Saturday at the WRMRC

Each summer, the WRMRC closes operation sessions for the summer in order to undertake major construction projects.  We chose to start our summer work season in May this year because we have major goals and some ambitious workers who couldn’t wait to get started.  Last Saturday, we held our May construction day.

Generally, we set our summer construction goals at our Annual General Meeting, which is slated for June.  These priorities have not yet been formalized, but the work that was done on Saturday foreshadows what some of those goals might be.  You can find the track plan here while you read through the rundown of the projects that were undertaken on the weekend.

Sudbury Roundhouse

Steve Lyons is managing a major worksite at the Sudbury roundhouse scene on Level 1.  This project involves nearly the whole summer work crew. Phil Trudel has undertaken some improvements to the flooring on the second floor, above the Sudbury roundhouse area.  There will be a helix on the second floor, directly above this scene, which serves to carry the Little Current Subdivision from Espanola to the Lawson Quarry scene, and on to Turner and Little Current.  Though the ceiling above the Sudbury roundhouse scene is in place, the flooring on the second floor was never properly completed.  Phil’s work will ensure that construction can proceed on the second floor without causing damage to the scenes below.


This view looks across the back of the Sudbury roundhouse scene. The backdrop will have the horizon scene painted this summer, and at the far end, Steve will rebuild the benchwork to accomodate a lift-out.

Phil’s flooring work needs to be completed because Steve Lyons is working on the roundhouse scene below.  This is a multifaceted project which involves rebuilding the benchwork to facilitate a lift-out section. Jurgen Kleylein will be painting the backdrop behind the scene.  Steve will be laying the track and installing the turntable.  Chris Vanderheide has commenced work on some of the building flats for this area.


This angle shows the turntable pit in the centre. The roundhouse will be behind the pit, and the car shop building will be to the right of the drill and tool box.


Cartier Subdivision Helix to the Second Floor

Another site of major construction this summer is the double track helix that will take trains to the second floor.  Bob Carter and Jurgen Kleylein worked on the math to work out how to get a helix to float in mid air through seven-sided irregular opening.

This helix is need so that we can build temporary staging on the second floor for North Bay and Cartier, and ultimately facilitate the construction of the Cartier Subdivision to its eastern and western limits.


The opening in the floor at the centre of this image is the space which will be occupied by the helix.  The flooring material will be cut back to the floor joists, so the opening will be larger than what you see here. The opening to the left is for the stairway up to an intermediate level. The steps in the foreground come up from the intermediate level to the second floor.


Naughton Helix Area

The third major project is the one I’m leading.  This area shows up in the far left corner of the track plans for Level 0, Level 1, and Level 2.  I’m carrying forward the benchwork, track, and scenery to finish off all four scenes here (two scenes on Level 1, and one each on Levels 0 and 2.  This project is a long term one, and I’ve been working on this since I joined the club in 2011.

The scenery that I’m building at the top of the helix in this area has been halted while I wait for the lighting to be installed.  I have virtually no knowledge of how to wire up electrical mains, so I need to wait while that work gets finished.  I want to be sure that all of the lighting is in place and the ceiling is finished before I proceed with scenery.  It’s probably best to work on scenery from the top level down to the bottom in this aisle.

With the scenery work stalled, I recruited Phil’s help to correct some facia that I installed last year.  It was clear to Phil that we needed to install the roadbed on Level 0 in order to get the facia right.  I’m pretty lousy with wood so I deferred to Phil’s expertise.  I embraced the role of “assistant/go-fer/comic-relief” while Phil led the process of making a cardboard template for the roadbed, then cutting out and installing it.


In this scene, we see the Copper Cliff industrial area on the left. This is Level 0 on the track plan. On the left, a track emerges through the backdrop. This track comes from the Webbwood Subdivision at upper right (where you see the blue foam scenery base) and descends a helix to get here. Trains from Sudbury into this area will enter through the backdrop, pull past this scene, and the push cars into the area curving off to the right.


Here is a tighter shot of the area showing the ramp coming down from the helix behind the backdrop. There will be two buildings in this scene, about where the wires hang down for future lighting. Three tracks will pass between the buildings and proceed through a hole in the backdrop at the right. These tracks will be long enough to hold unit trains of sulphuric acid tank cars.


Here’s a shot looking into the hole in the backdrop for the three stub-ended staging tracks. We had to join this roadbed to some roadbed that was installed last summer. The staging tracks go through the opening and curve to the left to wrap around the base of the helix.



While work on these three major projects was underway, Chris Vanderheide worked on some scenery in the area around Coniston.


Coniston is shown on the upper deck in this area. This is Level 2 on the track plan. The junction between the Cartier Sub and the Parry Sound Subdivision to Toronto was just behind and to the right of me when I took this shot.

I joined Chris, Steve, and Bob at Spice 11 in Guelph for an excellent feast of Indian cuisine.  It was a great way to finish off a productive work session.


2 thoughts on “Saturday at the WRMRC

  1. Great report, Hunter. I’m looking forward to following the progress. (And I see I’m having an influence on train bloggers – I like the addition of a restaurant reference at the bottom!)

    • Absolutely! The day was a perfectly executed indulgence in food and trains. I think my virtual and real visits to Port Rowan in S Scale have made it seem like the two were always a natural fit. Actually, there’s a third element… dogs. You’re going to laugh when you see my next post.

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