterson MMR, who also built the Hunter St. station (see above).

Located right at the east portal of the Hunter St tunnel is McNab St Presbyterian Church, currently the home of the Hamilton Society of Model Railroaders - Hamilton’s venerable O-scale club. The church was scratch-built by Dave Paterson MMR, who also built the Hunter St. station (see above).

East of Forest Ave, the CNR crosses the TH&B and heads south to Lake Erie. There’s a busy 2-track interchange between the CNR and TH&B main, and the TH&B has a small yard at Victoria Ave with a bond warehouse and an overhead crane. (Scenery is under development in this area)

East of Forest Ave, the CNR crosses the TH&B and heads south to Lake Erie. There’s a busy 2-track interchange between the CNR and TH&B main, and the TH&B has a small yard at Victoria Ave with a bond warehouse and an overhead crane. (Scenery is under development in this area)

The Forest Ave freight house was built in typical New York Central style, as the NYC was the majority owner of the TH&B. The CNR’s Hagersville Sub is coming up from the Stuart Street Yard, and crosses the TH&B just east (left) of this picture.

The Forest Ave freight house was built in typical New York Central style, as the NYC was the majority owner of the TH&B. The CNR’s Hagersville Sub is coming up from the Stuart Street Yard, and crosses the TH&B just east (left) of this picture.

Gillies Guy Coal on Victoria Ave was served by the TH&B.

Gillies Guy Coal on Victoria Ave was served by the TH&B.

Aberdeen Yard, looking east. Aberdeen is nestled at the base of the Escarpment (“The Mountain” to Hamiltonians). Right behind the yard, at the foot of the Mountain, is the Chedoke golf course.

Aberdeen Yard, looking east. Aberdeen is nestled at the base of the Escarpment (“The Mountain” to Hamiltonians). Right behind the yard, at the foot of the Mountain, is the Chedoke golf course.

Chatham St engine terminal is functional, but not yet scenicked. Aberdeen Avenue separates Chatham St from Aberdeen.

Chatham St engine terminal is functional, but not yet scenicked. Aberdeen Avenue separates Chatham St from Aberdeen.

Just east of the yard is the Chatham St engine terminal. A string of empty hoppers on the yard lead has returned from Stelco, and will be forwarded to the Hilton mine, in Quebec, for another load of pelletized iron ore.

Just east of the yard is the Chatham St engine terminal. A string of empty hoppers on the yard lead has returned from Stelco, and will be forwarded to the Hilton mine, in Quebec, for another load of pelletized iron ore.

A pair of TH&B GP-7s pass under the coal tower at Chatham St.

A pair of TH&B GP-7s pass under the coal tower at Chatham St.

The east end of Aberdeen Yard, with a mockup of the yard office. Aberdeen Ave - not yet modelled - is just visible in the lower right. There are control panels at each end of Aberdeen. Usually the south yard is worked from the other (west) end, and the north yard job works from this end.

The east end of Aberdeen Yard, with a mockup of the yard office. Aberdeen Ave - not yet modelled - is just visible in the lower right. There are control panels at each end of Aberdeen. Usually the south yard is worked from the other (west) end, and the north yard job works from this end.

It wouldn’t be Hamilton without a steel mill! The track plan here was designed by retired Stelco transportation manager Ron Tuff, in consultation with retired Stelco railway employee Ray Hoadley and several other Stelco railway experts. The layout of the plant makes sense in terms of movement of materials and processes, but it is not a direct copy of any specific steel mill.

It wouldn’t be Hamilton without a steel mill! The track plan here was designed by retired Stelco transportation manager Ron Tuff, in consultation with retired Stelco railway employee Ray Hoadley and several other Stelco railway experts. The layout of the plant makes sense in terms of movement of materials and processes, but it is not a direct copy of any specific steel mill.

The plate mill, with freshly rolled plates gradually cooling as they move through the plant. Ron Tuff MMR, doubled the size of the original building and finished the interior. Steve Juranics photo.

The plate mill, with freshly rolled plates gradually cooling as they move through the plant. Ron Tuff MMR, doubled the size of the original building and finished the interior. Steve Juranics photo.

Two of Stelco’s switchers are working near the coke ovens and the screen house. In the background is the open hearth.

Two of Stelco’s switchers are working near the coke ovens and the screen house. In the background is the open hearth.

HOMES models just the east end of the very long Kinnear Yard. Lawrence Road, in the foreground, was a railfan favourite for watching mainline trains make a run for the steep climb out of Hamilton and up the Niagara Escarpment.

HOMES models just the east end of the very long Kinnear Yard. Lawrence Road, in the foreground, was a railfan favourite for watching mainline trains make a run for the steep climb out of Hamilton and up the Niagara Escarpment.

Kinnear Yard marshals cars for the busy TH&B Belt Line. The yard office is another of Dave Paterson’s scratchbuilt gems.

Kinnear Yard marshals cars for the busy TH&B Belt Line. The yard office is another of Dave Paterson’s scratchbuilt gems.

Passing under Ontario Hwy 20 (now Centennial Parkway), the TH&B passed the small station at Stoney Creek (another Dave Paterson model). The station was a steep climb above the town centre for Stoney Creek passengers. The Devil’s Punchbowl was visible from the station platform.

Passing under Ontario Hwy 20 (now Centennial Parkway), the TH&B passed the small station at Stoney Creek (another Dave Paterson model). The station was a steep climb above the town centre for Stoney Creek passengers. The Devil’s Punchbowl was visible from the station platform.

Steve Juranics is responsible for the beautiful Escarpment scenery.

Steve Juranics is responsible for the beautiful Escarpment scenery.

A Buffalo-bound train crests the Escarpment at Vinemount and approaches Smithville.

A Buffalo-bound train crests the Escarpment at Vinemount and approaches Smithville.

Smithville is on a narrow shelf, so only two corners of the Dunnville Sub. wye could be modelled at the far end, and the Dunnville Sub is represented by a single track in staging.

Smithville is on a narrow shelf, so only two corners of the Dunnville Sub. wye could be modelled at the far end, and the Dunnville Sub is represented by a single track in staging.

Smithville’s unique station has been lovingly restored by the West Lincoln Historical Society. Brad Peters built the model from TH&B plans.

Smithville’s unique station has been lovingly restored by the West Lincoln Historical Society. Brad Peters built the model from TH&B plans.

Smithville customers include a coal dealer behind the station, and this freight house.

Smithville customers include a coal dealer behind the station, and this freight house.

Smithville is a busy switching district for the TH&B East Local. This is Ralston Purina and the team track. Cars on the right have been brought up from the Dunnville Sub and are waiting to be forwarded to Hamilton.

Smithville is a busy switching district for the TH&B East Local. This is Ralston Purina and the team track. Cars on the right have been brought up from the Dunnville Sub and are waiting to be forwarded to Hamilton.

Looking back west, with Bridge 15 at the far end. The track plan here is taken directly from 1952 blueprints signed by the New York Central’s Canada Division Engineer at St Thomas. HOMES has every track, and every switch, although the length is compressed considerably.

Looking back west, with Bridge 15 at the far end. The track plan here is taken directly from 1952 blueprints signed by the New York Central’s Canada Division Engineer at St Thomas. HOMES has every track, and every switch, although the length is compressed considerably.

At the TH&B’s Mile Zero, the railway passes under Hwy 54 and joins the CASO (New York Central) mainline at Bridge 15. Bridge 15 still exists, although the mainline doesn’t cross it any more. This part of the Welland Canal is now a recreational waterway and the bridge no longer turns to clear ships.

At the TH&B’s Mile Zero, the railway passes under Hwy 54 and joins the CASO (New York Central) mainline at Bridge 15. Bridge 15 still exists, although the mainline doesn’t cross it any more. This part of the Welland Canal is now a recreational waterway and the bridge no longer turns to clear ships.

A TH&B freight passes WX Tower and crosses the CNR Welland Sub at the east end of the CASO Welland yard. The train is about to leave the modelled portion of the layout and enter the staging room.

A TH&B freight passes WX Tower and crosses the CNR Welland Sub at the east end of the CASO Welland yard. The train is about to leave the modelled portion of the layout and enter the staging room.

The main staging yard has 16 tracks - 14 assigned to trains, two (#1 & #16) for a turn back loop. The Hilton ore train also parks on track 16 for part of each shift, but must be moved for continuous running at open houses.

The main staging yard has 16 tracks - 14 assigned to trains, two (#1 & #16) for a turn back loop. The Hilton ore train also parks on track 16 for part of each shift, but must be moved for continuous running at open houses.

Two TV monitors and a detection system help us keep track of trains in the long hidden track. The CPR Goodrich wayfreight is has just entered the first red block (a reversing section) on the signal panel.

Two TV monitors and a detection system help us keep track of trains in the long hidden track. The CPR Goodrich wayfreight is has just entered the first red block (a reversing section) on the signal panel.

Bayview Junction - Railview Modellers Associates
This remarkable Category B layout had its original beginnings at the back of what was then Dave Morgan’s Railview hobby store (at that time near the southeast corner of Warden and 14th Avenues in Markham, Ontario). Dave Morgan, Dan Drake and Mike Larkin had been regular rail fan pilgrims to Bayview Junction for some years and resolved to recreate Bayview Junction and the adjoining CNR and CPR Subdivisions in H0 scale. The concept matured with a decision to migrate it to a nearby industrial unit around 1999, and Dave, Dan and Mike built the first version of this layout at around 900 sq ft. It was showcased in the April 2003 Issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.   Shortly after (around 2004), they lost their lease at that location, and found a new one in the same complex to where Dave Morgan had moved his store (where George's Trains is now).   They cut the layout apart and moved it to the new location in one evening.   In its new design, the layout started at the Spadina (Toronto CNR) roundhouse and encompassed an area from there to Paris, Ont., then to Fort Erie and back to Spadina, for a total approximate 2,700 square footage.  The layout suffered a major setback with the sudden passing of Dave Morgan in 2006, and the club struggled on until October 2013 when the decision was made to disband.
The layout was indeed remarkable for its design, scope, and the general prototypical representation of southern Ontario mainline railroading in H0 scale. Altogether at different times, there were 12 modellers involved, but only eight at any given time.   Besides Dan Drake, who has provided this information and the accompanying images, there was Dave Morgan, Mike Larkin, Thomas Warchuk, Bill Hitchman, George Adams, Andrew Parsons, Dave Hill, Dave Rixen, Richard Dodd, Tony Bock and Marty Marchyshyn. The track was all Peco, Code 100 on the mainline, 75 in the yards. The turnouts were operated with slow-motion switch-machines. Needless to say, the extensive geography covered required the doubling back of the various routes, together with some "stacking", "mirroring" and "back-to-back" displays.  

As for the new club that is being formed, Dan Darnell of George's Trains Ltd. advises that it is well under way, the renovations are complete and the bench work has been started. No part of the former Railview Modellers Associates' layout will be re-used except for the wood that was saved. The new club does have its own web site: http://www.railviewmrc.ca/, which will be updated as work progresses. The concept for the layout will be similar to the old club's, but with three eras (1940s-1950s, 1960-1970s, 1980-1990s) that will be rotated at four-monthly intervals, where for example buildings will be lifted out and replaced with different ones.
L to R Mike Larkin, Richard Dodd, Bill Hitchman, Dan Drake, Andrew Parsons, George Adams, Thomas Warchuk 091 21

L to R Mike Larkin, Richard Dodd, Bill Hitchman, Dan Drake, Andrew Parsons, George Adams, Thomas Warchuk 091 21

L to R George Adams, Andrew Parsons, Richard Dodd 328 3

L to R George Adams, Andrew Parsons, Richard Dodd 328 3

George Adams at the Spadina yard 0559 20

George Adams at the Spadina yard 0559 20

The pieces from the former layout ready for positioning. Dave Morgan in white polo shirt seated at right. 592 24

The pieces from the former layout ready for positioning. Dave Morgan in white polo shirt seated at right. 592 24

New layout after about two months 002 25

New layout after about two months 002 25

About three months into the new project and most of the track is laid 001 27

About three months into the new project and most of the track is laid 001 27

View from the stairs to the upper deck (control platform) 384 35

View from the stairs to the upper deck (control platform) 384 35

General view - Bayview Jct. is in the left middle 309 30

General view - Bayview Jct. is in the left middle 309 30

L to R CN Hamilton yard, Oakville, Toronto harbour area, Spadina yard and Brampton 385 31

L to R CN Hamilton yard, Oakville, Toronto harbour area, Spadina yard and Brampton 385 31

L to R CNR mainline Bayview to Paris, CP track from Hamilton to Smithville, CN Hamilton yard and Bayview Jct. 305 29

L to R CNR mainline Bayview to Paris, CP track from Hamilton to Smithville, CN Hamilton yard and Bayview Jct. 305 29

End loops Open House 2009, L Guelph Jct. R Paris 388 1

End loops Open House 2009, L Guelph Jct. R Paris 388 1

L to R 4-track CN mainline from Spadina to Oakville, Milton upper right back, Spadina yard with Bathurst St. and Spadina Ave. bridges, CN coaling tower and roundhouse.  524 2

L to R 4-track CN mainline from Spadina to Oakville, Milton upper right back, Spadina yard with Bathurst St. and Spadina Ave. bridges, CN coaling tower and roundhouse. 524 2

Bayview and Hamilton Junctions from Hamilton. CPR branchline to the left. 014 26

Bayview and Hamilton Junctions from Hamilton. CPR branchline to the left. 014 26

Milton station and the Robertson Screw plant 106 32

Milton station and the Robertson Screw plant 106 32

Milton CPR CNR crossing 031 19

Milton CPR CNR crossing 031 19

Campbellville station and brickworks 027 4

Campbellville station and brickworks 027 4

Hamilton freight shed 368 15

Hamilton freight shed 368 15

Upper track is CP branchline from Hamilton to Guelph Jct. Middle CNR mainline to Georgetown. Lower track CPR mainline to Guelph Jct. 032 5

Upper track is CP branchline from Hamilton to Guelph Jct. Middle CNR mainline to Georgetown. Lower track CPR mainline to Guelph Jct. 032 5

Guelph Jct. station 030 3

Guelph Jct. station 030 3

CP mainline to Hamilton, York Boulevard bridge, Hamilton 034 6

CP mainline to Hamilton, York Boulevard bridge, Hamilton 034 6

CN mainline at Aldershot, engine on the Beach Sub, Burlington in the background 038 7

CN mainline at Aldershot, engine on the Beach Sub, Burlington in the background 038 7

Burlington Canal, looking towards Hamilton. 448 17

Burlington Canal, looking towards Hamilton. 448 17

Oakville station and the Ford plant 343 14

Oakville station and the Ford plant 343 14

CNR dayliner at Brampton 318 13

CNR dayliner at Brampton 318 13

Canada Crushed Stone facility on the Dundas Subdivision. 089 34

Canada Crushed Stone facility on the Dundas Subdivision. 089 34

Downtown Smithville 120 11

Downtown Smithville 120 11

Smithville station area 134 33

Smithville station area 134 33

Paris coaling tower 111 10

Paris coaling tower 111 10

Rock crusher at Paris 136 12

Rock crusher at Paris 136 12

Public Cold Storage west of Bathurst Street near Strachan Ave., Toronto 042 8

Public Cold Storage west of Bathurst Street near Strachan Ave., Toronto 042 8

L to R Molson's Brewery, St. Joseph's Hospital. the CP engine is switching the slaughter house 075 9

L to R Molson's Brewery, St. Joseph's Hospital. the CP engine is switching the slaughter house 075 9

Atlas Steel Company plant nr. Strachan Ave. 484 18

Atlas Steel Company plant nr. Strachan Ave. 484 18

Toronto Union Station 434 16

Toronto Union Station 434 16

Milton, Ont. CNR CPR Crossing
Milton, Ontario crossing on 13 June 1959. Northbound CNR train 661 with SW1200 1318 in charge is about to cross CPR's mainline to Windsor. Robert J. Sandusky photo

Milton, Ontario crossing on 13 June 1959. Northbound CNR train 661 with SW1200 1318 in charge is about to cross CPR's mainline to Windsor. Robert J. Sandusky photo

Andy Reynolds' diorama in H0 scale. Mary Reynolds photo

Andy Reynolds' diorama in H0 scale. Mary Reynolds photo

In June 2016 Andy Reynolds was on a quest to create a prototype scene to supplement a hands-on-clinic he wanted to prepare for his train club (Hub Division of the Northeast Region [NER] of the NMRA). He was fortunate to find Bob Sandusky's photograph taken almost 60 years ago of the Milton Crossing in Ontario. With some further information from this website, Andy recreated this scene and entered the display in the scratch build classification at the Albany, New York NER Convention, where it won first place.
Kinmount Model Railway
In the early 1990s, a group of local model railroaders got together with the idea of re-creating the Kinmount-Haliburton portion of the former Haliburton Sub. The result is a somewhat "selectively" compressed replica of the line, with the essential railway structures (and some nearby other buildings, especially at Kinmount) moderately well to excellently reproduced.

The only major liberties taken with the prototypical scene (aside from the rather condensed distance between stations) is the absence of the scenic Ritchie's Falls, and, to enable the small group of subsequent volunteers to converse with visitors and to reduce the number of operators required to operate the layout, automated reverse loops installed at both ends. While it was possible to hide the Kinmount loop behind an end wall, the Haliburton loop has of necessity remained in view but has been disguised to some extent by a small "mountain".   

The layout was originally built as a travelling layout, and when it was moved into the baggage room of the restored Kinmount station as a permanent display, it had to be adapted to fit the configuration of the available space and the layout design, with the result that one is greeted by the Haliburton end of the layout on entering the display room rather than the Kinmount end, which would have made for a more sequential viewer presentation. While the layout lacks the finer points of a Category B layout, such as hand-laid track, it is a most commendable early Category AB prototypical modelling effort produced at a time when most modellers were still content with a fictional freelance layout.

The display is owned by the local municipality, the City of Kawartha Lakes, and is managed and operated by the Kinmount Committee for Planning & Economic Development. A major design change in that transfer is that the layout had major plexi-glass protection installed, so that it can be viewed all the week round. How this will work out in terms of a satisfactory visitor experience remains to be seen. The images below were all taken before the installation of the plexi-glass shield.

For a summary of the volunteer group's evolution from a model railway club to a volunteer group, click here.

For the museum portion of the display, go to Ontario Railway Station Museums, and scroll down to "Kinmount".

Open hours are dependent on volunteer availability, but during the tourist season, reportedly open Saturdays 10 to 4, and long weekend Sundays and Canada Day from noon to 3. 

Some of the original model group, picture taken 1994: L to R: Gord Tait, Henry Kunz, Vic Ballik, Bruce Stinson, Dan Klochkoff, Herman Formsma, Bob Mitchell.

Some of the original model group, picture taken 1994: L to R: Gord Tait, Henry Kunz, Vic Ballik, Bruce Stinson, Dan Klochkoff, Herman Formsma, Bob Mitchell.

Bob Mitchell (L), outgoing Chair in 2007 - in conversation with the incoming Chair, Cliff Veary, who served until 2013. (Yes, it's slightly out-of-focus, but it's the only picture we have of them both☺.)

Bob Mitchell (L), outgoing Chair in 2007 - in conversation with the incoming Chair, Cliff Veary, who served until 2013. (Yes, it's slightly out-of-focus, but it's the only picture we have of them both☺.)

To the right, David Tulett, Chair until dissolution in 2014. To his right is John Schmidt, master modeller, who supervised the layout's visual scenic overhaul between 2012 and 2014.

To the right, David Tulett, Chair until dissolution in 2014. To his right is John Schmidt, master modeller, who supervised the layout's visual scenic overhaul between 2012 and 2014.

ABOUT THE LAYOUT AND ITS HISTORY
From a railway modelling perspective, this display is remarkable in that it was conceived and built at a time when the concept of prototypical representation of the rapidly vanishing local railway scene was still in a relative state of infancy in the Ontario model railway hobby world. Given that the effort to research and reproduce this representative miniature of a local railway past occurred at the vanguard of this emerging trend of prototypical representation, this layout is enshrined as a model railway museum in its own right, aside from the Kinmount station site's nucleus as a developing local railway museum. The Kinmount Model Railway is indeed a Canadian pioneer in the representation of a slice of our railway past in miniature, a concept that is now taking increasing hold in the model railway hobby as our vanished local railway network can now only be memorialized in this manner. 
Built to represent the portion of the former Grand Trunk (GTR) /CNR Haliburton branch from Kinmount to Haliburton village circa 1900 to circa 1950, this model railway originated in the early 1990s as a travelling layout, put together as a community project by a group of local model railway enthusiasts under the initial sponsorship of the Kinmount & District Lions' Club. It was displayed at various local events, especially at the popular Kinmount Fair. 
In 1996, the layout was installed permanently in the former baggage room of the CNR Kinmount railway station. As group participation and interest faded, the layout faced an uncertain future, until it was revived and started to be refurbished around 2007 under new leadership and with a new membership, still all volunteers, drawn from a larger radius around Kinmount. As already noted, in 2014 the project was taken over by the Kinmount Committee for Planning & Economic Development.

DESCRIPTION OF THE LAYOUT (in the present tense in the context of the represented era)
At its southerly end, the model begins at the Kinmount station area on the west-side of the baggage room where the principal featured buildings are the Austin sawmill, the station building itself, the water tank, some main street buildings including the Hopkins & Marks retail emporium, the bridge over the Burnt River into the village, and the former Northern Hotel. The line then curves past Black Rock to the original Howland Junction station (burned down in 1917), where the railway passes the junction and turntable area and the former Irondale, Bancroft & Ottawa Railway branch.
A Kinmount church high up on the hill on the old Bobcaygeon Road

A Kinmount church high up on the hill on the old Bobcaygeon Road

The preserved Austin sawmill just south of the Kinmount station area.

The preserved Austin sawmill just south of the Kinmount station area.

Looking across the Kinmount main street businesses and the station area to the south, ca 1910.

Looking across the Kinmount main street businesses and the station area to the south, ca 1910.

The Kinmount station, with a spur leading to the backdoors of the main street businesses. Ca 1910.

The Kinmount station, with a spur leading to the backdoors of the main street businesses. Ca 1910.

The Northern Hotel, built in 1876 and destroyed by fire in 1941. Formerly at the corner of the Bobcaygeon and the Monck Roads.

The Northern Hotel, built in 1876 and destroyed by fire in 1941. Formerly at the corner of the Bobcaygeon and the Monck Roads.

Kinmount's Hopkins & Marks emporium on the west side of Main Street. The Northern Hotel is in the background. Ca 1920.

Kinmount's Hopkins & Marks emporium on the west side of Main Street. The Northern Hotel is in the background. Ca 1920.

It then continues over the impressive Kendrick's Creek trestle on to the exquisitely-modelled Gelert station and cattle pen. At Gelert the railway is a short distance away from what is now County Road 1 (the Gelert Road). Gelert serves as the station for Minden, approximately 7 miles away. The river course at the front of the display here is that of the Burnt River. (In its day, the Gelert station was located at the end of what is now Cemetery Road. The former right-of-way of a spur leading off to a past saw mill on the Drag River is still visible on site to the south of Cemetery Road just before the station site, but for space reasons was not included on the layout.)
The line then crosses over the Drag River on a truss bridge, and makes its way past the picturesque Ritchie's Falls (not modelled due to lack of space) to Lochlin where the railway runs just to the east of the road. Lochlin was at one time a loading point for pulpwood, and there was a long siding to accommodate the freightcars for that traffic.
 
Howland Junction looking south from the turntable. The train at the far left is setting off for Bancroft on the IB&O. In the distance is the Black Rock formation.

Howland Junction looking south from the turntable. The train at the far left is setting off for Bancroft on the IB&O. In the distance is the Black Rock formation.

The first (two-storey) station at Howland Junction, destroyed by fire in 1917.

The first (two-storey) station at Howland Junction, destroyed by fire in 1917.

The substantial Kendrick's Creek trestle, looking west.

The substantial Kendrick's Creek trestle, looking west.

The Gelert station area with its substantial cattle pens, looking south.

The Gelert station area with its substantial cattle pens, looking south.

The commodious former Victoria Railway-design Gelert station, that also served Minden until the end of regular railway service in 1960.

The commodious former Victoria Railway-design Gelert station, that also served Minden until the end of regular railway service in 1960.

The station at Lochlin, consisting of a simple flagstop shelter and a small freight shed.

The station at Lochlin, consisting of a simple flagstop shelter and a small freight shed.

From Lochlin, the railway continues beside the road for some distance and then diverges to the east again to serve a large plant that was established as the Donald Chemical Company in 1908 (acquired by the Standard Chemical Co. in 1915), and operated until its closure in 1945. The model shows a representation of the Donald plant complex during that period, with one of the production buildings, and of the distribution building. There was a flagstop and a freight shed at Donald (not on the model, but very similar to those at Lochlin). Donald is approximately at the summit of the line 1,126 ft above sea level. From here it is a downhill run to the terminus at Haliburton past Gould's Crossing, where hard maple was often loaded for the short trip to Donald, because the old road was tortuous and hilly. At Haliburton, the station area has been modelled, including the station itself, water tank, turntable and the distinctive one-stall engine house. There is also a small saw mill near Head Lake, and a great backdrop view of the hills all around. 
The Standard Chemical plant complex at Donald. The view is looking southbound towards Gelert.

The Standard Chemical plant complex at Donald. The view is looking southbound towards Gelert.

The Standard Chemical plant complex at Donald. The view is looking northbound, and the distribution building is in the foreground. The Burnt River is in the foreground.

The Standard Chemical plant complex at Donald. The view is looking northbound, and the distribution building is in the foreground. The Burnt River is in the foreground.

Gould's Crossing, looking south.

Gould's Crossing, looking south.

Carew sawmill at Head Lake looking north

Carew sawmill at Head Lake looking north

Carew sawmill at Head Lake, looking southwest

Carew sawmill at Head Lake, looking southwest

Haliburton station area looking south.

Haliburton station area looking south.

Haliburton station area looking north. (The coaling tower has since been removed, as there never was a coaling tower there.)

Haliburton station area looking north. (The coaling tower has since been removed, as there never was a coaling tower there.)

Haliburton water tank, turntable and one-stall engine shed. (The coaling tower has since been removed, as there never was one there.)

Haliburton water tank, turntable and one-stall engine shed. (The coaling tower has since been removed, as there never was one there.)

Haliburton station, trackside.

Haliburton station, trackside.

LAYOUT SPECIFICATIONS
This layout is a representative reproduction (except for the end loops) in 1:87 (H0) scale, of the railway between Kinmount and Haliburton as it existed in the earlier part of the 20th century. It has been "selectively compressed" as to distance, content and curvature in order to allow the model to be displayed in a constricted space.
The buildings and structures have all been "scratchbuilt" (using base materials such as styrene, wood, paper, mattes and cardboard) or "kitbashed" (assembled using applicable parts from manufactured kits).
The track and turnouts are "Code 100" (rail height 0.100") manufactured mostly by Peco and Atlas. The track itself is for the most part nailed and ballasted to a cork roadbed.
The end loop turnouts are operated with Tortoise switch machines that are activated by light sensors.
The model is is operated with digital command control (DCC) using MRC Prodigy Advance wired and wireless units and two decoder-equipped Bachmann steam locomotives with on-board sound, but the layout can also be operated with conventional DC motive power and power packs.
The landscape scenery has been built with 1" or 2" styrofoam layers, Plaster of Paris and papier-maché.
The benchwork (main frame supporting the layout) betrays its travelling layout origins with bolted-together 6' or 4' sections, supported by cross-braced 2"x2" adjustable legs with one-half-inch or three-quarter inch plywood decking topped with sound-deadening homasote. 
The layout itself is U-shaped, 55' long, 30" wide and 42" high, with a painted 13" masonite base backdrop.
 
In the Footsteps of the Maine Two-Footers - by Larry Murphy
Scale 0n30
Or more locally, "Victoria County Narrow Gauge", as its creator Larry Murphy, a well-known model builder, is a life-long Victoria County (Ontario, Canada) resident. Much of his other work is featured below. In the past few years, 0n30 (0 Scale 30 inch or 2ft 6in narrow gauge, also sometimes referred to as 0n2½) has been gaining in popularity with many railway modellers - attracted perhaps by the challenge of working in a larger scale, but also inspired by the creativity of narrow gauge operations as memorialized by the extravagantly whacky caricatures of the famous English cartoonist, the late Rowland Emett.

Not that there was anything "whacky" about the world's early narrow gauge lines - for the most part they were engaged in bringing natural resources such as timber, barley, slate or coal, to main line connections - and in their heyday, that was very serious commerce. What did characterize them was that they all operated on an economic shoestring, improvising with equipment discarded from other lines, and with a lot of ingenuity and resourcefulness in making the whole operation work. That is what gave them their rugged individuality and charm. If not "whacky", at least intriguingly "whimsy".

The early major railways in the State of Maine were fed with an endless supply of timber by a dense network of logging lines all built to a  gauge of 2ft, so that collectively they came to be known as "the "Maine Two-Footers" as memorialized by the books of that name, authored by Linwood W. Moody.

Modellers are obliged to make concessions as between the prototype and the model for reasons of space, practicality or economy. The major concession here (after the usual one of space) is working with a scaled gauge of 30 inches instead of 24 inches. The main reason for that is the relatively-ready availability of ready-to-run locomotives and cars in that scale and gauge. It therefore does not claim to be an exact prototypical model, but it is very much inspired by, and is loosely based on, the spirit and the structures of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR that formed part of the extensive Maine narrow gauge network. An excellent Category AB layout.

Larry started this project several years ago, and the first (then L-shaped) section was first publicly displayed in 2011. Since then it has gradually expanded (as most models do) to a rectangle, of which three sides are controlled by DCC, and the remaining one by DC. Despite its now-rectangular configuration, it remains an end-end operating layout.

Please scroll down for a layout diagram and the layout specifications. 
Assistant Ted Bush (L), creator Larry Murphy (R)

Assistant Ted Bush (L), creator Larry Murphy (R)

The inspiration

The inspiration

Strong station, Maine

Strong station, Maine

All has gone quiet as the morning "mixed" has departed from Strong Station. (The station kit-built by Peter Dobell)

All has gone quiet as the morning "mixed" has departed from Strong Station. (The station kit-built by Peter Dobell)

450px sr rlv1
A more modest depot near Rangeley Lakes in the railroad's heyday.

A more modest depot near Rangeley Lakes in the railroad's heyday.

The layout when it first appeared in 2011, a simple L-design, consisting of four sections

The layout when it first appeared in 2011, a simple L-design, consisting of four sections

The original main section of the display, now extended to form the left arm of the U.

The original main section of the display, now extended to form the left arm of the U.

The newer section of the display, forming the right arm of the U. A track relocation has taken place.

The newer section of the display, forming the right arm of the U. A track relocation has taken place.

The section that converts the U into a rectangle, except that it does not connect back to the U. It is a separately-controlled DC switching operation designed to add a job for an additional operator and for exhibition-viewer interest.

The section that converts the U into a rectangle, except that it does not connect back to the U. It is a separately-controlled DC switching operation designed to add a job for an additional operator and for exhibition-viewer interest.

An aerial view of Strong station, with a baggage car, coach and combine at the platform. Musta been an excursion that day!  (The station kit-built by Peter Dobell)

An aerial view of Strong station, with a baggage car, coach and combine at the platform. Musta been an excursion that day! (The station kit-built by Peter Dobell)

The engine house and a commodious plant at the Strong station terminus of the line. The add-on DC switching operation can be seen in the background.

The engine house and a commodious plant at the Strong station terminus of the line. The add-on DC switching operation can be seen in the background.

About to take water for the morning run.
(The water tank kit-built by Peter Dobell)

About to take water for the morning run. (The water tank kit-built by Peter Dobell)

Some burgh has just had a shiny new-fangled fire truck delivered ...

Some burgh has just had a shiny new-fangled fire truck delivered ...

Sorting out the yard ...

Sorting out the yard ...

The freight shed at Strong station.

The freight shed at Strong station.

Now that the evening rush is over, the staff settles down to a quick game of checkers before it's time for dinner.

Now that the evening rush is over, the staff settles down to a quick game of checkers before it's time for dinner.

This venerable grist mill occupies one "anchor" corner of what is now a U-shaped layout.

This venerable grist mill occupies one "anchor" corner of what is now a U-shaped layout.

The inviting pastoral scene as the line works its way round from one arm of the U to the other.

The inviting pastoral scene as the line works its way round from one arm of the U to the other.

The abandoned quarry.

The abandoned quarry.

The line crosses the water course and dam of an adjacent sawmill. Note the water table monitor beside the bridge.

The line crosses the water course and dam of an adjacent sawmill. Note the water table monitor beside the bridge.

The saw mill beside the dam and an adjoining cluster of buildings.

The saw mill beside the dam and an adjoining cluster of buildings.

A modest wayside depot "Elaine" in "Two-Footer" style. No, you won't find Elaine on the map, but let us just say that Larry, like all railway modellers, knows on which side his bread is buttered. ☺

A modest wayside depot "Elaine" in "Two-Footer" style. No, you won't find Elaine on the map, but let us just say that Larry, like all railway modellers, knows on which side his bread is buttered. ☺

The industrial siding at Elaine.

The industrial siding at Elaine.

The combine at Elaine station while the hogger gets the switching done.

The combine at Elaine station while the hogger gets the switching done.

Looking back towards Elaine and the sawmill from the edge of the DCC operation. Oops, that boxcar looks as if it has had a touch of the wobblies ...

Looking back towards Elaine and the sawmill from the edge of the DCC operation. Oops, that boxcar looks as if it has had a touch of the wobblies ...

Narrow gauge lines generally have a transfer facility with the main line that they feed. This Canadian National car seems to be a little far afield, but nowadays cars go all over, including on the Maine Central.

Narrow gauge lines generally have a transfer facility with the main line that they feed. This Canadian National car seems to be a little far afield, but nowadays cars go all over, including on the Maine Central.

To the right just on the inside of the DC operation, the bad order track and the repair shop.

To the right just on the inside of the DC operation, the bad order track and the repair shop.

Diagram victoria county ng larry murphy
Layout Specifications: (provided by Larry)
Design: Modular overall 10ft by 20ft. Each module is 2ft by 4ft save for the access modules which are two units 10in by 4ft, hinged end to end to afford easy entry to the layout. The construction is ½in plywood top, with 1in by 4in dimensional pine framing. Below top elevation is by the cookie cutter method, and above with high density styrofoam insulation board. Track underlay is cork, cut to fit the track configuration.
Power: Ten of the modules are on MRC DCC. The three staging-end modules are DC analog, creating a necessary interchange or transfer between the two power systems.
Locomotives: Bachmann, Broadway Limited, and scratch-built superstructures on Athearn chassis.
Rollingstock: Bachmann, modified Hornby, Dapol, Peco and Fleischmann 4-wheel chassis.
Track: Micro Engineering code 70 flex and #5 turnouts. Curves are minimum 24in radii, industrial minimum 16in radii.
Scenery base: Styrofoam shaped and carved as needed, coated with drywall compound applied with a brush, and painted with earth tone latex.
Scenery materials: Woodland Scenics, Scenic Express and Noch added in layers, with static grass from the above mixed together to varied tones as a top coat. This is then sprayed randomly with camouflage paint to enhance the effects.
Trees: A mix of SuperTrees, sagebrush, sedum and furnace filter.
Structures: Two kit-builts (by Peter Dobell) and 24 scratch-builts, inspired by examples from Ontario and the State of Maine, and some freelanced. 
Operation: (With help from my friends Ron Barjarow, Ted Bush, Jim Clifford, Roger Collingson, John Falls and Garth Wedlock) Slow running and switching. There is passenger service between the two stations Strong and Elaine. There are 14 industries and 18 car spots.
Victoria County "Heritage Modules"
Scale H0
Over the past decade or so, Larry Murphy, formerly of the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders' Club, has built excellent prototypical Category B H0 scale sectional modules of the former CNR and CPR station areas at Lindsay, of the CPR at Bobcaygeon and of the Haliburton Sub between Fenelon Falls and Kinmount. (His popular Kirkfield Quarry layout [see below] was deeded to the Kirkfield Historical Society some time ago.)
These modules have been exhibited at the annual Lindsay show, Copetown, Ont., at the first CARM Convention (St. Catharine's, Ont.), Ottawa's Railfair show, and at some local venues such as the Fenelon Falls Santa Claus Parade and the Peterborough Canoe Museum on the occasion of special events or open houses. After an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the City of Kawartha Lakes (the governing municipality) to enshrine them in a railway heritage centre, they have been donated to the Victoria County Historical Society.
Larry Murphy (R), with then president of the L&DMR at the 2006 Copetown Show where the Fenelon Falls module was being featured.

Larry Murphy (R), with then president of the L&DMR at the 2006 Copetown Show where the Fenelon Falls module was being featured.

Bobcaygeon
The earliest module to go on public display in the mid-1990s. It was of a hybrid design, intended to portray prototypical modelling, but also to satisfy the needs of conventional model railway show continuous running, rather than to have the more correct end-to-end operation. The result was a conventional rectangular design, so that the track plan was obviously not prototypically correct. That design also included the "CNR/CPR Transfer Module" (q.v. below), which was later severed to provide correct end-to-end display operation.
Bobcaygeon terminus: station, Christ's Church and parish hall, with feedmill opposite. Prototypically accurate, but ignore the tracks behind the station.

Bobcaygeon terminus: station, Christ's Church and parish hall, with feedmill opposite. Prototypically accurate, but ignore the tracks behind the station.

Bobcaygeon station. (Ignore the tracks in the background.)

Bobcaygeon station. (Ignore the tracks in the background.)

Bobcaygeon Christ's Anglican Church, with a feedmill in foreground.

Bobcaygeon Christ's Anglican Church, with a feedmill in foreground.

The CNR/CPR "transfer module" - Caroline Street, Lindsay
This was originally part of the "Bobcaygeon" module (q.v. above), a large rectangular continuous-run layout that was obviously not  prototypically correct in terms of its track plan. This section was eventually severed to appear on its own at a variety of events as a true Category B end-to-end display.
For more information about this module, please click here.
The ruins of the Hodgson's Chemical plant at what is now Rivera Park, the north end of the former CN-CP exchange area, and also the abandoned right-of-way of the Georgian Bay & Seaboard Railway.

The ruins of the Hodgson's Chemical plant at what is now Rivera Park, the north end of the former CN-CP exchange area, and also the abandoned right-of-way of the Georgian Bay & Seaboard Railway.

The gracious CPR "witch's hat" station, demolished in 1964.

The gracious CPR "witch's hat" station, demolished in 1964.

The CPR freight shed, and at the lower level, the CNR exchange tracks.

The CPR freight shed, and at the lower level, the CNR exchange tracks.

The motley collection of coal sheds and merchant offices along the CNR tracks beside Lindsay St. North.

The motley collection of coal sheds and merchant offices along the CNR tracks beside Lindsay St. North.

The former CPR water tank and turntable pit to the north of the station. The adjoining house still stands facing Caroline St.

The former CPR water tank and turntable pit to the north of the station. The adjoining house still stands facing Caroline St.

CPR freight shed.

CPR freight shed.

The cattle have been shipped, but the cow claps remain - superdetailing down to the minutiae.

The cattle have been shipped, but the cow claps remain - superdetailing down to the minutiae.

The Baldwin & Baker coal bins at the CNR exchange tracks.

The Baldwin & Baker coal bins at the CNR exchange tracks.

Lindsay Master Feeds at the south junction of the CP - CN exchange yards.

Lindsay Master Feeds at the south junction of the CP - CN exchange yards.

Entering the CN - CP exchange area from the south - to the left is the CNR feed on the right-of-way of Lindsay's first railway in 1857. To the right is the CPR entry. The houses with the green and grey roofs still stand.

Entering the CN - CP exchange area from the south - to the left is the CNR feed on the right-of-way of Lindsay's first railway in 1857. To the right is the CPR entry. The houses with the green and grey roofs still stand.

A CPR switcher about to cross King Street and the diamond to the CNR yards adjoining Lindsay St. North.

A CPR switcher about to cross King Street and the diamond to the CNR yards adjoining Lindsay St. North.

At the corner of King and Lindsay St. N., the former Waddell business office, merchants in lumber, coke, coal and wood.

At the corner of King and Lindsay St. N., the former Waddell business office, merchants in lumber, coke, coal and wood.

General view of the "transfer module", from Colborne St. East in the foreground, south to King St.

General view of the "transfer module", from Colborne St. East in the foreground, south to King St.

The Lindsay St. North - King St. corner of the module. The three homes along Queen and Caroline Streets are still there, and so is the business building right at the corner of Lindsay North and King.

The Lindsay St. North - King St. corner of the module. The three homes along Queen and Caroline Streets are still there, and so is the business building right at the corner of Lindsay North and King.

These prototypical Lindsay structures appeared with the original rectangular "Bobcaygeon" module (q.v. above):
The Allan & Handburys Co. Ltd. pharmaceutical plant facing the Scugog River, Lindsay.

The Allan & Handburys Co. Ltd. pharmaceutical plant facing the Scugog River, Lindsay.

The Northern Casket Co. and the grain elevator - on the former Port Hope, Lindsay & Beaverton property, an "add-on" to the "transfer module" before it was shortened to the north side of King Street.

The Northern Casket Co. and the grain elevator - on the former Port Hope, Lindsay & Beaverton property, an "add-on" to the "transfer module" before it was shortened to the north side of King Street.

The Union Carbide plant in the East Ward.

The Union Carbide plant in the East Ward.

Fenelon Falls
This was the third major module to be built in 2007 and made frequent public appearances, especially annually at the Fenelon Falls Santa Claus Parade. For more information about this module, please click here.
A southbound wayfreight does some switching beside a small saw mill south of the Fenelon Falls station area

A southbound wayfreight does some switching beside a small saw mill south of the Fenelon Falls station area

Busy Fenelon Falls station yard just south of the station. In the foreground, a coal storage shed; in the background the McIntosh elevator and the Co-op.

Busy Fenelon Falls station yard just south of the station. In the foreground, a coal storage shed; in the background the McIntosh elevator and the Co-op.

Fenelon Falls station and freight shed, with the co-op and a cattle pen on the south side. Lindsay St. is to the left.

Fenelon Falls station and freight shed, with the co-op and a cattle pen on the south side. Lindsay St. is to the left.

Fenelon Falls station.

Fenelon Falls station.

A general view of the station area looking south.

A general view of the station area looking south.

Having crossed the Fenelon River from the north, the switcher heads for the station.

Having crossed the Fenelon River from the north, the switcher heads for the station.

A southbound CNR SW2 switcher crosses the Fenelon Falls swing-bridge. View is towards the Fenelon River.

A southbound CNR SW2 switcher crosses the Fenelon Falls swing-bridge. View is towards the Fenelon River.

A panoramic view of the Fenelon Falls swing-bridge, looking south towards the station area.

A panoramic view of the Fenelon Falls swing-bridge, looking south towards the station area.

A small saw mill at the promontory where Cameron Lake flows into the Fenelon River, on the north side of the swing-bridge.

A small saw mill at the promontory where Cameron Lake flows into the Fenelon River, on the north side of the swing-bridge.

The Standard Chemical wood alcohol plant, looking northeast.

The Standard Chemical wood alcohol plant, looking northeast.

Standard Chemical wood alcohol plant in what is now Garnet Graham Park, Fenelon Falls.

Standard Chemical wood alcohol plant in what is now Garnet Graham Park, Fenelon Falls.

Close-up of loading door, wood alcohol plant facing Cameron Lake.

Close-up of loading door, wood alcohol plant facing Cameron Lake.

A warehouse and a boathouse at an inlet of Cameron Lake, opposite and just to the south of the Moore & Connell saw mill.

A warehouse and a boathouse at an inlet of Cameron Lake, opposite and just to the south of the Moore & Connell saw mill.

A lime kiln at what is now Louisa and Knox, at the north end of Fenelon Falls.

A lime kiln at what is now Louisa and Knox, at the north end of Fenelon Falls.

The most northerly of the Fenelon Falls assemby of modules, displaying a Cameron Lake inlet, the commodious Moore & Connell saw mill, the lime kiln at what is now Louisa and Knox, and the spurs in behind servicing the saw mill and a lime aggregate.

The most northerly of the Fenelon Falls assemby of modules, displaying a Cameron Lake inlet, the commodious Moore & Connell saw mill, the lime kiln at what is now Louisa and Knox, and the spurs in behind servicing the saw mill and a lime aggregate.

Burnt River
The Burnt River module was the last major module to be constructed as a logical sequel to the Fenelon Falls module, also in 2007. It has appeared occasionally at the Burnt River community centre and at the Lindsay Model Railway Show. This module was designed to be the natural continuation northwards from Fenelon Falls in the direction of Kinmount, with an understanding that those who wanted to follow the railway all the way to Haliburton could then pick the model trail up again at the Kinmount Model Railway (scroll up to view on this same web page). For more information about the Burnt River module, please click here. To the right is a group of Lindsay & District Model Railroaders who were in attendance at the "maiden" appearance of this module at the Burnt River Community Centre in August 2008. Left to right are: Larry Murphy, Don McClellan, Russ Moore, David Tulett, Don Thompson and Bent Striegler. 
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The "Iron Bridge", at mile 21.9 (from Lindsay) in the 4th Concession of Somerville Twp., that takes the northbound railway from the right side of the river as it flows south, to the left.

The "Iron Bridge", at mile 21.9 (from Lindsay) in the 4th Concession of Somerville Twp., that takes the northbound railway from the right side of the river as it flows south, to the left.

An "as required" way freight wends its way north to Burnt River at the "Iron Bridge", mile 21.9 from Lindsay.

An "as required" way freight wends its way north to Burnt River at the "Iron Bridge", mile 21.9 from Lindsay.

A general view of Rettie's lime stone quarry just south of the village of Burnt River.

A general view of Rettie's lime stone quarry just south of the village of Burnt River.

The Rettie's Quarry Superintendent's house.

The Rettie's Quarry Superintendent's house.

A panoramic view of Rettie's Quarry, looking north to the village of Burnt River.

A panoramic view of Rettie's Quarry, looking north to the village of Burnt River.

The southerly portion of the module, starting in the distance with the "Iron Bridge", passing Rettie's Quarry, and with the approach into Burnt River in the foreground.

The southerly portion of the module, starting in the distance with the "Iron Bridge", passing Rettie's Quarry, and with the approach into Burnt River in the foreground.

From Rettie's Quarry, the module curves around into the village of Burnt River.

From Rettie's Quarry, the module curves around into the village of Burnt River.

The heart of downtown Burnt River - looking south, with its general store and White Rose gas pump.

The heart of downtown Burnt River - looking south, with its general store and White Rose gas pump.

Burnt River station area. The engine is retrieving some cars from spurs north of the station.

Burnt River station area. The engine is retrieving some cars from spurs north of the station.

Burnt River station in the 1920s.

Burnt River station in the 1920s.

Most country stations had a "team track" for the loading and unloading of merchandise and cattle. Burnt River was no exception.

Most country stations had a "team track" for the loading and unloading of merchandise and cattle. Burnt River was no exception.

A view of the station area, looking north.

A view of the station area, looking north.

A cut of hopper cars on a spur just north of the station awaits arrival of a shipment from the Galena Lead and Zinc mine about 3 miles north of Burnt River.

A cut of hopper cars on a spur just north of the station awaits arrival of a shipment from the Galena Lead and Zinc mine about 3 miles north of Burnt River.

The module ends discreetly in the direction of Kinmount at this interesting King's Post-type road overpass.

The module ends discreetly in the direction of Kinmount at this interesting King's Post-type road overpass.

An overview of the entire module from the north end to the south in the background.

An overview of the entire module from the north end to the south in the background.

Galena Lead and Zinc Mine
This module does not have a direct railway motif. The mine was situated at the junction of county roads 121 and 49 near Galena Hill, and its products had to to be teamed several miles away to the nearest station at Burnt River. For more information about this module, please click here. This diorama was commissioned in 2010 by the Galway Cavendish Historical Society for display at the International Ploughing Match venue at Keene, Ont.
The view from the East.

The view from the East.

Panorama centre view.

Panorama centre view.

View from the east end.

View from the east end.

CNR Durham Street
This module has rarely been on public display, but was the earliest one to be built in 1980. It features the impressive four-road Lindsay engine house and the copious Durham St. station. The module includes the curves onto Victoria Avenue, and the track is all hand-laid.
The Durham St. station, express shed, and in the foreground, the weigh scale.

The Durham St. station, express shed, and in the foreground, the weigh scale.

The Lindsay GTR station, dating from 1895, and lasting until 1963.

The Lindsay GTR station, dating from 1895, and lasting until 1963.

The Lindsay engine shed area.

The Lindsay engine shed area.

The Lindsay CNR four-road engine (running) shed on the east side of Albert St.

The Lindsay CNR four-road engine (running) shed on the east side of Albert St.

Omemee
This is a static diorama that was built to help advertise the annual Lindsay model railway show, and appeared for a number of years in Wally the barber's shop window just before show time.
The Lindsay - Peterborough train about to stop at Omemee.

The Lindsay - Peterborough train about to stop at Omemee.

Omemee Sturgeon Road station 1920. The station agent is ready with a train order and someone is expecting a visitor.

Omemee Sturgeon Road station 1920. The station agent is ready with a train order and someone is expecting a visitor.

The section house just west of the station.

The section house just west of the station.

Port Perry
Everyone knows Port Perry is not in Victoria County, but this town was the springboard for what became the Whitby, Port Perry & Lindsay Railway. As such, it was the first railway to have its terminus in DOWNTOWN Lindsay in 1876, and is commemorated here with this static diorama. It was built in 1989 and was exhibited for a period of time at the Scugog Museum, Port Perry, Ont. The track is all hand-laid.
Port Perry 1876, just to the south of the station. The steamer is ready for a trip to Lindsay.

Port Perry 1876, just to the south of the station. The steamer is ready for a trip to Lindsay.

Port Perry in 1876, now the water front park. Depicted is Port Perry's original Whitby & Port Perry RR station. The elevator is still there.

Port Perry in 1876, now the water front park. Depicted is Port Perry's original Whitby & Port Perry RR station. The elevator is still there.

Mariposa
This was the last module to be created (2013) before the collection's donation to the Victoria County Historical Society.
Mariposa, Ont. station area, looking East.

Mariposa, Ont. station area, looking East.

Mariposa, Ont. station area, looking West.

Mariposa, Ont. station area, looking West.

Mariposa, Ont. elevator and grain houses, looking West.

Mariposa, Ont. elevator and grain houses, looking West.

Kirkfield Quarry
This layout is now owned by the Kirkfield Historical Society, and is on display there during opening hours at 922 Portage Road, Kirkfield, Ont. It was written up in the May-June 2005 Issue of the Canadian Association of Railway Modellers' newsletter "The Canadian".
Larry with the Kirkfield Quarry module.

Larry with the Kirkfield Quarry module.

General view of the quarry crusher looking south, standard gauge tracks to the left.

General view of the quarry crusher looking south, standard gauge tracks to the left.

View of quarry crusher looking towards Coboconk.

View of quarry crusher looking towards Coboconk.

View of crusher looking towards Kirkfield, with hopper cars ready to be loaded.

View of crusher looking towards Kirkfield, with hopper cars ready to be loaded.

The quarry to the north of the crusher, with its narrow gauge track.

The quarry to the north of the crusher, with its narrow gauge track.

Workmen's cottages near the mainline.

Workmen's cottages near the mainline.

A CNR road engine switches some empties. The view is looking north, and the tracks leading to the crusher are all standard gauge.

A CNR road engine switches some empties. The view is looking north, and the tracks leading to the crusher are all standard gauge.

The Peterboro Project - by Trevor Marshall and Pierre Oliver
Scale H0 - Category AB 
As narrated by Trevor Marshall:
 
Back in 2006 my friend Pierre Oliver and I knew each other and knew we travelled well together, but we had not worked on any hobby projects. Then we got to talking and realized we were both intrigued by the Free-mo modular standard, and decided to build a module.
 
We knew of no other Free-mo enthusiasts in the area (although the S Scale Workshop, of which I was not yet a member, was using a standard developed from the same principles). So we saw this as an opportunity to introduce Free-mo to Southern Ontario modellers. But we also knew that any module we built would also have to stand on its own as an exhibition layout, in case nobody else was interested.
We wanted to do something that really showed off the free-form nature of Free-mo and realized one of its strengths is the ability to replicate prototype locations, in a way that other modular forms cannot. This is because with Free-mo, the benchwork can follow the track – including a prototype track arrangement. Other systems force the modeller to work with restrictive modular specifications that make it difficult to capture the feel of most real places.
Pierre and I looked for several candidates and settled on a small yard and adjacent industrial park in Peterborough, Ontario. The result was The Peterboro Project (“Peterboro” is how the CNR spelled it).
 
Our plan was uncrowded and based on the real location. That meant long stretches of track to reach some industries, such as these in the Peterboro Industrial Park. One really understood the importance of planning switch moves on this module!

Our plan was uncrowded and based on the real location. That meant long stretches of track to reach some industries, such as these in the Peterboro Industrial Park. One really understood the importance of planning switch moves on this module!

Approaching across the swing-bridge over the Otonabee River

Approaching across the swing-bridge over the Otonabee River

Approaching on the mainline

Approaching on the mainline

Entering the Peterborough Industrial Park

Entering the Peterborough Industrial Park

Peterborough Industrial Park - panorama

Peterborough Industrial Park - panorama

The Peterboro Project was a single module that consisted of a dozen sections, each a maximum of 60 inches long by 18 inches deep. In total, we had about 50 feet of module: about 27 feet represented the through route, with the balance on a number of peninsulas – including one about 12 feet long which in turn supported its own peninsula. Pierre hand laid the turnouts and produced some great freight cars for the layout. I scratch-built many of the structures.

We created two adapters that flared the ends out to the standard Free-mo modular width of 24 inches, so we could connect to other modules. But when set up in exhibition mode, we left these at home and attached a five-track sector plate to one end of the through route. We could then operate the module as a sprawling switching layout.
 
Peterboro’s debut was a Free-mo rally hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology Model Railroad Club in the fall of 2006. Pierre and I had a great time but this was the module’s only Free-mo appearance. We exhibited it as a stand-alone layout thereafter. (We had no problems with Free-mo – we just didn’t have any additional Free-mo opportunities.)

The module was featured in the August 2008 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine – and then Pierre and I sold it off to move on to other home layout and modular layout projects.

As should be obvious from these pictures, Peterboro was never “finished” – we planned to add trees, people and details, and the module could’ve benefitted from some additional attention paid to presentation (skirting would’ve been nice). But even as exhibited in its “work in progress” state, The Peterboro Project received a lot of positive comments, and it’s gratifying to see a number of groups that now use Free-mo or Free-mo inspired standards in Southern Ontario. I wouldn’t say we introduced the concept, but we certainly gave it a push.

I learned a lot through the Peterboro exercise – especially some tricks that are invaluable when building a layout that needs to survive hours of bouncing and bashing in the back of a vehicle. I also learned that I really like sector plates for staging – something I continue to use today.
But the best part is Pierre and I spent a lot of time in the workshop together in the summer of 2006 to build Peterboro. And along the way we became really good friends. While Peterboro is now someone else’s, the friendship continues stronger than ever. And we can make each other crack up by saying things like “It’s a co-op!”, which not even our wives understand.

I’m really glad we built The Peterboro Project.
 
The Ragù warehouse - git your spaghetti sauce thar'ere!

The Ragù warehouse - git your spaghetti sauce thar'ere!

... and the rest of your groceries ova 'ere at the NG warehouse!

... and the rest of your groceries ova 'ere at the NG warehouse!

The New Yard

The New Yard

The New Yard and north end panorama

The New Yard and north end panorama

The north end

The north end

Lansdowne Street at the north end

Lansdowne Street at the north end

S Scale Workshop
The S Scale Workshop is an informal group of modelling friends from around Ontario (and one from Montreal): Chris Abbott, David Clubine, Oliver Clubine, Andy Malette, Trevor Marshall, Jim Martin, Pete Moffett, Simon Parent and Ian Wilson. (Written up in the Canadian Railway Modeller, June 2008.) This group is of special interest for two reasons - one - that they are working in S Scale (1:64 ratio) and - two - that they use the Free-mo Module System. The distinctive feature of this system is that a layout, especially one that is to be taken to shows, does not have to conform to a set number of sections that all have to be present for the layout to operate, resulting in an additional logistical challenge where sections have different owners. "With Free-mo, the modeller is able to build modules of any size and shape. broken into any number of sections for storage and transport. This freedom means modellers can design their module frames to follow a prototype track arrangement, instead of the other way round. The only limits are what an individual or group can build, maintain, transport, set up, and store." (Trevor Marshall, 'The Peterboro Project', Railroad Model Craftsman, August 2008.) Free-mo was designed for H0 scale, but as the S Scale Workshop demonstrates, can be adapted to any scale or gauge. 
Featured here are scenes from Jim Martin's Port Dover module (Category B), and from Pete Moffett's Webb's Landing module (Category A).
Port Dover down by the harbour (Jim Martin)

Port Dover down by the harbour (Jim Martin)

The Port Dover range light. The Erie Beach Hotel is in the background. (Jim Martin)

The Port Dover range light. The Erie Beach Hotel is in the background. (Jim Martin)

The Port Dover station area and water front. The station is just visible to the left. (Jim Martin)

The Port Dover station area and water front. The station is just visible to the left. (Jim Martin)

Looking up the road from the station to Port Dover's main street. To the left is the legendary "Arbour" eatery.  (Jim Martin)

Looking up the road from the station to Port Dover's main street. To the left is the legendary "Arbour" eatery. (Jim Martin)

On the way from Port Dover to Simcoe.
(Jim Martin)

On the way from Port Dover to Simcoe. (Jim Martin)

Webb's Landing station (Pete Moffett). Rich Chrysler looks across layout at left. Copetown 2006.

Webb's Landing station (Pete Moffett). Rich Chrysler looks across layout at left. Copetown 2006.

Webb's Landing Station and Pavilion. 
(Pete Moffett). Jim and Pete can be seen in the background chatting with some viewers.

Webb's Landing Station and Pavilion. (Pete Moffett). Jim and Pete can be seen in the background chatting with some viewers.

Webb's Landing Module (Pete Moffett)

Webb's Landing Module (Pete Moffett)

Webb's Landing Module (Pete Moffett)

Webb's Landing Module (Pete Moffett)

Cobourg & Peterborough Railway - by Ted Rafuse
Scale H0

Ted Rafuse's module of the pioneer Cobourg & Peterborough Railway that cost the citizens of Cobourg so dearly, portrays the essence of that ill-fated effort across Rice Lake. The module is compact, transportable and provides a summary panel history of the railway, with an oval track plan that features Cobourg, Harwood and a compact version of the Rice Lake trestle. It is entertaining and educational, but was the subject of pain-staking research, the hallmark of prototypical modelling, to bring it about. (Category AB.)

For the background on the Cobourg & Peterborough Railway, please click here.

For the articles about the railway that Ted wrote for The Canadian (Canadian Association of Railway Modellers), please click on each link:
Part 1 Concept and design - Part 2 Constructing the travel frame and layout base - Part 3 Track laying and electrical wiring - Part 4 Building the major harbour front features at Cobourg - Part 5 Scenery - Part 6 Rice Lake bridge - Part 7 Building three C&P stations - Part 8 - Scenery, details and RollingstockPart 9 Crossen ore cars - Part F transport and display

Ted with the "Cobourg side" of his module.

Ted with the "Cobourg side" of his module.

The Cobourg station and freight shed of the C&P. The station was moved to Stuart St. as a private home.

The Cobourg station and freight shed of the C&P. The station was moved to Stuart St. as a private home.

Another view of the Cobourg station area. Yellow/ochre was a popular colour for passenger cars in that era.

Another view of the Cobourg station area. Yellow/ochre was a popular colour for passenger cars in that era.

Harwood station, moved and still in existence.

Harwood station, moved and still in existence.

The centre portion of the Rice Lake trestle as portrayed by the module.

The centre portion of the Rice Lake trestle as portrayed by the module.

A general view of the "Rice Lake Trestle" side of the module.

A general view of the "Rice Lake Trestle" side of the module.

The Trent River Ore Cars - by George Parker
Scale F (1:20.32)b66 (Broad or "Provincial" 5'6" Gauge) 
For the detailed story, please click here.
For the background on the The Cobourg, Peterborough & Marmora Railway & Mining Company (CB & MR & M Co.), please click here.
For more on the 1881 accident that led to the eventual recovery of the ore cars, please click here.

 
George Parker demonstrates the loading operation.

George Parker demonstrates the loading operation.

A close-up of the huge loading bin. (The clusters of ore are represented by black beans - admittedly a good deal lighter than their real scale weight!)

A close-up of the huge loading bin. (The clusters of ore are represented by black beans - admittedly a good deal lighter than their real scale weight!)

This diorama has been meticulously constructed with all available knowledge about an obscure ore mining operation some 150 years ago in the Kawarthas, where ore was loaded onto trains at Blairton Mine and transported to water’s edge at Trent River Narrows, and thence by barge along Rice Lake to Harwood. There the ore would be loaded back onto trains for transportation to Cobourg, and then back onto lake schooners to Rochester for onward transportation to Pittsburgh, Pa. This diorama has been constructed to demonstrate the loading and unloading process. A large-scale replica of the ore car is on display at the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre in Cobourg, Ont. (In a neat twist, at 141, Orr Street ☺. Love it.)

Dolores 6957 - by the "Maple Leaf Mafia"
Scale 0n3

 
"In 1891 the railhead was established at the present site of the town of Dolores. The inhabitants of Big Bend moved everything lock, stock and barrel, to the new site at 6,982 feet elevation and named the town after the river that passed through it." (Dolores Town History.)

    A layout that is gaining increasing notice is an end-to-end working diorama of, when fully displayed, some 30ft plus in length, with a 90 degree addition at one end. It is the impressive work of a group of modellers who have been styled most collegially by their buddies south of the border as the "Maple Leaf Mafia". Their model exemplifies and follows the charm of the network of Colorado and Arizona narrow-gauge lines, dominated by the Denver & Rio Grande Western and Rio Grande Southern Railroads. This layout is superbly scratch-built-crafted in fine scale in the tradition and very high standard set years ago by the late Harold Midwood (see my page "Our Friends at the Shows"), his late son Art, and their fellow enthusiasts. As far surviving records permit, the layout is a re-enactment of the prototype in the area of Dolores, Colorado.  

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    A classic frontal three-quarters shot of the Dolores station.

    A classic frontal three-quarters shot of the Dolores station.

    The daily mixed has pulled into Dolores. Not sure whether that's a tool shed or an outhouse out front there. If the latter, sure very convenient at a quick station stop!

    The daily mixed has pulled into Dolores. Not sure whether that's a tool shed or an outhouse out front there. If the latter, sure very convenient at a quick station stop!

    The two-stall engine house, but traffic is not what it used to be and the second stall has not seen an overnight engine for a long time.

    The two-stall engine house, but traffic is not what it used to be and the second stall has not seen an overnight engine for a long time.

    The scene where the station road meets the tracks - two superannuated boxcars serve on as sheds, and the grocery store gets along as best as it can ...

    The scene where the station road meets the tracks - two superannuated boxcars serve on as sheds, and the grocery store gets along as best as it can ...

    This old factory struggles to stay in business and still has its siding, although the hogger has to be careful not to roll those cars too far!

    This old factory struggles to stay in business and still has its siding, although the hogger has to be careful not to roll those cars too far!

    Another seen-better-days boomtown-front establishment hugs into the hillside ...

    Another seen-better-days boomtown-front establishment hugs into the hillside ...

    In these remote parts, stub switches never went out of fashion - someone had better get to this one fast though, because the "daily" is approaching in the distance.

    In these remote parts, stub switches never went out of fashion - someone had better get to this one fast though, because the "daily" is approaching in the distance.

    This ancient Six-Wheeler handles whatever moving around has to be done at Dolores ...

    This ancient Six-Wheeler handles whatever moving around has to be done at Dolores ...

    ... and the crusty old hogger and his side-kick fireman don't cotton to no uniforms - every day is Friday dress-down ...

    ... and the crusty old hogger and his side-kick fireman don't cotton to no uniforms - every day is Friday dress-down ...

    Built commodious and to withstand the elements in them thar hills.

    Built commodious and to withstand the elements in them thar hills.

    Yer local car dealership - and old boxcars are economical offices and storage sheds.

    Yer local car dealership - and old boxcars are economical offices and storage sheds.

    Secondary traffic here is from sheep ranching ...

    Secondary traffic here is from sheep ranching ...

    Small businesses here and there for whatever's needed ...

    Small businesses here and there for whatever's needed ...

    The Dolores station area.

    The Dolores station area.

    A primitive gondola and a bobber caboose waiting for a car load ...

    A primitive gondola and a bobber caboose waiting for a car load ...

    The Galloping Goose is getting ready to gallop ...

    The Galloping Goose is getting ready to gallop ...

    The Sheep Special.

    The Sheep Special.

    ... as soon as they have been rounded up.

    ... as soon as they have been rounded up.

    Peterborough (By the Peterborough Model Railroaders)

    H0 scale. An interesting Category A layout of some years' standing. It exhibited for a number of years in the Peterborough catchbasin of model railway shows. It has also appeared several times at the annual Canada Canoe Museum (Peterborough) Open House, with such popularity that it caused the museum manager to observe (with a twinkle in his eye) "perhaps we should rename this the train museum, and every once in a while, get some canoes in". This layout includes some Peterborough landmarks, and the surrounding scene could well have been that of the local pioneering  era. Some of the members (who own this layout jointly) also enjoy narrow gauge, and the layout has its points of whimsy that are always crowd warmers. It is assiduously "scenicked" and carefully kept "refreshed", but is now in semi-, if not total, retirement. 

    The layout at the Canoe Museum in 2009. Like most travelling layouts, it features a double track design, but the onlookers invariably focus on the myriad of fine detail that makes this layout so interesting.

    The layout at the Canoe Museum in 2009. Like most travelling layouts, it features a double track design, but the onlookers invariably focus on the myriad of fine detail that makes this layout so interesting.

    A cleverly assembled silhouette that speaks to the city.

    A cleverly assembled silhouette that speaks to the city.

    A hard-scrabble farm with a tongue-in-cheek name.

    A hard-scrabble farm with a tongue-in-cheek name.

    A highly-detailed but quaintly primitive logging operation.

    A highly-detailed but quaintly primitive logging operation.

    A different country station with some interesting dormers - no known prototype association in the area, but blending in neatly with the well-done scenery and the nearby elevator.

    A different country station with some interesting dormers - no known prototype association in the area, but blending in neatly with the well-done scenery and the nearby elevator.

    A collection of trackside bric-a-brac with some interesting buildings that have clearly weathered well.

    A collection of trackside bric-a-brac with some interesting buildings that have clearly weathered well.

    Another Peterborough icon.

    Another Peterborough icon.

    Float your Fanny Down the Ganny
    By the Ganaraska (Port Hope) Model Railroaders. A Category A layout that has been garnering increasing attention for a few years now at model railway shows east of the GTA. H0 Scale. The layout features some universally-known landmarks of Port Hope railway and civic architecture.  
    The substantial GTR-built Port Hope viaduct

    The substantial GTR-built Port Hope viaduct

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    The image that defines the aspiration of this layout. The tight-rope walker (Signor Farini) is prototypical, so is the event on the river, and so are the buildings depicted and in the background.

    The image that defines the aspiration of this layout. The tight-rope walker (Signor Farini) is prototypical, so is the event on the river, and so are the buildings depicted and in the background.

    All early communities can claim to have or to have had a logging operation, and Port Hope is no exception. Note the ubiquitous conical saw dust burner to the back left.

    All early communities can claim to have or to have had a logging operation, and Port Hope is no exception. Note the ubiquitous conical saw dust burner to the back left.

    The exquisitely-reproduced Port Hope Grand Trunk Railway station, which also happens to be home to the club rooms of the Ganaraska Modellers. This model also has the privilege of claiming double track as being prototypical.

    The exquisitely-reproduced Port Hope Grand Trunk Railway station, which also happens to be home to the club rooms of the Ganaraska Modellers. This model also has the privilege of claiming double track as being prototypical.

    An overhead view of the Port Hope GTR/CNR viaduct. Note the backdrop and the detail at the base of the viaduct.

    An overhead view of the Port Hope GTR/CNR viaduct. Note the backdrop and the detail at the base of the viaduct.

    This kind of detail adds "conversation-starters", and enhances the appearance of any layout. A camp site is certainly a generic feature.

    This kind of detail adds "conversation-starters", and enhances the appearance of any layout. A camp site is certainly a generic feature.

    Port Hope is reputed to have one of the most fully-preserved 19th century façade mainstreets, and some of that is reproduced here.

    Port Hope is reputed to have one of the most fully-preserved 19th century façade mainstreets, and some of that is reproduced here.

    Kawartha-ish
    By the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders. A recently-developed Category A layout that is getting increasing attention at model railway shows east of the GTA. H0 Scale. The layout has been dubbed "Kawartha-ish" because the aim was to model something recognizable of the former but familiar Victoria County railway-related architecture and scenery cameos that will be readily recognizable as local landscape. The club used to have an excellent permanent "Kawartha-ish" layout in its former club premises, and on having to move from there (a familiar tale for all clubs), has replaced it with something that its members can simultaneously enjoy "at home", and take to shows with pride.
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    The substantial scratchbuilt Lindsay GTR/CNR station, mounted on the inside edge of the layout.

    The substantial scratchbuilt Lindsay GTR/CNR station, mounted on the inside edge of the layout.

    An approximation of the former Lindsay engine house.

    An approximation of the former Lindsay engine house.

    No question, around Victoria County, there are lots of farms. Lots of detail.

    No question, around Victoria County, there are lots of farms. Lots of detail.

    The station area at Mariposa (in real life just south of Oakwood). The station itself is not quite prototypical, but the grain warehouse and the elevator are.

    The station area at Mariposa (in real life just south of Oakwood). The station itself is not quite prototypical, but the grain warehouse and the elevator are.

    There are lots of wetlands scattered around the county, though a moose may be stretching it a tad. ☺

    There are lots of wetlands scattered around the county, though a moose may be stretching it a tad. ☺

    A recognizable Coboconk ("Coby") station.

    A recognizable Coboconk ("Coby") station.

    These concrete culverts are quite prototypical and can be seen from County Road 6 going north to Kirkfield on the roadbed of the former Georgian Bay & Seaboard Railway.

    These concrete culverts are quite prototypical and can be seen from County Road 6 going north to Kirkfield on the roadbed of the former Georgian Bay & Seaboard Railway.

    Swampy spots there are lots of ...

    Swampy spots there are lots of ...

    ... and certainly cottage country is an indispensable area ingredient, right down to the vegetation of which we are seeing a lot more in our lakes ...

    ... and certainly cottage country is an indispensable area ingredient, right down to the vegetation of which we are seeing a lot more in our lakes ...

    Road overpasses of this style of construction were common-place - such as on the Thunderbridge Road (single track in real life, hence the -ish in Kawartha-ish ☺).

    Road overpasses of this style of construction were common-place - such as on the Thunderbridge Road (single track in real life, hence the -ish in Kawartha-ish ☺).

    The scourge of devastating fire was a constant reality in pioneer life, with everyday open fires for cooking and heating, and candles or kerosene lamps to see by.

    The scourge of devastating fire was a constant reality in pioneer life, with everyday open fires for cooking and heating, and candles or kerosene lamps to see by.

    Many farms were established on marginally arable soil - the hard-rock reality of the Canadian Shield not far below the surface.

    Many farms were established on marginally arable soil - the hard-rock reality of the Canadian Shield not far below the surface.

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