Welcome to the Seventh Division, Pacific Northwest Region, National Model Railroad Association (Canada). The Division geographically consists of British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and part of the Northwest Territories west of 120 degrees longitude. There are approximately 300 members living mostly in the southern part of British Columbia who form a camaraderie and share a keen interest in model railroading.
An apology is in order for being remiss in identifying myself to each of you as the recently appointed Canadian District Director. This was partly due to a lack of consideration and thought by myself and by the amount of learning I have experienced in the short time I have been involved with the Board of Directors of the NMRA. Whew!!, that curve is steep, but is compensated for with the help provided by others on the Board.
President Charlie Getz appointed me at the conclusion of the Grand Rapids, MI annual general meeting and convention to fill the vacancy created when Don Hillman resigned for health reasons. Don did more than a great deal for NMRA Canada - all of us are grateful for his significant contributions. As well, he represented the Canadian District at the Board level. I will do my best to assist in the functioning of the NMRA at the National level. Subsequent to my appointment, along with participating in considerable number of e-mail conversations, I have been appointed to serve as the chair for the International Committee and as a member of the Education and Training Department.
Any and all inquiries sent my way will sorted out as well as possible. Where I am not able to clarify things on my own, there are many wonderful people who can be contacted for information. These folks comprise our Headquarters staff, our President or the Regional Advisory Council representative on the Board - there can be no doubt that Jenny, Charlie and Stephen in their respective positions are most capable and willing to assist. As communication is vital within the NMRA, my contact information is in each issue of our magazine, NMRA.org in the Board of Directors listing.
I have been a continuous member of the NMRA since rejoining in 1975 after realizing that this association was vital and integral to my hobby interests. TLR activity since has included volunteering as an organizer for many conventions in Winnipeg, as a clinician and as a judge in the modelling contests. Clinician presentations were done at the National conventions in St. Paul (1999) and in Toronto (2003). MMR 328 status was achieved in September 2003 having earned certificates for Volunteer, Official, Author, Electrical, Cars, Scenery and Dispatcher. I am currently working toward Locomotive and Structure certificates. Over the past seven years, the RPM gathering at Naperville, IL has beckoned.
On a personal level, a 35-year career as an educator ended a while back. My HO-scale modeling focuses on the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1959 in an area of the Canadian Shield (northern Ontario) that is about two hours east of my home in Winnipeg. I also have interests in the Canadian National Railways, the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway and the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway with this trio providing interchange service in the operating scheme of my model railway.
I serve as the Soo Editor (and contributor) for “CP Tracks” – the magazine of the Canadian Pacific Historical Association, and have written for the SOO and “CN Lines” as well as for Railroad Model Craftsman.
Underlying my acceptance of this appointment is the desire to put something back into a hobby area that has given so much to me. I have made ever-so-many friends through our hobby activities. Each has provided me with a better quality of life, so I believe I own the association some effort. After participating in the mid-year meeting of the Board on February 8, 9 and 10 there is some considerable improvement in what the NMRA can offer each member on the horizon. As these projects emerge in the near future, I hope you are as excited about and well served as I believe you will be.
Yours in enjoying Model Railroading,
On Nov. 11, 2012, the 7th div. held it’s Annual General Meeting at Trains 2012 at the Cameron Recreation Centre in Burnaby BC. There are 6 documents from the meeting, available on the "Documents" page. The first contains the actual minutes, and the remaining 5 are addendums to the minutes. The addendums contain the written reports made by the executive and members of the standing committee. These reports have been referenced in the body of the minutes as to which addendum they may be found. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact your Superintendent, Russ Watson at email@example.com or myself, Bob Leggett at firstname.lastname@example.org .
7th Division Secretary
Trains 2012 Committee Back Row, Left to Right – John Green; Greg Madsen; Craig Spink; Andrew Hutchinson; Mike Chandler; Bob Leggett; Tom Jones. Front Row, Left to Right – Rob Kirkham; Don Gooch; Bill Dixon; Gladys Gooch; Dick Sutcliffe; John Moore. Missing – Scott Calvert.
(Click on the photo for a high resolution version.)
On Sunday, January 13 the Trains 2012 committee met for a wrap-up meeting and dinner at the ABC Country Restaurant in Burnaby. This was the last meeting for them as a group. A presentation was made by Bob Leggett on behalf of the 7th Division to thank them all for their many years of service putting on train shows and meets. A framed Certificate of Appreciation was presented to each one.
Will there be a Trains 2013? A few new people have expressed interest in carrying on and some of the old committee will be meeting with them to discuss it. But more volunteers will be needed! Do you want this meet and show to continue? Do you have some time available to volunteer? Well then contact our Superintendent, Russ Watson at email@example.com and he will direct someone to discuss it with you.
Bob Leggett – 7th Div. PNR/NMRA Secretary; Trains 2012 – 7th Div. PNR/NMRA Representative.
To state that a transcontinental train trip I made at the age of 14 was an enjoyable vacation would be a major understatement. It influenced my entire life from that point onward. I became fascinated with all aspects of railroading in general and trains in particular. Therefore it was hardly surprising, that a few weeks later when a school friend introduced me to HO scale, I became hooked on model railroading and have remained so to the present time. Additionally, I have remained in HO throughout.
My interest in railroading also resulted in pursuing a career in the railroad industry with Canadian National, a circumstance which kept me close to prototype railroading, but unfortunately, distanced me from model railroading due to frequent moves which prevented any serious attempts to construct a layout. Although I joined the railroad as a machinist apprentice, I rose quickly through the ranks to occupy several management positions in CN's motive power department and while most of my career was spent in Western Canada, my longest posting was as Senior Technical Officer Motive Power at CN's system headquarters in Montreal. As you might expect, one of my MMR certificates is for motive power.
Although I've had the pleasure of attending 11 national NMRA conventions, they've been widely spread over time with my first convention being at Vancouver, B.C. in 1965. At that time, a fan trip was a standard part of the convention schedule and with convention attendance usually around 1,000, it was possible for an all coach train to accommodate everyone. During the '65 convention, we ran over the CN's Yale Subdivision from Vancouver to Boston Bar and return. Because of that trip so long ago, I can claim to have been on a train trip with John Allen who was sitting in the same coach just a few rows behind me. Of course, John Allen was a model railroad celebrity by that time and consequently everyone in our coach knew who he was, but celebrities then were no different than today, and even though the coach was crowded, John made the entire trip to Boston Bar seated by himself. We were all just too intimidated by his presence to sit next to him. I did not see John on the return trip and assume he linked up with some of his friends during the brief layover at Boston Bar and had some company for the ride back to Vancouver.
You will, no doubt, be shocked to read that it's taken me 43 years to earn my MMR! However, although true, that statement is also misleading. I can claim that because two of the freight cars I used to qualify for my car certificate were built in 1969, and while I did some scratch building of structures in the years that followed, I was mostly an arm chair model railroader for the next two and a half decades due to frequent moves with the railroad. By 1996, it appeared that I wouldn't have to relocate again, so we purchased a house with a basement which was well suited for a model railroad. After all those years of arm chair model railroading, I knew exactly what kind of layout I was going to build even down to the types of industries and structures that would be served by it. Due to my years of experience with Canadian National, I also wanted a layout that could be operated in a prototypical manner and believe I have achieved that as well. My love of scratch building and hand laying track initially delayed construction of the layout, but with retirement, progress became more noticeable. And while it's still not complete, it has become fully operational with scenery covering more than half of it.
The achievement program had been around for a few years by the time I joined the NMRA, and while I was aware of it, the program seemed so far beyond my reach at that time, I just put it out of my mind. However, as my layout began to progress following retirement, I decided to have another look at it. To my surprise, I discovered that I had accomplished most, if not all, of the requirements needed for seven certificates. With this in mind, I began the necessary paper work in late 2011 and by May of 2012 received my car and motive power certificates which were the last of the seven required. These were preceded by: author, volunteer, engineer - electrical, engineer - civil and structures.
My family, we have one daughter, has been most supportive of my hobby over the years and my wife even played an unexpected but significant role in developing the operating system for my layout. During a visit to our local church's fall fair sale a few years ago, she discovered a 1929 C.N. operating rules book. Because the era of my freelance railroad is 1938, the book was a good fit and since that time, we've had many successful operating sessions based on it.
The Penticton Museum is working towards an approximate 15 month long celebration in 2014-2015 of the centennial of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) and the S.S. Sicamous sternwheeler on Okanagan Lake. This project is in conjunction with a wider city initiative to promote tourism. The idea is to set up a special convention where model railway layouts would be displayed – much the same idea as the "Trains" show in Burnaby or the Lions Club Chilliwack show. Only, this would be a one-time special event. This won’t be limited to just model railroading, the broader railroad and steam boat scene will also be represented.
If any clubs are interested in participating, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, the 30th edition of "Trains" for 2012 is now in the history books, and by all accounts was a success. We'll have more on it later, but for now I'd like to highlight one part, namely the Prototype Tour on Monday. Dick Sutcliffe has provided the following report, which shows what a great time they had, inspite of the weather!
Good morning all
Hope you had a good rest last night and feel you are recovering from the weekend.
I rode to Squamish with Bob Leggett, arriving about 9:30am as the staff were opening the station and other displays. The weather was starting to look promising, but deteriorated again to light and heavy drizzle for most of the day. After a very warm welcome, to the dozen registrants that showed up, by Russ Grycan, in the station meeting room, we went for a tour of the Roundhouse, including the cab of 2860 and of the other three pieces of equipment in the roundhouse. We then split up and wandered freely through the rest of the site. I was joined by Jeremy, who is the point person for the Western Rails Show in March. We ducked under the rope and walked through the working part of the car shop, looking at work in progress on several cars as well as a model railway donated by the Cohen (Army & Navy Stores) family.
At 11am we found our way to the MiniRail station and road three "covered" cars to the the wye at the other end of the line. Here Chris and Kyle treated us to a couple of trains running on the 45mm "G" gauge track, while Jeremy ran around the MiniRail locomotive around the train. This was followed by the trip back to the station by the scenic run along the creek, complete with a few ghosts still in the trees from Halloween. Back at the Station we partook of the catered lunch of a delicious vegetable soup, several varieties of sandwiches on white or brown bread and followed by several types of cake. Good hot coffee and tea were also available. All served in/on real china. Very well presented.
After everyone was sufficiently refreshed we we boarded a coach, and pulled by PGE RSC 561,were taken to the former motive power shop the WCRA rents from the CN. After a brief introduction and safety precautions we were free to wander the shop and inspect a variety of equipment, much of which had volunteers present to answer questions and interpret features. BCER motor 960, and CPR 8000, among other equipment are undergoing restoration, (960 to operate, 8000 cosmetically).
At 2pm we were directed upstairs to the "Bent Spike" railway display, which has an operating HO layout, as well as a G gauge track around the room near the ceiling, and an O gauge track under construction under the HO layout. The HO layout has a beautiful backdrop painted by a local artist, who was present operating one of the trains. Chris gave a guided tour of the HO layout with remarks about the O and G setups. Kyle is constructing an "N" scale set of modules for display in this location, and to take to shows.
By 3pm we were again directed to the train and and returned to the station, where the tour was completed.
I want to compliment all the volunteers and staff for their great hospitality and detailed interpretation of the exhibits, displays, and artifacts. They made us feel very welcome.
Trains 2012 committee
British Columbia's largest Train Show & Meet
The annual PNR convention will be held in Boise Idaho this year. For more details please visit their web site.
Please note that the web site has not yet been updated beyond the main pages. Many pages still show 2012, however the details are expected to be very similar. Check back soon to catch the updates as they become available.
The Division sponsors several Model Train shows each year. These include shows
in Nanaimo, Victoria, Burnaby, Vancouver and other areas of the province.
Check the Timetable for more information.
For more information on events, and places to visit, click on a location on the map below.