CMT Newsletter June 2017



President:  Andrew Love  Directors: Brookes Harrow, Garth Praestagaard, Ron Sauer, Nathan Daniel.

Past President: Merv Howitt  Communications/Membership: Dale Sproule

Community Hall Liason: Paul Foster




In this issue………………….......….

-                   SUPERTRAIN Report

-                   RMMBC Report, Clinic lineup

-                   6th Division Spring Meet, Clinic lineup

-                   Model Trains at the Cave!

-                   MR Magazine DCC Control station

-                   Handcar Shed Member Build


Well gang there has been a lot of activitiy in the Calgary area since my last newsletter, so much to tell you about.    

SUPERTRAIN:  attracted 10,908 members of the public to Canada’s Largest Model Train Show April 22-23. CMT operated our modules and a fair number of members came out to operate and help members of the public operate our layout. A BIG thanks goes to Harvey Tavener for coordinating the setup/checkout prior to the show then movement to and from the show.  


In an effort to get more CMT members interested in attending Conventions, I`ll report on my most recent 2 events. 




I attended The Railway Modellers Meet of British Columbia (RMMBC) from May 5-7, the 2nd annual 7th Division PNR Modellers Meet centered at Simon Fraser University along with 2 friends from Lethbridge and I wantedto review the many events.   Last year saw 59 registrants, this time saw 109. Before the meet started there was mandatory hobby shopping at Central Hobbies. Hal Kinsey offered 10% off purchases to delegates then with proof of purchase he returned 5% of purchases back to 7th Division meet organizers to help fund the 2018 meet, a really neat idea! Most events ran out of Simon Fraser University where Dormitory housing was available at $ 39 per night. Registration was $ 45. Seven layouts were available Friday evening for operating sessions and I was fortunate to operate on the Mark Dance N-scale layout (photo below). Mark has several you-tube presentations, you gotta see these (listed below).  All meals were held in the Student dining Centre, steps away from the 2 clinic rooms.  Breakfast Buffet was $5.95, Lunch Buffet$7.95 and Dinner Buffet$9.95 Food selection was wide and varied and really good too!   Events: Saturday: 10 clinics running in 2 rooms during the day (these are detailed below), a noon-time “Meet The Modeller”,  where 89 models were available for viewing and the builder described his/her techniques. In fact there were so many models that the “Meet The Modeller” had to be carried over 2 days instead of the advertised one day.  Maybe what made this idea so popular was that were no Contests, just “Meet The Modeller”.  Saturday evening saw a choice of operating on another 8 layouts, a self-guided layout tour to 4 locations or taking part in a “Make and Take” construction evening, a typical Railroad Loading Ramp was the subject matter that you built under supervision ten took it home, photo included below. Sunday saw another 10 clinics and a 4 pm wrap-up. We drove to Kamloops Sunday evening, then Monday saw a visit to Kelly’s Caboose, a hobby shop that recently re-located from Kamloops to Savona, ½ hour West of Kamloops. Railfanning followed then home again.

Craft Switcher Operations on the Columbia and Western:


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:


Operations on the Columbia and Western Part 1:

Operations on the Columbia and Western Part 2:

Lafferty to Farron:





Tom Beaton: So You Think You Can't Paint a Backdrop?: This clinic is for the faint of heart who think they can't paint a backdrop. It consists of a demonstration of how to do it using only four colors of quick drying acrylics and a few brushes.There will be a hand out to take home so you can practice there.

Jim Little: CPR Lidgerwoods: The history of CPR's Lidgerwood machines and how to go about building one

Ken Rutherford and Mark Dance: Weathering Your Fleet:  The clinicians will describe and demonstrate their different techniques for achieving very respectable weathering results on your rolling stock fleet without an artist's diploma or a huge time investment. Techniques introduced will include Pan Pastels coloured pastels, weathering chalks, brushed acrylics, and airbrush fades.


Mark Wittrup: CPR Maintenance of Way Equipment:  Canadian Pacific Maintenance of Way Equipment – A Personal Journey. Maintenance of way equipment is important to maintaining effective
railway operations, and often consists of ex-revenue equipment, with or without modifications. All railroads have MOW equipment, but not all layouts do. I will discuss why I like MOW, how I use it on my layouts,and provide a quick overview on types of common CP MOW equipment. To finish, I will discuss and display a few easily modelled examples that can be made using currently available HO models.


Jim Little: Building Structures with Hydrocal: The author will explain the how's and why's he built a structure from scratch using Hydrocal. Sample building parts will be shown, along with the molds made.


David Harris: LLC and signalling: LCC is an NMRA standard for an accessory bus that operates beside, and in conjunction with, your layout's traction control. Similarly to DCC, it allows users to buy compatible products from multiple sources.  This clinic introduces the LCC concepts and how they can be applied to your MRR including signalling and applications for modular layouts.


Max Magliaro: Techniques for Scratchbuilding Steam Locomotives - Part 1:  The clinician presents a variety of his favorite techniques for scratchbuilding N Scale steam locomotives.  Topics covered will include: tools and materials and where to find them; methods for making shapes and parts in metal; how to find and use prototype drawings to make patterns; motors, gears and gearheads, quartering.


Rob Kirkham: CPR's Box Car Transition, 1908-1928: Using photo of cars in service and preserved in museums & farm yards across Canada, this clinic focuses on the cars that weren’t built to theFowler/Dominion Car design.   The clinic looks at some of the Box Car and Auto-Box Car design innovations and re-builds employed by the CPR as the aging “all wood” fleet was modernized and transitioned to the “all steel” era.  Some modelling opportunities will also be looked at.


Max Magliaro: Techniques for Scratchbuilding Steam Locomotives part 2: In Part 2 of his clinic, Max will continue his overview of his favorite scratchbuilding techniques including live demonstrations.


Bill Galovich: The 7th Division's Hewlett Slide Collection: The late Bill Hewlett took hundreds of photos in the late '50's of PGE subjects. These were gifted to the NMRA- PNR 7th division and scanned by the clinician who will walk the audience through a hundred or so of what he considers the most interesting.


Doug Wingfield, MMR: Scratchbuilding Structures…or more accurately: How to Get Started Scratchbuilding Structures. The clinic will cover the beginning points of scratchbuilding structures and how to avoid some of the traps we fall into when learning how. It will include conducting research, tools, avoidable errors, basic weathering, and materials to avoid concluding with photos of models I have built - both kit and scratch built. There will be example structures at the clinic of both what can and cannot be done.


Rob Badmington: Track is a Model Too!:  This clinic will use prototype and model photos to show how to make track look more realistic; whether using handlaid or flex track. The clinician's career of more than 30 years working for CN and CP’s Engineering departments has given him a real appreciation for the details that make up a railroad’s most important asset – it’s track!


Geoff Gooderham: Resin Casting Made Easy:  Resin casting has a reputation as an 'exotic', niche modelling activity; difficult to master and demanding in terms of equipment, material, and skills. It's not! This clinic will introduce the ways in which resin casting can enhance a modeller's skill set and will demonstrate the simple techniques and low cost advantages that are available to all model builders. The presentation will be, as much as possible, a 'hands on' demonstration of  master patterns, molds, and castings with plenty of them on hand to handle and inspect. We'll also cast a few simple parts and discuss finishing the parts (including fixing mistakes), techniques for assembly, and the basics of painting.


Mike Barone: Nelson Diesel Shops, operations in the 1970's:  This clinic will review the facilities and discuss operations as seen by the Clinician during his time as a summer student  between 1968 and 1974 working as a laborer/hostler's helper. During this time FM C Liners and H liners were the predominate
power but other locomotives made frequent appearances.


Larry Sebelley: What is This Thing Called Free-mo?: The clinician will discuss the concepts and standards that drive Free-mo to excellence in modelling. He will cover module planning, construction,
track laying, wiring and scenery. Specifications for end plates and track arrangements, plus each of the 4 required electrical busses as well as the 1 optional bus will be reviewed. How a group of modules come together to create an operational layout will be described. Although Free-mo was first designed as an HO scale project, its specifications are easily translated to N scale.


Mark Dance: For Those About to Rock!: Techniques and demonstrations on how to cast, sculpt, paint and detail - yes, detail! - rockwork for your layout.


Bill Sornsin: Planning & Building the GN Cascade Division: The speaker will describe his prototype research, design and construction of this once-in-a-lifetime, 3000 square foot multi-deck layout housed in a purpose-built structure. The Cascade Division is an ambitious layout which has been designed to be built
and operated in stages.











6th Division Spring Meet: (

I returned from another successful 6th Division Spring Meet, held this year in Red Deer, a 1 hour drive North from Calgary. The Convention rate was lower than normal Hotel rates ($ 115 for 2 queen beds) in a really first class Hotel, The Black Knight!  The Clinic content is at the end of this newsletter:


The Convention Registration cost was $40.

The Sunday Banquet cost was just $35


The Friday Registration/ Meet and Greet session featured FREE pizza and Beer kicked off the events that went over from May 19-21 which included 10 live clinics, 2 outside tours, 5 layout tours, Ladies program, Model viewing and AP judging, fellowship in the form of spontaneous a midnight get together in Hotel rooms that usually include an amber colored beverage or 2 or 3! Late hours, early mornings, that’s the sign of another great meet. SADLY, despite the amount of information available from the web site (seen above) and my newsletters, just like this one you are reading now, only 3 Modelers attended from Calgary – Shawn, myself and a former CMT membe,r Andy Hockin. Registration was 44. If CMT were to host another 6th Division meet, members need to get some Convention attending experience.  


I’m not the person to blow my own horn but in this case I will. I’ve worked hard in this hobby since 1971 to finally obtain a personal goal in my life - to be recognized with MMR(Master Model Railroader) status in the NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) as MMR # 583!  I am one of three MMR’s living in the 6th Division to obtain this award. Here are the previous 6th Division NMRA members that are MMR’s, all of whom I have known:

Bill Tokaruk (deceased - Regina),      Bob Gardner (Lethbridge, now in Salmon Arm),

Pete Ellis, (deceased - Cascade, Montana),       Roger Walker (Calgary),

Doug Wingfield (Lethbridge),      Dale Sproule (Calgary)

I was formally presented with my plaque and Certificate during the Red Deer Banquet. My wife, Gina, and CMT member Shawn were present to witness this presentation. 


Background:  The NMRA started in 1935 in Milwaukee. The NMRA runs a member achievement program called the AP (Achievement Program) in which they guarantee that if you participate, you will become a better Model Railroader.  The AP program is not a contest. It presents a set of standards to compare against your modelling work.   In fact, I`ll backup that guarantee with my own guarantee that you will become a better Model Railroader!  ..................  just come and talk to me and I`ll explain. 

Too many times I`ve hear the question: What has the NMRA do for me. Consider this:

COUPLERS: It is no accident that if not for the NMRA we could not have cars and engines made by different companies that couple together. The NMRA mandated standards by which couplers mate together today. 

DCC: So you think that decoders made one company (Digitrak as an example) work with a DCC system made by MRC by accident? Again, it was the NMRA that again setup standards by which different all DCC equipment work, and work the first time! 

I had no idea of how busy Red Deer was in the Railroad fabric of Alberta, right up to the 1970’s. We had an outside tour to The Mintlaw Trestle, Red Deer County's best kept secret. The longest abandoned (and still standing) steel trestle in Western Canada. At 2100 feet, it's also the 3rd longest steeltrestle over 100 years old and in the top 5 of all steel trestles in Western Canada and saw service for CPR trains West from Red Deer between 1912 and 1981. Look on the web for information!  A photo appears below.




Scratchbuilding Structures - Doug Wingfield: This clinic might better be titled 'Getting Started Scratchbuilding Structures'. It will outline the beginning points of scratchbuilding structures and how to avoid some of the traps we fall into when learning how.


If You Build it, They Will Come – Brian Stokes: Popularizing TT&TO Operations at the Edmonton Model Railway Association.   Time Table and Train Order Operations is seen by many as an intimidating, complicated way of operating model railroads.  Implementing any type of train control, including TT&TO, can be a challenge on any model railroad - never mind a large, club layout where the vast majority of members and regular operators have no experience with prototypical operations.  The results of bringing TT&TO to the EMRA were surprising however.


Computer Generated Patterns for Scratch Building - Doug Burton: How I create templates, print them, glue them down and never have to measure. Applicable for any scale. Can be used for buildings, details, railway equipment etc.


The Calgary & Edmonton Railway and its Stations - Paul Pettypiece:  How the C&E Railway developed in a relatively short time, who the principle stakeholders were, how it determined the location of sites for towns and the City of Red Deer, how the stations evolved, how and why the CPR took it over and how Red Deer became the distribution centre of Central Alberta. Several sections of the C&E would make good subjects for a layout.


The Railways of Central Alberta - Paul Pettypiece: 6 Railways influenced the settlement and economic development of Central Alberta, especially Red Deer, as part of a boom and bust cycle. Most still survive in some form but not all. Red Deer at one time had 4 railway stations, 3 of which were unique, and infrastructure that could make for some interesting modelling subjects.


Layout Design Consultations - Cal Sexsmith, Secretary of the Layout Design Special Interest Group (LDSIG):  Cal will be available to provide four 30 minute layout design consultations for individuals. Interested individuals should contact Cal ( directly to set up a consultation time. This is limited to FOUR consultations and will be on a first emailed/first served basis. Other registrants are welcome to observe the consultation but are asked to refrain from commenting or interfering in any way.


On30 - Michael Kocot: What is On30?  Why On30?  How did it come to be?  Basic premise and protocol,  Demonstration of current product,  Future of On30,  Questions.


Scratchbuild a Timetable For Your Railroad - Mark Johnson:  Mark will describe the process of developing a timetable for a model railroad, and how to add prototype details.


Signaling for Model Railroads - Norman Skretting: A Discussion of prototype signaling and how it can be applied to model railroads, what is required to install a signal system and how to use the system.


Pleasant Point Subdivision - Grant Morgan: While living in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba in the late ‘80’s, one couldn’t help but be enlivened by the 70 or so daily trains that ran through town. The main east and west transcontinental lines for Canada’s biggest railways, CN and CP, ran side-by-side a mere two blocks from my home.  Spending time at the 8th Street crossing, waiting for the endless parade of trains to go by, the desires and ideas that I should build a model railroad were solidified.  Topics include :  Rationale, Givens and Druthers, Space Allotment, Financing a Layout, Prototype Concept, History of Subdivision, Current State of Subdivision, Benchwork Plans, Role of Layout Design Consultation.





The PNR is hosting their annual Convention, this year located in Spokane June 7-10. I count 34 clinics being presented, none to be repeated. There is the traditional PNR kick-off Ice Cream reception, a Ladies Program, Outside Prototype tours, and a Banquet Keynote Address by Charlie Getz, NMRA President. There is lots more to the program so look at the website:  


Model Trains at the Cave!

I'm reaching out to you as I've noticed that you have a passion for model railways; we were hoping to extend an invite to you to come visit the Cave and Basin this weekend for its model railway exhibit! 

Cave and Basin National Historic Site, located in Banff, is having a model railway event for the entirety of this weekend! There's going to be dozens of model train enthusiasts displaying their incredible work this Saturday and Sunday. Who knows, you might just also run into some CPR railway workers who are busy building the railway through the Rockies...!

Here is more information regarding the event: 

Model Trains at the Cave
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, 2017
Bring the family for a weekend of mini trains and maxi fun! Dozens of model railway enthusiasts showcase tiny trains from the steam era! Hop aboard the ¼ scale CP train, the Puffer Belly Express (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). FREE!

Please share this event with your fellow members, customers, friends and families who might also be interested in this railway exhibit! 

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns! We look forward to seeing you at the Cave and Basin! 

Warm Regards,  Navdeep  
Navdeep Virk
Heritage Programs, Banff Field Unit
Cave and Basin National Historic Site
Parks Canada

President Andy and I have come up with a learning experience for all members.  We want all CMT members to participate in building a number of handcar sheds that will be scattered around our new permanent layout and the modular layout.  A bulk order of Tichy #7011 kits of a small section house pictured below will be placed from Trains and Such. Small section houses like these were used to house a handcar and tools for section gangs to work on their local section of track. The kit includes the handcar and the push car and has a one piece roof, base with pilings and a side track. Injection moulded in gray styrene. Cost of the kit to the Club will be about $12-$13, depending on the exchange rate at time of delivery. You initially purchase your kit from the Club for $10 and upon completion and return to the Club for placement on the layout you get your money back. Suggested colors for the layout bound buildings are CMT Green with yellow trim.


Please e-mail me (Dale) to confirm your participation.


We want to place the order by the end of June.   After we have the kits, I will hold a clinic in early September for any members wishing an introduction to plastic kit construction, where I will discuss tools, glues, paints and techniques.  I can repeat the clinic if we cannot find a time that works for everyone interested.  The kit should be fairly easy to complete, and will provide an introduction to for anyone who has not done one.

If this is successful, we will look into a basic wood kit for a follow-up project.  And, of course, we will be needing various new buildings, likely both plastic and wood, for the new permanent layout and parts of the modular layout. Dale

Model Railroader Magazine published this photo in their May, 2017 issue. This DCC system powers their MRT layout and MR suggests this is normal. I hope they have received reader feedback………’s a mess!  Don’t do the same on your home layout!