A visit to Kingsville Ontario

Friends and long-time readers of this blog know that I like combining my interests of cycling and railroad history. In a quest to ride more of southern Ontario’s rail trail miles, I spent the weekend camped in Wheatley and managed to squeeze in some layout visits while I was there.

After setting up camp on Friday afternoon, I visited Tim at Action Hobbies Kingsville to spend some money and meet up with some local modellers. The local club meets there and is working on a massive layout at the store. After took me on a tour of the layout and then over to Bob Sanford’s house. Bob is modelling the C&O Canadian District and part of the CASO on his layout. He has depicted a number of the important landmarks from the ex Pere Marquette operations in southern Ontario. Bob’s layout room was impeccably tidy, and very comfortably appointed with lots of space for operators, and he gets extra points having a built-in bar fridge to top off the hospitality.

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Bob’s model of a Canadian-built GMD GP7 in the photo above contributes to the strong sense of locale on his layout. Bob builds some very nice structures using any combination of scratch building, kits, and kitbashing to accomplish his goals. The photos below testify to is skill.

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The visit to Bob’s layout was followed by dinner on the patio at Mettawa’s Station Restaurant in the restored C&O Kingsville station. Their fine local food and drink helped us to get better acquainted and establish some new friendships.

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The last stop of the night was a visit to Mark Roach’s Delaware & Hudson layout. Mark is a bit of mad scientist in that he has equipped his layout with an abundance of electronic gadgetry, like operating signals and illumination inside of countless buildings (including some that are in the backdrop). Mark has created a backdrop of Binghamton NY by layering photos of actual buildings. This, combined with the built-in illumination create an effect of depth that belies the layout’s actual size.

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Mark is an inventive problem solver and an exquisite modeller, as can be seen in the photo below showing an abandoned coaling tower that he scratch-built from styrene and plaster.

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Below, an empty auto rack train crosses Mark’s stunning model of the Tunkhannock Viaduct.

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Below, we re-created a classic shot from Sturrucca viaduct on Mark’s layout.

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I enjoyed meeting these very talented and hospitable modellers. I was inspired to get home and work on making my layout the club layout more photogenic. It was a late night on Friday, but I got back to camp in time to make plans for the two days of riding that followed. I’ll post more about that soon.

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