ASSINIBOINE VALLEY RAILWAY INC.

UNFORTUNATELY WHEN THIS WEB SITE STARTED IN SPRING OF 2001 WE DID NOT SAVE THE NEWS THAT APPEARS NOW ON THE HOME PAGE. THAT OLD INFORMATION WAS SIMPLY PURGED NEVER TO EXIST AGAIN. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERNET AS A VENUE FEW PRINTED RECORDS ARE KEPT OF VAST AMOUNTS OF MATERIAL. NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO CHANGE THIS SO EFFECTIVE APRIL 6TH, 2003 ALL INFO PURGED FROM THE HOME PAGE WILL BE STORED ON THIS PAGE.

The following information was from the home page during the Christmas run of 2002-2003 and has been saved here for your information.

Friday was the first night of the Christmas run and lots of members came. The night was cold and extremely windy so visitors were light. The "A" Channel came and video taped the light display and rode the train. 3001 was the only train to run but the others were ready if needed. 

Saturday was a nice afternoon. Bill repaired several places that deer had chewed wires and put up another 593 lights including poinsettia # 3 that is on the station. The crew started arriving at 5:30 and by 6:00 we sent out the first train. We ran 3001 and 202 doing 29 trips and moving 184 passengers. The last train came in at 10:00 pm. Never a big crowd but very steady all evening.  We had visitors from China, South America and Australia.

Sunday Dec 1st was a cold night with the temp dipping to -18 C and then -25 C overnight. As is typical the riders were down. We are behind the winter of 2001 but ahead of the winter of 2000. It is totally weather dependant. Poinsettia # 4 was completed with light but not installed. 

Monday and Tuesday nights were equally cold with temps down to -25 overnight. Thanks to scout groups having camp fires the trains were kept busy. Both nights the national judges for Christmas lights came. On Tuesday they got to ride the train.

The last few nights have seen the passengers increase each night with Saturday Dec 7th being the busiest of the season. Temperatures have been colder then last year so we are comparing the winter of 2000 as the one to beat. We hear that temperatures will be going up next week which should make us a little busier. Bill painted poinsettia #5 and half of 8 new candy canes.

The remaining candy canes were painted. Monday night and Tuesday night were very busy, three members gave 367 rides on Tuesday. Things went very well. If the weather stays warm through the weekend and if we have enough members we will run three trains this weekend. We did run three trains for about half an hour on Wednesday and it was workable.

Friday was the busiest this season with 530 riders and three trains running so waiting time was reduced. Bill welded two poinsettia frames on Wednesday and painted them Saturday. We added two new radios to our new system. Several Candy Canes were strung with lights Saturday.

On Friday and Saturday we had visitors from Japan, Africa, Iran and India. On the home front we had visitors from as far east as Newfoundland. Saturday we had a good crew and ran 62 trains with 612 passengers. We had the first for the AVR on the last train of the night with Len at the throttle and Bill doing a Christmas light inspection ride. Bill noticed the couple in the car in front were particularly attentive to each other and at the end of the ride it was announced that he had proposed marriage to her and she had accepted. The small group applauded and just as they were leaving the train the music system started to play the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel. A fitting end to a great day.  

The last week continued to be busy and by Wednesday we started to get snow thanks to a Colorado Low that hit Winnipeg. Snow had to be cleared from the driveways, trails and track on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and now Sunday. We will have a White Christmas. Passengers continued to come out and lots of members to run trains. We will need members next week. Saturday the AVR passed two mile stones. The first was carrying our 65,000 passenger since the first open house during October of 1996 and the second was our 10,000 person to tune into our web page in the 18 months it has been up. For the members: the December copy of the "Nutty Report" is now being printed and will be sent to you in the next few days unless you come to the station first.

The weekend after Christmas was very busy with the passenger numbers growing each day until Sunday the 29th when we had the largest turnout of this season and the busiest Sunday of all time! It was also our second busiest night since we started giving rides.

On New Years eve we passed our 10,000 rider for the 2002 Christmas season. There were three last trains of the night as people poured into the station at the last minute. Those members who were able to stay enjoyed a Chinese dinner and toasted Champagne after the public had departed. The lights stayed on to see the new year and it was very peaceful.

As of the end of the last Saturday we are 111 passengers short of 12,000 riders for this Christmas season. The members look forward to a short ceremony Sunday to mark the mile stone guest. Saturday Jan 4th 2003 also is the day the Christmas display received the very generous gift from Jim Ashdown of his detailed 24 foot long diorama of part of downtown Winnipeg in 1881 looking north on Main Street from the Ashdown Hardware Store. The diorama is being displayed on the main candy cane trail until Jan 10th. It will be stored until next Christmas when a new base will be built and appropriate lighting will be provided. Jim Ashdown assisted Bill Taylor and Jim Nowell in transporting the buildings to the AVR site. 

A big round of thanks goes out to all the members from the AVR and their families who helped make this years light display and Christmas run a great success.

Bill, Peter, Len, Helen, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, David, Barry, Maureen, Andrei, Tony, Shari, Hank, Lisa, Rob, Jim, Carol, Gil, Fred, Norman and Nance plus three of our junior family members, Lee, Dain and Brandt.

In the Feb. issue of the "Nutty Report" we will publish all those statistics that Peter will produce. 

Sunday night was cooler with the odd snow flake. The crowd came early as kids start school Monday. Bill picked out our 12,000 rider for the season and took several pictures of Caley who is 3 1/2 years old along with her father Dan Dyck. as they waited for the train and with them seated in our seat of honour behind the engineer. Before the night was over we broke the all time best year set in 2001/02 with a total of 12,200 passengers carried this season. The nine members who ran the system Sunday then had a gathering in the station to celebrate the years activity and raised a toast to the success of 2003.

The AVR will be purchasing: 1500 feet of new rail,  4 new radios with 12 rechargeable batteries and charger, a metal cutting saw, materials for signal maintenance, steel for new mechanical lift, steel for the new steaming tracks near the loading area, switch parts and frogs, a new operator's flatcar, paint/batteries/small parts to complete box cab loco, more materials for west tunnel, materials to start new engine house/machine shop, gas powered leaf blower, more crushed rock and ballast, and materials for new concrete pad at steaming/unloading area.

The AVR regular members have voted that if possible we should build some new gondolas this winter. It will now be possible to buy the materials, truck castings and coupler castings for three new gondolas.

Saturday Feb 22nd was a very cold day but the group continued on with the storage building and built and erected the south wall. Back in the station Barry and Bill completed discussions on the lift and Bill is now prepared to order the needed steel. Peter showed the castings of brake details that he is making for his refrigerator car. Norm and Dain painted some of the new sign boards. The afternoon was finished with Fred and Bill building and erecting the west wall of the storage building. 

Westminster United Church in Winnipeg was donated a new Schulmerich Carillon by a member for a memorial. To make room for the new Bill was able to acquire the old carillon for use at the AVR. The equipment was disassembled and transported to the station which would be a temporary home while space in the garage was made. Upon examination we had an old system with two ancient 1949 version tube amplifiers with a roll reader and bell generator built in 1966. The system did not work. Bill spent several evenings reconnecting cables and as of Saturday was able to use one amplifier and ring bells using the roll reader. More work needs to be done and a new solid state amplifier would be a very nice addition. 

No work was done on Wednesday as it was too cold. On Thursday Bill spent the evening removing things from the work bench in the garage. It is being dismantled for future use in the new machine shop. This heated space will become the new home for the Carillon. 

Friday Bill cut up the lumber and designed the first of seven trusses for the storage shed.

Saturday was a cold windy bitter day but a group of dedicated members showed up from noon till 6 pm to continue with work. Gil, Peter, Fred and Bill using the pattern of wood cut up enough 2 x 4' s to make up seven trusses. A beer break followed to warm up and also have a lunch in the station. After lunch Gil, Norm, Fred and Bill nailed all seven trusses together. Richard arrived in time to help. Peter worked inside the station on castings he had made for the brake details on four cars that he wishes to build. Norm and Dain continued their painting project on sign boards and completed the second side of what had been started last Saturday. Dwight and Carmelina arrived. Bill aided by Fred, Richard and Carmelina took on the job of dismantling the work bench and storing it in the summer house. The bench was well built dating back to the second world war. All boards were screwed or bolted together. Upon re use we will need two new top boards but the balance are sound. The old heavy vise was taken to Dwight and deemed to be repairable with some work. Dwight used the new metal saw for the first time as he removed surplus material from the four frogs being used for four new switches that we will be building. The remainder of the day was spent in conversation in the station. During the afternoon Jim made a brief appearance to drop off a graph on Christmas runs.

Wednesday March 5th was very cold. Bill spent the morning at Westminster learning how the new carillon will work. It is very advanced in comparison to the old with its 49 bells. The old carillon has only 25 but alas the AVR can not afford the cost of this new system. It is great that the old system will live on. After the final set up of the new bells the installer from Schulmerich was kind enough to come see the old system. In a short time he was able to tell us what several of the old controls actually did and to point out some of the sequencing. His parting words were that these old units need a lot of contact cleaning and adjusting. Our best time would be spent cleaning and adjusting contacts. Armed with this new knowledge Bill went to work cleaning. At noon Gil and Bill built the east wall for the storage building and put it in place. Bill continued fixing the old carillon and now has the 3/4 and 1 hour strike of the bells working automatically.

Friday night Bill continued to work on the carillon as he was beginning to understand the operation and to find his way around the printed circuit plans. He found trouble with one of the wafer switches on the hour stem. This was repaired and before the end of the day Bill was able to have the bells ring each quarter hour. 

Saturday morning Bill continued to repair contacts and by 10:00 am had the system ringing correctly. Concern is that the contacts could be jarred when the unit is moved to the garage. We will need to be careful. Richard was the first to arrive and he and Bill cleaned up the floor where the Carillon would be going. A stop was made for lunch and while eating Barry arrived with eight side frames that he had drilled bearing holes in. Norm and Nance arrived with the two kids. Rob arrived shortly after. Rob set about shovelling the entire old main line while Bill, Richard and Norm moved the carillon to the garage. Dwight arrived and he and Norm sorted out all the ties placing enough for one switch on the table. Nance, Richard and Bill loaded eleven sheets of plywood for the storage building and went down and nailed up three.  Norm arrived to relieve Nance and Norm, Richard and Bill nailed up the remaining eight sheets. Back at the station Dwight, Jim, Rob and Gil cut up and drilled all rails needed for the first switch. The blade on the new power saw failed. William came with some food and spent the afternoon in the station. 

Wednesday March 12th, Bill spent the morning in the station and the garage working on both the carillon and computer. After 2:00 pm Peter, Jim and Bill worked on cutting up the rails to make six switches using Dwight's plan. While Peter and Jim cut rails Bill went to Princess Auto and got a replacement power saw blade plus a grinder dressing tool, new file and spare hand hacksaw blade. Bill reassembled the power hacksaw and made some changes to make it work better. Bill cut the base on six guard rails while Peter and Jim drilled holes. Later in the evening Peter ground the guard rails.

Friday afternoon Peter fastened all the guard rails onto main rails for all four switches. Bill and Peter untapped the lower part of the road arches.

Saturday March 15th was a very mild day after 8 weeks of cold cold weather. Bill started after 8:00 am to take down Christmas lights. He finished the un-tapping on the 16' road arches. Next he took down the 90' lighted train, lights in the parking area, all lights on play house, lights along the yard trails, east end and centre section of station, bushes in the front yard and lights on the top of the fence around the lower parking area. Fred arrived followed soon by Peter. While Peter files a frog for the first switch Fred and Bill carried to storage the 16-16' arches and the Christmas train. Jim, Dwight and Carmelina arrived and started to build the switch. Carmelina numbered all of the cut ties for easy length selection. Fred and Bill modified two of the trusses to be used as gable end trusses. Peter took down the lights on the car barn. Bill, Peter and Carmelina removed all lights on the dog house and the upper lights on the station except for the 200 that are on the dormers as Bill deemed that walking out on the roof was still too dangerous due to melting snow. The three then un-taped all trail lines for retrieval Sunday. Four more candy canes were carried in and stored. Dwight and Jim completed the first switch except for the points.  

Sunday March 16th Bill continued to take down Christmas lights and using large plastic milk boxes he collected up 11 full boxes of lights off the walking trails. Peter came over and prepared the second frog for the next switch. On Monday afternoon Peter and Jim assembled the second switch less points. On Tuesday Bill started taking down the lower parking fencing. On Wednesday Bill took down the last of the station lights and brought in more candy canes and other objects. He collected two boxes of lights off bushes. At noon Peter and Jim arrived with William coming mid afternoon. Together the second two switches were assembled.

Saturday March 22. Bill worked on controls for the carillon and installed a new code switch for the station canopy lights to bring them on at dusk and off at dawn. The signal circuit was added to the same system. It will automatically go off at midnight each day if we accidentally leave them on. Gil and Richard arrived before lunch and along with Bill spent the afternoon installing the roof trusses and half the roof deck. Lots of water as the snow melts quickly. Peter and Jim cut up steel for two show car under frames that Peter is building. Dwight and Carmelina spent the afternoon fine tuning the four switches. Shim plates and insulation were installed. During the afternoon William and Barry dropped over to see what we were doing.

Wednesday Bill spent the morning on electronics. At noon Gil came over and the two spent the afternoon bringing in arches from the main line. Jim came over to get some lumber to make switch machine ties for the four switches. William came over and Peter worked at home on bolsters for his new car.

Saturday March 29th,. Bill set up a slid show at the WMRC Spring Show. It will also run on Sunday. At noon Gil, Fred and Richard joined Bill and the four moved the new storage building east as once the snow melted we realized we were on the Paterson's property. We moved it east to clear the line. We levelled the four corners of the building. During the week Gil and Jim made up the long switch ties that will hold the switch control motors that Dwight has designed. After lunch Gil, Fred, Richard, Norm and Bill put on the rest of the roof deck and cut and installed the gable ends along with the facia on the south and north sides. While this was going on Jim and Dwight installed the points and completed one of the switches. Norm and Dain removed and stored all switch covers and Carmelina and Nance rolled up Christmas lights from the upper parking area. Barry came for a visit and Peter dropped in after his lily meeting and with Dwight replenished the station beer supply.

Wednesday afternoon a group of members gathered at the station. Bill and Fred took all 12' and 6' arches down from the upper road and parking area and stored them in the new storage building along with road marking lights from the same area. It was really nice saving all the time to take them down to the older storage area. In the station Jim, Gil and Peter worked on the switches with some help from William. A fifth right hand # 8 has now been built.

Thursday Peter, Jim and William installed the points on three more switches. Alas it snowed again tonight. 

Saturday April 5th was sunny and nice but the new snow was still around. Gil, Richard, Fred and Bill got out the table saw and cut up lumber for 12 mile posts and 2 x 2's for the shed door. The four then built the door frame and secured it to the building and put on the plywood. The facia was also installed on the east end. Later Fred and Bill took down and stored the upper parking lot fence. Back at the station Peter, Dwight, Rob and Jim completed all five switches and built components for a sixth switch which will be a #6 for the spur off the siding at Paterson. This spur which will run past the new storage building.

Wednesday April 9th was a great day with the temp going up to 24 degrees C at the station. For those used to F that is 75.2.  Peter and Bill started to assemble the curved # 6 that will be installed on the siding at Paterson to feed the new storage building. Dwight arrived after work and by dark the switch was completed making 6 switches built and ready to plant.

Saturday April 12 was a lovely day with sun and cloud. Bill started the morning off updating the WMRC web page and then getting 3001 out with 6 more cars. He took the first trip since Jan on the old line removing crews that had pinned the main line switches for the Christmas run. He then took a run to the end of the new line. It was decided that changing joint bar style and putting washers on the crews has allowed the tracks to expand and contract without pulling in on the corners. After a very hard winter the extra time and effort have paid off. Bill then collected three milk boxes of lights and cords along the main line. Other objects were made ready for transportation. Gil arrived in time for the last trip round. Peter arrived and he and Gil went to survey the pin near the new storage building to determine that we had pulled it far enough east to clear the Paterson's east line but that we were almost on the line going east west on the back jog of their property. 

Norm, Nance and the two kids arrived followed shortly by William and two of his in-laws. Everyone was given a ride on the main line. Peter, Dwight, Gil and Bill then tied back an ash tree that was leaning against the car barn. We succeeded in getting the eight inch tree to move off the facia board. Later in the spring we will use a come-along to move it still further. The group then went on a ride down the new line and Norm, Nance and Bill loaded the train with tools to complete the trim on the storage building while Peter, Gil and Dwight spent time contemplating how to extend the station trackage to the west.. The storage building crew then completed the facia boards and installed the soffits, returning to the station by train to get the shingles. Peter helped to load and unload the shingles. Norm and Bill then placed the first six rows of shingles with Nance and the boys supplying materials as needed. At 6:00 pm we cleaned up the area and took the train back to Charleswood station.

Tuesday April 15th, Bill ordered the steel for the lift, three steaming bay tracks and a new car top carrier for cars. 

Wednesday just after noon Gil,  Richard and Bill arrived and set about cleaning up the remaining Christmas displays now that the bush has dried up. The train was used to transport displays to the lower shed and the new upper shed. During the afternoon the steel arrived and was unloaded by Gil and Bill. Peter arrived in time for some conversation before the group left for the day. Bill worked on the carillon in the evening and on Thursday and now the roll reader plays bells automatically with the addition of some new solid state modifications.

Good Friday warmed up and our last snow fall melted. Bill cleaned up the turn circle and worked on the next issue of the Nutty Report. He then put out markers on four sidings to mark where trees are to be cleared. Peter arrived in the evening and proof read the nutty report and we went out by train on the new line to check what needs to be cleared for the sidings.

Saturday April 19 Bill and Gil cut up most of the steel for the new mechanical lift for the loading area. Richard cleaned up junk left over from the winter, worked on sign poles and took down a few remaining Christmas displays. Carmelina cleaned up the station. Gil and Bill measured the steaming track area and determined how big the concrete pad needs to be and later loaded all the remaining switch ties into a hopper car and stored them in the car barn. Peter creosoted four switches and transported two by train to Winch. Norm, Nance, Jim, Fred and Barry completed the shingle installation on the storage building. It is now ready for painting. Bill repaired 11 pagoda trail lamps by replacing the white plastic lenses.

HAPPY EASTER

Easter Sunday was not busy at the AVR. Bill arrived home after Church and family activities around 6:00 pm and was soon met by Andrei who brought a friend to see the railway. They got 3001 out and went for a ride. Later Bill repaired 6 more lamp heads and took the train out to replace all 17 tops, one socket, replaced 20 light bulbs and 6 bass poles. In all about 30 lamps were repaired that had been broken by our deer population during the winter. In order to discourage this activity some steel rods were put around the lamps in the most exposed areas to try and minimize the damage by running deer.

Monday Bill took the power sander to 13 mile post poles and then gave them a coat of white primer. Tuesday the Scouts helped by cutting down 5 small poplars on the siding at Paterson as part of their axe training. Later in the evening Bill repaired 13 more light heads. We will have some spares.

Wednesday Richard arrived in the afternoon and did some cleanup around the track and brought in a few missed Christmas lights and trail marking poles. Peter and Dwight arrived later and struggled with the interlocking trackage to the west of Charleswood Station. It was decided that two #7 switches were needed and if we could not find a #7 frog we would need to build them from scratch. Bill put the second coat of paint on the 13 new posts for mile signs. Dwight took the long hood off 3001 and Bill topped up the four batteries and put them on charge.

Thursday and Friday Bill continued painting signs and completed enough mile boards for the posts and started the second coat on a group of flanger boards and painted half the primer on all the cross- bucks.

Saturday was a grand day. Bill reassembled 3001 after it's battery maintenance. Bill cut all remaining trees at Paterson and raked out all ground cover while Gil and Fred transplanted two Amur Maples to the Poole's property line. The three then put out the splines and moved sufficient crushed rock to complete the doubling of the Paterson siding. Back at the station Peter and Dwight continued to look at solutions to the west switches onto the new line. Peter and Carmelina cut up sufficient ties for another four switches and cut 2 x 2's so Bill could construct three more deer gates.  Norm and Nance brought some visiting family and using 3001 took them for several rides. Around 6:00 pm all tools and equipment were put away.

Sunday it rained at the AVR. Bill printed numbers at the office for mile post signs and picked up supplies. Material for corners on shed, box car paint for shed sides, screws for mile post signs and 8 more light bulbs for trail lamps. Back at the AVR Bill put numbers 1 to 18 on one side of boards.

Monday the truck from Oklahoma arrived with 1500 feet of rail, 3 gondola kits, one flat car kit and other accessories. All was loaded into Bill's van except 1000 feet of rail. At home Bill put numbers on reverse side of sign 1 to 18. 

Wednesday Peter came early and spend some time fixing the curve on the switch for Paterson Spur. Bill arrived at 1 pm and after a quick lunch Peter and Bill using Peter's level racked out the siding sub-road-bed. Two loads of rock were needed to bring it up to grade. The train was used to transport ten track panels to location. Later Dwight arrived and assisted with the switch adjustment and spend the remaining evening replacing damaged bonding wires on the old line. Bill screwed on the 18 sign boards to their poles and painted urethane on 66% of the completed signs and set out to dry. 

Thursday Peter creosoted the north station track switch for the new line. Bill ordered a truck load of 3/4 clean crushed rock and it was delivered. Later Bill urethaned the remaining parts of the signs. They will be used to replace the old signs from 2 to 13 so those poles can be refurbished and put back into service on the new line. 

Friday Peter creosoted the Paterson Spur switch. Bill planted the 12 new mile posts on the old line. The old poles have been brought in. Eight can be re-used and four will be used as flanger poles as they had been broken in service and are now too short for mile posts. 

Saturday May 3rd was a great day with a little wind. Bill was at work by 8:30 and spent till noon repairing and adding to the deer fence around the yard. About six areas that deer had managed to penetrate were added to or repaired. We use 54" high stucco wire and in four places the deer have jumped over pushing down the wire. These were repaired. In order to make the wire higher it was installed about 14" off the ground. It was discovered over last summer that the deer have learned to "limbo" under this fence where the bush is thin. It was strange to see a full size adult doe at full run simply slip under the space. To fix the problem these areas are being filled. About 10 am Andrei arrived and spent his time dismantling the roof of a small shed in the space were the new engine house will go. Fred joined him and the two laboured away all afternoon. The remaining chain link fence was removed from the old dog runs including the wood top frame. The roof from the shed was dismantled, old shingles were placed in low areas on the walking trail. It was found that raccoons were living inside the roof and several pictures were taken. All usable materials were cleaned up and stored.

Peter and Bill unloaded 500 feet of rail from the van and set up the table by the garage in its summer work position. Gil arrived and helped Peter drill out rails for the Paterson siding. The four corner trim boards for the shed were cut and five new mile posts were made. The saw was moved to its summer home. The group broke for a lunch of hot dogs. 

Norm, Richard and Bill spent the afternoon till 6:00 pm digging out the fallen soil "clay" from the west tunnel excavation and widening it to accommodate the tunnel frame.  A centre line was established by Peter with clearance of 27" on both sides. An elevation line was also established from the end of  track to the location of the next diamond. As the tunnel has a grade through it we needed to establish the bottom depths where the footing timbers will be placed on a bed of crushed rock. Norm and Bill brought in by train five loads of rock and spread them on the bottom. It was essential that this be completed as now if we get more rain we will be able to work in the tunnel excavation without getting mired down in the mud. 

Peter, Gil, Nance and Carmelina began the task of laying the track at Paterson. As the new siding will follow the main line around the corner it was essential to make sure the curve at Paterson was correct so the templates were taken out and the curve checked. Then all new rails were joined together with joint bars and made ready for screwing down. The rails have been connected to the two switches at either end and the spur switch was located in a favourable place to allow the spur to run to the new storage building.

Dain and Brandt had a grand time checking out the new rock pile as only kids can do and acted as crossing signs each time the train passed by with a new load of rock. They also enjoyed walking the track and riding the train when possible.

Sunday May 4th. Peter and Ed arrived first and got supplies out for spiking down the track at Paterson. Bill arrived and the three unloaded the van of the equipment from Oklahoma. Peter and Ed went back to track laying while Bill took down the 500 lights over the upper parking area. Bill then spent 2 hours painting the east wall of the new storage building. Particle board costs less but it sure is hard to paint. 

Monday Ed and Peter continued to work on the Paterson Siding. Bill arrived after work and spent till 8:30 working on five more sections of deer fence. Rob came in the afternoon to give his son a ride. Jim and Carol brought the frame of the box cab back and showed one side of the box cab with the louvers applied and new ladders fastened. Jim has been working at home on the body.

Tuesday Peter and Ed continued to work on the siding and finished all but the last 30 feet. Bill spent an hour on deer fencing and worked with the scouts on bush projects.

Wednesday Peter, Jim and Richard completed the tie in on the east end of the switch and all is complete except for the points and switch mechanical. 

Thursday Bill purchased a roll of 6 mil vapour barrier for the tunnel footing.

Saturday May 10th, 2003. The weather had turned decidedly cold with light rain. Bill spent the first hour updating the web and then got the train out (3001 with six cars) for a 10:00 am birthday party group. Twenty guests came and rides were given to everyone's satisfaction. The rain had stopped by 10:00.  Bill then sanded and filled holes on six mile post signs and then completed the last page of the Nutty Report and printed the first six copies. Richard arrived and did some clean up and found three Christmas decorations that had not been put away. Lunch was made in the station. 

When Fred arrived the three went off to level the two side footings of the tunnel. First project was to run a string down the centre at 7" above rock level. Grade posts were driven every 18" down the centre. Norm, Nance, Carmelina and Rob hauled rock for the side levelling operation. A spirit level was used by Bill to check elevations from the centre line of posts. Fred shovelled while Richard raked it out. Rob carried in five timbers and they were test fit. Then a layer of 6 mil poly was laid out and the foundation timbers were replaced and the rock team filled in the centre space to protect the plastic. Jim joined the transportation team and they brought in all remaining timbers to the work area. Richard, Bill and Fred started to assemble the first 12' of tunnel liner. When Richard left Carmelina took over the job of holding the tape measure. By 6:00 pm we had assembled the first ten feet of frames and the liner was starting to take shape. While this was going on Peter and Ed laid out the centre line for the spur at Paterson that will access the new storage building and the upper parking area. They then turned there attention to cutting diagonal corner braces for the tunnel and made seven. Dwight spent his afternoon adjusting switches and completing switch points. For a cool day a lot got completed and the obstacle of the tunnel is being overcome.

Sunday Mother's Day. After family activities Bill spent an hour painting the south side of the storage building and ran out of paint. He then installed four pieces of fencing material on the deer fence to plug more holes to prevent deer "limboing".  Bill then sanded seven more mile posts. He then filled imperfections with plastic wood on 13 posts and after drying sanded these again. He then painted primer on all 13 posts and set to dry. Next 20 cross buck boards were given a coat of paint on the second side and seven mile boards were painted on the first side.

Monday Bill dug three flower gardens and weeded one and a half more. He then put the second coat of white paint on the 13 mile posts and a second coat on cross bucks and a first coat on more mile boards. Peter and Bill approved the final location for the Paterson spur and grain elevator. The Paterson's were consulted and Lorne will try and get some plans for an actual elevator from Paterson Grain Co. 

Wednesday May 14th, 2003. Peter and Jim completed the cutting of the 30 needed diagonal braces for the tunnel frames. Rob came over and moved some rock for support at two switch locations. Dwight and Bill arrived at about 6:00 pm and cleared trees and bush on the Winch siding. Three ornamental type trees are now ready to transplant and then rock can be placed in this area. 

Thursday Bill gave guests from his youngest granddaughter's first birthday a ride on the AVR. Later the 13 posts got their first coat of black on the bottom. 

Friday Bill put on the second coat of black and painted all sign boards a coat of white paint. He printed the rest of the "Nutty Reports"

Saturday May 17th, 2003. Bill took masking tape off the 13 completed mile posts. he put a final coat of white to all sign boards that were at that stage. He started deco paging the "CROSSING" lettering on 14 cross bucks. Peter arrived and he and Bill went around the railway counting the number for flanger, number boards, whistle and cross buck signs that will be needed. Richard arrived and took on the job of relocating the ornamental trees from the Winch siding to the Pool's east property line. The crew stopped for hot dogs in the station. After lunch the group divided into two groups. Group one headed up by Bill took on the job of assembling the tunnel frame and putting it into place. The team consisted of Bill, Richard, Norm and Rob. By 7:00 pm the structure was completed and moved into the tunnel slot. The side boards were only nailed on high enough to clear the side soil that is already in place. This keeps the structure lighter so it is easier to move this 28 foot long structure. During the three main moves all other members on site would help with the pushing and moving which was made possable using six pipe rollers and a two wheel dolly.

The second crew was headed up by Peter and started with the drilling out of the 30 diagonal braces and then cutting up 15 flanger posts and 14 cross buck posts. This crew consisted of Peter, Ed, David, Nance and Carmelina.  This crew also looked after giving a few rides to some casual visitors. Dwight worked on a new modification of spring switch points to strengthen the assembly. Carmelina cleaned up the station.

Sunday was a very wet day. No outside work but after church Bill deco paged 14 "RAIL  WAY" lettering on the opposite side of cross buck arms. He put numbers on both sides of 17 mile post signs and installed 16 of them on 13 posts. He then painted white on 24 flanger signs on both sides and completed the painting on the remaining crossing bucks. Peter replenished the station beer supply later in the evening.

On Monday, Victoria Day, Bill was up early and put the protective coat of Varathane on the 13 completed mile post signs. Mile post 1 and 19 was installed. Bill installed five more pieces of fencing along the deer fence. Later in the evening he added five more pieces to help keep the deer from feeding on bedding plants. Andrei and Peter arrived about 10:30 and re-surveyed the tunnel and centre line for the connecting sub-road-bed. As was thought the finished tunnel centre is correct at the west portal but 2 inches too far north at the east portal. Not a problem at all. We stopped for lunch and Nance and Norm arrived with their two boys. After lunch Bill and Andrei and later Richard and Rob joined to nail on all the side timbers and four rows of roof timbers. We are short seven 2 X 8's x 12' long timbers to complete the roof. Norm and David also helped with the nailing. Bill did all the cutting. 

Norm and Nance spent most of the afternoon hauling rock to the area west of the tunnel. Nance operated the train several times to try her hand at running #202. Dain also made a couple of trips and helped his dad do some switching. Later Brandt and Dain kept busy pushing each other around the old line in the black gondola. David using Peter's level set the elevation of the sub-road-bed from end of track to the west portal. Peter acted as rod man and raker. Later Norm and Andrei switched places on rock detail and Andrei started pushing the rock on the flat car by hand without using the locomotive.  All rock and grading was completed to the tunnel but only 9 of the 14 bays were filled with rock. Track panels were hauled to the area and Peter drilled out 7 rails. At one point all three locomotives were in action. Bill and Andrei un-stacked some cars and got two trains ready for a scout activity on Tuesday night. 

Tuesday Rob arrived in the morning and filled the remaining sections in the tunnel with rock. After lunch Peter joined him and the two laid track right up to the tunnel portal. At 6:30 the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers of the 82 nd Westminster group came for their windup wiener roast and train ride. Rob and Bill gave 112 rides on 10 trains. Rob took 6109 up the new track to the tunnel and Bill did double laps on the old loop with 3001. The kids and parents had a good time. Rob put trains away while Bill cleaned up food from the event. There are some left over cookies for the AVR crew.

Wednesday May 21st. Gil and Jim screwed down the 28 feet of track through the tunnel. Rob came and moved some rock. Peter started to lay out the "Y" switch that forms the western end of the tunnel cut-off. Later Dwight came over and he and Peter completed most of the switch. Bill arrived after work and with Jim they raked and used the "Weed-Eater" on the Winch siding and placed the splines and spread the first six loads of rock on the siding. 

Thursday Bill purchased 11  2 x 8's to complete the roof on the tunnel liner.

Friday Peter checked out some calculations and decided that the "y" switch under construction could be improved so with Ed and Gil's help they totally rebuilt the switch making it fit the position better. Later in the evening Peter and Jim creosoted the switch so it will be ready to install on Saturday.

Saturday May 24th, 2003. "The Real Victoria Day" Bill and Fred completed the job of putting 2 x 8's on the roof of the tunnel liner. They then put 6 mil poly all over the top and down the sides to keep mud from getting to the timbers. During this time Gil was building a hinged gate for the deer fence were the tunnel line will leave the yard. Peter, Andrei and David installed the tunnel cut off switch and interconnecting line. Norm, Nance and Rob moved rock to the siding at Winch. They used the wheelbarrow on the train plus loaded 10- five gallon pails with rock to get a good load per trip.  Andrei and David conducted a level survey on the siding and rock was added to bring it up to level. The siding is now ready for switches and track. Once the tunnel and gate were done Bill, Gil and Fred cleared all brush off the 150 feet of the Paterson Spur and raked and used the "Weed-Eater" to clear away all organic material. The first set of splines were placed and a start at moving rock was made. David and Andrei did a level survey of the line and indicated four areas were some digging will be needed. Rob left early to baby sit and returned with five kids and along with Dain and Brandt made up a train with seven children who became the first people to proceed through the tunnel and the cut off back to the station. Dwight had spent the afternoon installing a set of temporary spring points on the switch at the cut off and doing some insulating for the signal system. Before night fall all members had a chance to ride through the tunnel and back to the station.

Sunday Bill planted a whole bunch of beading plants including all the pots around the station area. He then worked on the deer fence plugging up some more holes for a couple of hours and finished the day planting mile post signs at 14 through 18. Four of the old poles will be re-buildable and two will become flanger poles. Peter, Ed and David checked out what was needed for the diamond and spent the rest of the afternoon working on the diamond. 

Monday Peter and Ed continued to work on the diamond. Many pieces of track to cut and fit. Bill spent two hours cutting grass and then plugged some more deer holes in the fence. At 8:30 Bill measured the new track for correct places to plant mile post signs from mile 19 to 37 on the new line. By the time he got to mile 37 it was too dark to read the tape. He then planted mile post signs at 24, 30, 32, and 34 using the head light on 6109 and the abundant fire flies in the area. While on the line he repaired 8 of the trail lights.

Tuesday Bill planted mile post 28, 35 and 36. Jim came over and he and Bill carried rock by train to level the reverse elevation at the switch at mile 35. They also levelled the "y" switch at the tunnel and the cut off track at mile 34. Bill purchased provisions for the station. 

Wednesday - The diamond is ready to plant. Peter, Ed, Jim, Gil, David and Dwight took turns making final completions to the new diamond and last night Peter creosoted it making it ready to plant. Richard and Gil also hauled rock for the last run to the station. Bill rolled out the last of the water line and had the big sucker truck clean out the facilities storage tank. Bill spent the remaining evening sanding and preparing 4 poles for cross bucks and four mile sign posts.

Saturday was a bright sunny day. Bill was in the station by 8:00 then spent 15 minutes chasing a deer out of the yard that had got in. Six lilies were eaten. Bill put up the lily fence and installed two new speakers for the carillon on the top of the implement shed. Peter and Gil arrived followed by Fred. Bill, Peter and Fred worked on installing the new diamond. Gil made two extensions for the deer gates. Rob and Richard arrived and together with Gil hauled rock to fill up the tunnel track. They then carried rock to fill the area between the diamond and the station track with Nance, Norm and Bill's help. Fred did a level survey of how much rock was needed. Bill, Gil, Richard and Rob dug out the five hills on the Paterson spur. Bill and Peter joined up 20 feet of track east of the new diamond but will have to wait for Sunday to be screwed down. Dwight spent the afternoon working on a #7 frog that is needed for the next switch. Carmelina spent time cleaning up the station. Dain and Brant spent the afternoon enjoying the railway and pushing cars around. 

Sunday Peter and Bill screwed down the next 20 feet of track east of the diamond and ran a train through it. Bill planted more bedding plants. Len came over to inspect the work done this spring.

Monday Bill painted the prim coat on four mile posts and four cross buck poles. After he painted the west and north walls of the storage building.

Tuesday Bill ordered a truck load of 3/4 clean rock. Standard thought they could have it delivered by Wednesday afternoon. Later the eight posts got the second coat of white paint.

Wednesday June 4th, 2003. Ed and Peter came over in the afternoon and discovered a stretch of track between the Creosote diamond and the east tunnel that had lost its super-elevation. They fixed it. Dwight completed the #7 frog so the switch needed next can be built. David found an elevation bench mark near the railway and would like to find the actual elevation above sea level for the railway. A truck load of rock was delivered in the evening. Bill put a new saw blade on the electric band saw.  Bill with assistance from Rob moved 18-5 gal pails of rock and spread them on the freshly super-elivated track. They also placed 12 buckets of rock at the west end of Old Fort where the super-elevation was always going out. Later Bill placed 14 buckets of rock at the end of track were the #7 switch will go. 

Thursday Bill painted the black bottoms on eight sign posts.

Friday Peter and Ed came over early and built the #7 switch.  Rob came over to give his son a train ride. Dwight came after work and fine tuned the switch. Bill picked up 100 nuts and bolts to fasten the lift together. Bill brought to the AVR the last two boxes of rail. Bill mounted four sets of cross bucks and one mile post sign on five painted posts.

Saturday June 7th. 2003.  The shy was overcast and rain was likely. Bill went to the station and put a coat of urethane on the five completed signs. He then began repainting the gold portions of the hand rails on #3001 and touched up some missing paint. Andrei arrived at 10:00 and got 6109 out with the work cars. He then unbolted the station cut off tracks so the road-bed could be raised. Peter and David arrived. David and Andrei took Peter's level and commenced a level survey to bring a bench mark elevation reading to the AVR. Peter put on old clothes and creosoted the new #7 switch. Richard arrived and with Bill's help lifted the station cut off tracks out of the way. Then Richard dug in the water line going between the new track and old main line. Peter and Richard finished their first tasks and it started to rain hard. Just in time for a long lunch break at the station. After lunch David and Andrei switched their survey skills to the new track area and spent their remaining time doing level shots in that area. Richard, Ed, Norm, Nance and Carmelina spent a good part of the afternoon moving rock to bring up elevations on the new track all the way to the station. Dain and Brandt spent time ridding with the rock train and pushing around a couple of gondolas. Peter supervised the progress. Bill completed his painting project and then laid out the steel base for the lift and drilled all the holes and test fit the bolts to start the foundation for the lift.  Two scout leaders came over to borrow the grill. Richard took the opportunity with Carmelina's help to clean up the area after winter's accumulation of junk. They tidied up many areas around the station making it ready for the open house. Before end of work Peter and Dwight had located the place were the next several switches need to be located. Tolerances where tight and some compromises will need to be made. Rob came over in the evening and helped. Some of the tie in track was cut to length and placed. Dwight had been working quietly all afternoon on points. A set were installed on the east switch at Paterson and one point made for the spur. Others were made for other locations but will be completed later. Bill planted the first two new cross bucks at the east station level crossing. Tools and train were put away and six of the members went out for a late supper.

Sunday Peter came over to spike down the track connecting the #7 and #8 switches. Later in the afternoon Rob and his wife Shirley came over and together the three spiked down the line and reconnected the station cut off line and Peter spiked down the first 20 feet. Bill spent the afternoon cutting grass in the yard, outer trail and upper parking area. He stopped to take seven casual visitors for a ride on the new and old lines. After supper Lisa and Bill went out and greased the whole system and then planted new crossing signs at Amur Glen and placed the mile 26 sign. Several trips were made to spread the grease. Bill used the weed eater to clean up the area around the station.

Monday was a day filled with rain. Ed and Peter cam over in the morning. Ed had his wife and grand kids so several train rides were given. At 11:00 am a senior Citizens home group came and Bill gave a double ride for a group of 14 and 13. Due to the age we put all three operator cars on one train giving us five seats with backs. Worked well. Old people loved seeing our deer including the new born. They stayed for a BBQ lunch and left about 1:00 pm. Peter stayed and in the evening when the rain stopped he connected the north siding in the station to the new track and left the south connected to the old line. It will now be possible to go completely around both lines before stopping and end up going in the same direction. Bill dismantled 3001 and removed batteries 1 & 2 as they will not hold a full charge. These are to be replaced. Bill cleaned up the car and started to modify the train rack.

Tuesday Peter was again over and with Ed's help they continued to screw down track on the station cut off and almost got to the end. During the day they also completed the tie in of the new line to the north track of the station and would have been able to run a train but Bill had 3001 in pieces all over the station and 6109 was boxed in. Bill was able to exchange the two batteries and at 5:30 started to re assemble 3001 but Peter had to leave and did not get a ride. Bill modified the train rack for the van and put it in ready for Sunday night. Rob came over and both went for a ride to test out 3001 and its new batteries and to test out the new trackage.

Wednesday afternoon Peter and Ed completed the track on the station cut off and Richard and Rob hauled rock and levelled the new track widening the base. The group took several rides on the new track. Dwight came and disconnected all the switch control mechanism from the station switch until it is relocated and needed again. Bill arrived and went out to trim weeds and long grass at both Amur Glen and Ash Grove. About 500 feet of trimming was done before it became too dark. 

Quietly and without much notice the Assiniboine Valley Railway now can run trains around both complete loops with a station pass through between. While there are still three switches and a fourth diamond needed to get the system complete it is non the less complete in that we can give passengers rides without backing up on the new line. During the spring of 2003 many members volunteered countless hours to the various projects but at the end of the day credit needs to go to one member who pushed us all on to complete the project. He was determined that nothing would stand in the way of having the loop back to the station. He was here almost every day and pushed on regardless of the weather. This single honour goes to our first vice-president Peter Abel. The completion of the line not only makes us all happy but it will be remembered as it falls on Peter's birthday. Congratulations and many more to come.

On behalf of all the members, a big thanks goes to Peter for giving us the guidance and perseverance to push ahead.

Thursday Bill planted another 10 dz. plants and did some weed eating near the station.

Friday Gil, Peter and Rob came over and cleaned the exterior of 3001 and 6109 plus cleaned the rugs and gravel from all gondolas in the dog house. After work Bill made up a project list and operating rules for this weekend's run. Rob came back and he and Bill took four black gondola loads of extra stuff out of the station and back to the maintenance building. Peter came later to assist. Bill and Rob cleaned up the gondolas that were in the car barn. Bill touched up some paint scratches on 3001. Bill did battery maintenance on 202 in the maintenance building and returned it to charge.

Saturday was a glorious day but attendance at the open house was light but steady. The numbers grew as the afternoon came. Bill manned the station and Rob did most of the runs but was helped by Bill, Len, Peter, David and Richard. In all 23 public runs were had. During the club's BBQ Rob put 12 cars on 3001 to have a very long train and it navigated our railway but we are not sure how well with 35 passengers?  Other members took on projects. Richard, Fred and Gil with assistance from Carmelina and Nance hauled most of the rock for Paterson spur. Norm and later with help from Len and Fred removed all fence posts from future locomotive house and stored them. Len wired up the car barn for sensors. In the station Dain and Brandt helped by handing out train tickets to guests. Dwight installed a switch controller at Paterson and adjusted and made additional parts. All members who could stayed for a BBQ of hamburgers cooked up by Bill.

Sunday open house, another fine day. People were waiting at the station when Len and Bill arrived. Trains were got out and rides given. Engineers today were Len, Bill, Peter, Gil, Ed and Rob.  Len, Norm and Bill emptied the contents of the old white building where the new engine house will go. Some went to new storage and some went to land file at the new tunnel. The siding at Paterson was used for the first time. Nance and the boys handed out tickets and all members enjoyed the visitors.  3001 and three cars were loaded for the west coast ramble.

Tuesday Jun 17th, Bill mixed up six batches of Round Up and with the 2 gal hand sprayer treated weeds on the entire railway with the exception of between Duck Lake and Ghosty Hollow. The area around the new engine house was sprayed along with the turn circle paving stones. Having still time on his hands Bill took the axe and cleared all brush from the siding at Chapman. As Bill was still waiting he tackled sanding the ten old mile post sign boards and after removing all the old paint he painted them with primer and also painted eight flanger boards. Then he sanded three tall crossing poles and seven mile post poles. After sanding all the imperfections, nail holes and knots were filled with plastic wood.

Due to the WEST COAST RAMBLE this weekly update will not be added to until the open house in July.

Engine #3001  attended the 2003 west coast ramble starting at Train Mountain in southern Oregon. The meet lasted a week with 240 train present at the Saturday parade. While at Train Mountain we also ran on the Over The Hill Club.  Next it ran at the Medford, Oregon followed by a trip to Kit Sap in Washington but #3001 stayed in the van. Next stop was a ferry ride from Port Angeles to VIME in Victoria, B.C. followed by a visit on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Burnaby where 3001 pulled the public and helped that club celebrate its 75 anniversary and 10th year at Confederation Park. The next day #3001 was unloaded at the Train Museum at Squamish and got to try out their new lift and run on the Mini Rail. On the way back home the AVR's #3001 became the first visiting locomotive at Airdrie near Calgary and to run on their first loop of track. #3001 is now back home after a long trip.

Back at the AVR several of the members kept projects going. Dwight fabricated and installed points on all switches that were connected to track. He also overhauled the east end station switch. The rock was completed on the Paterson spur and track panels and rail were placed and joined together ready to be screwed down. The old white building was dismantled to make way for the proposed engine house. On Friday Bill cut the grass around the station and upper parking.

Saturday July 12th, 2003 was a glorious day for an open house. People came at a steady pace all afternoon but one train was enough to handle the visitors most of the time. As a good group of members were present other projects were completed. Richard took on the job of digging the cut for the siding at Chapman. He was assisted at various times by Andrei, Barry and Bill. The soil was used to make ramps for level crossings and was transported by train. Bill put the primer paint on all posts sanded and he was assisted by Gil. Gil took the job of installing the corner trim boards on the new shed. Dwight took on the job of building a #6 switch for a spur off the spur at Paterson which will service the future Paterson grain elevator. He was assisted by Peter, David, Norm and Andrei. All members took a turn at driving, dispatching, ticket distribution and PR.

Sunday was the second day of the open house and Peter, Gil and Bill handled the guests who came to ride on the AVR. It looked like rain but unlike many areas of Winnipeg that got heavy rain and hail the AVR was spared.

Monday July 14th, Bill ordered the four Acme screws, nuts, bearings, sprockets and casters for the new lift. In the evening he bolted together the base and one of the uprights.

Tuesday Bill picked up the four casters and 300 lock nuts for joint bars. In the evening he drilled and erected the remaining three corners of the main lift.

Wednesday Richard, Gil, Peter, Bill, David and Dwight came to the AVR. Peter completed the #6 switch with Richard's help and then creosoted it. Bill with Gil's help cut up the eight brackets for the caster mounts. While Bill machined the brackets, Gil and Richard cut up the top brace steel. Bill then installed all four casters and with David's help moved the lift to the driveway area. Bill then installed the upper bracing. Dwight put a spring on the main station lead switch and rebuilt the switch points. Peter and David set out lines to look at a different way to extend the station track. At a late supper Peter, Dwight, David and Bill talked about the pros and cons of the four solutions to the station track problem.

Thursday Bill sanded and wire brushed with drill, sander and side grinder all the rust off the new steel lift frame and then applied one coat of red oxide primer to the structure. It took four hours. Rob came to inspect the progress.

Friday Bill was interviewed by the Metro News on the progress of the AVR and several pictures were taken.

Saturday Bill was in the station by 8:00 am and worked on a report on the ramble for two hours. David was first to arrive. Bill took out 3001 as a work train for Chapman and David took out 6109 for a work train for Paterson. Richard arrived and he and Bill went to get Chapman ready for its siding. Nine more 5 gal pails of soil were dug and deposited on the trails near the station. All roots and small stems were chopped out and the whole siding area was cleared with the weed eater and raked. Splines were laid out to hold the crushed rock and three loads were taken and spread but due to the heat and humidity work was slow. David, Peter and Carmelina took equipment by train to Paterson and planted the new switch and continued to screw down track on the Paterson spur. Back at the station Dwight replaced the points on the north end of the tunnel cut off and then re-used those points on the elevator spur off the Paterson spur. Bill with help from Richard and Dwight started to do the fabrication of the lift section for the new train unloader. A sudden rain brought all work to an end as we scrambled to put equipment away and not get too wet.

Sunday after church Bill continued the rock moving to Chapman siding and moved by train 70 five gal. pails of rock and moved the splines to the end of the siding. He spent one hour drilling and bolting the three spacers on the lift section of the unloader. He also measured and clamped in place the first of the lift arms. Peter, Ed and David came in the afternoon and screwed rail on Paterson spur to the 80 foot mark.

Monday Bill ordered a tandem truck of 3/4 down lime stone for road repairs and steaming bay area building to come on Wednesday. He also ordered 14 yards of soil to fill the pot holes and depressions in the upper parking area. The last item was the rental of a "Bob Cat" for Saturday to do the work. When Bill got home from work he moved 55 more pails of rock to complete Chapman siding. He raked it out and moved three splines to the elevator spur off Paterson. He then used the weed eater to clear grass and the axe to clear brush from that spur. Two small cuts were dug and the first five pails of rock were spread. Work stopped when the light failed.

Bill arrived at the AVR at 5:30 and took 3001 out and filled 20 more buckets of rock and spread them at the elevator spur. That completed it to the fence. He then used the weed eater on grass on the new spur and also 50 feet either side of the Paterson level crossing. debris was moved from the parking area in preparation for filling ruts and pot holes. Bill then measured the area were the concrete pad will be laid at the unloading area and started to remove the paving stones that are in the way in preparation for digging on Saturday. Bill then shopped for station food and four types of soft drink.

Wednesday July 23rd Bill had the day off and started the day drilling holes and installing more bolts in the lift table. He then filled 10 pails with the last of the 3/4 clean rock and loaded it on the train in case one of the areas needed additional fill.  He then supervised the unloading of 7 yards of top soil and a load of 3/4 down for road repair and steaming bay building. Richard arrived and removed the remaining 1/3 of the paving stones. Peter arrived and a level survey was conducted with Bill at the steaming bay and unloading area. A photographer from the Free Press arrived and took a picture of the three at the bridge with 3001. Two of William's sisters came with family members and Peter showed them the railway and gave several rides. Richard and Bill cleared up other stuff at the steaming bay area in preparation for Saturday. Len came over and a long discussion ensued about the west Charleswood tracks. Solution # 5 was discussed. Len and Richard left and David and Dwight arrived. Dwight made up switch parts while David, Bill and Peter made some elevation posts at the steaming bay area and then levelled the rock at the elevator spur using up half the pails of rock. We are now ready to lay track on this spur. Bill cut with Dwight's help the angle iron for the truss on the lift table.

Thursday July 24th, 2003.  Bill priced out the concrete for the unloading area pad. Costs $250.00 more to get it ready to go but saves hours of work and considering what needs to be done before the end of August the time by members might be better spent in other areas. Bill ordered the steel re-bar for the pad. At home Bill spent about three hours drilling and grinding and installing the truss on one side of the lift table. As some machining has been done the second side should take less time.

During the day on Friday Bill picked up the four Acme screws and bearings for the lift. He spent some time talking to machining companies about a price for turning the six foot long screws. He got a price to cut the eight bearing blocks but not the machining part.  Peter and David came in the evening and screwed down another 45 feet of Paterson Spur.

Saturday July 26, 2003. Bill cut down three big dead branches from the Ash tree in front of the station. He moved Paul's old car to an out of the way place in the upper parking area. The rental Bob Cat arrived and Bill started the excavation of the future steaming area where three 20 foot bays will be put. Richard arrived and took the shovel and spread or moved all the soil around the sides and around trees where the machine could not go. Bill and Richard also buried large items or got them ready for the garbage. Next the pit for the 14 foot by 22 foot concrete pad was excavated. Peter and David arrived and took 6109 to Paterson and completed the spur to the end. Dwight and Carmelina arrived and he spent the rest of the day working on switch points. Carmelina spent he time working with the track laying crew who completed the 32 feet of the elevator spur. During the afternoon two groups of visitors arrived and were given train rides on 3001.  Bill completed the excavation and while Richard caught up on the cleanup of the edges Bill used up most of the crushed rock repairing pot holes on the road with the machine. Once Richard had left for the day Bill placed rock on the new steaming area. Peter, David and Carmelina surveyed and placed six rods for elevation points for the concrete pad. Bill spread by rake all the rock on the area and placed two loads for the base of the pad. He then used up the remaining rock on the road and then spread half the topsoil in the upper parking area. While this was going on the survey crew levelled all the stone on the siding at Chapman. The whole gang went for supper at 9:30 pm. 

Sunday Peter and David arrived in the morning and spent most of the day laying out various ways to connect the new and old lines at the west end of Charleswood station. The problem is to allow the connection of the new line and old line using the same two tracks in front of the station and extend that double line about 70 feet to the west allowing for extra train storage on the old line for incoming or outgoing trains. Main problem is a tree that we are trying to preserve. Up to Sunday five solutions had been made and with Sunday's effort a sixth solution has now been found that not only preserves the tree but increases the incoming curve to 65' from 50' and allows for 70' of double line before the crossover from the new line and allows for the longest distance east of the diamond in front of the station. The solution # 6 also allows for a third track of about 50 feet to parallel the main lines to be used as storage which is needed in the area of the station. Robert Dirksen, our member from Arizona came by to see the progress. Bill arrived home from church at about 1:00 pm and finished up the Bob Cat work in the upper parking area until Len arrived and then Bill and Len built the framing for the concrete pad. The wood was cut to depth and length and many of the paving stones were lined up to get the correct alignment. Several groups of visitors arrived and were given rides. Peter and David finished off the afternoon by lifting a piece of track at lightning junction and removing a high spot in the sub-road-bed.

Monday Bill made up 8" pins and secured the back of the form. He also spread the crushed rock and put rock around the outsides of the form. He raked all the new soil then spread grass seed and raked it in again. 

Tuesday Bill replaced the bent blade on the lawnmower that was damaged on a level crossing, he then cut the grass in the yard, in the upper parking and on the nature trails.

Wednesday Ed and Peter drilled out 21 lengths of rail. Bill picked up steel for the pad. In the evening, Peter, Dwight, David, Jim and Bill tried to resolve the problem of West Charleswood. The group is leaning towards solution #6 but can it be done before the Labour Day Meet? Bill cut up 100 wire ties and laid out the steel in the pit and tied about 80 joints. Richard came and readied 3001 for his daughters wedding on Saturday.

Thursday a truck load of 3/4 clean crushed rock was delivered to the AVR.

Friday Bill picked up a 16' 2 x 6 to be used to screed out the concrete. Peter came to check on the West Charleswood switch.

Saturday Aug. 2 nd., 2003.  A great day. Bill was in the station by 8:00 am and cut up some more wire ties and put another 26 ties on the steel. He then put stones under all the intersections to raise the steel. He then installed the second truss on the lift section. Gil and Peter arrived. Peter was hoping to fix the West Charleswood switch. Gill and Bill measured out where the three steaming tracks would go in relation to the pad and nine posts were marked. Bill went off to drill out and install eight nuts and bolts at the base of the lift frame for additional strength. Fred arrived and spent his time with Gil digging the holes for the sockets that will hold the pipes holding up the steaming tracks. Of all the jobs done this day, Gil and Fred worked the hardest. When the afternoon was spent the nine holes were dug and trenches made between all ready for concrete to be poured. Back at the station Peter, Ed and David did a level survey of the switch. 

Bill got out 6109 and made up a train in preparation for wedding guests who had attended Richard's daughters wedding. Bill took two groups of guests for a ride and Richard got out the wedding train with #3001 all decorated up with flowers. When the official wedding party arrived they all boarded the special train and set out on their trip with Richard as engineer. Bill turned 6109 over to David who followed the wedding train with more guests while Bill went on foot to take pictures of the special train in all the normal spots and some new ones where pictures can be taken. Bill took another 15 guests on a last trip with 3001. The wedding guests went to the front yard for more photo opportunities on the bridge. 

After the wedding party left for the reception Bill went back to work on the lift and wire brushed rust off the lift section in preparation for painting. Ed, Peter, David and Carmelina made up two track panels and straightened up the West Charleswood switch. A discussion took place about timing and it was decided that a "Y" switch will be built to tie in both station tracks to the old line but that there may not be time to do all at West Charleswood before the Labour Day Meet but that as much as can be done will be done. Dwight adjusted some switches and carried out some other track work. Some additional paving stones were removed in preparation for Wednesday's concrete work.

Sunday Peter and Ed came over to start on the "Y" switch that needs to be built to connect the north station switch to both old and new lines. The ties were lined up and calculations made. Peter also made up one tie panel. Gil came over and cut a series of support boards for the concrete form and then painted ten sign posts and a series of sign boards. Bill picked up a new wire wheel and cleaned off the remaining rust from the lift section and put a coat of primer on the whole thing. He then touched up the white paint on the poles and sign boards where they had been resting to dry.

Monday was a holiday in our area so Bill was able to go straight to the station and begin the day on the hobby. He made up two of the pages on Railways we have visited and then repaired the wheelbarrow by making up a new front nose piece on the drill press and then installed it and tightened up all the nuts and bolts. The next project was to take the train to Paterson with the weed eater and clean up a whole bunch of long grass along the Paterson Spur and in other areas around the upper parking area. About then Gil came over to help move the steel for the three 20' long steaming tracks. 

First task was to carry the loading lift table and place it in the frame and it fit. Next we carried six channels to an area in the yard where some shade might be available. Bill cut up spacers to be welded on in two places on each unit. The other three supports will be angles that connect to the posts. Bill welded while Gil used the wire wheel to clean up the weld. After Gil left Bill cleaned all rust on one unit and painted it with primer. To have a break Bill went back to Paterson and cut down tall grass from there to mile post 26. Returned to the station area and started cleaning rust on the other two but it started to rain. A quick clean up of tools and putting trains away followed and as it was still early Bill retired to the station where 16 ten inch angles where cut for supports between channels and posts.

Barry came over to inspect lift and see if gear motor that Bill found would do the job. It was tested and looks like it will. It is 12 volt DC and will go in either direction and came out of a WW2 aircraft. It was determined that the steaming tracks will be 36 inches off the ground.

Tuesday Bill picked up the four drive sprockets for the lift and ordered the drive sprocket for the motor. He went to a metal supplier and picked up nine square sockets 18" long for the post holders. He went to a machine shop where they will cut the bearing and sprocket surfaces on the acme screws. At the AVR Bill placed in there respective holes the nine sockets using a string grid for locations. Bill ordered the nine posts and picked up the 2.75" x 2.75" x 1" steel plates for Barry to machine.

Wednesday Bill was in the station by 7:30 and worked on the web page. Then he started to install the footings for the track between the new pad and the nature trail. He also defined the elevations on the loading spur back to the main line and installed elevation markers along the way. It was decided to put up a retaining wall along the track from the pad to the nature trail. Bill moved a flat car load of concrete blocks to be used as a retaining wall. Ed and Peter came over and worked on the "Y" switch.

Gil made up a levelling template for the sockets. At 1:30 the concrete truck arrived and Gil and Bill moved and screeded the concrete making it more or less level. It was a problem getting it as smooth as we wanted. Bill filled the holes around the sockets while Gil levelled them up. It was about 6:30 when all was cleaned up. Bill carried the concrete blocks to the retaining wall and placed them. Len came over and together they brought in another load and completed the retaining wall. Barry came over with the eight bearing blocks all machined and ready to install.

Thursday Bill removed all the spilled concrete from the outside of the frame, removed all the shoring and proceeded to relay all the paving stones that had been removed on the north and east of the pad. He then loaded all the extra tools and supplies in the station onto a couple of gondolas and took them to the maintenance building. Last a quick sweep and garbage removal took place.

Friday Peter and Ed completed the slide plate and side angles on the "Y" switch. At 5:30 Bill dug a trench south of the new pad and buried a plastic conduit for the pole lamp that was disconnected. He covered the socket openings with masking tape and backfilled the entire steaming bay area right up to the pad. Bill then made a retaining wall for the first 16 feet of the loading spur and filled the cavity with crushed rock. It is now level and ready for track.

Saturday Bill got the trains out and greased certain areas of the track. He then mounted the west pedestal on the nature trail and loading spur. Len arrived and took the first four passengers at 9:30 am. The day was filled with little showers but the big rain stayed away. People came steadily until 5:00 pm. People running trains and helping for the day were, Bill, Len, Peter, Dwight, Richard, David, Fred and Carmelina. Dwight spent most of his day adding points and tuning up the "Y" switch that is now ready to creosote and plant.

Sunday Aug. 10th, 2003 marked the second say of our open house. Bill was interviewed by CJOB at 8:15 in the morning. Bill and Len arrived about 12:30 from church soon followed by Fred. The trains were gotten out and visitors began to arrive. We had 100 more visitors in three hours less time on Sunday. In the afternoon CKY TV came by and a news spot was aired in the evening and on Monday noon. They promoted the Aug. 31 st public run. The following members ran trains and manned the station. Bill, Peter, Len, Richard, David, Fred, Norm and Nance. After the public run the members of the club with other family members stayed for a BBQ. Other productive work was done by Richard and Bill who took a third work train out and brought back two loads of concrete pieces to build a retaining wall. Norm gave a hand placing the last load. After eating Fred took the kids for several rides. It was a good day. 

Monday Bill picked up the replacement saw table cable so we can fix the table saw. Bill also picked up the nine steaming bay posts and the four machined screws. In the evening he put the first coat of black on 10 sigh poles as well as some decoupage.

Tuesday Bill picked up 100- 1.25" bolts with nuts and washers to fasten the steaming bay tracks to the poles. He picked up the sprocket for the drive motor and the rods to make hangers for the idler sprockets. At the AVR he hauled in another two loads of concrete blocks and made more retaining wall. He then lifted the remaining track back to the main line and hauled 16 wheelbarrows of rock to raise the elevation. More will be needed. About 9:00 pm Bill set all nine posts into the sockets at the steaming bay and after getting provisions for the station he put on the second coat of black paint on ten sign posts and touched up the sign boards. 

Wednesday Len, Richard, Peter, Dwight and Bill arrived about noon. Len's principal job for the day was to install four bottom thrust bearing blocks on the bottom of the screws and install four upper guide bearings. The job was difficult as each had to be measured and drilled and tapped. By 10:00 pm the four bottoms were in but only two tops. 

 Bill took on the job of mounting the three 20 ft steaming bay tracks on the poles and drilling and installing all the bolts to level them off. By 9:30 both ends were installed with hangers but more are to be added for extra strength. He then cut up the steel for two unloading lift extensions to go to vehicles. 

Peter took on the job of replacing the loading spur track from the driveway to the nature trail and that was accomplished using a pre existing section that needed modification. 

Richard hauled rock for the fill on the loading spur and also placed additional concrete pieces brought in from the upper parking area along the embankment wall. Some dead trees were removed and he helped Bill carry the steam bay tracks.

Dwight completed the temp "Y" switch with points and then prepared supplies for the next "Y" that needs to be built. He measured the whole area again to determine the angles needed.

Thursday Bill ordered the chain for the lift. After work he removed the end lift channels for the lift table and Barry picked them up for drilling. Bill hauled another six loads of rock for the loading spur and filled up the large file between the retaining walls. When Barry came back with the lift pieces drilled he and Bill carried an old section of rail from Lightning Jct. and it looked like it would fit the missing rail on the loading spur. Bill cut up two six foot 2 x 6's for the lift bridge and commenced installing the track on the loading spur until 9:30 when the light failed and now needs about 30 minutes work to complete. Len came over and with our portable light mounted the remaining two top bearings on the lift section.

Friday Aug 15 Bill picked up key stock for the sprockets and 30 feet of chain. Len came over after work and replaced any missing ties on the loading spur and nailed the ties on to the lift out bridge section. It will now be possible to get equipment off the railway for the meet at Red River on Saturday.

Saturday Bill got the trailer down to the loading area. He deco paged one side of nine mile post signs and put cross bucks on one post. About six guests came from the meet at Red River and they were given a ride. Bill completed the work on the nature trail lift bridge and built a ten foot temporary bridge to go from the trailer to the loading spur. Richard with the help of Mathew brought in the last of the rock for the loading spur and added some steel bars to the embankment shoring. The repaired two sections where new sub-road-bed had settled. Richard also provided rides for three groups of casual riders. Norm re-routed the power line at the steaming bay and installed the boxes along with a switch box and a flood light box using outdoor receptacles, Bill hooked in the two duplex receptacles so we have a pair of circuits available at the steaming bay area. Gil drilled out four more centre brackets for the steaming bay tracks and bolted them in. Fred laboured with the steel cleaning wheel taking rust off the centre steaming bay so it is ready to paint. Dwight completed construction on the second "Y" switch. Carmelina did a clean up job in the station area in preparation for the meet. At about 3:15 several of the members assisted in loading 3001, the operators car, two gondolas and the caboose into the trailer for the trip to the Red River Live Steam Club. We ran trains there until after dark. About 15 members of the AVR attended the BBQ. A good time was had by all.

Sunday Bill went to Red River after church and ran trains for their public. Several other members, Len, Richard and Rob of the AVR also came on the Sunday. Barry was there both days but he is a long time member of the Red River Valley Railway and acted as one of the hosts making sure that water was available for the steamers and that the loading and unloading process went well. Trains were loaded in the afternoon and once home Bill painted the steaming bay that Fred had sanded Saturday. Bill also connected the light switch and double light so we now have power and light at the steaming bay area. A visitor from B.C. came by and was given a tour of the AVR. 

Monday Aug 18th. Bill laid out the steel for the 45" lift extension and welded it together and ground down the end pickup points. Jim came over to get the box cab parts that need yellow paint and took them home to clean. Bill completed the evening by deco paging the remaining number signs.

Tuesday Aug 19th., Bill unloaded #3001, a riding car, two gondolas and the caboose from the trailer using the temp ramp to the new loading spur. The trailer had to be repositioned four times to line up with all four tracks. Bill hopes that in the future such unloading will be simplified with the new lift. Once the unloading was complete Rob and Jim came over. Jim took all rust off the last steaming bay track and painted it with primer. Rob attempted to run a wire through the conduit but will need a fish tape. He rearranged the train and put it away. Bill laid out the 18" extension for the lift and welded it together and used the power saw and side grinder to finish it off. 

HAPPY EASTER

Easter Sunday was not busy at the AVR. Bill arrived home after Church and family activities around 6:00 pm and was soon met by Andrei who brought a friend to see the railway. They got 3001 out and went for a ride. Later Bill repaired 6 more lamp heads and took the train out to replace all 17 tops, one socket, replaced 20 light bulbs and 6 bass poles. In all about 30 lamps were repaired that had been broken by our deer population during the winter. In order to discourage this activity some steel rods were put around the lamps in the most exposed areas to try and minimize the damage by running deer.

Monday Bill took the power sander to 13 mile post poles and then gave them a coat of white primer. Tuesday the Scouts helped by cutting down 5 small poplars on the siding at Paterson as part of their axe training. Later in the evening Bill repaired 13 more light heads. We will have some spares.

Wednesday Richard arrived in the afternoon and did some cleanup around the track and brought in a few missed Christmas lights and trail marking poles. Peter and Dwight arrived later and struggled with the interlocking trackage to the west of Charleswood Station. It was decided that two #7 switches were needed and if we could not find a #7 frog we would need to build them from scratch. Bill put the second coat of paint on the 13 new posts for mile signs. Dwight took the long hood off 3001 and Bill topped up the four batteries and put them on charge.

Thursday and Friday Bill continued painting signs and completed enough mile boards for the posts and started the second coat on a group of flanger boards and painted half the primer on all the cross- bucks.

Saturday was a grand day. Bill reassembled 3001 after it's battery maintenance. Bill cut all remaining trees at Paterson and raked out all ground cover while Gil and Fred transplanted two Amur Maples to the Poole's property line. The three then put out the splines and moved sufficient crushed rock to complete the doubling of the Paterson siding. Back at the station Peter and Dwight continued to look at solutions to the west switches onto the new line. Peter and Carmelina cut up sufficient ties for another four switches and cut 2 x 2's so Bill could construct three more deer gates.  Norm and Nance brought some visiting family and using 3001 took them for several rides. Around 6:00 pm all tools and equipment were put away.

Sunday it rained at the AVR. Bill printed numbers at the office for mile post signs and picked up supplies. Material for corners on shed, box car paint for shed sides, screws for mile post signs and 8 more light bulbs for trail lamps. Back at the AVR Bill put numbers 1 to 18 on one side of boards.

Monday the truck from Oklahoma arrived with 1500 feet of rail, 3 gondola kits, one flat car kit and other accessories. All was loaded into Bill's van except 1000 feet of rail. At home Bill put numbers on reverse side of sign 1 to 18. 

Wednesday Peter came early and spend some time fixing the curve on the switch for Paterson Spur. Bill arrived at 1 pm and after a quick lunch Peter and Bill using Peter's level racked out the siding sub-road-bed. Two loads of rock were needed to bring it up to grade. The train was used to transport ten track panels to location. Later Dwight arrived and assisted with the switch adjustment and spend the remaining evening replacing damaged bonding wires on the old line. Bill screwed on the 18 sign boards to their poles and painted urethane on 66% of the completed signs and set out to dry. 

Thursday Peter creosoted the north station track switch for the new line. Bill ordered a truck load of 3/4 clean crushed rock and it was delivered. Later Bill urethaned the remaining parts of the signs. They will be used to replace the old signs from 2 to 13 so those poles can be refurbished and put back into service on the new line. 

Friday Peter creosoted the Paterson Spur switch. Bill planted the 12 new mile posts on the old line. The old poles have been brought in. Eight can be re-used and four will be used as flanger poles as they had been broken in service and are now too short for mile posts. 

Saturday May 3rd was a great day with a little wind. Bill was at work by 8:30 and spent till noon repairing and adding to the deer fence around the yard. About six areas that deer had managed to penetrate were added to or repaired. We use 54" high stucco wire and in four places the deer have jumped over pushing down the wire. These were repaired. In order to make the wire higher it was installed about 14" off the ground. It was discovered over last summer that the deer have learned to "limbo" under this fence where the bush is thin. It was strange to see a full size adult doe at full run simply slip under the space. To fix the problem these areas are being filled. About 10 am Andrei arrived and spent his time dismantling the roof of a small shed in the space were the new engine house will go. Fred joined him and the two laboured away all afternoon. The remaining chain link fence was removed from the old dog runs including the wood top frame. The roof from the shed was dismantled, old shingles were placed in low areas on the walking trail. It was found that raccoons were living inside the roof and several pictures were taken. All usable materials were cleaned up and stored.

Peter and Bill unloaded 500 feet of rail from the van and set up the table by the garage in its summer work position. Gil arrived and helped Peter drill out rails for the Paterson siding. The four corner trim boards for the shed were cut and five new mile posts were made. The saw was moved to its summer home. The group broke for a lunch of hot dogs. 

Norm, Richard and Bill spent the afternoon till 6:00 pm digging out the fallen soil "clay" from the west tunnel excavation and widening it to accommodate the tunnel frame.  A centre line was established by Peter with clearance of 27" on both sides. An elevation line was also established from the end of  track to the location of the next diamond. As the tunnel has a grade through it we needed to establish the bottom depths where the footing timbers will be placed on a bed of crushed rock. Norm and Bill brought in by train five loads of rock and spread them on the bottom. It was essential that this be completed as now if we get more rain we will be able to work in the tunnel excavation without getting mired down in the mud. 

Peter, Gil, Nance and Carmelina began the task of laying the track at Paterson. As the new siding will follow the main line around the corner it was essential to make sure the curve at Paterson was correct so the templates were taken out and the curve checked. Then all new rails were joined together with joint bars and made ready for screwing down. The rails have been connected to the two switches at either end and the spur switch was located in a favourable place to allow the spur to run to the new storage building.

Dain and Brandt had a grand time checking out the new rock pile as only kids can do and acted as crossing signs each time the train passed by with a new load of rock. They also enjoyed walking the track and riding the train when possible.

Sunday May 4th. Peter and Ed arrived first and got supplies out for spiking down the track at Paterson. Bill arrived and the three unloaded the van of the equipment from Oklahoma. Peter and Ed went back to track laying while Bill took down the 500 lights over the upper parking area. Bill then spent 2 hours painting the east wall of the new storage building. Particle board costs less but it sure is hard to paint. 

Monday Ed and Peter continued to work on the Paterson Siding. Bill arrived after work and spent till 8:30 working on five more sections of deer fence. Rob came in the afternoon to give his son a ride. Jim and Carol brought the frame of the box cab back and showed one side of the box cab with the louvers applied and new ladders fastened. Jim has been working at home on the body.

Tuesday Peter and Ed continued to work on the siding and finished all but the last 30 feet. Bill spent an hour on deer fencing and worked with the scouts on bush projects.

Wednesday Peter, Jim and Richard completed the tie in on the east end of the switch and all is complete except for the points and switch mechanical. 

Thursday Bill purchased a roll of 6 mil vapour barrier for the tunnel footing.

Saturday May 10th, 2003. The weather had turned decidedly cold with light rain. Bill spent the first hour updating the web and then got the train out (3001 with six cars) for a 10:00 am birthday party group. Twenty guests came and rides were given to everyone's satisfaction. The rain had stopped by 10:00.  Bill then sanded and filled holes on six mile post signs and then completed the last page of the Nutty Report and printed the first six copies. Richard arrived and did some clean up and found three Christmas decorations that had not been put away. Lunch was made in the station. 

When Fred arrived the three went off to level the two side footings of the tunnel. First project was to run a string down the centre at 7" above rock level. Grade posts were driven every 18" down the centre. Norm, Nance, Carmelina and Rob hauled rock for the side levelling operation. A spirit level was used by Bill to check elevations from the centre line of posts. Fred shovelled while Richard raked it out. Rob carried in five timbers and they were test fit. Then a layer of 6 mil poly was laid out and the foundation timbers were replaced and the rock team filled in the centre space to protect the plastic. Jim joined the transportation team and they brought in all remaining timbers to the work area. Richard, Bill and Fred started to assemble the first 12' of tunnel liner. When Richard left Carmelina took over the job of holding the tape measure. By 6:00 pm we had assembled the first ten feet of frames and the liner was starting to take shape. While this was going on Peter and Ed laid out the centre line for the spur at Paterson that will access the new storage building and the upper parking area. They then turned there attention to cutting diagonal corner braces for the tunnel and made seven. Dwight spent his afternoon adjusting switches and completing switch points. For a cool day a lot got completed and the obstacle of the tunnel is being overcome.

Sunday Mother's Day. After family activities Bill spent an hour painting the south side of the storage building and ran out of paint. He then installed four pieces of fencing material on the deer fence to plug more holes to prevent deer "limboing".  Bill then sanded seven more mile posts. He then filled imperfections with plastic wood on 13 posts and after drying sanded these again. He then painted primer on all 13 posts and set to dry. Next 20 cross buck boards were given a coat of paint on the second side and seven mile boards were painted on the first side.

Monday Bill dug three flower gardens and weeded one and a half more. He then put the second coat of white paint on the 13 mile posts and a second coat on cross bucks and a first coat on more mile boards. Peter and Bill approved the final location for the Paterson spur and grain elevator. The Paterson's were consulted and Lorne will try and get some plans for an actual elevator from Paterson Grain Co. 

Wednesday May 14th, 2003. Peter and Jim completed the cutting of the 30 needed diagonal braces for the tunnel frames. Rob came over and moved some rock for support at two switch locations. Dwight and Bill arrived at about 6:00 pm and cleared trees and bush on the Winch siding. Three ornamental type trees are now ready to transplant and then rock can be placed in this area. 

Thursday Bill gave guests from his youngest granddaughter's first birthday a ride on the AVR. Later the 13 posts got their first coat of black on the bottom. 

Friday Bill put on the second coat of black and painted all sign boards a coat of white paint. He printed the rest of the "Nutty Reports"

Saturday May 17th, 2003. Bill took masking tape off the 13 completed mile posts. he put a final coat of white to all sign boards that were at that stage. He started deco paging the "CROSSING" lettering on 14 cross bucks. Peter arrived and he and Bill went around the railway counting the number for flanger, number boards, whistle and cross buck signs that will be needed. Richard arrived and took on the job of relocating the ornamental trees from the Winch siding to the Pool's east property line. The crew stopped for hot dogs in the station. After lunch the group divided into two groups. Group one headed up by Bill took on the job of assembling the tunnel frame and putting it into place. The team consisted of Bill, Richard, Norm and Rob. By 7:00 pm the structure was completed and moved into the tunnel slot. The side boards were only nailed on high enough to clear the side soil that is already in place. This keeps the structure lighter so it is easier to move this 28 foot long structure. During the three main moves all other members on site would help with the pushing and moving which was made possable using six pipe rollers and a two wheel dolly.

The second crew was headed up by Peter and started with the drilling out of the 30 diagonal braces and then cutting up 15 flanger posts and 14 cross buck posts. This crew consisted of Peter, Ed, David, Nance and Carmelina.  This crew also looked after giving a few rides to some casual visitors. Dwight worked on a new modification of spring switch points to strengthen the assembly. Carmelina cleaned up the station.

Sunday was a very wet day. No outside work but after church Bill deco paged 14 "RAIL  WAY" lettering on the opposite side of cross buck arms. He put numbers on both sides of 17 mile post signs and installed 16 of them on 13 posts. He then painted white on 24 flanger signs on both sides and completed the painting on the remaining crossing bucks. Peter replenished the station beer supply later in the evening.

On Monday, Victoria Day, Bill was up early and put the protective coat of Varathane on the 13 completed mile post signs. Mile post 1 and 19 was installed. Bill installed five more pieces of fencing along the deer fence. Later in the evening he added five more pieces to help keep the deer from feeding on bedding plants. Andrei and Peter arrived about 10:30 and re-surveyed the tunnel and centre line for the connecting sub-road-bed. As was thought the finished tunnel centre is correct at the west portal but 2 inches too far north at the east portal. Not a problem at all. We stopped for lunch and Nance and Norm arrived with their two boys. After lunch Bill and Andrei and later Richard and Rob joined to nail on all the side timbers and four rows of roof timbers. We are short seven 2 X 8's x 12' long timbers to complete the roof. Norm and David also helped with the nailing. Bill did all the cutting. 

Norm and Nance spent most of the afternoon hauling rock to the area west of the tunnel. Nance operated the train several times to try her hand at running #202. Dain also made a couple of trips and helped his dad do some switching. Later Brandt and Dain kept busy pushing each other around the old line in the black gondola. David using Peter's level set the elevation of the sub-road-bed from end of track to the west portal. Peter acted as rod man and raker. Later Norm and Andrei switched places on rock detail and Andrei started pushing the rock on the flat car by hand without using the locomotive.  All rock and grading was completed to the tunnel but only 9 of the 14 bays were filled with rock. Track panels were hauled to the area and Peter drilled out 7 rails. At one point all three locomotives were in action. Bill and Andrei un-stacked some cars and got two trains ready for a scout activity on Tuesday night. 

Tuesday Rob arrived in the morning and filled the remaining sections in the tunnel with rock. After lunch Peter joined him and the two laid track right up to the tunnel portal. At 6:30 the Scouts, Cubs and Beavers of the 82 nd Westminster group came for their windup wiener roast and train ride. Rob and Bill gave 112 rides on 10 trains. Rob took 6109 up the new track to the tunnel and Bill did double laps on the old loop with 3001. The kids and parents had a good time. Rob put trains away while Bill cleaned up food from the event. There are some left over cookies for the AVR crew.

Wednesday May 21st. Gil and Jim screwed down the 28 feet of track through the tunnel. Rob came and moved some rock. Peter started to lay out the "Y" switch that forms the western end of the tunnel cut-off. Later Dwight came over and he and Peter completed most of the switch. Bill arrived after work and with Jim they raked and used the "Weed-Eater" on the Winch siding and placed the splines and spread the first six loads of rock on the siding. 

Thursday Bill purchased 11  2 x 8's to complete the roof on the tunnel liner.

Friday Peter checked out some calculations and decided that the "y" switch under construction could be improved so with Ed and Gil's help they totally rebuilt the switch making it fit the position better. Later in the evening Peter and Jim creosoted the switch so it will be ready to install on Saturday.

Saturday May 24th, 2003. "The Real Victoria Day" Bill and Fred completed the job of putting 2 x 8's on the roof of the tunnel liner. They then put 6 mil poly all over the top and down the sides to keep mud from getting to the timbers. During this time Gil was building a hinged gate for the deer fence were the tunnel line will leave the yard. Peter, Andrei and David installed the tunnel cut off switch and interconnecting line. Norm, Nance and Rob moved rock to the siding at Winch. They used the wheelbarrow on the train plus loaded 10- five gallon pails with rock to get a good load per trip.  Andrei and David conducted a level survey on the siding and rock was added to bring it up to level. The siding is now ready for switches and track. Once the tunnel and gate were done Bill, Gil and Fred cleared all brush off the 150 feet of the Paterson Spur and raked and used the "Weed-Eater" to clear away all organic material. The first set of splines were placed and a start at moving rock was made. David and Andrei did a level survey of the line and indicated four areas were some digging will be needed. Rob left early to baby sit and returned with five kids and along with Dain and Brandt made up a train with seven children who became the first people to proceed through the tunnel and the cut off back to the station. Dwight had spent the afternoon installing a set of temporary spring points on the switch at the cut off and doing some insulating for the signal system. Before night fall all members had a chance to ride through the tunnel and back to the station.

Sunday Bill planted a whole bunch of beading plants including all the pots around the station area. He then worked on the deer fence plugging up some more holes for a couple of hours and finished the day planting mile post signs at 14 through 18. Four of the old poles will be re-buildable and two will become flanger poles. Peter, Ed and David checked out what was needed for the diamond and spent the rest of the afternoon working on the diamond. 

Monday Peter and Ed continued to work on the diamond. Many pieces of track to cut and fit. Bill spent two hours cutting grass and then plugged some more deer holes in the fence. At 8:30 Bill measured the new track for correct places to plant mile post signs from mile 19 to 37 on the new line. By the time he got to mile 37 it was too dark to read the tape. He then planted mile post signs at 24, 30, 32, and 34 using the head light on 6109 and the abundant fire flies in the area. While on the line he repaired 8 of the trail lights.

Tuesday Bill planted mile post 28, 35 and 36. Jim came over and he and Bill carried rock by train to level the reverse elevation at the switch at mile 35. They also levelled the "y" switch at the tunnel and the cut off track at mile 34. Bill purchased provisions for the station. 

Wednesday - The diamond is ready to plant. Peter, Ed, Jim, Gil, David and Dwight took turns making final completions to the new diamond and last night Peter creosoted it making it ready to plant. Richard and Gil also hauled rock for the last run to the station. Bill rolled out the last of the water line and had the big sucker truck clean out the facilities storage tank. Bill spent the remaining evening sanding and preparing 4 poles for cross bucks and four mile sign posts.

Saturday was a bright sunny day. Bill was in the station by 8:00 then spent 15 minutes chasing a deer out of the yard that had got in. Six lilies were eaten. Bill put up the lily fence and installed two new speakers for the carillon on the top of the implement shed. Peter and Gil arrived followed by Fred. Bill, Peter and Fred worked on installing the new diamond. Gil made two extensions for the deer gates. Rob and Richard arrived and together with Gil hauled rock to fill up the tunnel track. They then carried rock to fill the area between the diamond and the station track with Nance, Norm and Bill's help. Fred did a level survey of how much rock was needed. Bill, Gil, Richard and Rob dug out the five hills on the Paterson spur. Bill and Peter joined up 20 feet of track east of the new diamond but will have to wait for Sunday to be screwed down. Dwight spent the afternoon working on a #7 frog that is needed for the next switch. Carmelina spent time cleaning up the station. Dain and Brant spent the afternoon enjoying the railway and pushing cars around. 

Sunday Peter and Bill screwed down the next 20 feet of track east of the diamond and ran a train through it. Bill planted more bedding plants. Len came over to inspect the work done this spring.

Monday Bill painted the prim coat on four mile posts and four cross buck poles. After he painted the west and north walls of the storage building.

Tuesday Bill ordered a truck load of 3/4 clean rock. Standard thought they could have it delivered by Wednesday afternoon. Later the eight posts got the second coat of white paint.

Wednesday June 4th, 2003. Ed and Peter came over in the afternoon and discovered a stretch of track between the Creosote diamond and the east tunnel that had lost its super-elevation. They fixed it. Dwight completed the #7 frog so the switch needed next can be built. David found an elevation bench mark near the railway and would like to find the actual elevation above sea level for the railway. A truck load of rock was delivered in the evening. Bill put a new saw blade on the electric band saw.  Bill with assistance from Rob moved 18-5 gal pails of rock and spread them on the freshly super-elivated track. They also placed 12 buckets of rock at the west end of Old Fort where the super-elevation was always going out. Later Bill placed 14 buckets of rock at the end of track were the #7 switch will go. 

Thursday Bill painted the black bottoms on eight sign posts.

Friday Peter and Ed came over early and built the #7 switch.  Rob came over to give his son a train ride. Dwight came after work and fine tuned the switch. Bill picked up 100 nuts and bolts to fasten the lift together. Bill brought to the AVR the last two boxes of rail. Bill mounted four sets of cross bucks and one mile post sign on five painted posts.

Saturday June 7th. 2003.  The shy was overcast and rain was likely. Bill went to the station and put a coat of urethane on the five completed signs. He then began repainting the gold portions of the hand rails on #3001 and touched up some missing paint. Andrei arrived at 10:00 and got 6109 out with the work cars. He then unbolted the station cut off tracks so the road-bed could be raised. Peter and David arrived. David and Andrei took Peter's level and commenced a level survey to bring a bench mark elevation reading to the AVR. Peter put on old clothes and creosoted the new #7 switch. Richard arrived and with Bill's help lifted the station cut off tracks out of the way. Then Richard dug in the water line going between the new track and old main line. Peter and Richard finished their first tasks and it started to rain hard. Just in time for a long lunch break at the station. After lunch David and Andrei switched their survey skills to the new track area and spent their remaining time doing level shots in that area. Richard, Ed, Norm, Nance and Carmelina spent a good part of the afternoon moving rock to bring up elevations on the new track all the way to the station. Dain and Brandt spent time ridding with the rock train and pushing around a couple of gondolas. Peter supervised the progress. Bill completed his painting project and then laid out the steel base for the lift and drilled all the holes and test fit the bolts to start the foundation for the lift.  Two scout leaders came over to borrow the grill. Richard took the opportunity with Carmelina's help to clean up the area after winter's accumulation of junk. They tidied up many areas around the station making it ready for the open house. Before end of work Peter and Dwight had located the place were the next several switches need to be located. Tolerances where tight and some compromises will need to be made. Rob came over in the evening and helped. Some of the tie in track was cut to length and placed. Dwight had been working quietly all afternoon on points. A set were installed on the east switch at Paterson and one point made for the spur. Others were made for other locations but will be completed later. Bill planted the first two new cross bucks at the east station level crossing. Tools and train were put away and six of the members went out for a late supper.

Sunday Peter came over to spike down the track connecting the #7 and #8 switches. Later in the afternoon Rob and his wife Shirley came over and together the three spiked down the line and reconnected the station cut off line and Peter spiked down the first 20 feet. Bill spent the afternoon cutting grass in the yard, outer trail and upper parking area. He stopped to take seven casual visitors for a ride on the new and old lines. After supper Lisa and Bill went out and greased the whole system and then planted new crossing signs at Amur Glen and placed the mile 26 sign. Several trips were made to spread the grease. Bill used the weed eater to clean up the area around the station.

Monday was a day filled with rain. Ed and Peter cam over in the morning. Ed had his wife and grand kids so several train rides were given. At 11:00 am a senior Citizens home group came and Bill gave a double ride for a group of 14 and 13. Due to the age we put all three operator cars on one train giving us five seats with backs. Worked well. Old people loved seeing our deer including the new born. They stayed for a BBQ lunch and left about 1:00 pm. Peter stayed and in the evening when the rain stopped he connected the north siding in the station to the new track and left the south connected to the old line. It will now be possible to go completely around both lines before stopping and end up going in the same direction. Bill dismantled 3001 and removed batteries 1 & 2 as they will not hold a full charge. These are to be replaced. Bill cleaned up the car and started to modify the train rack.

Tuesday Peter was again over and with Ed's help they continued to screw down track on the station cut off and almost got to the end. During the day they also completed the tie in of the new line to the north track of the station and would have been able to run a train but Bill had 3001 in pieces all over the station and 6109 was boxed in. Bill was able to exchange the two batteries and at 5:30 started to re assemble 3001 but Peter had to leave and did not get a ride. Bill modified the train rack for the van and put it in ready for Sunday night. Rob came over and both went for a ride to test out 3001 and its new batteries and to test out the new trackage.

Wednesday afternoon Peter and Ed completed the track on the station cut off and Richard and Rob hauled rock and levelled the new track widening the base. The group took several rides on the new track. Dwight came and disconnected all the switch control mechanism from the station switch until it is relocated and needed again. Bill arrived and went out to trim weeds and long grass at both Amur Glen and Ash Grove. About 500 feet of trimming was done before it became too dark. 

Quietly and without much notice the Assiniboine Valley Railway now can run trains around both complete loops with a station pass through between. While there are still three switches and a fourth diamond needed to get the system complete it is non the less complete in that we can give passengers rides without backing up on the new line. During the spring of 2003 many members volunteered countless hours to the various projects but at the end of the day credit needs to go to one member who pushed us all on to complete the project. He was determined that nothing would stand in the way of having the loop back to the station. He was here almost every day and pushed on regardless of the weather. This single honour goes to our first vice-president Peter Abel. The completion of the line not only makes us all happy but it will be remembered as it falls on Peter's birthday. Congratulations and many more to come.

On behalf of all the members, a big thanks goes to Peter for giving us the guidance and perseverance to push ahead.

Thursday Bill planted another 10 dz. plants and did some weed eating near the station.

Friday Gil, Peter and Rob came over and cleaned the exterior of 3001 and 6109 plus cleaned the rugs and gravel from all gondolas in the dog house. After work Bill made up a project list and operating rules for this weekend's run. Rob came back and he and Bill took four black gondola loads of extra stuff out of the station and back to the maintenance building. Peter came later to assist. Bill and Rob cleaned up the gondolas that were in the car barn. Bill touched up some paint scratches on 3001. Bill did battery maintenance on 202 in the maintenance building and returned it to charge.

Saturday was a glorious day but attendance at the open house was light but steady. The numbers grew as the afternoon came. Bill manned the station and Rob did most of the runs but was helped by Bill, Len, Peter, David and Richard. In all 23 public runs were had. During the club's BBQ Rob put 12 cars on 3001 to have a very long train and it navigated our railway but we are not sure how well with 35 passengers?  Other members took on projects. Richard, Fred and Gil with assistance from Carmelina and Nance hauled most of the rock for Paterson spur. Norm and later with help from Len and Fred removed all fence posts from future locomotive house and stored them. Len wired up the car barn for sensors. In the station Dain and Brandt helped by handing out train tickets to guests. Dwight installed a switch controller at Paterson and adjusted and made additional parts. All members who could stayed for a BBQ of hamburgers cooked up by Bill.

Sunday open house, another fine day. People were waiting at the station when Len and Bill arrived. Trains were got out and rides given. Engineers today were Len, Bill, Peter, Gil, Ed and Rob.  Len, Norm and Bill emptied the contents of the old white building where the new engine house will go. Some went to new storage and some went to land file at the new tunnel. The siding at Paterson was used for the first time. Nance and the boys handed out tickets and all members enjoyed the visitors.  3001 and three cars were loaded for the west coast ramble.

Tuesday Jun 17th, Bill mixed up six batches of Round Up and with the 2 gal hand sprayer treated weeds on the entire railway with the exception of between Duck Lake and Ghosty Hollow. The area around the new engine house was sprayed along with the turn circle paving stones. Having still time on his hands Bill took the axe and cleared all brush from the siding at Chapman. As Bill was still waiting he tackled sanding the ten old mile post sign boards and after removing all the old paint he painted them with primer and also painted eight flanger boards. Then he sanded three tall crossing poles and seven mile post poles. After sanding all the imperfections, nail holes and knots were filled with plastic wood.

Due to the WEST COAST RAMBLE this weekly update will not be added to until the open house in July.

Engine #3001  attended the 2003 west coast ramble starting at Train Mountain in southern Oregon. The meet lasted a week with 240 train present at the Saturday parade. While at Train Mountain we also ran on the Over The Hill Club.  Next it ran at the Medford, Oregon followed by a trip to Kit Sap in Washington but #3001 stayed in the van. Next stop was a ferry ride from Port Angeles to VIME in Victoria, B.C. followed by a visit on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Burnaby where 3001 pulled the public and helped that club celebrate its 75 anniversary and 10th year at Confederation Park. The next day #3001 was unloaded at the Train Museum at Squamish and got to try out their new lift and run on the Mini Rail. On the way back home the AVR's #3001 became the first visiting locomotive at Airdrie near Calgary and to run on their first loop of track. #3001 is now back home after a long trip.

Back at the AVR several of the members kept projects going. Dwight fabricated and installed points on all switches that were connected to track. He also overhauled the east end station switch. The rock was completed on the Paterson spur and track panels and rail were placed and joined together ready to be screwed down. The old white building was dismantled to make way for the proposed engine house. On Friday Bill cut the grass around the station and upper parking.

Saturday July 12th, 2003 was a glorious day for an open house. People came at a steady pace all afternoon but one train was enough to handle the visitors most of the time. As a good group of members were present other projects were completed. Richard took on the job of digging the cut for the siding at Chapman. He was assisted at various times by Andrei, Barry and Bill. The soil was used to make ramps for level crossings and was transported by train. Bill put the primer paint on all posts sanded and he was assisted by Gil. Gil took the job of installing the corner trim boards on the new shed. Dwight took on the job of building a #6 switch for a spur off the spur at Paterson which will service the future Paterson grain elevator. He was assisted by Peter, David, Norm and Andrei. All members took a turn at driving, dispatching, ticket distribution and PR.

Sunday was the second day of the open house and Peter, Gil and Bill handled the guests who came to ride on the AVR. It looked like rain but unlike many areas of Winnipeg that got heavy rain and hail the AVR was spared.

Monday July 14th, Bill ordered the four Acme screws, nuts, bearings, sprockets and casters for the new lift. In the evening he bolted together the base and one of the uprights.

Tuesday Bill picked up the four casters and 300 lock nuts for joint bars. In the evening he drilled and erected the remaining three corners of the main lift.

Wednesday Richard, Gil, Peter, Bill, David and Dwight came to the AVR. Peter completed the #6 switch with Richard's help and then creosoted it. Bill with Gil's help cut up the eight brackets for the caster mounts. While Bill machined the brackets, Gil and Richard cut up the top brace steel. Bill then installed all four casters and with David's help moved the lift to the driveway area. Bill then installed the upper bracing. Dwight put a spring on the main station lead switch and rebuilt the switch points. Peter and David set out lines to look at a different way to extend the station track. At a late supper Peter, Dwight, David and Bill talked about the pros and cons of the four solutions to the station track problem.

Thursday Bill sanded and wire brushed with drill, sander and side grinder all the rust off the new steel lift frame and then applied one coat of red oxide primer to the structure. It took four hours. Rob came to inspect the progress.

Friday Bill was interviewed by the Metro News on the progress of the AVR and several pictures were taken.

Saturday Bill was in the station by 8:00 am and worked on a report on the ramble for two hours. David was first to arrive. Bill took out 3001 as a work train for Chapman and David took out 6109 for a work train for Paterson. Richard arrived and he and Bill went to get Chapman ready for its siding. Nine more 5 gal pails of soil were dug and deposited on the trails near the station. All roots and small stems were chopped out and the whole siding area was cleared with the weed eater and raked. Splines were laid out to hold the crushed rock and three loads were taken and spread but due to the heat and humidity work was slow. David, Peter and Carmelina took equipment by train to Paterson and planted the new switch and continued to screw down track on the Paterson spur. Back at the station Dwight replaced the points on the north end of the tunnel cut off and then re-used those points on the elevator spur off the Paterson spur. Bill with help from Richard and Dwight started to do the fabrication of the lift section for the new train unloader. A sudden rain brought all work to an end as we scrambled to put equipment away and not get too wet.

Sunday after church Bill continued the rock moving to Chapman siding and moved by train 70 five gal. pails of rock and moved the splines to the end of the siding. He spent one hour drilling and bolting the three spacers on the lift section of the unloader. He also measured and clamped in place the first of the lift arms. Peter, Ed and David came in the afternoon and screwed rail on Paterson spur to the 80 foot mark.

Monday Bill ordered a tandem truck of 3/4 down lime stone for road repairs and steaming bay area building to come on Wednesday. He also ordered 14 yards of soil to fill the pot holes and depressions in the upper parking area. The last item was the rental of a "Bob Cat" for Saturday to do the work. When Bill got home from work he moved 55 more pails of rock to complete Chapman siding. He raked it out and moved three splines to the elevator spur off Paterson. He then used the weed eater to clear grass and the axe to clear brush from that spur. Two small cuts were dug and the first five pails of rock were spread. Work stopped when the light failed.

Bill arrived at the AVR at 5:30 and took 3001 out and filled 20 more buckets of rock and spread them at the elevator spur. That completed it to the fence. He then used the weed eater on grass on the new spur and also 50 feet either side of the Paterson level crossing. debris was moved from the parking area in preparation for filling ruts and pot holes. Bill then measured the area were the concrete pad will be laid at the unloading area and started to remove the paving stones that are in the way in preparation for digging on Saturday. Bill then shopped for station food and four types of soft drink.

Wednesday July 23rd Bill had the day off and started the day drilling holes and installing more bolts in the lift table. He then filled 10 pails with the last of the 3/4 clean rock and loaded it on the train in case one of the areas needed additional fill.  He then supervised the unloading of 7 yards of top soil and a load of 3/4 down for road repair and steaming bay building. Richard arrived and removed the remaining 1/3 of the paving stones. Peter arrived and a level survey was conducted with Bill at the steaming bay and unloading area. A photographer from the Free Press arrived and took a picture of the three at the bridge with 3001. Two of William's sisters came with family members and Peter showed them the railway and gave several rides. Richard and Bill cleared up other stuff at the steaming bay area in preparation for Saturday. Len came over and a long discussion ensued about the west Charleswood tracks. Solution # 5 was discussed. Len and Richard left and David and Dwight arrived. Dwight made up switch parts while David, Bill and Peter made some elevation posts at the steaming bay area and then levelled the rock at the elevator spur using up half the pails of rock. We are now ready to lay track on this spur. Bill cut with Dwight's help the angle iron for the truss on the lift table.

Thursday July 24th, 2003.  Bill priced out the concrete for the unloading area pad. Costs $250.00 more to get it ready to go but saves hours of work and considering what needs to be done before the end of August the time by members might be better spent in other areas. Bill ordered the steel re-bar for the pad. At home Bill spent about three hours drilling and grinding and installing the truss on one side of the lift table. As some machining has been done the second side should take less time.

During the day on Friday Bill picked up the four Acme screws and bearings for the lift. He spent some time talking to machining companies about a price for turning the six foot long screws. He got a price to cut the eight bearing blocks but not the machining part.  Peter and David came in the evening and screwed down another 45 feet of Paterson Spur.

Saturday July 26, 2003. Bill cut down three big dead branches from the Ash tree in front of the station. He moved Paul's old car to an out of the way place in the upper parking area. The rental Bob Cat arrived and Bill started the excavation of the future steaming area where three 20 foot bays will be put. Richard arrived and took the shovel and spread or moved all the soil around the sides and around trees where the machine could not go. Bill and Richard also buried large items or got them ready for the garbage. Next the pit for the 14 foot by 22 foot concrete pad was excavated. Peter and David arrived and took 6109 to Paterson and completed the spur to the end. Dwight and Carmelina arrived and he spent the rest of the day working on switch points. Carmelina spent he time working with the track laying crew who completed the 32 feet of the elevator spur. During the afternoon two groups of visitors arrived and were given train rides on 3001.  Bill completed the excavation and while Richard caught up on the cleanup of the edges Bill used up most of the crushed rock repairing pot holes on the road with the machine. Once Richard had left for the day Bill placed rock on the new steaming area. Peter, David and Carmelina surveyed and placed six rods for elevation points for the concrete pad. Bill spread by rake all the rock on the area and placed two loads for the base of the pad. He then used up the remaining rock on the road and then spread half the topsoil in the upper parking area. While this was going on the survey crew levelled all the stone on the siding at Chapman. The whole gang went for supper at 9:30 pm. 

Sunday Peter and David arrived in the morning and spent most of the day laying out various ways to connect the new and old lines at the west end of Charleswood station. The problem is to allow the connection of the new line and old line using the same two tracks in front of the station and extend that double line about 70 feet to the west allowing for extra train storage on the old line for incoming or outgoing trains. Main problem is a tree that we are trying to preserve. Up to Sunday five solutions had been made and with Sunday's effort a sixth solution has now been found that not only preserves the tree but increases the incoming curve to 65' from 50' and allows for 70' of double line before the crossover from the new line and allows for the longest distance east of the diamond in front of the station. The solution # 6 also allows for a third track of about 50 feet to parallel the main lines to be used as storage which is needed in the area of the station. Robert Dirksen, our member from Arizona came by to see the progress. Bill arrived home from church at about 1:00 pm and finished up the Bob Cat work in the upper parking area until Len arrived and then Bill and Len built the framing for the concrete pad. The wood was cut to depth and length and many of the paving stones were lined up to get the correct alignment. Several groups of visitors arrived and were given rides. Peter and David finished off the afternoon by lifting a piece of track at lightning junction and removing a high spot in the sub-road-bed.

Monday Bill made up 8" pins and secured the back of the form. He also spread the crushed rock and put rock around the outsides of the form. He raked all the new soil then spread grass seed and raked it in again. 

Tuesday Bill replaced the bent blade on the lawnmower that was damaged on a level crossing, he then cut the grass in the yard, in the upper parking and on the nature trails.

Wednesday Ed and Peter drilled out 21 lengths of rail. Bill picked up steel for the pad. In the evening, Peter, Dwight, David, Jim and Bill tried to resolve the problem of West Charleswood. The group is leaning towards solution #6 but can it be done before the Labour Day Meet? Bill cut up 100 wire ties and laid out the steel in the pit and tied about 80 joints. Richard came and readied 3001 for his daughters wedding on Saturday.

Thursday a truck load of 3/4 clean crushed rock was delivered to the AVR.

Friday Bill picked up a 16' 2 x 6 to be used to screed out the concrete. Peter came to check on the West Charleswood switch.

Saturday Aug. 2 nd., 2003.  A great day. Bill was in the station by 8:00 am and cut up some more wire ties and put another 26 ties on the steel. He then put stones under all the intersections to raise the steel. He then installed the second truss on the lift section. Gil and Peter arrived. Peter was hoping to fix the West Charleswood switch. Gill and Bill measured out where the three steaming tracks would go in relation to the pad and nine posts were marked. Bill went off to drill out and install eight nuts and bolts at the base of the lift frame for additional strength. Fred arrived and spent his time with Gil digging the holes for the sockets that will hold the pipes holding up the steaming tracks. Of all the jobs done this day, Gil and Fred worked the hardest. When the afternoon was spent the nine holes were dug and trenches made between all ready for concrete to be poured. Back at the station Peter, Ed and David did a level survey of the switch. 

Bill got out 6109 and made up a train in preparation for wedding guests who had attended Richard's daughters wedding. Bill took two groups of guests for a ride and Richard got out the wedding train with #3001 all decorated up with flowers. When the official wedding party arrived they all boarded the special train and set out on their trip with Richard as engineer. Bill turned 6109 over to David who followed the wedding train with more guests while Bill went on foot to take pictures of the special train in all the normal spots and some new ones where pictures can be taken. Bill took another 15 guests on a last trip with 3001. The wedding guests went to the front yard for more photo opportunities on the bridge. 

After the wedding party left for the reception Bill went back to work on the lift and wire brushed rust off the lift section in preparation for painting. Ed, Peter, David and Carmelina made up two track panels and straightened up the West Charleswood switch. A discussion took place about timing and it was decided that a "Y" switch will be built to tie in both station tracks to the old line but that there may not be time to do all at West Charleswood before the Labour Day Meet but that as much as can be done will be done. Dwight adjusted some switches and carried out some other track work. Some additional paving stones were removed in preparation for Wednesday's concrete work.

Sunday Peter and Ed came over to start on the "Y" switch that needs to be built to connect the north station switch to both old and new lines. The ties were lined up and calculations made. Peter also made up one tie panel. Gil came over and cut a series of support boards for the concrete form and then painted ten sign posts and a series of sign boards. Bill picked up a new wire wheel and cleaned off the remaining rust from the lift section and put a coat of primer on the whole thing. He then touched up the white paint on the poles and sign boards where they had been resting to dry.

Monday was a holiday in our area so Bill was able to go straight to the station and begin the day on the hobby. He made up two of the pages on Railways we have visited and then repaired the wheelbarrow by making up a new front nose piece on the drill press and then installed it and tightened up all the nuts and bolts. The next project was to take the train to Paterson with the weed eater and clean up a whole bunch of long grass along the Paterson Spur and in other areas around the upper parking area. About then Gil came over to help move the steel for the three 20' long steaming tracks. 

First task was to carry the loading lift table and place it in the frame and it fit. Next we carried six channels to an area in the yard where some shade might be available. Bill cut up spacers to be welded on in two places on each unit. The other three supports will be angles that connect to the posts. Bill welded while Gil used the wire wheel to clean up the weld. After Gil left Bill cleaned all rust on one unit and painted it with primer. To have a break Bill went back to Paterson and cut down tall grass from there to mile post 26. Returned to the station area and started cleaning rust on the other two but it started to rain. A quick clean up of tools and putting trains away followed and as it was still early Bill retired to the station where 16 ten inch angles where cut for supports between channels and posts.

Barry came over to inspect lift and see if gear motor that Bill found would do the job. It was tested and looks like it will. It is 12 volt DC and will go in either direction and came out of a WW2 aircraft. It was determined that the steaming tracks will be 36 inches off the ground.

Tuesday Bill picked up the four drive sprockets for the lift and ordered the drive sprocket for the motor. He went to a metal supplier and picked up nine square sockets 18" long for the post holders. He went to a machine shop where they will cut the bearing and sprocket surfaces on the acme screws. At the AVR Bill placed in there respective holes the nine sockets using a string grid for locations. Bill ordered the nine posts and picked up the 2.75" x 2.75" x 1" steel plates for Barry to machine.

Wednesday Bill was in the station by 7:30 and worked on the web page. Then he started to install the footings for the track between the new pad and the nature trail. He also defined the elevations on the loading spur back to the main line and installed elevation markers along the way. It was decided to put up a retaining wall along the track from the pad to the nature trail. Bill moved a flat car load of concrete blocks to be used as a retaining wall. Ed and Peter came over and worked on the "Y" switch.

Gil made up a levelling template for the sockets. At 1:30 the concrete truck arrived and Gil and Bill moved and screeded the concrete making it more or less level. It was a problem getting it as smooth as we wanted. Bill filled the holes around the sockets while Gil levelled them up. It was about 6:30 when all was cleaned up. Bill carried the concrete blocks to the retaining wall and placed them. Len came over and together they brought in another load and completed the retaining wall. Barry came over with the eight bearing blocks all machined and ready to install.

Thursday Bill removed all the spilled concrete from the outside of the frame, removed all the shoring and proceeded to relay all the paving stones that had been removed on the north and east of the pad. He then loaded all the extra tools and supplies in the station onto a couple of gondolas and took them to the maintenance building. Last a quick sweep and garbage removal took place.

Friday Peter and Ed completed the slide plate and side angles on the "Y" switch. At 5:30 Bill dug a trench south of the new pad and buried a plastic conduit for the pole lamp that was disconnected. He covered the socket openings with masking tape and backfilled the entire steaming bay area right up to the pad. Bill then made a retaining wall for the first 16 feet of the loading spur and filled the cavity with crushed rock. It is now level and ready for track.

Saturday Bill got the trains out and greased certain areas of the track. He then mounted the west pedestal on the nature trail and loading spur. Len arrived and took the first four passengers at 9:30 am. The day was filled with little showers but the big rain stayed away. People came steadily until 5:00 pm. People running trains and helping for the day were, Bill, Len, Peter, Dwight, Richard, David, Fred and Carmelina. Dwight spent most of his day adding points and tuning up the "Y" switch that is now ready to creosote and plant.

Sunday Aug. 10th, 2003 marked the second say of our open house. Bill was interviewed by CJOB at 8:15 in the morning. Bill and Len arrived about 12:30 from church soon followed by Fred. The trains were gotten out and visitors began to arrive. We had 100 more visitors in three hours less time on Sunday. In the afternoon CKY TV came by and a news spot was aired in the evening and on Monday noon. They promoted the Aug. 31 st public run. The following members ran trains and manned the station. Bill, Peter, Len, Richard, David, Fred, Norm and Nance. After the public run the members of the club with other family members stayed for a BBQ. Other productive work was done by Richard and Bill who took a third work train out and brought back two loads of concrete pieces to build a retaining wall. Norm gave a hand placing the last load. After eating Fred took the kids for several rides. It was a good day. 

Monday Bill picked up the replacement saw table cable so we can fix the table saw. Bill also picked up the nine steaming bay posts and the four machined screws. In the evening he put the first coat of black on 10 sigh poles as well as some decoupage.

Tuesday Bill picked up 100- 1.25" bolts with nuts and washers to fasten the steaming bay tracks to the poles. He picked up the sprocket for the drive motor and the rods to make hangers for the idler sprockets. At the AVR he hauled in another two loads of concrete blocks and made more retaining wall. He then lifted the remaining track back to the main line and hauled 16 wheelbarrows of rock to raise the elevation. More will be needed. About 9:00 pm Bill set all nine posts into the sockets at the steaming bay and after getting provisions for the station he put on the second coat of black paint on ten sign posts and touched up the sign boards. 

Wednesday Len, Richard, Peter, Dwight and Bill arrived about noon. Len's principal job for the day was to install four bottom thrust bearing blocks on the bottom of the screws and install four upper guide bearings. The job was difficult as each had to be measured and drilled and tapped. By 10:00 pm the four bottoms were in but only two tops. 

 Bill took on the job of mounting the three 20 ft steaming bay tracks on the poles and drilling and installing all the bolts to level them off. By 9:30 both ends were installed with hangers but more are to be added for extra strength. He then cut up the steel for two unloading lift extensions to go to vehicles. 

Peter took on the job of replacing the loading spur track from the driveway to the nature trail and that was accomplished using a pre existing section that needed modification. 

Richard hauled rock for the fill on the loading spur and also placed additional concrete pieces brought in from the upper parking area along the embankment wall. Some dead trees were removed and he helped Bill carry the steam bay tracks.

Dwight completed the temp "Y" switch with points and then prepared supplies for the next "Y" that needs to be built. He measured the whole area again to determine the angles needed.

Thursday Bill ordered the chain for the lift. After work he removed the end lift channels for the lift table and Barry picked them up for drilling. Bill hauled another six loads of rock for the loading spur and filled up the large file between the retaining walls. When Barry came back with the lift pieces drilled he and Bill carried an old section of rail from Lightning Jct. and it looked like it would fit the missing rail on the loading spur. Bill cut up two six foot 2 x 6's for the lift bridge and commenced installing the track on the loading spur until 9:30 when the light failed and now needs about 30 minutes work to complete. Len came over and with our portable light mounted the remaining two top bearings on the lift section.

Friday Aug 15 Bill picked up key stock for the sprockets and 30 feet of chain. Len came over after work and replaced any missing ties on the loading spur and nailed the ties on to the lift out bridge section. It will now be possible to get equipment off the railway for the meet at Red River on Saturday.

Saturday Bill got the trailer down to the loading area. He deco paged one side of nine mile post signs and put cross bucks on one post. About six guests came from the meet at Red River and they were given a ride. Bill completed the work on the nature trail lift bridge and built a ten foot temporary bridge to go from the trailer to the loading spur. Richard with the help of Mathew brought in the last of the rock for the loading spur and added some steel bars to the embankment shoring. The repaired two sections where new sub-road-bed had settled. Richard also provided rides for three groups of casual riders. Norm re-routed the power line at the steaming bay and installed the boxes along with a switch box and a flood light box using outdoor receptacles, Bill hooked in the two duplex receptacles so we have a pair of circuits available at the steaming bay area. Gil drilled out four more centre brackets for the steaming bay tracks and bolted them in. Fred laboured with the steel cleaning wheel taking rust off the centre steaming bay so it is ready to paint. Dwight completed construction on the second "Y" switch. Carmelina did a clean up job in the station area in preparation for the meet. At about 3:15 several of the members assisted in loading 3001, the operators car, two gondolas and the caboose into the trailer for the trip to the Red River Live Steam Club. We ran trains there until after dark. About 15 members of the AVR attended the BBQ. A good time was had by all.

Sunday Bill went to Red River after church and ran trains for their public. Several other members, Len, Richard and Rob of the AVR also came on the Sunday. Barry was there both days but he is a long time member of the Red River Valley Railway and acted as one of the hosts making sure that water was available for the steamers and that the loading and unloading process went well. Trains were loaded in the afternoon and once home Bill painted the steaming bay that Fred had sanded Saturday. Bill also connected the light switch and double light so we now have power and light at the steaming bay area. A visitor from B.C. came by and was given a tour of the AVR. 

Monday Aug 18th. Bill laid out the steel for the 45" lift extension and welded it together and ground down the end pickup points. Jim came over to get the box cab parts that need yellow paint and took them home to clean. Bill completed the evening by deco paging the remaining number signs.

Tuesday Aug 19th., Bill unloaded #3001, a riding car, two gondolas and the caboose from the trailer using the temp ramp to the new loading spur. The trailer had to be repositioned four times to line up with all four tracks. Bill hopes that in the future such unloading will be simplified with the new lift. Once the unloading was complete Rob and Jim came over. Jim took all rust off the last steaming bay track and painted it with primer. Rob attempted to run a wire through the conduit but will need a fish tape. He rearranged the train and put it away. Bill laid out the 18" extension for the lift and welded it together and used the power saw and side grinder to finish it off. 

Wednesday Aug 20th, 2003 was another hot day. Bill started the day when Jim arrived at 8:00 am to get ahead of the heat. They both worked on the steaming bay with Bill drilling out the last of the spacers and fastening them. Jim took the rust off the extension pieces and painted them and also painted the remaining extensions as they arrived. The "A" television news team came and were given an interview by Bill, Len and Jim. Bill took them on the train. Later trips were given by Richard to casual visitors. Rob took on the job of working on the steaming bay with Jim and together they installed all the remaining parts. Richard worked with Matthew and fixed some elevation problems at the west Charleswood switch and west of the new tunnel. Last job was to help Bill set up our big 20' x 10' tent for the meet. Peter and David worked on a switch and made a tie panel and started the siding at Chapman putting down 30 feet of track. Dwight checked out some switches and removed the batteries from 6109. Bill made up four idler brackets, four idler shafts and cut the steel for the battery holder. Len worked on the lift. He installed anti rotation devices on the four Acme nuts and installed the two main lift arms then had the lift table installed. He mounted the four chain gears and installed the four main idler brackets.

Thursday  Bill took the two batteries into Costco for warranty and exchanged them also picking up some food for the meet. In the evening Bill made up the idler bracket next to the motor and welded up the battery holder and ground down the welds. He then welded the main drive sprocket. Jim and Rob arrived and took the train and equipment to Chapman and put down another 30 feet of track. Peter came over to check on progress. Len arrived and he and Bill worked on the lift installing the chain and motor drive and hooked up a temporary wiring connection. Len adjusted the heights of all four screw nuts and Len sat on the lift as Bill ran the motor up and down. Bill then applied gear oil to both screws and chains and then Len ran Bill up the lift to the six foot mark. With satisfaction the two pushed the lift from the station back to the turn circle. Some fine tuning still needs to be done but the unit works. Len and Bill worked till midnight.

Friday Peter and Jim came to the AVR to finish laying the track at Chapman and completed the siding by afternoon. In the evening Len, Bill and Rob worked on the lift and wiring for the coach lamps. Len drilled out the holes for the lift extensions and cut a pin from material that Bill found. Rob and Bill pulled a wire through the conduit under the steaming bay.

Saturday Bill made a chain for the pin so it could be fastened to the lift. He ground out some steel on the extensions to allow for flange clearance. To test the lift he put #202 on the centre track along with its riding car and took a picture of the event. Richard arrived and took on the job of cleaning up. Surplus wood was stored off the turn circle, the dining tables were taken out of the car barn and sent to the upper storage building. Bill welded one leg of a dining table that had broken. Matthew arrived and helped Richard for several hours. Richard filled the attic of the car barn with misc. materials to make room in the car barn for visiting equipment. The old ramp was stored away and a landing was made for the storage building door. Bill spent the afternoon working on the track water supply system and installed a 100' hose with winder and valves at Chapman and Paterson so locomotives can take on water. Bill replaced four other valves on the system. It was discovered that a nail had been driven through the pipe near the new diamond and this was repaired by Andrei. Fred and Peter spent the first part of the afternoon fixing track work around the cut off areas and on down the line to the north. Several groups of visitors arrived and were given rides. Jim spent several hours building five track panels to be used at Winch. Rob and Dwight installed the new batteries in 6109. Dwight installed the points in the switches at Chapman that can now be run using our reversing springs. He also re-installed the switch lever at West Charleswood.  He put one point in each of the switches for Winch. Peter and Rob finished the day by installing the south switch at Winch. Dwight completed his day by creosoting the switch for Charleswood. Bill demonstrated the new lift several times by first changing #202 to the west track and then putting it on the loading spur. The 18" extension was also tested. 

Sunday Peter, Norm and Nance and the two boys installed the second switch at Winch and laid about 50% of the siding. Len found a winch controller at Princess Auto and he and Bill installed it on the lift and more testing was done by hoisting #6109 to the centre bay where Bill adjusted the brakes and checked the traction motors on the loco.  

Monday Peter and Rob continued the siding at Winch adding about 20 feet to the north end. Bill replaced the coach lamp and wiring that had been moved when the pad was excavated. He installed a duplex box for additional power. He then put all three cross bucks together and the nine mile posts. ten posts were given Varathane coating while two posts are only half done.

Bill completed the cross bucks before going to work. During the day he picked up some chain. Peter and Rob completed the siding at Winch while Jim made up two more tie panels. In the evening Bill cut grass around the station, on the half mile nature trail and in the upper parking area. Rob installed chains on both ends of the lift and on each steaming bay to be used as car stops. 

Wednesday Bill did some weed eating around the station and cleaned out the pools. Dwight and Matthew came and planted the "Y" switch and tied it in to the new track. Bill dug up the leaky water pipe that a nail had been driven into. Len came and installed two guide plates to line up the lift to the loading spur. After he helped Dwight. Bill went out on the line with 3001 and planted the last nine mile posts and three crossing signs. Due to a big thunder storm we shut down operations early.

Thursday Bill picked up most of the food for the weekend meet. Back at the station the meat sauce for Sunday was prepared and refrigerated. Dwight came and cut and fitted all the rails for the tie in to the old line.

Friday Bill prepared the macaroni and tuna salad and a jelly mould plus prepared the cut up food for the BBQ. He went and picked up more beverages. Dwight completed the tie in to the old line and tested it. Rob fixed the water leak at west Charleswood. Bill completed the wiring at the loading spur to send power to the coach lamps. Peter with some help from Rob levelled the new siding at Winch. Dwight installed the points at Winch and all sidings were set to right hand running. On inspection it was found that the water line east of Creosote Crossing was leaking. Bill dug several exploratory holes and felt it was half way between the diamond and the level crossing but this was not a connection point. Norm arrived with the family and he dug to the connection under the diamond and ruled it out. Bill and Rob dug at the mid point first suspected and a crack was found. Rob and Norm repaired it while Peter went for more hose clamps. At six Bill started cooking food for the 16 people in attendance. Near dark we got 3001 and 202 out and set up the first double opposing operation on the new line with a meet set for Chapman, Winch then Chapman and back to the station. We all enjoyed it so much we had a meet at Amur Glen, Ash Grove, Amur Glen. After several minutes of conversation in the station we did a double run in the dark on both lines with a total of 7 meets including one at Charleswood. We look forward to having all the signals in so we can do multiple trains in opposite directions.

Saturday the members gathered for pancakes and sausage for breakfast then made up one very long train with both F-7's back to back and took it around the whole main line stopping at Paterson for a photo opportunity. We had lunch of soup and sandwich and then set out cars all over the railway. Ed made up a card order system and the members and guests spent most of the afternoon switching cars from area to area interspersed by a few passenger trains for visitors. The challenge of switching the various siding was great fun. Super was chicken fingers, fried rice, vegetables, tossed salad, macaroni and tuna salad, jellied salad, cookies and water melon. After supper the group ran several two directional trains using the sidings for meets then retired to the station for a slide show on the 8' by 8' screen of part of the trip to Train Mountain. After that another double trip was taken in the dark. During the fun Dwight spent time updating some switch points and Len cut carpet for new car rugs, put in three sets of guide lugs for the lift and a centring bolt.

Sunday a group of members met at the station at 9:00 am for bacon and eggs breakfast. Len and Bill went off to church returning at noon. Rob got the trains out while Bill made soup and put food out for lunch. The public open house started at 1:00 pm and we had a steady and enthusiastic group of visitors until 5:00 pm. Part of the time we needed three trains to keep up.  C.K.Y. TV came by and we made the evening news. At 5:00 pm the members started to make up the dinner train. We ran 3001 and 6109 with seating for eight on each train. It took three trains to feed all the attendees. Menu was spaghetti and meat sauce with grated cheese, macaroni and tuna salad, a large tossed salad, jellies salad, ice cream, blueberry and cherry pie plus beverages, win and beer. we stopped the train as it passed through the station to allow time for seconds. After supper cleanup a group did multiple opposing runs in the dark. Crowning trip was a triple meet on both lines.

Monday Labour Day a group of members met at the station at 10:00 am for breakfast and used up all the breakfast food with a feed of bacon, eggs, pancakes and sausage. Bill was kept busy with cooking and helping to determine what needed to be cleared at Old Fort. Len using his chain saw made short work of anything in the way and increased the size of the flat car load of logs. Dwight continued to install points on switches and working on the signal system. Peter levelled track, Carmelina cleaned up dishes. In the afternoon Richard and Carmelina carried rock and spread it on the siding at Old Fort. Peter supervised the operation. Len and Bill took 6109 to the steaming bay and  for the first time were able to do a minor overhaul of the trucks without stripping the whole top off the locomotive and turning it on its side. On the steaming bay the wheels were all tightened as Bill had detected some looseness the previous weekend. Bill had also detected a broken link on one of the brake pistons. Len fabricated a new one and it was installed without taking the truck off the locomotive but simply by lifting the frame about 6 inches off the truck. The whole operation was done in three hours where in the past it might take twelve hours. Peter surveyed the possable location for a long spur at Old Fort and all agreed with the location.

Wednesday Bill arrived about noon and repaired the table saw with a new drive cable and then cut up enough wood for three level crossings. Peter and Ed did a level survey of the sub-road-bed at Old Fort and the area east of the station. Jim helped Bill route out the screw slots for wood for two of the crossings. Jim and Bill took 3001 to Amur Glen to fetch old tie panels with double spaced ties to be re-built into standard track as we are now short of ties. Seventeen section with new ties and three sections with old ties. Peter and Ed started making new panels and later Jim helped and together they made up five sections. Bill went out and installed two level crossings at Paterson and at the crossing north of mile 25. Dwight worked on the signal system and studied the requirement for the spur switch at Old Fort. Bill routed out the wood for a third level crossing west of mile 21.

Thursday Bill talked with Cliff about the Pacific and it looks like the last two weeks in October for its arrival. Jim built four track panels. Bill started to install the level crossing at mile 21 and then did a two hour interview with CKY for a documentary on Manitoba views. 

Friday Bill completed the building of the level crossing west of mile 21. Jim cut or found the needed ties for the left hand #6 switch at Old Fort.

Saturday Bill went shopping for supplies and purchased the following. A role of 3/4" poly pipe, an assortment of hose fittings, 250' of electrical wire and seven 2 x 4's. Back at the AVR he dismantled our third picnic table and cut up wood for two lets of new legs and one new seat. Gil took the task of repairing table #2 that needed its legs widened to make it more stable. Bill cut two new base plates for the legs. Gil re-assembled the table and Bill re-built the third table and wire brushed it for painting. Richard dug a trench from the nearest track with water too the steaming bay area and he teed in the line and brought water to the steaming bay area. Once tested the trench was backfilled and a hose was set up at the area. Fred took all the old tie panels apart and then helped Peter do some realigned the curvature at Old Fort. Dwight  built the spur switch for Old Fort. Carmelina cleaned up the station. At 3:00 pm John Hugie arrived with his second Alan 10 wheeler and unloaded using the new lift and steamed it up. Jim our steam officer came over to inspect the locomotive. After some adjusting John took it out for its maiden trip. More adjusting was done and Bill took it out for the first lap on the new track. Later John's son took it and John's friend Lloyd from Tisdale. Needless to say once the steamer arrived other work on the AVR slowed down. 

Sunday John arrived at 8:30 am and the locomotive was fired up. Bill took the first trip on the line followed by Jim and other members. At 1:00 pm the loco was re-loaded and departed for the trip back to Tisdale.

Monday Bill painted one complete picnic table, touched up the table that Gil repaired and painted the top of two benches. William and Peter dropped by. Whit will be coming this Saturday with his steamer. Bill started printing Nutty Reports.

Wednesday Bill repaired eight trail lights. He laid out 250 feet of track side power line for the signal system and Christmas lights. Richard came and helped Bill locate and repair a water leak in front of Charleswood station. They then put out another 200 feet of power line all the way to the west diamond. Richard and Bill re-tied a leaning tree at Ghosty Hollow. Peter got out the train and the three took out all tie panels to Old Fort and laid them out. As the rain had started all equipment was put away. Bill continued to print current Nutty Reports and then printed one copy of all previous issues to be put in a ring binder for the station. Dwight came after work and continued to work on the Old Fort spur switch. Bill mailed some of the Nutty Reports. The balance will be available in the station for members.

Thursday Bill repaired 7 trail lights behind the station. He also replaced a defective transformer and got three additional lights working by running the wires to them. He re-lamped the coach lamps down the road and purchased the groceries for the Saturday night member's BBQ.

Saturday Sept. 13, 2003 sets new milestone on the AVR as we where visited by a great Pacific # 2856 which became the first visiting steam engine to use our new lift and steaming bay facility. The Pacific was from Iowa and with it came Whit Johnson, Jack Anderson, JJ Anderson and Dick Johnson. The Pacific also became the first steam engine to participate in a public open house on the AVR and was well received by the 371 visitor rides that were given. After the run the members and guests gathered for a BBQ followed by two directional running on the whole railway. First 2856 and 3001 had meets at all the sidings and later where joined by 202 and 6109 with four trains running in opposite directions. Alas at 11:00 pm the need to re-load and head home stopped the night runs. While 2856 and cars were re-loaded all other equipment was put away. We look forward to a future visit from 2856 when she will be joined by our own 2336 and others.

In the morning 6109 developed a grinding noise in its #2 traction motor and derailed when it seized up. Later in the day Bill and Len had 202 take 6109 to a steaming bay and the traction motor was dropped out and found that the main pinion gear had stripped and the holding bearing had seized. A new traction motor and gear box was installed and the locomotive returned to active duty. The hanger bearing was repaired but the gear box will need a new pinion and main gear before becoming a spare assembly. Again the steaming bay saved hours of work for this repair.

Sunday was a drizzly day till about 1:00 pm when the rain stopped but it remained overcast and cool. 226 rides were given including two birthday groups. Dwight worked on restoring the Charleswood West motorized switch control. Most of the day was handled with 3001 and 6109 with 202 taking two trips. 

Monday this web site was down due to some reconfiguration of system at our server. All was ready by 11:00 pm when a hard disk failed causing the process to continue and now it should be up by 10:00 pm Tuesday.  Bill took the side grinder and hand hack saw to the third deck in the trailer removing the slides so the trailer can be modified to take eight gondolas on the top deck. Len took measurements for new hold down parts. These modifications are in preparation for the trip to St. Croix.

Tuesday Bill picked up the nuts & bolts and other related hardware for the modification. Bill also got eight lengths of "UniStrut" for the tracks. This modification will allow cars to be rolled into the upper deck instead of needing to be turned upside down and truck removed. It is a labour saving modification now that we have a lift for loading. Len cut up and drilled all the wood pieces for the new trailer loading system. Bill purchased the first load of groceries for the dinner train.

Wednesday Peter, Richard and Jim came over after lunch and worked on a list of items to prepare for the dinner train which included cleaning up the cars and the station area. getting out the tables we use for dinner preparation, putting away tools and generally making things look presentable. One table needed repairs and Peter made a new frame and re-mounted the legs. After work Bill arrived and was interviewed by My Winnipeg.Com for a video clip on the AVR. Len arrived with completed wood pieces and assisted with cutting hold down threaded rods. Bill cut up eight lengths of "UniStrut" for tracks and two hold down channels. It started to rain hard so Len and Bill set up some plywood at the back of the trailer so work could continue. Bill spent more time grinding spots were the old steel had been cut away. He then got out two gondolas and rolled both into the right side and positioned the rails. Once positioned the rails were welded to the frame and the cars were again fit. The process then started on the left side but more grinding will need to be done as the left side is 1/4 inch narrower. At 10:15 pm Bill cleaned up leaving the two cars in the trailer.

Thursday Jim and Gil came over and bolted the track panels together at Old Fort. Bill ground out some additional material in the trailer and welded in the four rails on the left side. The cars and equipment were stored away. Bill made up the two extra hangers and then did more shopping for the dinner train. 

Friday Bill picked up the last load of groceries for the dinner train.

Saturday several members were at the station early to set up for the dinner train. Len and Bill where the cooks with other members helping to serve and run the seven trains with about 80 guests. The noon train had some drizzle but the remaining part of the day was fine. Several members ran the second train for casual visitors.

Sunday was the second day of the sixth annual dinner train and all public trains were full. Rain was promised but it did not come until part way through the last public run. In all we had about 160 diners on the train both days. Once again a large dedicated group of AVR members helped to make the event a success. Those helping were, Len, Peter, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Andrei, Rob, Jim, Carol, Gil, Linda, Fred, Christine, Norm, Nance, Bill and Mary-Lou.

Monday Bill started loading the trailer for St. Croix. Peter came over to repair some damage in the caboose. Rob came over to take our old batteries for re-cycling. Later he came back to help Bill load the trailer. First time with the new configuration. Two locomotives, eight gondolas, two operator cars and caboose are all on board.

Wednesday Sept. 24th several members of the AVR left for the Fall Meet at the St. Croix Railway. Upon arrival Wednesday night Bill and Len unloaded the trailer and parked the two locomotives in the roundhouse. Barry had already arrived with his 1/12 scale English locomotive. Thursday Peter arrived at the SCRR and took the train around. Later Len and Bill used 6109 to haul 40- eighty pound concrete blocks to Twin Bridges. In the process one traction motor failed and it was replaced. 3001 completed the block move. Due to rain no more were moved. Bill brought a projector and screen to show last years St. Croix pictures and this years western Ramble pictures plus some at the AVR, 800 pictures in all. Len kept himself busy with odd jobs. Friday afternoon, Norm, Nance and the two boys arrived in time for the pig roast which was attended by 125 delegates. The food was great but the rain was typical of a prairie rain storm so we all sought shelter in the various buildings. Saturday at SCRR was drier and most locomotives were out running. Back at the AVR several members attended and cleaned up the station after the dinner train and started hauling rock to Old Fort siding. Sunday was public day at the SCRR and the AVR moved about 450 of the over 800 visitors that came. Peter and Bill did most of the runs with Len, Whit and Norm taking some of the trips. Len got to make several trips on a steam locomotive. On Monday Len and Bill loaded and left for Winnipeg and the AVR.

Wednesday Gil, Richard and Bill unloaded all the equipment from St. Croix meet. Bill worked on loading pictures of AVR subjects. Gil brought over an old luggage rack frame from an old rail car that he had restored and had added a new base to. It will be installed in the station to hold hats.

Friday the scouts and cubs from the 85th and the 82nd groups came for a weekend camp. Bill transported all the gear and youth to camp by train. 

Saturday the camp continued. Leaders put on many projects for the youth. The railway station was transformed into the community kitchen. Bill gave three smaller groups a talk on railway safety followed by three laps around the railway. After lunch Fred by came with his new laser level. He spent some time testing it against Peter's big level then they performed a level survey of the road-bed at Old Fort. Norm and Nance came with their two kids and spent most of the afternoon re-locating material from the future engine house site. The burnable material was added to the fire pit fuel supply. The unusable was placed near the new tunnel for covering with soil. Insulated panels were put farther east in the bush for future use. An old plow was dug up and placed in our agricultural museum area along with our disk and harrow. Dwight  creosoted the Old Fort spur switch so it can be planted once the area is levelled. Bill took a group of scouts to Paterson to get a load of fire wood for the evening program. He also gave a group of beavers a ride on 3001. 

Sunday was a glorious day with bright sun and warm temperatures. After Camp closing Bill again transported the campers and their gear from camp to the station.

Wednesday Bill started to work on Christmas lights and made up eight light harness units for the unfinished candy canes from last year. Dwight creosoted the "Y" switch for Charleswood and did some repairs to the door passage set. Len came with an oak boards complete with coat hooks and installed it in the north west corner of the station. He also installed Gil's hat rack. We now have a place for winter coats and hats in the station. Bill spent considerable time up-loading web site files. 

Thursday Bill spent time preparing wiring harnesses for poinsettias and snow flakes.

Friday Jim and Gil took 6109 and with Jim's leaf blower cleared the leafs off the track for the open house. Bill spent time on more light harnesses and talked with a rep from the city about our plans for Christmas 2003 as they want to bring the judges to the AVR once again.

Saturday Oct 11 started off with a heavy rain fall in the early morning. By opening at 10:00 am the rain was just a light dribble. Twelve people came right at opening for a train ride. Gil got out 3001 and started the rides. As the day progressed the clouds cleared and the sun came out and it was a glorious day for an open house. The visitors continued to come and by mid afternoon we had to divert our second train from rock duty to giving rides. As a good number of AVR members were present we also got additional work completed. The extra cut at the west end of Charleswood was started and completed with the soil going to raise the nature trail east of the new tunnel and also put on the tunnel. That project was primarily worked on by Norm, Nance, Dain, Brandt, Len and Rob. Others helped from time to time. At the same time Peter, Richard, Jim, David and Dwight levelled rock at Old Fort and transported new material by train to the area and started to lay track and placed the spur switch. The passenger operation was staffed by Gil, Ed, Bill, Norm and Rob. Twenty eight trains were run in an east to west direction for a change.

Sunday was a perfect fall day with bright sunshine. Jim came early and blew the track clear of leafs. He got the trains out early. A steady flow of riders came between 12:30 and 5:00 pm. 29 trips were made. Gil and Peter made one trip with rock to Old Fort but both trains were soon needed. The members present were, Jim, Gil, Len, Bill, Peter and Ed. 

Tuesday Jim ran four trains for a group of pre-schoolers from Elie, Manitoba that were in on a field trip.

Wednesday Jim, Peter, Gil and Ed worked on Old Fort siding setting the grade on the sub-road-bed, shimming up the main line and spiking down half the rail. Bill came home early after ordering more Christmas steel. He then cut up some material for new creations. 

Thursday Jim and Peter continued the work at Old Fort. They repaired some kinks on the siding and continued to screw down rail. Before trains can be run Saturday the main line must have rock added as it is now up on shims. Bill worked on more electrical light harnesses, candy canes and the web site. 

Saturday was a nice warm sunny day for October. Richard and Gil helped Bill pull out some Christmas items. The "Peace On Earth" sign was made ready for new lights this year. Some decorations that Barry found were taken out of storage. One was a big snow flake which Bill cleaned off all the old lights from and worked on preparing new mini lights. Bill also completed two new "candy canes" with 100 lights each. When Jim arrived 202 was pulled out and the top removed for brake repair and battery service. Jim purchased a new compressor and it was wired into the system and tested. The batteries were tested and suspicion confirmed that one had a shorted cell. All acid spills were neutralized and cleaned up. All components were re-assembled and tested and the unit put on charge. Members working on this project were Jim, Richard, Gil, Fred, Dwight and Bill. 

When Peter arrived work continued on "Old Fort siding" and all track was completed and the first train run through the new track. The old line which was up on shims had needed rock worked under the ties to bring it to level. About half of this was completed. Members working on this project were Peter, Richard, Gil, William and Jim with Dwight installing the spur switch at the east end and making the other switches operable. William supplied a new tin of home made cookies for the station. Peter advises that a record was made this year with all four sidings on the new line being installed in one summer. The track plan has been revised.

Sunday another beautiful day. Bill completed two more candy canes and started to do the re-string and light of the peace on earth sign. The "P" "E" and "A" were completed. Norm and Nance with their two boys came over and installed the 12 short six foot arches on the railway. Norm advised that 1% of the lights were now up and tested. Two groups of casual riders were given rides by Norm. Dain took members around on two trips to test the line at "Old Fort" that Peter had spent the afternoon shimming up with rock. Peter also started on the new siding but soon ran out of rock. William came over for a short visit.

Monday Bill completed the last candy cane that had been prepared and made up a couple of wiring harnesses. Physiotherapy started. The start of a new light location map started.

Tuesday Oct 21st. Bill completed the "C"  "E" "O" & "N". Rob came by to check on the times for the Tuxedo School train rides.

Wednesday Jim arrived at 8:30 am to get trains ready for the school group. Bill welcomed the group and Richard, Gil and Jim handled the first three train loads. Bill gave a short talk on railway safety and gave a tour of the station. Jim gave a tour of the car barn and demonstrated how a switch works. The group had a cookie and juice break followed by two more train trips. During the lunch break light arches were gotten out, tested and erected. Peter, Rob and Vic arrived and went out to continue with the levelling at "Old Fort". A train load of rock was run out. Len came with the finished bell for the Box Cab Locomotive and he and Jim went to take measurements for the roof walk. After lunch the second group of students arrived and the morning program was repeated. Peter and Vic completed the levelling and ran a survey of the completed work. In the afternoon Richard and Gil continued to put out arches, Bill worked on light harnesses and Jim, Rob and Vic spent some time overhauling 6109. The oil level in the gas generator was topped up. Oil leaks were investigated, a bracket to hold back the main batteries was installed. The alternator alignment was adjusted and belt re-installed. Bill replaced the main fuse and the locomotive was tested. The steel for additional Christmas displays arrived from Cowin Steel Co. Ltd. and to our surprise it was a gift from Cowin for the Christmas display. The material will be enough to make up 24 additional arches, 10 more candy canes and 8 poinsettias. We thank them for their generous gift.

Thursday Bill completed the lights on the snow flake that Barry supplied and stripped the old lights from what will become two stars. Len brought another supply of used carpet for gondolas.  

Friday Rob went to Richard's where they loaded twenty 24" paving stones into Rob's trailer.   Richard is donating the pavers to the AVR for use as needed. The first eight will be located on the west side of the steaming bay to make a winter storage area for our new lift. Peter and Vic set up the level at "Old Fort" to check on elevations and to do some fine tuning on the track work in the area. Peter has declared that the track both new and old at Old Fort is now level and ready for ballast in the spring.  Bill completed the work on re-lighting the "E" and started on the "A"

Saturday was cooler and overcast but no snow. Bill started on lights with the completion of the "A" followed by a start on the "R". Richard and Gil arrived first and started to excavate for the placing of a number of 24" x 30" paving stones where the lift was to live for the winter. The balance of the paving stones were stored in the area. Fred arrived and took out both trains allowing room in the station so Bill could repair several arches. Gil, Fred and Bill went out to place eight snow flakes with Dain running the train. Vic and Dwight went out on the old line to check for areas that could use attention before winter. Later Peter and Dwight did the same thing. Richard and Vic with axe and shovel prepared the ground for the spur at Old Fort. They also performed a level survey with Peter to see where rock is needed and where soil need to be moved. Lisa and Bradley planted bulbs in a garden and moved the old soil to the west tunnel to continue with back filling. Dwight took his chain saw to two stumps that were a problem in the upper parking area. Ed came over with Richard D. who is a new member along with Vic this October. We will now need to talk about what Richard we mean. Ed, Richard D. and Jim spent the afternoon making up tie panels for the Old Fort spur. Norm, Nance, Gil and Fred spent the afternoon testing light arches and putting them out on the line and trails. Time was spent replacing burned bulbs and repairing electrical connections. Bill spent time in the station doing what could be done from his chair to rest the painful back. Rob picked up his trailer and helped with a rock train and worked with others. 

Monday at 4:00 pm Bill continued to work on the "R" and also completed the restoration work to "T" and "H". The sign is now ready for erection in its location. Gil shovelled the snow off the old line and found it to be a very heavy sticky load of snow. It is still snowing at the close of day with more promised for Tuesday.

Tuesday Rob went and picked up a trailer load of donated 2" x 2" that will be cut up into switch and track panel ties. We would like to thank members of the Prairie Dog Central who arranged for the supply of material. The AVR is gratefully to all such groups that help us build a better railway. Jim cleared snow on the reversing end of the new line. The winter snow shovels were found. Rob shovelled the snow on the new line. At about 6:00 pm Jim, Rob & Gil got the trains ready, Bill made up two pots of hot chocolate and a jug of juice for 60 to 70 cubs, scouts, leaders and parents from the 85th and 82nd groups who came for a Halloween party which consisted of a trip on the railway and getting treats from suitably dressed creatures at three locations on the railway. Mug up at the fire and roasting marshmallows. Fun was had by all.

Wednesday Oct 29, 2003 Gil and Jim started to cut up the 2" x 2" for switch ties and diamond ties using Dwight's list. Later Rob joined in the operation. Vic and Richard dug the cut on the Old Fort spur. They then hauled out and tested the nine lighted fence units for the lower parking area. Two were in need of repair and where taken to the station for Bill to repair along with an arch that needed to be restrung. Peter arrived and with Vic they surveyed the new spur and did some additional digging. Richard and Vic re-arranged some arches on the west side. Bill, Richard and with help from others put up the fence. Total lights today 1,850. Bill finished his day testing trail lights that Richard had brought to the station.

Thursday Bill tested 850 lights making repairs as needed due to squirrels and deer doing damage last Christmas. Wire was picked up at Home Depot.

Friday Bill tested 1550 trail lights.

Saturday Bill tested 2,600 more trail lights and a box and a half of extension cords. He also set up some of the X-10 controllers. Gil, Richard and Vic worked on Christmas lights putting up the Peace On Earth sign, eight arches, the horse and sleigh and several candy canes plus other object for a total count of 2,500 lights.  Peter, Ed and Jim worked on tie panels for Old Fort.  Barry and Ed replenished some station supplies. Dwight did electrical maintenance on the railway.

Sunday Rob took 3001 out for a 2:30 birthday run for his son. He also brought seven milk cartons of lights for Bill to test and gave a ride to some casual visitors. Bill tested outdoor house light and was able to add 3,815 lights to the tested and installed list. Another 400 were repaired and made ready to go up.

Monday Rob and Jim emptied the utility trailer of 2 x 2's ready to be cut into ties. Bill and Mary-Lou put out the 500 lights for trail position #1 north of the station. Jim completed the last tie panel for the spur at Old Fort. Now all we need is nice weather.

Tuesday Gil repaired three 16' road arches and Bill checked and repaired 750 trail and parking lights.

Wednesday Gil, Richard, Vic and Jim put up arches on the road and on the trails. Three camels went up along with a star and four candy canes for a total of 2250. Bill repaired light strings for a total of 800 and gave a promotional talk on the AVR at the Charleswood Seniors Centre. Later in the evening Bill put up 558 lights in the station area defining the "Q" area. 

Thursday Jim took the shovel to our whole main line and removed all accumulated snow. Lots of deer out in the woods.

Friday Jim brought a cartoon sketch showing the correct and wrong way to load a car. Should save a thousand words at Christmas. Jim cleared off snow from the main line.  Bill picked up two fence post pegs for the upper parking area. Dwight purchased track grease and a new throne seat. Bill put out 600 trail lights.

Saturday was a cold day but a good number of AVR members came to help with lights as Bill's back is still bad. Richard, Gil, Fred, Norm and Nance worked on the upper parking area setting up the illuminated fence and most of the 12 foot and 6 foot arches. Total of 3300 lights. Vic repaired a bad arch for the road and set it up with Dwight. Dwight repaired some switch stands and other maintenance items. He also re-seated the throne.  Rob took his trailer for a load of 3/4 down ballast to be used for sanding trails at Christmas. Norm, Rob, Vic and Nance unloaded the trailer onto the train and filled the 45 gal drum in the maintenance building and filled sand bags and our 5 gal pails for Christmas use. Vic got his first test on running 202. Peter with David's help took the air conditioner to the maintenance building. Peter then retrieved the steel poles marking the Old Fort Spur as they would be needed for trail lighting. Vic and Peter installed 800 lights on the car barn. Bill tested about 4000 lights in the station and repaired the four station window displays and put up the 200 lights on them. Total light count for the day was 4,400

Sunday Nov 9th, 2003 Ed, Peter, Bill, Lisa and Bradley worked on lights. Lisa and Bradley put in steel poles on the yard trails and strung lights. Peter and Ed replaced lights on the garage and along the lower parking lot fence. Bill indicated locations and repaired and tested lights in the station. 

Monday Rob put up the remaining yard trail steel and put in poles for candy canes in preparation for Tuesday. Bill did the site placing, strung 100 lights before being forced to retreat to the station and test about 2000 station lights.

Tuesday being Remembrance Day many AVR members attended services at 11:00 am gathering at the railway in the afternoon. Norm and Nance and their two boys spent most of their time putting up candy canes in both the yard and out on the railway. Richard P. and Vic continued with large arches in the upper parking area and on the railroad. Gil and Rob set up the 90 foot long Christmas train and some trail lighting. Ed and Richard D. worked on the long nature trail on the west side. Bill moved from area to area making sure things got put in the correct place and supplying materials. Bill found the train handy to access the bush areas. Peter completed the lighting on the play house and garage. In all we collectively installed 6,800 lights. Bill spent time in the evening testing more station and trail lights.

Wednesday Richard and Gil arrived and worked on installing the last of the arches plus most of the stars along with some wiring to features. Several items were repaired. Peter, Vic and Ed worked on the station lights completing the upper section. When Ed left Gil continued until the lower dog house end was complete. Peter alone completed the bulk of the window lights on the station. Bill tested more strings in the station. At 5:30 Gil got out 3001 and train for a school group that wanted pictures for a school calendar. Len came by with the new metal cover for the mechanical part of our lift. Bill repaired and tested more lights later in the evening. Rob searched and found the box that contained trail lights #3 and Bill has repaired them. Rob installed the X-10 controller for the west line and the 90 ft train.

Thursday Bill and Mary-Lou put out 500 trail lights. Bill spent time testing more lights in the station.

Friday Gil tested all the remaining features in the lower storage and hung up the three stars at Ghosty Hollow. Peter transported boxes of lights from the upper storage by train for Bill to test and Peter put out the lights on the house bushes. Bill worked on repairs and testing. 

Saturday Nov. 15, 2003 was a warm sunny day at the AVR and a good number of members came out. Richard and Fred spent the day putting lights on our wire trees. Gil installed more display features in the yard. Barry installed station area lights. Peter and Vic did trees and fence items.  Peter cleaned station windows. Norm and Nance replaced lights on the house and set up trees in the Yard. Rob set up poinsettias and wheels. Lisa and Bradley set up the nativity display and other display items. Bill tested lights and made up new light harnesses for the wire trees. Dwight repaired switch stands and worked on snow brushes for 6109. Total light count today 7,493.

Sunday afternoon Norm, Nance, Dain and Brandt came to the AVR and repaired the "Merry Christmas" sign and carted in by train two bicycles and repaired and set them out. Peter put out trail lights and repaired some fences. Lisa and Bradley set up the last of the snow flakes and stars and did a tree. Bill repaired and tested more lights and set up the carillon for Christmas.

Monday Nov 17 was a plus 6 day with snow melting all over. Peter cleaned out the station eve troughs. Later he and Jim put up 1100 trail lights. Bill tested all remaining lights in station and did some repairs. The AVR's Safety manual that Jim has put together is almost ready for the printers. 

Tuesday Bill put up 350 lights in house windows.

Wednesday afternoon Gil and Richard put in steel posts for side lighting in upper parking area. Put lights on them. Jim set out lights on a couple of trees and on bushes. Peter worked on some deer damage on the west trail and Bill tested and repaired lights. Len and Jim spent time on the box cab locomotive body. Vic worked at machining parts and repairing nine wheel sets. Gord Potts from Elite Metal Products Ltd was kind enough to make up the steel cover for our lift and some roof supports for the box cab at no charge to the club. Thanks Gord.

Thursday Gil completed another 520 lights in the upper parking area. Bill picked up plywood and boards to build a new stand for the Ashdown Display. Jim came to help unload the wood. Bill and Mary-Lou took the train out and put running lights (900) out along the main line at a number of locations. 

Saturday Nov 22nd Richard completed the last two wire trees and set up the last five candy canes. He was joined by Gil and put up the last of the trail lights along with lights on the new line at Paterson. Jim and Fred built the four new base table tops for the Ashdown Display. Norm and Nance decorated the upper storage building and overhead lights in the upper parking area. Vic, Norm and Nance moved steaming bay track 2 and 3 out for winter parking. Ed and Richard D. put up parking area lights. Peter installed some trail lights. Vic and Dwight did car safety inspections. Seven wheel sets were exchanged as some bearings were showing wear and we want all our equipment in top shape. Bill tested the last of the lights and made up jumper cables. At 4:20 the Members of the AVR held the Annual General Meeting and followed it up with food in the station.

Sunday Norm, Nance, Dain and Brandt made up and installed the legs on the four base units and then put the whole base platform in place for the Ashdown Display. Next all buildings for the 1881 Main Street display was set up. Peter and Gil arrived to give rides to a family celebrating a birthday. After dark Dain took Bill, Peter, Norm, Nance and Brandt around the old line for Bill to check on what lights are and are not running. The display looks great with very few repairs needed. All repairs so far have been caused by deer and rodents.

With the exception of the ship we are at last years light count. Several wire frames are coming that will be added as the Christmas season gets closer. The old Westminster Carillon will be added to Christmas carols to add to the true Christmas spirit. 

Monday Jim brought the minutes of the AGM on disk for publication in the Feb. Nutty Report. Len spent time looking for new breakers for a breaker panel. Bill built the wiring harness and interface relay circuit to switch between music and the bells during Christmas. Over Sunday the AVR executive decided as time had run out at the AGM, that a special meeting would be called for Feb 7th at 10:00 am in Charleswood station. This meeting is to plan details around the new engine house and machine shop. At this meeting a by-law item will be brought to the membership for ratification. Currently it says "Annual meeting shall be held each fall to conduct club business" The Change would be "Annual meeting shall be held the last two weeks of January to the end of February to conduct club business" The reason for the change is because our year end is just after the Christmas Light Run and financial reports will reflect what actually occurred during the year. 

Tuesday Jim came and cleared snow off all main lines and set switches. Bill picked up a new breaker and installed it for the display.

Wednesday Vic arrived and repaired an overhead line. He also delivered seven re-built wheel sets. Richard worked with Ed putting up signs and putting out another 200 lights. Vic and Jim took 3001 to the loading area and the front step was re-welded. Peter and Ed put up the Ship. Vic and Jim worked on operator certification for Vic. Bill worked on jumpers. Helped with lights. Got the sound system working. Put out the Christmas Cheer Board donation boxes and started to clean the station. A angel was placed in the east yard. Five stars and five objects were put in the front window.

Thursday Bill worked on a new object and wrapped 129 lights forming two bells and a red bow.

Friday Nov 28th Gil and Jim arrived before lunch to clean up the station and outside platform. Bill cleaned up the counters and hot chocolate area and cleaned all the pots. The "A" channel came to do an interview on the display. The three then moved the trailer to upper parking and Gil and Jim put out the main sign. Peter put out seven lighted objects and Bill set up the Bells and Bow. At 6:00 pm the trains started running with Vic, Rob, Jim, Ed and Bill looking after the evening. At 8:30 battery maintenance was performed on 3001. The attendance on the first night was up over last year. The "A" channel did a live feed on their 6:00 pm news.

Saturday night was a little warmer and more riders came out. Vic and Dwight did more car maintenance replacing a number of bearings. Vic picked up a small snow blower for use on the railway. Bill and Peter spent time setting up the December issue of the "Nutty Report" The following members ran the railway, Jim, Rob, Dwight, Peter, Ed, Norm, Nance, Richard and Bill. We had visitors from Brandon, Kenora and the USA.

Sunday was the third night and the riders were more than last year. Fred and Jim ran trains and looked after the platform while Bill looked after the station. Bill started work on a new 100 light angel.

Monday Gil repaired some lights and put out another 200. Bill put out the new angel and started lighting a wire shape of Mary. Jim got the train out and Gil, Fred, Rob, Ed and Bill kept things running.

Tuesday Bill completed the wire sculpture of Mary and set her out. Jim, Rob, Gil, Richard and Bill ran trains. We had four scouting and guiding groups in. During the evening the #4 traction motor on 6109 burned and later was isolated and the locomotive was tested and put on charge.

Wednesday was a mild day and more visitors came than last year. Bill spent all morning on the "Nutty Report" and Peter did a second proof reading. The railway was operated by Norm, Rob, Fred and Bill. Dain helped with tickets.

Thursday was mild with a light snow. We only ran 202 with snow brushes. Bill completed the "Nutty Report" and completed the wire sculpture of Joseph. The railway was run by Rob, Gil, Richard, Ed and Bill.  A French film crew was in to do some video for a National TV program. 

Friday the temp. turned cold. Bill completed the manger for Mary and Joseph. The railway was run by Rob, Gil, Bill, Ed and Peter.

Saturday Bill completed a second angel and made up light harnesses. Fifteen copies of the "Nutty Report" were printed. A Cub and Scout group came for a 3:00 pm fire side program and had a train ride. The railway was operated by Rob, Gil, Peter and Bill.

Sunday afternoon the AVR was host to a birthday party group at 2:30 with 88 riders. Richard, Rob and Bill looked after the group. The evening light run was looked after by Richard, Len, Fred, Peter, Norm and Bill. Bill made up a 54 light small poinsettia.

Monday night the temp dipped. Vic picked up our new track snow machine to install a truck. Jim cleared snow. Bill printed out membership cards and "Nutty Reports". We had four youth groups from scouting and guiding. The railway was run by Jim, Gil, Fred, Peter, Rob, Ed and Bill. Adjustments were needed to the West Charleswood switch. The equipment ran well.

Tuesday night we had a Scout, Cub and Beaver group of 40 and a church youth group of 60 plus public in but it was the first really cold night yet in the forest it did not feel that cold. Vic brought back the new snow blower with truck mounted. The guys tested it but had to shovel snow onto the track to see it work. Bill connected the lights in the Ashdown buildings and lit up a third angel. The railway was run by Rob, Gil, Jim, Richard, Norm, Nance and Bill. Three trains were used while all the youth groups were present. Vic also returned another 9 wheel sets that had been repaired. 

Wednesday the temperature continued to drop. We had a cub and brownie group come in along with some additional riders but the cold kept it quiet. CKY TV came to tape some segments for a documentary they will be doing on the Railway. Bill completed half of a new display. The railway was operated by Jim, Gil, Fred and Bill.

Thursday was a cold night. The railway was run by Jim, Vic and Bill.

Friday Dec. 12th, The railway was run by Jim, Norm, Nance, Gil, Ed and Bill. It was still cold but a warming trend is coming.

Saturday Bill with Eugene walked the entire trail system and repaired a lot of lights. Some still need repair. This is the first time since mid October that Bill has been able to walk the trails. The scouts from the 66th slept over this weekend. The Railway was run by Richard, Ed, David, Barry and Bill. Gil came to check on lights.

Sunday Bill walked the trails and repaired four objects and then put out 100 new lights and built the fourth angel. Dwight came in the afternoon and did some repairs to the west Charleswood station switch, greased the track and did some other repairs. Carmelina cleaned up the station hot chocolate area, washroom and helped with the log book. The railway was run by Gil, Andrei, Fred, Jim, Barry, Ed and Bill. 

Monday Bill replaced the air compressor in 3001. The old compressor had only lasted 2 weeks. Gil came in the afternoon and used, for the first time, our new truck mounted snow blower and Gil reports that it worked great. Galen came in and cleared the walking trails. The railway was run by Richard, Gil, Fred, Ed and Bill. We had about four scouting groups in.

Tuesday was cold at -14c. Bill made up a small poinsettia. The railway was run by Gil, David, Andrei and Bill.

Wednesday Dec 17th was warmer. We ran two trains. Members who ran the railway were Fred, Richard, David, Norm, Dwight and Bill. Jim brought his family. We also had a family from Australia. 

Thursday Bill walked the trails and repaired some lights and completed the fifth angel. Gil picked up 10 end of train flashers. The railway was run by Barry, Jim, Gil and Bill. We had visitors from Argentina and St. Johns, Nfld.

Friday was a busy day on the railway. The Railway was run by Jim, Barry, Norm, Nance, Bill, Ed and Richard D.  A new source of towels for the WC has been found. 

Saturday night was our busiest this season. Bill put blue waves under the ship and built a poinsettia. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Ed, Vic, Richard P., Rob, Norm, Nance and Bill. We had visitors from Japan.

Due to Bill's current back problems the AVR thanks all members who have come out and helped get this years display up and running. Without all the help this years display would not have gone together. 

Sunday night Dec. 21st. the AVR broke the record for riders in any one night with 812 riders. Bill put out 550 lights and repaired several objects. Gil checked the trail lights and did some repairs. The railroad was operated by the following members, Jim, Carol, David, Norm, Nance, Dain, Vic, Barry, Rob, Fred and Bill. We had visitors from the USA.

Monday Vic picked up two extra radios and head sets. The railway was run by Rob, Jim, Fred, Gil, Vic, Dwight, Ed and Bill. 6109 had a traction motor smoke. It will be replaced Saturday afternoon. 

Tuesday the railway was operated Gil, Jim, Rob, Richard and Bill. We had visitors from Alberta and B.C. tonight.

Wednesday Christmas Eve the railway shut down early just after 8:00 pm to allow members to have some time with family Christmas Eve. Norm, Nance, Vic and Bill ran the railway. Vic is checking out the traction motors. The west Charleswood switch caused some problems.

Christmas Day the AVR did not run so members could spend time with their families.

Boxing Day Bill did an inspection of all trails and repaired several displays that had been damaged by wildlife both four legged and two legged. Gil came and greased track and made some adjustments to the east station switch. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Rob, Bill, Vic, Norm and Nance. Bill took out his first train with passengers with Vic as conductor. We had visitors from Florida and The Congo on the African Continent. After shut down Battery maintenance was carried out on 3001 and 202.

Saturday Dec 27th Vic, Bill and Rob replaced two traction motors in 6109 and did other repairs. Dwight and Gil repaired the dip at the west Charleswood switch and did other track and switch adjustments. Bill added a new section on Christmas displays to the web page. A Colorado low moved into our area and brought snow and rain. It was not decided until 6:00 pm if we would run or not due to the rain but after two test runs it was decided that we could run. It was a difficult night due to rain and ice. Those running the railway were, Len, Rob, Vic, Richard, David, Andrei & Bill.

Sunday Dec 28th. The Colorado Low turned from rain to snow overnight depositing a layer of frozen slush on the track. A great deal of time was spent clearing snow, sanding trails and cleaning ice from flange ways on level crossings. The West Charleswood switch acted up again and was spiked to the south track to avoid future problems. The railway was operated by Rob, Jim, Fred, David and Bill. We had visitors from California.

Monday the snow fell all day and night. The crew cleared the tracks and trails and had to run trains with only three gondolas due to slippery track. See pictures of the AVR running in the snow. We had visitors from Washington and Vancouver. The railway was run by Rob, Gil, Fred, Barry and Bill.

Tuesday the snow fell all day. Gil came and used our new snow blower on the track. Galen cleaned the paths in the yard and Bill used the large snow blower on the road, parking area and bush trails. Len took the shovel over the track. Rob cleared the "Q" area and took 6109 around to clear the track. The railway was run by Len, Jim, Norm, Nance, Rob, Richard, Matthew and Bill. Nance, Brandt and Dain cleared the snow off the Ashdown display.

New Year's Eve the trains ran till about 9:00 pm as people came till then and our Chinese food did not arrive until 9:00 pm. The start of the evening was very slippery on the track and for the first hour we double headed 202 and 3001. Later traction improved so we ran separate light trains. After the run we had food in the station and put all the equipment away. The railway was run by Fred, Vic, Norm, Nance, Andrei and Bill.

New Year's Day 2004. Dwight repaired the West Charleswood switch with a new bracket and repaired the signal micro switch. It worked well after that. Bill worked on the net and completed the last two wreaths and put them out. He also found that the Christmas "Do Dad" decoration had not been put out. That brought us over the 60,000 count for lights. The railway was run by Bill, Norm, Nance, Jim, Gil, Barry, Len, Rob and Matthew

Friday Gil cleared the snow in the afternoon. Rob came at 5:00 pm and could not see where it was cleared. He cleared it again but the snow came down so heavy that when he had gone around the track he would have to start again. Gil and Rob did battery maintenance on 3001 and 202. Three families walked in but very few cars came down the road. It would have been imposable to keep the trains running. 

Saturday morning Bill flew off to Cancun for a two week vacation. Temp -28c in Winnipeg and 4 and a half hours later it was + 28c. Some change. In the evening the railway ran again with Len, Rob, Norm, Nance, Dwight and Carmelina     keeping things going. It was a late start as all the new snow had to be removed. A number of hardy Winnipeggers came and were happy for the ride. 

Sunday was our last day of the 2003-2004 Christmas run and the temperature was really low. By rights we should have cancelled but Winnipeggers are hardy and thus Len, Rob and Fred kept the railway running and then took down the sign and turned all the lights off for another year. Except for the last week we had a great run and the AVR will cover all of its operating costs plus we made a donation to the Christmas Cheer board of  money and took almost 400 of food donations to Winnipeg Harvest, our local food bank.

Saturday Jan 10th Gil spent time cleaning the maintenance building.

Wednesday Jan 14 Rob cleared the snow on both main drive and old line of the railway. It was noted that the wood gate into the yard had been broken by deer. 

Saturday 17th Richard, Peter, Rob, Norm, Nance and the boys came to work on projects. Rob used the big snow blower to clear trails and the road while Norm used the small blower to clear the old line. Peter worked on checking passenger counts with Richard. Rob and Norm transported the car kits from the upper storage by toboggan to Amur Glen and then by train to the station along with help from Nance and the boys. Bill arrived back from Mexico and was very delighted that Rob had cleared the main road.

Sunday 18th, Bill re-built the deer mangled main gate, repaired the fence and replaced a sensor in the station. 

Saturday Jan 24th, 2004 Bill removed snow from the underground water line temperature sensors to get the water line to the station flowing. He used the large snow blower for one and a half hours to clear snow from the lower parking area while Gil used the small snow blower on the track to keep it clear. Gil then used the big machine on the main drive. Rob and Gil dismantled 6109 removing the alternator and bracket and Bill welded the broken bracket and ground to flat. Gil and Rob re-assembled 6109 and tested out the generator system. Peter and Norm unpacked all the material from Cannonball and took an inventory. Three six food gondola kits, one long flat car kit and two pairs of spare trucks along with two #8 and # 6 frogs and one #4 frog. All parts were accounted for with the exception of 6 nylon washers. The two boys Dain and Brandt helped with the unpacking.

During the week Bill completed the financial report and agenda for the meeting at 10:00 am Saturday Feb 7th. Information on concrete and fencing has also been secured. We have applied for a telephone line in the station for the AVR complete with phone book listing and voice mail capabilities. 

Saturday Jan 31st, 2004. Bill found several more places were the deer have been getting in and those places were repaired. Bill used the snow blower on the parking area, in front of the station and paths. Gil and Richard cleared the track to the maintenance building and put 6109 there to make room in the station for the work table and work mate. Peter supervised Richard, Gil, Norm and Nance as various parts were marked and prepared for the building of four new cars. Bill painted white paint on another batch of sign boards for more crossing signs and flanger posts.

Sunday morning Bill put another coat of white on sign boards. In the afternoon and evening he completed the painting on 14 crossing boards and 10 flanger signs and then deco paged 19 additional flanger boards with their two black dots. A first coat of urethane was applied.  Peter bent the bottoms of 60 side braces for three gondolas.

Monday evening Bill painted parts of 21 additional flanger signs. He cut out 12 "CROSSING" signs and deco paged them to 12 boards using urethane. Peter bent up the twelve stirrups for the gondolas.

Tuesday Bill printed up enough black dots to complete the flanger signs and enough "RAILWAY CROSSING" strips to complete the additional boards that Gil is cutting up.

Wednesday Bill, Gil and Peter talked about the proposed engine house. Bill cut up dots and "RAIL WAY" lettering. Gil and Peter drilled out gondola parts including the main sills and the end angles. Bill applied the dots to thirty one more flanger signs. He then deco paged twelve "RAIL WAY" sides and cleaned and put on the first coat of primer on 24 of the boards that Gil cut up. Peter started installing hand grabs. During the day Jim and Rob came by to check on progress.

Friday Feb 6th, Bill put two passes of primer on the 24 sign boards. Peter ground the end sills for the flat car.

The Assiniboine Valley Railway Inc. at its annual meeting approved certain projects for next year once our expenses for 2003 had been paid. The list that we will now be able to proceed with in 2004 includes the following.

  1. A new truck mounted snow blower to clear snow during the Christmas runs.

  2. A mechanical lift for our new (still to be built) engine house allowing access to storage tracks and giving us a flexible tool for locomotive maintenance.

  3. Access tracks from station area to new engine house.

  4. New 100 amp power panel in garage servicing the new engine house and allowing for additional lights at Christmas.

  5. The building and installing of the extended signal system allowing two way traffic on the railway. 

  6. Rock, ballast and soil for completing projects on the railway. 

  7. Mechanical rental equipment for moving soil to the top of the new tunnel. 

  8. A telephone line for the AVR with phone book listing and message capability

  9. Sandblasting of new cars. 

  10. A large shop vac (21/2 pickup) for cleaning up equipment and buildings.

  11. Painting of seven new pieces of equipment.

  12. Paint supplies to re-do floor in station and other areas.

  13. Re-Painting 202 and 6109 into Canadian Colours and lettered for the AVR.

  14. Two new radios and head sets for safer operation.

  15. Stainless steel eating devices to replace the plastic cutlery.

  16. Washroom floor painting and base board vinyl trim. More projects will be listed when they become possible.

AVR HAS NEW PASSENGER TOTAL FOR ONE DAY OF 823 RIDERS

CHRISTMAS RIDERS LAST AND THIS YEAR

Saturday Feb 7th, 2004, members of the AVR had a general meeting approving the 2003 financial statement and deciding on a number of projects for next summer. The bylaws were amended to change the date for the AGM from fall to January or February. The meeting ended at 1:00 pm and a lunch was had by members and those who could stay continued to work on the flat car and three gondolas. Those working were Peter, Richard, Norm, Vic and Dwight. Richard cleared track from station to Ash Grove. Bill cleared snow in front of station and applied three more passes of paint to the sign boards. Norm typed up the minutes from the meeting. After the meeting Len salvaged some plywood and paint from a school play set and along with Helen and their son delivered the material to the AVR for future projects.

Sunday morning Bill put the last coat of white on the 24 sign boards. Later in the afternoon Peter continued work on the three gondolas and flat car. He got the grab irons installed on the ends and drilled holes on the flat car sides. Bill cut out twenty four "CROSSING" letterings and deco paged them to the boards.

Monday Bill made up the first three pages of the next "Nutty Report"

Wednesday Peter and Rob worked on the four new cars, Bill cut up the balance of the sign material and deco-paged another eleven signs.

Thursday Bill printed up more track plans.

Saturday Bill completed the current issue of the Nutty Report and Peter did the proofing. Richard did some station cleanup and brought in the sign poles and cut some to the correct length. Bill completed the remaining 13 crossing signs. Peter and Rob filed all the stake pocket castings and Peter drilled out rivet holes on the third flat car side.

Sunday Peter drilled out the holes in all stake pockets and completed the last flat car side. Bill worked on signs.

Wednesday Bill printed some of the "Nutty Reports" until the black ink ran out. More ink will be purchased. Bill sanded nine of the cross buck poles and applied the first coat of primer. Peter completed the mounting of stake pockets on one of the four side panels. William supplied more cookies and sausage for the station. We had three visitors, one from B.C. who came to see the railway. Gil came by and will make up another 11 cross buck poles for Bill to paint.

Thursday Peter completed one section of the flat car side including rivets. William helped with the rivets. At home he machined parts for the underside of the cars.  Bill picked up more ink and printed 10 more copies of the report. The last pass of primer went on the posts.

Friday Peter and William worked on the next side and completed it and then started on the third and fourth pieces. Bill put on the first pass of white paint. He also picked up more sandpaper and a fitting for the welder.

Saturday Feb 21st. 2004 Bill put on the last pass of white paint on nine posts, updated the web page, started printing the mail-out copies of the "Nutty Report" and found two more points were the deer have damaged the fence and gained access to the inner yard. Richard arrived and went looking for the spare deer fencing material. Bill masked the posts and in due course applied two coats of black paint to the bottoms of the posts. Richard and Bill went out armed with the fencing and repaired and strengthened the fence in five places. Norm, Nance, Dain and Brandt came with a crosscut saw and cut up 2 x 2s into 650 regular 14" ties plus selected some lumber for Gil to make posts with. They also cut up a box of blocks to be painted red and used at derailment locations to help with railway maintenance using the program from Train Mountain. Car construction continued under the leadership of Peter. Fred worked on riveting on grab irons and completed all six ends plus half the sides. William drove in screw rivets and Rob tapped half the holes on the sides so that the next step is to install the sides to the flat car frame. Peter completed the hole drilling and stake pocket installation. Bill mounted all sign boards on eight crossing signs and painted all the screw heads. Jim came by and picked up eight truck side frames for filing which he was going to do at home. Dwight called to say he was working on switch machines for the railway. Vic lent the AVR his inert gas tank to turn our wire feed welder into a MIG welder. Due to so many things going on the welding did not get started.

Sunday Bill put a layer of Varathane on the top and bottoms of the eight railway crossing signs.

Tuesday Peter & Rob mounted the four side panels onto the flat car frame. Rob optimistically put our two snow blowers away in their storage places. Bill completed the varathaning of the eight crossing signs. William mounted the remaining hand grabs on the three gondolas.

Wednesday Peter and Gil filed and ground the balance of gondola side ribs. Jim brought back eight truck side frames that had been filed out at his shop. He took another eight to be completed. Gil took wood to cut more sign posts. Vic added his inert gas system to Bill's MIG welder and then Bill and Vic welded most of the frames for the three cars. Having the inert gas sure cut down on spatter and the welds were better.

Feb 28th to March 4th Bill was away but activity at the AVR continued with many members coming out. During the week the welding on the flat car was completed and the three gondolas were assembled and almost all of the welding was complete along with most of the grinding. Vic welded with assembly help from Gil and Peter. Gil cut up and planed the needed posts for the balance of the cross bucks and flanger signs. A start was made to taking down Christmas displays and it was noted that 28 of the candy canes were taken down by Norm, Nance & Dain.  Richard inspected and repaired the deer fence and replenished the beer supply. Fred & Peter ground the outside edges of 12 side frames. Peter drilled, ground and filed 13 bolsters and completed eight coupler posts. Dwight continued on switch machine design. Jim has continued with truck side frame filing at home. Bill has added the new web page of the Manitoba Live Steamers to our link page. Still lots of snow in Winnipeg with more falling March 4th and 5th.

Saturday March 6th, Bill cleared some snow and filled holes in six crossing and nine flanger posts and did some touch-up sanding. It is nice to work with the posts that Gil made as it saves hours of sanding. Bill then put the first pass of primer on the 15 posts. Jim came over with six more side frames that have been filed on the inside. Vic completed all welding on cars. Fred & Peter ground side frames for trucks. Dwight brought 40 signal foundation plates for new signals and along with Fred and Rob they drilled them as needed. Norm, Nance and Dain cut up 400 more 14" ties over at the steaming bay. Bill put the second pass of primer and then the first pass of white finish paint. Peter filed the corners off the last gondola, and drilled the king pin holes in four more truck bolsters. Norm, Nance and Dain brought in another ten Christmas display items. Vic took one box of axles and wheels for machining. Jim brought back three more side frames. 

Sunday Peter and Rob came over in the afternoon and got a good start on coupler machining. Bill completed the white paint on all 15 posts and put the first coat of black on the bottom. Jim brought back the last three side frames.

Monday Peter and Rob completed all four pairs of couplers and Bill put the second coat of black paint on the posts, removed the masking tape and installed six sets of cross bucks and 14 flanger signs to make up five doubles and four singles.

Wednesday Bill put Varathane on all 15 new signs completing the job. Jim and Rob came by the station.

Thursday March 11th, 2004 Bill filled holes with plastic wood in 18 posts for signs.

Saturday Bill sanded the plastic wood on 18 sign posts. Bill updated the web page and Peter proofread the added material in the history section. Rob inserted the balance of the rivets in the flat car and Peter remounted the sides. Rob and Richard pulled out our second flat car and made it ready for re-painting. Dwight brought more signal parts and Rob drilled another 10 base plates and Richard and Dwight made up 100 threaded rods for mounting 25 signal masts. Peter and William added additional side mounting hardware to our two old flat cars prior to painting. Bill put primer paint on the 18 posts. Barry and Maureen came by with six wheels that need new axels. A service man from Protelic Alarms came by and replaced a circuit board in the station sender as it had been sending in false alarms. 

Sunday Peter ground the sides of the last six side frames. William came for a visit and Bill put a second coat on the 18 sign posts.

Tuesday Gil, Linda, Norm, Nance and Bill attended a reception at City Hall were the Mayor announced that Winnipeg had won the National Winter Lights competition. He thanked all those who had participated.

Wednesday Bill put the last coat of white on 18 posts and directed and assisted the telephone installer on what was the best way to connect the new phone service to the station. Bill spent time sending e-mail PR information to the City, Province and Federal travel information sits. He also included the Winnipeg Free Press who want to do an article on Manitoba events. Bill started to disconnect trail lighting.

Saturday March 20th, 2004  Bill masked the 18 posts currently being completed followed by the first coat of black paint. As the day continued he completed the last coat of black, removed the tape and mounted four cross buck signs and 12 flanger signs and put on the Varathane on top and bottom. During the afternoon the work table got cleaned up, a series of ties were brought in and rails were dug out of the snow for a left hand switch for the spur at Winch. Dwight brought signal head bodies and they were cut and tags were removed. The spreader plate for one of our hoppers was found and we determined which colour it needed to be painted. A lot of time was spent just in good casual conversation about building projects and railroading in general. Peter got some old audio tapes from Brian and he took them to Len's to listen. A tape will be made up. Other present at the AVR were, Gil, Richard, David, Fred, Vic, Norm and boys.

Wednesday March 24th, 2004 Bill completed all work on 14 of the signs and started on the next 12 flanger posts. Bill also took down a number of trail lights and the station Q lights.

Thursday Bill took down more lights on the playhouse and completed the station Q lights and part of the North trail #1. He filled holes in the 12 flanger posts with plastic wood. Peter and Bill discussed the whistle for the new Pacific.

Saturday the weather turned warmer but it also rained most of the day making taking down Christmas lights rather difficult. Bill sanded and put the primer on 12 posts. Other members collected supplies for the #6 switch to be used for the spur at Chapman. Prepared the box cab frame for painting and started to build the switch. Lots of discussion about switch building and the sound for the new steam locomotive whistle. Those present were Gil, Bill, Fred, Ed, Peter, Richard, Rob, Dwight, Carmelina, Norm, Nance and the boys.

Sunday Bill put the first coat of white paint on the 12 posts and took down Christmas lights.

Wednesday Rob and his kids came over and counted 21 deer at the AVR.  Bill removed all the lower station lights and put the last coat of white paint on the 12 posts. Peter, Jim and Bill spent time discussing locomotive whistles and Peter worked out the pipe lengths for the sounds picked.

Thursday Peter and Jim completed the pre-construction of the #6 switch for Chapman Spur.

Saturday April 3rd was sunny and cool. Bill put masking tape on the 12 posts and put on two coats of black paint during the day. Then he prepared the 16 road arches for transport. At 11:00 am he was joined by Fred and together they prepared and rolled up all trail lighting to the garage at 3009 Roblin.  Dwight brought more signal base foundation rods and they were cut and de-tagged. The table was set up for the next switch, a number 8 left hand for the spur at Winch. Jim, Dwight, Ed, Rob and Peter completed all pre-building of the switch. Outside Bill, Fred, Richard, Norm and Nance took a large number of lights down. The storage shed by the garage was cleaned up and the 16 road arches were stored. Several small arches were stowed. The Christmas train and three camels were stored. The large wheels and nine foot arches were brought in. All small display objects in the yard were made ready for storage. About 7000 lights were moved. Lots more to do. High water reported on the west side from Duck Lake to Ghosty Hollow. The culvert under the road is flowing fast. Richard started the first spring cleaning.

Sunday after church Bill updated the web page and took down 4100 Christmas lights. The station desk got partially cleaned up. The AVR now has a ring binder for publications from Burnaby, Los Angeles, St. Croix and Airdrie. Keeping our members informed about the wider Railway community.

Monday Peter, Jim, Rob and Ed laid out and built a #8 switch to be used off the extended Charleswood station track to provide a short storage spur in the station area. This will allow us to get a short train off the main during public run days and allow switching opportunities when we are running for fun. 

Tuesday Peter, Jim and Rob who also brought his trailer, loaded and transported three new gondolas, one long flat car, two short flat cars and the box cab frame and roof to the sand blasting shop were it will be sent to Gimli for powder coating.

Wednesday Bill fastened flanger signs onto the last 12 posts. one has four, four have three and two have two signs each. the multiples will be placed along the track where more than one obstruction can be found between the rails. Peter and Bill walked the whole line remarking on what damage the deer have done to the forest, lights and railway during this harsh winter. They prepared a survey of how many flanger signs were needed and counted 55 locations. At present only 33 new signs were constructed and we have five signs currently installed meaning that next winter we will need to make about twenty more.  William supplied the station with two more cans of cookies and five more sausages. 

STEAM SCHOOL

Jim and Barry  will conduct the AVR's first formal steam safety school on Saturday April 24th at 10:00 am in Charleswood station. The event will only be open to AVR members. As the AVR will have resident steam engines as of June this year it is important that all members have some training regarding safety when it comes to what to expect when around steam engines. While the school does not qualify members for steam endorsement of there membership card for the actual operation it is however a pre-requisite for such endorsement being granted by the executive. At the moment we only have two endorsements, Barry and Jim who have enough experience to both fire and run a live steam engine living in the Winnipeg area. Bill and Len are training and have both running and steaming experience from St. Croix and at the AVR but need more training. John from Tisdale has steaming and running experience having built two steam engines but will benefit from safety training before running for the public. Jack and JJ. from Shakopee, Min both have extensive experience operating steam and the executive feels comfortable with them operating at the AVR. We have also had visiting firemen at the AVR from other clubs and feel confident about their ability. It is the steam safety officer Jim's responsibility to insure that the AVR is only operating steam in a safe manner and to report any infraction to the executive who will or will not endorse engineers based on Jim's recommendation. This is not to say that only those with certificates can operate on non public days but without such certificate you can only run under and with the supervision of a certified member. In the case of who can and can not run a steam engine at the AVR of course rests finally with the owner of the equipment. The AVR does not have a so called "club" steamer so it will be up to the owners to decide who may run. As a steam engine represents either or both a sizable investment in time and money they must be respected and taken care of at all times.

Maundy Thursday a crew from the Manitoba Conservation came and removed the two deer off the property that had become stiff over the winter. We are all pleased that they are gone.

Good Friday before church Bill painted the screw heads on the signs. After church he put the final coats of Varathane on the flanger signs and updated the web page. Norm came over with Dain and Brandt. Bill and Norm went to work on the upper parking area and put away the eleven 12 foot arches and put away the long poles. Dain and Brandt helped with the short poles. Nance came over and the three adults took down the ship and waves. Bill rolled up more trail lights and took the track lights down from mile 24 to 28 on the new line. Barry and Jim came over and transported the truck side frames that Barry is going to drill out for the bearings. Total lights taken down today was 4,670.

Saturday Gil, Richard and Bill went to work clearing the wood fences in both upper and lower parking areas. We also stored a number of small arches and other items from the upper parking area and lower yard. Barry came over to return all the truck side frames that he had completed. Very nice job. Dwight spent time adding a few items to the #8 switch. Peter came late as he was composing a letter and getting copies of things for Cliff re the whistle and certain features of the new pacific. He also got a water analysis of Winnipeg water so Cliff can recommend water treatment if any for the boiler. Rob brought a group of friends over to see the railway. Richard and Bill took down all the lights on the north part of the nature trail on what we call section two and three. The western side will have to wait till the water goes down. Carmelina joined Dwight in the station. Peter and Bill finished off the day by taking down lights on the upper portion of the station and on the walking trail immediately west and south of the old info. kiosk. In all 10,100 lights were put in storage.

Easter Sunday Morning. Bill put an Easter music roll on the carillon and updated the web page before church. Between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm Bill took 3001 and three cars out on the old line collecting track side lights and other objects. Train ran well but a number of dips and bumps are present. Speed was kept low in some of the wet areas. 1800 lights were collected.

Monday the weather warmed. Gil took down a number of arches and Rob came and helped. They did not count but it was probably over 20. Bill continued and stored 21. Peter brought in two. All arches are in from the north end, south to Duck Lake. Bill was able to store away all the poinsettias, angels and other objects between the arches. Total light count was probably around 2000. Peter has taken the truck side frames and bolsters for cleaning before painting.

Tuesday  Gil and Rob carted in a large number of remaining arches and other objects from an area needing rubber boots. It would look like Saturday will be the last of the Christmas take down days and we can go on with cleaning up the railway after winter.

Wednesday Bill arrived at the AVR at 2:00 pm but Gil was already working on lights. Bill put arches and other objects in the shed till about 4:30 when Gil and Bill took down the overhead lights in the upper parking area and racked the last of the arches. After a short rest Bill continued on lights till 8:00 pm. During the afternoon Peter, Rob and Jim came by the railway.

Saturday Len came by with small formed roof parts for the roof walk on the box cab. Fred, Richard and Bill put all the Ashdown display away and dismantled the tables. After lunch Gil came with 21 more cut and plained posts for more flanger signs and other sign needs.  Gil, Fred and Richard continued to put away Christmas displays. Norm, Bill, Dain and Brandt got out 3001 along with five cars and transported all filled light boxes to upper storage. On the next trip they picked up more lights and un-pinned the switches from the winter. Dwight cut up parts for the diamond at Charleswood and met Barry and together they took rail to Barry's where he will machine more switch points. Jim came over to get Len's box cab parts and told us about a sale on a shop vac as agreed at the AGM. Jim will purchase it for the railway. Peter arrived with truck parts that he had cleaned up and made ready for painting. A table was set up and most of the painting was done and fastening of journal box covers. Bill, Norm, Dain and Brandt then took out the train with supplies for installing flanger signs and planted two signs at the level crossing at mile 21.2 followed by the pair at the switch at mile 23. Next was the sign at mile 20 with four pairs of dots on the station cut off. The sign planting was concluded with the re-mounting of the mile post 2 moved last fall when the cut was made to extend the station track. Equipment was put away. Carmelina arrived after her class.  Rob have a safe trip.

Sunday Afternoon Bill planted 14 flanger signs. A three point coming into Charleswood station from the east. Singles at the following points. Mile 18.1, 17.3, 17.8, 18.5, 15.5, 6.5, 24.5, 24.7, 24.8. Doubles at mile 7.8, 6.5, 6.3 Triples at mile 35.5, 36, All put in using 3001. 

Monday Jim went and purchased a shop vac for the AVR and delivered it to the station. Bill raked leaves for one hour including an area in front of the station. Peter completed the spray painting of primer on the truck parts. Bill planted three double flanger signs at mile 34.1, 33.5, 33.6 and five singles at mile 33.3, 32.9, 31, 31.6, 31.9

Wednesday Peter painted several more sets of springs and Bill planted twelve cross buck signs. one each at mile 27.2 and 29.3 then two at mile 36, 21.2, 30, 33.2, 33.5. The caboose ran into some damage when the lightening deer gate closed as a branch broke as the train was about to back up. The roof ladders will need to be straightened and re-soldered. William came for a visit.

Thursday Peter painted another set of springs and Bill repaired the marker light from the caboose.

Friday Peter spent time with Hilt making up the master for the lettering for our four new cars. Bill transported the projector, computer, screen and a short switch to the WMRC open house and was met by Peter, Dwight and Carmelina who helped set up our display to run Saturday and Sunday on Corydon at Christ Church Anglican. 

Saturday April 24th, 2004 Bill was up at the crack of dawn and cleaned up the station making use of the new shop vac. It was named "R2 D2" About 9:30 Jim and Barry started setting up the station for steam school. Jim's friend Henri Bisson set up two marvellous working models of the valve gear and pistons from a steam engine. People in attendance at the school that lasted until 12:45 were, Jim, Barry, Bill, Richard, Dwight, Vic, Maureen, Fred, Peter, Norm and Henri. Dain played outside. The course as promised covered the safety aspects of working with steam engines and covered the material in a professional manner using detailed drawings, the working models, actual samples of valves and a video of Barry's new pacific. Over lunch we viewed the video of the CPR re-building their Hudson. After lunch the crew went to work on projects. Bill and Richard took 3001 and planted cross bucks at level crossing at mile 24.5 and mile 20.1. Norm and Fred went to work at the new tunnel area. Last fall fill had been put on the trails between the level crossings to better line them to the level crossings. This soil was spread out and appropriately moved as needed. The next project was to re-pin the retaining wall along the south side of the tunnel. Vic and Fred moved the saw and Bill cut up 15 four foot lengths of angle iron that Norm and Fred drove ten into the ground to support the retaining wall. Five panels were completed. Richard stored all winter switch covers and removed as many of the steel Christmas support rods that would come out of the ground. He also stored away two more bicycles and the two artificial trees. As always Richard cleaned up garbage as he worked through an area. Bill and Vic went out and installed two more cross bucks and five remaining single flanger signs. Crossing signs we planted at the private crossing at mile 23.5 and in front of the station at 1.1. Flanger signs were put at mile 22, 25.2, 7.6, 5.1, 26.4. Dwight chain sawed two dead poplars at mile 11.5 and one at 13.7 and did signal and switch maintenance.  Later he creosoted ties for a diamond and long switch ties. Peter had previously gone out and purchased four cans of creosote and painted box car red paint on thirteen bolsters. Peter also touched up 30 springs.  Dwight, Fred, David and Bill went out on a test run and found a problem with the signal system. It was found that rodents had stripped a three foot length of wire causing it to short out. The problem will be rectified. At 1:pm Jim took a family of four out for a ride on the new line. At 5:45 Bill took out a family of 6 on the whole system. Carmelina came and helped put equipment way. William came with more cookies.

Sunday Peter and Jim painted all the side frames and bolsters with the finish coat. Bill replaced the shorted wire and dismantled the AVR display at the WMRC open house.

Tuesday Peter took the art work in to the vinyl lettering maker for reporting marks for our new cars. 

Thursday Bill doubled up the control power source to the station to help with power loss on the underground line. Two re-cycled flanger signs were prepared for painting.

Friday Len found a new air tank to re-build our compressor system for the steaming bay and engine house.

Saturday May 1st was a cool day with some light snow for about 10 minutes. Winter wants to hang on. Gil removed lights from three wire trees, Fred and Gil completed the tunnel retaining wall and levelled the balance of the nature trail. They then removed lights from one more wire tree while Bill completed the last tree and Richard put away the last Christmas bike. Richard, David and Bill completed the moving and spreading of rock on Old Fort Spur. Vic and Barry each helped for one rock trip. Richard, Fred and Gil took the train out and cleaned up garbage along the railway. Bill planted the last cross buck and flanger sign. Dwight lubricated and serviced all the switches on the railway. Before departing the whole gang re-installed steaming bay track one and two. Barry had worked on machining points at home and brought 19 & 1/2 pairs of points for Dwight to complete. This will give us enough to finish the current needs and leave some spares for future repair needs. Vic brought from home 17 wheel sets with axles machined and wheels pressed on ready for painting. The AVR thanks all its members for the hours of dedication both away from and at the railway.

Sunday Bill cleaned up leaves around the station and put in compost piles. Peter painted primer on the 17 wheels that Vic had assembled. Bill prepared the PowerPoint program for the WMRC banquet.

Wednesday Gil creosoted almost 500 ties in the steaming bay area. Bill put a coat of primer on the new lift motor cover and greased up the bearings and screws on the lift and gave it a good test. Peter typed up more notes for the AVR diary.

Thursday Gil creosoted another 266 ties.

Friday Gil got three more gallons of creosote and a new pair of safety gloves. Jim and Gil creosoted two of the new switches.

Saturday Bill cleaned up leaves in the new station cut and in other areas. He also connected up the new phone line to the station. The new phone number is 837-1305. We are listed in the phone book under Assiniboine Valley Railway.  Bill put the primer paint on two recycled flanger posts and repaired the deer-damaged cross buck sign.  Gil creosoted the last new switch and all remaining ties. Richard cleaned up garbage on the railroad. Gil and Bill stored away some plywood that had been donated to the railway.  David and Richard did a level survey on the roadbed at Old Fort. Dwight milled rails for tread rails and guard rails for the Charleswood diamond on the table saw. Then he cut aluminium strips for switch plates on the metal cutting band saw. Richard, Gil, David and Bill levelled the rock on Old Fort spur and it is now ready for track. Performance Powder Coating from Gimli delivered our new cars complete with fresh paint. Peter inspected the new cars and the work at Old Fort. He was especially pleased at all the work Gil had done on creosoting.

Sunday Bill moved 18 loads of leaves.

Tuesday and Wednesday it snowed. Not nice. Thought it was December. Get the lights out. Rob came to check on the snow. Bill worked in the station on signs and completed the white and black painting and most of the urathaning. He found four unfinished plant name signs and completed them. Also one extra cross buck, yard limit and yard limit one mile were made up. The two rebuilt flanger signs were completed. 

Friday May 14, 2004 seven members of the AVR attended the WMRC banquet and awards presentation. Cost was $20.00 for a great meal. Bill showed slides collected last year and did a power point presentation of the contest winners.  The convention for May 2005 was announced. It will include the WMRC 50 anniversary, The AVR 10th anniversary, The CN Sig, The CP Sig and the new Canadian model railway association. The AVR will provide the Friday night BBQ plus train ride and layout tour. On the Sunday afternoon we will do a switching hands on activity for the delegates who want to participate. 

Saturday morning the railway was still covered in a layer of snow. As the day progressed the snow started to vanish before our eyes.  Bill had said he would not do any more signs until next winter but due to the snow getting more posts ready seamed like a good idea thus 24 posts that Gil had made up were filled and sanded. Six reclaimed posts were also sanded, filled and sanded. Rob put the two short flat cars back together. Richard re-mounted the canopy guy lines, brought in surplus steel posts from the bush and set up the table with the wheels that had fallen over due to the snow. Rob, Richard and David took out tie panels to Old Fort Spur and laid them out. Dwight cut up switch plates for machining.  The only snow left by evening was a few tufts on the north side of buildings.

Sunday Bill completed the eighteenth issue of the "Nutty Report" and started the print run.

Monday Bill completed the "Nutty Report" and mailed the out-of-town issues.

Tuesday Jim conducted a second session of his steam safety school with Barry and Henri Bisson.  Len, Gil and David attended the course. The 82nd Beavers, Cubs and Scouts had their spring windup wiener roast. Bill ran seven train loads with 87 passengers. 

Wednesday Dwight started work cutting rails for the diamond at Charleswood and Bill painted the 17 new wheel and axle assemblies for the four cars. (one is spare). Bill painted the top cover for the mechanical lift gear drive and battery. Once a bracket has been fabricated this can be installed on the lift. The paint brush was cleaned to new condition.

Thursday Bill tried to assemble trucks but found that the holes are two tight for the bearings and a free-floating fit is not possible. Barry picked up Dwight's switch plates for machining.

Friday Bill took a side frame and axle assembly to four suppliers of machine shop parts to get a solution to the problem. The result of the investigation and the use of digital callipers indicated that the hole tapered as it went in, probably caused by a drill bit that was wearing at the end. A new bit was purchased. Later Bill re-drilled four side frames and was able to build two sets of trucks. The "Fix" will be applied to the balance of the side frames.

Saturday May 22, '04.  Bill drilled out the side frames for six trucks and assembled them. He later installed the king pins in the four new cars and installed six couplers. Fred used the band saw to cut the safety hooks and installed them on four cars and repaired an older car. Rob removed a set of couplers from the red hopper and put them temporarily on a new gondola. The four new cars were put behind 3001 and taken for their maiden trip. One truck caused numerous derailments so Bill took it apart and drilled the bearing holes deeper and it tested ok. Vic brought three repaired and two new wheel sets back ready to be painted. The remaining part of the afternoon was spent working on the new engine house site to remove the remaining cooler parts, move two dog houses, cut down the big Manitoba maple that was in the middle, cut smaller bush and one poplar, rake all the leaves away from the area, cart material to the compost pile, dig out the maple root, move soil and rock to low areas, set up the level and sight some lines and elevations and get the area ready for a layer of crushed rock. The following members worked on the project: Norm, David, Fred, Dwight, Vic, Bill, Rob and Nance. Bill and Dwight took the train out and planted the last of the signs; two flanger signs, a yard limit, a yard limit one mile and a cross buck. Dain assisted and was also the tester on the ill-fated truck that needed repairs. He was given an unscheduled bath. Carmelina arrived and soon a group of Dwight's friends arrived who were treated to a couple of train rides. 

Sunday Bill gathered and moved leaves. Piles and piles, 30 wheel barrow loads. To give guests a good first impression of the railway it is important to spruce up the yard every spring. Both pools were cleaned and made operational. Sixteen of the trail lights especially along the walk to the station and in front of the station were repaired. Six needed new bulbs and the balance needed contacts cleaned. Rob's daughter was flying a kite in the park next door and it got away. Rob was able to retrieve it at mile 14 on the railway.

Monday Victoria Day May 24th. It was raining all day. Bill completed the leaf clean up on the west side and moved 11 loads of leaves. Barry came to deliver all the switch plates that he had milled. He also brought a jig for drilling the holes out in them. Bill removed the monitor used for surveillance as it had failed. A quick look at the innards revealed that the power supply had a dead short in it. Probably not worth repairing. Bill drilled out the remaining eight truck side frames and assembled them using old unpainted trucks. We will replace these with new wheels as Vic completes them. 

Tuesday May 25th. 

The AVR Pioneers New Railroad Technology.

Dwight discovered on a rail fanning excursion that 12" scale railroads (the CNR at Dugald) are now starting to use fibreglass switch rods. The AVR started using them four years ago.

Bill installed the pump in the bush again to lower the water near the East Tunnel. Bill got a new monitor and two new cameras to update the TV system. Vic brought the last six wheelsets over. Vic and Bill went out by train to check out the high water. While out they planted another four botanical signs. Bill completed the raking cleanup.

Wednesday May 26th. '04 Dwight was the first to arrive followed by Bill. Later Gil and Rob came. Dwight's primary job was in cutting rail for the diamond and making calculations. With his chain saw he helped Gil cut up the root and main trunk of the Manitoba maple into manageable pieces. Bill put primer on the last eight wheelsets and Gil put the final coat of paint on them. The brush was returned to new condition. Bill put primer on 21 new flanger sign posts. Rob installed the found set of couplers on the red hopper car and did some repairs to the front coupler on 202. The new surveillance monitor was installed in the station.

Friday Gil came and picked up tree logs with burl for a friend who does wood carving. Rob replaced the old wheels in our four spare trucks with the new wheels. He then filled 24 buckets with rock ready for moving.

Saturday May 29th. Gil and Bill cleaned up branches and junk from the new engine house area. When David, Richard and Fred arrived the five of us levelled gravel and mud on the site. Ed arrived in time to help the others set the four corners on the main building and set the storage wing. We then set a large number of elevation pegs to help with placing the rock. Bill climbed the ladder and cut down dead branches on the Manitoba maple. Four trains were run with 100 buckets of rock moved. Fred, Richard, David and Rob did the rock and train work while Bill levelled the rock on the site. The rain started falling harder as five o'clock arrived. Dwight spent the afternoon working on the diamond under the canopy.

Saturday in Victoria Cliff took the new Pacific AVR #2365 to the club track in Victoria and ran the locomotive for the first time under steam and he was pleased with its initial run. He spend the day running and fine tuning the "Lady".

Sunday it rained

Monday it rained

Tuesday it cleared. Gil worked on cutting angle cuts on the diamond rails. Rob moved a number of loads of rock to the foundation.

Wednesday Dwight came over to check Gil's cuts on the rail.

Bill is Victoria bound, leaving Friday at 6:30 with engineer's cap in hand. Saturday the "Lady" will be loaded and Sunday we go to Train Mountain to put the locomotive to a real test on the largest 1/8 th scale railway in the world with lots of grades to climb. AVR # 2365 will be test run Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday giving lots of time for testing, training, adjusting and picture taking. Thursday it will be back to Victoria and Bill flies back Friday in time for our June  Saturday and Sunday open house at the AVR. This is an engineer's only event so the rest of the family stays home.

AVR REPORT AT TRAIN MOUNTAIN FROM JUNE 4th to 11th, 2004

Friday June 4th Bill was taken to the Winnipeg International Airport for a departure to Victoria at 6:35 p.m. The flight left on time for a stop in Saskatoon and then on to Calgary where planes were changed and a continuation of the trip to Victoria. In Victoria Bill took the shuttle bus down to the Empress Hotel where Jean Taylor, Bill’s step mother picked him up.

On Saturday morning Bill and Jean watched family pictures and AVR pictures of this year's construction. At noon Bill walked over to Cliff Plumpton’s and was met by Cliff and his wife and father in law but not allowed to see the "The Lady" until Cliff deemed the moment appropriate. Shortly Bill was allowed his first look at her and she was just lovely. There the Pacific in CPR colours but lettered for the ASSINIBOINE VALLEY sat proudly on the movable dolly in Cliff’s work shop. Cliff had previously run her at the Victoria club and was now thinking of ways to improve combustion and heat in the fire box. He had decided that an air flow arch would improve the heat distribution. This needed to be built and installed. Bill had come on a training visit and wanted to be taught as much as he could from Cliff on how to run and maintain this fine piece of equipment.

Cliff then taught Bill how to remove the running boards and walkway in order to remove both the propane burner and the above burner grate from the fire box. The procedure is simple once you know and remember the order in which it occurs. Cliff took the needed measurements and fabricated the arch and welded some support brackets on to the above burner grate and the components were re-installed into the locomotive. We then went for dinner with Jean and her son Jim at a Chinese restaurant. After supper Cliff and Bill started loading the locomotive and tender into Cliff’s van. This was another opportunity for Bill to study from Cliff as it was intended that the Pacific would travel to other club meets and it was necessary to know the best way to tie down the locomotive. By midnight she was secured and other supplies were stowed. Bill slept over at the Plumpton’s so it would make it more convenient for a quick getaway as a reservation had been booked on the 7:00 a.m. ferry.

On Sunday morning our other member of the party, Michael Wegerif was picked up and the three men proceeded to the ferry and the mainland. Sunday was a day of travel as we spent the next twelve hours driving through B.C, Washington and Oregon arriving at Train Mountain about 8:00 p.m. Cliff had arranged that we would stay in the bunk house in the main station. The spring meet had been held the previous week so this magnificent facility, a gift to the live steam railroading community by Quentin, was available for us to enjoy and put the Pacific to the test. For Bill it was his third visit to Train Mountain and would be a place to learn how to handle a steam engine. On previous trips Bill had run 3001 up and down the hills but now a steam engine was to be tested on this fabulous railway. Bill had run steam before at St. Croix and at the AVR but they do not compare to the challenge of taking a fully loaded train down miles of down and up grades. A whole lot of new rules were about to be learned and Cliff knew how to do it in a safe way.

On Monday morning we unloaded "THE LADY" and got her ready for the first run. We borrowed a propane car, riding car and tool gondola from TM and got up steam. After carefully grooming the locomotive we were ready to go. Bill sat behind his teacher, Cliff as we backed out of Crisp Yard and onto the main line. We decided that we would run down the Klamath and Western division first as we would be close to the station if we needed to return but as we got close to the Serpentine, Cliff got bold and it was decided to go down the hill to Midway where we could practice some loops on the Midway circle. We stopped and groomed the locomotive once more and then Cliff had Bill take the controls and make a loop around Midway. The next two trips Bill made solo with Cliff watching from a bench. Then Michael had a turn and it was time to climb the hill back to the station with Cliff at the throttle. We stopped for lunch and in the afternoon Cliff decided that Bill needed to practice how to remove and service the master break cylinder. Together we removed the running boards and right hand walk way. We then took off the lubricator and piping and took the brake cylinder out of the locomotive and checked the piston and made sure all bolts were tight and secure. Bill felt this was a most useful exercise as maintenance needs to be done over the years and what better way to learn then from the builder himself. The locomotive was made ready for her next trip and for this we went to the Main Yard and selected five fully loaded gondolas to add to our consist. We then proceeded down the outside curve which is a challenge to any train. Bill always found this to be hard work even when running 3001. Cliff took the throttle and brought us down the hill in a safe manner keeping constant control of the train all the way down to Midway and back up the Serpentine. Back at the Main Yard we took the whole train through the weigh scales in the maintenance shop. We calculated the weight of the locomotive, tender and the whole train. Back to Crisp Yard and the steaming bay we went and tied up for the night. We blew down and cleaned up the locomotive always under the watchful eye of the master. We went off for supper, watched some pictures and went to bed.

Tuesday morning Bill was up first as he was still on Winnipeg time. A nice walk around the fuelling area and upper station was followed by breakfast. Before we fired Cliff wanted to inspect the smoke box so another chance to become familiar with the locomotive as we checked the front end where the throttle is located. Cliff has built this locomotive with a great deal of thought about accessibility because things need to be serviced and why make to so hard when that needs to be done. After servicing and grooming we made steam and left for a trip down to Midway via the outside curve. At Midway we chose to explore the new Camp Ground loop that Cliff had not experienced. Bill was given the gloves and took the train twice around the loop. It was his first experience at taking a loaded train down a 2% grade in a controlled manner. Things went well on both loops and Bill managed to co-ordinate all the extra pieces that are needed with steam that diesels do not need. One must always be anticipating water requirement. The glass must be looked at all the time remembering that the glass will be different going up than down. You want to keep the front tubes and crown sheet covered at all times but you also do not want to prime the engine. The balance between when to add water and when not to is critical and what to do if you have a problem. The next task is to work the throttle and break  just the right amount to keep the locomotive under control at all times. When pulling a heavy train you need to keep the drivers turning at all times without slipping. Last but not least you need to keep the heat correct with an eye to burner intensity, air flow and steam pressure. In short you want enough heat to make the steam you need without wasting it on the pop off valve.

After Bill did his two solo trips Michael took a turn around the camp ground and we stopped for water. Cliff took the train back up the hill and we had lunch.

Michael prepared lunch while Bill wiped down the locomotive. We then decided as Cliff and Michael had never been out to Elizabeth we would head out there via the outer curve and over a section called Walk The Dog. Cliff took the controls and was impressed by the new section that greatly added to the length of run at Train Mountain. We stopped at the lumber camp for Michael to get pictures and Bill took over the throttle after oiling the locomotive making a stop for water at Vertel Junction. Cliff and Michael remarked on how the new locomotive was extremely efficient with the use of water. It was decided at the moment that we should take a trip up and around the Vertel house and down the 3.4% grade. This would give Bill a real test by fire in bringing a train down in a safe manner. Cliff got out and slowly walked to help Bill judge the speed at which to make the decent and down we went.

Once out of Vertel Bill headed for the Serpentine and his first sustained assent of the hill with steam. Remembering when to add water, when to add heat and making sure that no slipping occurred. Most of the grade was around 1 to 1.5 % with a short section of 3.11%. We made it back to the station with still 1/3 of a glass of water and no incidents. Coming up the Serpentine Cliff hopped off and ran from loop to loop to watch his creation ascend the hill. Back at Crisp Yard we blew down and prepared the locomotive for the night. We went out for supper and then to bed.

Wednesday morning Bill was up first to work on this report. It was raining so we lingered over breakfast hoping it would stop. Later in the morning it slowed down so Bill serviced the locomotive and got steam up and Bill headed out with Cliff and Mike but as we neared the back shop to drop off our extra cars the rain started heavier so we pulled into the back shop to stay dry and talked to Art Crisp for some time. Mike and Bill got a chance to look at all the interesting equipment in the car barn. Bill fired up 2365 again and we headed for Crisp Yard. Mike made lunch while Bill blew down the Pacific and got her ready for departure. After lunch we loaded the equipment and eventually went to Meleta’s for supper and turned in early.

Thursday we were up by 3:00 a.m. and heading for Port Angeles and the ferry crossing. The three took terns driving and sleeping. We were 2 hours early so had time for a restful lunch at the Crab House. The crossing was rough but on time. Back at Cliff’s we dispersed. Bill went to spend the night with his step mother. Mike was picked up by his daughter and Cliff turned in early. It had been a long day.

Friday Bill arrived at Cliff’s by 10:00 am and helped unload the "Lady" Bill opened the smoke box for inspection and Cliff machined the coupler for the front. Mike transferred pictures from the trip. After lunch Bill was taken to the airport for the flight back to Winnipeg.

The trip was a success and 2365 performed like a real "Lady"

 Saturday June 12 Bill cut the grass around the yard. Dwight and David worked on the diamond. Rob and Norm moved more rock. Len and Vic mounted the lift mechanical cover. Fred, Richard and Rob moved three switches. Everyone helped with the open house. Those present were Bill, Len, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, David, Barry, Rob, Shirley, Jim, Fred, Norm, Nance and Vic.

Sunday open house was not well attended as people thought it was going to rain but it did not. Several of the members ran trains for the public but as there was time to do other projects several members worked on laying the track at "Old Fort Spur". In all 25 feet was completed and another 50 feet of rail was joined. One member did some adjusting on the engine house foundation and two members sanded and painted ends and two sides of 75 blocks of wood to be used like at Train mountain to mark track problems. Ours will be a light purple cream colour (Free Paint). Flangways were cleaned out and the main lead to the car barn was levelled removing all super elevation. Improved operation. The black hopper had its trucks replaced. Those at the AVR were, Bill, Len, Ed, David, Rob, Gil and Vic.

Monday June 14th. Bill ordered a truck load of 1/2 clean rock to be used to top up the foundation rock and sides to add stability to the foundation. We will also use it for ballast on the spurs and will try a short section using it for ballast on top of the 3/4 clean sub-roadbed. We have decided that a clean ballast might allow more drainage. 1/4 clean crushed limestone is not available. Bill ordered 5,000 more track screws, a new weed eater, 12 new trail light bulbs to replace ones the deer damaged, 2 x 6's for the frame of the engine house, 600 feet of deer fence for the east side, 550 paving stones to extend the sidewalk to the station and fencing ground spikes. Dwight cut in the new diamond that he had finished at home in front of Charleswood station and tied it into the north track. Bill cut the grass in the upper parking area and camping area. He completed the remaining painting on the 75 derail blocks. They are now ready for use and each train will now carry six and drop them when appropriate.

Tuesday June 15th, Bill picked up bedding plants and planted all the hanging baskets and pots around the station area. Rob came by to check out Dwight's new diamond. Cliff finished the whistle and it sounds good over the phone.

Wednesday Bill picked up the 5,000 track screws. The gravel truck came with a tandem load of 1/2 clean rock. Rona came with 2 x 6's, stucco wire and 550 paving stones. Rob and Bill carried the lumber to the engine house site and rolled the wire and fence spikes to a safe place. Bill started to cut up and nail the concrete form together. Rob took out the black hopper and filled it with rock along with five more pails. Bill continued with the form having it complete by 8:00 pm. David got out the level and we shot some readings and used the 100 foot tape to square up the frame. On Saturday it will need some fine tuning and some posts pounded in along the sides and some other shoring to take the push of the concrete.

Saturday Dwight and Richard worked on the Charleswood diamond. They placed the curved "Y" switch on the south siding and then cut in the connecting pieces from it to the diamond and then connected the diamond to the next switch north west. The south track in front of the station is now not accessible from the old line to the west until the siding is extended west. Rob and David drilled out 13 rails and made up four tie panels. Fred made up screws with washers for the project. Vic gave rides to several casual visitors who were generous to the railway. Vic and Fred brought over a load of gravel in pails for the foundation and Vic installed set screws in a number of wheel sets. A section of track near the station was ballasted using the 1/2 clean stone and it looks good. 

  In Victoria Assiniboine Valley #2365 ran at both Saturday and Sunday's open house at VIME. Cliff and Mike took turns running for the open house and the locomotive functioned extremely well outlasting other locomotives. Cliff received many compliments on the locomotive.

Tuesday June 21 st Bill ordered for Friday delivery the re-bar for the engine house foundation. In the evening he gave 11 scouts from Wisconsin a tour of the AVR including a couple of runs on the railway.

Wednesday Bill took out the train and fixed a number of rail joint dips at or near mile 19.5, 13 to 13.5, 9 to 9.5, 7.5 and at 20. more need doing. New ballast was placed where needed. Bill repaired the two brake shoes on the right front of 3001 so they do not chatter as much. David arrived and with Bill they dug most of the mud from the expanded right of way for the Charleswood station track. Dwight spent the evening fine tuning the new switch in front of the station. Bill ran trains through both legs of the new diamond. Jim and Barry put on the third section of the steam safety school and as before it was very professional. Andrei, Ed and Rob attended with David taking in part of it again. Bill sat through the whole school again and after running at Train Mountain was able to relate to more of the information that was given. 

Thursday Vic dug up three more loads of soil from the station extension. The rain ended the work.

Friday the steel arrived for the engine house foundation. Still on course for at July 3rd pour. Will check with contractor supplying material.

Saturday June 26th, 04.  Bill cleaned up the steaming bay area with the broom and leaf blower. The lift was gotten ready for John Hugie's arrival in the afternoon. Bill cleaned leaves in the first section of loading spur and ballasted the track making the line even down grade using three loads of rock. It had settled a little after the winter. Richard folded up two tarps and did a clean up. Bill and Richard set up two picnic tables for a birthday party at 2:00 pm. They also moved tie panels to a safer place. Richard and Bill dug rock around the perimeter of the foundation to leave room for an extra 3/4 re bar. Richard, Fred and Bill carried all the steel to the foundation and laid it out. Richard and Fred spent the rest of the day tying steel. They finished all the 3/4 parameter bars and three rows of 1/2" grid. David and Norm dug out the remaining soil on the Charleswood extension. Nance filled all the pails three times at the ballast pile. Rob ran the train to carry the rock and David, Norm and Rob spread the rock. Dwight spent the day fine tuning track and laying out the new west Charleswood switch. He also marked out the new course of the curve between mile 2 and 4 where it will be possable to re-set the curve to a larger radius. John Hugie arrived with five other friends from Tisdale and his Alan 10 wheeler. It was put on the lift and steamed up. John took it around followed by two of his friends who had steaming experience. Bill did several laps and then Rob was given instructions and Bill rode behind for at least three trips. The locomotive was turned off and 3001 returned it to the steaming bay lift to spend the night. At 2:00 pm we had a birthday party and Rob gave them three trips around the railway. Rob and Bill checked out the water system and repaired one broken valve. Water was put on but there was a leak. The leak is under the level crossing at mile 29.25. We will have to dig up the line in a bad place. Norm, Nance and their two sons are moving and as a present to the AVR Norm presented a beautiful stained glass window to the railway, of the clubs herald. It is now hanging in one of the windows. It will make a great reminder of the contribution to the railway that they have made. While they do not leave for the east for several weeks we will miss their contribution to the AVR.

Sunday Bill opened all gates and prepared the railway for John and his friends to continue their steam excursion. They fired up the 10 wheeler and left on a trip as Bill left for church and Barry came over to check on the locomotive. At 12:00 they blew down and prepared to load and return to Tisdale, Sask. Bill assisted with the lift. Bill then planted more flowers. He also spent about two hours tying steel and gave two groups of visitors from the Prairie Dog Central a ride on the AVR. David put together seven tie panels for the Charleswood siding extension. 

Monday June 28th, Election Day. Bill Cut the grass around the station, on the nature trails, along the road and in the upper parking area. Peter came to check on progress at the AVR while he was in Scotland.

Tuesday Bill placed the 50 support chairs under the steel frame and completed the tying of the steel re-bar. Serious thought is being taken re Peter's suggestion to move the door to the south on the west wall. Allows more space for the machine shop area. Will not be too hard to change at this point. Bill removed the re-bar from the landing. Len came by and after some thought agrees that moving the door will optimize space. 

Wednesday the concrete man was to come and check out the pour but we do not know if he came. Dwight was first to arrive followed by Bill. Peter and Dwight talked about the West Charleswood switch. Dwight carried the AC to the station and Bill got it working. Bill removed the frame from the door stoop and put it in the more southerly spot and trimmed some branches.  David, Peter, Dwight and Bill measures and squared off the frame and put in more supports. Rob brought in a couple of loads of ties for more panels. At 9:00 the group went out for dinner. 

Thursday, Dominion Day July 1st. Bill cut up measured pieces of wood to go from the frame to all close trees as support when the concrete is poured. Where no trees were available he cut wood and nailed it diagonally down to the ground and drove re-bar in to hold the frame from spreading out. Flags were placed on the re-bar to prevent tripping. 2 X 2's were prepared with nails in two sides to be put in the concrete around the sides to act as nailing boards for the walls. Bill laid out the steel for the stoop and later tied it.  Before lunch Bill filled 86 pot holes on the road, some small and some big. After lunch Bill dug under the level crossing at mile 29.3 and located a water leak in the pipe. Repairs would be simple but a 3/4 connector was not on hand. Being a holiday it will have to wait for the weekend. Then several batches of Roundup were made and all weeds on the main lines were sprayed. Un-ballasted places were the worst. A section of moss was tested with roundup near the culvert at mile 16. Gil provided a recipe for moss control using zinc sulphate. We might try that. Peter arrived and with Bill they levelled the form insuring that all sides were level. Blocks of wood in various sizes were used. The porch stoop was 1" lower allowing drainage. Andrei came to help Bill and Peter lay out the West Charleswood switch and put in markers 4' from the centre line. The group tried both the right hand and left hand switch and both present some problems but in the end it was decided to let Dwight have the final say. He favours using the right hand switch.  Vic brought a friend for a train ride. 

Friday Bill consulted with the concrete supplier and the need to also use a pump to get the material on site. The pump supplier is going to check things out on Monday. We are trying to line up the pour for Wednesday night as the weather may be bad on Saturday.  Bill picked up PVC fittings to repair the water line. 

Saturday July 3rd, Bill was up early and worked on the internet, programming a new festival service for the AVR. He then spent one hour on mosquito fogging in areas that we were going to work.  Dwight worked on points for the new West Charleswood switch and installed the hardware as needed. He then removed all the signal equipment from the old switch location. Richard went to work repairing the deer fence at lightening junction and at mile 3 on the inner fence. Rob joined Richard and together they repaired the water leaks at mile 29.3 and also found and repaired the leaks at 30.1 and 32.5. One shut off valve was also replaced. There are still more leaks as water is still flowing.  David, Bill and Fred did a level survey on the new Charleswood siding. Additional rock was placed to achieve a steady decent to the west. All rock at the location was used and Vic went for an extra train load of rock. Track laying commenced on the new siding with Bill supervising the work. Rob and David did most of the screwing. Ed spent the afternoon preparing screws and washers. while Dwight, Fred, Bill, Vic and Richard removed the track and planted the new switch at the end of the siding. The north part of the siding was temporarily re-located and re-connected to the new switch. As soon as possable this piece of track will be replaced with new track and relined to follow the south radius. The old curve was 50' radius with tangents. The new curve is a combination of 65' and 94'. Peter helped with clean up of tools and in setting the position of the new switch and connecting track. Len brought over his portable air compressor and mounted a search for the old air compressor that Len wants to mount on a new tank. At the moment it can not be found. Richard and Rob re-located the track snow blower to upper storage. To end the day 6109 was run over the new track and switch to test out the work.

Sunday July 4th Bill walked the track early in the morning to find another water leak. It was located under mile 32.2 on the new line. Bill also re-set all the switches for right hand running. Bill spends the balance of the morning on the AVR web site. After Church the steaming bay lights were re-directed to the correct areas. 18 more wire ties were cut and installed. Small Boards were cut up for spacers for the stoop pad and to raise the lower perimeter steel re-bar. They were all installed. Next task was to screw all the nailing boards onto the inside of the frame. Rob brought his two kids and a friend over for a train ride. They checked out the new switch at west Charleswood and went in search of deer. Bill completed planting all bedding plants that were on hand. Bill used the weed eater around the station and started down the track from the station to Ash Grove and then south to near Duck Lake. Then jumped to Ghosty diamond where he worked north 100 feet and then south past Paterson. Back on the old line he did from the diamond east to mile post 3. The weed eater at that point broke. It is only a month old so will get taken back. Jim made up two tie panels in the evening. 

Monday Jim built four tie panels and drilled out a number of rails. We now have enough to replace the north track after the July open house. Rob came by with his son. Later he helped with repairing some rail that had been incorrectly drilled several years ago. Bill prepared the van for taking 6109. A wasp's nest was discovered inside the upper storage building. Bill cut up wood and rail and assembled it to make a place for 6109. Cliff did not arrive. Peter arrived and as evening fell, Peter, Rob, Jim and Bill went for several rides around the railway. Five young deer were spotted. Bill checked the batteries on 6109 and put the locomotive on charge.

Tuesday Peter, Jim and Ed put in the spur switch at Winch. Vic brought in rock by train to put around the form and supplied some rock for the new switch. Rob fixed the water leak at mile 32.2. Bill, David, Rob and Peter ballasted the entire Winch siding. Bill used the leaf blower on 400 ft of track, Rob brought ballast and David swept the ballast.

Wednesday afternoon, Richard did some cleanup. Bill and Richard put Roundup on the Paterson spur and cleaned flangeways. Vic got started with screed boards on the form. At 5:30 the concrete pump and truck arrived. The pour started about six pm. The pump truck had trouble handling the concrete and it was possible due to the pump not being cleaned out from the previous job. The following members worked on the pour; Vic, Richard, David, Rob, Bill, Fred and Jim. Dwight put in a point at Winch so the siding can be used and he set up the signal at west Charleswood. Vic stayed late to do some towelling and Bill spent more time washing the driveway. We had a railway visitor from Milwaukee.

Thursday July 8th Bill spent four hours washing much of the concrete dust off the paving stones. At about 6:00 pm Cliff arrived from Victoria with his wife and father-in-law and in the back of the van was AVR 2365. After a short rest in the station she was unloaded on track two at the steaming bay. Cliff reports that on there way to Winnipeg he heard a soft toot from the back of the van as they crossed the Assiniboine River the first time. Next river crossing resulted in a louder toot and finally on the last crossing into Winnipeg the "Lady" made a real solid whistle. She knew she was home. Members of the AVR continued to arrive as the evening went on. We covered the locomotive for the night and our guests were given dinner in the station and off for some needed sleep.

Friday July 9th Cliff and family arrived at noon and went over the locomotive to insure that all made the trip well. At 5:30 Bill arrived from work and the locomotive was steamed for the first time in Winnipeg. We put her back on the lift and placed her on the loading spur and walked her down to the main line. Bill then ran her slowly around to the station. A string of cars were added to the train and Bill took her out on the line slowly for her first complete trip on the AVR. Members of the club rode behind. After a station stop other members hopped on and Bill took her for trip #2. Next it was Cliff's turn and he took her around twice more. We then stopped for a chicken dinner in the station and Cliff took her around once more before all retired for the night. Vic fogged for mosquitoes on the last lap and later from the GP-9. Rob fixed another water leak. Vic did a propane run.

Saturday July 10th was Our first open house with our own steamer #2365. Cliff steamed it while Bill prepared breakfast. The steamer did 18 trips with public. Bill took twelve while Cliff did six trips. The crowds were steady but manageable. The locomotive handled herself flawlessly while the diesels in fits of jealousy had more problems. The members concluded with a BBQ and we ended the day with opposing operation with the steamer and 6109. Members present some time during the day were, Bill, Peter, Len, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Marietta, David, Rob, Shirley and two kids, Jim, Carol, Gil, Linda and Vic and his wife along with our guests from Victoria, Cliff, Susan and Arthur.

Sunday was a lovely day. Bill, Cliff, Susan and Arthur met in the station for breakfast and then off to church. After church Bill steamed 2365 with Cliff watching on. When we took our first trip it was decided that the previous day's oiling of the track made it impossible to get traction up the hills. With great skill Cliff got around on the old line and then on the new line. As the worst grades are on the old line it was decided to stay running on the new line and to mount a cleaning operation on the old line. Bill took over 2365 while Rob ran 6109 and we gave double loop rides on the new line. Len, Cliff and Barry took rags and brooms and using solvent cleaned the entire old line in about three hours. Once they were done we again started running on the old and new line and the cleaning made all the difference in the world. Len and Vic went out and did the worst sections of the new line and that also helped. The experiment with gear oil was deemed to be a failure and something to be avoided. Jim, Gil and Fred manned the station, did dispatching and acted as conductor for 2365. David came by later to see how the day went. Later a dinner of pork chops and mushrooms plus vegetables was had in the yard and all went home.

Monday Peter and Cliff spent the afternoon giving Peter instruction on the running of 2365. Later the official signing of documentation was conducted to turn the locomotive over to Peter and Bill. A sandwich meal followed and a trip to Barry's to see his steamers. In due time we said good-by to our Victoria guests and they wee off home. 

Tuesday Bill picked up the alternator from 6192 and with Gil's help in was re-mounted and tested. Later Bill loaded 6109 and the short riding car for a visit to another railway.

Wednesday July 14th. Peter, Gil and William cut in the curved spur switch at Chapman. Jim came by with some picture pages for the steam engine manual. Bill mixed a batch of Roundup and sprayed weeds on the new line. He also explored the area of the water leak at Chapman and left some holes in ballast close to the leak. William brought some zinc sulphate to be used to treat the moss growing on the old line. Dwight upgraded the pints on the switch at mile 34 using plates that Gil had drilled.

Friday July 16th, Peter fed Puppy and watered the new concrete. He also took measurements for updating plans. 

Saturday July 17th, Gil removed the forms from the new pad and cleaned up loose concrete. Rob and Vic replaced a traction motor on 3001 and investigated a second motor. Richard moved dinner tables back to upper storage. He also applied zinc sulphate solution to moss from mile 14 to 18. Dwight completed the upgrade of the switch at mile 34 and completed the spur switch point upgrade. Repaired the spare controller box. Determined that axel # 3 on 3001 had a gear failure. Peter cleaned up the computer desk and helped Richard mix the zinc sulphate solution.

Sunday July 18th, Peter fed Puppy and watered the flower pots and engine house pad. In Burnaby in B.C. Bill unloaded 6109 and with two ride astride cars from there ran for the public Sunday afternoon giving rides to 104 passengers.

Monday July 19th, Richard and Rob gave rides to Kids Inc who had come for a ride. Leeanne put food out for Puppy and Peter watered down the concrete. 

Wednesday Rob fixed the leak at Chapman and replaced the ballast. 

Thursday Leeanne and Joseph fed Puppy and helped Rob remove part of the track on the north station track.

Friday Peter fed Puppy.

Saturday July 24th, Vic did more repairs to the traction motor on 3001 and repaired the hangers on motor #3. The front foot board was also re-welded. He then ballasted the new south Charleswood extension. Dwight upgraded station cut-off switch to current design. Completed the point upgrade on the Chapman spur switch. Worked on the north track between doghouse jct. and West Charleswood. Peter, David and Richard re-set the Charleswood diamond to the correct elevation and levelled rock on the North extension. The three completed the track removal and started laying the new track. Dwight helped after Richard left for home.

Sunday July 25th. Bill returned to Burnaby after a week in Whistler, B.C. and ran 6109 taking 144 passengers for rides on the Burnaby Central Railway. In Winnipeg Peter and David completed the North Charleswood extension complete with storage spur switch. Vic spend several hours grinding rough spots on the engine house pad. 

Monday Peter attended to Puppy and watered flower pots and washed the pad.

Tuesday Bill went to Victoria and spent the day with Cliff who provided an update page to the manual on the sight glass. He also provided some spare gaskets and 0-rings.

Wednesday Vic spent more time grinding concrete. Peter and Ed screwed 25 more feet of track on the Old Fort spur. Later Peter and David laid another 20 feet and Dwight joined the group and they completed the spur.

Thursday and Friday Peter fed Puppy.

Saturday July 31st. Richard replaced 33 rotten ties on the old line. Marietta cleaned up the station fridge and cleaned up around the station. Dwight put points in the west station storage switch and replaced points in Doghouse Jct. switch. Richard gave rides to a group of visitors. The AVR was visited by Van Der Neudorf from Sicamous, B.C. who is building a 10-Wheeler. Ed gave rides and a tour. Norm, Nance, Dain and Brent came to see the new steamer and have a ride on the AVR as they are moving to Kingston, Ontario. As an active family at the AVR they will be missed but we wish them good luck in their new city. 

Sunday August 1st. Bill unloaded 6109 in Airdrie, Alberta and made several trips on their railway during their Sunday open house. The members were happy to have a visiting locomotive and took Bill on a tour of their new progress. 

Aug 2nd 6109 returns from visiting The Burnaby Central Railway and Airdrie, Alberta. The runs went well. 

Tuesday Bill cut grass on the lawn, roadway, upper parking area and nature trails. He then updated the web page.

Wednesday Richard, Peter, Vic and Ed levelled out the new north station extension siding and ballasted it. Richard gave 7 visitors a ride. Jim took more photos of 2365 to make up some photo identification pages for the manual. Vic and Bill went over repair info on 3001 and what still needs to be done. Vic proposed installing larger casters on the lift and will design new caster mounting structure. This will improve mobility. Bill suggested also adding some diagonal bracing and centre supports to tie the top and bottom members together. Vic will also install two relays to move the high amperage load off the hand held controller. Peter is drawing up new plans for the engine house. Bill unloaded 6109 and its operator car and moved them to the station and updated the web page.

Thursday Vic installed two relays on the lift leaving only low current in the hand held controller. He also put on a longer lead so operation can be done from either end. Bill watered station flowers and took 6109 out with two cars. Gil and Bill moved 28 pails of ballast to ramp both sides of the level crossings at Paterson on the siding and at mile 21.1. This was to facilitate moving the mower onto those trails and to make passage safer for those walking the nature trails.

Friday Bill fine tuned the ballast on the West Charleswood extension.

Saturday Aug 7th, Bill used the leaf blower to clean up the siding at Paterson and the spur to the end of the elevator track plus the tracks West of Charleswood to the tunnel diamond. Richard completed the ballast at switches and diamond at West Charleswood and Bill gave it the final broom work. Peter and David located the used air compressor in the attic of the car barn. Vic with Fred removed the small casters from one end of the lift and installed new mounts and large casters to allow rolling on rough surfaces. In the process it beefed up the support between the uprights and the base frame. The other end will be done later. Peter, Ed and David levelled and shimmed up the Paterson Siding ready for ballast. Bill, Gil and Richard levelled the new line west from Charleswood diamond to the station cut off switch and spread ballast on it. Next the crew spread ballast from the north Paterson siding switch to the level crossing. Later Bill, Peter and David completed the ballast work at Paterson to the west switch. Dwight installed updated switch materials to both end of Old Fort and to North end of Chapman sidings. Six of the members went out for supper and discussed railway operation.

Sunday it rained, Peter, Bill, Ed and David sat and looked at the rain but were unable to do the ballasting do to the weather. Peter removed the ladders on the caboose for repair.

Monday night it again rained and Bill, Peter and Rob watched. Bill downloaded pictures. Peter has been working on the engine house plans at home.

Tuesday night Bill cut steel and welded two large poinsettias for next Christmas.

Wednesday Aug. 11th. Peter and David did some wood repairs on the caboose. When Bill and Rob arrived the crew went to work spreading ballast on the section of track from mile post 20 to the diamond. Peter using the templates pounded the curve at mile 21.2 back into shape and it was ballasted. Dwight loosened the joint bars on all the new ballasted areas and back to lightning junction.  Bill took materials to the maintenance building and got 2365 out of the dog house and using 6109 pushed the Pacific over to the lift. He discovered the main gear on the drive motor of the lift had become loose and he spent time fixing same. Bill then went over the whole locomotive checking that everything was tight and ready for the weekend. Cliff calls this "grooming the locomotive". Once complete the crew re-arranged the equipment and put everything away and the five went out for a late supper.

Thursday Bill spread seven hoppers of ballast on the 93 foot loading spur and levelled the track. After sweeping the rock into place he tested all track in both directions in preparation for the weekend.

Saturday Aug 14 was the open house. Bill steamed up #2365, Len got the other equipment out. It was a nice day with a steady flow of visitors. We welcome three new members, William, Dan and Michelle. Bill did some maintenance on the steamer on the hoist after the run to check all cylinder cocks. Peter defined the spur at Chapman and Dwight cut down some dead trees. Len collected all the old compressor parts to make up a permanent air supply for the AVR. Members who helped with the run were, Len, Bill, Peter, Ed, Dwight, Richard, David and Rob.

Sunday was a great day until it rained about 3:30 pm and that slowed down the open house. Some visitors still went around in the rain. Our newest member Dan worked on two problem areas that needed cleaning. Back in 1999 when the roof went on the dog house storage wing of the station leaves blew in and were never cleaned. He went in with the vacuum and cleaned it all out. Next he attacked the maintenance building and you can now find the floor. For a first day of work he did a great job. Those running the open house were Peter, Len, Bill, Ed, Richard, David, Rob, Jim, Fred and Vic.  The Pacific #2365 and diesel #3001 were used to handle the guests. Both locomotives ran well. Both handles the grades in the rain with no problems.

Monday Peter completed the engine house plans and brought them to the station and then he marked out the Winch spur. Bill loaded the ballast car and 20 buckets of rock and starting at mile 10 working north he cleaned out the old ballast and moss between the ties and re-elevated the track and spread three hoppers of rock. Much improved. He then re filled the twenty buckets and the hopper car for a session on Tuesday. Len came for the two extension cords that need repair.

Tuesday Bill took the engine house plans to two suppliers for pricing. He repaired the weed eater and went out and cleared brush and grass at the Chapman Spur. The area was given a good racking. Next project was to level, remove moss and re-ballast three hopper loads on the "S" bend between mile 10 and 11. Rob loaded the train with 20 full pails and the hopper car for Wednesday. Bill helped fill pails. Rob put the train away. We welcome two new members, Alice and Dale.

Wednesday Richard and Bill cleared and added rock to the Charleswood spur. Later David, Peter and Bill levelled it. Richard, David, Bill and Rob put down splines, placed rock and levelled the Chapman spur. Bill spread a hopper of ballast on the long line past the tunnel and Peter and Ed levelled and spread ballast from the tunnel to the level crossing at mile 21.2. Dwight and Carmelina brought a load of surplus wood and Jim started to re-build a tie panel. Dan continued sorting materials in the maintenance building.

Thursday Bill ordered a tandem of 1/2 clean rock and placed the order for the wall material for the new engine house to be delivered on Saturday morning. Peter and Bill bolted the track together on the Charleswood spur and spiked the first seven feet down. The set-up has remained to continue Friday if the weather is good.

Friday Peter screwed down the Charleswood spur and made up the small filler section for the end and screwed it down. It is now ready for ballasting. Bill and Peter disassembled some 1997 track from the main line and made up three tie panels for Chapman Spur. The load of ballast was delivered. Jim made up another tie panel and with Peter they transported the completed tie panels to the Chapman spur.

Saturday Aug 21 Bill made up one new and one old tie panel. Dan set up all his tools for construction. Rob delivered a trailer load of ballast for the side walk. When the truck with lumber arrived it was unloaded by Dan, David and Bill with assistance from Peter. Dan and Bill built the east storage wall and the first twelve feet of the south wall. Vic went to work on the other two casters for the lift and completed the task. He then started on the side supports. Peter and Ed spiked down the Chapman spur with assistance from Dwight and David. Bill built the remaining south wall and Vic helped raise it. Bill with Barry's help laid out the east wall and David joined Bill and they nailed the main east wall and the north wall of the storage wing and sheeted it. Bill, David, Peter, Vic, Rob and Dwight carried the north wall and set it in place. Bill nailed the sections together and to the floor. Dwight added washers to switch rods and adjusted all remaining joints at Paterson, Winch, Chapman and Charleswood. The afternoon rains slowed us down but construction resumed after the heaviest downpour.

Sunday Aug 22 Bill updated the web and worked on picture files. Peter and Ed completed the ballasting of the new Chapman spur. David and Bill put the sheeting on to the main east wall. Vic completed the welding on the side supports for the lift and cut and welded the main tie downs for the steel truck rack to get it ready to hold 2365. Ed and Peter took three visitors from Israel for a ride. The whole group lifted the east wall into place while Bill nailed it to the wall and floor system. David and Bill nailed the main north wall together and put on the first piece of siding. Time to clean up. Bill took his family for several rides after a family meal outside the station. Len has now repaired the two extension cords. Vic and Bill discussed the mounts for the locomotive in more detail.

Monday August 23 Bill spent time in the early afternoon levelling the rock at the end of the station platform and spreading 1/4" down and extending the paving stones between the two oak trees. Vic worked on the locomotive hold down pieces. Later Bill and Vic moved #2365 to the steaming bay with 6109 and loaded it into the van. Hold down rods were fabricated and installed and measurement were taken for later welding by Vic. Rain had interfered with the work all day. Just as the locomotive was moved out of the van and onto the steaming bay a thunderstorm struck and Bill and Vic got soaked while moving the locomotives back to the station. After an hour it was again dry enough to remove the steel rack from the van and Vic welded the remaining hold down brackets. Tools were put away by 10:30 pm.

Tuesday Bill completed the paving on the south side of the station and started on the centre piece to the diamond. Jim came by and gave a hand. Rob came by to check on progress. Bill started on the main path to the station. Total stones laid Monday and Tuesday were 207 by station and 72 on main sidewalk. Bill updated the track plan on the web.

Wednesday August 25th was a glorious October like day with lots of sun but by afternoon a light sprinkle of rain returned. By 1:00 pm Richard, Jim and Bill started construction on the engine house. All remaining walls were sheeted where possible and raised into position. The critical top plates were put into place. Vic continued welding and grinding on the locomotive truck frame. Ed and Peter levelled and ballasted the Charleswood spur and at 4:00 pm the group stopped for a lesson from Ed on his card order system that he had made up for switching operation on the AVR. A tag was made for each piece of rolling stock. An envelope for each spur for drop offs and an envelope for pickups by each train. It will be fun to spend time switching on the railway. After a break Peter picked up his niece's husband Richard Bernier from Cobourg, Ontario who spent the evening assisting on construction of the engine house. Jim, Peter and Richard B. nailed in cripple studs and other pieces including all upper plates until we ran out of nails. Bill spent most of his time on the saw cutting up lumber to supply the active framers. Bill performed battery maintenance on 3001 and found they were low on water. Dwight spent some time adjusting some switches.  When Vic was ready with the rack he, Bill and Jim installed it in the truck and Bill and Vic loaded 2365 and tied her down. Next was the tender's turn and Vic welded up a rear bracket to hold the tender in the coupler pocket and Bill made up a hanger for the front. The #2365 is now loaded for the Red River Valley meet on the weekend.  While Bill was working on the rack Richard B. cut up the headers for later installation.  Later four from the group went out for a late supper.

Thursday Bill purchased a drop cloth to cover 2365. He spread more sand on the main sidewalk and placed another 80 paving stones. The rain prevented further work. Vic welded four side riggers for the lift and repaired a hose. The rain has hampered further outside work. 

Saturday Bill laid down 280 paving stones on the sidewalk upgrade when Richard arrived and helped with the last 100 for a total today of 380. Gil helped the other two tie in the old sidewalk coming from the house. The three swept 1/4 down into the joints. As the paving stone budget has ended until next year a ramp was built at the end. The lumber for the trusses arrived and was unloaded. Fred, Bill and Richard carried it to the engine house. Bill, Len and Gil re-built the sills above the doors and windows and nailed them in place. Len and Gil continued with nailing additional fill pieces and set up the table saw inside the machine shop. Vic installed the side supports for the lift and using Gil's 4 by 4 we pulled out the trailer and Bill and Vic loaded the Trailer for the meet at Red River. Dwight upgraded the spur switch at Chapman.

Bill arrived at Red River Valley Live Steamers at 4:30 and by 5:00 pm the trailer was unloaded and we started to unload 2365. By 6:00 pm we were in steam and did three loops of the track before supper. All attendees had a BBQ of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and baked beans. Followed by Whit's famous dessert. Back to train running and 2365 did ten more runs with passengers and then Peter took over for his first sole run with members only and then did more five runs. Bill took the gloves again and did another 10 before we decided to triple head the three Pacifics with all  cars available and all cars loaded. Barry's, Whit's and Bill and Peter's Pacifics. We did about five runs in the failing light before 2365 was retired for the night. The other two did a couple more runs to use up their fire and we shut down for the night. Members of the AVR attending the RRVR meet were Bill, Peter, Len, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Barry, (joint member), Gil, Linda, Fred, Christine,  JJ., and Vic. Also the following family members from the AVR, Helen, Lisa, Bradley, Jessie, Quindora, and Julian. 

Sunday August 29th was the second day of the Red River Valley Railway's steam days. Barry, Whit and Bill started steaming the three Pacifics at noon and made up a triple header for several runs. Barry developed a squeak and left Whit and Bill to run double for the rest of the day. Len acted as conductor. At 3:30 we started to load equipment. 2365 was loaded hot and unloaded back at the AVR and had steam back up in 15 minutes. Whit and company came over to the AVR for some evening running. Steve unloaded his diesel and with Vic spent the time running the locomotive. Bill ran 2365 in opposing direction with Whit and JJ on 3001. All the guests were taken around the railway and had some hot dogs in the station. Later equipment was re-loaded and the guests left for their home in the south. Visitors were Chuck & Joan, Whit & Carla, Dick & Pat, Larry & Elaine, Janet, Steve and JJ who is also an AVR member. After the visitors had left Bill took 2365 around for some night running while Jim, Vic and Peter put equipment away.

Monday Bill started to unload the four gondolas that were at Red River. Jim arrived to help and the two then pulled 2365 out of the station using 6109 and Bill oiled and groomed the steamer with Jim apprenticing on the operation. Jim has steamed many  large locomotives and steam traction engines but had never steamed up 2365 and as every locomotive has her own procedures, Jim needed to see what sequence this lady needed. Once the locomotive had come alive we headed out on the main line. Peter and Ed were over cutting wood so came along for the ride. Next trip out Peter took the controls and did several laps. Bill did a few more with Jim. We proved the glass and this time it was Jim's turn to check out Bill as Jim had more steam experience. We also demonstrated the various glass conditions to Peter and Ed. Then Bill and Jim blew down the locomotive and drained the tender, removed the fuel tanks and cleaned up the exterior. 6109 pulled her back into the station and the new cover was placed over it for protection. 

Tuesday Aug 31st Bill and Vic cleared all the dead fall and dead trees from the Winch Spur. Later Bill took the axe and cleared all the small saplings and used the rake to clear the line. Later the weed eater was employed to cut all small plants and grasses . It is now ready for splines and rock. Bill using 3001, went around the bush replacing trail lights that the deer had damaged and replaced 12 lights and five pagoda heads. The lights were replaced in the dark and at 9:00 pm the train was put away.

Wednesday Sept 1 Bill and Ed loaded the ballast hopper and checked the elevation of mile 29.3 to 30. Bill spread the ballast and Vic re-loaded the ballast car. It took three loads to complete the area. Vic with his chain saw made up some logs for a load with the knee banger on the Old Fort siding. He then took down several dead trees near the steaming bay and Bill helped cart them to the fire pit area. Vic then removed three stumps in the upper parking area. Peter and Ed did a level survey on the Winch spur and made a chart showing what soil should be removed. Bill removed old ballast and levelled the track on the curve at mile 5.2 to 5.6 and spread and manicured 2 and a half hoppers of ballast that Vic supplied. Dwight came by to pick up the points that Gil had drilled out at home and delivered to the station at noon.

Thursday Bill made his first stop at the grocery store for food for the weekend. The food was stowed and the spaghetti meat sauce was cooked and a triple jellied salad made. Some soil was moved to the sides of the new sidewalk. The carillon was repaired. Bill took out 3001 and went to the upper storage and brought back the poles for our second 20' x 10' shelter and the top frame was set up. Peter arrived with some signs and as Bill had an appointment, Peter put 3001 back in the station.

Friday Bill made a second trip to the store for provisions. He made up a tuna and macaroni salad. Vic and Peter removed some damaged lettering from signs. Bill repaired 10 more trails lights and made a trip with 3001 to upper storage for the big canopy tarp and put it on. Vic, Peter and Bill raised it up and put in the poles. Later Vic and Bill fastened the sides and ends and moved in two tables. Bill boiled up the sausages for Saturday's breakfast. Peter sanded signs. Vic and Bill tidied up the area and cleaned chairs. Later at 6:30 a small but enthusiastic group of members and guests had a hamburger BBQ and enjoyed night running with two trains operating in opposite direction. Hilt managed to get to run one of our locomotives for the first time. Our expected guests from Regina and Calgary did not arrive. We had a large thunderstorm overnight.

Saturday Sept 4 was an overcast day but it did not rain. The meet did not really get started until around noon and our guests from Calgary arrived with their Sweet pea locomotive. Tommy has it running on air as it still needs more work. Soon others arrived and Bill and Vern distributed half the cars around the railway for switching. We stopped for a lunch and after sent out three trains with card order system to do switching. Bill with 2365 did not get to complete the switching until last as casual visitors showed up for train rides. The "A" channel took some pictures of the railway for showing during the evening news. The group enjoyed a supper of pork chops, chicken fingers, fried potatoes on the grill, tossed salad and tuna salad. As it got darker we operated two trains over the railway in opposite directions and later put all the equipment away. Just a really fun day.

Sunday started with breakfast at 9:00. Vic arrived first and got trains out and ready for Bill to steam 2365. By 1:00 visitors started to arrive and Bill took the first load of passengers out on 2365. Peter took passengers on 3001 while Mary-Lou handed out tickets in the station. Edith, Tom's wife helped in the station while Tom demonstrated his Sweet Pea on air under the canopy for visitors. When Richard arrived he was able to man the station and Vic took over from Peter on 3001. In all we gave 375 rides to visitors. Peter and Tom went for Dinning Tables while Bill and Edith got the food ready. We operated the dinner train for meet delegates. After dinner Tom put his locomotive on the rails and coupled in a gondola for the air compressor and it took its first run on the Assiniboine Valley Railway. It ran very nicely and Tom was pleased. Bill and Peter took a turn. Later all equipment was put away.

Monday, Labour Day we started with breakfast and Tom added two more cars to his Sweet Pea and went for several more back and forth rides. Ed joined him for several trips and Tom had his wife and their dog went for a ride. About noon while Bill was steaming 2365 several casual visitors came and Tom gave three of them a ride a short distance. Bill suggested that as there was power all along the old line that they take the extension cord to plug in the air compressor as it ran out and they might take the new locomotive around the old line. It made it back to  the station after being refilled with air three time. Tom was very pleased. Peter did some repairs to his caboose and at 2:30 pm the group stopped for a late lunch and after ran the Sweet Pea up the loading spur on its own power and packed it away for its ride back to Calgary. We all wished the Gibbons a safe trip. Bill later blew down 2365 and cleaned her up and dried out the tender and 6109 pulled her into the station until next weekend.

Wednesday Sept 8.  Richard cleaned up the garbage and took it to the head of the road. Peter, Jim and Ed took 3001 around at different speeds on the whole line to time how long it took to do the whole railway. Bill cleaned out old ballast and moss on about half the curve near Mile 13. Vic picked up steel for re-railers for 2365.

Friday Bill completed the task of removing old 1/4" down from the curve at mile 13 and then re set the elevation on the whole curve. It is now ready to be ballasted. Three purple blocks were lifted.  Bill got all six propane tanks filled for 2365 and picked up supplies for the BBQ and special dinner train.

Saturday Sept 12th, Bill got 2365 out and steamed it up for a 10:00 am start. Jim and Len got the remaining equipment ready. We had over 300 riders plus the special dinner train guests and a birthday party gathering. Other members helping with the open house were Ed, Dwight, Richard, Gil and Vic.  Peter & Gil worked on the trusses for the engine house and used other members who were not needed for the open house. Dwight did switch repairs and worked on the west station signalling. During the dinner train Bill cooked the hot food and Len made up salads, plates and desserts. Helen came to help in preparation and serving drinks to the guests. Jim ran the train. After the dinner train  members had a BBQ. Equipment was put away and we closed up the station.

Sunday Bill steamed 2365 and Jim got the remaining equipment ready for a 1:00 pm start. We had almost 300 riders. Peter with help from Gil and Ed assembled nine of the ten trusses for the engine house wing. Members helping with the open house were, Ed, Gil, Fred, Len, Bill, Jim, Vic & Carol. Bill blew down 2365 and cleaned her up after inspecting the front truck on the lift. 

Monday Bill worked on the computer and started printing the Nutty Reports. Vic installed a new electrical switch for the table saw. Bill removed moss and ballast on a section of track between mile 3 and 4

Tuesday Bill made an extension for the table in the station used for food and dish storage. He set up the table and covered it then brought out all the dishes and started washing our new stainless cutlery. Table cloths were laundered and other dinner train supplies were found. Bill spent two ours cleaning ballast and moss from the track between mile post 3 and 3.5. He then levelled the track and tamped ballast under ties. Two purple blocks were lifted. Printing of Nutty Reports continued. 

Wednesday Sept 15th several projects were completed by the members. Vic and Bill took off the motor trucks of 3001 at the steaming bay and did an overhaul and inspection of all brakes and traction motors. Jim joined in on the project. A bushing was relined, a set of bearings were replaced along with a gear box and several brake hangers were replaced. On test the locomotive performed nicely. Vic used his chain saw to remove lots of dead branches around the new engine house and Ed, Richard and Bill cleaned up the limbs. Peter, Gil and Ed completed the short trusses and started on the long trusses. Peter worked until dark. Richard and Bill re-arranged the tables and chairs outside the station for the dinner train. William and his sister came with more sausages and cookies for the members. Richard took them out for a ride on both lines and then filled the hopper with ballast and helped Bill spread ballast from mile 3 to 3.5. Richard cleaned up the garbage and took it to the head of the road. Bill and Vic took 2365 to the lift and Bill removed the cylinder cocks from the left side and replaced the neoprene diaphragms. Vic checked the underside for a possible axle pump and then together they checked for anything that might be loose. Nothing out of place was found. The smoke box door was removed and then the headlight housing was taken off for wiring of the light. All equipment was put away for the night. In the late evening Norm came by for a visit and checked out some of the changes. 

Thursday Bill spent the afternoon purchasing groceries for the dinner train and arranged more things in the station and changed a bunch of outdoor lights. Peter completed a couple of long trusses. Later in the evening Bill prepared two pans of tuna and macaroni salad.

Friday Peter and Vic put up all the completed trusses. Bill went to the store for more supplies and picked up beverages. He arranged the tables and fridges and tested the grill. Vic sprayed the area for mosquitoes. Peter built the first of the hip trusses on the north side and put it in place.

Saturday Bill got the steam train out and set up the station for the final cooking set-up. Len arrived and the two spent the next two hours cutting vegetables. Richard got out 3001 and went for the eight dinner tables. Gil arrived and helped get the casual train ready. The tables were set and all was made ready for the noon train. In all we fed 90 people on the seven Saturday trains. Len made up salads and desserts while Bill cooked the hot food, cleared tables and took orders. Bill also fed the dishwasher. Richard and Gil operated the dinner train and the casual train. Linda, Alice, Shari and Marietta helped with table service. Dwight took out the 5:30 train. Vic and Dwight worked on the wiring for the head light for 2365. Vic had to do some additional machining to the housing and Dwight worked on wiring for the West Charleswood switch. Bill did laundry on the table cloths and looked after the last of the dishes and then did a night run for more supplies.

Sunday Sept 19 was the second day of the dinner train. Bill got things ready before church and after church he and Len got the trains out. Vic took the steamer out to the lift to wire up the headlight and install the control circuit that Dwight had fabricated. Bill set up the tables and got the grill ready while Len prepared more salads. Dan and Michelle looked after setting and clearing tables and doing drinks except for the 3:00 pm train that they were on. Alice and Linda spelled them off for that train. Ed, Richard and Gil ran both the dinner train and the casual ride train. In all we had 86 dinner guests for a weekend total of 186 people, a new record. When it was all over, Len, Bill, Dwight, Carmelina and Richard stayed to clean up the station and put equipment away. Bill spent several hours after loading the dishwasher and laundering the table cloths.

Monday Bill and Vic took out 2365 and steamed her up for Shaw Cable who were coming to do an interview about the new steamer. An interview was conducted at the station and the camera man and interviewer were taken for a ride on the new line with a couple of stops for run-bys. After they left Vic and Bill spent time checking the locomotive and testing the newly wired head light. Later equipment was put away and batteries on 3001 and 6109 were serviced. Vic and Bill spent some time gathering things that will need to be loaded for the trip to the St. Croix Railroad on Wednesday. Gil came over with nine switch points that he had drilled out for Dwight.

Tuesday Vic got all the equipment out that was to be loaded for St. Croix. Bill and Vic spent the afternoon loading  the trailer and back of the van. We are taking 10 long gondolas, one short gondola, the riding car along with 3001 and 2365 plus various accessories. Going to St. Croix from the AVR are Len, Vic, Barry and Bill.

Wednesday Bill, Len, Barry and Vic arrived at St. Croix and Bill, Vic and Len unloaded all the equipment. Barry brought his 3/4 inch English locomotive. 

Thursday Bill, Len and Vic hauled six train loads of soil at the SCRR using their new side dump cars and our 3265 Pacific. During the meet Len and Vic would apprentice under Bill to qualify to run the steamer. We later gave 20 people rides.

Friday Len moved four train loads of soil using 3001 followed by two loads of old ties. Bill worked with Vic on 2365 giving 46 people rides and Bill, Len and Vic wrote and passed the written exam and then were tested on the steamer to qualify for the SCRR's new process to qualify as engineers and conductors.

Saturday back in Winnipeg Richard came and spent 1.5 hours cleaning up around the railroad. The excitement In Winnipeg was the marriage of two AVR members. Congratulations go out to Carmelina and Dwight. At the SCRR Bill, Len and Vic took turns running 2365 giving 98 people rides. Len measured their main line and it was just under 3,500 feet. Less than the length of the AVR's main line that is 3,700 feet. 

Sunday was the St. Croix public open house and both AVR trains were ready to go by 11:00 am and ran non stop till the close of the open house then did night running. AVR # 2365 Pacific hauled 370 passengers and AVR # 3001 GP-9 hauled 194 passengers. Vic, Bill and Len took turns on each train and allowed for some time off. Total public that came was 1029 and the AVR hauled 564 of them around the St. Croix seven and a half inch line.

Monday Len, Vic and Bill loaded all the equipment and headed for home.

Tuesday afternoon Vic and Bill unloaded all the equipment and Bill put it all away. The chain on the lift was shortened to make it tighter.

Wednesday Bill moved the remaining 1/4 down material from Rob's trailer to the 45 gal drum for traction grit for Christmas and then he filled 52 pot holes on the road. Jim came by for a visit and later Peter brought his cousin from Scotland for a visit to the railway. William came by. Bill worked on the computer and on the web page.

Thursday Bill repaired the existing east deer fence using nine cut pieces of fencing. He also piled a collection of dead fall along the north yard deer fence as some young deer had found that they could wiggle under. This will prevent this from happening. The balance of the 100 foot roll was used to start going down the upper east side along the road. Next project was to remove moss and level track from mile post 3 to the west Charleswood switch. That took about three hours but it is now ready for ballasting.

Friday Bill picked up groceries for a Cub and Scout camp to be held at the AVR. Later 3001 provided train service to take gear to camp.

Saturday Richard cleaned moss and old ballast out around mile post 4 and then replaced six bad ties. Fred switched equipment and helped Richard and Dwight. All the stacked equipment was set out and a seven car train was made up for Cub, Beaver and Scout training. Dwight worked on switch points at Winch and Chapman and serviced the switches. Fred and Dwight buried the signal wires at the west end of Charleswood. Bill taught two classes on railway safety and took the various groups for a ride on the steam train. The group found it interesting when the steamer was blown down.

Sunday Bill gave the cubs and scouts a ride on 3001 at the end of camp. Later in the evening the annual task of putting up Christmas lights started with 1,018 being put up and tested.

Monday October 4th, Bill started to take down the new canopy and packed up all four sides. Vic removed two unused steel angles from the trailer and made some other modifications. Bill took out the template and thumped out some kinks on the line from mile 2 to 4. He then levelled the curve at mile 3.7 that had been cleaned up Saturday. Lights were repaired and tested along the west fence and on the house and garage. 

Tuesday Bill purchased two floor locks for the train lift so the big casters will not have any locks or other devices to bind up. He also installed 900 lights. Peter cut up the gusset plates for more trusses and prepared some other tie pieces. 

Wednesday Peter and Ed cut up all the pieces to make up the five long trusses needed. Later Peter put one together. Dwight installed the west Charleswood automatic switch controller and the sensors needed to function the lights and insure that the points have closed. It was tested and was working. Bill took down the 20' x 10' canopy and shipped it by train to the south storage area. While there he tested and repaired the 450 lights. Next project was to level three dips at mile 16 and lift a purple block. Next the joiners on the "S" bend at Duck Lake were levelled again and the moss and ballast were removed from there to just south of mile 10 and then levelled. Last project was to repair the 400 old lights from the roof top tree and then stretch them out up in the trees above the Winch siding. 

Thursday Bill and Richard rolled out 300 feet of deer fence down the east side. This is only the first piece that is 54" high. Later another 27" will be added to the top. Peter built another large truss and Richard and Bill cut and installed three siding panels. Bill put the Christmas lights on the playhouse and tree on top.

Friday afternoon Peter and Vic completed two more trusses and set them all up in place. Ed helped Peter build the last truss. Dwight completed some details on the west Charleswood automatic switch. Bill put up lights on the east side of the lower turn circle. 

Saturday was the first day of the October open house with 209 riders coming. Len and Bill ran the steamer with, Richard, Vic and Ed running 3001. Jim looked after the station with Ed and Richard. Peter worked on the Engine House with help from Vic, Ed and Gil. They completed the main trusses and installed them and made the second side truss and started cutting the corner trusses.  Dwight made adjustments to his switch machine.

 Oct 10th, Thanksgiving Sunday Bill got 2365 out and steamed her up and turned off the burner and headed to church. Vic was next to arrive and fired her up and used her to switch out the other equipment for the open house. In all we had 285 rides with Bill and Vic running the steamer and Len, Ed and Dwight running 3001. It was a great day with warm sun. Fred ran the station and was conductor. As we were a member short everyone took turns rotating through the jobs. Peter with help from Gil completed and nailed in place three of the 45 degree rafters for the hip roof. Others helped from time to time. Bill blew down 2365 and cleaned her up while Fred using 6109 put all the equipment away.

Monday Thanksgiving, Gil cleaned up the floor of the new engine house that had become filled with leafs and small scraps of wood. Later he and Peter built and installed the last of the 45 degree trusses and started on the angular pieces.

Tuesday Vic installed the two new window frames for the GP-9 #3001. Peter and Gil came to continue work on the roof but it started raining for the balance of the afternoon. Bill put up 1450 lights and did some repairs.

Wednesday the AVR had the Tuxedo Pre-School come for rides at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Richard ran the trips and Bill looked after the station and did a tour and talk about the new steam engine. Gil, Peter, Ed, Vic, Bill and Len did work on the new engine house. All of the lower 1/4 rafters were cut and nailed on and trimmed. Some of the upper rafters were cut and installed. Richard and Bill nailed in another 100 feet of deer fence and cleared a trail for the rest. Bill tested and set up 1700 lights and put out a number of power lines.

Thursday and Friday it rained. Bill tested lights in the station and put up 3050 lights on the trails. Friday the sheeting came for the roof of the engine house.

Saturday Oct 16th, 04 Bill repaired and set out lights on trails and some arches. Richard and Bill installed another 100 feet of deer fence and repaired some fencing at the north end. Richard continued supporting some old fence posts, repaired a shorted electrical junction, dug in some wiring and stretched out 250 feet of new wire from mile 29 up to mile 31.5. Dwight worked on switches and signals. He started prep work to electrify the switch at lightning junction. He cleaned up old points for future use and started getting things ready for the Christmas Run. The remaining members who came out worked on the new engine house, doors, walls and rafters. Most of the rafters were completed, all of the east wall was completed including sheeting the gable. The east door was relocated to the east end of the south wall to allow more room for locomotive storage. The roof rafters are complex as this is a hip roof with a transition valley were the "L" is connected. Those working on the building were, Peter, Gil, Vic, Bill, Fred, Ed, Dwight, David, Jim and Carmelina. 

Sunday Peter, Vic, Ed and Bill spent time on the new building. All of the rafters were completed for the main roof and storage end. The overhang on the east end of the gable was completed. Roof sheeting will start Monday. Bill repaired and set out 1860 lights or now 25% of the job is complete. 

Monday Oct 18th. Members of the AVR started on the roof with sheeting material. The east, west and north portions of the main roof were completed. The front dormer was roughed in. Those working on the roof were, Peter, Jim, Vic, Ed and Bill.

Wednesday Oct 20th Richard got out 3001 and made up a eight car train and gave a ride to the Elie Pre-School. Bill gave a talk on 2365. Jim used his gas powered leaf blower to clear the tracks. Richard tidied up and took down the light fountain for repair and dug in some underground wires. The roof panels were completed on the engine house roof with the following people involved. Vic, Jim, Gil, Bill, and Ed. Peter completed the framing for the front dormer. It needs to be sheeted. Bill ordered the shingles and facia boards. Rob came by having returned from his seven week course. Bill put up and repaired lights.

Thursday Peter did some additional work on the dormer and Bill put up more lights. William came by in the early evening. 

Friday Bill worked on repairs and preparation of lights. Peter completed the dormer preparation and Vic cut and nailed on the roof deck on the dormer. Peter picked up the lettering for the new cars.

Saturday Oct 23 was the last day of Bill's 50's. Dwight continued the upgrading to the lightning Junction switch. He repaired a broken controller and did signal modifications. Vic, Gil and Fred started on the shingles on the roof and completed the whole south face of the new engine house. David worked on applying the letters to our new gondolas and completed 1.5 cars. Peter and Ed cut up the panels for both sides of the main door and up into the gable. Bill got the job of nailing them into place. Richard repaired six power taps on the 115 volt line that had been damaged by deer or rodents. Bill and Richard re established the steel frame for the light fountain. They also welded some parts that needed repair. Richard cleaned up and tested some arches. Barry came by and helped in a few places. Bill tested and repaired all of the upper station lights and tried out a light refurbishing program by painting about 1000 light bulbs that had faded to clear. If the paint stays on it will be a good process for objects that need to be refurbished. Time will tell. Peter picked up cream paint for trim and white paint for Bill to paint steel forms.

Sunday was forecast as sunny. It rained all day. Bill painted and tested lights and painted two poinsettia frames under the canopy. Peter and David cleaned the station eve troughs and cut down the lower branches on the dead oak tree.

Monday Vic and Gil continued the job of putting shingles on the roof. They laboured away on the north side of the storage wing completing it and started on the east side of the main roof. They completed the bulk of the main valley. If the weather holds out Tuesday and Wednesday and more members can come out the job can be completed before winter. Bill ordered 12 six foot arches for the new line and they arrived today and at 4:30 Bill started painting them and completed nine and started the last three. After dark he put up more Christmas lights.

Tuesday Oct 26th, 2004. Gil continued with the shingles on the east slope. Vic came and joined him and together they completed the east portion including the installation of two roof vents. Peter completed the overhang for the front dormer and cut and fitted two pieces of siding over the back door. Bill painted the three remaining arches and re-painted five water fall hoops. He also located the water pump at the east tunnel to try and deal with all the standing water that is unheard of in October. Bill then tried some paint that Peter brought on refurbishing trail lights. At 4:00 pm Bill was joined by Jim and they steamed 2365 and groomed her. Jim switched cars to make up a train. Bill ran the train for a delegation in Winnipeg on an international ozone study tour. Mark Miller, executive director of MOPIA, Jim Curlin from the United Nations, Song Xiaozhi from China, Kerrine Senior from Jamaica and Shakil Kumar from Fiji. Jim acted as conductor. When the delegation left we gave rides to Scouts and Cubs from two Winnipeg groups who were having an Halloween party at the fire pit. Jim also had a couple of solo trips with the locomotive to familiarize himself on 2365. We blew her down and cleaned up.

Wednesday Gil and Vic carried on the shingling on the west side installing the valley fabric on both sides of the dormers. Peter carried the balance of the shingles to the site. Bill and Peter installed the last three pieces of siding on the building. Peter and Bill cut up shingles for caps and Bill nailed them on completing the ridge on the storage wing and the north hips. Peter installed some shingles on the west from the ground. Rob brought over a role of used carpet that might work for gondola bottoms.

Thursday Gil and Jim worked on the roof. Bill worked on lights.

Friday Ed and Peter cut up all pieces of facia and temporarily nailed them up. Jim, Gil and Vic worked on the roof shingles. Bill painted lights and prepared light harnesses for the 12 new arches.

Saturday Oct 30 Bill put lights on all twelve new arches. Bill, Richard and Brian picked the places on the new line for the twelve arches and Richard and Brian put in the base steel and connected pig tails for electrical plug ins at all new locations. Bill with Rob's help carried out the twelve new arches. Richard brought in all the rest of the light boxes for testing. Gil, Vic, Jim and Barry completed all the roof shingles and completed the dormer and all cap shingles. A clean up of the area was carried out. As Vic said. We have found the most important shingle. The last one. A toast of Champagne celebrated the occasion and also Bill's 60th. Dwight and Rob worked on running an electrical cable to lightning junction and back to a new toggle in the station signal box. Ed and Peter with David's help took down the facia and along with two sheets of soffit material gave the whole amount a coat of primer paint. Vic, David and Peter installed the three windows and exit door in the new engine house. 

Sunday Halloween. Bill put the lights on the second double bell display. Vic picked up and installed a new lock set for the station and a new set for the back door of the engine house. Using paint that Peter had purchased Bill painted 1000's of lights in the display. Peter and Ed painted the second side of all the facia and soffit material. Bill set up more lights.

Monday Peter painted the first coat of cream on the trim boards. He then cut out the vent holes and put on the covers. Bill put up the ship and waves and then painted an angel frame, a flamingo frame and re-painted all remaining water fountain steel. 

Tuesday Peter and Ed painted the other side of the trim. Bill repaired and put out lights.

Wednesday Vic and Richard spent two hours breaking up some of the spilled concrete and carting it away. Vic drilled holes in studs and with Gil installed the front door steel frame and hung the doors. Bill and Richard completed the last 60 feet of fence to Roblin and filled two holes in the old fence. Bill painted light bulbs in the station.

Thursday Nov 4th, Gil did some adjusting to the door and then helped Peter nail on the facia on all sides but south. Bill completed the station lights and put up the "Peace On Earth" sign plus other lights.

Friday Vic purchased a lock set for the station. Gil, Peter and Ed completed the facia and put up half the soffit. Bill put out another 20 six foot arches and some other objects.

Saturday Bill repaired lights on the roof of the house and other features. Richard and Brian arrived about 10:30 and helped Bill carry out test and erect the 20 fence panels in both the upper and lower parking area. Fred connected the electrical. After Lunch Fred cut up steel bases while Richard and Bill set up all the 12 arch bases and where joined by Fred so the three put out the upper trail bases, repaired wiring and set up four 12' arches and nine 6' arches. Back at the engine house Peter, David and Ed screwed up the balance of the soffit which the cut from two sheets of 1/4" plywood.  Vic and Gil installed the lockset and latches on the double door. A locking hole had to be drilled in the floor and a matching hole in the steel frame as the left door had to be secured top and bottom to allow the right door the lock into it. The building is now secure and closed in for the winter. Dwight continued his work on the Lightning Junction switch and has installed the switch motor he made up at home and tested its operation. It is now possible to route trains on the old or new line from the station and will free up the need of sending someone out to check and set the switch. 

Sunday Brian found a strike plate for the engine house door that will do the job and brought it by and test fit it. It will need some trimming. Bill painted 100 pink light bulbs and put out more lights.

Monday Vic installed the strike plate in the door. Bill and Vic took out the old garage door and the covering panel and installed a wood box in the cavity for a new service for Christmas lights. It will be accessible from a weather proof door on the outside. Bill cleaned up the area and worked on track lights and the station "Q" area.

Tuesday Bill met with the electrical inspector from the city and he approved our plans to install a 100 amp Christmas Light service on the side of the garage. Bill worked on lights and put lights on our first flamingo. Eighteen pot holes were fixed on the road.

Wednesday Gil filled the top cavity of the steel doors with wood and sealed it with silicon. Richard filled a large pot hole on the walking trail. Richard, Brian and Gil set up the table base for the Ashdown display. Vic and Bill started the new service for Christmas lights. Vic brought some material that was needed and mounted the panel. It was decided to use a ground plate. Bill, Richard and Ed put up some 9 foot and 16 foot arches and Bill tested more lights. Rob came by to check on progress.

Thursday Remembrance day Bill went with the scouts to the service at the Convention Centre. After he started the job of setting up the lights in the yard. Barry assisted with the Christmas light train and three arches. Vic picked up the conduit for the electrical service and he and Bill discussed the best way to proceed. The panel was mounted and the meter base connected along with the first piece of conduit. Gil measured for the weather proof door. Peter picked up trim for the doors and windows. David completed the lettering on the car and a half on the three gondolas that were built in the spring. 

Friday Bill went to the city building permit office and got an electrical permit for the Christmas Light panel. Vic and Bill discussed the final locations and mounted the conduit along the garage to the gable end. Vic drilled all the holes in the block for mounts while Bill dug the grounding plate hole 26 inches deep and test fit the plate. A trench was dug between the pit and the garage. Then connected the conduit to the meter socket and the panel. Gil cut material for the weather proof door and looked for supplies. He also nailed on the frame.  Peter started cutting trim pieces for the engine house. Bill put up more Christmas lights.

Saturday Nov 13th. Bill was in the station by 8:00 am and tested and repaired lights. Brian and Bill tested, repaired and set out the last nine road arches.  Vic, Gil, Rob and Bill pulled in the wire to the conduit from the mast head to the panel. Vic and Bill checked out the location for plugs at the panel and Bill rounded up some supplies. When the ground plate was connected and put in the hole it was found that ground water had come up eight inches and some cave in was evident. Barry dug out the offending slop so the plate could be placed at 27 inches down.  Gil made the door up. Bill crawled into the attic and attached the bolts to the back of the service point insulator where Hydro will terminate the drop.  Jim, Rob and Fred tested and serviced six cars checking couplers and truck operations. Wheel sets were exchanged that needed new bearings. Only one axle was found to be worn. We are now taking a pro active position of changing out bearings when they start to wear. Vic had previously repaired the wheels being used. Peter and Ed continued on door trim and painted the set for the main door. Ed painted all screw holes and touched up puttied areas on the facia and soffits that Peter had previously filled.  Fred tested all remaining Christmas displays and he and Bill put out a deer, wire tree and five 12 foot arches. Bill tested more lights and repaired lines as needed. Dwight did some adjusting to the signal system and then added a length of TV cable for the camera that was located on the garage as the cable needed to be moved due to the new electrical service. David continued the job of lettering our new and re-painted cars completing the three flat cars. All lettering has been completed that is available. William came by for a visit. Later Vic, Peter, Dwight and William went for a late supper. 

Sunday Bill updated the web site, tested lights, Put out a string along Chapman and picked up some electrical supplies. We will call the inspector for Monday. Peter and Ed painted and nailed up the trim on the main door and painted the new door on the service panel that Gil made and installed. It all looks great. Bill put up the last of the candy canes and other lights.

Monday Peter and Ed cut up the 12 pieces of window trim and primed and painted it. They also painted the new electrical box. Vic and Bill mounted the four duplex boxes in the new service. Bill continued to put up lights. Jim came over with a monitor that may be usable in checking incoming trains. He also provided some material that can be used for switch covers. 

Tuesday Bill put up more lights. Gil and Jim came by. The electrical inspector will come Wednesday at 1:00 pm. The CBC will come next Wednesday at 2:00 pm to do some taping.

Wednesday Nov 17, 2004 Bill met the inspector and the new service was cleared for Hydro hook up. Vic filled the grounding plate pit. Gil cleaned up the counter and microwave in the station and then made up a new platform for a new location for the old nativity set near the station "Q" area. Bill repaired two 9 ft arches and Vic helped transport them. Vic started to dig a trench and Ed assisted. Peter and Ed nailed on the window trim and cut up and primed the trim for the air lovers. Bill with Brian's help repaired two 12 ft arches and one 6 ft arch and put them up. Bill completed the top end of the road and repaired a star and deer. Jim tested and bagged all the radios for Christmas use. Vic purchased a locking cabinet for the engine house and a small gear puller for bearing on wheels. The light count has now reached over 60,000 so we are equal with last year.

Thursday Bill picked up supplies for the station. Vic picked up supplies for the engine house. Vic, Gil, Richard, Brian and Bill completed the trench to the engine house and buried a conduit in it and back filled the trench then pulled in the communication wires into the trench for telephone and security system. Vic tidied up the ends while Gil started some carpentry to seal the buildings and Richard and Brian hauled rock while Bill raked it out. Bill painted pink bulbs for the second flamingo, painted gold bulbs for the angels trumpets and completed a 150 light large poinsettia.

Friday Vic tied in the line to the new service and did some underground repairs. The backfill was complete and Gil hauled more rock which Bill spread. Temporary lights were strung in the engine house and turned on. Gil installed his cover over the incoming line. Bill installed the poinsettia on the roof and repaired some deer damage to the lights. Peter completed painting the vent trim. Gil cleaned up around the station and engine house. Hydro put in the new service drop and replaced the transformer at the end of the road.

Saturday Nov 20, 2004  Bill completed the second flamingo and put lights on the first angel for Winch and installed with Richard's help the overhead lights at the lower parking area. Richard repaired the deer fence that had been damaged and put out the Christmas Cheer board donation boxes and started to carry out the Ashdown Buildings and later completed the job with Bill and Ed. Peter and David nailed on the vent trim and lettered missing lettering on the black flat car. Brian routed five extension cords from the new service to replace other cables and to lower the current draw on several circuits. Vic supervised the wiring of plugs in the engine house and was assisted by Jim and Brian. They temporarily wired in two 5K portable construction heaters so it would be wormer while working.  It is the plan to put in more plugs than we will ever need so that later we will have a plug at hand for any equipment we might add. Jim changed fuel and set up the small snow blower in preparation. Richard cleaned up the driveway area and helped Bill move two tracks on the steaming bay to allow a parking space for Bill's wife. At Christmas the members park in the upper parking area as it is easier to get in and out. Dwight checked switches getting ready for Christmas and cut up the pipe into signal mast lengths. Bill put out into the display the flamingos and first angel.

Sunday Bill tested and repaired lights. He made three wreaths in the upper parking area, repaired the circles and put them out along with small snow flakes and stars. Fred set up a circle of track on the Ashdown display and now has a street car running down Main Street. Rob came with his kids and he removed and changed all bearings on the wheel sets that had been changed out last week. Jim cleaned the leafs out on the track and especially the switch points. 

Monday Bill purchased two sections of rubber wiper for the bottom of the engine house door. He also got some plugs, staples, six new keys and a four foot double bulb florescent fixture to be checked by other members. In the afternoon it rained and continued until late afternoon when it changed to snow covering everything with a soft blanket. Unable to do outdoor work Bill went about cleaning the station. The top of the fridge was cleaned off and set up for Christmas. The hat rack was cleaned and the temporary table was removed from the station, then the floors were swept and the large cupboard under the counter was emptied and washed and all our new dishes and stainless cutlery was stored there. A new shelf over the door was installed.  Later in the evening a 150 light poinsettia was wired and completed. Gil came by and cleaned the switches and covered them with wood that Jim had supplied. Peter came by with a list of activities and items to be included in the engine house planning that he and Dwight had listed. He checked the keys finding that out of six only two would work all the locks. He transported items that Bill had boxed into the maintenance building. 

Tuesday Jim wired up some additional wall plugs in the engine house. Rob repaired some more wheel sets and machined and replaced a bolster in a defective truck. Bill took the trailer to the upper parking area, put the wood plugs in the sockets at the steaming bay. He put up all the small signage around the site and put out more lights. He set up the two nativity sets and repaired more lights. The first supply of hot chocolate was purchased and train orders for Christmas were made up. 

Wednesday Bill secured four new batteries for the AVR. A pair for 6109 under the operator's car and a pair for 202 to replace some defective batteries. Gil built a box so the water line coming to the station would not freeze. We will need to check the underground electrical as well. Jim cleared all the snow and ice from the track and took 3001 for a test run. Brian repaired two wires that had been eaten and fixed a new extension cord for the engine house. Vic, Jim and Brian continued to work on outlet boxes for the engine house. Bill worked with the CBC from 2:30 to 6:00 so they could video the lights and train for a children's show called "Kid's CBC". Bill cleaned up more of the station and outside around the station setting it up for Christmas. Later he put up and repaired more lights. Peter came by with a suggested floor plan for the engine house showing possible locations of work benches and equipment. Bill separated the tender from 2365.

Thursday Jim, Gil and Bill checked all the batteries in 3001, 202 and 6109. Water was topped up and corrosion on terminals and clamps was removed. Two new batteries were put into 202. The balance of the gondolas in the dog house were cleaned and running gear inspected. Several safety hooks were repaired. Four wheel sets were replaced and some lubrication was done. All equipment was re-arranged for easy access. 2365 was moved with the locomotive going to the heated maintenance building and the tender to the back of the car barn. The water pump was removed as it was hard to drain. Antifreeze was run through the water lines. Gil and Bill put up the main sign and the parking sign. Bill repaired two lit bicycles and put them out along with some other lights. 

Friday Vic switched over the tunnel circuit and the maintenance building to the new service and installed a high powered light over the door to the engine house. Dwight repaired a malfunction in the Lightning Junction switch machine. Jim cleaned off all the snow on the tracks. Bill cleaned all the yard paths and Richard took a shovel to the bush trails. Richard repaired some arches and cleaned up and sanded the paths. Bill put lights up at Chapman and did some other last minute jobs. Jim got the trains out and we had a group of international students from the University of Winnipeg plus a group of Sparks. Brian and Joan ran the station. Bill dispatched, Jim, Ed, Barry, Dwight, Vic and Bill ran trains. Gil and Bill put trains away and Bill closed all the gates. 

Saturday Bill worked on the furnace, then put the lights on an angel. The angel was put at Winch. Four more tree columns were made at Chapman and some lights were repaired. Brian changed green lights for red ones at the three new wreaths at Paterson. Gil built two drawers for a cabinet in the Engine House.  Jim replaced a broken toggle switch on 6109 while Gil replaced the main batteries. Vic changed the compressor in 6109. Dwight put the older batteries in the riding car and ran a wire harness to the second set. Fred worked on the Ashdown street car line. Trains were ready to go at 6:00 pm. Brian and Joan looked after the station while the following helped with dispatching and running trains, Jim, Richard, Fred, Bill, Carmelina and Dwight.

Sunday Bill repaired an arch and put lights on an Angel and a double bell. It was a cold night and reflected in a slow night. People running the railway were Jim, Richard, Barry, Brian, Joan and Bill.

Monday Vic and Jim worked on wiring in the new engine house. Bill painted lights and repaired the Merry Christmas sign, repaired lights and set out the new angel and did a double tree. In the evening Carol, Gil, Vic and Bill ran the railway. Good comments are coming from all visitors. 

Tuesday Dwight checked the track and picked up four cables for locomotive controls. Bill checked the lights while Jim and Richard cleared the track. The railway was run by Jim, Richard, Ed and Bill.  We had a church group in and all remarked on how well behaved the group was.

Wednesday Dec 1 2004 Vic and Brian returned all surplus material to the lumber store. Bill, Brian and Vic checked the underground water line and found the heater at the house end had stopped working. Water is off so this will need to be repaired. Bill completed another angel and cleaned the track of snow. The railway was run by Bill, Fred, Gil and Jim with Barry and Rob helping out. It was a cold and quiet night so only one train was put out. Next week we have groups each week night. 

Thursday was just a bit warmer. Bill made another angel and now has five out at Winch. Rob, Fred, Ed and Bill ran the railway with Jim and Gil leaving early as it was a quiet night. Bill worked on changing the meet web pages to the Dominion Day Meet. June 30th to July 3rd, 2005.

Friday Bill repaired the heater tape from the upper water connection and repaired the last of our four lighted bikes. The railway was run by Jim, Vic, Ed, Rob, Brian and Bill. Bill picked up seven fire ring concrete blocks to set up a fire pit at the cub camp. Vic brought over a light fixture for the back side of the engine house. A film crew from a French television network came by to do some spots with Christmas lights from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Saturday the temperature dropped to -14C with an overnight temp of -23C expected. Bill worked on the light fountain at the cub camp and put new lights on 12 segments and repaired the lights on six segment and put them up on the frame. He then sanded a half mile of nature trails. The railway was run by Rob, Richard, Jim, Brian, Dwight, and Bill. Riders were down due to the cold temperature. Dwight and Richard took the hood off 6109 and Dwight installed the wire grommets on the new battery cable. 

Sunday Dec 5th Bill completed another double bell and set it up at Amur Glen along with two green and red trees at Chapman. The railway was run by Barry, Gil, Jim, Ed and Bill. It was a slow night due to temperature and blowing snow but those who rode were delighted by the new line. 

Monday Bill spent from 12:30 till 6:00 pm moving snow on trails, roads and track. The large snow blower broke a cable and is in the engine house for repairs. Gil took the small blower around the track while Rob cleaned some snow around the station area. Bill, Gil and Rob set up a new fire pit area in the cub camp. Tonight we had two youth groups in. The railway was run by Barry, Gil, Jim, Rob and Bill.

Tuesday Bill took the large snow blower apart and found the clutch cable spring had broken its end. A new end was made and the machine was put back together. Bill tested it out by completing the snow blowing in the upper parking. Next a tree was set up outside the station and 200 blue lights were put on it. We had three youth groups in tonight and the railway was run by Gil, Jim, Rob, Richard, Ed and Bill. 6109 developed track retention problems and was replaced by 202. Later in the evening it was determined that a wheel was loose on the front power truck and will require attention on Wednesday after 2:00 pm. During the day the AVR was visited by the fire department to see that they could get equipment in during the Christmas light display. The pumper was able to get in and out. Bill gave the firemen a tour of the station.

Wednesday Vic and Jim installed a light at the rear of the engine house. Rob cleared the track and the trails around the yard. Bill purchased some bolts at Adams and started checking wheels on 6109 with Rob assisting. Six of the eight wheels needed attention. The locomotive ran well all evening. Bill cleared all the forest trails and sanded the yard paths. Fred got the streetcar line running. It was a quiet night so Jim and Gil left early while Rob, Fred, Dwight and Bill  stayed till the end. 

Thursday Dec. 9th, Gil came and cleared the track in the afternoon. Bill replaced some burned out lights in the bush and on buildings. Peter brought over pictures for Bill to scan for the next "Nutty Report". Bill printed up all the membership cards and they are available in the station. Members not picking them up will get them in the mail with the next news letter.  Jim and Bill got the trains out. We had a group of Brownies in today. The railway was run by Jim, Ed, Barry and Bill. Friday afternoon car 115 will be inspected. 

Friday Bill sent out press releases, printed up hand out sheets, painted 150 yellow bulbs and completed 75% of the last six water fountain pieces. He walked the trails checking lights and fixed some deer damage. He sanded the yard trails. Jim, Richard and Bill got the trains out. The train was quite busy tonight with Jim, Ed, Bill, Rob, Richard, Vic and Gil running the railway. Bill closed up after and walked the trails. People were still walking the trails at 10:30. 

Saturday Bill completed the last six sections for the light fountain and installed them and started on an angel. The "A" Channel came by at 11:00 and spent till 12:30 with Bill interviewing and taking pictures of railway and light features. Bill ground apart two old discarded display frames that Barry had brought two years ago. There are now two maple leafs and two stars. They have been painted and are ready for lights. Jim cleared on track while Rob cleared the second. Bill cleared and sanded the yard trails. The railway was run by Rob, Jim, Ed, Barry, Gil and Bill. It started to rain half way through the evening.

Sunday it snowed in the morning and early afternoon. Bill cleaned snow on the walkways and trails plus station area and parking area and sanded the walkways. Gil cleaned the snow of the railway. Bill repaired some damaged lights and Fred got the streetcar line operational. The temperature dropped and the riders were light. We had visitors from Africa and Asia. The railway was operated by Richard, Gil, Fred, Rob and Bill.

Monday the temperature dropped to -21c over night and climbed to -16c at 5:00 pm. Bill spent time in the morning rolling Christmas Cheer donations and phoned in a payment to them of $272.00. The locomotive rack was removed from the van. Bill completed the angel and put it up. Then started to work on a maple leaf. The railway was run by Vic, Jim, Rob and Bill.

Tuesday Dec. 14th, Bill completed two new stars and a big red Maple Leaf and put them out. It was a mild day and three groups were expected. The trains ran flawlessly thanks to Gil's oiling procedures. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Richard, Ed and Bill.

Wednesday Dec 15, 2005 Bill worked on the second maple leaf and put it up along with wrapping two trees at Chapman. William came by to check on supplies. Later Bill walked the trails checking lights while Gil greased and checked the track. The Christmas Cheer Board came and picked up four banana boxes of donated groceries. Bill sanded the yard trails. The railway was run by Jim, Barry, Richard, Gil, Rob and Bill. Vic came if we needed extra help. Fred came to repair the street car. The horn switch on 202 got broken and will need replacement. A pro-active approach to greasing is having good results. Bill worked on the internet.

Thursday Bill checked the lights and repaired a damage done by a squirrel. He sanded the trails. Jim greased the track and Dwight repaired a control module. The temperature dropped to -18c. The railway was run by Rob, Jim, Dwight and Bill. Bill started on a new double bell.

Friday turned warmer but the weather man predicted all sorts of dir weather that did not come to pass but it was very windy. Bill completed the double bell and did two additional tree wraps at Chapman. Gil greases the track while Bill sanded trails and Jim got the trains out. The operation was run by Jim, Gil, Barry, Rob, Bill, Vic and Ed.

Saturday turned cold with a night temp of -30C.  Bill completed the last of the angels and put it out. He then turned his attention to welding more candy cane frames and using the donated steel from COWIN STEEL CO he completed eight more frames. These were to be done last year but when Bill's back went out the project was not completed. William came by in the afternoon. Bill walked the trails and Gil walked the tracks prior to opening. As it was a cold night the group decided to run only one train while the others did maintenance on 3001 and 6109. Those running the railway were Richard, Rob, Gil and Bill with Jim leaving early due to a light crowd. It was below our -25C cut off but we ran and did not disappoint the 74 people who bundled up and came out. After close Bill and Rob brought the paperwork up to date. Last year the average temp up to the 18th of Dec was -6.6C while this year it was -8.6C and we are about 300 people less than last year. The train is very temperature and weather dependant.

Sunday the weather turned windy, with snow and blowing snow which later turned to sleet. The wind made it uncomfortable. Bill cleaned up the weld splatter on the eight candy canes and started putting lights on the last double bell. Later he cleaned snow from the trails, turn circle, paths, and the new track. Rob cleared snow from the old track. We found traction to be poor. We tried double heading but found it best to run two locomotives with two cars each and stayed on the new line. We had some light bulbs taken by two legged creatures. The railway was run by Fred, Vic, Gil, Rob and Bill.

Monday Dec 20th 2004 the Temp went up to +2c and then dropped like a rock. Bill checked the display repairing a couple of objects. He then painted four and a half candy canes. Gil went around the track with a shovel and took 6109 around to burn off some ice. Bill sanded walkways. Dwight repaired the spare locomotive controller. We had an article in the Free Press about the Railway. The CBC French TV did the weather live from the railway. We had a youth group out plus lots of visitors. The railway was run by Richard, Rob, Gil, Jim, Dwight, Brian and Bill.

Tuesday Bill the remaining candy cane frames for a total of eight. He scanned in 75 pictures from Peter in preparation for the next "Nutty Report" He printed up more hand out sheets. The temperature was colder than out cut off point but we ran anyway. Of the four booked groups all cancelled except the scouts. The railway was run with one train by Gil, Bill, Rob, Jim and Brian.

Wednesday the temperature continued in the cellar. The school group of 107 kids cancelled due to temperature. Bill went to Costco for more hot chocolate cups and hockey tape. He completed the lights on two candy canes. Gil cleaned the snow off the Ashdown display. A scout group from White Horse Plains did not come. The railway was run by Gil, Rob, Brian and Bill. We had visitors from Japan and Brazil. The Display sent in another $281.00 to the Christmas Cheer Board. Attendance is down this year due to the weather.

Thursday Bill worked on more candy canes. Dwight brought over two electronic timers for the double bells he had assembled.  Despite the -27C temperature we got out a train and had many very happy visitors including a person from Germany, the Ukraine and Washington, D.C.  The railway was run by Gil, Richard, Bill and Brian with Rob helping with getting ready. We had a visit from Santa.

Friday, Christmas Eve. Gil checked the track in the afternoon. Bill completed another candy cane and sanded the trails and got out the equipment. The railway was run by Vic and Bill. 

THE AVR WISHES ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS. TRAINS RUN AGAIN ON BOXING DAY.

Sunday Boxing Day, Bill went to Super Store after church and bought a few Christmas lights at 50% off for use next year to add to the display (12,400 lights). Bill got the trains out. Gil did track maintenance. The railway was run by Rob, Gil, Fred, David, Bill, Brian & Joan. It was good to have the extra help to deal with the light snow that was falling.

Monday Dec 27th, Bill rolled Christmas Cheer Board money and cleared snow on the trails, paths, station area,  both parking areas and some of the track. Rob with Joseph cleared the rest of the track while Gil cut down the doors on the car barn so they would open. We had our busiest day so far this year with Gil, Richard, Rob, Bill, Brian and Joan running the railway.

Tuesday Bill completed our last double bell and one more candy cane. Three trees were wrapped at Chapman and the two electronic sequencers were installed on two bells to let them swing. Dwight had made the electronics. Gil came and serviced the track in the afternoon. We had our busiest night of the season with 731 passengers. The railway was run with Barry, Ed, Gil, Len, Vic, David, Rob and Bill.

Wednesday Gil checked the track and oiled were needed. Bill deposited donations and send another $466.50 to the Christmas Cheer Board. Later he purchased another role of fencing and a van load of pink insulation for the engine house. Gil helped unload it. It was a mild day but as we started the evening run there was a fine rain falling that froze on the track making early operation slow and trouble some. We ran three trains. Members running the railway were Bill, Ed, Dwight, David, Rob, Jim, Fred, and Vic. Keeping the station running in an efficient and friendly way were Brian and Joan. On busy nights the members of the Assiniboine Valley Railway work together as a team to give as many people possible a meaningful experience.

Thursday Bill picked up another four bundles of R20 insulation and one R12. The Americans always blame cold weather on Canada but today we had a Colorado Low blow in from the USA with great quantities of snow, sleet and rain. In places we got eight to ten inches. Rob and Bill cleaned the yard paths at 5:30 but it was coming down so fast that soon the snow was back. Gil came by and together and with other members on the phone it was decided that we could not run today. One women came into the station and asked if we were running. The track at that point was covered by a scale 32 inches of snow. About 9:00 pm Bill got the large snow blower out and opened a car width to Roblin along with the lower parking area. After 3 hours of clearing snow it is still snowing but at least that eight inches will be off the road. Due to the trees we get very little drifting snow so it will be that much less to clear on Friday.

Friday New Years Eve. Bill using the large snow blower cleared the yard paths and the main trail from the upper parking area. He cleared all roads and the upper parking area. Rob took the small blower around the new line and Bill followed with the large machine. Rob took a third pass and finished with the shovel. Bill spent from 2:00 pm till 7:00 pm on the machine. Rob got the train out. The railway was run by Brian, Joan, Vic and Bill. Generally things went well until one trip that Bill took out. The back car kept derailing causing other cars to come off. It was noted that three kids in the last car were pulling snow under the car. They were warned by Brian before leaving and later by Bill but they continued there destructive practice. On the next trip Vic encountered snow often 4 inches thick on the track. Bill had to proceed the train with the shovel removing snow the entire length of the  railway. Those three boys delayed operation.

New Years Day Jan 1st, 2005 Bill worked on pictures for the next Nutty Report. Later he took the large snow blower and widened the upper parking lot and opened the west nature trail and went around about half of the new track. Last task was to go around the track with the small shovel. Len and Rob arrived and got 3001 out with only three gondolas as it was starting to snow again. Len went around again with the shovel and with brushes we managed 10 trips. It was snowing very hard by this time and two more cleanings were required. The railway was run by Rob, Len, Helen and Bill. Second last train of the night we took 10 pictures of the train at Flamingo Gulch with the locomotive pushing heavy snow. 

Sunday Jan 2nd, Bill spent the morning working on the "Nutty Report" Peter came over in the afternoon and proofread the first four pages. Rob cleared the track and got the train out. David took it around to clear track. Bill spent four hours on the big snow blower clearing roads, paths, trails and both parking areas. The railway was run by Rob, Fred, Jim, David and Bill. Dwight came and did some signal maintenance. (The snow blower took a bite out of the dwarf signal at the station. It was 6" high but the snow was 12") Other members who came by on the last run were Gil, Carmelina and Vic. Gil and Dwight took the big sign down at the end of the road. From visitors on Wednesday and today we collected $300.00 for the Red Cross Asian Flood Fund. Rob will take groceries to Winnipeg Harvest on Monday that had been donated. The lights will remain on Monday night and then turned off until next Christmas.

Monday Jan 3rd, Bill printed the first 20copies of the "NUTTY REPORT" for the members who pick them up in the station and prepared to go on a two week holiday. 

Monday Jan 11th, Rob and Gil checked all locomotive batteries and charged them up. During Bill's vacation Rob, Peter, Gil, Joseph & Leeanne took care of Puppy and watered the flowers in the station. Working members of the AVR took a rest after the 35 day Christmas run. 

Thursday Jan 20th Bill cleared snow with the big blower. The AVR is now covered by a two foot blanket of snow. 

Friday Bill updated the web site, worked on the financial report, paid some railway bills, cleared snow and printed more "Nutty Reports"

Saturday January 22nd, Bill spent two hours on the snow blower clearing the main road parking area and paths in the yard. Richard and Bill stacked cars in the station. Took batteries off the riding car and stacked chairs. After cleaning the station it was transformed into a working area. Peter put the final coat of paint on the bottoms of 18 posts that will be used for station sign boards. Bill continued to print "Nutty Reports" and made up envelopes for the mailed out copies. William brought his brother-in -law and Peter took him on a tour. Later in the evening Bill turned on the Christmas lights and it immediately drew in some visitors. It also should be reported that Gil is working on a surprise project at his carpentry shop and Dwight is experimenting with switch motor designs.

Sunday Jim shovelled snow out of tracks 2, 3 & 4 of the car barn to get at the box cab chassis only to find it was on track 1. Peter painted the middle section of the sign posts. Bill printed more "Nutty Reports" and worked on the web page. 

Monday Bill talked with Cliff about two modifications that he intends to have us do on the locomotive. The first is to raise the injector water control handles to make them more accessible. The second is to make the cock valves easier to get off so diaphragms can be changed on the work bench rather than on the locomotive. Cliff did these modifications to his and felt 2365 could use the same modification.  Jim shovelled snow from track one at the car barn and Rob came in time to move the box cab chassis to Jim's vehicle. Bill completed the last printing and folding on the "Nutty Report" and they go in the mail tomorrow. He completed the 2004 financial report for the AGM and got estimated prices for some projects.  Peter put the black paint on the posts and he and Bill reviewed the financial report. Peter ordered more badges and patches for the railway. 

Tuesday Rob using the small snow blower removed the snow from the new line and cleared the old line to the loading spur. Bill inspected lights on the newly cleared track and found where the deer had broken about eight lines. They have also done a lot of damage to the trees. Vic brought his two 5 KW heaters and hooked them up in the engine house. They discussed lighting. Bill found a source for four traction motors and ordered them. Bill repaired a 14 foot section of fence that was raised to 9 feet to keep deer out. Two additional 20 foot sections were raised 2.5 feet higher. The deer only appear to jump the fence when there is a clear trail on both sides.  

Wednesday Bill picked up a role of 6ml vapour barrier. He made up the meeting agenda and updated the by-laws from last years AGM. Peter put the final coat of black paint on his posts. Bill ran the alarm wiring to doors and controls in the engine house. Bill spent the afternoon and evening insulating the engine house. All walls are now complete except were wires still need to be run. Sixty % of the ceiling is done in the storage wing. Nine bails of insulation are used up. 

Friday the temp went up to 0 but unfortunately during the cold spell the water and sewer line froze up. Next summer we will have to increase the heat tapes and check for places were to cold is getting to the line. Word has come that Barry and Jim have spent over 30 hours work on the body of the Box Cab and from a picture it looks like it is loaded with detail. Great work guys. Now we need the gear boxes machined.  

Saturday Bill made a new page for the Engine House section of the web. Peter and Ed sanded all the station sign boards and later Peter put a coat of white paint on the back side. Richard cleaned up the station and in the engine house. Bill, Fred and Richard worked on the engine house. The two sets of wiring for lights over the west and east workbenches were put in and those panels were insulated. A telephone line was run to the clean work bench. Holes were drilled for both heater lines on the south wall. Bill had to run to the store for staples, a drill and two deep electrical boxes. Richard cut up 60 1/3 lengths of insulation for the eve area. Bill ran the wires for the two heaters on the south wall and insulated what could be done on the south wall. Jim picked up the bolsters for the Box Cab and two plates that he had painted.

Sunday after church Bill insulated 25% of the main room ceiling and terminated the two three wires for the run through light. We will need another roll of 14-2 to complete the wiring and one standard box. 

Monday Jan 31,2005 Peter & Ed painted the front side of the 12 sign boards.

Tuesday Jim returned the Box Cab body, frame and roof. Those working on the body have done a great job. The roof, frame and some trim have been painted but the main body must be painted dark green. Next step is the gear boxes and electrical. It is currently sitting on a pair of freight trucks in the station for members to see. 

Wednesday Ed and Brian put the second coat of paint on the sign boards while Peter picked up more paint and Varathane

Friday Peter cleaned up the station putting his sign painting table away. Cliff's new parts for #2365 arrived by mail. Peter made up a list of 2004 accomplishments for the AGM. 

Saturday Feb 5th, 2005 Bill brought the web page up to date. He rolled 6109 out of the station and set up the chairs for the meeting. He then wired all the future six florescent lights in the middle of the engine house controlled by three switches. Next the heater wire was run to the north wall. The wiring is now complete unless we think of something else. Peter cut up three more sign boards. Members started arriving for the AGM and at 2:00 pm the meeting was called to order. The meeting flowed along at a good rate with lots of discussion about past and future projects. Reports were presented and by some accounts the meeting was more productive than some. After the meeting ten members stayed for supper with the group cleaning up at 8:00 pm.

Sunday Bill and Barry checked out the gear box and motor parts for the box cab and Barry took them for machining. Len helped Bill remove the back van seat in preparation for taking 2365 on a tour of California and Colorado.

Monday Len picked up five fans for ventilation for three of our locomotives. Peter deco paged the twelve station signs and put on two coats of Varathane. Later he painted the three additional sign boards after routing out the edges and filling imperfections with plastic wood.

Tuesday Peter put another coat of paint on the additional three sign boards.

Wednesday Bill completed the insulation on the north east corner and worked his way down the ceiling to the north west corner. We are putting R32 in the ceiling. Peter drilled all sign boards and posts and screwed them together toughing up the screw holes with paint. Bill ordered drywall, screws, and mud to be delivered Saturday at lunch so we need a few members to help move it to the engine house. 

Friday Cliff sent vinyl for damaged stripping on 2365.

Saturday Bill shovelled the light snow off the old line to the loading spur. Rob took the metal shovel and cleared it down to rail and cleared the ice and snow on the track in front of the station. Dwight made the switch to the loading spur operational and left it lined to the parking area. Bill removed the remaining snow from the trail to the parking area and put the bridge in place. The lift will need to be cleared of snow in preparation to moving 2365 for its visit to the Los Angeles Live Steamers.  Bill started putting up insulation in the engine house about 9:00 am and when Gil arrived Bill had made it down the west side of the building. The drywall and supplies arrived at noon and was moved to the engine house by Bill, Gil, Fred, David and Dwight. Richard cleaned up the garbage around the station and yard. David filled the holes on Peter's signs with plastic wood and Peter put some paint on the new boards. Gil took down the temporary lighting and relocated it to the north wall. Bill ran a number 12 wire for a heater plug near the door. Brian and Gil put up the first two strips of vapour barrier in the storage wing. Bill continued on insulation down the south side and started in the middle. Fred cut pieces of insulation to size as Bill put them in place as they worked around the trusses. Brian and Gil assisted. After all had left Bill spent another two hours and completed all the upper R20 insulating but the R12 ran out and we will need two more bundles to complete the job. 

Sunday Bill spent time starting to dig out the lift. Peter sanded the plastic wood fills on the sign boards and re-painted the ends of all signs.

Monday Bill picked up another two bundles of insulation to complete the ceiling. Peter and David set up a jig in the station and started routing the grooves in the siding for the wood refrigerator car and completed two ends and one side. Peter did research on powder coating the locomotives and the best paint for the other colours. 

Tuesday Feb 15th, 05 Peter and David completed the routing of the grooves in the refrigerator car. Bill worked on the computer and later completed the snow removal around the lift and got it out onto the driveway.

Wednesday Rob started the strip down of 6109 for painting. First the cooling fans were removed. Gil took off two of the car barn doors that needed trimming and returned them to service. At home Gil made up the two oak walkways for the roof of the box cab. Rob returned in the evening and started removing side louvers on 6109. Bill took the seats out of the van and installed the locomotive rack for 2365. Later Bill worked on insulation in the engine house. Vic marked wires and tied in some of the connections on the panel.  

Gil put on the wall, a special project for Charleswood station. During the last months Gil has been labouring in his woodworking shop on this special item and today it was unveiled for the first time. It is a most wonderful Oak traditional Station Clock complete with swinging pendulum and etched glass with AVR. Thank you Gil for this fitting addition to our station. It will be a treasure for all to enjoy and also help keep the trains on time.

Thursday Bill set up the charger on the lift.

Friday Gil and Jim completed a few missing pieces of insulation on the ceiling and put up all the ceiling vapour barrier ready for drywall. Peter and David continued on the refrigerator car. The diagonal grooves were cut for the doors and the main doors were routed out along with the small doors at either end. Bill removed the winter snow from the east leg of the "Y" and cleaned up more switches. The east station spring switch handle appears to be loose but the switch moves back and forth ok. Saturday 2365 will be moved and loaded for its trip. 

Saturday Feb 19th, 05  Bill was up early working on the internet and then dug out the propane tanks for 2365. Next task was the removal of snow from where the lift tied into the railway. When Rob arrived he and Bill got 2365 out of the maintenance building and pushed it to the lift and into the van. Next was the tender which had some pin stripping replaced on one side. It was subsequently loaded and then Bill tied everything down for transport. Gil and Fred spent the afternoon completing the ceiling vapour barrier and putting acoustical sealant between the joints. Vic continued to tidy up the electrical connections at the panel. He also replaced the rear door handle. David and Peter continued to work on the refrigerator car and Ed laminated some trim pieces for around the doors.  Dwight worked on repairs of the bell on 3001 and removed the switch machine at east Charleswood for repair.  

Sunday Peter worked on the refrigerator and fabricated one of the side doors. It looks great. He also cleaned up all the sawdust in the station. Bill packed up the portable computer for the trip and loaded the steam engine tool box. 

Monday Gil and Rob moved surplus material out of the engine house and hung vapour barrier on three walls. Peter worked on the refrigerator car completing the other side door and doing some sanding. Bill continued to get 2365 ready. Dwight has found that the fan problem in 6109 was a loose wire which he is repairing.

Tuesday Feb. 22nd Bill and Mary-Lou left with 2365 for a vacation to California.

Wednesday Peter and Ed continued on the refrigerator car doing cleanup work on the sides and some sanding.

Friday Peter and Ed cut and installed some oak support members to the top of all four refrigerator car walls.

Saturday Peter, Ed and David did a trial fit of the refrigerator car walls with the floor and did some sanding and filling. Dwight re-installed the bell on 3001 and returned a cooling fan for 6109 which had been repaired. Richard cleaned up the station. Barry spent the day working on the power trucks for the box cab locomotive. Ed and Peter started coating the walls with shellac. Rob started work on a pair of brass couplers.

Sunday Feb. 27th. Bill unloaded 2365 at the Los Angeles Live Steamers at Griffith Park and pulled the public for the afternoon along with some of the regulars at LALS. The Locomotive was re-loaded by 5:00 pm and performed extremely well. Favourable comments were heard.  Back at the AVR Peter and Ed started painting white latex paint on the refrigerator car sides and ends. Some additional sign boards were also painted. Peter gave the walls and ends a light sanding and applied some additional shellac.

Monday Peter picked up a new supply of cloth patches and metal badges for the AVR as the supplies had run out at Christmas. Peter also picked up yellow and black paint for the refrigerator car along with some other needed supplies. Rob picked up two pairs of aluminium couplers for assembly and Barry completed the job of machining and assembling the box cab power trucks. Gil completed some wood strips for roof walks and put more acoustical sealant on the vapour barrier. 

Tuesday Jim brought the power trucks to the station that Barry had completed. Gil and Jim removed all the Yellow parts from the box cab body so it can be painted CN green. Jim painted the power trucks black. Peter and Ed did some additional light sanding to the refrigerator walls and ends and applied some of the yellow paint.  Rob completed the major work on the three pairs of couplers and returned them to the station.

Wednesday Jim re-assembled the box cab power trucks now complete. The commonwealth trucks were assembled by Len. Barry did the machining and assembly of the motors and gear boxes and Jim had completed the painting. Gil built the frame for the attic access in the engine house. Ed continued painting the refrigerator car walls and ends CN #11 yellow. Vic and Gil spent several hours completing some wiring and vapour barrier work in the engine house. Rob worked on coupler lock pins. Peter applied some more yellow paint and also stained the box cab roof walks and end sills. 

Thursday Gil continued with vapour barrier. 

Friday Gil completed the vapour barrier. Peter painted more yellow on the refrigerator car walls and put a coat of urethane on the oak parts of the box cab. Rob continued with some work on the couplers.

Saturday March 5th, Bill unloaded 2365 at Orange County live Steamers and ran on all trackage having an enjoyable day exploring this very nice railway. It was a work day so no public but several members had a ride. On a future trip we will try and come on a run day.  By 6:00 pm 2365 was loaded. Back at the AVR Fred cleared a trail to the Christmas display storage area and retrieved his track from the Ashdown display. Peter put a second coat of Varathane on the box cab oak parts. Gil and Dwight picked up four 10 foot pieces of drywall. Vic worked on wiring and cutting sides on the refrigerator car coupler boxes. Jim and Dwight discussed Box cab wiring. 

Sunday March 6th Bill went back to the Los Angeles Live Steamers but due to some earlier delay there was not sufficient time to steam up 2365 so Bill spent several hours as a conductor on the club electric locomotive and train. Back at the AVR Jim took photos of the box cab electrics. As it snowed some one shovelled the walks. 

Monday Jim drilled out some box cab brackets for electrical parts. Peter picked up some parts and painted the sides of the refrigerator car again. 

Tuesday the crew worked on small parts on both box cab and refrigerator car. Helping were Peter, Ed, Jim and Vic.

Wednesday Vic worked on electrical in the engine house. Gil, Vic and Ed put up the first two 9 ft. pieces in the storage wing. Peter, Ed and Jim spent time on the box cab and refrigerator car. Assembly of the floor is now underway.

Thursday it snowed and Gil cleared the track from the maintenance building to the loading spur so it would be possable for Bill to unload 2365 upon his return.

Friday March 11th, Bill visited the Rocky Mountain Railway in South West Denver and enjoyed seeing this interesting railway. 2365 was not unloaded as the railway was closed for the winter and some new fencing being installed had necessitated the removal of some track. We look forward to some future time when we will be able to run.

Saturday March 12th 2365 was unloaded at the Colorado Live Steamers. Bill and Mary-Lou arrived in time for breakfast. After steaming the rest of the day was spent running and pulling members of the club. It was a work day and the crew was laying track and moving sub-road-bed on their new ambitious expansion. Back at the AVR Gil, Richard, Fred and Vic put up the third ceiling dry wall sheet in the storage wing and then completed the north and east walls of the storage wing. Peter and Ed continued to work on the refrigerator car floor mounting the coupler pockets and bolsters. David assisted. Barry picked up the truck frames for the refrigerator car for drilling of bearing holes. Peter continued with the steel frame components.

Sunday Peter drilled out and mounted the refrigerator car under frame channels and prepared the queen posts. Barry drilled out the truck side frames. Bill and Mary-Lou arrived home.

Monday Gil and Bill made a plan for the layout of the ceiling drywall. Peter mounted the queen posts and some additional frame material with assistance from William. Peter determined the positioning of the rods on the car underside. 

Tuesday Vic and Gil with some minor assistance from Bill put up the first two rows of drywall on the ceiling. Peter continued to work on the refrigerator car. 

Wednesday March 16th Bill cleared all track from the loading spur to the maintenance building and car barn and unloaded 2365 and put her away. Paul, Bill's son helped push her back to the maintenance building.  Vic, Gil and Richard worked on ceiling drywall and got all but the last strip hung up. Bill and Ed assisted for a few minutes. Peter continued to work all afternoon on his refrigerator car with minor help from Ed, William, Barry, Vic and Bill. Some times you just need that extra hand even for just a minute. Bill spent three hours updating the web pages. 

Thursday Vic, Gil and Richard completed the ceiling drywall in the engine house and completed the south wall in the storage wing. Peter worked on the refrigerator car with assistance from William.

Friday Jim sorted out and bagged all the remaining uninstalled hardware for the box cab. Bill worked on pictures and Peter with assistance from William and Ed completed the floor of the refrigerator car.

Saturday March 19th, Bill spent an hour clearing material from the railway room and cleaned and prepared all the drywall tools and blades. Bill mixed up a batch of drywall plaster and spent the day taping ceilings and walls. Vic with help from Barry hung drywall on the east wall of the main room. Peter with assistance from Ed removed all floor parts and Peter put two coats of shellac on the wood base.

Sunday Peter and Ed painted the refrigerator car base and all under body parts black. Peter gave the box cab wood another coat of Varathane. Bill steam cleaned and vacuumed the basement railroad room rug.

Monday Peter painted the refrigerator car base with help from William. Peter painted the underside parts and Bill completed the rug cleaning in the railway and started preparing it for the convention in May. Jim came by to check on progress. Bill completed four new pages for the AVR web site.

Tuesday the executive of the club, Bill, Peter, Len with Vic as a guest met to look at some machine shop equipment that was being offered to the club for a value from an estate. The decision was to negotiate for the purchase for the new engine house and machine shop. Vic completed the negotiations and we are now the owner of this equipment and will need to move it ASAP.  Bill spent 4 hours taping drywall with William keeping Bill company.  

Wednesday Vic, Peter, Gil and Richard moved the first load of machine shop parts to storage. Gil, Vic & Richard completed the drywall on the west wall of the engine house and Bill taped for a couple of hours. At 4:00 pm Rob, Vic and Bill moved two van loads of machine shop material to storage. Jim worked on the box cab frame cutting the battery brackets and mounting one of them. Peter and Ed re-mounted all of the under body parts for the refrigerator car. Rob assembled a pair of trucks and completed a pair of couplers.

Thursday Vic and Rob took Bill's van and Rob's van and removed the heavy parts of the lath and milling machine plus all shelves and misc. items to storage. Jim continued on the box cab electrical, mounting half the components. Peter glued the journal box covers on the pair of trucks. 

Good Friday Bill spent five hours taping drywall. Vic completed most of the dry walling on the south side with help from Gil and Bill. Jim completed the installation of the remaining electrical components in the box cab. It is now ready for wiring. Peter ground lugs off the trucks while William touched up the refrigerator underside with black paint. Peter continued to paint screw heads and other parts on the frame. Gil took the windows and door frames and other features from the box cab to be painted CN #11 yellow.

Saturday Bill went to work on the HO layout in the basement and cleaned two of the eight lines and got two trains running for the convention. Richard bless his heart spent the afternoon taking down the first 20 candy canes from the Christmas display. They were carefully stowed away in the storage area.  Vic and Gil made a frame for the future air conditioner and put it in place on the north wall. The two continued with the hanging of drywall and were joined by Brian. The last piece of drywall was put in place. Bill spent five hours putting up more loads of drywall mud and tape. Inside the station Jim, Dwight and Rob started the job of wiring the electrical parts for the box cab. Cables were made up and about 50% of the work was completed. The other job in the station was the building of the refrigerator car. Peter had to re-machine the coupler frames and with Rob's help the sides and ends were fastened onto the floor and glued and nailed together. The roof and small details are yet to be done. William and Ed came by to see the progress and Ed provided the group with comic relief as only Ed is capable. 

Easter Sunday Peter filled nail holes and sanded them on the refrigerator car. In the evening Bill worked on the web page creating three new pages.

Monday March 28th, 2005 Bill picked up a steel corner bead and nailed it place and spent four hours preparing and taping drywall in the engine house. Jim and Bill determined where the electrical terminals would go on the box cab. Later Jim and Rob drilled and mounted them. Peter and William cut up three strips of oak for the roof of the refrigerator car. Gil and Rob took the body off 6109 to prepare it for painting.

Tuesday Bill connected a temporary pipe to route drainage water into the bush now that the snow is rapidly melting. Bill mixed more mud and taped for about seven hours. Gil, Rob and Jim took all the parts off 6109 making it ready to be stripped before painting. The chassis was put in the car barn.

Wednesday Vic, Gil, Ed, William and Bill stowed tools and supplies back in the maintenance building and carted out the drywall cut offs. Bill taped for about four hours. Gil is painting the window trim at home for the box cab. Peter, Ed and William started to cut ribs for the roof of the refrigerator car. Rob went around the new line with the shovel and stowed the snow blower in the storage shed. 

Thursday Jim painted the headlight for the box cab.  William and Peter screwed the refrigerator car roof frame together. Bill is getting to estimates on the stainless interior tank for the car.

Friday Bill spent 4.5 hours plastering the engine house putting on most of the final coats. Peter and Ed with assistance from William put on the roof deck for the refrigerator car and spread out the canvas top. Rob with his two kids were able to push a car around the new line for the first time since Jan. 2nd.

Saturday Bill updated the web page and spent 3.5 hours completing all the plastering. It is now ready for sanding but the crew of Rob, Vic and Gil took over the engine house for the stripping of 6109 and it is now well under way. On the refrigerator car David trimmed the canvas top, and Peter and David glued around the edges. Ed painted the inside of the roof white and the edging of the canvas top black. Peter Jackson painted two coats of black paint on the roof. Vic modified two hinged  stirrups for the side of 2365's tender and installed them. They work great and he will modify the next two at home. Vic purchased a new wheelbarrow for the AVR and Jim put it together with help from Barry. Richard packed up the figures and base for the two manger displays and put them away along with eight more candy canes. Bill and Richard removed the surplus six sheets of drywall from the engine house and moved it into the house for use on a repair project. Richard cleaned up the garbage and took it to the end of the road. Jim and Dwight spent the afternoon completing more of the box cab wiring. Ed and Peter Jackson removed all the snow switch covers and stowed them for the summer. Bill checked all culverts and they are flowing. 

Sunday April 3rd. Gil spent the afternoon doing more of the paint stripping on 6109 doing most of the left side. He found a layer of primer on steel that proved to be more difficult. On the box cab project Jim and Ed mounted the end sills. Jim, Peter Jackson and Ed measured for the coupler height and Barry drilled, tapped and mounted the couplers. On the refrigerator car Peter, Ed and Peter Jackson touched up some of the roof painting and started to fabricate the steel corner brackets and upper corner straps.

Monday Jim did some additional work on the box cab. Gil, Jim and Vic worked on stripping paint from 6109. Rob arrived in the afternoon and helped out and with Gil loaded the body of 6109 onto a flat car and put it in the car barn. Bill spent time in the morning and afternoon taking down Christmas displays, removing some 8,400 lights. Vic installed the second pair of foot stirrups on the tender of 2365. Peter went shopping for raw materials for the refrigerator car. Gil cut up roof walks for three cars. Bill now has two prices for the stainless tank for the car.

Tuesday Bill started sanding in the engine house. He spent 2.5 hours and has sanded all the walls and a start on the ceiling.  Gil started cutting the plywood door for the electrical panel and roof access. Rob checked the track and Jim is checking into painters for the locomotives.

Wednesday Vic and Gil started stripping paint from the inside of the water tanks on the tender for 2365. it will be re-painted with a harder two part epoxy paint that Cliff had provided. Bill spent 2.5 hours sanding the ceiling and will still need another hour.  Peter Jackson swept up the floor and trimmed the excess vapour barrier. Ed painted trim pieces for the refrigerator car. Peter did prep work on the car. 

Thursday April 7th, Bill picked up a 5 gal. pail of white primer for the engine house. Later in the day Bill spent another 1.5 hours completing the sanding so now the walls and ceiling can be dusted or vacuumed and then painted with primer. Gil dropped off his air compressor. Bill took down another 2,350 lights along with extension cords. Jim installed a cable holder under the box cab frame for the control harness. Peter and Rob paid a visit to the railway. Vic spent several hours locating primer for the tender of 2365. The members will be pleased to know that the outflow device in the station is once again functioning.

Friday Vic cleaned up some more paint in the tender and made it ready for new paint. Rob using a clean broom and the vacuum cleaned off the sanding dust in the engine house and with his power roller applied a coat of primer to the whole ceiling and half the walls. Bill walked the old and new line wrapping up extension cords, taking down candy canes, stars, angels and flamingos as well as light strings. Total lights taken down today 6,300. All arches on the railway have been disconnected and their lines are tied up ready for transport. A painter may come by the railway Saturday to look at 6109, it's riding car and the box cab.

Saturday April 9th, 2005 Bill prepared all 16 foot arches on the road, seven 12 foot arches and one 6 foot arch and took down all the string lights in the upper parking. Vic prepared the tender for primer and put on the vinyl wash primer by spray gun. Rob continued painting the engine house completing the walls. David & Ed painted the corners on ceilings and walls. Later David put on a second coat on the ceiling and walls. Len and Bill took the first train of the season out and picked up all the lights and displays that had been gathered up next to the rails. Vic mixed up the epoxy and Ed put on the first coat on the tender. Richard, Peter Jackson, Fred and Bill stored away upper and lower parking fences. All road arches that were prepared plus other object. A total of 10,100  lights were stored away. Brian helped with rolling up extension cords. Dwight installed a new high switch stand at the east end of Charleswood that he had built during the winter. He also installed a new cutting plate on the band saw. Repaired the east dwarf signal and other control items. Peter checked out a full scale refrigerator car for details and dimensions for the scale car under construction. He picked up more material and with David's help cut up more material.  Len purchased two nickel metal hydride chargers so that we can upgrade our batteries for the portable radios. 

Sunday Vic cleaned some material from the tender and later Ed gave it a second coat of the epoxy. Vic and Peter J. went and brought back Vic's 36 foot ladder to start working on the dead tree. Peter and David cut up and nailed in place the roof slats for the refrigerator car. Peter put on a coat of paint and re-painted the trim pieces. Bill got out 202 and six cars and gave his grand kids a ride. Little five year old Jessie got her second operator's lesson. Still to small for a solo but great on grandpa's knee. The front end of car 100 will need maintenance on the truck.

Monday Bill picked up 2 gal. of white ceiling paint.

Tuesday Jim did some wiring on the box cab. Gil started a clean up of the engine house.  For the last two days a Colorado Low rained on Winnipeg so much that the big culvert is flowing water again. At least the snow stayed south.

Wednesday Vic re-assembled the water pump and brake leaver linkage in the tender now that painting is complete. Gil completed the cutting and fitting of the door for the attic hatch and the electrical panel and gave them a coat of primer. Norm came by after a meeting in Winnipeg and painted the corner between wall and ceiling with white ceiling paint in the engine house. Peter painted the trim pieces with help from Norm and Ed on the refrigerator car. Bill repaired the pump that had seized up and once again water is moving east. Bill then moved rock to make a path between the new engine house and maintenance building. He then covered the mud with rock around the summer house path to the maintenance building. Bill got out the body of 6109 as the painter was to come by. Jim did some additional work on the box cab. Bill repaired the temporary heater for the engine house. 

Thursday Vic and Gil took down some branches off the dead oak tree but the wind came up and stopped the work. Gil adjusted the back door while Vic put in the outside plug receptacles and weather proof covers. Bill spent some time on taking down 3,200 Christmas lights and Jim did some more on the box cab. Rob painted one coat of paint on the ceiling in the engine house. The painter came by to look at 6109.

Friday April 15th, Rob put on the second coat of ceiling paint in the engine house. Bill purchased two gallons of light yellow paint for the walls and florescent light fixtures plus the baseboard heaters. Rob picked up the paint and applied it to the walls. Those checking it out decided that it does not need a second coat. Bill talked with the painter for the locomotives and he quoted a price for doing all painting. Peter and Ed worked on making a pattern for hinges and roof walk supports for the refrigerator car and later Peter made a mould so more can be cast. They cut and installed the top centre rib for the roof. Rob brought his family over and went around with a flat car. Bill and Rob removed a large Black Poplar tree that had fallen over the tracks on Thursday night. Bill brought in another 1,670 lights. 

Saturday Bill was up early and taking down Christmas lights. At Chapman the 22 wrapped trees were numbered and the lights strings were numbered to help next fall with setting up the display. Richard started moving the Ashdown display and Bill assisted with the larger buildings. Brian took the legs off the tabling and Bill and Richard carried it to storage. Bill took out the train and a trip was made to pick up lights and to tidy the upper storage building. Later Richard and Bill put away over 40 arches from the railway. Gil painted the attic cover and electrical cover and mounted them. Gil and Vic got the body from 6109 out and started body putty work and final clean up.  Gil was assisted by David and Ed. Vic went back to electrical and heater completion in the engine house and was assisted by Brian. The building's heaters are now functional. Peter went to work on his refrigerator car and with help from David and Ed cast the needed roof walk saddles and door hinges out of plastic. Barry and Maureen came to check on progress. Jim and Dwight completed all wiring on the box cab except the control harness. Dwight mounted a second high switch control mast at the station switch and repaired some switch points. Dwight re-mounted some refurbished track signs. It was a beautiful sunny day. 6,100 lights were put away till fall.

Sunday Gil spent the afternoon filling dints etc. on 6109 with body putty. Peter and Ed continued to cast parts. Peter is making sufficient for a box car and stock car. Bill stowed away all the lights and displays in the lower storage area now that the arches are in. 350 addition lights were taken down.

Monday Bill picked up two extra light fixtures, 14 duplex covers, five receptacles and some other supplies. Vic and Brian brought over Vic's tall step ladders to start putting up lights and completed the 12 foot light over the east work bench area. Remaining duplex plugs were wired and all covers installed. Jim worked on the box cab and gave a hand at wiring. Gil sanded and cleaned up the riding car for 6109. Bill worked on the computer getting pictures of the paint scheme for 6109.

Tuesday Peter and Ed completed casting roof saddles and screwed on the angle brackets on the corners of the refrigerator car. Gil and Jim cleaned off any rust on the box cab body. Bill started working on the April issue of the Nutty Report and took in 900 Christmas lights. He also cleaned up the area around the septic tank for the pump out truck that will be coming on Wednesday afternoon. He painted two paint samples for the painter. Vic came in the evening and installed the centre florescent fixtures in the engine house.

Wednesday Vic completed the mounting of the lights and had them all working. Ed put on the remaining corner brackets of the refrigerator car. Gil, Rob and Bill loaded the equipment going for painting. Brian secured a used propane tank cage for our fuel tanks and brought it to the railway. Bill put the posts and rails of the steaming bay back in place. Down in the basement HO railway two more lines were cleaned and made operational for a total to date of five. Two locomotives were lubricated.

Thursday Vic made three lift rings for 6109 and together with Gil took the body for 6109 and the box cab body along with 6109's riding out to Warren, Manitoba for painting.  Back at the railway the two cleaned up the south half of the engine house floor and sealed it with Welbond. It is ready for painting. Bill replaced the concrete sidewalk pavers on the septic tank. 

Friday Peter picked up floor paint. Bill completed five pages of the next Nutty Report. Hilt scanned Peter's three page report. Bill put the first coat of floor paint on the south side of the engine house. Peter did some levelling on the refrigerator car. Vic picked up a caddy for the table saw.

THE AVR WOULD LIKE TO THANK SUPERIOR PROPANE WHO HAVE DONATED A USED PROPANE TANK STORAGE CAGE FOR USE ON THE RAILWAY SO WE CAN STORE OUR FUEL IN A MORE SECURE MANNER.  

Saturday morning Bill put the second coat of floor paint on the south half of the engine house. He then made up a list of things to be done before the convention at the Victoria long weekend. Also a sign up list for club members to do different jobs. Richard, Peter J., Fred and Bill spent the afternoon taking down 12,150 Christmas lights. It is almost complete but a few remain in high water on the west side. Peter worked on the refrigerator car. Vic completed some outside electrical connections. Rob, Jim and Vic took loads of rock to Winch and started filling the spur track with rock. At about three most members present helped move all the material from the north side of the engine house to the newly painted south side. The floor was cleaned by David, Peter J. and Bill and then Bill put on a coat of sealer with Peter J. doing the edges with the brush. Dwight worked on the box cab with Jim and they mounted the controller cable and fixed it to the power bar. Dwight has made some significant modifications to the system to allow our common control units to be usable on the box cab. Dwight continued with his small trackside sign refurbishing and adjusted and checked track components. 

Sunday Bill put the first coat of floor paint on the north side of the engine house before church. Dwight came back to continue to fine tune the electrical controls on the box cab and was able to get it running on blocks. Bill cleaned up the grill and got it operational. Dwight and Bill lifted the box cab onto the rails and ran it out of the station. A riding car was attached and he ran it around both loops and determined that everything was working except a needed modification to the reverse system. Later Bill took it for a run with five cars and three passengers. It ran well and pulled the load up the hill in run six. It will be interesting to see what type of load it will pull. Later in the evening Bill put the second coat of paint on the floor in the engine house and cleaned up the rollers and tray.

Monday Jim did some more work on the box cab. He and Barry went for a ride behind #25. 

Tuesday Bill brought the cove material for the engine house. Peter added some trim to the refrigerator car.

Wednesday Bill picked up a new water pump. Peter and David worked on the refrigerator car, putting all the roof walk saddles and cutting and fitting the ice hatch platforms. Gil put casters on the six foot oak table that Bill had donated to the AVR. It will become a mobile work table in the machine shop. Peter J. cleaned up and organized the area behind the station for the propane cage. He then filled the area with rock while Bill levelled it off. Then the two placed two concrete slabs that will become the base for the propane cage.  Bill updated the web page. 

Thursday Rob used the leaf blower to clean track of winter junk and hazel nuts.

During the missing week Bill went to Vancouver and other did many tasks at the AVR which will be updated as soon as possible.

Wednesday  Vic worked the afternoon on 2365 preparing to mount the left hand valve extension that Cliff had provided. Peter and Ed cut and painted dimensional wood for the ice hatches on the refrigerator car. Later in the day David and Peter began mounting the parts. Bill started cleaning up the station, raking grass in front of the station and in the east yard. He ended the day by repairing and re-lamping 14 trail and coach lamps. Peter J. put a coat of rust paint on the propane cage.

Thursday Vic continued to work on the right hand injector water valve on 2365. Rob used the leaf blower to clear more debris and hazel nuts from the track. Gil used his sprayer to wash the outside of the station and under the canopy to remove dirt and cob webs. It looks great. Bill continued with yard raking and removing leaves. He also shovelled dirt off the lower parking area and gave it a good sweep removing a winters build up of debris. The steaming bay area was blown clear of leaves and gravel was cleared off the lift pad. After dark six trail lights were repaired.  Bill ordered for delivery on Saturday three sheets of 1/4 hard board for work benches. 1000 paving stones for sidewalks and some 4" culvert material. Peter went to check on the stainless tank for the refrigerator car. Len brought over the eight foot work bench that he is donating to the engine house.

Friday Vic continued to work on the injector plumbing on 2365. Peter purchased supplies for the refrigerator car and continued to mount parts. Bill purchased 10 new plastic lenses for yard pagoda lights and rebuilt six heads. Bill removed the sight glass and cleaned it and returned it to service. 

Saturday May 7th, 2005 Bill completed pages 2 to 6 for the next Nutty Report. He then went to work cleaning the station including counters, computer area, toilet and window and door frames. Len carried all the movable items to the engine house to clear the station floor. Brian helped with cleaning base boards. Bill using mope and pail cleaned the outside perimeter and north side plus washroom. He took the computer and printer apart and moved it. Later in the evening he painted a strip around the room plus the area under the desk for the computer and the north strip. Peter, David and Ed continued to work on the refrigerator with painting and mounting of ice roof hatch parts. Richard took garbage and junk to the end of the rood, took two new trees for Christmas displays to upper storage, transported the new 20' x 10' canopy down to the station and replaced 12 bad ties out on the railway. Gil and Bill moved the two cement sidewalk panels for the propane cage west and laid two more  for the fridge.  Bill, Vic, Gil and David moved the propane cage to its new home. Gil and Bill moved the fridge next to the cage and Brian plugged it in. Brian then cleaned the station plastic chairs. Gil screwed a new plywood top on the work bench that Len had donated. Vic completed the injector modification and then replaced the steam valve for the right hand injector. Dwight made up a jig for planting signal masts and then mounted the twelve masts that will be protecting the three mainline diamonds. Rob took his trailer full of junk the Vic had collected around the property and returned later with a load of 1/4" down for sidewalk repair. 

Sunday Bill painted the washroom before going to church. Peter worked on the refrigerator car. In the afternoon Bill serviced 2365 and brought her alive and noted several leaks that needed fixing and also noted that the three check valves had stuck open possible due to Denver water. Bill repaired the leaks and freed up the check valves and then tested the hand pump, both injectors, other valves and controls, safety controls and glass. After assuring that all was in order he went on a trip around the whole railway and put her to bed. 

Monday May 9th, Peter purchased 2 more gallons of floor paint. Gil painted Len's work bench and then mounted the two hardboard tops on both work benches. He added some extra strengthening members to the two benches. Peter and Ed continued work on the refrigerator car. Peter and Bill using Bill's van went out to Warren, Manitoba and brought back the bodies of 6109, its riding car and box cab 25. Back at the AVR Ed and Vic assisted in unloading. Bill washed most of the station floor and gave some parts a second coat and painted most of the remaining floor. Vic worked in the engine house during the evening cutting and gluing on the vinyl cove around the buildings parameter. Bill picked up 28 outside plastic chairs to add to the collection of seating.

Tuesday Peter and Ed worked on the refrigerator car. Vic and Gil worked on vinyl cove in the engine house and Vic completed the baseboards in the station washroom. Gil put for coats of Varathane on the two work benches.  Bill re vacuumed the station and rolled out the three locomotives and washed the floor where the locomotives were parked and then painted the entire floor.  Bill purchased 7 more plastic chairs.

Wednesday Peter, Gil, Jim, Ed and David worked on the box cab putting on the lettering and other trim like window and door frames, roof walks and other trim pieces. It looks very nice. Bill with help from Peter J. and Gil rolled 2365 over to the steaming bay and lifted her up to check the springs, bearings, drive rods and other running equipment as part of on going quality checks. Later Peter J. and Bill went around the railway and made sure all the tangents were straight. Peter, Ed and David continued to work on the refrigerator car. Later in the evening Bill and Barrie A. worked on the HO railway cleaning up the main yard, Testing the five operating trains and bringing the long mountain line on line so by midnight we could run six trains at one time plus part of the seventh line. 

Thursday Gil and Jim started putting 6109 back together with interior wiring harness and side vents. Vic took 202 to the hoist  with Richard's help and removed the front traction motor to find that the main gear had come loose. Vic cleaned it up and went home to do some machining. Richard replaced some ties. Bill picked up another 25 plastic chairs. Richard repaired the old canopy while Bill assembled the top frame for the new canopy. Richard and Bill put on the tarp and with Gil's help it was hoisted up. Richard and Bill completed it and moved tables and cooking equipment around. Vic returned and re-built the traction motor using other parts and Bill and Vic re-hung the front traction motor and re-assembled the brakes. Vic tested the locomotive. Bill dug a 12 foot trench for a 4" culvert under the sidewalk in preparation for the new paved sidewalk. 

Friday Bill printed up more literature on the railway. Gil continued to work on assembling parts on 6109. Rob checked out the power unit for 6109. Richard filled pot holes on the road and helped Bill lay paving stones on the main walkway. Richard moved all chairs and cleaned the old ones plus other cleaning. Peter got the gold lettering for 6109. Vic welded on the new brakes to the lift. 

Saturday May 14th Bill updated the web page and made up name badges. He then laid down a bunch of paving stones and interlaced them with the flower planter. Fred moved soil to along the edges to help bring the lawn to the paving stones. Vic assisted Peter with some caboose repairs. Bill assisted by Vic steamed up 2365 for a birthday party giving the group four double trips on the railway. Brian acted as station master during the runs. Vic and Bill then did two rock trains to supply more rock to the Winch spur. We were joined by Peter J. Two pails were left for the repair of a dip at mile 21.3 and three buckets were delivered to the loading spur to fix another dip. Vic supplied and made up a fan unit for 2365 to be used during steam up in place of air and it was successful tested and is much quieter then the air compressor.  Back in the engine house, Jim, Gil, Dwight, Peter, Ed, Fred and David continued to work on the completion of 6109, 25 and the refrigerator car. In the afternoon the great moment arrived when the body of 25 was mounted on the chassis and a train was made up and # 25 our Box Cab took 10 members around the railway on her maiden trip after completion. Brian was at the controls. It was a proud moment for Jim who had been the main mover on getting the project completed. His wife Carol came by to witness the event. Dwight started to mount the harness on the tethered riding car for 6109 and discovered the main frame had a small crack in the frame. Vic cut pieces of tubular steel and welded them on thus strengthening the structure. At about 4:30 John arrived from Tisdale with one of his Alan 10 wheelers and he was unloaded and steamed. John had brought his wife, daughter and son-in law. His locomotive was steamed and he tested her out with 2365 following behind. After several trips around nine members of the group went out for supper. Bill and Vic put the two steamers in the station overnight as it was supposed to freeze. Rob spent the afternoon with his son Joseph working on the Winch spur. He connected the first amount of track and spread rock on the balance ready for more track. The plan is to complete the first 40 feet of this spur before next weekend. 

Sunday John and his family steamed up the 10 wheeler and spent the morning steaming around before packing up for the trip back home. John had modified his burner over the winter and the results were successful as he was able to get good steam pressure. Bill and Len loaded 10 long tables loaned to us by Westminster United Church and they were unloaded by Bill, Peter J. and Gil at the AVR. Bill with assistance from Peter J. completed the sidewalk project and set up two temporary benches in the fire pit area to hold another twelve people. Jim put primer on the repaired area of the 6109 riding car. Bill racked leaves in the front yard while Peter J. assisted by Ed moved the leaves to the compost area. Ed put paint on some refrigerator car parts. Later Sunday some repairs were done to the caboose by Vic.

Monday Vic repaired the ladders on the caboose and later mounted them back on the car. He worked on the electrical and with Peter got all the lights working. Peter got Hilt to set type for the refrigerator car lettering. David completed the lettering on 6109 and the group put the body back on the chassis and ran it around the railway. We now have five functioning locomotives. Gil replaced marker lamp lenses on 6109 and 3001. Gil and Rob completed more track on the Winch spur so it can be used for switching on Sunday. Peter painted the ladders and hand rails on the caboose. Bill made three trips to the grocery store and has purchased many of the food items for Friday. Several more trips will be required. 

Tuesday Vic picked up wire grommets from Dwight and with Rob the riding car for 6109 was completed and attached. Peter continued with touch up paint on the caboose. Gil and Rob ballasted the area from mile 2 to mile 3.8 which Bill had leveled last fall. Rock in buckets was also left around the railway to back fill the station signs. Bill and Peter went by train and marked all the places were station signs would be placed. Bill set up two more benches for people using the extra paving stones. After scouts Bill picked up another load of groceries. 

Wednesday Bill picked up another load of groceries for the BBQ. At the railway Gil spent the day planting Peter's new station signs around the railway. Ed and Peter put up the five building signs as well as continuing to work on the refrigerator car. Richard completed the job of filling pot holes on the road and did a clean up of the area. Bill repaired super elevations on 100 feet of track at mile 22 and the inside siding at mile 35 to 36. Brian spread some ballast along the area. Peter J spent the afternoon cleaning the yard and was joined by Bill and Richard. Bill got the west fountain going. Bill set the railway for right hand running and ran 202 in both direction on the railway.  Gil later took out 6109 with his wife to show her the new signs. In the evening Bill and Barrie spent the evening till midnight cleaning and testing the HO railway.

Thursday May 19th, Bill did another grocery run and was joined at the AVR by Peter J. and his wife Rosemary who spent from 2 till 8 pm cutting, slicing and dicing vegetables for the BBQ while Bill made jellied salads, macaroni and tuna salad and two rice dishes for Friday, Peter came and cleaned up his tools in the engine house. Richard put on the track side water system and repaired leaks, he also repaired the rear sidewalk were the water system goes underground. He cleaned up garbage and tidied up more areas. 

Friday May 20th. Bill was up early to continue with food preparation. Gil and Rob repaired some cross elevation problems and a bit of ballasting. Richard worked with David, Barrie and Bill putting out tables and chairs. Vic, Jim and others helped with getting equipment out and ready. We were steamed and ready to go by 3:00 pm but delegates did not start to arrive until 4:30 pm.  In all we served over 260 people. The AVR members were joined by a half dozen WMRC members who helped cook. The following AVR members helped welcome people, run trains and serve food. Bill, Peter, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Barrie, David, Barry, Rob, Jim, Gil, Linda, Vic, Brian and Peter J..  The menu was Hamburgers, Chicken fingers, hot dogs, pork & beans and wieners, assorted cold cuts, Herring, fried rice, tuna & macaroni salad, assorted cut vegetables, black & green olives, assorted pickles, chips, cheese corn, pretzels, nacho chips, dip, rye bread, jellied fruit salad, jellied carrot salad, coffee, tea, lemonade, orange and soft drinks. It was a team effort as it came together thanks to all the help that members and friends put into the day and the lead up to the day.

Saturday was the second day of Golden Rails 2005 and many AVR members attended events.

Sunday afternoon and evening at the AVR was two sessions of what we called hands on where we operated a switching session on the railway. Each session was limited to 12 to 20 delegates. We ran four trains in both directions and picked up and dropped off equipment at the many spur tracks around the railway in the fashion of real railroading. Some of the delegates got to try their hand at operating several of our diesels. The delegates got to try switching and conductor duties on each train. The afternoon session lasted from 2:00 till 4:00 when the AVR put on a small BBQ for members and designates. At 6:00 the second session started with a new group of delegates. At about 8:30 we continued with night running on the line with two trains traveling in opposing directions. AVR members helping with the sessions were Bill, Peter, Ed, Dwight, Barry, David, Rob, Shirley, & Peter J.

Monday was Victoria day and a day off rest after the meet. Peter did some work on patterns for the refrigerator car. Bill worked on the computer sending out notices for the Dominion Day meet and he also cleaned up steamers, coffee pots and pans from the BBQ.

Tuesday the 82nd Beavers, Cubs and Scouts with about 50 people had their windup BBQ at the railway and Bill ran 3001 for train rides while Rob helped set up trains and changed bearings on one truck on the black gondola. After the group left Rob and Bill started the 200 hour inspection of 2365.

Wednesday Peter J. and Brian moved rock to the Old Fort spur and spread it. Peter continued to work on the refrigerator car making door stops and building a jig for side ladders. Rob replaced bearings on the caboose trucks. Bill and Rob continued on the 200 hour inspection of 2365 with an inspection of the fire box, crown sheet,  fusible plug, burners, upper burner grate, secondary air cover, burner holder rods, propane line, water lines, fire box arch and water glass openings. The arch was hard to remove and a call to Cliff resulted in a suggestion to boar the plate holes out over size or file down the pins in the drill press. It did not mater as either would make the parts looser. Peter suggested the latter method.

Thursday Bill updated the web page at his office as the station computer has a glitch. Peter completed a ladder for the refrigerator car and mounted it. 

Friday Peter continued on the refrigerator car and built a second side ladder and Ed painted the components. Bill continued with the web page and started to repair the failing computer. All important data was backed up.

Saturday Bill went to work restoring the main C drive. Richard, Bill and Gil took down the new canopy and moved the roof frame in front of the station for the Dominion Day meet. The tarps and poles were stored away. The ten borrowed table were loaded in the van. Richard moved the chairs to the driveway and he and Gil took the stove and other materials to the upper storage. Peter and Ed continued to work on the refrigerator car on ladder manufacturing and painting. Gil and Peter J. leveled the siding at Winch and laid down additional rock. Vic did some repairs on the caboose details and started the modification of the injector piping and water valve on the right hand side of 2365. Bill continued with the computer update and worked until 1:00 am. Dwight spent the afternoon trouble shooting some signal problems caused by wet weather.

Sunday Vic completed the caboose repairs and continued with the right hand injector plumbing on 2365. Bill with the help of Bradley returned the ten tables to the church. Peter fabricated the upper brake rods and links for the refrigerator car. Peter J. mounted the new brass bell on the boiler jacket of 2365. Bill spent the evening loading software into the computer. 

Monday Peter and Ed continued with the refrigerator car construction making and painting brake platform parts. Dwight came and replaced the circuit board in the east Charleswood switch. Craig a member of the AVR who lives in Texas came by with his wife Eileen and took her via box cab 25 on a trip around the railway. Vic completed the right hand injector modification on 2365. Bill replaced the fire box arch that Vic had made the pins smaller on at home. Peter made the pattern for the refrigerator car ice hatch latches. Bill armed with more software got the computer up and running and started to update the web page. 

Tuesday May 31st, 2005  Bill worked on the web in the morning. Peter worked on the refrigerator car. In the afternoon Bill leveled and set the elevation on both siding and main line at Old Fort in preparation for ballast. Bill re-set the elevations on the big curve north of mile 13 and started removing moss and old ballast from the tangent west of mile 13. for 35 feet. After 7:30 pm Bill took out #25 and the ballast hopper and completed 34 feet of new ballast from the north tangent through part of the big curve at mile 13.5. 

Wednesday Peter and Ed continued work on the refrigerator car with Peter staying late to work on patterns for door hardware. Vic and Gil took the body off 202 and removed all the windows and lighting harness. They also cut a slice off the stainless steel tank and lid for the refrigerator car to accommodate the hinge.  Peter J. pained the yoke of 2365's new bell. Bill and Peter J. spent the afternoon moving rock to the curve at mile 13 with #25 and the hopper. The whole area that was prepared is ballasted. Dwight studied and laid out templates in preparation for building the engine house spur switch. 

Thursday Peter made up another pattern and poured a mold of several patterns with RTV rubber.

Friday Bill ordered a truck load of 1/2 clean rock for ballasting. It arrived today. Peter with Ed's assistance continued working on the refrigerator car casting door hardware and starting the insulation. Gil commenced the dirty job of stripping 202 of her old colours and completed one side.

Saturday Bill completed page one of the "Nutty Report" and started the job of printing the issues. During this period in the morning he took out 2365 and brought her to life and made three successful loops of the railway. All appears to be working well. Bill then modified the open house sign for a Saturday open time of 11:00 am and repaired the hinges. The colour ink cartridge then needed refilling. Vic did an inspection of riding car 100. Len set up the metal cutting band saw with new parts and a new blade and trued everything up. Gil spent the afternoon removing paint from 202. Len and Vic ran the battery cable for car 100 under the frame and modified it as needed. Bill, Len and Vic continued to test 2365 with a number of trips. The locomotive was then taken to the steaming bay where David installed the two heralds on the panels on the cab and installed number and data on the rear of the tender. Bill, Richard and Peter J hauled rock with 25 to the main and siding at Old Fort completing the project. David and Peter worked on some castings for the refrigerator car. Four members stayed on for a BBQ. Bill continued to print Nutty Reports. 

Sunday Bill spent five hours completing the "Nutty Report" print run and stuffing envelopes. Peter and David continued work on the refrigerator car with completion of castings and insulating the car.

Monday Bill completed the envelopes and mailed out the "Nutty Report". Later Bill picked up three pinion and three bull gears that Vic had ordered for gear box rebuilding. Peter and Ed mounted the hinge on the refrigerator door roof. Gil continued to remove paint from 202. Bill updated the web and swept out the last bits of ballast at Old Fort. 

Tuesday Bill picked up the sound system for 202 along with spare brake castings and shoes. Peter worked on sizes of printing for the lettering on the refrigerator car. Rob continued to work on removing paint on the nose of 202. Bill updated the web and loaded pictures on the station computer.  Sixteen pictures were prepared for this web page. Dwight started work on the engine house switch. Gil spent more time removing paint on 202. 

Wednesday Bill purchased two new batteries for 3001 and with Peter J's help they were installed. While apart Peter J cleaned up some of the corrosion. The second set of batteries were topped up with water and put on charge. Gil and Rob continued on the paint removing on 202. Some of the paint was very stubborn. Vic started work on the sound system for 202 while Peter and Ed continued work on the refrigerator car. Bill worked on the web page. Gil returned in the evening and pressure washed 202.

Thursday Vic went to work assembling the sound system on 202. Rob continued with paint removal on the top hatches of 202 and Peter came in the evening to work on the refrigerator car. Bill cut the grass where it was not flooded. 

Friday Bill spent the afternoon cutting and trimming weeds around the station, along the tracks at mile 15 to 16 and from mile 6 west through Amur Glen and then around the Ghosty diamond area. Peter and Ed completed the hinge on the roof of the refrigerator car.

Saturday was our first open house day and while the June open house is usually not too busy the visitors were 50% more that last year. The rain held off until after 7:00 pm. Bill was up early and made a jellied salad, sliced onions, cut food and prepared the pork and beans and wieners.   Bill and Len steamed up 2365 and shared in its operation during the day. Rob worked as dispatcher and operated our second train along with Bill. Brian worked as station master with Ed assisting from time to time. Richard helped as conductor on 2365 and did some switching duties on 6109. During the open house Richard selected a series of switch ties so that Dwight could start building the switch for the engine house spur. Vic continued to work on 202's sound system. At 5:00 pm Bill started cooking chicken fingers, hamburgers and the beans and wieners. Helen prepared a cake and potato salad, Lisa prepared a tapioca pudding. The members only BBQ attended by about 18 members was in honour of Peter and Len's birthday. 

Sunday Bill updated the web page. Vic pulled out the equipment and with Bill steamed 2365 for a 1:00 pm start. A heavy rain fall over night brought the water at Ghosty Hollow and Duck Lake to the middle of the ties. Bill had walked the track in the morning and a slow order was posted from mile 8 to mile 12 due to high water. During the open house we had no problems in that area. Len and Rob operated 3001 when needed and Shirley was the station master. We had a 100% increase in passengers over last year.

Monday Vic worked on the sound system for 202. Bill brought a load of machine shop material to the AVR and Vic helped unload it.  Bill did some paperwork for the AVR and later got started on moss removal from mile 6 going north. Peter, Gil and Rob where by to line up work projects.

Tuesday Bill brought a second load of shelving and boxes of machine shop parts. He later cleaned up four shelving units and placed them on the south wall. Gil did some body putty work on 202 and Vic cleaned up the lath base and put it in place along with one shelving unit for lath parts. Bill went through all the boxes and sorted stuff onto shelves. Dwight and Bill took the new engine house switch out to its location and discussed how it would effect the platform and how to run the linkage. The city sent a crew to check our high water areas for mosquito larvae and found non.

Wednesday Peter spent the evening in the engine house mounting all the hinge, door latch and related hardware for the ice hatch doors on the refrigerator car. Gil spent time on 202 and Bill continued to clean moss off the line north of mile 6. 

Thursday Peter worked on door hardware for the main refrigerator plug doors. Vic borrowed 350 feet of flexible water hose and with help from Gil and Bill established a pump location at Duck Lake sending the water to Swan Drive storm sewer. Vic started working on a water pump for 2365. Gil checked the pump in the evening.

Friday Bill checked the pump and it had moved all the water on the east side of the line. The pump was moved to the west side of the line. Vic picked up more large hose and a large gas pump and with Gil they laid out more hose up to Ghosty Hollow and got the pump going. It moved a lot of water before Bill put it away for the night. Bill brought another van load of machine shop material and with Rob sorted it all out and put it on shelves. Peter worked on small latch parts for and refrigerator car and made up a new mold for small parts. Bill spent about two hours removing moss north of mile 6.

Saturday Vic came early and started the gas pump up and during the day he and Gil relocated the pump several times and lowered most of the water on the west side. Rob helped with the rolling up of hose at the end of the day and Richard helped with some digging. Starting at 1:00 pm Bill, Fred, Richard and Rob hauled rock with 3001 and removed and spread ballast from mile 6 north towards Creosote crossing. The line was also leveled at the same time. Dwight completed the engine house switch and spent the afternoon putting it in by the station. He removed paving stones and ballast and connected up the track. Gil continued on 202 with body putty and sanding and Vic took 2365 to the steaming bay for measurements.  Bill, Vic and Rob went down to Wall street and brought another load  of machine shop materials to the AVR including the lath, drill press and grinder. With Gil's help the equipment was set up on its stands. Bill and Rob sorted out some of the small parts. Peter made castings of his refrigerator door parts and cut up and painted a set of window trim for the north window. Bill updated the web page and closed all the gates. Carmelina came to check on our progress and Vic gave some casual visitors a train ride behind #25. The temperature went over 30 Celsius today.

Sunday Gil worked on #202 continuing to remove some stubborn paint areas and fill spots with body putty. Bill completed the moss removal on the old line up to Creosote Crossing. Peter worked on door latch parts for the refrigerator car.

Monday June 20th, 2005 Gil continued to work on #202 with detail work to the roof panels and body putty. Peter painted the ice hatch hardware and the door latch hardware. Bill spread three hopper cars of rock up to Creosote Crossing and tidied it up with shovel and broom. He then removed moss from 12 more feet between mile 6 and Amur Glen followed by sorting through more machine shop parts and equipment. Five purple blocks have been lifted from the big curve north of mile 6.

Tuesday Gil, Vic and Jim ran a couple of trains for a unit of the Red Hat Ladies.  Gil worked on 202, sanding and applying body putty. Vic worked on assembly of the lathe components and worked on the drill press. Bill removed the last 18 feet of moss east of Amur Glen and leveled the 30 foot section. He then re-leveled the "S" bend at Duck Lake and removed moss and leveled the next 35 feet to the south and removed moss from another 20 feet south. At Amur Glen on the siding 20 feet of moss was removed and cross elevation problems were fixed. Dwight adjusted the engine house switch and organized our rail stock. Bill started purchasing food supplies for the upcoming meet.

Wednesday Bill picked up 20 new safety chain hooks for spares and a box of bolts for 2365. He also loaded eleven more boxes of machine shop material. Vic worked on the lathe mounting it to its platform and setting up the drive motor. Bill and Len went through the boxes of machine shop parts and sorted and stored them away. Twenty boxes remain to come over plus the milling machine and stand. The members of the AVR will benefit by having this fine club facility available for railway related projects. Bill took #25 out to the area south of mile 10 and removed another 17 feet of moss making it ready for new ballast. Peter continued on the refrigerator car by affixing the side door latch assemblies complete with tiny padlocks on the main doors. All is now complete except for lettering. Peter nailed up the trim on the south window in the engine house.

A note to all AVR members:  There will be a BBQ at 6:00 pm after the Saturday Open House in July and August. It is included as part of membership. Guests are welcome at $4.00 each. R.S.V.P.  B.Y.O.B.

Thursday Bill ordered the air conditioner for the engine house.  Vic continued to work on the sound system for 202 and then started to disassemble traction motors. Bill cut grass in front of the station, yard, upper parking area, some trails and camping area.

Friday Bill picked the A/C up and when he and Gil opened it up we found its frame had been bent causing the fan to jam. Bill returned it to the dealer but was told that if we could fix it we could have it for $100.00.  Bill felt he could repair it and took it back to the engine house were with tools he pounded the frame back into shape and adjusted the other components and bench tested the unit. Gil continued to put body filler on 202 and sand it down. It has become a real labour of love for Gil. He will know every rivet on that locomotive.

Saturday Gil cut the opening for the A/C case and affixed it to the building. Gil, Bill and Fred hoisted it into place and Bill started it up. Gil continued to spend his time filling and sanding the body of 202. Fred and Dwight dismantled the old west Charleswood switch and other track components and laid out the rails and fastened them together for the spur to the engine house. Dwight lifted the paving stones where the track will run. Richard and Bill filled five train loads of rock and spread the ballast on 185 feet of track. The section from mile 11 back to 35 feet south of mile 10 was complete. The last 30 feet of track from mile 6 to the Amur Glen east switch was completed and the 20 feet on the siding on Amur Glen was completed. Peter and David completed the lettering on the refrigerator car after Hilt laid out the lettering and Peter had it made at Sign Express. The car looks great and will make a fine show car. Ed, Rob and Barry paid a visit to check on progress.

Thursday June 30th members of the AVR gathered to do last minute preparations for the meet. Barry and Vic set up the gas pump and hose at Ghosty Hollow as the rains on Wednesday had brought the water to rail height. At about 2:00 pm Whit arrived with his Pacific and a trailer full of equipment and five other guests. Unloading started immediately and soon after Barry arrived with his Pacific and the two locomotives were steamed at the bay while 2365 got steamed in front of the station. Supper was served in the engine house at 6:00 pm and consisted of baked pork chops, seasoned rice, vegetables, tossed salad and trimmings. The balance of the evening was used up with night running with four trains running in opposing directions.

Friday was Canada day and after breakfast of pancakes and sausage the delegates ran for fun. During this period all of the rolling stock was distributed around on the various spur tracks. One locomotive developed a tender truck bearing problem and emergency repairs were performed. After lunch of soup and sandwich the afternoon switching session started and continued until almost 7:00 pm when a BBQ was held with hamburgers, hot dogs, beans and wieners, chicken fingers and all the trimmings. Night running followed until quite late in the evening. A significant mile stone is that this meet marks the 10 th anniversary of the Assiniboine Valley Railway. Another significant event of the day was when Peter's refrigerator car was put on the track and had her maiden trip around the railway. She is a fine car that took a lot of effort by Peter and several members of the club under Peter's stewardship.  Well done.

Saturday breakfast consisted of Bacon & Eggs with hash browns. Locomotives were steamed up and cars were re-distributed to spurs and after a lunch of soup and sandwich at the afternoon switching program was held. Ed ran the card order and Whit dispatched trains and the railroad was run bi-directional as before but now each train also reversed its direction several times during the session so you never knew which direction you were going in. During the session one task was to get eight gons to Paterson for dinning tables and fetch all of Whit's cars for loading. At 6:00 the dinner train started with 16 seats. We needed three trains to complete feeding everyone. Food was served buffet style with delegates loading their plates and eating on route. The visitors from the USA were feed first so loading could commence while others were eating. The menu consisted of backed pork, spaghetti and meat sauce, jellied salad, pork and beans, macaroni and tuna salad, pickled hearing, tossed salad and all the extra trimmings. After supper loading was completed. The visitors got a look at the basement HO empire and left to see Ed's Layout and then off to the USA. Several members stayed back to clean up the food and store all the equipment away. 

Sunday a small group came for breakfast. Barry and Vic loaded and unloaded Barry's Pacific so repairs can be done. Vic moved the pump and hose to his car and we all owe Vic a debt of gratitude for lowering the water levels on the west side of the railway and showing us how it can be done. We will be purchasing 1.5 inch poly pipe to be permanently installed from Ghosty Hollow  with a "Tee" at Duck Lake to the storm sewer to the north as we are now draining all the back yards on the east side of Wexford and we need to deal with all this excess water. Bill, Len and David took 2365 to the steaming bay and put it on the lift and checked all the running gear and brake linkages. Special attention was paid to the leading trucks that needed to be well lubricated. The tender trucks got their periodic lubrication. Vic was able to get some inside measurements while on the lift.  David spent the day apprenticing with Bill on taking the steamer from cold to alive and then shutting her down after a run. Time was spent on instruction and demonstration on all the steps needed to safely operate the locomotive.   It is the hope that during the summer interested and qualified members of the AVR will become trained on operation of 2365. The training process will take several days for each member. David was a fast learner and after some solo time will be ready. The locomotive 2365 is owned jointly by Peter and Bill and while it is not a club locomotive Bill or Peter need others who are qualified and comfortable running it to spell off those who are the designated operators on any given day. The steamer is not like our diesels that can be started and stopped with a switch. The operators of the steamer need to work and hour before and after any running time.   Bill did the math on the food used on the weekend and we purchased $491.70 in supplies and meet attendees paid $497.00 so the planning was great as we try and make food at meets affordable and try not to have a surplus. 

Monday July 4th, 2005 Bill cleared moss, leveled and laid down ballast on 30 feet of track on the west side. Gil came to check 202, Peter came to see the progress on the west side. 

Tuesday Bill cleared moss for 42 feet completing the tangent and reaching the Ghosty Hollow curve. Thirty feet was leveled and ballasted. Six baby deer were spotted. Propane was purchased for 2365. More handouts were printed. 

Wednesday Gil spent the afternoon filling and sanding marks on the body of 202. He tried a new type of body putty. Vic steamed up 2365 so that Peter's sister could be taken on a ride behind the new steam engine. Vic took the first few trips and then Peter took the control and he let Ed take a couple of runs. Vic blew down and put her away. Bill went to work on the moss again and was joined by Len and together they worked around the big curve at Ghosty Hollow removing moss, leveling and ballasting. About 60 feet was completed. A small bridge was fabricated of angle iron to allow drainage. Several other dips were leveled. 

Saturday July 9th, 2005 Bill was on the line at 8:00 am with the rock train and leveled and ballasted the last prepared track at Ghosty Hollow. Four steel pegs were driven into the ground to stabilize the small bridge on the curve. Bill then got all the trains out. Len arrived and steamed up 2365 while Bill reversed 6109. It became a very hot and humid day with the humidex well over 100 degrees. The riders were steady all day but never a large crowd. Most people were really pleased by the railway and the service we offered. When rider ship warranted we ran opposing but mostly 3265 handled the visitors. At 6:00 pm the members had a BBQ followed by running for fun. David got his opportunity to run after  the public rides ended. The following members were at the railway and contributed, Bill, Peter, Len, Helen, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, David, Rob, Shirley, The kids, Fred and Christine.  Dwight repaired some signals and Richard replaced a number of bad ties. 

Sunday was our second day of the open house with the humidex over 100 degrees. The visitors were steady but in smaller quantity. The park next door was deserted as people looked for a cool place to be. The Railway was run by Jim, Rob, Ed, Bill, Shirley and Len. Jim fired 2365 and Bill blew her down. Gil worked on 202 for awhile and Peter started construction on the next two freight cars, an outside braced box car and stock car. Ed helped with bolster and coupler placement. Rob helped Peter cut one set of under body steel. 

Monday Gil and Jim completed the repairs to the ladder hand rails on 202. Peter cut the steel for the second car and machined some additional parts. Bill purchased four more 14' window moldings.

Tuesday Gil completed some gluing of parts on 202. Peter drilled and tapped the bolsters for the two cars. Metal parts were wire brushed ready for affixing to cars.

Wednesday Peter continued on the two show cars. Vic started work on the water pump modification on 2365 and ordered 500 feet of 1.5 " poly line for future west side water control. Gil continued to work on 202.

Thursday the poly pipe arrived at the AVR. Gil put the first coat of paint on the window trim. Peter screwed down the floor steel framing on the new cars. 

Friday July 15th 2005  Gil put a second coat of paint on the window trim. Bill purchased and picked up a 5 gal pail of steam oil. Peter and Ed spent some time on the two new cars. Bill cut the grass in front of the station and in the upper parking area. The walking trails are still too wet. Barry returned the axel pump that he had modified for Vic.

Saturday Bill took down the canopy frame from in front of the station. Using Round-Up Bill sprayed the whole railway line for weed control completing the job by noon. Richard cleaned up garbage while Bill updated the web page. The two put the canopy parts away. Bill, Richard and David took 2365 to adjust the suspension springs and to wipe down the locomotive. David, Peter and Ed continued work on the two cars while, Richard, Fred, Gil and Bill removed moss and re-elevated and spread new ballast on the next 40 feet of track at Ghosty Hollow. Peter had his nephew and wife come by and Ed gave them a train ride behind 3001.  

Sunday July 17 Bill checked the AVR lines and area to see what the previous night and morning thunder storm had done at the railway. Winds exceeded 100 KM per hour. In the station area the live ash tree between the station and engine house had a main trunk failure about nine feet up and the top while still attached to the trunk is at 90 degrees missing the engine house but falling into the trees to the south. It is not savable. The fabric of the canopy has about 20 feet of rips in it.  A small branch of the maple tree to the north side of the engine house has broken off taking a live branch of an apple tree with it. Damage is minimal and missed all buildings. A dead branch of an ash tree to the west of the station is resting on the station roof but did no damage. Along the sidewalk the dead crown of the failing Siberian Elm has come down saving the work of removing it. It did no damage to the surroundings. A dead poplar tree in the front yard came down damaging a pagoda light but no other damage. On the line a crown of an Ash tree came down on the track at mile 16.5 but did no damage. Two people can move it. The culvert at this location is fully active. The water at Ghosty Hollow is one inch from rail head.  At the north end of Chapman there are two live poplars down over the track. One fell on top of another and will need a chain saw. The bottom tree may be saved.  The culvert at the east tunnel is 60 % active. A dead poplar needing a chain saw is down at mile 3 doing no damage. The small culvert at mile 36 was cleared and is fully active. There are several dead poplars down over the nature trails but as these trails are under water it appears unlikely that the downed trees will stop any hikers.  The dead oak in front of the station that is scheduled for removal has a couple of broken top branches, these should be looked at. There are hundreds of small deed branches on the track but these are of not concern other that removing. There may be a tree down along the main road but this has not been confirmed. In all the only serious loss is that of the ash tree leaning over the canopy.  The old information kiosk at Amur Glen has been toppled over and its roof broken. This should not be hard to fix. At 10:00 am it is still raining lightly. After lunch Gil came by with his chain saw but after consultation with other members it was decided to let the fellow who was to take out the dead oak  also take out the ash tree. Peter, David and Ed continued to work on the two cars. David worked on trucks. The under frame parts were all removed and painted along with the two bases plates. Bill went on the roof of the engine house and took off loose limbs and inspected it for damage from the ash and reported that there was non. Barry came by and checked out car construction and also machine shop parts. 

Monday Bill found some time to cut all the wood up from the old roof deck for firewood and also fill a wheelbarrow with small branches from the storm. Peter and Ed continued work on the two cars.

Tuesday July 19th Peter and Ed worked on the two cars painting truck components and assembling the car floors. 

Wednesday Peter continued painting and assembling car parts. Jim repaired the bent ladder on the box cab and gave Peter a hand. Dwight removed the frog from the station lead switch and filed it so the adjoining rails would mate better. Peter worked on couplers with Dwight giving and hand to the project.

Thursday Peter and Ed continued on the car project.

Friday Peter filed, adjusted and assembled the couplers and mounted them on the car floors. Vic came for all the new axel pump parts so he could work on them at home. 

Saturday July 23rd, Vic took 2365 to the steaming bay with 3001 and started the work of mounting the axel pump and eccentrics on the locomotive. Richard and Fred spent the day removing fallen trees and branches from the railway and then started to work on the big ash tree near the engine house. The steel canopy was dismantled by Richard, Fred, Vic, Ed and Peter. The large tarp was put in the garbage as the falling ash tree had destroyed it. 

Sunday Vic took 2365 to the lift with 3001 and spent the day working on the axel pump mountings. Peter made up colour samples for the painter who will paint 202. He also worked on the new cars. 

Monday Gil with his chain saw cut the lower branches off the fallen ash tree and then Vic went to work on the tree. Both Gil and Vic cut away until the tree was cut into manageable pieces. It is a welcome relief to know the tree will not do further damage. Peter spent his time scribing board lines on the car sides and ends.

Tuesday Peter made copies of 202 painting pictures for the painter.

Wednesday July 27th Vic took 2365 to the lift with 3001 and continued the challenging job of fitting the pump and working out the piping problems. Peter completed the scribing on the car sides and ends both inside and out. Ed and Peter put masking tape around the west face of the engine house and Ed started painting it to match the station. Gil nailed on some of the molding around the windows and back door inside the engine house.

Thursday Gil completed the molding including around the new air conditioner. Peter worked on the cars. Bill visited the restored passenger cars and re-built Royal Alexander Room in the museum in Cranbrook, B.C.

Friday Peter and Gil took the body of 202 out to Warren, Manitoba to the painter. Ed completed the painting on the west face of the engine house. Vic drilled and put in set screws in the eight wheel sets for the two new cars. Peter using the router cut the side doors on the box car and end doors in the stock car and then cleaned up. The sides and ends were given a coat of shellac.

Saturday July 30th, Vic continued to work on 2365. Peter picked up more supplies for the two cars. Gil and Fred cleaned up the smaller ash branches and raked up the area. Peter sanded the car sides and ends and applied a second coat of shellac. Peter and Ed marked out the centre line of the engine house spur. David and Fred did a primary survey of the 41 ft spur. Fred and David surveyed and put in elevation stakes for a climb of 1.3%.  Peter sanded the sides again and Ed gave them a coat of paint. Bill rode the steam train in Heritage Park in Calgary and noted after visiting the cab that they used two injectors on their full sized 0-6-0. They have a nice collection of full size work equipment and passenger cars in the roundhouse and car barn.

Sunday Vic spent the day working on the pump plumbing and valve placement on 2365. Ed put a second coat of paint on the sides of the two new cars. Bill visited the club in Airdrie, Alberta to talk about the plans for next years ramble from Train Mountain and to see their progress. 

Monday August 1st. Vic spent the day working on the valve and hose connections on 2365 in the station. David brought a friend Morey and together with Vic's instructions modified and assembled the four sets of trucks. The two then cut and formed on the table saw the two top stringers for the box car sides and glued them to the walls.  Bill and Mary-Lou returned home after a two week western trip.

Tuesday Ed masked the north face of the engine house and with Peter's assistance painted it. Peter, Ed and Bill did a trial fit of the walls and ends of the box car. Bill cleared up e-mail.

Wednesday Vic completed the piping on the steamer for the axel pump and fired her up and made about 10 loops adjusting for the correct flow. Bill took her around for several loops and noted that it worked well and that Vic had done a good job. The axel pump was primarily added as Peter felt it would be nicer for him to operate and he then did a couple of trips and decided that the effort was indeed easier for him to run. The locomotive now has four means of putting water in the boiler. The piping is set so that the axel pump can be put on or off depending on the wish of the operator. Those who like using the injectors can continue to do so. It was noted that when in the station the injectors are essential. Vic has done a great job installing the pump for Peter and it will add an extra feature to the locomotive. Len helped with car floor moving and putting away templates.  Peter, Bill, Vic and Dwight had a discussion about the bridge and track work to the engine house and it was decided that Dwight would build it out of 2 x 6 for now with possible steel or aluminum in the future as we see how the ground shifts over the winter. The steel channel on hand was dug out and Vic will design two dollies for initial locomotive storage. Vic, Dwight and Bill moved the 500 foot of poly pipe to Ash grove for eventual use to pump out the west side. Peter put coats of shellac on the top side of the new cars.  Bill updated the web site and replied to phone calls on AVR business. 

Thursday Bill started to dig off the overburden and insulation from the service line to the station and uncovered 22 feet of the line behind the dog house. Peter continued work on the two cars, testing the trucks on the floors and cutting "Z" bracing for the sides.

Friday Vic re-configured our two wheeled wheelbarrow into a one wheel standard unit as non of the members found the two wheel model to work well. We now have three working units. Len found a fairly new  air compressor with 30 gallon tank. Peter filed, trimmed and adjusted more "Z" bracing for the box car. Bill dug the top soil of more of the service line from the station. Forty feet is now clear. 

Saturday Bill dug 14 for feet of the service line between the track and the house as well as evicting a family of wasps during the cool of the morning. The next project was to blow twigs and debris off about 1800 feet of track. While on this project a test of the water system was performed and a leak was detected near mile 30. Len brought over the newly acquired air compressor and replaced its air filter and tested out the system Rob took out #25 and Peter's refrigerator car and the group of us went out to Amur Glen and took some builders pictures. Peter taking Photos and Bill taking digital. Bill then started removing moss from mile 11 heading north to mile 12. Once Len was finished with the air compressor he joined on the moss detail and 47 feet was cleared. David and Peter worked on the outside braced box car and drilled all the holes in the bracing to be affixed to the side of the car and Peter painted the items.

Sunday Bill had the flue. Peter worked on the cars with more cutting, painting and trimming. 

Monday Vic was over early to fire up 2365 for a youth group special event and was joined by Peter and Ed. The little kids enjoyed the rides. Peter spent the afternoon making two master patterns for moulds to make up gusset plated for the car bracing. Bill brought the web page up to date.

Tuesday Vic sheared and bent additional angel strips for Peter's cars. Rob, Vic, Ed and Peter got out a train for a youth group coming in the afternoon. Rob hauled the initial rock for the engine house spur and laid it down. Jim took the box cab to the lift and added nylon washers to the trucks and serviced and lubricated the mechanical parts. The front step was repaired and later #25 was tested. Peter completed a third master pattern and made a mould of parts.  Vic and Bill spent several hours working out the dimensions for the engine house locomotive rack and lower level dollies.

Wednesday Ed started painting the south face of the engine house and completed the first third, Peter spent the day casting pieces for the outside bracing for his box car and stock car. Dwight picked up the lumber for the bridge into the engine house and assembled the west end platform complete with ties and creosote. Bill cut the grass in front of the station, along the road, in the upper parking area and for the first time this year along the nature trails that are at last dry enough to travel on. Lots of dead trees were moved from the trails due to high winds.

Friday August 12th. Ed completed the painting on the south face of the engine house. Vic cut up the steel for two of the storage dollies that will hold locomotives in the engine house. Rob started laying track on the engine house spur and completed it to where Dwight's bridge will carry on. Dwight put the long part of the bridge together and creosoted it.  Peter continued on the box car and supervised jobs. Dwight worked on the signal system. Bill got supplies for the BBQ.

Saturday was the first day of the August open house. The trains were operated by Vic, Len, Rob, Fred, Richard and Bill. Ed started painting the east face of the engine house and Peter worked on small parts for the box car. After the public run we had a members BBQ outside the station. Vic replaced the valves in the locomotive cylinder cock valves. 

Sunday was a busier day at the open house and the railway was operated by Vic, Len, Rob, Ed and Bill. Peter completed painting the gussets and drilled 100s of holes for the outside bracing.

Monday August 15th, Bill picked up 100 feet of poly 3/4" air line and three sheets of Styrofoam for the underground. Peter worked on a few parts for the box car. Bill spent five hours wire brushing the steel for two dollies. 

Tuesday Peter made up some more parts for the box car. Ed completed the painting of the east side of the engine house. Then he put primer on the dollies steel. Vic welded the spacers onto the long steel channels and picked up primer and steel for the wheel brackets and pushing bars. Bill started work on the next "Nutty Report"

Wednesday Bill completed the "Nutty Report" and Peter did the proof reading. The printing process started. Ed painted the small north face of the Engine House and Peter worked on "Z" bracing pieces for the box car. Len and Bill transported all the remaining machine shop supplies to the engine house and Bill sorted our six boxes of parts. Ed helped with moving equipment and boxes with Len into the shop. Dwight screwed on all the ties on the wood bridge and put on the rails. 

Thursday Vic spend the day working on the dollies by cutting steel and welding on one set of wheels. Peter painted some "Z" bracing and gave his nephew and his children a train ride. Bill printed and stapled "Nutty Reports", hauled scrap wood for fire pit and made up kindling from branches. He also replace the first section of the front sidewalk. 

Friday Bill mailed out the "Nutty Reports".  Ed and Peter completed the painting of the last wall of the engine house and then continued with the box car by completing the painting of the steel bracing. Last painting project was the steel for the two dollies.  Locomotive 2365 has now been in steam for 282 hours and Bill took her with 3001 to the lift for the start of some routine maintenance. First task was to check all parts for tightness and then to insure that all equalizing springs were in place and tight. An adjustment was made to put additional weight on the pilot truck and it was well lubricated. Next task was to service the brake cylinder and replace its o-rings. The side skirts, running board, injector feed line and lubricating pump were removed to allow access to the cylinder. The service will continue in the future. 

Saturday Aug 20th Bill did more work on the front side walk and Richard, who came early giving a hand. The two then went to work completing the excavation of the service line removing all soil except under three tracks which will be lifted next Saturday. Barry helped for awhile with the digging. Ed and Peter fastened on the "Z" bracing on one side and two ends and Rob completed the remaining side and with Peter assembled three parts onto the base. The outside braced or single sheathed "Fowler" car is coming on well. At 3:00 pm Richard got out 3001 and 6109 and made up two trains for a private charter of 24 people plus a casual group of seven people. We ran trains with opposing movements for the charter group with Rob, Richard and Bill running the railway. After the rides a tour of the facilities was offered and Rob and Bill put away the equipment. Later Bill and Gil sorted out about six boxes of machine shop parts onto shelves and disposed of un-needed materials. Work ended about 10:30 pm and Bill updated the web page.

Sunday Bill propped up the fence that the wind of several weeks ago had blown over. Rob came with his wife and kids to pose some pictures of the caboose and refrigerator car. Bill made up legs and tops and nailed together seven benches for the two BBQ areas. Five 5 foot units, one 6 foot and one 7 foot bench. Barry and Bill loaded four gondolas that are being loaned to the Manitoba Live Steamers for their meet next weekend. The AVR crew is going to replace the service line to the station on Saturday. Bill completed part two of the front sidewalk and has started to remove stones on part three.

Monday Peter and Rob completed the fastening of the second side on the box car. 

Tuesday Gil and Bill marked the course for the drain pipe from Duck Lake to the storm sewer. Vic made up the steel push arches for the dollies and started welding dolly #2. Gil cut the top off the plastic barrel that will be used as a sump at Duck Lake. Bill with 3001 took 2365 to the lift and removed the brake piston and took it apart for cleaning and replaced the o-ring, cleaned and lubricated it but the light failed so re-assembly will occur on another day. 

Wednesday Peter and Rob nailed on with hundreds of brads the four steel corner angles for the box car. Rob and Joseph lifted one of the three tracks where the service line will be replaced. Dwight completed the service track to the engine house and tested it with #25. Vic completed the welding on the first dollies and it was transported by rail to the engine house. Due to concerns about the outside concrete pad shifting Gill and Bill added spacers and did a successful test fit. Vic ordered the heat tape for the service line. Bill put the train away and updated the web. 

Thursday Bill picked up the heat tape, plumbing fittings and water line. Ed removed masking tape from the engine house. Rob and Joseph removed the second track over the service trench and disconnected the switch to the new line that will be lifted on Saturday. Bill with help from Rob and Ed moved 2365 into the engine house onto Vic's dollies for the first time. Bill then replaced the brake piston and lubricating pump and re-assembled the side skirts of the locomotive. It will mark the first time a steam locomotive has been repaired in the engine house. Peter cut the central stringer and the eight ribs for the roof of the box car and beveled the stringer. 

Friday Aug 26th, Peter cut out the notch for the stringer on all the roof ribs for the box car. Bill picked up AVR supplies and worked on the front side walk.

Saturday Bill started disconnecting services to the station and dug the material under the two tracks of the old line. Gil disconnected wires that needed removal. When Richard arrived the switch was moved and that material was removed and the whole service bundle was moved out of the trench. Gil and Richard dug the trench deeper to allow for extra insulation while Bill cut strips of Styrofoam. Vic connected the ends on the new heat tape while Richard and Bill removed the old tape. The first section was then replaced with Bill and Richard and some assistance from Rob. The rubber insulation was replaced. Then Bill, Gil and Richard continued with the north south part of the line with some assistance from Dwight. A Styrofoam box was made on the 16 feet under the rails and while Bill held the structure together Gil and Dwight backfilled the area. The remaining line will be done later.  Bill made the service connections and restored the services to the station. Dwight repaired a water leak. Bill continued the backfilling and Dwight and Bill replaced the tracks and switch and tied it back into the system. Bill re screwed all track while Dwight replaced the signal ties. The system was tested. In other areas Vic, Gil, Dwight and Rob rolled out the 500 foot role of 2" pipe to make it possible to drain the west side in the future. Vic worked on the second dollies and later helped Peter screw together the roof ribs and main stringer on the box car roof.  Dwight did more repairs to the signal system to repair a previous lightning strike. Bob and Vic filled Robs trailer with some refuse from the area. Richard cleaned up garbage and took the extra boxes from machine shop parts to the road for pick up. It was a very productive day.

Sunday Vic, Rob, Shirley and the kids and Bill went over to Red River's meet and had a restful afternoon. Rob transported the four gondolas home and they were unloaded. Peter and Ed cut the roof pieces for the box car and Peter shellacked them and then cut out, mounted and painted the two gable ends. Bill transported with #25 a total of 24 pails of rock to re-ballast the lines taken out on Saturday.  

Monday Jim gave a group of tourists from Colorado a ride on the AVR and they were very pleased. Jim oiled the bearings on #25. Bill using #25 hauled 18 pails of ballast and repaired elevation problems on both sides of the switch on the siding at Chapman, a dip at mile 33 and 10 foot of elevation problems north of the level crossing at 33.2, a cross elevation problem south of the old fort west switch, the 20 ft connections to the switch to the spur at Winch, a dip at mile 25.4. The end of the Charleswood spur was returned to its place. Twelve trail lights damaged by deer were repaired.

Tuesday Ed and Peter scribed lines on the roof panels and fastened them on to the box car. Bill removed 350 paving stones in front of the station, added more sand and re-laid them to best utilize the new track to the engine house. He then leveled and laid 350 new paving stones along the walk to the engine house. We will need more to complete the job but the 2005 budget has run out. Bradley helped with about 200 of the stones. 

Wednesday August 31st. Peter and Ed cut up the fascia boards for the boxcar and painted them and also painted the roof. Peter prepared the roof walk saddles and glued them on. The fascias were fastened onto the car with glue and small brads. Vic worked on the second dolly preparing the caster mounts. Len set up the milling machine and gave Bill a short demonstration showing how it and the lath worked. Bill assisted by Len removed the smock box cover of 2365 and inspected it and found all in order and re-assembled it. Bill moved benches and completed the front sidewalk.

Friday Dwight replaced or repaired all circuit boards in the signal system and detected evidence that the system was hit by lightning.

Saturday Richard and Fred cleaned up the new BBQ area at the cub camp with rock under the concrete fire ring and transported the three new benches to the site. Their next project was replacing old ties in various places. They replaced the flood lights at the back of the station and cleaned up the rail near the engine house and transported the extra tie panels to Winch. Dwight replaced some defective LEDs on the signal system and ballasted the spur to the engine house with material transported by Rob and Joseph.  Rob also nailed on the trim around the east vent on the engine house. Peter and Ed did some painting on the box car and started the cleanup of the engine house. Vic completed the machining on the eight caster supports for the next two dollies. Bill took a visit to the National Historic Elevator site in Inglis, Manitoba and took over 100 pictures of the five elevators in the display concentrating on construction details of the Paterson Elevator as it is like the one the AVR will build. 

Sunday Vic, Ed and Peter cleaned up the engine house and fastened on the roof walks to the box car along with its trucks so the car can be put in the car barn. Bill brought the web page up to date and took dinner train reservations. 

Monday Bill repaired cross elevation problems at the following locations, south of the switch at mile 35, south of the level crossing at 33.2, the section east of the level crossing at mile 30 to the diamond, the section  at mile 4.8 to the diamond, the curve at mile 9 through Ghosty Hollow and mile 28.7 from the tunnel mouth to the bridge. Next project was to level the 47 prepared area north of mile 11 and then put ballast on it. Next 33 feet of track from mile 13.4 going west was cleared of moss, leveled and ballasted. Vic and Bill discussed construction details on the second dolly and then tested the method of cutting paving stones.  Bill and Peter went over projects and the interim financial report that Bill had prepared. 

Tuesday Sept 6th Bill purchased two new batteries for 3001 for either inside or on the riding car. When the original main line was built in 1996 and 1997 we chose 1/4 inch down to fins limestone as our ballast. The track ties were laid on 3/4inch clean lime stone with the ballast on top. This material proved to get very hard during dry weather however when it got wet it held water and over the years this has led to the growth of moss and is harder on the ties. Peter suggested that this might be a problem so starting in 2004 the AVR started to replace the top layer of ballast by digging it out along with the moss. This material is then used to widen the roadbed. In its place new 1/2 inch clean limestone is spread to form the new ballast. The process is slow but effective. While we do this we re-level the track trying to remove dips and elevation problems.  Today Bill removed 27 feet of moss and old ballast and re-spread 25 feet of new ballast. Ed loaded the rock train for the project after giving his three grandkids train rides. 

Wednesday was a productive day at the AVR. Vic spent the afternoon welding the second dolly together at the steaming bay area. Bill did the first shopping spree for food supplies. Gil and Richard dug the 45 gal drum size hole at Duck Lake to bury the container that will be used as a pump sump for our water control project. Bill and Jim cleaned moss and ballast off 42 feet of track at Deer Trails. Gil, Richard and Ed brought a train load of rock to be used under the sump and to do 30 feet of ballasting. Bill swept the ballast out while Richard replaced some bad ties. Gill backfilled the drum. Gil, Richard and Bill transported the dolly by train from the steaming bay to the engine house. Ed put on the casters and painted the underside of the dolly to protect the welds. Dwight spent time adjusting and testing the signal system. 

Thursday Gil cut out a round cover for the sump and made up a circle of screen from the material that Len had provided. In the evening Gil, Rob, Len and Bill put the new batteries in 3001, watered and cleaned the older batteries, did battery maintenance on 6109 and put everything on charge.

Friday Vic replaced the valve stem in #2365 that John Wood had machined for the left hand check valve. He also found the check was stuck and he cleared it up. Vic then started to work on the material to allow the air line to be run from the maintenance building to the engine house and made final adjustments to the second dolly.  Bill worked on the web page and dinner train reservations. Bill got gas for 6109 in case we need the back up generator.  He used the leaf blower on about 2800 feet of main line. Gil put new lid on sump and set up debris fence.

Saturday Sept 10, Open House day Bill put away dishes,  tidied up chargers and got out the cars and diesels.  Bill, Len and Vic steamed 2365. David did his first public run with the steamer. Bill and Gil cut up Styrofoam for 16 feet of backfilling on the service line and this was completed by Richard and Gil. Barry brought in his steamer which was put into the engine house with help from Vic. Members running the open house were Vic, Bill, Gil, Fred, Len, Richard, David and Dwight. Rob took the AVR caboose to the museum at the Via Station for their display and handed out literature. Richard connected the end of the spur at Charleswood and with Gil got some additional ballast for it.

Sunday Sept 11th, Bill fired up 2365 before church and Vic completed the process for a 1:00 pm start of the open house. Vic and Gil repaired the back door of the engine house that had been sticking and got out the remaining equipment. The railway was run with the help of the following members, Vic, Gil, Rob, Robert, Barry, Ed, Len and Bill. Barry steamed up his locomotive and ran a few laps behind 2365. 

Monday Bill picked up 200 paving stones to complete the trail to the engine house and three sheets of Styrofoam for the underground. Gil unload and position the material. Bill cleaned the fridge and filled the ketchup and mustard containers for the dinner train. Rob picked up his trailer and brought back a load of 1/4 down to be used as grit for the Christmas run and to complete this year's paving project. News on #202 and the re-paint. As of Friday the first coat was complete and it is expected to be complete by next week. Bill added a page on the web on the new box car.

Tuesday Bill re-built ten heads for the pagoda trail lighting that deer had broken. One power transformer and one power outlet duplex were repaired and 16 trail lights were repaired. 

Wednesday Vic started to run the line for compressed air in the engine house from the compressor that will be located in the maintenance building. Richard and Bill cleaned up the station by washing the floors, cleaning walls and setting up tables for food preparation. Bill and Richard then completed the paving stones to the engine house and spread 1/4 down material at the sides. Len cleaned up the counter and washroom sink along with a shelf over his work table. Vic and Len ran more air lines and with Dwight's help moved the large drill press from the maintenance building to the engine house. Bill cleaned up the floor in the engine house and then repaired another twelve trail lights and one corroded cable.  Jim used the leaf blower on the new line to remove twigs and downed leafs.

Thursday Bill made two trips to the store for Dinner Train supplies. Ed painted the handles on the two dollies. Bill put table cloths on the prep tables and brought out dishes and other supplies.  The body of 202 is painted and ready for pick up. 

Friday Vic continued to work on the air line into the maintenance building where the compressor will be located to keep the noise out of the engine house. Bill did a last grocery run for the Dinner Train and also picked up ice and filled up the new insulated refrigerator car. It took 120 lb of ice. Bill spent the afternoon making macaroni and tuna salad. Then he completed the paperwork for the dinner train and did two loads of table cloths so extras would be available. The Christmas staff list was made up. Two new things for this year. Jobs are no longer defined on the list. It will be up to the members to rotate through the tasks based on ability and desire on any given night to give all a chance at different jobs. The second change will be an average passenger count from the last four years to give us an idea about how many people we might need. The temperature of the day will need to be taken into consideration as well. 

Saturday September 17th, first day of the Dinner Train. It rained hard over night. Bill got out cutlery and supplies early. Effectively the 8th annual dinner train is a sellout. We could add a few by increasing seating on some trains from 14 to 16 which is our maximum as we only have eight tables. We have room on 13 trains for 182 people. With some trains having 16 people we have reservations as of 7:30 am of 193 diners. With four extra tables, a new menu and two sections of 12 each we could in future years expand that number to 312 diners. People have suggested that we run it on several weekends but the current view is that as a non profit, volunteer club once a year becomes a fundraiser and fun event. If we did it more than once in a year it would become a job and take too much of our volunteer time so it will remain "annual".  Len, Bill and Marietta spent the morning preparing vegetables while Richard and Rob got tables out and equipment. Vic steamed 2365 for display and spent time on the air system and also picked up fittings for the west side pump out system. Bill did the grill cooking while Len prepared salads, dinner palates and desserts. The following members waited tables, ran trains and generally made the event come together, Gil, Ed, Dwight, Richard, Marietta, Rob, Vic and Fred.  Bill did the dishes and laundered the table cloths. 

Sunday Bill carried out the dishes to the station and folded all the table cloths. Len and Bill then did a session of vegetable preparation before church. Vic and Rob got the trains out and we ran the second day of the Dinner Train plus a casual train for non diners. The weather was great with lots of sun. We had the largest group in eight years with all Sunday trains completely full. We had 114 non member adults, 52 children and 34 members eat on the train along with a half dozen infants. Vic completed the assembly of the pump, check valve and disconnect for Duck Lake and installed it there so we are prepared for high water. The following members worked on the dinner train and casual train on Sunday, Bill, Len, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Barrie, Rob, Shirley, Jim, Gil and Alice. It was a successful fundraiser for the club and a great chance to all get together in a hard working but fun weekend.

Monday Gil and Linda went out to Warren and picked up the body for 202 from the painter and returned it to Winnipeg. Rob helped unload it into the engine house. Bill and Rob unloaded the back seats from Bill's van and loaded the engine rack. Next the trailer was put into location for loading.  Bill removed the safety valves from 2365 and performed a hydro test on the boiler to 185 psi and noted two hand vales leaking at the packing. These were replaced and the test was completed. The locomotive was re-assembled and brought up to operating pressure. Bill bolted down the engine rack in the van. Vic made up a fitting for the steamer at his home machine shop. 

Tuesday Bill, Rob and Jim loaded the trailer with 10 long gons, 1 short gone, the riding car for 3001 and 3001. The steamer 2365 was put on the lift to be loaded in the van later by Bill. Gil started assembling the windows in 202.

Wednesday morning Len and Bill left for the St. Croix Railroad in Hudson Wisconsin at 9:00 am. Barry had left the day before. At St. Croix we had just started unloading when a tornado passed through the area 10 miles to the north. Those at the track waited it out in the steel and concrete roundhouse. After nine till midnight we got 3 inches of rain. At the AVR Gil did some more work on the locomotive 202.

Thursday at St. Croix the AVR equipment was unloaded and Len and Bill spent time moving logs from the railway that had been previously cut and hauled concrete bricks up to the new car barn that was being built. 

Friday AVR's two trains hauled two groups of school kids that were on a field trip to the St. Croix railway. 

Saturday the five Pacifics that were at St. Croix pulled a 45 car train and about 50 passengers. Our 2365 was put at the 1/3 back position thus worked up the grades but rested going down. Later we took the point with only three Pacifics working. At the AVR Dwight replaced all the signal disks with vinyl ones that are hoped to be more durable.

Sunday was the open house with public rides from noon till 4 pm. Because of the rain the previous night and uncertain weather on Sunday the visitors were light and the AVR's two trains provided all the service on the 7.5" line giving over 600 rides and freeing up others to concentrate on the 4.75" line. 

Monday Bill and Len loaded the AVR equipment and headed home. Vic added another spacer to the second dolly and touched up the paint. He also cut up the needed insulation for backfilling the remaining service line. 

Tuesday Bill started working on Christmas lights.

Wednesday Bill unloaded all of the equipment that was taken to St. Croix and put it away. Dwight tested and fine tuned some of the signals. 

Thursday Bill spent more time preparing lights.

Friday Ed and Bill used the leaf blower to clear the tracks prior to the weekend. Friday night the scouts and cubs came for the weekend and had their gear taken to camp by train.

Saturday Bill did a session on railway safety and took the cubs and scouts for a long ride on the AVR in both directions. Gil, Fred and Bill completed the backfill on the service line making and burying the Styrofoam box around the pipes. Jim and Barry with assistance from Fred and Bill did the annual inspection on five of our gondolas. Barry replaced bearings on a set of trucks. Gil and Fred continued assembling parts on 202 and Dwight cut up a quantity of parts for switch stands. Bill did a safety session with the beavers and gave them a ride on all lines in both directions. Jim was station master and put away the equipment after the ride. 

Sunday Bill ran the railway for the cubs and scouts to haul their equipment from camp and to give them an extra ride. Christmas lights were serviced and illuminated for a total of 2,360

Monday Jim repaired and re-painted the battery box for 3001. Gil continued to work on 202's body. Bill put up more Christmas lights.

Tuesday Bill continued to work on the upper roof with Christmas lights. Gil and Jim mounted the side louvers on 202.

Wednesday Oct.  5th was a wet day with sleet and snow. Gil made a screwdriver shelf and mounted it in the engine house and filled it with different screwdrivers. Bill worked on light strings and completed two candy canes.

Friday Bill worked on tri colour lighting.

Saturday Bill did more tri colour lights in the morning and used the leaf blower on the old line. Jim used it on the new line. Jim, Len and Bill steamed up 2365 and got out the other equipment. The open house was run by Gil, Jim, Len, David and Bill. During the open house David completed the lettering on 202.  202 was run out of the maintenance building and into the station. Gil repaired alarm wires at the back of the engine house. Barry winterized his Pacific. Dwight cut up additional parts for switch stands. Len and Bill moved a load of 1/4 down to the barrel in the maintenance building. After the open house a number of members stayed for a BBQ in the station. 

Sunday Bill continued in the morning with tri-colour lights. After church the trains were run out and 2365 steamed up. We had more guests on Sunday and the weather was great. 202 was used on the east run with 2365 going west. Jim, Gil, Len, David and Bill ran the open house. Later Bill and Len mounted the coupler stop on 2365's dolly.

Monday Bill continued with tri-colour lights.

Tuesday the Elie Home School Association came for their annual fall train ride. Bill took the group on 3001 and gave them a tour of the station, car barn and engine house. Later Bill continued to work on tri-coloured lights.

Wednesday Bill picked up 100 paving stones and laid 100 on the front walk to make it wider for Christmas. Jim and Gil did a service inspection on four of our gondolas, lubricating and tightening and adjusted what ever needed being done. Bill removed and replaced bearings on axels that they found were starting to wear. Dwight repaired the lights on 202 with Bill's assistance then Dwight repaired the soldering station. Bill continued with lights completing the tri-colour and going on to fence lights.

Thursday Bill picked up 40 bearings for car service. Gil and Jim serviced four more cars while Bill replaced more bearings on wheel sets. Bill moved 100 paving stones into position and continued with lights.

Friday Jim got out two trains, #25 and #3001 to prepare for the Tuxedo Pre School who were having a field trip to the railway in the morning. Bill and Jim gave two train rides and tours of the facility. In the afternoon we did it again with the afternoon class and were joined by Gil. Bill continued with lights.

Saturday Bill prepared an area to accept 10 yards of top soil that will be used to taper the sides of the new walkways along the station platform and on the front walk. It will also get used for flower gardens. Richard, Gil and Fred completed the leveling and soil replacement on the underground service. Jim, Gil and Bill did maintenance on four gondolas and an operator's car.  A number of bearings were replaced plus other repairs. Richard and Fred using 3001 hauled rock to level off the trench backfill that had settled. Next they emptied Rob's trailer of 1/4" down filling the barrel in the maintenance building and eleven pails to be used as winter grit to protect visitors from slipping on the snow and ice. They also moved the lift to winter storage area.  Dwight took an unused switch apart and re-built it in the opposite direction to be used as a spur switch at Ash Grove. Bill continued to work on lights between other tasks and moved the trailer to upper parking and brought back 12 crates of lights. 

Sunday Oct 16th, 2005 Bill had a family of 13 drop by and a double ride was given. Later Bill worked on putting soil in two gardens and along part of the sidewalk as well as lights out on the bush trails with the assistance of 3001.

Monday Gil and Jim did the inspection on two more cars and replaced bearings. Bill moved soil to another garden and along the walk to the station. Some lights were put up.

Tuesday it rained. Jim prepared a detailed report on how to do the annual rolling stock inspection so other members will know what needs to be done. Len and Bill made modifications to the band saw to allow re-welded blades to be used. In the evening Bill put up more lights.

Wednesday Jim did the annual inspection of 2365's service gondola. Gil built a wood box to insulate the station end of the service line. Dwight did additional work on the Ash Grove Spur switch. Bill laid down the last 100 paving stones and moved soil to low spots along the station path and engine house path. Later light strings were service.

Thursday Bill continued to bank soil against sidewalks and put out Christmas lights.

Friday afternoon Bill put out more lights.

Saturday Bill continued with light testing and repairs. Richard and Fred joined and together we got the first 24 arches out over the tracks. Bill, Richard and Fred re set some slumping paving stones at the west end of the platform and filled a low area with top soil. Jim and Rob did an inspection on car 6109b finding the truck in need of re-building. Rob gassed and oiled the prim mover in 6109. Dwight using a diamond tipped chisel cleaned rail material from the diamonds and tested signal integrity. 

Sunday Jim did some work on a set of truck frames. Dwight did more work on the engine house switch linkage and moved the insulated joints to line up with the level crossing for future crossing signals.  He also did a complete inspection of track circuits. Bill continued on Christmas lights.

Monday Jim purchased a bearing puller for future wheel work and tested it on a set of wheels. Bill established the power distribution grid in the yard and turn circle area and put up more lights and repaired a lighted bicycle. 

Tuesday Bill repaired and set up more Christmas lights and moved more soil to sidewalks.

Wednesday Bill re lighted four 6ft arches and spread more soil.

Thursday Bill used the leaf blower on the station area and Rob cleared the old line. Jim got trains out and Richard assisted and the four members gave rides and tours to a group of Manitoba Adults with disabilities. Later Gil got materials together for some engine house shelving and Richard and Bill put up the lower parking fencing. Peter arrived back from a seven week tour of Scotland and England.

Friday Bill worked on a garden and put up lights along the railway.

Saturday Bill worked in the morning on the web page, lights and gardens. Richard and Bill put up the upper parking illuminated fence and with Rob and Joseph put up the first five 12' arches and tested the balance and then put up 14 six foot arches on trails and over tracks.  We discovered that someone has stolen the seven foot steel pipe bases for the remaining six arches. What is this world coming too? Peter and Fred carried out an elevation survey of the track from mile 17.5 to mile 1.1 including the "Y". Jim did maintenance on the snow blower. Gil cut up mounting timbers and painted them for the upper side shelves in the engine house. Len refilled the grease hand cleaner in the washroom. Dwight cut up more parts for the switch stands that he is building. Rob with Leanne and Joseph took the train to the upper parking and transported our five artificial trees and assembled them. Ed and Barry arrived back from their trip to England and Scotland and shared experiences in the station.

Sunday Bill replaced the lights on three arches before church. In the afternoon Peter and Ed raised the level of the track to the east of the station to make a gentle grade and placed it on spacers. Jim removed moss and then Jim and Bill removed the old ballast between the ties. Bill continued testing and placing out lights.

Monday Bill ordered 7 yards of 3/4" clean limestone for the east Charleswood main line and "Y" area. Extra bearings for cars were ordered and steel pipe to replace that which was stolen from the upper parking area. Bill spent the afternoon and evening putting up lights. 

Tuesday Bill cut up four of the 21' pipes into 12 seven foot pieces and the fifth pipe was cut into 30" lengths for arch bases. This is to replaces those that were stolen from the upper parking area. In the afternoon Bill re-lighted five small arches and set them out. Gil insulated the door frame at the engine house and painted the 12 longer pipes. The load of 3/4" clean lime stone arrived today. Jim moved fourteen 5 gal pails of rock to the station platform. The main power line for arches on the road has been vandalized. It was cut in at least three places. Bill has repaired two cuts before finding the third. Lucky this was found before snow comes. 

Wednesday Bill picked up 20 additional truck bearings for spares. Hot chocolate cups and paper towels for the dispenser were purchased. Gil started moving rock to east Charleswood early and was soon joined by Jim and Vic. Bill did the raking and tamping until the main line was completed with good wide shoulders. About 5 yards of 3/4" clean limestone was moved. Gil and Bill stretched out a new electrical line before the rock was placed to take power to the new line at Lightning junction. Peter and Ed completed the elevating of the west leg of the "Y". Bill completed the night by putting out more lights.

Thursday Nov. 3rd. Rob and Gil moved the bulk of the rock to put under the "Y". Jim helped with additional material along the sides. Before leaving the switches were covered as snow is forecast. Bill completed soil moving for the large garden at the front.

Friday Vic replaced bearings on wheel sets and drilled out some to accept set screws. He helped Bill with two 12' arches in the upper parking area. Bill put in the new arch base poles and set up the lights on the exit drive of the upper parking area. Peter came to check that the radius was correct on the "Y"

Saturday Richard and Bill completed the setup of arches in the upper parking plus others. They completed the vandalism repair and put out the camels. Gil and Richard filled pot holes in the road. Gil added more rock to the east Charleswood area. Peter using the templates re-set the curvature on the newly raised track and with Ed they ran a level survey on where the track is now. Gil replaced a number of rotten ties. Dwight cut in several expansion joints in the west leg of the wye and replaced the insulated joints. Jim helped with the screws and checked out the box cab and cleaned up some battery acid that had spilled. Gil brought the Duck Lake pump in for the winter and Bill re mounted the service box at the house end and insulated it. 

Sunday Peter and Ed fine tuned the elevation on the main line between mile 0 and the east Charleswood switch. Barry helped out on the east leg of the wye and the west leg was found to be good. Jim and Barry topped up the oil in the prime mover of 6109. Bill removed lights on six arches and put on new colourful lights. One 16' arch that was never painted with rust paint was protected with paint. Brian was by to give his report on the LED light grant. 

Monday Bill moved soil to put a third layer along all sidewalks. He also replaced lights on four road arches and one track arch. Peter did a cross level check on the west Charleswood line and wye. Rock was moved where needed. Together Peter and Bill put out the four completed arches.

Tuesday Nov 8th, Rob brought a light net for use in the light display.  Bill repaired using the wire feed welder a sixteen foot arch frame and a 100 light star. More lights were put up.

Wednesday Vic, Gil, Peter, Ed and Bill spent time on a number of small projects. The Ashdown table tops got moved to location, some cleaning and arranging in the maintenance building got done. The new vice got mounted on a work bench, the extra refrigerator got moved into the engine house for the winter and Bill did a whole lot of lights.

Thursday Gil, Peter, Rob and Bill completed the ballasting of the main line from mile 0 to mile 1 and most of the east leg of the wye. Bill worked on lights in the evening.

Friday Nov. 11th. Remembrance Day. After taking Scouts to the service Bill did his traditional job of decorating the yard for Christmas. Peter and Ed started working on completing the ballasting of the west leg of the wye but Peter tripped and fell. A visit to the hospital found he had dislocated his left wrist and had a small fracture. Ed took him in and Vic and Ed brought him home.

Saturday Bill repaired and did some re-painting of lights for the station and set them all up. Richard took care of the garbage around the station and he and Fred set up the Ashdown tables and the display of buildings and finished setting out six arches. Gil, Barry and Rob completed the job of ballasting and cleaned up the area east of the station. Gil cleaned up the mess in the maintenance building and helped Vic put the air compressor into its new home. Vic did some wiring. Dwight set all the switches for winter running and fabricated more parts for switch stands that he is building. 

Sunday Bill started on the next "Nutty Report" before church. Vic repaired some electrical circuits for the new line. Some damaged wires were replaced with new cable. Barry stripped old lights off eight 6' arches that will be re-lighted. Bill repaired objects that sustained deer damage and put out more lights.

Monday Jim cleaned up the bits of old hockey tape left on the platform from removing lights from arches. Bill serviced extension cords. Gil and Jim used the leaf blower to give the track a last leaf blowing before the snow comes. Bill set up the Christmas light train completing it as the snow started.

Tuesday Nov 15th. Any concerns about a white Christmas were dashed overnight when the AVR was blanketed with almost a foot of heavy wet snow. Rob spent between 2 and 3 hours with the small snow blower on the whole main line while Bill spent 5 hours on the large snow blower clearing the road, lower parking and yard trails. Later he repaired some deer damage to lights in the bush and will need to repair more when it is daytime. The deer have been very active this fall.

Wednesday had good news, the dead tree by the station is down. Bill spent two hours on the snow blower widening the road, taking a first pass at the west nature trail and doing the station "Q" area which also got its Christmas lights.

Thursday Bill purchased four deep discharge batteries for spares over Christmas. He also got a small heater for the station door on cold nights to help with heat when the door is opened a lot. Next year's schedule was made up and 200 copies were printed. Gil spent from 2 to 3 hours on the snow blower in the upper parking with Bill relieving Gil for a lunch break. Bill spent the remainder of the afternoon repairing damage to the lights caused by deer. Later the ship was set up and more lights.

Friday Gil and Jim spent several hours using Gil's 24" snow blower on the tracks to widen the path. Rob using the smaller grooved shovel cleared all the flange space around the railway. Bill made up signs and also put new lights on nine arches and decorated a tree. 

Saturday Nov 19th, Bill put new lights on the last five arches that were being upgraded. Norm dropped in from Kingston, Ontario and helped set up the last of the road arches. Gil brought his chain saw and cut up all the dead Oak branches and Fred piled up the logs for fire wood. Jim, Vic, Bill, Norm and Barry helped with the cleanup of the area. Fred cleaned snow from the Ashdown display and set up the track for the street car and got it operating. Bill set up the "Peace On Earth" sign and worked on other lights. Peter and Ed showed Norm what was going on in the engine house. Vic repaired and cleaned up some areas. Dwight replaced the amplifier in 6109 which he had re-built at home. He fabricated some parts and did some other minor repairs. Bill detected a Chernobyl on the new track power feed.

Sunday morning before church Bill searched the line and found some defective wire near the east switch at Old Fort. This was replaced in the afternoon. Jim replaced the batteries in #25 and cleared snow off the platform. Bill wrapped the trees at Chapman and got the sound system for Christmas music operating.

Monday Bill picked up bearings for the special truck. Dwight worked on cycling electronics. Bill put up signage and used the large snow blower on all un-cleared areas. Set up two manger displays and more lights. With the lighting of the wire tree at Ghosty Hollow the light display is complete. Anything additional will be some projects started but not complete. Rob entertained some early visitors to the display as systems were being tested. Len picked up the broken metal cutting band saw blade and will repair it plus the good one at his home.

Tuesday Vic assembled the truck for 6109's riding car. He is working at home on traction motor and gear box replacements for our diesels. Len returned with the repaired band saw blade and set it up in the equipment. Bill did some accounting work for the railway and at the AVR did some light display repairs and testing of systems. Dwight lubricated switch slides and tested equipment. Bill set up the new three colour sequencer that Dwight had built. Lisa set out the Nativity Set figures. 

Wednesday Vic repaired a wheel set with new bearings as a spare. Jim switched equipment around so that first 202 was alone in the station and then 3001 was moved in. Vic and Bill inspected the lead power truck on 202, dropped both traction motors and tightened all wheel set screws. Bill repaired two brake hangers. 3001 was then inspected and the front truck was found to need repair. Gil and Bill dropped both traction motors and exchanged one traction motor on axle #2 and tightened all set screws on the truck. Richard and Jim cleaned up the station and the platform area. They also moved out surplus equipment and supplies. Last project was to put the main sign at the end of the driveway. Barry picked up four bull gears for new traction motors that are to be machined. Bill cleaned up all tools, put trains away and repaired several deer damage to lights and found several more to be repaired on Thursday. Len repaired the band saw again and worked on seat bases for the long flat car.

Thursday Vic re-built a traction motor assembly and tested and disassembled motor parts. Barry machined the first bull gear and mounted it on an axle. Bill and Jim inspected 6109 and found #1 good, #2 needs tightening. #3 had a broken role pin in the gear box and was replaced using the assembly that Vic had re-built and #4 was tightened and brake hanger repaired. Bill repaired several deer damaged lights and put out a few lights.

Friday Vic completed the compressed air system between the maintenance building and the engine house. He then re-built a traction motor and gear box assembly and recommended it be installed in 202 which has been running on three motors for five years. Bill moved vehicles and repaired lights and was joined by Jim and together they tightened the wheels on #1 on 6109 and tested # 2 as ok. The locomotive was returned to service. #25 was then checked. Jim got the trains out while Bill opened walking gates and tested all lights. Global News did the 5:30 weather live from the light display. Later they did an interview with Bill on LED technology and Christmas lights. At 6:30 the first night of the Christmas run started and the railway was operated by the following members,  Jim, Rob, Fred, Bill, Dwight and Brian. All systems functioned as designed, #25 and 3001 were the power used. Bill repaired and set up two small bells in windows.

Saturday Bill assembled a new polar bear and two deer that Mary-Lou had provided for the Christmas display. Len cut carpet and mounted two swivel seats on one of our long flat cars to provide an extra first class car for elderly people riding the railway. Vic started the repair on two traction motor axles and repaired the engine house door. Bill put gear oil in all diesel traction motor gear boxes and changed the #1 & 2 batteries in #3001. Vic helped with the lifting of locomotives and covers. Barry came to check on how the first machined gear had worked and took a second axle that needs a new gear. Dwight made a modification to the lightning junction circuit board and worked on some other equipment. Richard got out the cars and removed snow from where Robs trailer had been. The railway was run by the following members, Richard, Bill, Rob,  Ed, Gil, Dwight and Brian.

Sunday Bill repaired some lights including a rabbit chew on a cable. The motor on 6109 was checked but would not start. Barry machined a second gear and removed and drove in a new roll pin on a second axle.  Jim and Rob got the equipment out. The railway was run by Jim, Rob, Bill, Ed and Brian.

Monday Vic worked on gear boxes and made adjustments to the sound system on 202. Bill purchased two door closures and some weather stripping which was put on the engine house door. Richard unfastened the steaming bay tracks and he and Bill moved them to make an extra parking spot. Jim and Richard got the equipment out. As it was a typically slow Monday at the start of the Christmas run Bill was able to lay out and weld two snow flakes and two members went home early. The following members ran the railway, Richard, Rob, Brian, Jim and Bill. Only 202 was used.

Tuesday Bill picked up some electrical supplies to replace a power distribution point in the bush and installed it as needed. Vic ordered locomotive bearings and bushings for gear boxes. Gil cut up fire wood at both fire rings. Jim cleaned the light snow of the railway and Bill did yard trails. The railway was run by Rob, Jim, Brian, Fred and Bill.

Wednesday Bill picked up bearings and bushings for traction motor rebuilding.  Gil cut up more fire wood. Vic worked on gear motors. Bill repaired some Christmas displays and set up a few lights. Dwight returned the amplifier to 6109 and adjusted the Lightning Junction Switch. The railway was run by Richard, Brian and Bill.

Thursday Bill picked up extra bronze bearings. The railway was operated by Jim and Bill. Dwight worked on the electronics for our last four swinging bells.

Friday Vic re-built a second traction motor and wheel set. Bill cut up steel and welded together two more snowflakes. Several light objects were repaired. The railway was run by Brian, Jim, Barry, Ed, Rob and Bill.

Saturday Bill inspected the track just before the east switch at Ashgrove and swept the area. Train 6109 with consist made several trips over the section with no problems. It was noted that a medium poplar tree is located at that spot and is leaning towards the track. This may need to be tied over or removed. The car barn spur was tested and did no cause a problem. Bill completed the welding on all remaining snow flakes and cut up the connecting steel for the remaining six candy cane frames and welded four of them together.  Vic worked on a gear box assemble and found a bent axel that needs to be replaced. Vic spent some time re-programming the sound system on 202. Bill and Vic installed the missing traction motor on 202 and Vic repaired the wheel and axel set that had been in 202. Vic swapped batteries on the back of 3001. Bill installed one of the four electronic modules on one bell and put it out. Dwight had made them at home. Dwight made up parts for switch stands and checked signals. Fred cleaned the street car track on the Ashdown display and got the trolley working. The railway was operated by Jim, Gil, Richard, Rob, Bill and Dwight.

Sunday morning Bill painted the clear bulbs on four bells yellow. In the afternoon he installed the three sequencers that Dwight had made to make the bells swing and then they were added to the display. Len picked up the damaged swivel seat on one of the operators cars and put a new wood base in it and returned it to service. As the temp was -21 with wind chill at -33 it was a quiet night and Brian, Rob and Jim ran the railway while Gil installed the new door closure on the engine house and Bill painted 75% of four candy canes. 

Monday Bill welded two more candy canes and completed the painting on the first four. He cleared the snow on the platform and yard walks. The railway was run by Rob, Jim, Fred and Bill. The AVR welcomes two new members today.

Tuesday Gil installed the door closer on the station and went around the track to clear snow. Bill printed up station hand out literature,  purchased supplies for the station and cleared snow on the yard trails, station area and lower parking area.  Rob went around the track again to clear more snow and put the snow brushes on the locomotives. Bill painted the first side of three snow flakes. The railway was run by Richard, Jim, Rob and Bill.

Wednesday Bill was interviewed by CBC radio. Completion of painting on three snow flakes and a start on two more plus two candy canes. Five small stars were welded together. All lights were checked. William came by with another large pail of cookies for the station.  The railway was run today by Jim, Gil, Fred, Barry and Bill. 

Thursday Gil and Jim cleaned and checked the track and greased were needed. Bill replaced nylon washers in car 100 and 115. Rob brought the statistics up to date. Bill completed the painting on two candy canes and started three snowflakes and two stars. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Ed and Bill. 

Friday Vic worked at home machining heavy plastic disks that Dwight will make into switch stands. Vic also arranged for heavy washers to be secured for the same project.  Bill painted the balance of three snow flakes and two stars. Repaired four deer nibbles and one squirrel chew in a tree to keep the lights running. The railway was run by Jim, Gil, Richard, Brian and Bill and Rob for part of the night. We had our largest number of riders for this Christmas season.

Saturday Bill brought the web page up to date, did stats in the station and prepared lights for candy canes. Vic worked on traction motors and gear assemblies. Rob and Joseph shoveled the tracks and Bill cleared the yard trails and sanded where needed. Bill painted three stars and repaired nine places on the east deer fence that were damaged and needed to be raised and several squirrel chews were repaired on the lights. The camel which the compromised hump was repaired. The railway was run today by Jim, Richard, Gil, Rob and Bill with Barry and Len assisting for part of the evening. We had our larges group of riders this season. 

Sunday the first of the group of six candy canes was completed. Rob cleared snow from the track, Bill cleared snow from the lower parking area, the yard trails and the station area. The railway was run by Barry, Fred, Rob, Bill and Ed. 

Monday Bill repaired a half dozen displays. The railway was operated by Rob, Jim, Fred, Dwight, Ed and Bill. Brian worked on a new sign for the club.

Tuesday Gil checked the rails and Bill repaired deer nibbles on the lights. The railway was operated by Gil, Richard, Vic, Len, Ed and Bill. At peak times we ran three trains.

Wednesday Vic secured some additional radio head sets. Gil and Rob cleared the snow on the tracks while Bill cleared the snow in the "Q" area, yard trails and lower parking and used the large snow blower on the 1/2 mile of nature trails. The railway was run by Barry, Gil, Richard, Rob and Bill. Locomotive 6109 sliced through one of its snow brushes. The railway was visited by City TV tonight. Several two legged light damages were repaired.

Thursday Gil took the small blower around the tracks and a shovel to clean up. Bill used the large snow blower on the upper, lower parking, road, yard paths and bush trails from 1 pm till 5:00 pm and then did the station and yard by shovel and around the old line. Gil and Jim did the new line again and due to snow we only used the new line with two trains. The railway was operated by Gil, Rob, Jim and Bill. Our new supply of Holiday Specs arrived and we now have eight styles available. 

Friday Bill spent from 3:00 pm till 6:00 pm clearing snow on the roads, parking, trails and the old line. Jim cleared snow on the new line but due to snow continuing to fall we ran two trains on the old line. Dwight spent the night cleaning snow out of operable switches and signal circuits. He also repaired the F-7 snow brush. The railway was operated by Vic, Barry, Jim, Richard, Bill and Brian.

Saturday Dec 17, Bill cleared snow on the yard trails,  the lower parking and station area by shovel. The large snow blower was used on the bush trails, upper parking area and main road. The snow blower required a repair. Five hours of snow removal. Gil went around the new and old track with the small shovel and Bill used the wider shovel on the old track. A five star cluster is getting lights and was 75% completed. Gil cleaned the flange ways at level crossings. Rob went around the track attending to snow removal from switches. The railway was operated by Jim, Rob, Len, Vic, Bill, Helen and Shirley.  

Sunday was a very cold day. Bill completed the five star cluster and set it up in the bush. The railway was operated by Richard, Barry, Gil and Bill. Jim and Rob attended but due to the cold weather did not have to stay.

Monday Gil lubricated the track and cleaned out ice on the level crossings. Bill repaired lights and checked all systems. A new poinsettia was started and lights were prepared. Brian worked on the new sign. The railway was run by Barry, Gil, Fred, Jim and Bill. It was a good night.

Tuesday Bill lubricated the rails and got things ready for the nights run. The railway was operated by Richard, Jim, Len, Bill and Helen. It was noted that the signal for the new line at the station would not turn green but the switch at Lightning Jct. always turned.

Wednesday Gil checked the track, cleared level crossings and lubricated the curves. Bill checked all light circuits and repaired where needed and adjusted and repaired the Lightning Jct. switch circuit controller. Dwight made further adjustments and made some modifications to one high switch stands and repaired the west Charleswood switch. Brian completed the new illuminated sign. The railway was operated by Gil, Barry, Richard, Dwight, Carmelina, Brian and Bill.

Thursday Gil lubricated the track and cleaned out level crossings and Bill repaired some deer damaged lights. We had  659 riders today with Gil and Bill running trains, Tony loading and Brian in the station. 

Friday Dec 23rd. Gil walked the track cleaning level crossings and lubricating the rails. Bill repaired some lights, did web page and railroad accounting. The railway was operated at warm melting conditions and set three new records. First time we ran four trains at Christmas and the largest per night passenger count of 984 and the most trips on a day of 88. Those running the railway were Bill, Ed, Richard, David, Rob, Jim, Fred, Vic and Brian single handedly holding down the station. 

Saturday Christmas Eve. Bill sanded the trails and repaired some deer damage. The railway was run by Ed, Vic, Tony and Bill. 

Sunday Bill repaired more deer damaged lights and sanded all the walking trails. The railway did not run. Merry Christmas to all from the members of the Assiniboine Valley Railway.

Monday Boxing Day. Bill spent 1.5 hours on the snow blower moving soft mush from cars on the road, lower parking and upper parking. Ten thousand new lights were purchased at Boxing Day sales. Rob checked the trucks on one gondola and found a new truck to be tight and filed it, reassembled and tested the car. Dwight did switch maintenance removing excess ice from a number of switches. A signal tower was repaired at mile 14. The Railway was operated tonight by Len, Helen, Bill, Dwight, David, Rob, Jim, Brian, Joan and Bill G. Gil lubricated the line and cleared ice at level crossings.

Tuesday Dec 27th. Bill repaired several deer related light problems and sanded all trails and lubricated the track. The sign that Brian made was mounted up on Roblin. The railway had a busy night with frost coming out of the roadbed. The system was run by Bill, Richard, Barry, Tony, Rob, Jim, Brian and Jack and JJ from Shakopee, Mn.

Wednesday Gil cleared the track with the small snow blower and then used the small shovel and lubricated the tracks. Bill cleared the station tracks and platform as well as the yard trails by shovel and spent four hours on the large snow blower doing the upper parking, roadways, lower parking and bush trails. Dwight repaired a signal controller and Rob repaired a gondola wheel set. On busy nights we have made wait times very short by running four trains. The railway was operated today by Ed, Barry, Richard, Jim, Dwight, Gil, Bill, Rob and Shirley.

Thursday Gil and Karl walked the track cleaning and lubricating and Bill walked the trails. Several two legged animal damage was found and repaired. All systems ran correctly and we ran four trains during the peak times. Gil and Vic serviced the outboard batteries on 6109. The railway was operated by, Rob, Vic, Tony, Brian, Bill, Jim and David.

Friday Bill repaired the sound system that a rodent had damaged. Jim walked the track and cleared out snow and ice while Gil lubricated. All signals ran well but #25 had to be rescued by 3001 and the problem appears to be electrical. Control and cable changes did not clear up the problem. A kink was detected at Paterson and repaired. The railway was operated by Rob, Shirley, Gil, David, Vic, Bill and Jim until 7. A new procedure was tried on the platform and has proved to speed up loading.

Saturday Dec. 31st, New Year's Eve. Gil checked the track attending to level crossings and Lubricating. Bill walked the trails sanding and checking lights. The railway was operated by Gil, Fred, Richard, Vic and Bill. Barry helped until we realized that it would be a normal New Year's eve crowd. Brian and Joan came to walk the trails. After the trains shut down those working enjoyed our traditional feast of Chinese food in the station. Bill kept one train out and became the first train in the New Year.

Sunday Jan. 1st, 2006 New Years Day. Bill checked the lights and repaired and replaced where some two legged kids had removed a X-10 controller. Rob and Bill opened 3001 and Rob topped up the batteries. #25 was placed in the engine house for repair. The railway had a quiet steady night with Rob, Jim, Vic, Bill, Len and Helen operating the railway. The street car ran well all night on the Ashdown display.

Monday Gil adjusted the station door,  Bill repaired lights and sanded while Jim lubricated the track. The railway was operated today by Jim, Barry, Rob, Brian and Bill. Rob picked up the food to deliver to Winnipeg Harvest.

Tuesday Jim cleaned up the level crossings and got things ready to run. It was a very nice day to run trains. The railway was operated by Brian, Fred, Rob and Bill. Karl came at the end to learn about station platform duties.

Wednesday Jim cleaned up the level crossings and lubricated the rails. Bill repaired three light objects. Dwight repaired a circuit board in #25 and checked it out. It can go back into service. He also repaired switch points and a speaker in 3001. The railway was operated by Shirley, Rob, Vic, Jim, Richard, Gil, Barry, Karl and Bill. We presented our 12,000 rider with a free pass and took a picture.

Thursday The Christmas At The Taylors Display was hit by vandals some time between 11:00 pm and 8:00 am last night. They damaged three large and three small arches plus damaging signs. It took from 1:00 pm till 5:30 pm for up to three people working to restore the display back to order prior to the 6:00 pm opening. Bill was joined by Jim and Lisa in the repair. Gil cleaned and lubricated the track. The railway was operated by Rob, Brian, Vic, Gil and Bill.

Friday Gil has purchased three organization racks for the club to better organize small screws and parts for the engine house. He also serviced the level crossings and lubricated. Bill repaired some light objects and checked all trails. The railway was operated by, Fred, Gil, Vic, Rob, Karl and Bill. We had a good number of riders but wait time was kept to less than 10 minutes with three trains running. Two nights left in this years run.

Saturday Bill took a set of batteries back for full credit and four batteries in for a core credit. Two new radios were purchased to replace two older units. Bill checked the trails and lights and repaired some objects. Gil cleared level crossings and lubricated the rails. Jim cleared ice from flange ways. Peter came to make plans to resume box car building. The railway was operated by a large group of members, Bill, Len, Helen, Ed, Richard, Barry, David, Rob, Jim and Vic. Some work was done in the engine house. The AVR had a flawless night.

Sunday Jan 8th 2006 was the last night of the Christmas run. Jim cleared light snow in the afternoon, Bill and Rob moved snow just before the run. A large group of AVR members gathered for the party after the last train. They rotated trough the jobs of running trains and cleaning up the engine house for winter work projects. Barry brought a set of Mountain Car trucks for members to check out. Most members who saw them were impressed so a decision on truck purchases will be delayed until the AGM. Members and guests present on Sunday were, Bill, Peter, Len, Mary-Lou, Ed, Dwight, David, Barry, Rob, Jim, Carol, Gil, Fred, Vic, Brian and Helen.  At a short meeting it was decided to order 1,000 feet of rail, three gondola kits and couplers from Cannonball for pickup in March. Other materials will be discussed at the AGM.

Monday Bill completed the banking and removed and stored the big signs at the top of the road. The Web page was updated. Pictures were taken of some of the light features.

Tuesday Bill closed all the walking gates on the trails and secured them with bungies as it was the last night of Christmas lights. A new spring was purchased for the main yard gate as the snow blower had eaten the old one. 

Wednesday Peter, Gil, William and Bill met in the engine house to discuss winter projects.

Thursday Bill spent the morning scanning Peter's pictures. Updated the WMRC and AVR's web pages including a section on the 2005 lights. The fall "Nutty Report was completed and Peter came to do the proof reading. The pictures were prepared for the St. Croix page for the fall meet.

Friday Bill prepared the ST. Croix page. Cleared snow on the walk to the station and went for printer ink.

Monday Jan 30th, 2006 Peter completed the side ladders for the outside braced box car and mounted them and also mounted the roof walk supports and started fabricating other parts. Bill repaired a couple for deer breaches in the fence.

Tuesday Peter built the bottom foot stirrups for the box car and made other parts and adjusted others. Bill continued to print "Nutty Report" copies for mailing. 

Wednesday Peter and Ed mounted the four stirrups and did some paint touch up. Bill continued to print "Nutty Reports" and mailed out the first bunch. Vic and Bill had a detailed discussion on new battery charging systems, sound systems and types of truck that we should order. 

Thursday another batch of "Nutty Reports" were printed and mailed out. Rob and Bill had a meeting about the up coming Aviation Museum show that Rob is going to participate in for the AVR. The Christmas Display was given a large quantity of outdoor garlands with lights that will be incorporated into next years display. On Saturday these can be stored.

Friday Bill printed and mailed out the last of the "Nutty Reports" and completed the financial statements for the AGM. The by-laws were printed for inclusion in the next "Nutty Report"

Saturday Feb 4th. Bill brought the web page up to date and did all the programming for printing membership cards. Gil, Richard and Bill stored away all the donated garlands. Gil sorted materials in the engine house while Richard dug out the plug ins for the 16 road arches and Fred and Bill gathered the lower lights and tied them for transport. While Fred and Richard put the arches away Bill put away the manger pieces. Peter made up hand grabs for the box car. Rob cleared snow from the car barn to the loading spur so equipment can be taken to the Aviation Museum for the show on the 18th and 19th of Feb. Dwight worked on electrical on the box cab. Rob assisted Peter with the box car project and installed all the hand grabs.

Sunday Peter worked on the outside braced box car getting nut castings mounted on the grab irons and painting the parts. 

Monday Vic ordered amplifiers and charging equipment. He also got further information on the capabilities  and compatibility issues around Mountain Car and Cannonball trucks. 

Tuesday Bill put away 1550 lights. Peter purchased supplies for the stock car and box car. Vic ordered electronics.

Wednesday Feb 8th, Peter, Vic, Ed, Gil and Bill discussed car building and truck selections.

Thursday Bill took down 6,000 Christmas lights mostly on trails that would be vulnerable to deer. Sixteen deer were counter in the forest today,

Friday Rob and Jim cleared snow to the loading spur to be ready to move equipment to the Aviation Museum next Friday. Bill started the next issue of the "Nutty Report" and took down 2,700 lights.

Saturday Bill completed the "Nutty Report" and Peter proof read it and Bill made changes and it is ready for printing. Jim did some clean up on #25. Richard and Bill opened up the fence for the loading spur. Vic and Fred removed the gas motor from 6109 for repair. It may become part of a generator car. Peter and Ed worked on brake detail parts on the box car. Richard, Fred and Bill took down 5,340 lights. Barry worked on his Pacific to mount a water pump that he has built. 

Sunday Peter installed the brake valve on one end of the box car and fabricate and installed the brake platform along with steel brackets. Bill picked up card stock and printed up the membership cards that will be in the station until the AGM and then mailed out with the next "Nutty Report". The printing process started on the publication. Bill updated the web page of the AVR and WMRC. 

Monday Feb 13th, Gil cut up the wall slats for the stock car in his home workshop. Bill printed the first 10 copies and collated and also printed up all 50 of the last four pages. Two hundred and fifty double sided handouts were also printed up for the Aviation Museum Display. Vic re-measured the Cannonball and Mountain Car wheel set to determine what needs to be modified to make them interchangeable.

Tuesday Peter fabricated the brake wheel rod and assembled it onto the car along with bracket and wheel. Ed joined in the operation. Bill was successful in filling the black inc cartridge but had two purchase two additional colour cartridges to continue with news letter printing.

Wednesday Feb 15th., Peter continued work on the brake wheel assembly and Ed did touch up painting. Gil completed the milling of wood slats for the stock car and brought them for Peter. Gil spent the remaining afternoon sorting and organizing machine shop parts and tools. Vic made up parts for the motor re-building program that he is working on and showed us a completed motor. He feels that most of the old traction motors are savable with work and he has spent considerable time re-building at home. Bill completed the printing and collating of the current "Nutty Report" and printed up the last three issues for the station ring binder. Rob and Bill worked on making a slid show of a collection of AVR pictures taken over the last three years for the Aviation Museum Show on the weekend.  

Friday Peter cleaned up the outside braced box car for its display at the museum. All is complete except the doors and lettering. Rob, Gil, Jim and Bill moved all display equipment from the AVR to the Aviation Museum and set up the display. On display tables was #25, The Box Car, The Refrigerator Car and The Caboose. On the ground was Gondola 150 so children can pose for parents to take pictures. Rob has been the organizer behind this event. A number of members will man the display on Saturday and Sunday. Behind the scenes Peter has chosen the lettering for the box car and Hilt will be type setting it and when printed it will be applied to the car. Rob and Gil have gotten out the materials for the stock car that will be the next project.

Saturday Feb 18th, 2006.  Bill removed the locomotives from the station and cleaned the floor and set up 24 chairs along with a table and truck display for the AGM. He prepared the needed materials for the meeting that will start at 11:00 am.  The AGM was attended by Peter, Len, Ed, Dwight, Richard, Barry, Gil, Fred, Brian and Bill.  Rob and Jim had to man the show at the museum and Vic was out of town but expressed their opinions prior to the meeting. The meeting went 2.5 hours and dealt with what needed to be done. The AVR approved reserves for the following items. A set off for insurance and operating costs before the summer open houses. Three new gondola kits. Three new wood floor car casting kits, ten pairs of couplers, 1000 feet of new rail, nylon washers and a spare motor for 25. The group selected trucks from Mountain Car company and approved 12 pairs along with five sets of air brakes. New battery charging system and sound card was approved. Spare wheels, axels etc. were approved along with money for car building.  Several members made suggestions and volunteered items. A bearing press will be provided, tools for the saw will be secured along with a new socket set. All agreed to get the eaves troughs properly repaired or replaced. Tail lights will get new batteries or be replaced. Len will make up laminated identification tags for members on operating days.  Brooms and ice chipper can be purchased. Brian will institute an equipment log to record all work done to each piece of equipment. The motor generator unit will be mounted on a skid that can be placed on a flat car and used as a portable locomotive power supply. Many ideas were suggested that will be worked into future plans of the railway. At 6:00 pm the station was transformed into a dinning hall with long table holding 13 members complete with tablecloth and candles and we had a buffet of Chinese food. Members present were Bill, Peter, Len, Helen, Ed, Dwight, Barry, Rob, Shirley, Gil, Linda, Fred and Christine. A good time was had by all. 

Sunday Rob, Joseph and Jim manned the display joined by Gil, Peter and Bill. The show could have used a larger audience. Rob, Gil, Jim and Bill dismantled the show at 5:00 pm and by 6:30 all equipment was stowed back in the car barn and engine house.

Friday Peter picked up supplies for the stock car and Bill prepared for a trip to Texas.

Saturday Feb 25th, Bill departed for the trip south. Vic spent the afternoon rebuilding traction motors. Ed and Peter cut the doors for the box car and Rob and Peter cut the top and bottom sections of stock car walls. Richard cleaned up the refuse and worked on box car castings.. Ed started grooving the doors. 

Sunday Dwight worked on switch stand parts. Ed completed the scribing on doors and stock car sides. Peter worked on the box car door track and with Ed trimmed the boards for the stock car walls. Peter laid out all materials to be shellacked and painted.

Tuesday Vic continued his re-building program on traction motors. Ed completed more scribing. Vic had made wheels for the top door hardware for both cars. Peter worked on door details.

Wednesday Peter cleaned up the flash on the wood groves and Ed shellacked all wood parts.

Saturday Dwight continued working on parts for switch stands. Peter and Ed worked on door parts for both box and stock cars. Richard cleared snow around the station and to the parking area. Gil and Richard put labels on the part file drawers. Peter sanded all wood parts and Ed put on a second coat of shellac.

Monday Rob using both snow blowers cleared the driveway,  parking and station areas. Peter worked on door hangers assisted by Vic who had also fabricated some brackets. 

Tuesday Peter picked up supplies and gave Hilt the information for lettering for future cars.

Wednesday March 8th. Gil brought a small fan and spent the afternoon making a shelf and mounting it. The fan is to circulate air in the engine house to bring down the hotter air from the ceiling. Peter arranged all the metal parts for the stock car and gave them a coat of red oxide paint. Peter and Ed painted all the plywood parts for the stock car. William came with Phyllis and she spent the afternoon painting wood slats for the stock car walls and doors. 

Saturday Ed painted the other sides of all plywood parts. Vic and Peter worked on the door hanger hardware. Richard and Gil stacked some gondolas in the car barn to make some extra room.  Dwight continued to work on switch stand parts. Vic and Gil spent time adjusting the band saw. Fred, Rob, Peter, William and Phyllis assembled and nailed one side of the stock car together.  Vic spent time checking out a locomotive air compressor.  Vic and Peter discussed plans for the engine house lift.  Peter and Phyllis painted more of the metal parts. 

Sunday Peter and William assembled and nailed the second side of the stock car together. Bill was on his return trip from Texas and stopped at MDM in Oklahoma City to pick up Engine Wheels and axels from Jim and next stopped at Cannonball to pick up rail, gondola parts, couplers and wood car kit parts. After re-loading the van he left for Kansas City, Kansas to pick up battery charging equipment and a sound system and headed north avoiding the tornado that passed ahead of him into Missouri.

Monday March 13th. Peter, William and Rob continued the assembly process on the car sides and commenced to work of nail cleanup. Bill arrived in Winnipeg at 7:45 pm with his load a railway parts.

Tuesday Rob, William and Peter continued on the stock car by filing down all remaining nails and assembling the sides and ends. Bill started to unload supplies and inventoried the wood car kit castings. Peter painted the door tracks. Bill spent the afternoon bringing the web page up to date using Peter's notes.

Wednesday Rob and Peter completed all nailing of the stock car and cut and glued in the top supports. Bill, Gil and Rob unloaded all remaining supplies from the van and an inventory was completed of all parts and shelved until they are needed. Peter made the stirrups for the car and measured for the top cross brace. Vic continued to work on 202 taking off un-needed parts and mounting the equalizer inverter. Dwight completed the modifications to the box cab that he had been doing over the past month so that the locomotive could be manually moved when not running without damage from generated back current.

Thursday Vic continued on 202 modification and built and mounted the bracket for holding the new onboard charging system. Sizing was done with Bill for adding a new control panel. Bill worked on the computer.

Friday Peter routed out the notches for the top support board and painted the stirrups and door track support.  Gil modified the door tracks and helped Bill sort two additional boxes of machine shop material that had been hiding under the work bench. 

Saturday Bill updated the web pages.  Vic continued the modifications to 202. Richard took two loads of refuse to the top of the road. Peter continued on the stock car and started hanging the doors on the box car. Jim cleaned up in the engine house and Gil sorted more of the machine shop parts. Bill and Richard took down about 6000 to 7000 lights.

Sunday Dwight did some work on the switch stands.

Monday Peter, Rob and Jim continued to work on the box car and fabricated the doors. Vic worked on the charging system of 202 and assembled another traction motor. Bill worked on the web.

Tuesday Peter and Rob completed the second door and hung both on the box car and mounted the track on the stock car. Bill made some modifications to the stock car sound system and started a test project to see the durability of certain materials for sign making. Vic continued with 202 and its modifications.

Wednesday Vic installed the new control panel pan on 202 and mounted the new charger on the riding car of 6109. Peter and Rob completed one door for the stock car and mounted the stirrups. Bill applied more material to the sign test panel. Bill and Peter set all the type for the box car and made additional sets for the next two box cars.  Brian came to report on progress on the equipment maintenance log books. Bill updated the web page.

Friday Peter and William cut the stringers and ribs for the stock car roof.  Bill spent the afternoon making a new page for the stock car and adding to the box car.

Saturday was productive in taking down lights with about 10,000 being put away from the yard area, railway lines and bush trails. Richard, Gil, Barry, Felice and Bill worked on the project. Bill took the small snow blower to the new track to help with the melting process. Peter, Gil and Vic worked on the stock car with more roof component manufacturing. Peter laid out the second door components. Vic continued his modifications to 202 and 6109 and Dwight serviced one of the power converters and helped with the control panel layout. A new battery bracket and base were made for the middle batteries.

Sunday Bill spent a couple of hours using the snow blower for a first pass on the old line and a second pass on the new line. Some track is starting to appear. Tons of deer fertilizer was dispersed.

Monday Peter replaced all the screws on the box car door hinges with longer screws for more durability and made up more roof components. Bill used the snow blower and did another pass on the main line. About 60% is now visible and with the warmer weather this week we hope the track will be open by this weekend.

Tuesday Jim picked up the generator from the repair shop.

Wednesday Vic continued work on 202 and disassembled the air brake system to do some modifications to improve on its operation. Ed repainted the roof on the box car and did touch up to the new door hardware. Gil came to get materials for a new coat rail in the engine house.  Rob with Joseph took a flat car around the old loop cleaning snow were needed and brought in two arches. Rob assembled the second door for the stock car. Bill brought in and stored 20 arches, the horse and sleigh and several other displays. Peter added door handles and started to organize the door locks cleaning the castings. Peter and Vic stayed late and put the lettering on the box car.

Thursday Bill steam cleaned the railroad room floor for the WMRC meeting on April 7th. Peter filled and drilled the door latch castings and made up the cross members for the stock car door. Bill bent and prepared the 60 ribs for the three gondolas. Peter and Rob put on the X bracing on one door.

Friday Rob took a car around the new line and now both loops of the main line are open. Barry, Bill and John from Red River had a meeting to plan details for a joint meet for the end of August. Detail Plans as they are finalized will be posted. Bill updated the web page.

Saturday Bill retrieved and stored away all the winter switch covers. Vic brought back the air compressor and tank assembly for 202 that he had modified at home to turn the tank allowing a drain to be mounted at the bottom and more room for controls. Bill took 3001 with five cars and took the first train of the season around the new line and old line and shimmed a couple of dips until the frost comes out of the ground. Vic made up pans for 202's batteries and set about placing them and re mounting the air system. Bill unhooked the fences and he and Richard put them away in both the upper and lower parking area. Dwight made up switch holding brackets and mounted them on switches that need not be sprung and set up six switches with the new system. Gil came with the coat hooks for the engine house. Peter cut up the roof panels and Ed started to scribe the material. Peter continued to work on door latches and rollers and did some gun bluing on hangers. Bill, Gil and Richard spent part of the afternoon bringing in arches from trails and the railway. About 7,000 lights got brought in plus what was in boxes.  The boxes of lights were taken by train to Paterson for storage. Brian came to pick up covers for the car maintenance logs. Dwight got switches ready for summer operation. Bill set up a display table for a gondola kit. Gil investigated if the pump could be set in the sump for the west side. Rob completed the second stock car door and attended to other tasks.

Sunday Rob and Joseph using the small snow blower cleared snow on all the sidings and spurs and tested some. They also brought in by train 400 lights. Gil spent the afternoon rebuilding the car building table. He cut and nailed in cross bracing and remounted the casters. Bill worked on taking down lights including the top of the station and along the track by train and had 6,000 done by night. Ed completed the scribing of the stock car roof and Vic completed most of the re-wiring of 202. Peter continued to colour and machine small casting parts and then glued and nailed the roof deck onto the stock car.

Monday Gil with some help from Bill set up the new pump on the west side and started pumping water. Jim did some cleanup and Bill worked on the HO railway to have it open on Friday night when the WMRC comes. Six trains were made operational. Peter picked up material for fascias and cut it up for the stock car and brought over his 10 model cows and bulls. One cut the fascia boards were glued onto the stock car. Bill checked the pump and various culverts. 

Tuesday Bill spent the afternoon preparing a hand out for the WMRC and set up a slide presentation of 300 pictures for the show in the family room on Friday. Gil cam three times during the day to check on the progress of the west side pumping. Rob and Peter spent the afternoon on the stock car and box car nailing in brads on the roof, gluing the saddles for the roof walk and working on the door latches. Rob started machining on 2 pairs of couplers.

Wednesday Vic completed 202 and Dwight re-connected the headlight and running lights wiring. Richard put away most of the remaining arches while Bill picked up the remaining track side lights. A total of about 2500 lights. Richard, Rob and Bill removed the old water tank from the railway room and Richard spent time cleaning up in front of the station and wherever junk had collected over the winter. Ed put a coat of shellac on the stock car roof while Fred painted the door stops that Peter had made plus painted up other items. Rob worked on coupler machining with some help from Brian.  Gil attended to the pump and also did some trenching to allow water from Ghosty Hollow to flow to the Duck Lake pumping station. Bill using 3001 went around and set the railway for right hand running and tested out all the spur tracks. The web page was updated. The roof walk and roof was painted by Ed.  Vic and Peter unwrapped the 10 head of cattle and placed them in the stock car. Brian brought over the three binders with all of the new pages that he had made up so that the AVR crew can keep better records of all repairs and regular maintenance of our roiling stock and motive power. Peter added another coat of paint to the stock car ends. sides and roof.

Thursday Peter modified and mounted the door lock and handle mechanism on the box car and added the door lettering. Rob had declared that the car is now complete and after the Friday visit of the WMRC the car can be out shopped and placed into revenue service.  Bill continued to clean up and prepared the family room as a home theatre. Gil checked the west side pumping station and deepened the ditches.

Friday Bill purchased the food and prepared a vegetable platter and two meat platters along with pickles and other foods. Gil checked the pump and deepened the ditches. Peter cleaned up the engine house and set up a display of casting materials. Rob, Dwight, Ed, Jim and Bill took out all equipment and Ed and Bill placed surplus cars around at spurs. Ed explained the card order system to participants and sent them out switching with an AVR member on each train. Jim on #25, David on #3001 and Dwight on #6109. Vic ran the passenger train taking others out on the line for a tour. Bill acted as dispatcher and later set out the food. Rob and Peter did tours and show and tell in the engine house. Barrie Atkinson kept the HO railway in the house operating. Rob collected all cars out in the line after dark with guests along for the experience. Bill stored away all the food and cleaned up the station area. In all we had about 60 members of the WMRC in attendance. A big thank you to all the visitors and to all the members of the AVR who made the event possible.

Saturday April 8th, 2006 Bill updated the web page. Peter repaired the door lock on the box car and it was taken out and taken around on its first trip with several members taking pictures. Len & Vic greased the trucks on the refrigerator car. Richard cleaned up trash and took down the remaining arches and other lights out in the bush. Bill took down the overhead lights in the upper parking area. Len and Don tied back two trees on the new line and cut down four dead twin oak trees in the upper parking area and cut them up for fire wood and stacked them by the railway line. Dwight replaced some wiring on 202 connected to the air system and then replaced a 10' length of rail on the car barn lead. Vic started to run air lines on 202 for a air line back to the train. Bill picked up more Christmas lights and Rob helped with the train operation. A group of visitors came and were given rides by Bill and Rob. Gil came to check the west side pumping station and deepened the drain ditches. It was found that the pump was defective and would not cycle properly. Vic, Rob and Peter moved the stock car and put on its trucks.

Sunday Peter and Ed put the roof hinge on the stock car and mounted the bottom door cleats and door stops. Gil checked the pump and Vic picked up a replacement pump. Bill gave his granddaughter a lesson on running locomotives. 

Monday Vic brought the replacement pump and he and Gil changed it out. Bill and Vic consulted on plumbing parts for the brake system and Vic will order the parts. Peter and William mounted a travel restrictor for the hinged stock car roof.

Tuesday Bill picked up four more pinion gears for traction motors. Gil checked the Duck Lake pumping station and cleaned out the drain. Bill spent the afternoon taking down the balance of the yard lighting plus collected extension cords.

Wednesday Vic disassembled the charging system on 6109 in preparation for the new solid state system like 202. Ed painted the roof, gables and doors along with new castings on the stock car. Peter and David worked on the side ladders building four of them and mounting two on the ends of the stock car. Gil checked the pump and deepened all the drainage ditches from Duck Lake to Ghosty hollow. Bill dug in a culvert from the centre of the yard to the east to drain water. The spring job of raking was started in front of the station and all new soil was scarified in preparation for grass seed. The web page was updated. Dwight adjusted the two new power converters to output a constant 12 volts. Other wiring was cleaned up. More work on the switch stands.

Maundy Thursday Peter picked up material and built the ladder lower extension for one side of the stock car. Vic  mount the electrical inverter in 6109.

Good Friday April 14th, Bill spent some time removing screws from some deck material that the railway is going to selvage. The next project was to repair a water damaged electrical distribution point and get the east tunnel pump working. All new soil areas were seeded with grass and raked. Last project was removal of leaves from around the station and in other areas. Peter built the second lower ladder extension and with some assistance from Bill mounted it and cut off all excess bolts. Peter's next task was making and mounting end roof walk supports and making end door slides. Bill spent time doing PR work on the internet for the AVR.

Saturday Bill updated the web, continued with PR and checked pumps. The clean up around the station continued. Later Bill started on the house lights removing 3,500 and starting another 1,000. Other display objects were removed from the roof. Richard cleaned the garbage from the station and engine house and then joined Bill by packing up all artificial trees and taking two train loads of material to the upper storage. Richard removed the last of the lights from the bush. Vic worked on 6109 completing the inverter set up and mounting the two new battery chargers on the sound system tower. Dwight completed the electrical in 202 and the body was put on. Dwight continued to fabricate parts for switch stands and did some other track adjustments and assisted Bill in removing two old wood stakes that the frost after over 10 years was pushing up under the track and under the station platform. Richard and Bill continued to remove steel re-bar from the yard and store it away. Barry and Bill removed the deck planks from the area where wood is being salvaged and removed all screws. It is felt that this material can be used for the wing walls of the west tunnel. Peter continued to work on the stock car completing one frame for an end feed door and casting three sets of small detail parts. Ed cut off the flash from the parts. Ed and Peter gave a group of casual visitors a tour of the railway and Richard took them for a ride around the forest.  Dwight brought a mock up of a level crossing signal to see how it looked.

Easter Sunday. The AVR wishes all a very meaningful Easter.  Bill removed more steel as the warm sun forced out the ground frost. 

Monday April 17, 2006. Peter built the second stock car feed door frame and with Bill on the computer set the type for the car lettering. Rob and Jim took 3001 and three show cars out on the railway for pictures. Bill watered the new grass seed and disassembled the frame of the deck where we are salvaging timber and loaded all wood into the trailer and moved it to the lower parking area for storage. 

Tuesday Bill removed more lights from the house roof, watered the grass seed and removed the wood plugs from the steaming bay post sockets. Re positioned the posts and refastened the centre and east steaming bay for the summer. Peter mounted the two cattle feed door tracks and doors on the stock car ends and ordered the vinyl lettering. Vic mounted the two battery switches on the control panel in 202 and wired as needed. Rob and Bill discussed the WMRC show at the museum and how we could participate.

Wednesday Bill spent part of the afternoon updating the web page.  Ed painted the new ladders, end door tracks and roof walk of the stock car. Peter removed parts for painting and replaced them after painting and arranged the electrical parts for the moo sound unit and mounted them. Ed painted the whitewash on the car sides.

Thursday Peter picked up the car lettering and put them on the car while Rob did the burnishing of the vinyl letters. Bill wired and soldered the connections on the moo electronics and tested it. Bill raked leaves in the yard.

Friday Vic returned the air brake system to 6109 which he had modified at home to match the unit in 202. He also had made up a double battery pan for 6109.  Peter fabricated all the grab irons and hand grabs for the stock car. Bill and Rob got the lift out after its winter rest and found the motor clutch would not work. Bill spent an hour trouble shooting the problem and found a corroded wire that was repaired. Rob and Bill loaded the stock car and caboose for display at the WMRC annual show at the railway museum at Union Station. Peter and Leann loaded the cattle. Rob and Bill unloaded at Union Station and set up the display with supervision by Peter. 

Saturday April 22nd, Bill spent the morning removing piles of leaves and raking the area next to the engine house. Norm and Dain arrived and Norm started to move the Ashdown display and was joined by Richard. Bill made room in the summer house for storage. The three took the legs off the display table while Dain pushed a gondola around the railway. Bill and Richard stored the tables away and cleaned up other steel and wiring.  3001 was got out and took all present for an inspection train ride. Richard and Norm using #25 and the operator cars loaded and moved three loads of rock to the spur at Winch. Dain got to operate the train several times during the work session.  Bill using rake and weed eater cleared the area and together 30 feet of sub road bed was laid. Jim and Barry came with visitors from the Steam Association of Manitoba meeting and gave them several train rides behind #25. Peter and Ed helped by giving tours. Peter, Bill, Ed and Norm checked the possible location of a siding at Duck Lake and a spur at Ashgrove. Dwight set out the Ashgrove switch and installed some insulated joints west of the station.  Rob looked after the display of the AVR at the Union Station Railway museum during the spring WMRC contest and show. He was assisted by Brian for part of the afternoon. Peter and Dwight marked the centre line of the Ashgrove Spur with steel rods.

Sunday April 23rd, Peter cleaned up the areas where the stock car was being built and Bill watered the new grass. Rob looked after the show with help from Bill and Shirley. Rob and Peter unloaded the equipment back at the AVR. 

Monday Bill received the trucks from Mountain Car Company and loaded them in the van.

Wednesday Gil using one of the long pieces of 4 inch pipe took it by train to Duck Lake and cut it in as a culvert.  Vic mounted the battery pan and air system in 6109 and did an amperage draw for fuses and connected up some of the wiring. Bill and Vic unloaded the new trucks and unpacked them for inspection. Gil and Ed with some help from Rob and Bill cut in the new switch at Ashgrove. Dwight did some control wiring over the new switch. Peter with assistance from Ed and David cut up 212 new ties for part of this years project. Bill cleared moss from the culvert at mile 16.4 west for 50 feet. Len delivered  a number of new coupler pins he had machined at home. Rob masked wheels on 2.5 pair of new trucks. 

Thursday Bill received a load of 1/2" clean rock for building projects this summer. Later in the day two defective batteries were taken in for warrantee and two new batteries were supplied n/c. A water pump was also exchanged. Vic spent the evening cleaning flash from the new truck frames prior to painting. Bill assisted for some of the trucks. Bill did more yard cleanup. Vic and Dwight spent time ordering supplies for the railway.

Friday Bill picked up air fittings that Vic had ordered. The web page was updated. Vic set the new batteries in 6109 and hooked up chargers. Bill using the axe removed all the brush and dead fall from the Ashgrove spur and then raked all the leaves and dead brush off the line followed by the weed eater to remove grass. A foot high old ant hill was dug out of the way. Bill completed the afternoon by removing moss from another seven feet of main line. The new spur will have about 36 to 40 feet past the foul line.

Saturday Vic and Gil moved all new trucks to the left two steaming bay tracks and set up the spray paint equipment and gave them a coat of paint and while at it painted the two bays plus the posts on the right track. Richard and Dwight helped with masking wheels. Vic also did some additional wiring on 6109. Dwight using 3001 cut in insulated joints at all the leads to the diamonds on the railway. Bill, Richard and Fred moved rock to Winch and  with Fred on the level, Richard on the rod and Bill on the rake leveled it to the end. Rob helped with some rock, removed the existing 30 feet of track and replaced it after the leveling. Fred and Bill did a survey of the spur at Ashgrove to determine what soil needed to be moved. Peter with some help from Vic and David cut up  295 ties. Barry spent the afternoon installing a water pump on his Pacific.

Sunday April 30th. Bill stacked up the last of the cut ties and updated the web page. Gil and Rob loaded the trucks into several gondolas and moved them to the car barn putting five sets in the engine house for brake installation. Rob and Joseph started to lay tracks on Winch Spur. Peter mounted the hand grabs on the stock car and added the small cast details plus cut up seven more ties.

Monday Bill worked on the web and other projects. Gil picked up the change drawer and installed a lock on it and returned and mounted it in its place. Peter painted the grab irons and safety hooks that he had installed on the stock car. Vic serviced the batteries on 6109 and completed more of the wiring. Rob and Vic test assembled one of the new brake sets. 

Tuesday May 2nd, Rob assembled the brakes on two trucks. Peter purchased 24 long bolts and started to convert them into new king pins. Peter also bought a new coco mat for the station. Bill cleared moss and ballast from another 21 feet of track.

Wednesday Peter completed the modification of the king pins. Rob assembled two more sets of brakes. Vic continued with more re-wiring and modification of 6109.  Gil started opening the station wall for the air conditioner. Dwight ordered more parts. Repaired two end of train markers and fabricated some parts. 

Thursday Rob continued on brake installation. Peter's Stock car was moved to the east work bench as it only needs the brake wheel and retainer valve installed. Vic and Rob moved in a gondola and brake line work is being done on both a flat car and gondola at the same time.

Friday Rob assembled two more trucks with brakes and Vic continued with the brake lines on the two cars. 

Saturday Bill cleaned up more of the yard and then dug the high soil bumps at Ashgrove. He took the window A/C apart and cleaned the inside and removed the wings. Gil cut the complete opening in the back wall of the station and made up a wood frame and with assistance from Bill and Vic put the Air Conditioner in place. Richard and Bill using 3001 moved loads of rock to the spur at Ashgrove. The project was assisted by Rob and Barry and is now ready for track. Rob and Fred replaced the trucks on cars 190-180-105-120-160 and they were put on a train and tested empty and with passengers. Joseph and Rob spent some time running trains.  Vic completed the brake hookup on cars 220 and 115 and tested with air and with help from others were put on track and tested in operation. Cars 105 and 150 were put in the machine shop for brake line rigging.  Peter, Dwight and David placed white posts on the possible location of the siding at Duck Lake. Dwight did signal maintenance and made up guard rails. Vic and Bill put the body back on 6109 and it was taken out and tested by Bill and Rob. Richard took every moment to clean up winter garbage out on the line and to clean up all refuse around the station. 

Sunday Bill updated the web page. Unloaded all the 2 x 6's from the ice trailer and cut up half to make a standard picnic table and a one sided picnic table. The rain halted construction. The 2 x 8's will be used for tunnel retaining walls. 3001 was disassembled and found that battery 2 has a shorted cell. The remaining batteries are on charge. 

Monday Bill completed the 9 foot one sided picnic table and the regular 6 foot table. Rob assembled two brake systems ready for hanging on trucks. Bill took some lights down and repaired a battery charger. The balance of the day was removing moss on 49 feet of track up the hill to Ashgrove.

Tuesday May 9th Bill printed up another 100 two sided timetables for hand out, picked up 50 feet of 1/4 copper pipe for brakes, did some AVR accounting and bill paying and removed moss on another 30 feet of old main line. Vic completed the brake air lines on car 105 but found that 150 was slightly different so Bill helped pull out car 100 that was close enough to work and completed the piping on it. Car 150 was left on saw horses for truck installation. 

Wednesday Vic thinking about the challenges of car 150 picked up additional fittings and found a way to pipe the car and completed all five cars that are getting brakes at this time. Rob converted the cars to Mountain trucks. All equipment was taken out and a long train was assembled first behind #25 and then behind #6109 with Rob, Bill and Joseph being the operators. Car #180 will need some attention. Peter on the level, Ed as Rod man and Bill on rake did a final level of Ashgrove Spur. Gil took the two signs at Duck Lake and Ghosty Hollow out of their temporary rock pails and planted them in the ground as all other signs. He also took measurements for outside trim on both air conditioners. Bill and Peter spent considerable time at Duck Lake with the 50 foot temple trying to find a suitable route for the siding. Input was offered by Ed and Dwight. There are still problems. Bill took a defective battery out of 3001 and got a straight exchange for it and put the new battery back in the locomotive and reconnected all the wiring so the locomotive will be usable for Saturday.

Thursday Bill bought a piece of oak trim for the station A/C and stained it. Gil measured the outside trim boards for two A/C units, cut them to length and put the first coat of paint on them.  Bill emptied all the old plant pots near the station. Mixed in new soil and prepared them for flower planting. 

Friday Bill picked up the end of train brake air line plugs that Vic had ordered, picked up rail joiner bolts that Dwight had ordered and purchased six new frame 27 deep discharge batteries for our locomotives. Gil put a second coat of paint on the trim boards and cleaned the fixtures in the superintendents office. Rob with Joseph filled two hoppers with ballast, added washers to car 180, removed and stored materials that was on track one in the car barn. The old gondola seats were found and are located at the north east end of the car barn along with a sink. Bill got out the track panel template and drilled out eight rails and made up two tie panels for Ashgrove. Bill removed lights from the top of the house. 

Saturday Bill updated the web, put the top back on 3001 and put urethane on the oak trim. Grounds maintenance was done and an additional two track panel where assembled. For reference a tie panel can be done by one person at a leisurely pace with interruptions in under 30 minutes. Two people should be able to churn out four in one hour. A pair of speed demons can do six per hour. Richard cleaned up the garbage in our buildings and with Bill, Gil, Rob and Joseph 50 feet of track was spiked down at Winch and 40 feet was put in position at Ashgrove. Gil and Richard replaced missing ties and connected the joint bars while Rob and Bill put in screws and Joseph put washers on all the screws. Gil fastened the outside trim around the two air conditioners. Richard, and Gil prepared two trains for a birthday party and Bill and Richard were operators while Gil and Rob did dispatch. The AVR was visited by the mascot from the Manitoba Moose and had a trip around the railway. Vic continued to work on 202 installing new batteries and getting most of the air line piping complete. Peter and Ed ordered trim wood for the corners of the engine house and Bill was sent out to pick it up. Ed drilled out four more rails and bill made up two additional track panels with Gil placing ties and washers on screws. A second crew was sent out to Ashgrove to spike down track and put in 30 feet of new track on the spur. Those on the crew were Peter, David, A friend of David's, Ed, and William. Rob added some extra washers to several cars and tested cars. 

Sunday, Mother's Day Peter spent some time cleaning up the old section of rail being re-used at Ashgrove. Bill drilled out a rail and worked on the computer. 

Monday Bill received and brought to the AVR a new box car kit and two tank ends. He spent 40 minutes removing eight deer from the yard and repaired some damage that they caused. 

Tuesday Peter and Ed completed the spur at Ashgrove. Bill removed some moss, cleaned up, unpacked a box of parts, made up a train to be used at the windup wiener roast of the 82 Westminster Scout group. Put Equipment away. 

Wednesday Gil and Bill attended to cross elevation problems and over set super elevation problems in an area on the new line from mile 29 to mile 30. Later Bill dealt with the cross elevation problems south and north of the Lightning Junction switch. Dwight installed new lightning protection parts in all nine signal controllers. Vic completed the brake system on #202  and connected it to the riding car and went out to test the function of the new brakes on the locomotive and car. Peter cleaned up some tie problems at Ashgrove. The crew looked at the parts for the new box car kit that had arrived. Len made up name tags for most of the operating members to be stored in the station and worn on public days.

Thursday Bill replaced lights at the station and coach lamps on the drive and parking area. Another 25 feet of moss was removed.

Friday Bill purchased bedding plants and planted 450 plants in pots and gardens to enhance the walk to the station. 

Saturday May, 20th Richard and Bill completed some light removal from the house. Bill updated the web page and scanned about 60 of Peter's pictures. Peter and Ed moved the table saw outside with Vic's help and cut the trim boards for the engine house corners and painted one of the sides. They cleaned up the engine house were the saw was.  Dwight used the band saw to cut up 12 switch throw handles for the switch stands he is fabricating. He also put insulated joints at the spur at Ashgrove and at the diamond at Creosote.  Vic disassembled 3001 and started to modify it to take the new chargers and voltage converter. Barry and Fred removed 50 feet of moss from the siding at Ashgrove. Richard cleaned up the moss piles from between the tracks at Ashgrove and put them in pails. Rob, Richard and Joseph loaded rock into our two hopper cars plus several train loads of pails. Bill leveled 280 feet of roadbed in preparation for ballasting. With Bill's help Rob and Joseph spread ballast on 164 feet of track. Bill used the manual flanger, shovel and broom to clean up and contour the ballast. Rob gave some casual visitors a ride.  Rob moved the pails of moss to the nature trail near Duck lake and dumped it. Bill used the rake to level and spread it.  The beading plants were covered to prevent freezing as frost was forecast. 

Sunday May 20, Peter filled the knot holes in the trim boards and sanded them.  Ed and Peter drilled and nailed the boards to form corners and painted both sides with cream trim paint. Bill used the weed eater to trim the grass around the station and prepared a train for a birthday party and gave several rides.

Monday Victoria Day Bill fine tuned the cross level on the 47 feet from Creosote Crossing to the east nature trail level crossing and then spread new ballast on the whole curve and swept it into place. One of our older picnic tables had what looked to be three rotted top boards but while removing them it was discovered that all top boards had rot so the whole top was replaced. Next Bill loaded the two hoppers and white pails with more rock and spread 48 feet down the main and siding at Ashgrove and used the broom to complete the job. Nine feet of moss was removed and thirty feet was leveled. Peter got a new gallon of trim paint and with help from David put the second coat on the trim boards. David helped Bill load another train full of ballast and Bill spread it at Ashgrove while David removed another four feet of moss. David used the flanger to spread ballast while Bill completed the task with the broom. Bill filled six pails of moss laden rock and spread it on the walking trail at Duck Lake. 

Tuesday Peter and Ed nailed on the six corner  trim pieces. They also painted the centre strip on the door. Bill did some racking on the west side.

Wednesday Peter and Ed installed the door latches on the stock car end doors. Len painted the inside of the engine house doors. Dwight worked on the signal system. Bill cleared another 20 feet of moss at west Ashgrove. Vic made a bracket for three chargers for 3001 and mounted it along with the chargers and converter. Rob and Joseph loaded the train with ballast. Bill made up an interim statement for the club as of May 24th, 2006

Thursday Bill cleared moss on 74 feet of track past the end of Ashgrove. Gil mounted the electrical box for the A/C and started the trim. Bill connected the circuit to the sub-panel.

Friday Rob completed the twenty feet of track at Winch spur. Gil completed the oak trim on the station A/C.  Bill planted another 60 bedding plants and cleaned up the rock garden.

Saturday Bill backed up AVR computer files, scanned pictures and prepared the van for the steamer rack. Richard helped Bill remove seats and laid in the rack ready for modifications. Richard and Bill went to Ashgrove and while Bill leveled, Richard removed the old moss into pails and it was dumped on the walking trail near Duck Lake. Gil joined Richard on re-loading the train with ballast while Bill flanged and swept out the first train load of ballast.  Gil and Bill then made a team of leveling the rest of the track at Ashgrove while Richard kept the hoppers full with pails of Rock. Rob and Fred arrived and joined the group and went back with Richard for more rock and Gil and Bill flanged and swept the balance of the ballast. The crew now moved to the Winch spur and while Gil and Bill leveled the spur the crew brought two train loads of Rock. Ed filled buckets for one train load and carried them to the track. Fred started removing moss back at mile 16 back towards the station. Jim joined the rock team and the whole spur was ballasted with Gil and Bill flanging and sweeping it out. Jim refilled all buckets at the rock pile and Bill carried them to the train and loaded the two hoppers and buckets on the train ready for the next session. Bill then cleared another 34 feet of moss west of the tunnel. Total leveling for the day 200 feet, total ballast moved and spread, 226 feet, total moss removed 47 feet. Richard cleaned up all garbage around the station and engine house and took it to the end of the road. Dwight and Bill brought in all the creosoted switch ties and Dwight made an inventory to determine what extra sizes need to be cut. Dwight also checked the signal system, prepared a linkage and trouble shot some areas. Vic did some retrofit work on the charging system of 3001 and consulted with Gil on a needed enclosure for a new sound speaker for 3001. Peter worked on the retaining valve for the stock car. Bill updated the web site.

Sunday Peter and Ed mounted the retaining valve on the stock car. Bill planted a flower box and large pot for the front. He then removed moss from 36 feet on the curve between mile 21.3 and 22 and leveled the whole curve. Using the train load of rock prepared Saturday Bill, spread, flanged and swept out 50 feet of ballast.

Monday Bill spent three hours preparing a colour certificate of boiler inspection for the AVR. Peter built two brackets and mounted the brake step for the stock car. Bill using a straight line and the mallet thumped the long tangent from mile 33 to 34.4 back into shape. Peter checked it out and pronounced it much improved. Bill then printed certificates, updated the web page and got started on the June issue of the "Nutty Report". Vic provided a speaker box for the new sound system in 3001 but it was too wide so Gil at his shop made a new box that is able to fit.

Tuesday May 30th, Bill took advantage of the battery sale and picked up an extra set of 27 frame batteries for 3001 while they where 40% off. Extra bedding plants were picked up and 50 were planted to complete the flower display. Two cans of red deck paint were also picked up for picnic tables. At the AVR Bill leveled 300 feet of track including the straight tangent east of the west tunnel and the track from Tunnel Diamond to in front of the station. 

Wednesday Gil took on the unpleasant job of creosoting 487 new ties that will be used later in the summer to build the Duck Lake siding. Peter and Ed ripped 2 x 4's in half and cut 69 switch ties of various lengths for what will be added to previously made switch ties to build the three switches at Duck Lake. Later Peter cut the step in 20 ties for switch block ties per Dwight's specifications. Dwight checked his modified signals for lightning problems and adjusted a few other things. Bill removed moss from 14 feet of track and used the leaf blower to remove organic material from 200 feet of track. Rob with assistance from Joseph and Leann loaded two trains of ballast. With help from Bill 20 feet was spread on the curve between 21 and 22 to complete what had been prepared. The next drop was from the diamond near mile 20 up to the switches leading into Charleswood. The switches were ballasted by Bill later by hand. The balance of the ballast was spread from mile 35 south towards mile 34. Bill used the flanger and then broomed the whole drop that totaled 133 feet. Jim helped Rob fill a third train which was stored for Friday. 

Thursday June 1st Bill removed the water glass from 2365 and went and got a spare glass and rubber seals. Jim and Bill will do a boiler test on 2365 on Tuesday. Bill cut the grass by the station, along the road, the upper parking and camping areas and finally the nature trails. 

Friday Bill ballasted 63 feet up the long tangent between mile 33 and 34. Fanged the material and swept it in. Rob made a second set of plans for the new steel box car kit.

Saturday Bill cleaned the pools on the west side and cleaned up leaves. Next he removed moss on 20 feet of track from mile 33 to 34. Gil, Richard and Bill loaded the train and spread 40 feet down the same section. While Bill flanged and swept Richard and Gil re-loaded the two hoppers and then we set up for a birthday group. Richard used the leaf blower to clear material from the Old Fort spur and Gil leveled up the track. Richard took the birthday group around and while they were eating Gil, Richard and Bill spread a train load of ballast up the spur. After flanging and sweeping by Bill and Gil the birthday group was ready for their second ride followed by a tour of engine house. Dwight set up his collection of newly manufactured high switch stands on the steaming bay and gave them a coat of paint. Gil, Fred, Ed and Richard re loaded the train again and spread ballast to the end of Old Fort with Gil and Bill completing the flanging and sweeping. Rob and Fred commandeered cars 130,140 and 170 and installed the last three pairs of Mountain Car trucks, replacing king pins and cleaning the cars. Bill and Richard went to Paterson and while Bill leveled Richard cleared organic material with the leaf blower and then they laid down the ballast already loaded on the train. Fred and Rob filled the train with rock and helped spread the next load and Len arrived in time to relive Fred on the rock train and refilled it and spread two more loads up the Paterson spur and the Elevator Spur. Bill flanged and swept out the material. Richard cleaned up all the garbage around the station. Dwight checked signals and Bill and Len put locomotives away. Peter and Ed fabricated the brake wheel post, gear and stop for the stock car. Fred took the old charging tower apart and stored the chargers in the maintenance shed.  Total ballast laid today 252 feet, total track leveled 240 feet, total track needing organic material removed 210 feet, total track de-mossed 20 feet.

Sunday Bill picked up a replacement pump for the west rock garden and tarred a low spot in the upper pool. Peter and Ed completed the last details on the stock car brake wheel. Vic installed the new fuses and holders and the outboard battery switch and charger on 202 and it is now ready for the ramble. Bill set up a 10" x 10" gazebo in the area outside the engine house to have a mosquito free place to have a picnic. Later Bill replaced and repaired 22 trail lights that the deer had damaged using 20 new light bulbs that were lost by deer. During the afternoon some of the food for the meet was prepared and put in the freezer for use during the event.

Monday Bill picked up some 2 x 6's to go under the locomotive rack. These were cut up and Uni-strut was used to make new hold down bars for the rack. The six old hooks were used but four more will be needed as the new design allows for at least ten hold downs and possibly two more. Gil cleared 12 feet of moss on the curve at mile 16. 

Tuesday Bill took 2365 out in front of the station and did a spring set up in preparation for a boiler inspection in the evening. The boiler was filled and the pressure valves were removed and replaced with a plug and a valve. The water in the boiler was heated up.  While pressurizing the boiler it was detected that the throttle was leaking from the rear plate. The smoke box cover, inspection plate and smoke stack were all removed to allow access to tighten the throttle body. Jim arrived and the boiler was tested to 180 PSI and was found to be holding including water glass, check valves, piping and control valves. The locomotive was re-assembled and put back in the engine house. Rob took progress pictures of the test.

Wednesday Vic mounted the battery pan and batteries on the back of car 220 and connected them up to the locomotive.  202 was tested under load and operated well but an air leek was detected. Len and Vic struggled with it but it was decided that harder tubing in that location was in order. Bill replaced two burned out running lights and with help from Dwight repaired a pulled out wire on the head light Jones plug. Gil removed the moss from 30 feet of track coming up the hill from mile 16. He also made plans for making a crate to put over the batteries on 220. Bill spread 50 feet of ballast on the hill and filled buckets with the moss filled material and loaded them on the train. Len and Bill flanged and swept the ballast and spread the moss filled sand on the west nature trail. Ed painted the brake wheel and related parts on the stock car. Peter started the door latches. Dwight made use of the milling machine on the handles for the switch stands. 

Thursday Bill using the weed eater cleaned up around the station and yard and then went out on the track cutting grass and weeds on 2200 feet of railway track. The gas powered leaf blower was used to remove the cuttings and other debris from 1800 feet of track but the light failed causing the project to stop. Gil made up a battery cover for 220 and using an old crate was able to make it look like a natural wood packing crate.

Friday Vic started to repair an air leak on 202. Bill took all propane tanks to be filled for the weekend. 

Saturday was the start of the June open house followed by a members BBQ. Pacific #2365 was ready at 11:00 am and pulled a light load of passengers. F-7 # 202 ran when the passengers warranted a second train. Trains were run by Bill, Vic, Len, Jim and Rob. Fred and Richard looked after the station and platform along with those running between trips. Peter and Ed replaced two broken castings on the ice door latch of the refrigerator car and painted them. Dwight installed five of his new high switch stands that he has been building over the spring both at home and at the AVR. Gil worked on moss removal on between 25 to 30 feet of track up the big hill. Richard replaced bad ties out on the main line between trains and cleaned up garbage. Vic completed the brake repairs on 202 and spent time mounting a control panel extension in 3001 and the third battery switch and put the loco back into service. Vic and Dwight planned the brake and light module for 2365. Vic will be setting up an air system for 2365 to operate air brakes in several cars over and above the steam and manual brakes in the locomotive and tender.  Bill prepared and cooked the BBQ food with help from  Fred, Brian and Shirley.  Barry worked on his pacific and prepared it for its steam safety test which was conducted by Jim and it passed. Barry had built and installed a steam operated water pump for his pacific and it worked well on test. Barry and Jim tested out the operation with a number of trips after supper. When Barry retired the loco for the night #2365 with Vic at the controls took the group for multiple trips.

Sunday June 11th was the second open house day and steam was up by 1:00 am and while the time was shorted we had a larger group of enthusiastic riders. Rob and Gil got all the needed equipment out.  Bill and Len took turns on the steamer while Rob ran 202. Ed helped in the station, ran a couple of conductor trips and gave tours. Dwight came to fine tune the new switch stands and Gil worked on another 25 to 30 feet of moss removal. Bill spent the evening blowing down 2365 and cleaning her up and then loading steaming supplies in the tender for Train Mountain. Rob put all the other equipment away. Pacific # 2365 has now been in steam 369 hours since summer of 2004.

Monday Bill purchased some of the non perishable food items for the July meet. Vic worked on the electrical control box and harness for 2365. Bill marked a group of dead trees that can be removed along the track. He also completed the layout of the June issue of the "Nutty Report" and gave it to Peter for proof reading.

Tuesday Vic placed the control box on 2365. Bill purchased two new 20 LB propane tanks that are usable in the USA. He spent a couple of hours re-painting the two maple leafs on the trailer as the old vinyl had come loose.

Wednesday June 14th,  Vic took 2365 to the lift with 202 and repaired a leak on the connector flange of the left injector. He also installed the new wiring harness on the tender. Peter, Ed and Ed's son Larry painted the tires of 2365 white and gave the cylinder cover a coat of gray. Later Peter gave it all a second coat. Bill painted white on the lettering of the trailer where the vinyl had failed. He this took all the measurements of equipment that will go in the trailer and design the hold down system. The rack in the van was then completed using the new "J" hook that Vic had picked up. Vic went home to work on the air brake pack for 2365. Bill took 2365 with 202 back to the station and put away the equipment and completed the day by printing the first 10 copies of the "Nutty Report"

Thursday Bill printed and mailed more "Nutty Reports". Vic completed the portable air brake unit for 2365. Peter completed the stock car door latch.

Friday Bill completed the "Nutty Reports" For those in town regular members they are in the station. The stock car paint was touched up.

Saturday Bill, Len and Rob spent from noon till 8 pm loading the trailer and van for Train Mountain Ramble. Due to new cars going new tie downs and modified configurations had to be designed. Richard put in a post for a water stand pipe at West Charleswood and repaired some bad valves on the water system. Gil moved the new ties to north of the engine house and started cleaning up the steaming bay area. A water leak was looked for and later found by Rob under the north Chapman switch. 

Sunday a new computer was commissioned and programmed.

Monday Bill sprayed the entire railway with Roundup and then cut grass in the yard, walking trails, road and upper parking.

Monday the last of the supplies were loaded.

Tuesday to Sunday Peter, Vic, Len, Barry, Bill and Mary-Lou made their way to Train Mountain in Chiloquin, Oregon to attend the third Triennial Meet.

Monday June 26th. Bill, Len and Vic unloaded the AVR trailer and Bill's Van at train Mountain and Bill took the crew and all equipment down the hill to show the members the railway. Due to high heat we ceased operations at 4:30 pm.

Tuesday Bill again took the train down the hill with Peter, Len and Vic. Instruction was given on how to operate a large train down the long steep grades at Train Mountain. Both Vic and Len successfully took the train down and up using the train air brakes and tender brakes. All went well and later Vic took Peter on the diesel for a ride to explore the railway.

Wednesday Peter and Vic went into California while Bill took 2365 out to Elizabeth and back with Len as conductor. Due to traffic on the line we did not return until 4:30. In the evening Peter and Vic went out on the diesel for more exploration of the 25 mile railway.

Thursday Bill and Mary-Lou went to eastern Oregon and California to drive over the backs of a couple of mountains. Vic with Peter took the steamer out for a successful run on the Klamath and Western Division and later took the diesel 202 out to Elizabeth.

Friday Vic and Len both took the steamer down the big hill using the independent steam brakes on the locomotive and mastered the method. Later down at Midway and the Campground Loop Peter took his hand at operation. Barry was along for the ride as well as Bill and Mary-Lou.

Saturday July 1st Canada Day was the big parade and Bill took 2365 with Len as conductor and Vic took 202 with Peter as conductor. We all got the free lunch at Vertel's for completing the parade. After a quiet afternoon Bill, Len and Vic loaded all our equipment.

Back at the AVR several of the members were keeping the railway going and completing a number of projects. Gil cut down a large number of dead trees that Bill had marked that were close to the track. Later Ed with his grand kids moved them by train to a central location by mile 5. Ed and Gil kept Puppy fed and watered. Ed and Gil repaired several breaches in the deer fence and evicted several flower eaters. Rob and Richard dug up the water line at Chapman and repaired a water leak. Dwight creosoted all the new switch ties, fabricated more switch stand handles, installed more insulated joints and repaired the reverser on 3001 and started the repair to the controller of 25. Ed and Richard filled all pot holes on the road. Gil and Ed continued to remove moss from the main line up the hill to Lightning Junction. Ed painted the two new picnic tables and the repaired top on a third. The AVR makes use of these tables for birthday parties, large gatherings and our own BBQs. Due to Ed's labour the new tables will be preserved longer. Richard cleaned up around the station and engine house. 

Sunday July 2nd Bill and Len unloaded the F-7 #202 plus its riding car at Medford Railroad park and it was run around by Peter, Len, Vic and Bill. The big change to the Medford Railroad was the completion of the hill and flyover bridges that greatly added to the trip. Other members at Medford were Whit, Carla and Barry.

Monday Bill got the trailer brakes checked and bearings repacked and then drove to Kitsap in Washington. Vic and Peter stopped at the Willow Creek Railroad in Brooks, Oregon, and were treated to a couple of trips around the railway there by Scott Johnson, with the locomotive run by his 5 year old son, Trevor.  They continued on to Kitsap.

Tuesday Bill unloaded the diesel at Kitsap Live Steamers and several cars and was joined by Len for the unloading and steam up of 2365. Len, Vic and Bill ran 2365 and Peter ran 202 around this large treed railway. The club put on a lunch for the group. It was much cooler than Medford and TM and we were all thankful for the cooler temperatures. Bill, Len and Vic reloaded and returned to our Motel overlooking the inlet at Port Orchard and after a relaxing supper courtesy of Peter we all watched a great fireworks display on and around the water for the July 4th celebrations. The county display went on for 45 minutes but around the bay hundreds of local families staged individual displays that started about 8:00 pm and were still going on well after midnight. 

Wednesday was a travel day up to Victoria via the Port Angeles ferry.

Thursday Bill  unloaded at the Vancouver Island Model Engineers and with Vic's help steamed up 2365. Vic, Bill and Barry ran the steamer off and on during the day while Peter took out 202. The club put on a BBQ for supper. One treat was getting to walk the new right of way for their expansion through the forest and back and forth across the two creeks on five bridges. When this addition is complete it will add greatly to the enjoyment of this fine railway. Another treat was catching up with Gwil Evans, a former member of the AVR.  Bill, Vic and Peter re-loaded all of the equipment.

Friday July 7th Bill, Peter and Vic went over to the mainland via Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay. Bill proceeded to the Burnaby Central and unloaded all of our equipment and got it stored away for the night.

Saturday Len and Vic steamed up and made up two trains and Peter, Vic, Len and Bill spent the afternoon exploring and learning the various features of this busy railway and all its bridges and tunnels. For supper the club provided a very nice roast beef dinner followed by some evening runs.

Sunday Peter and Vic went up to Squamish to check out the club there and to visit the fine railway museum. Hosts Paul and Mary Roy put on a fine lunch for the visitors. Back in Burnaby Bill and Len using Pacific # 2365 hauled passengers with the Burnaby ride astride cars. Vic and Peter arrived back in time to take a number of rides with both the steamer and diesel. Vic, Len and Bill reloaded all the equipment.

Monday July 10th Bill, Len, Vic and Peter headed over to Bowen Island and the railway of Martin Rogers with just the Pacific and after unloading it took turns running it over and across Martin's mountain railway. The trestles and bridges are a treat but alas the railway is more suited to shays rather than large mainline Pacifics. We did in the end master the grades but it took some getting used to.

Tuesday was a travel day to Airdrie in Alberta.

Wednesday Bill and Len unloaded all our equipment except two gondolas at Airdrie and made up two trains. Len, Vic and Bill operated the steamer while Peter ran the diesel until 4:30 over this growing railway and enjoyed the long bridge over the lake. The group is off to a good start to a fine railway. Len and Bill reloaded the equipment so by supper we were ready to depart. A steak supper was served that was enjoyed by all. 

Thursday was a travel day. The equipment arrived at the AVR at 8:15 pm. Bill then cut the grass in preparation for the meet on Friday.

Friday July 14 Bill, Len and Jim unloaded equipment while Vic did some equipment repairs. Dwight spent time fixing a switch in 2365's light controller and one diesel control box. Trouble shooting of a motor from 25 was carried out. Bill purchased more food for meals. Soon our visitors arrived in the late afternoon from Sioux City with two locomotives which were soon unloaded. We also had three visitors from Calgary. Tours were given of the railway followed by a BBQ and some night running.

Saturday the locomotives were prepared after breakfast with Barry and Len steaming two Pacifics. The morning switching session was done using three diesels and a steamer. After lunch a second session was conducted using two Pacifics and a diesel. Visitors were paired with club members and all had a great time. For supper we got out some dinner tables and had a modified "Dinner Train" with lots of food for all present. Dinner was followed by some bi-directional night running.

Sunday was our July open house and while the riders were few the trains ran steadily. For the meet attendees we had breakfast, lunch and supper. After the open house we had some evening runs before calling it a night.

Monday July 17th Bill spent time in the afternoon tending gardens, lawn and flower pots around the AVR grounds. He then found the water leak under the track at the level crossing near mile 29 and dug up the water line, picked up connectors and repaired the leak, backfilling the hole. The remainder of the evening was spent updating the web page. Dwight fabricated rail braces for two switches.

Tuesday Bill repaired the computer and worked on trip pictures. Vic modified and installed our last set of truck air brakes on a pair of Cannonball trucks. They will go on car 200.

Wednesday Bill completed the update of the web page and Peter proofed it. Deer again got in and an opening was repaired.

Thursday Bill detected another leak in the track water system and located it under another level crossing at mile 30. after the area was excavated a split was found four inches from a previous repair. The problem was repaired and area back filled. It is estimated that 90% of all leaks in the past nine years are restricted to one 200 foot section. Defective pipe?

Friday July 21st Bill spent more time updating the web and entering pictures.

Saturday Richard and Bill fastened up an additional 160 feet of deer fence along the east side of the railway in an ever continuing battle to control the deer population. Four major entrances were closed and the old gate was put back up. Three steel stakes were put in the ground for posts to fortify the fence. In some places we went up nine feet. Peter and Ed picked up a sheet of plywood and seat making supplies. Other members and quests came and went but only for visits.

Sunday Bill updated the web page, entered pictures, watered grass and worked on the fence, adding another 30" of height to 100 feet of fencing and securing another possible breach on the west side. Ed and David cut up the wood for 10 new gondola seats. Peter rounded the edges on one. Bill Repaired a surface water leak at mile 27.5.

Monday Bill entered the last of the ramble pictures and repaired a possible deer breach by the loading spur.

Tuesday Bill added another 30 inch height to 100 feet of deer fence down the east park line.

Wednesday July 26 Ed with assistance from David cut the rough corners of the twenty boards for 10 new seats. Vic started on 3001 brake system. Bill repaired some deer damage to the inner fence and made a bottom board for the west gate. He then levelled the track up the east hill to Lightning junction ready for ballast on Saturday. Last task was put locomotives away. 

Saturday Bill using the weed eater cut long grass around the station. Richard got out 6109 and made up a work train. Bill and Richard cleaned moss out from under the Lightning Junction switch and Bill levelled the switch. Richard and Bill hauled, spread, flanged and swept ballast over the 94 feet coming up the big hill and through the switch. The last remaining 22 foot piece of unballasted track on the west side was also completed. Fred with assistance from Peter routed and sanded the edges on the lumber made up for 10 more seats. Vic ran the train air lines on 3001, complete with second solenoid and rear connection for cars. He started on the new sound system modification and arranged for car 200 to be turned so brakes can be installed. Dwight fabricated six more guard rails for future switches at Duck Lake. Bill collected and repaired 13 pagoda light heads for trail lighting. Vic and Bill put away the train.

Sunday July 30th, Bill took out 6109 as a work train and repaired 16 trail lights using the 13 re-built tops and eight light bulbs. One broken electrical line and a bad connection were repaired. The 200 feet from mile 8 to mile 10 was re-elevated due to some settling from last summers flood. The food list and activity list was made up for the Joint August meet with the AVR and MLS.

Monday Bill removed moss from the main line at Paterson from the north east switch to the level crossing. That whole area was then levelled. The whole siding was levelled from switch to switch. Worst elevation problem was at the two level crossings. All cross elevation problems were corrected. Once the area is re-ballasted the five blocks in the area will be lifted.

Tuesday August 1st Bill removed the moss from all but 10 feet of the main line at Paterson and then brought it to level. Next project was the re-building of twelve trail light heads and then re-lighting 20 bush lamps and using up seven of the new tops and repairing seven additional lights. Most of the repairs are needed because of the large deer population.

Wednesday Peter and Ed fastened all the spacer boards onto the seat bottoms and then put a coat of shellac on one side of all seat boards. Vic re-modified our one set of Cannonball brakes for use on car 200 and started to run the air lines. Bill cleaned moss from the switches at either end of Paterson and then did the next 36 feet of main line to the north. All cleaned track was then levelled.

Thursday Bill cleaned moss on the remaining 29 feet to the wood bridge and levelled it as well as the bridge. Next another 29 feet was cleared and levelled to the west of Paterson.

Friday Peter drilled out the holes on the seat boards where they will be fastened together with screws.

Saturday Richard and Bill cleaned and organized the maintenance building. It is nice to be able to see the floor in this building. Peter put a coat of shellac on the seat boards.  Dwight demonstrated a new type of switch throw that he designed at home for making it easier to change the direction of spring switches on the main line. He transferred the linkage to an active switch and also cut in some insulated track joints. The main project of the day was to lay ballast on the 446 feet between the tunnel bridge to an area west of Paterson and the last 73 feet of the Paterson spur was also completed. The task included loading the hoppers with rock, spreading the ballast with the hoppers, flanging out the material and then sweeping the material to complete the task. On certain areas the leaf blower was used to remove organic material and the spur trackage had to be levelled. Those members who spent the afternoon completing the task were Richard, Gil, Rob, Fred and Bill with assistance from Fred's granddaughter Imogen and Rob's children, Joseph and Leeanne. A total of 519 feet was completed in one afternoon. 

Sunday Bill did some tree pruning on the walk to the station and took some casual visitors for a ride. Peter started drawing up plans for some log cars that the AVR will build and filled holes in the exposed seat wood with plastic wood. Bill repaired eight more trail lights that deer had damaged.

Monday "Civic Holiday" Bill repaired nine more lights along the front of the station, put out the open house sign and repaired a water leak on the new line. It turned out to be a loose connection caused by contracting pipe. A new short piece was cut and the joint was re-assembled and tested and backfilled. During the afternoon Bill repaired 12 more yard lights and cut the grass in the upper parking area, along the road and in the yard. Peter and David sanded the wood pieces a last time and applied a second coat of shellac. They also entertained and gave rides to some casual visitors from California.

Tuesday Vic continued work on 3001 with both the new sound system and the revamped brakes. Car 200 was tested but the air regulator on 3001 showed signs of failing. Bill sent out PR pieces on the open house and dinner train.

Wednesday Gil removed 20 feet of moss around mile 4. Vic purchased a new regulator and spent the day wiring in the new sound system and installing the new regulator on the air system. Peter purchased green paint for the seats. Len, André and Bill continued to remove moss and collectively did another 43 feet along the main line and up the loading spur. 

Thursday Vic continued to work on the new sound system installation on 3001 and had sound. Gil removed the remaining moss from the area around mile 5 and the loading spur and then replaced all bad ties in the area. Peter put a coat of paint on one side of ten seat boards. Bill did some computer work and plugged another deer hole.

Friday Bill worked on the web page.

Saturday Vic and Bill steamed up 2365 while Len got 6109 out. The rain came in waves making our August open house a partial washout. Still people came in the rain and after when it cleared up for awhile. Vic ran 2365 while Richard took some trips on 202. Fred and Richard loaded trains and worked as conductor on 2365. Bill looked after the station. As it was not busy Richard found time to repair a deer fence and replace the wood on a gate to make it more deer proof. Don came to help from Rossburn and did station duties and helped Len who spend the afternoon tying trees back and pruning branches along the railway that were in the way. Dwight put a switch stand on the west Charleswood spur and made other modifications to the switch and signal system. Peter put a coat of paint on the bottoms of the new 10 seats. Bill cooked a BBQ meal for the members who could stay and Richard put the trains away for the night.

Sunday was a nicer day than Saturday and improved as it went along thus in 2 hours less time we had over three times the riders and ran up to three trains. Len and Bill got out the equipment and steamed up and ran the first few trips. We were rescued by the arrival of Ed and Richard who took on train operating duties and then with Jim and André's arrival all went well. Peter worked on comprehensive plans for the log cars.

Monday Bill worked on the web page. Barry completed his flat car with supply box and seat to go behind his pacific.

Tuesday Jim took his grandkids and family for a ride and Bill removed moss from 55 feet of track going west from mile 26. The track was levelled and also the main line at Old Fort was levelled. 

Wednesday Vic completed the install of the sound system in 3001 but the system failed to operate correctly. Bill and Vic checked every connection for two hours and downloaded the operating program from the lap top but it only got worse. Bill continued checking systems for another two hours and was finally successful with the computer download without the volume switch connected. The sound is now operational using 202's programming. Some modifications will need to be made and given time we will again try and download the GP9 program. Bill removed the moss from 60 feet of track to the Ghosty Diamond.

Thursday Bill spent the afternoon getting prices and suppliers for the steel needed for our three proposed log cars.

Friday Bill cleaned moss on 42 feet of track north of Ghosty Diamond to the level crossing and then levelled all that had been done on Thursday and Friday. Cross elevation problems in six places were repaired south east of Creosote Crossing and a grey block was lifted.

Saturday Rob got the equipment out while Bill cleaned moss out of the Ghosty Diamond. Rob and Richard filled the first four hoppers of rock while Bill levelled track. Once the first four hoppers were spread they went back for more rock while Bill screeded out the material and started sweeping. The second load of four hoppers arrived and was followed by a third set of four hoppers and five large pails of rock for the diamond which is done by hand. Richard took over the screeding and Bill continued to sweep. The area was about 200 feet long. Barry joined Rob in filling four more hoppers and spread the 88 feet stretch at the loading spur junction. They filled another hopper to be used on Wednesday and Richard and Bill continued to screed and sweep. Vic continued his work on 3001 by tiding up the sound system wiring and programming the system using the GP9 program. Bill and Rob had earlier done battery maintenance on the front set on 3001 and it was now decided that one cell in the pair was bad so Vic changed them out and serviced another set. Rob, Bill and Vic then replaced the body only to find that the locomotive air braked were not working. It turned out to be dirt in the brake solenoid. This was repaired and the locomotive was put back into service and tested. Fred went to work removing moss on the area west of Ghosty Diamond while Richard replaced rotten ties. Ed painted the second coat of green paint on the 10 seat bottoms. Peter and Vic started the step repair on the caboose. Dwight using the parts fabricated at home during the week, installed the new switch control units on all remaining switches on the system that had the old manual spring mechanisms. This will make switching at the meet so much easier.  

Sunday Bill spent two hours cleaning and filling the mustard and ketchup bottles for the September activities. Peter and Ed removed three sets of caboose steps and re-soldered where needed and painted where needed. Peter repaired some damaged parts inside including the stove and mirror frame. Bill replaced the batteries in the ridding car of 6109 and adjusted the tender brakes on 2365. Any further adjustment will require threading and shortening of the adjustment bar as it is at the end of its movement. Bill repaired four walkway lights and updated the web.

Monday a group of 14 people from a day care came for a double ride and tour of the AVR. Bill got out 202 and a string of cars and gave them the tour. Later he greased the track in certain areas and went back at removing moss on the 18 feet from Ghosty's "S" bend to were Fred had completed on Saturday. Next the whole 40 feet section was levelled, ballast was spread, screeded and swept. After supper Bill spent the evening using the leaf blower on the entire main line and siding to remove fallen leaves and twigs and tested it with a train ride. All siding have been set for right hand running.

Tuesday Vic and Bill re-assembled the box cab and it was stored in the car barn while the controller is repaired. Vic cleaned up his work bench. Peter re-fastened the three repaired step units onto the caboose. Gil and Bill removed the moss from 53 feet of track starting at Ghosty Diamond and working east into Amur Glen.

Wednesday Gil arrived early and cleaned up the fallen crab apples and then began removing moss from Amur Glen. Bill purchased three 6' tables for food service in the station. Gil and Bill filled the rock train and after Bill levelled the track it was spread and screeded and swept. Gil and Jim re-loaded the train and as there was more rock than needed Jim and Bill removed another 20 feet of moss, Barry help on his way home from work for a few minutes.  The last 20 feet was ballasted and swept etc. so that in total 100 feet was completed. The equipment was put away.

Thursday Bill was on site early to start breakfast and Whit, Carla and a group of seven with Whit arrived and started to unload. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, hash browns, coffee and juice. Several of the Winnipeg group joined. Dwight replaced the motor controller in #25 and it was put back into service. Once unloaded we were in steam by noon and started an afternoon switching session with three Pacifics and # 202 taking part. The AVR cars and Whit's cars were mixed up in the session and we were joined by other AVR members and also members from MLS. Switching was interrupted at 6:00 by a BBQ outside the station and we were soon back at night running with trains going in both directions and having flying meets out in the bush. At about 11:00 pm Whit's Pacific broke the connecting pin on the lead truck and that stopped operation as the group concentrated on getting her back to the steaming bay. 

Friday morning Bill cooked a breakfast of Pancakes and sausage and the crew went to work on repairing the disabled Pacific. Materials were located and parts were machined with Barry providing the lath skill. By 1:30 we had all three Pacifics in steam and session two of the switching program started. Supper was a buffet style dinner train in four sections pulled by two diesels. Menu was Spaghetti and meat sauce, Baked pork dish, Chicken fingers, Rice, Beans and wieners, Salads, Condiments, chips, etc. and ice cream for dessert. There were 35 in attendance. After supper the evening session of night running commenced and all three Pacifics and a diesel took part in bi-directional running. Cars from the switching session were picked up as the trains found them. About 10:00 pm the second Pacific encountered a problem and it was found to have broken the casting on the rocker of the lead truck and was taken to the engine house. This was disappointing as the locomotive would be out of commission until a new casting could be secured. Whit started to load with his crew and Rob and Bill put all the AVR cars away, Carmelina cleaned up all the dishes and equipment to be loaded for Red River was set out.

Saturday Bill cooked a breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns and sausage and both Pacifics were loaded and eight additional gondolas for the short ride to Red River. Equipment was unloaded and one long train was made up with 2365 on the point and Whit's Pacific along with all the cars. We had seats for 35 passengers. We spent the afternoon double heading. Two additional 1/12 trains ran on the dual gauge ground track while several small engines ran on the elevated track. The concern that Bill had was these accidents always come in threes so concern was had about 2365 but mid afternoon a 3/4 gauge mountain left the elevated track when its lead truck separated and loco and tender took a swan dive to the ground. It was taken by rail to the steaming bay but will require work. Supper was steak, baked potato, corn on the cob and baked beans. For dessert Whit and Carla cooked up their famous cobbler. We double headed until about 9:30 and then tied up the train for the night.

Sunday Aug 28th Vic was at MLS for 10:00 am and got 2365 into steam. Whit steamed his Pacific and soon the two locomotives were double heading a long train and carrying passengers. Bill arrived at noon and took some trips and Vic returned to the controls followed by Jack and lastly, Bill again. Several of the trips had a full train of passengers. We all stopped at 4:00 pm and started loading the trailer for Iowa and the equipment for the AVR. Vic and Rob unloaded gondolas at the AVR and Gil helped put them away. Barry helped load 2365 and Rob helped unload it. Sunday's train all ran without incident and after a moment of farewells the group of visitors from south of the boarder left for home. We look forward to a possible  joint meet next year.

THE AVR WILL JOIN WITH THE MANITOBA LIVE STEAMERS IN HOLDING A JOINT MEET ON AUGUST 24TH TO 27TH WITH THE AVR FEATURING SWITCHING, NIGHT RUNNING BI-DIRECTIONAL AND OTHER ACTIVITIES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY WITH FULL MEAL SERVICE FOLLOWED BY OPERATION AT INKSTER AND THE MLS ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. PUBLIC RIDES WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY BUT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT INKSTER SITE.

Monday Bill located the Christmas light frames that were built last winter but had not had lights put on and cleaned them up and added paint as needed. There were five candy canes and six snow flakes.  Some tree trimming was carried out. The old station computer packed it in today however all important AVR material was on the "D" drive and has now been transferred to the new machine. Bill spent most of the evening moving files.

Tuesday Bill continued to update and transfer files including a new version of Norton taking some 18 hours of down load time. Bill burned a number of CDs at his office in transferring files. Unfortunately information on the internet files may prove difficult. 

Wednesday Aug 30th, Bill continued to struggle with Norton and when finally installed updated the web page. Gil and Bill cleaned about 50 feet of moss from Amur Glen. Vic came over to load two defective batteries on warranty so Bill could get full credit. Peter with assistance from Ed repainted three Holstein cows as a Belted Galloway, Brown Swiss and Guernsey. Bill took some casual visitors for a tour and washed the four station platform benches and the large fire pit bench and then painted the legs and bottoms of the four platform benches.  The next "Nutty Report" may be delayed as we are not sure that the old printer will work with the new computer without some modifications.

Thursday Bill put the top coat of paint on the four station benches and left them in the engine house to dry. During a lull in the rain he painted the bottom and legs of the big fire pit seat.

Friday Sept 1st Bill updated the phone and web page and completed the painting on the big bench. The four benches from the fire pit area were taken to the station area and cleaned in preparation for painting. Vic delivered five defective batteries to a proper environmental battery drop area.

Saturday Vic made up and installed a new brake road on #2365. Richard gathered up garbage and took it to the end of the road and then he cleaned out the station eave troughs. Ed and Fred inserted a steel culvert under the track need Duck Lake. Peter advised Vic what branches needed cutting with his chain saw and they were cut at the Duck Lake new siding. Fred and Ed removed all dead fall while Richard raked the ground. Dwight adjusted the station door lock. Vic and Peter gave some casual guests a ride and put away equipment. Bill made up the first page of the next "Nutty Report".

Sunday Vic and Peter sorted out Train Mountain pictures and Ed gave some visitors a ride.  Peter did some touching up with paint to his cows. Mary-Lou washed railway table cloths.

Monday Labour Day Bill painted the bottom and tops of the four fire pit benches and returned them to service. Next project was to cut up tree trimmings for the fire pit. Next the top of a picnic table was painted. Bill took 202 out on the line and found three heat kinks on the rail and so he used the mallet to bring them back into shape. Last project of the day was to put up the 1500 light tri colour lights at the top of the house. Another 550 lights were tested for a total of 2050 so only 83000 lights to go up that will mostly be done in October and November.

Tuesday Bill went looking for an interface to connect the old printer to the new computer but alas the cost was $50.00 and that did not address the fact that the old printer was 12 years old and starting to fail. Flapper gears were stripping. Also the old scanner would not communicate with XP so a new Canon MP450 was purchased for $150.00 that will scan, copy and print.  Bill spent the remaining afternoon cleaning up the desk and removing and locating equipment to make the new system work. 

Wednesday Bill updated the web, talked to callers and washed station dishes. Peter, Vic, Ed, Brian and Bill had a meeting about fall AVR priorities and building the three new gondolas for duty at Christmas came to the top of the list. Ed instructed Brian how to operate our card order system.

Thursday Bill updated the web, made dinner train reservations and other railway admin jobs.

Friday the CBC came to the AVR in the afternoon and Bill got out the trains and operated for the taping of a segment for a national TV show called Kids Inc. Due to possible frost overnight the plants were covered. 

Saturday Bill got out three trains and set them up and then steamed 2365. The covers from plants were removed and folded. Vic, Bill and Richard operated the open house in the morning and were joined after 1 by Brian, Dwight, Barry and Andrei. The visitors were light but steady. Peter drilled out the holes in the main sills of three gondolas and arranged all the parts with assistance from Andrei. Richard put rock on the new culvert at Duck Lake and Bill and Dwight repaired some cross level problems. Vic and Bill took the steamer to the lift and gave all under body parts a good lubrication with special attention to the pilot truck. Bill made up the second page of the news letter and did other administration jobs. Gil removed moss at Amur Glen.

Sunday Vic steamed up 2365 and Gil got out the other trains. Bill manned the station and platform while Vic and Gil took passengers around. we got help when Andrei and Brian arrived. Bill and Andrei put equipment away. Peter continued to machine small parts for the three gondolas under construction. Bill cleaned up the steamer and closed all the gates.

Monday Bill made more changes to the new computer system and scanned pictures and completed the six pages of the "Nutty Report". Peter completed all pre welding machining for the three gondolas. Bill repaired cross level problems at or near miles, 8, 9, 16, 20, 21, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36 and 37. Many were at rail joints, nothing too serious but some movement due to dry weather. 

Tuesday Bill did more Dinner Train reservation work. In preparation for the Dinner Train Bill started to wash the floor of the station and washroom area. He also shopped for the first load of food supplies.

Wednesday Vic welded the frame with bolsters for the three gondolas and also welded the ribs onto the six side panels. He used the side grinder to clean up welds that needed to be flush. Parts were placed and clamped ready for welding by Peter, Ed and Bill. Gil continued to remove moss at Amur Glen and has made it to the east end switch. He also pailed much of the fine material for road repairs. Bill completed the washing of the whole station floor and did baseboards, trim and some walls. Washroom fixtures were cleaned and the first table was moved into place. Table cloths were laundered. Bill attended a meeting to  talk about the growing deer population in the area. Peter proof read the Nutty Report. Dwight put a three pin connector on 2365 for the light cable.

Thursday Bill found old pictures taken before 2000 that could be retaken now to show deer damage in the forest. The current pictures were taken and this was sent to the provincial government. Bill started working on pictures for the web site of the ramble. At the station the kitchen counters were all cleaned and the tuna and macaroni salad for 200 people was made and stored in stainless steel for the weekend. Dishes were moved and washed in preparation. Bill did a phone interview with the CBC.

Friday Dinner Train reservations were finalized, web site updated, dinner order forms made and more groceries purchased. Bill made three trips into the store and stored all the food away. Gil cleaned up the area outside the station. Vic replaced the water hoses between the tender and locomotive 2365 with quick connects. Peter marked all the hand grab locations on the three gondolas.

Saturday Sept. 16th. Len and Bill started cutting vegetables for the Dinner Train at 8:00 am. Jim, Richard, Bill & Len set up our 20' by 10' canopy tent due to the light rain that had started. Marietta joined the vegetable cutting group. Richard and Jim made up the trains and picked up the tables. During the dinner train Bill cooked the hot food and did all the dishes, Len set up the salads, main plates and desserts, Richard, Ralph from Calgary, Jim, Fred, Gil, and Marietta tended to train operation and looking after table clearing and setting. Vic worked on 2365 brake system while Peter installed a quantity of grab irons on the new gondolas. We had 106 dinner train guests.  Len, Bill, Marietta, Carmelina, Linda and Christine helped prepare vegetables for Sunday while the train crew stowed things away. Bill continued with dishes and Linda and Bill did laundry.

Sunday Len cut up tomatoes in the morning while Bill did mushrooms and updated the web.  Gil and Jim got trains out and were joined by Ralph.  Linda made coffee and tea and helped set up tables. Bill and Len did the meal cooking while Gil, Richard, Jim, Andrei, Ralph, Fred and Linda looked after serving people and operating the railway. Vic continued to work on the air system for 2365 and Peter spent the afternoon mounting grab irons on the three under construction gondolas. We had 85 guests on the Dinner Train and the rain held off. The crew cleaned up after and Bill did dishes. 

Monday was a very wet day.

Tuesday Gil and Vic loaded the eight gondolas on the flat trailer while Bill loaded the trailer with 202, it's operator car, two gondolas and Peter's four show cars. Vic helped with the loading and later Gil helped Bill load 2365 in the van, all in preparation for going to the Fall Meet at St. Croix.

Wednesday Morning Bill completed the loading and Vic picked up the flat trailer will Bill hooked up the large trailer and left for St. Croix. Vic took Peter and Barry loaded and took his 1" English steamer, Len left on his own for the meet. First to arrive at St. Croix was Barry followed by Bill who unloaded the large trailer. Len arrived next and set up his tent and then assisted Vic unloading the eight gondolas. Len and Bill unloaded 2365 and Bill set up his lodgings in the back of the van. A steak dinner was provided. Len and Bill put the two locomotives way in the roundhouse. 

Thursday Barry and Bill steamed up the two steamers from Winnipeg. 2365 hauled our entire consist around the railway in the morning but the balance of the day was wet so not much running was done. Supper was a feast of brats on a bun. 

Friday was wet in the morning but around noon the rain stopped and we ran until midnight, double heading with Whit after dark. Supper as roast beef.

Saturday we steamed in the morning but it was stopped in the early afternoon by tornado warnings and the remainder of the day was a washout. Barry loaded his locomotive. The St Croix club had its election of board members, business meeting and catered supper of ribs and chicken. Both Friday and Saturday Whit and Carla made their famous cobbler. Back in Winnipeg at the AVR Gil and Richard extended the electrical line for the west side pump out and buried it. Clean up around the railway and stowed away the large table in the station. Dwight cleaned a can of the old joint bars with Vic's varsol machine. He still can not account for the whereabouts of the remaining missing bars. He also completed the mileage survey of all switches, signals, diamonds, crossings, station signs, bridges, tunnels, etc. for the schematic diagram of the AVR system he is working on. During the St. Croix meet Barry, Vic and Bill assisted in changing about half the florescent light fixtures in the round house. Len made up turntable stop cleats, helped lay boards and pavers by the station. The rain hampered any large outdoor projects.

Sunday was the St. Croix's monthly public open house and the AVR had two trains in the station ready to go by 9:00 am. We first gave about 20 delegated rides and spent the remainder of the afternoon working the public open house. Vic, Len and Bill ran three trips on each locomotive and a rest period in rotation. During the open house we made 42 trips around the railway and carried 529 at the open house and another 200 during the week. After supper Vic, Len and Bill loaded the eight gondolas for travel back to Winnipeg. In the evening Vic, Peter, Len and Bill took 2365 around the railway and got equipment ready to load.

Monday Vic left with the gons and Peter back to Winnipeg. Len and Bill took down our sleeping areas and packed them up. Len and Bill then loaded the trailer and the van completing the task by noon. We stopped for lunch using the leftovers then carried all bags of garbage to the dumpster, stored the lift in the building and locked up all the buildings and main gate and were in Hudson by 1:00 pm and in Winnipeg by 9:00 pm. 

Tuesday Gil with some relatives unloaded the gondola trailer and put the cars away while Bill unloaded the bottom deck of the trailer and Gil helped with the top deck. Bill sorted the cars and stored materials away. Last task was to make up a Christmas fire pit booking sheet and update the web page. We already have two fire pit booking for Christmas. 

Wednesday the station mouse has been evicted. Bill printed another batch of "Nutty Reports" and got them in the mail. Gil helped Bill unload 2365 and get it put away. Gil completed the wiring for the west pump and stored it for the winter. Bill did a batch of AVR laundry and other administrative duties. He also used the leaf blower on 1/3 of the railway.

Thursday an ink kit was purchased to refill the printer at a reduced cost and Bill completed the printing of reports. So fare four refills have been done and they appear to be ok.

Friday Bill picked up food for the Scout, Cub and Beaver camp that will be held over the weekend at the AVR. Friday night as the campers arrived 202 was used to carry campers to the cub and scout camping area.

Saturday Bill cooked breakfast and then conducted three sessions of railway safety instructions, gave an engine house tour and did train trips around the railway. Richard took on the task of digging holes for the steel gates to be put on the entrance to the north nature trail. He hung the two doors and tied in the existing fence wire. Barry came by and checked out the progress. He helped Richard tie in the old fence to the new posts.  Dwight checked the switches and set them for main lines. Bill gave a group of day camp beavers an extended train ride.

Sunday Bill used the train to carry campers and gear from the camp area to the station.

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Wednesday Oct 4th, 2006 Vic and Bill got out 3001 and a seven car train and Vic took 16 Ladies from a Transcona group for a double ride while Bill took them on a tour of our facilities and talked about the AVR. Vic and Bill started to lay out the first gondola for welding. Bill used the leaf blower on the main line completing all that had not been done last Wednesday. Dwight checked and further cleaned all switches that had been blown out today. The north switch at Chapman is binding so caution is in order.

Thursday Vic purchased two new dead bolts to add to our structures and picked up the extra fittings for 2365.

Friday Bill picked up a new fire extinguisher for the engine house. 

Saturday Bill worked on things for Peter. Richard repaired a breach in the east deer fence and tidied up soil around the gate he had put in and then with Fred's help they started mounting posts for the south nature trail gate. Vic and Bill put the caboose and stock car in the station and did some minor repairs so they are ready to go to Peter's memorial. Vic and Bill started the final welding on one of the three gondolas.  Dwight cleared moss and added ballast to repair the binding switch at Chapman. Members gathered in the afternoon to express their loss of Peter. Vic, Richard, Fred, Dwight, Bill, Ed, David, Andrei, Gil, Brian S. and Deanne.

Wednesday Vic, Gil and Bill loaded the stock car and caboose into Bill's Van and the screen and track sections into Gil's van. Vic and Gil ran two trains for the 30 people who came from the Tuxedo pre school. Bill conducted a tour of Peter's show cars, the station and engine house.

Thursday afternoon most active members of the AVR were at Peter's memorial service. We set up the cars at the front of the chapel on display and a slide presentation at the reception. Ed picked up the dedication plaque.

Friday afternoon we ran 3001 for Peter's family and had a luncheon in the station. Peter's family were shown his cars, other projects he worked on and bridges that he built on the basement HO railway.

Saturday was the October open house but few people came partly due to the Train Show being on and partly due to cold weather and that the October open house is always the slowest of the year.  2365 provided most of the rides with Vic, Len and Bill working. Vic and Len took down the fabric material off the 10 x 10 summer shelter. Some tidying and storing away of objects in the engine house took place and Vic mounted the dedication plaque. Dwight repaired the Lightning Junction automatic switch machine.

AFTER THE OCTOBER OPEN HOUSE ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 15TH THE AVR WILL HOLD A CASUAL BBQ FOR  MEMBERS OF THE CLUB AND THEIR IMMEDIATE FAMILIES. We will honour Peter with some "Gold" RSVP and dedicate the new engine house.

Sunday Oct 15 was a warmer day and a steady group of people came out to ride the trains. Vic, Jim, Len and Bill ran the railway. Gil went over the whole main line with the leaf blower. At 5:30 members gathered for a BBQ and to raise a "Gold" in honour of Peter. Lyn, Peter's sister unveiled a plaque dedicating the new engine house to Peter's memory. We had several train rides behind 2365 and showed a slide tribute to Peter in the station. Bill cooked hamburgers and other items. The following members were present, Mary-Lou and Bill, Len and Helen, Ed, Dwight and Carmelina, Hilt and Stephie, David, Jim, Gil and Linda, Vic, Brian and Joan, Brian and Deanne, Ralph, Bradley and Lisa, Julian, Jessie and Quindora, and Peter's niece Laurie.

Wednesday Oct 18th, Jim and Bill gave double rides and a tour of the AVR buildings and equipment to a group of 23 from the Elie Pre School. Gil joined the others and together they re-arranged the car barn to have two full trains accessible. Materials stored in cars was stored away for the winter. Box Cab #25 was run into the station. F-7 #6109 was run onto the second movable rack in the Peter Abel Memorial Engine House. Batteries were put on charge. Bill opened the water valve at mile 16 and mile 8 to drain the water lines. The underground heater lines to the station were plugged in. Gil cleaned up the results of a racoon family in the garbage and mounted the new fire extinguisher in the engine house.

Thursday Gil picked up brackets and a sheet of plywood and commenced the task of installing four additional shelves in the maintenance building to hold dry storage. Bill made up the house top light tree and put it in place along with the roof top poinsettia. Lights were tested on the east side and some bulbs were painted. In total 1400 lights were put on.

Friday October 20th. Gil completed the install of new shelves in the maintenance building to hold additional non operating materials. He replaced the steel white poles marking the Duck Lake proposed siding with wood pegs so the poles could be used for Christmas lighting. Bill tested and turned on 500 more lights repairing some rodent damage. Twelve angels had some of their bulbs re-painted and repairs done.

Saturday morning Bill worked on lights putting out 2500 including the front upper section of the house's tri-colour. The electrical grid was set out in the front yard. Vic and Bill completed the welding on the first gondola with assistance from Ed. Vic welded all coupler holders while Bill fabricated the lower ladders. Ed moved some material to the maintenance building. Fred continued to dig the west post hole on the south trail gate and with help from Bill it was completed. Fred took #25 to upper storage and brought in a load of lights. Ed and Vic laid out the sides and ends for the next gondola. Bill tested a few thousand lights in the station. 

Sunday Bill put up 3,459 lights and tested thousands more.

Monday Gil and Jim inspected nine of our cars servicing them before the Christmas Run.

Tuesday October 24th, 2006. Bill put up 1,686 lights during the afternoon and repaired deer and rodent damage to trail lights in the evening.

Wednesday Vic and Bill completed the construction of two more gondolas. The three cars are now ready for sandblasting and powder coating. Gil and Brian put up the Ashdown display tables. Jim came by to check on car inspection timing. Gil cleaned up and moved more clutter to the new shelves. Bill put up another 1600 lights. 

Thursday Vic modified the storage cabinets, levelled the lath and Gil installed two deadbolt locks on the buildings. Bill tested and put up 3900 lights.

Saturday Richard hung the two doors on the south walking trail and tied in the deer fence. Bill cut off the tops of the posts and worked on lights. Gil made shelves for the lathe stand. Dwight repaired the kink east of Charleswood by removing 1/4" of rail and re-levelled and re-ballasted the section. Richard, Barry, Fred and Bill took down the 10 x 20 canopy and put it away. Barry, Jim, Fred and Bill moved the 10 x 10 frame and Bill set up the posts for the "Q" area. Jim and Barry performed car inspections on five additional cars. Fred brought a train load of lights to the station from upper storage. Gil, Fred and Bill cleaned up the engine house and sorted a quantity of parts and materials. Richard cleaned up garbage and Bill continued on lights after supper and put up 4550.

Sunday Bill serviced and put up a group of lights.

Tuesday Oct 31, Gil serviced the small snow blower and took the machine on a first pass of the old line and then cleaned a number of east Charleswood switches and covered them. Bill cleared the path to the station and engine house and tested and put out a number of lights.

Wednesday Vic re-mounted the back charger on 6109 up with the other two so all chargers could be plugged in with a single cord. Gil built and mounted a second screw driver shelf and mounted a drawer under one of the work benches. Fred replaced four electrical outlets and took down some damaged lights. He started taking arches out of the shed. Dwight repaired a fan in a charger and worked on the computer. Bill set up 4200 lights and tested many others.

Thursday Bill serviced, painted and put up lights. Gil continued to work on shelves for the work bench.

Friday Gil completed some shelves for the west work bench. Bill tested and repaired thousands of lights.

Saturday Nov 4th Bill continued to test and repair light strings in the morning and when Richard and Gil arrived the nine fence units were tested and mounted in the lower parking area. Rob shovelled the track and with Gil carried the tree gondolas to the steaming bay area for Monday pick up for painting. Vic mounted the coupler stop on the dolly that 6109 is on and cleaned up and organized stuff in the engine house. Dwight, Ed and Barry cleaned out most of the switches in the station area and made them ready for winter. Dwight removed springs from mainline switches and spiked the switches for winter operation. Jim checked all the radios and put them on charge for Christmas running. Fred, Bill, Richard and Rob carried and set up the fence units in the upper parking area. Fred and Joseph took all the remaining arches from the garage shed and tested them while Richard ran jumper wires to the fence units to get them illuminated. Bill repaired arches and set out more lights. Len dug a post hole and sank a tube into the ground to support a post that replaces a dead tree in the upper parking area. A twenty foot post was prepared. 

Sunday Bill tested and put out more lights.

Monday the three gondolas were picked up for painting in Gimli and Bill but up more lights and repaired displays.

Tuesday Jim and Gil serviced four more gondolas for Christmas and Bill arrived in time to help arrange cars in the storage areas and then went to work on lights while Gil mounted another drawer under a work bench. Bill completed the first of five new candy canes.

Wednesday Vic, Gil and Ed took down the station  eaves troughs for cleaning and re sealing. Bill and Brian carried out arches for the north and west part of the railway. Ed helped at the end with a couple for the west side. Bill continued with light repairs and placement.

Thursday Bill placed all the steel posts in the ground for the upper parking area and the yard display.

Friday Gil and Jim completed maintenance work on the black gondola and checked out some trucks. Bill repaired three poinsettias and put lights on another new candy cane. Dwight prepared a slide presentation for the WMRC on the AVR's fall Dinner Train.

Saturday November 11th after Remembrance Day services members gathered to get projects completed. Many assisted with the various jobs being done but the principle workers on projects were, Vic and Gil assemble the eves troughs with calking and rivets and re-mounted them on the station. Dwight added a capacitor to the Box Cab controls and repaired some bonding wire problems and inspected the track. Fred and Ed set out the Ashdown buildings and commenced some overhaul work to the exterior of the first building. Barry, Gil and Jim started to add parts to the three new gondolas that were returned from the painters today. Richard and Bill tested, repaired and set out the eleven small 12' road arches and then put out most of the remaining 6' arches on walking trails and over the railway. Rob and Joseph took 202 and some gondolas and hauled all the artificial Christmas trees back to the station. Bill continued on upper trail lighting.

Sunday Nov 12th, Bill put up the lighting display in the main yard, 7184 lights.

Monday Bill put out the balance of the candy canes. Gil, Jim and Bill put up the illuminated Train. Gil and Jim checked all unchecked rolling stock for the Christmas run and while Jim arranged cars, Gil put trucks on the two new gondolas. Bill continued with Christmas decorations.

Tuesday Vic and Gil took 3001-202 and 6109 to the steaming bay lift and lubricated gear boxes and checked running gear. Vic re hung the missing brake shoe on 202. An air leak was found on 3001 which will need to be repaired. Bill continued on lights hanging all Christmas bells.

Wednesday Nov. 15th Rob put the trucks on the last gondola and Bill, Gil and Rob moved it to the car barn, staked the short flat on the two hoppers and replaced the car barn gable end. Gil helped Bill put out the first three road arches and Gil adjusted the engine house dead bolt. Brian replaced five power source sockets that had been rodent damaged. Ed continued to paint the Ashdown building and then started on the power house building. Bill continued on lights and was joined by Jim after supper and they put out the next nine road arches. Brian removed the lights from Ezekiel's wheel that will get new lights.

Thursday Bill spent the afternoon putting up lights. Jim joined in for a couple of hours and put up some arches on the west side and some upper parking lights.

Friday Bill set up more lights and repaired were deer had pulled down 1000 lights and badly damaged two wire trees.

Saturday Bill put new lights on Ezekiel's wheel and put it out. He repaired light strings. Richard cleaned junk from the upper walking trail, cut two large dead branches and repaired a power tap. Bill and Richard put up the last four main road arches. Gil built a shelf and installed it over the work bench for all the radio chargers. Vic brought a galvanized pan to go under the lathe and with Barry and Ed's help took the lathe apart and moved it. Jim took the top off 3001 with Barry and Vic repaired the air leak.  Fred took the bolts off the steaming bay tracks and Bill, Richard and Fred moved them out of the way for Christmas. Ed and Fred continued with the re-paint of the Ashdown buildings and Brian did some re-lettering, stripped lights and salvaged bulbs. Gil, Fred, Richard and Bill installed the new 22 foot pole in the upper parking area and put up the overhead lights. Richard and Bill did the overhead lights in the lower parking area and repaired a line destroyed by squirrels. Dwight found and repaired some broken bond wires on the signal system and checked tracks. Later he helped Bill repair a broken bell display that squirrels had chewed.  Bill continued with lights till 10:00 pm.

Sunday Bill worked on lights and completed the tree wrapping at Chapman.

Monday Nov 20, Bill put three four foot maple leafs on the upper fence and with Jim's help made two stars on the Swan Drive fence. Jim serviced spare trucks while Bill worked on more lights. Bill made up next years public run handout and sent out PR material.

Tuesday Bill spent the afternoon repairing deer damage and put up some small displays. Rob picked up nine of our ten new seats from Hilt.

Wednesday Gil filled some pot holes, used the leaf blower on tracks and sorted material in the engine house as well as mounted the nine new seats on the basses.  Vic sorted materials and cleaned up. Jim greased the gear boxes in # 25. Ed completed the painting on a building and started on a fourth. Bill completed a new snow flake and put out the piece on earth display. 

Thursday Bill completed a second snow flake and stripped and re-lighted one camel.

Friday Bill cleared the snow on the yard trails and Jim walked the main line with a shovel. Bill completed the eight foot light circle for the west side and with Jim's help took it and the first camel out to their positions. Bill continued working on lights and repaired more deer damage as well as completing another snow flake.

Saturday Nov. 25th, Bill spent time in the morning updating the web and creating a Memorial Page for Peter. Any member who would like to contribute to the page is welcome to do so. Richard cleaned up trash and stored more display boxes away then put up the parking signs and other signs around the property. He set up the donation boxes and helped where needed. Vic sorted various screws, nut and bolts into small containers and made up labels. Ed started on two more Ashdown display buildings, painting and restoring where possible. Fred brought out his LGB track for the Ashdown display and with Jim's help set it up and got it running with a new street car. Jim got out two trains and locomotives for an afternoon birthday party of 18 people and Ed and Gil gave the group a double ride with warm up period between. The railway ran well. Ed and Gil put the equipment away. Barry and Vic spent time designing the small lift that is planned for the engine house this winter. Dwight repaired some switches that had been vandalized during the week and checked all signal systems. Bill completed another candy cane and put it out at Ashgrove, set out other displays, striped the second camel and put on new lights and generally worked on the display all day.

Sunday Bill tested and repaired old lights and fixed the window light objects and put them up. All lights were tested and checked.

Monday Bill removed a spare car from the drive and took the large snow blower to the engine house.

Tuesday Bill serviced the snow blower and after the 6 inches fell used the large machine from clear the yard trails, road and lower parking area. 3.5 hours.

Wednesday Ed completed some final work on the Ashdown display and cleared all snow from the area. Vic installed the chargers in #25 and did more general clean up. Gil used the small snow blower on the whole track while Bill used the big unit on upper parking area and access roads plus all bush trails. Jim helped Bill put out the second camel and Bill stripped and re-lighted the third camel and made up lighting harnesses for another candy cane. 

Thursday Jim and Bill put out the last camel and while Bill replaced 150 lights damaged by deer Jim did some track cleanup. Bill set up the two nativity displays, installed jumpers and shovelled snow. Five arms of a snow flake were completed.

Friday opening day Dec1, 2006. Bill spent 1.5 hours on the large snow blower doing the upper road and lower parking area plus trails around the yard. Jim went around the entire main line with the shovel and Gil helped clean up the station with Bill. Global TV came to do a daytime shot of the railway and returned after dark to do a night segment live back to the station. Gil and Bill put up the main sign. Once again snow hampered the completion of the 85,000 lights but we are at 99.54% with three snow flakes, one candy cane and the lighted 4-6-2 display still to be completed. If the snow holds of this will get completed over the weekend. Jim took the Global camera man on a night run on the new line. Light snow was falling for our first night. The railway was run alternately by Jim, Bill, Ed, Barry, Fred and Rob. Bill completed two more snow flakes.

Saturday Vic modified the small snow blower to take a larger slice of snow  and took a defective charger out of 3001 with Rob and Bill's help. Gil cleared off the whole main line by shovel and Bill cleaned the lower parking area and yard trails by shovel and used the large snow blower on the bush trails. He also put out three snow flakes in the Ashgrove area. Vic and Barry did more brain storming about the engine house lift. Dwight installed a new dwarf signal at Charleswood east and serviced switches.  The railway was run today by Richard, Jim, Rob, Dwight and Bill.

Sunday Gil checked the track. Bill ran a new temporary camera line for the lower parking and re-established the camera. Upon investigation it was found a squirrel had entered the wall and the area will need some repair. The last candy cane was completed and lights were prepared for the last snow flake. Due to dropping temperatures and snow visitors were light so Bill worked on lights in the station while Ed ran trains, Brian looked after tickets, Jim dispatched and Barry was on spare board. 

Monday was a cold night -20. In the afternoon Gil cleared the snow off the main lines. Bill cleared the yard trails and blew off the Ashdown display and the nativity displays using the leaf blower and then repaired deer damage out in the bush. The 4-6-2 light display was repaired and set out getting us over the goal of 85,000 lights. The railway was run by Jim, Richard, Rob and Bill. We had a group of students taking English  from India.

Tuesday  Gil and Bill cleaned snow from the lower fire pit area. Bill repaired and set out the traffic control signs for the upper parking area and completed the last snow flake. Tonight we had two youth groups so the trains were busy and we had a group of Philippine people from an English class. Rob, Jim, Ed and Bill ran the railway.

Wednesday Vic sorted out more materials and discussed the engine house lift with Bill. Bill repaired some lights out in the bush. Bill opened and closed the display while Rob, Jim, Fred and Brian ran the railway. Gil checked the track and went around with a shovel.

Thursday Bill did railway administration. Gil checked the track and the night operation was done by Richard, Dwight and Bill.

Friday Bill put out a new deer that he was given, repaired squirrel damage and got the street car line running. The railway was run by Vic, Gil, Jim, Rob and Bill. It was our busiest night this year but things ran well.

Saturday Bill picked up more holiday glasses so we have 11 types and printed more handouts. Vic checked the charging system on 3001 and did battery maintenance. Gil went around the railway and serviced the track and made some modifications to the rain gutters. Ed assisted the others were needed. Dwight attempted to repair and test a charger. Bill repaired squirrel damage, checked the lights and added 500 more to the display. We had a large group of riders. The railway was operated by Jim, Richard, Ed, Barry, Rob and Bill.

Sunday Dec 10, Bill walked the trails and repaired any lights out. Gil walked the track greasing and paying attention to level crossings. The railway was operated by Barry, Fred, Len, Ed, Gil and Bill. Gil built two sign boxes for Bill to make up illuminated signs.

Monday Bill started working on this years reports and also purchased two new 24 frame batteries for 3001. Gil serviced the tracks and spent more time on the light boxes. Bill checked all the lights and repaired as needed. Bill spent part of the afternoon shovelling grey snow off the main drive deposited off cars. The railway was operated by Jim, Richard, Dwight and Bill. Gil came by to check on things. We had three youth groups in so lots of young riders. Bill did a light inspection at 10 before closing down. A squirrel has taken out the bell on the old line.

Tuesday Bill picked up more station supplies, did bookwork and checked all the lights. The swinging bell took an hour to repair as some wires were cut off right at the electronics. Gil serviced the track paying attention to level crossings. Bill had a French Language film crew in and ran the train for them. The railway operated with the dedicated crew of Ed, Jim, Fred, Gil and Bill. The display suffered several damages. Deer took out lights and knocked down a fence on the east side, squirrels took out 400 lights along the west side when they chewed through a line and a bus took out the last 16 foot arch by the drive way. This will all be repaired on Wednesday.

Wednesday Bill did book work and then spent the afternoon fixing the deer, squirrel and bus damage to the display. Vic put the new batteries on charge and sorted more material. Gil serviced the track. We had a visitor from Thunder Bay who is interested in helping out when he is in Winnipeg.  The railway was run by Richard, Fred, Gil and Bill. We had visitors from Viet Nam. 

Thursday Dec 14, Bill cleared snow in front of the station yard trails and lower parking area. Gil cleared snow on the track and level crossings. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Ed, Karl and Bill. Loco 3001 had a battery test done on the front pair and got 4.5 trips. Later she had a stuck forward relay and was replaced with 6109 but the problem went away later. Dirty relay contacts? We had visitors from Mexico.

Friday Bill repaired about 500 lights and checked the whole display. One speaker in the bush was replaced as squirrels had moved in and eaten the speakers. Snow had fallen overnight so he cleared all yard trails and in front of the station. Gil cleared snow on the main lines and serviced the tracks. The snow started up in the early evening as we were about to start. Bill cleared more snow. The railway was run by Barry, Rob, Brian, Vic, Richard and Dwight. Bill started the display up leaving for choir at 7:00 and then closing down the display. Gil checked on things. 

Saturday Dec 16, Bill started the day dealing with donated food for Harvest and cash donations for the Christmas Cheer Board. Next came the shovelling of the station area, yard trails and the lower parking area. Vic replaced a set of batteries in 3001 and he and Bill switched with 6109 and put it on the dolly and jacked it up to test the four traction motors that functioned correctly but we noticed the air compressor was running hot and gave off some odour. Vic cut three rugs for the new gondolas. Gil cleared snow on the track and serviced as needed. Vic and Gil set up three trains. Bill removed that heavy grey brown snow that falls off cars on the driveway and moved it by shovel to the sides. He made it 11/16ths the length of the road. The railway was run by Vic, Ed, Rob, Bill, Karl, Brian, Gil and Shirley and we had our busiest day this season.

Sunday Gil cleared snow and serviced the track. Bill spent the afternoon repairing things that squirrels had chewed, one candy can with chewed off lights, fifty lights on north west trail with a chewed off light, four hundred light on the west trail completely severed, a swinging bell with a chewed off plug, a snowflake with a chewed through extension and 150 overhead lights missing an end. We have no idea what nutritional value they find in these lights. The railway was run by Richard, Jim, Rob, Bill  and Barry with Ed coming at 6:30 and Len coming at seven. As the night was light Barry and Jim were able to leave early.

Monday Dec 18 Gil cleared and serviced the track. Vic worked on the steel list for the third dolly, engine house lift and four log cars. Bill spent two hours on club paperwork, picked up hot chocolate, printed up 200 hand out sheets, walked the track and trails checking lights, sanded yard trails and repaired 1000 lights that a squirrel had taken out. Unfortunately the squire also made off with the electronics for a swinging bell and took two male/female plug-ins. Rob took 13 milk boxes of groceries to Winnipeg Harvest. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Dwight, Rob, Karl and Bill. 

Tuesday Bill spent more time on paperwork, checked all the lights and found squirrels had chewed the electrics on the bells at Duck Lake and also taken out an arch. They had also taken out three snow flakes and a bell in the front yard. Bill re soldered the connections on the west side and packed the electronics in steel wool, duct tape and electrical tape. The arch was repaired and both items were returned to the wild. One hundred lights were repaired on the north side chewed by squirrels and the bell on the trail was repaired to run without its electronic swing unit. The bell in the front yard turned out to be a squirrel chewed socket. Repairs took from 1:30 till 5:15 pm. More to be done on Wednesday. Gil serviced and lubricated the track and hung the four show car pictures in the station that Rob had framed. The railway was run by Gil, Jim, Fred, Karl, Richard and Bill with Carol helping on the platform after 8:00. Rob laminated 48 new tickets for trial and they were used about four times tonight with good results. 

Wednesday Vic repaired the running lights on 6109 and discussed some form of automatic track greaser that could be mounted on a car with Gil who also serviced the tracks. Bill repaired six wires that squirrels had damaged the night before but no new ones were detected. The railway was operated by Jim, Rob, Richard, Karl and Bill. We had a large but well spread group of riders so there was almost no waiting. 

Thursday Dec 21, Bill spent two hours doing railway paperwork and then checked all the lights. Squirrels had attacked in two places, taking a light socket on the north trail and removing the electronics from a set of 150 overhead lights on the north west corner. A new string was put out but the electronics were wrapped in steel wool to see if the squirrels will leave them alone. Gil walked the tracks servicing as needed. We had a good steady group of visitors to the display and railway. The following members ran the railway using three train so there was little waiting. Gil, Fred, Dwight, Karl, Ed, Barry, Rob and Bill. We had a group of riders from England on holidays to Winnipeg. Vic worked from home getting prices on steel to build the third dolly, engine repair lift and four log cars. Over the past few days Rob had about 500 new train tickets made up that were laminated to replace our old tickets.

Friday first full day of winter Bill did railroad accounting. Gil serviced the rails. Gil and Bill got out enough cars for four full trains. Bill checked lights and repaired squirrel damage on the west side where they ran off with a male and female plug and two light sockets putting out 500 lights. Two road arches were damaged by a person or vehicle and temporary repairs were done. The railway had its busiest night this season but by running four trains we kept the waiting times down. The railway was run by, Gil, Jim, Brian, Rob, Ed, Karl, David, Carol, Shirley and Bill. We can use extra members during the next week. 

Saturday Bill checked all the lights and found a three star cluster on the west side had been the latest victim of a squirrel attack.. The display was taken to the station for repair and returned later. An overhead line was also missing a light socket due to squirrels and repaired. Several items in the "Q" area were also repaired and 60% of the old lights from the camels were decommissioned saving wire and bulbs. Gil service the track and sanded trails were needed. Richard and Bill got the trains out. We ran four trains handling a record number of visitors. Members working tonight were, Rob, Shirley, Gil, Ed, David, Barry, Brian, Richard, Jim and Bill. 

Sunday Christmas Eve Gil serviced the tracks and Bill walked the trails and repaired some lights. We had a very busy night running two train with Vic, Ed and Bill. The people who came were most appreciative and consider this a special night for them.

Monday Christmas Day Bill checked all the lights but the train did not run. 

Tuesday Boxing Day Bill Purchased 20,800 lights on sale. They will not all be used next year but some will be used to replace the older arches at Amur Glen and Ashgrove. Some will be used in the fabrication of a series of new wire designs for 2007. Some will be held for other displays that need to be updated over the next few years. A small quantity of LEDs were purchased to experiment with and to see if the will be subject to squirrel attack. Unfortunately LEDs will not be usable, as they are currently made, for trail lighting as they do not provide enough fill light to illuminate the walking trails. It appears that three times as many lights would be needed to illuminate trails and that would negate any saving in power consumption. Bill walked the trails to check lights and repaired one failed line and replaced a series of bulbs as needed. Bill serviced the tracks. Bill, Richard and Jim got the trains out and the railway was operated by, Richard, Rob, Dwight, David, Brian, Andrei and Bill for an Average Boxing day crowd.

Wednesday Vic spent time drawing up plans for the engine house lift and working on the new gear drive. Bill spent a couple of hours on club accounting, walked the trails checking lights and repaired a squirrel chew at a power socket. It was discovered that a squirrel attacked the electronics for the fourth time at Duck Lake and took out a bell set. The steel wool appeared to have stopped the theft. It will get fixed on Thursday. The railway was run for a large steady crowd by Rob, Fred, Andrei, Brian, Len and Bill.

Thursday Vic picked up steel and a saw with a friend and delivered it to the AVR. Bill spent two hours doing accounting and admin work then helped the driver unload the steel for the winter projects. Bill spent two hours repairing the bell from Duck Lake and returned it to service and noticed some additional squirrel damage. We had a record number of riders for a Thursday and could have used an additional train running. Those operating were Brian, Richard, Rob, Ed, Karl and Bill.

Friday Bill spent a couple of hours doing accounting and admin jobs. Then picked up more hot chocolate and cups. Vic installed a replacement charger in 3001. Rob, Leeanne and Joseph delivered another 340 lbs of food to Winnipeg Harvest. Vic started cutting up steel for the lift in the engine house. Bill checked the lights and repaired seven places that squirrels had chewed wires putting out 1400 lights. He then serviced the tracks. The temperature dropped to -17 as we ran to a good crowd but with enough members we were able to run three trains so people had very minimal wafting times. Those running the railway were Rob, Ed, Vic, David, Brian, Karl, Barry, Jim, Shirley and Bill.

Saturday Dec 30, Vic continued to cut steel for the new lift with the steel saw and started mounting casters on the bottom plates.  Dwight checked switches and replaced a damaged switch stand. Bill repaired squirrel damaged lights on the west trail restoring over 400 lights and repaired a 50 light string damaged by deer and replaced a 200 string that squirrels had damaged several days ago. Bill cleared snow on the yard trails, part of the lower parking, the "Q" area and in front of the station. He also greased the tracks. He put out a string of 350 LED lights at Ghosty Hollow for a test and added 300 lights in the station area to indicate routes of traffic. The sigh box that Gil made was completed with directional information. Rob cleared snow on the tracks while Richard put brushes on the locomotives and swept out level crossings. A storm had blown in from Oklahoma and was dumping snow as the operation started. It was the stuff that makes men out of railroaders as the whole crew battled the element to give a goodly quantity of visitors a ride. Due to snow accumulations we could only run the three large diesels with snow brushes and could only haul 6 to 9 passengers instead of the usual 16 to 18 per train. we advised riders that there would be delays due to snow but thanks to a larger than usual number of members we were able to clear snow and get 50 trains through. Several members were kept busy all night clearing snow and sweeping out switches. Those assisting with operation were, Bill, Len, Ed, Dwight, Richard, Barry, David, Rob, Jim, Fred, and Fred's granddaughter Imogen helped on the platform,  Jack and JJ from Minnesota, Vic and Whit and Carla from Iowa. Locomotive 3001 was retired early and when Vic checked her out a shorted battery was found and replaced. Our American members had driven all the way to Winnipeg to participate in the Christmas run just for the day. Bill walked the trails after and found that a squirrel had taken out light sockets in 5 sections of lights (250) lights. 

Sunday, New Year's Eve. The sky is blue the sun is bright and overnight we got about a foot of snow. From 8:15 am till 11:15 Bill managed to get the road open but not complete and the lower parking lot completely cleared. Lots more to go. While doing the remainder of the road the old machine bit the dust and a new machine was picked up with consultation with Len and Vic. If  we do not like it we can return it on Tuesday. Rob and Joseph took the small blower around the new line and cleared the snow. Bill completed the job with the shovel. Bill also used the new machine to widen the road, to complete the yard trails and to open the short trail from the yard to Roblin. Vic got a train out and ran 17 trips for enthusiastic riders. Bill manned the station and loaded the trains. 

Monday, New Year's Day Bill took the new blower to the upper parking area and around the north west walking trail and cleared snow for 4 hours. The two arches at the top of the road were repaired and squirrel damage at the Ashdown display (300) lights and on the west trail (150) were repaired. The Duck Lake bell has been attacked for the fifth time with the male female plugs missing. Rob serviced the new line. The railway was run by Rob, Shirley, Jim, Len, Andrei and Bill. Bill cleared snow from the Ashdown display that had become a white mountain and also cleared around some yard displays. Our American members made it home through the storm safely. 

Tuesday Gil took the small snow blower around the old line and moved most of the snow but it was hard going due to deer trampling the snow. He later serviced the new line. Bill took the new snow blower around the back trails for a second pass to widen the trail. He cleared the small upper parking area and then the "Q" area was cleared and part of the picnic area. A squirrel attacked a main feeder from the 100 amp panel putting out 5,000 lights. Bill repaired that just at 5:30 along with some other lights. Richard got out two trains and tested the tracks. The railway operated well except for the west Charleswood switch on the new line. The switch handle came off and the original spring method was used with success. Len repaired a second squirrel attack on the 500 light line from the maintenance building. We had visitors from Germany and Asia. The railway was operated by Rob, Richard, Ed, Len and Bill.

Wednesday warmed up to above freezing. Vic completed the cutting of the steel for the lift and then had a meeting with Bill on his ideas for gear drive location. Gil took the small snow blower for a second pass on the old line and Jim, Rob and Joseph used the shovel to clean it up. Bill checked the lights and repaired and restored 800 lights that squirrels had put out and 100 that had failed due to material failure. A set of lights was put up to warn people about a stump. Bill spent two hours on club accounting and printed more handouts. Gil started to dismantle the old snow blower. Vic started welding the bottom base of the lift. The railway was run by Gil, Rob, Richard, Dwight, Vic, Jim and Bill. Dwight repaired the west Charleswood switch on the new line.  

Thursday Bill checked all the lights and found the Duck Lake bell had been attacked again and repaired it as needed. This is the sixth such attack. Gil serviced the tracks. Bill used the snow blower and shovel to clear up the large fire ring for a group and also moved grey snow on the connecting drive way. We had a busy day with the following members running the railway, Ed, Fred, Len, Brian, Gil, Vic and Bill. Tonight we took a picture of a youth that became our 15,000 rider for this Christmas season. 

Friday Bill did club admin for two hours and used the snow blower on grey snow on drive ways. Gil serviced the tracks and got cars out. Bill checked lights and the squirrel  attacked for the seventh time the bell and arch at Duck Lake. A squirrel also took out two new strings of LED lights at Ghosty Hollow. One string is beyond a quick repair. A squirrel took out a line at the Ashdown display and took out the 600 lights at the playhouse while the display was operating. Bill repaired the wheels on the illuminated train and changed all bad bulbs. The LED lights are going to be harder to maintain as they are harder to match resistance than the standard mini bulbs. Their light output is less therefore more bulbs are needed to produce the same light output. Dwight had designed a circuit to enhance their light output and also increase their on time however it also uses more power so the saving in the end may be slight and may not prove successful considering the continual problems with deer and squires. The test will continue.  The railway was operated by the following members, Brian, Gil, Ed, Jim, Fred, Rob and Bill. 

Saturday Jan 6th, Vic spent the day welding and grinding in the machine shop on the lift. Barry came to discuss the drive shaft requirements. Gil serviced the tracks and got cars out. Bill spent three hours doing club admin jobs and then repaired the sound system and checked all the lights, only having to repair one squire attack and replace a main power plug with a heavier box and receptacle. Rob replaced a coupler on car 190. The box cab #25 has a headlight problem and 3001 needs a new battery five switch. The railway was operated by Jim, Rob, Richard, Len, Ed, Gil and Bill. 

Sunday Vic spent the evening cutting, grinding and welding the steel frame for the lift and now has the first side mounted. Gil cleared the tracks and serviced as needed uncovering switches and set out cars. Bill cleared snow on yard trails and station area and cleared grey snow from the parking areas and road. Lights were checked and 800 were put back on that a squirrel had attacked. Fifty lights were repaired due to equipment failure and Dwight repaired the headlight in #25. The last night was steady but light as far as riders were concerned. The railway was run with the following members, Bill, Len, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Marietta, Barry, Rob, Jim and Gil. After the run the station was changed into a banquet hall and a Chinese dinner was provided to 19 of the members. A celebration to a good year at the club. 

Monday Bill took down the train ride sign, covered train rides on the main sign and replaced all train time signs with a sign about our summer train rides. 

Tuesday Vic picked up supplies for the lift and did some grinding on the frame. Bill checked the lights and found squirrel damage in three places.

Wednesday Gil did more dismantling on the old snow blower. Ed and Bill unloaded the north shelf in the engine house and Gil and Ed took it apart. Gil used the small snow blower on the new line while Ed took the shovel around, Bill cleared all yard trails, the area in front of the station and took one pass with the shovel on all bush trails. Two more squirrel attacks were detected. Bill spent the rest of the day until 10:00 pm working on the "Nutty Report"

Thursday Gil cleared the new line again with shovel while Bill used the snow blower on the road, trails and lower parking area. Bill printed up the envelopes and membership cards to be mailed out with the Nutty Report. Mary-Lou and Vic proof read it. Gil and Bill moved some material in the engine house so Gil can set up a couple of shelf extensions. Vic brought his family for a night train ride at -30 degrees. All had a good time. Gil got the track ready and took a couple of check rides. A family donated four deer to the Christmas display and Bill got the first one repaired and set it out.

Friday Jan 12th Temperature in the morning -37 c  Gil connected the two half shelf units onto the two west shelves and made them ready to be re loaded. Bill started the process of printing the five page all colour Nutty Report and completed fifty copies. He was successful in being able to refill the ink cartridges a number of times. Many issues were collated. While printing was going on Bill was able to repair two more of the donated deer. 

Saturday Bill completed the printing and stapling process and then typed up the minutes of last years AGM from the notes that Richard had taken at the meeting. The progress report was copied that Gil produced for the meeting. Nutty Reports and membership cards are available in the station for those who pick them up, others will be mailed. The minutes, bylaw change and agenda are posted in the engine house for members to review. Vic cut, welded, pre-assembled, ground and generally got the second side of the lift ready for welding. The mounting flange for the gear motor was mounted and the shaft material was purchased. Gil, Fred and Bill worked on relocating material on shelves and dismantling additional shelves and re-assembling to make best use of space and make room for the storage of the lift. Ed assisted both work projects were needed. Brian purchased a black light unit for detecting counterfeit $50's. Bill spent part of the evening repairing the fourth deer that the Sedor family had donated to the Christmas light display and they are all working outside the station.

Sunday Bill updated the AVR and WMRC web pages. Vic welded the second side onto the lift and started to weld on the wheels. Ed found paint, brushes, checked material, cleaned were needed and started to paint the frame with primer. He then cleaned the brushes. He organized the car building parts. 

Monday Vic and Gil worked on the lift. Vic welded the balance of the side, mounted the casters to the bottom and their outriggers. He ground and cleaned up where needed. Gil sorted more parts and started a cleanup. Bill checked for parts and returned the blowers.

Tuesday Bill sorted out AVR material  from Peter's and the box with the extra cast queen posts was found along with the chain for the log cars. Lettering printouts for the outside braced box car and trailer was also located. Archival material for the WMRC was put aside. 

Wednesday Vic welded the main motor bracket, machined two support brackets and welded them on and mounted the gear motor firmly to the lift. Ed continued to put primer paint on the lift working around Vic's grinding and welding. Gil continued his work of organizing steel material and other materials both in the engine house and maintenance building. Bill arranged tools on shelves and cut steel for seven new stars for next year.  

Thursday Vic got the shaft for the gear drive cut and filled the gear box with oil. Bill worked on the web page and updated the track plan.

Friday Gil took measurements for the station book shelf, got material and Bill cut up steel for four 4' poinsettias, laid out three on the jig and welded two. 

Saturday Jan 20th, Bill cleared snow on the yard trails. Laid out steel for the fourth poinsettia and welded two. Cut up steel for an eighth star and commenced welding one of the stars. Barry picked up the lift shaft material to be machined. Vic cut and machined more parts for the lift. Ed painted more of the lift and some shelf brackets. Gil completed the snow blower dismantling and sorted tools and materials. Richard cleaned up garbage and Bill and Richard put tags on Christmas lines. Bill sorted materials that Gil had set aside. Dwight checked flat 220 for possible oilier modifications and checked other measurements. 

Sunday Bill updated the web and began welding arms for the next seven stars. In all 70 arms were welded for a total of seven more 36" stars. These will be painted in the summer and lights applied in the fall. 

Monday Vic machined more of the lift parts. Gil and Bill stored paint on the top shelf. Bill cut steel for four enhanced 100 light snow flakes. 

Wednesday Vic machined cable lift parts and filed material from the main rails to accept the extension pieces. Gil and Bill took down and stowed away the illuminated train and started on the 16' road arches storing six and tapping up four more. Bill cut up steel for four more snow flakes and ground flash off all the ends.

RECIPE FOR A SNOW FLAKE 48" WIDE

1/4" round steel. Cut one piece 48" long, cut four pieces 24" long, cut six pieces 14" long, cut twelve pieces 7.5" long. Weld together to form snow flake. Paint unit with white rust paint and apply 100 lights to arms. If you need a welding plan e-mail.

Thursday Gil filed one end of a main lift arm for the lift. Bill marked all holes in the main sills for log cars, cut steel and cleaned flash for coupler mounts and bolsters.

Friday Bill spends afternoon making five new pages for last summers Ramble, Train Mountain, Medford, Kitsap, VIME and Burnaby. Two more to go.

Saturday Bill worked on picture disks, cutting bolster bars for the four log cars and laying out four and welding three enhanced snow flakes. Richard and Fred braved the cold weather and completed the job of rolling up the cord ends on six of the 16' road arches and then transporting ten to the storage building. Their next task was to dig snow off the Ashdown buildings and streetcar track and put them all away in storage. Vic continued to work on small tasks in the engine house involving the lift. He also made adjustments to the band saw and assisted Bill in cutting bolster parts on the chop saw. Barry and Vic discussed the fabrication of the lift drive shafts. Bill and Vic drilled, tapped and cleaned up the eight steel holders for couplers. Gil started to modify the laith storage shelf. Bill set up for and started cutting the 16 truck bolster bearing plates.  Gil is working on a book shelf for the station at his home workshop.  

Sunday Bill cut the remaining bearing plates and laid out four snowflakes and welded five units. The snow to the station was cleared.

Monday Jan, 29, Bill spent the afternoon adding in the pages on the ramble at Bowen Island and Airdrie and adding the St. Croix fall meet. Barry took more measurements of the gear motor for the lift and spent the evening machining the coupling shaft between the gear motor and drive shaft. Gil mounted the extra white shelves on the grey shelf.

Wednesday Jan 31, Bill updated the Canada Day meet pages and the Joint meet with Red River for late August. Time was spent insuring that our historic collections on "Nutty Reports" was complete. Gil continued his task of sorting the endless machine shop supplies and discarding what is not needed. Vic re-mounted the lift drive motor, put in place the drive shaft and laid out the lift table to check how all would fit. Bill drilled all the holes needed for truck and couple mounting on the four centre sills of the log cars. 

Thursday Feb 1, 2007 Vic continued to work on the lift, mounting the cable drums and shaft bearing. The main lift deck was welded together and pulley lift guides were installed. The shaft and drive were tested. Gil assisted were needed and sorted more parts. Bill printed by-laws and minutes for the AGM.

Friday Vic continued to work on the new lift in the engine house, welding on the support brackets for the idler cable drums and starting to run cable. 

Saturday morning Bill cleaned up the station and got ready for the AGM. Those in attendance were Gil, Barry, Len, Brian, Fred, Dwight, Richard, Bill, Vic, William and Rob. The by-laws were amended and an election held for two new directors/vice-presidents and Vic and Dwight were added. The new executive will be Bill, Len, Vic and Dwight. The financial report was accepted and the following projects approved for implementation this year. New movable coat rack for engine house complete with raise able and lower able hat rack. (As per one members wish list), it will double as an engine repair lift and will be modified to lift cars and allow cars to remain hoisted while their trucks can be dropped for easy maintenance and service. This feature will also allow double stacking of gondolas for storage or travel and can be done by only one person. Build a third locomotive dolly for storage area. Complete the Duck Lake siding and spur. Complete moss removal and re-ballast program. Complete signal system for protection of diamonds. Build steel box car. Build four log cars. Letter three new gondolas. (good news last night old lettering plans and sheets were found in Peter's papers for lettering to be made from.) Build the Paterson elevator and annex buildings. Assemble portable steel building near engine house for dry storage. Build wing walls for west tunnel and back fill tunnel. Grind off old top of loading pad and put new smooth topping on. Re-build access track to loading area. Modify radios for better operation. Better send switch and better ways to prevent vox coming on. Install additional deer fence to cut down on forest devastation. Build upper storage rack in engine house with four bays. Will hold four 12 foot locomotives or eight cars. A few miner things were approved like brooms and engine house phone. 

Monday Bill cut and ground eight 3/8 connector mounts for the mounting of truck pins in the four log cars and put them in place in the sills ready for welding.

Tuesday Bill updated the web pages. Welded the eight mounting connectors and ground off the excess weld and set up for the first two bolsters and welded one till the wire ran out. 

Wednesday Vic worked on the cable drum drive system on the lift. Gil completed the oak shelf for the station and with assistance from Vic mounted it above the freight doors on the east wall. It will house club news letters, equipment manuals and picture albums. Bill completed the welding of bolster supports for four log cars and sorted material for the shelf. The meet at the end of August  with RRVR will be moved to the last weekend in August with AVR activities starting Wednesday night, Thursday, Friday and finishing with breakfast on Saturday then over to Red River for Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday Bill welded the 16 truck bolster bearing plates onto the four frames. They are now ready for painting.

Friday Bill worked on the internet having problems with uploading and sorted and arranged club archives.

Saturday Bill uploaded files to web and made labels for binders on Gil's new shelf. Richard, Fred, Gil and Bill collected and wound up 23 milk boxes of Christmas lights on all the trails, upper parking areas and places where lights could be damaged by deer. Vic continued working on the lift and completed the mounting of idler wheels. 

Monday Feb 12th, Vic continued on lift construction, making and welding on the brackets for the cable termination hooks. Other work with cabling was completed. Bill cut and drilled the eight coupler spacer bases for the log cars.

Tuesday Bill machined the square coupler holders to fit the plates ready for welding.

Wednesday Vic completed the stringing of cables and welded on the end movement brackets. The lift was run up and down but some fine tuning is next task. Bill welded the eight coupler brackets and Ed started painting the frames. Gil, Bill, Vic and Ed discussed the wood placement on the cars.

Friday Bill found more car building parts from Peter and put more photo albums in the station from trips the AVR went on.

Saturday Vic worked on the lift all day fine tuning the cable drive and orientation of the pulleys to make it raise and lower smoothly. Richard, Fred, Gil and Bill brought in Christmas displays from around the railway, storing away about half the arches, candy canes, poinsettias, bells and angels. All arches that remain are unhooked and ready to go. The camels are in along with large circles. The lower drive area is complete. The nativity figures are inside and the playhouse is finished. It was noted that some squirrel and deer damage has taken place. Ed completed the first coat of red primer on the log car frames. Gil has purchased wood and has taken a frame to cut the wood to size. William spent the afternoon cheering members on. Dwight is working on signals at home. 

Sunday Bill dried off the nativity set pieces, put them in their boxes and stored them away. 

Monday Gil picked up lumber to dry for the log cars. Dwight spent time making PDF files for older versions of the "Nutty Report".

Wednesday Vic adjusted the lift and started on the control system. He and Gil test mounted the limit switches. Ed put a second coat of paint on three log car frames. William brought in supplies and Bill repaired some squirrel damage to a communications four pair cable. 

Thursday Bill backed up AVR pictures and files to DVD. 

Friday Bill did book work, web update and backed up files.

Saturday Feb 24th, Bill took down most candy canes in yard plus other lights. Richard, Gil and Fred continued with light storage including items that Bill had taken down except about 8 candy canes in front yard that need to be stored. Upper shed storage was begun. Vic and Dwight worked on the lift re-arranging and fine tuning the cable drive system and tested the table with a load. Barry picked up a converter from Vic. Dwight completed the conversion of all older versions of the Nutty Report to PDF format so members wishing older versions can get them electronically.

Monday Bill made changes to web page.

Wednesday Ed painted the fourth log car frame that Gil was using for wood measurements.

Saturday March 3, Gil used the snow blower on the road then worked with Richard putting away railway arches. Ed completed the primer paint on the lift and Vic continued to work on control and electrical items on the lift. Bill updated the web page.

Monday Vic worked on the lift.

Tuesday Gil worked on the wood beams for the four log cars.

Wednesday Vic worked on the engine house lift electrical system. Ed painted left parts black and Gil made drill holders for our various power drills.

Saturday March 10th, Dwight supplied Vic with some control box wire, arranged for Ed to drill out switch plates and relocated the riding car batteries for 6109 into the main body. Dwight is also working at home on programming for the signal logic circuits.

Monday Bill updated the web page.

Wednesday March 22, first day of spring Vic put the final touches onto the lift and tested it out with 2365. Over the past several weeks Vic has worked many days completing the fabrication, assembly and wiring of the control system to make the lift operate. During that time Ed completed the painting of the entire lift, main frame was primed and painted black, movable table was painted yellow for safety and control box and motors painted grey. During this time Gil cut out and routered and fabricated all the wood parts for the four log cars and then finished them with stain and protective coating. Richard, Fred and Gil also continued to take down Christmas displays in preparation for spring. Len repaired a saw blade, Dwight continued with signal planning. Vic put 2365 on the lift for some scheduled maintenance work. Bill was on vacation but kept the web up and is now back. 

Friday Gil put another coat of stain on some log car parts. Bill painted some chipped areas on the new Christmas frames and then cleaned up 2365, removing old steam oil, lubricant and dirt. The web page was updated. 

Saturday Bill spent about three hours updating the AVR and WMRC web pages. Richard and Bill prepared a storage site for the new Christmas frames and moved and tarped them. They then consolidated light boxes and Richard spent the remaining afternoon retrieving lights. Vic worked on the broken water inlet valve from the front left check valve on 2365 and re-soldered as needed. He also investigated possible modifications in the smoke box. Ed worked on switch plates and Dwight instructed on the drilling of finish holes in the plates. Bill laid out the first log car to decide on hardware needs for final main assembly. Such details as queen posts, rods, turnbuckles, safety hooks, channels, brake components and truck and coupler placement was discussed and decided on by all members present, Gil, Vic, Bill, Dwight, Ed, Brian, Richard and Fred. Gil will mount nut detail to sides of main beams. Dwight will get nut connectors and rod, Bill will weld safety hook brackets. Dwight got a PDF generator working on the station computer and instructed Bill on its use.

Sunday Dwight picked up nuts, washers and connector nuts for the log cars. Bill took down over 5000 lights including those inside and outside the station, dog house and car barn.

Monday Gil picked up 20 pieces of 1/4 rod and sorted some parts. Bill took down 8400 lights including the lower half of the house and assorted others. The snow is melting rapidly.

Tuesday Ed drilled out about 30 switch plates for new switches. Gil worked at home on bolt detail on the sides of the main wood beams for the log cars. Bill prepared the van to move AVR assets on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday Vic got the aluminium square tube and he and Gil cut it up into 16 channels that carry the logs on the cars. Ed continued to drill out the balance of the switch plates. Bill started the main assembly of the first log car and was assisted by Gil, Vic and Ed when extra hands were needed. 

Thursday Bill updated the web and prepared space for those AVR assets.

Saturday Vic removed the throttle from the smoke box of 2365 for servicing. His next task was to clean up the flash off the remaining log car channels. Gil and Ed cut up the needed threaded rods for the assembly of the four log cars. Richard and Fred brought in more remaining Christmas decorations in the bush. Dwight inspected the track for damage after the winter. High water and lots of deer droppings were noted. 

Monday Vic and Barry commenced work on the modification to the throttle in 2365 to make its action smother.

Tuesday Bill picked up the railway kits for sale by the AVR from Peter's executor.

Wednesday Gil, Ed and Bill collected all the remaining railway books from Peter's estate.  Vic continued with Barry to make the throttle modifications. Barry machined parts in his machine shop.

Thursday Bill entered materials into the stock list and Barry completed the modification on 2365

Friday Bill continued to enter items.

Saturday Vic fitted the smoke box front on 2365 and replaced the packing around the exhaust lines from the cylinders. He also machined a part that may give 2365 more voice on our prairie railway. Richard and Fred checked all the batteries on four locomotives and brought in a bunch of arches from the upper parking area. Bill continued to work on the log car with Gil, Ed and Dwight. Bill fit and welded the safety hook angles and mounts onto each end of the car. Gil ground smooth the assemblies. Dwight drilled out the modified queen posts for the rods and cut off and fitted two of the end plates. Gil sorted materials and will sand off the flash on the eight end plates. Bill and Gil temporarily mounted the trucks and Bill drilled out more mounting holes. Bill did more listing of inventory and got five of the basement railway circuits operational. 

Sunday Bill walked the entire railway checking on operational potential for the WMRC on Friday. Lots of debris was removed but warm weather is still needed to get rid of the last of the snow. He updated the web and listed more of the material. Later he worked on a sixth circuit in the basement.

Monday Bill cleared snow on the east side near the park and listed models on the web. The basement railway was tidied and  models were listed on Ebay.

Tuesday Bill wrapped sold models, continued to clear snow from the east main line and listed models. The Myra sub was made operational.

Wednesday Vic, Gil, Ed and Bill tidied up the engine house, removing un-needed materials and rearranging equipment for the upcoming WMRC visit.  Bill took out 202 and after moving snow was able to bet onto both lines. Small amounts of snow were removed from passing sidings and spurs. Ed cleared heavy snow at Old Fort spur and siding. Bill replaced the first of nine switch mechanisms removed for winter operation. More models were listed on the for sale list and more servicing was done on the basement railway.

Thursday Bill listed more models, then using 202 installed the remaining eight switch controllers, un-spiked all siding and spur switches and set the railway for right hand running testing all sidings. Gil had tested a method to weather the nut details on the log cars and completed the procedure on the first car. Bill set up the family room for the picture presentation and tested it. Gil took 202 and made an inspection run on all lines. Bill took down 1000 lights and made them ready for storage. He then continued to test the lower railway and had to disassemble two locomotives for lubrication and changed a worm gear in one.

Friday Bill went at noon to the store for food provisions for the WMRC visit. The early afternoon was spent preparing the cold cuts and veggies for the snack. Ed arrived and started taking cars out of the car barn. Richard arrived and started moving locomotives out. The two distributed a dozen cars on the various spur tracks. The intent was to make up three trains for switching and one train as a passenger to give rides. Vic and Gil cleaned up the engine house while Richard tided around the station and Ed made up the switching orders for the three trains and Dwight greased and checked the track. The first visitors arrived at 7:00 and Ed instructed the first 12 on the switching duties. Richard, Fred and David took out the trains with members of the WMRC being conductors and switch men. At 7:30 a short business meeting was conducted outside the station and then the visitors continued switching, having casual rides, touring the engine house with Vic and Gil to see the new mechanical lift with the steamer and to see construction on the four log cars. Dwight operated the passenger train and Barrie operated the 1,000 foot HO railway in the basement with six trains running. Bill had the slide presentation running in the family room and moved from location to location fielding questions and helping where needed. At 9:00 the lunch was put out with lemonade and coffee. The food was all consumed. Those still wanting rides were taken in the dark by Vic and Gil. By 11:00 all equipment was put away and the last of the quests had gone. We believe it was a good night.

Saturday Bill spent the morning entering the last of Peter's models. Richard, Fred and Bill put away all the remaining Christmas fences and cleaned up all remaining lights near the old line using 3001 for the job. Gil and Richard set up the west side water pump to lower the water. Vic took the water pump out of 2365 for servicing and cleaned up additional materials. Ed went looking for a lost black flat car that was missed last night. Dwight repaired the base on signal 34 and moved the switch stand on the East Charleswood switch to the north side were it will be out of the walk way. A corrosion test on signal disk screws was conducted.

Sunday Gil came to check the west pump and deepened some of the water collection ditches. Bill worked on the web, picked up the donated computer equipment from Peter's and took 3001 out on the new line and collected more Christmas lights. 

Monday Bill closed the Ebay auction and listed 22 new items. A larger than normal number but it was nickel day. 

Tuesday Gil checked the pump. Bill packaged up equipment for shipping.

Wednesday Vic completed the steamer water pump overhaul and replaced it in 2365. He began to install a speed indicator unit on the steamer. Ed assisted on the locomotive check. Rob came by and he was a welcome sight after his tour of duty in Afghanistan. Bill packed up more equipment for mailing. He spent the evening pulling steel re-bar from the yard and collecting extension cords.

Thursday Gil found the pump power off. Bill checked the circuit and found a jumper that a squirrel had chewed and removed it and restored power to the pump.

Friday Bill took three more packages to the post office and cleared leaves in front of the station. More steel posts were removed. More equipment was added to the Abel model sales list. Gil brought over seven more plastic boxes for storing lights, a gift from Garry Searles. 

Saturday Bill worked on Peter's books and model list. The area in the east yard was raked, all steel poles in the yard were put away and the ship taken down. Richard removed poles in the upper area and stored them away. Gil and Bill took down the Chapman tree display and Richard brought in the remainder of the displays. Gil and Richard packed up the trees. Gil and Richard took all the light boxes to the upper storage. Vic worked on the speed indicator on 2365. Bill and Rob put the second log car together while Ed prepared 12 more angles and assisted in lining up holes in the log car. Dwight checked the signal system and did what maintenance needed to be done and removed soil from under the bridge on the line to the engine house. Richard and Bill stored the trees away in the shed and Richard put the ship away. Bill went back to listing models in the for sale page.

Sunday Bill added more items to the "For sale List". Cleaned up leaves in front of station and yard.  Took a box of completed models to the layout at the museum at the Union Station to be donated in Memory of David G. Plews (1929-2004) A lifelong train enthusiast..

Monday Bill completed this weeks Ebay auction and entered more items. Cleaned up more winter debris in the yard.

Tuesday Bill started packing up models to be shipped out. Put six more items on Ebay. Gil worked on the finish on a set of log car main beams.

Wednesday Vic completed the job of making new foot pegs for 2365 and connecting them to the tender. Bill welded the connector nuts onto four brackets and then trimmed the wood and welded the brackets onto the log car for safety chains. Gil took out the west pump now that the water is gone, took the small snow blower to upper storage and brought back some rock for the engine house spur. He made some finish changes to other log car wood parts. Bill added more books to the sale list and took parcels to the post office.

Thursday Bill packed up more models and took them to the post office.

Friday Bill updated the web pages. Packed up one big model and took it to the post office.

Saturday Bill cleared more leaves in the yard, took pictures of the Ebay items for Monday and added about 20 items to the sale list. Vic took 2365 off the lift and checked out the new speed indicator. He put 6109 on the lift and started working on the brake system and the modification of the short riding car. Bill and Vic took both dollies out of the engine house and measured their wheel placement for future guide tracks in the storage area. While out the wheels were lubricated and some short bolts were replaced with long ones. Rob completed the channel installation on the second log car. Richard and Fred dismantled and put the Ashdown display tables away and took the bikes and two remaining deer to upper storage. Dwight put a bed of crushed rock under the engine house bridge. Repaired a broken circuit controller. replaced the point rail on the east-leg-of-Wye switch. Upgraded LEDs in signal 09. Bill, Richard, Fred, Phil and August loaded the train with tools and went to Duck Lake were the new siding right of way was cleaned of leaves and tree stumps and the first area of rock splines were set out. A six foot culvert was installed. The crew then filled a train load of rock buckets and the first quantity of rock was spread. Dwight and Bill verified the type of switches that would be needed off the main line. Bill priced about 20 books on the sales list, cleared more leaves and closed gates and put away trains.

Sunday Bill updated the web page and cleared more leaves.

Monday April 30th 07 Bill spent the afternoon updating and closing the Ebay listings.

Tuesday Bill packed up packages and took them to the Post Office. More leaves were moved.

Wednesday Rob completed a pair of couplers and started machining a quantity of new couplers. Bill wrapped and mailed out three more parcels then put trucks and couplers on log car #2. Rob and Bill put it on a train and Rob took it for a test run. Vic continued work on 6109's new speed indicator and then disassembled the short riding car and lowered it by 2 3/4 inches. He lubricated the four gear boxes on 6109. Bill and Rob laid out log car #3 and drilled and fastened the ends. Bill carried on and completed the two centre wood supports and then put rivets on one side of a support. To make it easier he made up a template to assist in drilling out the balance.

Thursday Bill packed and mailed packages. Cleaned up more yard.

Friday Bill packed up more models and took them to the post office and listed more books for sale.

Saturday May 5th, Vic continued to work on the lowering of the riding seat for 6109. Dwight machined the end plates for three log cars and installed the safety hooks on one car. Rob machined three pairs of couplers and made them ready for log cars. Richard, Fred and Bill started the job of marking, drilling and putting in the rivets on the log carrier channels on three of the cars. The first car needs to be done. Bill fastened the remaining channels on car #3. It rained so lots of inside work got completed. Bill added more books to the sale list.

Sunday Bill continued to add more books to the sales list and updated the web.

Monday Bill spent the day closing last weeks Ebay, taking pictures of models and entering 20 listings on Ebay.

Tuesday packages were packed and taken to the post office.

Wednesday packages were packed and taken to the post office. Vic brought 202 and 3001 into the engine house and lubricated them. With help from Gil the air brakes on 3001 were repaired. Gil experimented with an oiling system mounted on a car with Vic helping. Later in the evening Dwight experimented with a system he had worked on for oiling. Rob continued to file and adjust the three pair of couplers he is working on. Bill welded the angle brackets, tube nuts and fastened them to log car #3, grinding and welding where needed. The couplers were mounted along with the end plates. 

Thursday Gil and Bill put the flat car away that Dwight had mounted an oilier on. Bill put king pins and trucks on the third log car.

Friday Bill packed and shipped more packages.

Saturday Vic continued his work on 6109 completing the speed indicator installation including the machining and mounting of the sensors on the wheels and also replaced eight worn brake shoes. Gil and Ed removed moss and old ballast on the tangent at mile 14 completing 70% of the area. Richard, Fred and Bill transported train loads of rock for the sub-roadbed at Duck Lake. Dwight cut metal to reinforce new switch stands, worked on loading spur switch, test drove new oilier and spent time with Bill on switch locations at Duck Lake. Rob completed the machining on three pairs of couplers and mounted rivets on two more channels for the first log car.

Monday Bill closed the 20 items on Ebay and entered eight more for this week.

Tuesday Bill packed up packages and took them to the post office. Vic built a brackets for 6109 and mounted the speed indicator readout.

Wednesday Gil and Ed completed the moss removal at mile 14. Vic welded caps onto the new foot pegs on 2365 and repaired and re-lined the old brake shoes from 6109. Bill set up the parts for the last log car with help from Gil. Ed, Gil and Bill then took 3001 with the three new log cars and transported two loads of cut firewood from the upper parking area to near the fire pit at Amur Glen. It was the first time the log cars had been used to transport logs. Bill took plywood to make a rock bunker where the logs were removed.

Thursday Bill took delivery of a truck load of 1/2 clean stone in the upper parking area and packed up more parcels.

Friday Bill packed and delivered to the post office more parcels and then cut the grass by the station, on the trails and in the upper parking area.

Saturday Ed, Richard, Fred, Bill and Richard II moved rock to Duck Lake. Fred and Bill did an elevation survey over the 120 feet and put in elevation markers every 12 feet. It was determined that the new siding would not need as much rock as previously thought. Dwight put steel supports in more new high switch stand and then with Bill determined what switches were needed to complete Duck Lake. The long templates were used to check frog sizes. Bill completed the day by using the weed eater to clean up in front of the station. The rear right brake harness of 3001 sheared a pin and Bill removed the assembly.

Sunday Bill ran the railway for a birthday and made two double trips.

Monday Bill closed the weeks Ebay and entered in 10 new items for sale.

Tuesday packages were packed and sent to the post office. Books and magazines were added to the sale list.

Wednesday packages were wrapped and mailed off. Gil using contact cement glued on eight rubber strips onto locomotive brake shoes. He straightened some of the damaged brake assembly. He drilled out and put in rivets on the remaining log car arms and put them back on the first car. Bill lined up and drilled bolt holes on the fourth log car. Nuts and bolts were applied and the first support was installed. Gil helped hold the table during drilling and assisted with moving into position for drilling. Bill took pictures of next weeks Ebay models.

Thursday Bill spent the day adding about 40 items to Ebay as it was 20 cent day in Canada. Jim re-built a pair of trucks for the log cars.

Friday Bill listed more magazines and books to the web page.

Saturday Bill added more books and magazines to the web page. Vic designed and fabricated the first of 32 upright log holders for the log cars. Dwight added aluminums supports to the switch stands and completed the re-building of the points at the loading spur. It rained all day so outdoor jobs were difficult. Gil and Ed disassembled and cleaned a number of old truck, replacing bearings were needed, taking off grease in solvent and preparing them for re-painting. Bill completed the channel installation for the last log car. Rob assisted with the job. Bill made up a pair of safety hook brackets and welded them in place. Richard cleaned up the engine house. All those who were there assisted each other in the various inside jobs. We all tried to keep out of each others way in close quarters.

Sunday May 27th Bill added more magazines to the growing list. Ed cut up the 31 1/4" steel pegs for the log cars and cut up some of the 3/4" by 1/8" bar for the log holders. He bent up the first pair. 30 to go. Bill put the east two tracks back in for the steaming bay and using 3001 repaired 18 trail lights using five new heads and 12 light bulbs all necessary because of destructive deer.

Monday Bill ordered steel, posted and delivered packages and split the model and magazine page. Closed the Monday Ebay and added 10 new items for next week.

Tuesday Bill packed up four packages and mailed them off. Dwight picked up steel in Transcona. Bill met Ralph, our member from Calgary and together they finished off the last log car, welding, grinding, taping etc. Trucks and couplers were added and all four log cars were test run behind 3001 with engineer Ralph. Dwight delivered the steel to the engine house and installed a high switch stand at the loading spur. 

Wednesday Gil and Ed worked on the flat steel for the log holders, cutting and bending the 31 pairs needed for the four cars. Bill dealt with the sales items.

Thursday Bill took pictures of models for Ebay and being 5 cent day for listing spent the afternoon and evening entering items for sale.

Friday Bill packaged and mailed more parcels. 

Saturday Bill took Ebay pictures for Monday. Gil set up wheels and side frames and spray painted them till the paint ran out. Ed and Gil continued to work on making final adjustment to the log holders. Dwight made a modification to the high switch stands on the lathe. Gil and Ed helped clean flash from them. Dwight checked the signal system. Bill pulled out 2365, filled and serviced it and brought it up to pressure. Len and Bill adjusted the left injector till it lifted correctly. The engine was tested using all systems to be ready for Monday's boiler test. Bill repaired about 20 areas on the track where dips and kinks were found while Len sighted the track alignments. Equipment was put away. The 2365 has now been in steam for 512.5 hours.

Sunday Bill got 3001 and seven cars out to run for a 2:00 pm birthday party. Two complete rides were given in both directions and the equipment was put away. 

Monday Bill entered and closed this weeks E-bay. Jim and Bill warmed up 2365 and prepared and carried out the hydrostatic boiler pressure test for this years boiler inspection. The boiler pressure was raised to 190 psi which is above the 120 operating pressure and the boiler was inspected with no leaks. The certificate was signed. 

Tuesday Bill ran the trains for a Beaver, Cub and Scout windup. Two double trips and three single trips and put away trains. packed up parcels and mailed them out.

Wednesday June 6th Gil touched up the remaining log car holders and they are ready for welding. He then continued on replacing bearings on our spare trucks.

Thursday Bill packed more items and closed of an extra session on Ebay.

Friday Bill tidied up for the open house, cut the grass by station, down road, upper parking area and walking trails.

Saturday Bill fired up 2365 while Len got out the other equipment. The Saturday open house was steady but not crowded. Bill, Len, Vic, Ed, Rob, Gil, Richard and Barry kept the railway running and between operation Vic tacked all 31 sets of supports together for the log cars. Gil re-assembled all the re-built trucks and replaced some ties. Rob checked all the trucks with brakes and found a number of nylon spaces had dropped out. These trucks were replaced and some trucks were repaired and put back into service.  Later in the evening the members friends, children and wives joined for a BBQ.

Sunday Len, Bill, Gil and Ed ran the railway from 1 till 5:00 pm. The rains held off until the open house was complete. We celebrated Peter's birthday by raising a Gold in his memory. Brian made up four roster pages for the new log cars.

Monday Bill closed this weeks Ebay and set up next weeks. 

Wednesday Vic and Ed worked on the log car supports, welding and cutting as needed. Bill arranged more sales of Peter's equipment.

Thursday Rob took builder photos of the log cars. Bill boxed and mailed out 16 models in the collection. 

Friday Bill used Roundup on the drive parking area and on the complete new line including sidings. The spurs at Paterson were also done. The old line was complete from Lightning Jct. to Ghosty Crossing including the spur at Ash Grove. 

Saturday June 16th.

Wednesday Bill closed this weeks Ebay and set up next weeks from Lethbridge, Alberta.

Thursday parcels were packed and mailed.

Saturday rock was hauled for Duck Lake.

Monday Bill set up next weeks Ebay and used the weed eater around the station area and prepared for grass cutting.

Wednesday Bill closed Ebay and cut the grass by the station, on the road, upper parking and walking trails. Vic, Gil and Ed cleared the storage area for dollies, cleaned the floor and did some preparation work for the angle iron dolly guides. 

Thursday Bill packed up parcels and mailed them off. Purchased food for the weekend meet and cooked up the spaghetti sauce and baked the pork chop dish. Rob and Joseph prepared for making an unusual load.

Friday Bill picked up propane and prepared more food. Looked after e-bay updates. Rob and Joseph took a train load of rock to Duck Lake. Bill joined them on the second load and together rock was spread and levelled using the new 7 ft level. Rob and Joseph set up a flat car with Tonka earth moving equipment.

Saturday was the first day of the meet. About twenty people participated with afternoon and evening running and switching. A BBQ was held at 6:00 followed by night running. During the day Bill looked after food preparation, Vic started welding and anchoring down the dolly tracks, Ed supervised the switching program. Dwight did some signal servicing.

Sunday (Canada Day) we had about 24 people and more switching was done. Vic completed the anchoring of the first set of angles in the engine house. The six o'clock meal was to be on the dinner train but due to severe rain it was held in the station. After dinner a session of opposing night running was completed.  

Monday a smaller group showed up so we used the steamer to haul rock for the tangent between mile 13 and 14. in all about 43 feet of roadbed was ballasted by Phil, Becky, August and Bill. The steamer was blown down and after a BBQ outside the station some casual train rides were completed and all equipment was put away. Bill closed this weeks ebay and put new items on for next week.

Tuesday Bill picked up station supplies and cleaned up.

Wednesday Vic machined dolly wheels and completed the mounting of the guide rails for the first dolly and tested it out. Bill packaged up parcels and posted them. Phil, Ed and Bill completed the last 12 feet of ballasting on the tangent near mile 14 and then did 19 feet at Amur Glenn. Bill updated the web page.

Thursday Bill packed and mailed more parcels. 81 potholes were filed on the main road using crushed rock and old moss fins from the railway. 

Saturday Ed drilled out four more dolly rails. Richard, Phil and Bill cleaned out moss on the east switch and level crossing area at Amur Glen. Bill removed the level crossing boards and Richard replaced 12 ant infested ties. The south level crossing timbers are re-usable but new timbers will be needed for the north side. Two hopper loads of ballast were laid down.  Dwight replaced all nine high switch stands with the new improved design.

Sunday Bill and Ed took 3001 around and greased the track. Several cross elevation problems were corrected.

Monday Bill was visited at 6:00 am by the Big Breakfast crew from City TV and several live segments were taken around the railway for the program along with several taped segments out on the line. Bill closed and set up the weekly ebay listings.

Wednesday Vic fastened down two more angles for the dollies. Gil, Vic and Ed cleaned off the loading pad and Gil spread a bag of topping mix as a test. Bill repaired a hose with a fitting Gil picked up. Bill cut the grass by the station, on the road, trails and upper parking lot. Phone calls were returned and Trust fund sales were made.

Thursday packages were packed and mailed out.

Friday Bill picked up supplies for the members BBQ and got the propane filled for 2365

Saturday Bill and Vic ran the steam engine for the July open house with Richard, Gil, Rob, Joseph, Fred, Brian and Dwight looking after the diesel and other operating duties. After the open house the members gathered for a BBQ and after that Vic, Rob and Bill replaced a defective traction motor on 202 and found some other defects to be repaired. Bad traction motor turned out to be a failed roll pin on the main bull gear.

Sunday the open house was run by Vic, Bill, Gil, Dwight, Stephen and Rob. The numbers were less than Saturday due to the risk of rain.

Monday Bill closed and posted new items on ebay.

Wednesday Gil continued to repair the concrete on the steaming bay pad. Vic continued with the guide rails for the engine house dollies. Bill updated the web page and sprayed Round Up on the south end of the railway. 

Thursday Vic ordered and Bill picked up supplies.

Saturday Vic completed putting in the anchors for the dolly tracks in the engine house. Dwight machined signal parts, exchanged leds on signal masts and re-connected bond wires at the level crossings at Amur Glen. Gil put a sealing compound on the loading pad new top coat. He then cut bricks to tidy up the switch rod channel in front of the station. Richard, Bill, Fred, Phil, "M" and Barry worked on the east end of Amur Glen, cleaning moss from the spur, hauling and spreading ballast, levelling and sweeping completed ballast so that all of Amur Glen is complete marking the completion of removing 1/4 " down material and replacing it on the entire old line including sidings and spurs. Richard tidied up the garbage and Bill closed all deer gates.

Wednesday Vic picked up three winches and checked out how they might assist in moving the dollies out of the engine house being that it can be hard to move a 1500 lb locomotive. Bill completed paper work and ebay projects. Gil and Vic modified the table saw to take up less room.

Thursday Gil cut up a quantity of lumber for various level crossings.

Friday Vic reworked two of our traction motors and four wheels. Bill packaged and mailed models.

Saturday Ed and Bill experimented with the first log holder but decided smaller hardware would be desirable. Bill and Phil put in a fence post at the south west pin for an eventual deer control fence. Phil repaired the old grinder repairing a broken connection. Dwight and Bill moved lumber to get at new rail and set up the tie panel making station. Vic and Bill got 202 ready to have its front traction motor replaced. Rob put on a set of bearings. 

Sunday Bill painted a couple more snow flakes for Christmas. A group of Peter's relatives came by and had a tour and train ride. Rob and Bill replaced the front traction motor on 202 and Rob took it for a ride. Bill serviced four batteries in 6109 and the oldest set may have a bad cell.

Monday Bill painted two more snow flakes.

Tuesday Dwight made up a new template for drilling out rail and showed Bill and Ed how to use it. Bill completed the painting of all eight snow flakes. Bill posted sale items on ebay.

Wednesday Aug 1 Vic modified the draft on 2365 and adjusted the throttle linkage for more response. Vic has also been investigating different proposals on propane. Ed drilled out a number of rails with Dwight's new jig. Bill painted two of the four new poinsettias.

Saturday Vic and Bill modified the upper loading ramp fill by placing a timber on the north side and welding two steel ties across to the support on the south side to keep it from spreading. Vic repaired some small items in the engine house. Richard, Fred and Fred's granddaughter dug out stone on the lower structure and repositioned the retaining walls, pinning them with lengths of re-bar. Richard, Fred, Phil and Bill spread ballast on the upper and lower ends and Bill raised the bridge level 2" on the east and 3/4" on the west in order to get a uniform grade on the line. Dwight tested the point saver device, tested signals and made signal components. We had two groups of casual visitors plus a gentleman from England, Phil gave them rides and Bill conducted a tour for the second group.

Sunday Bill painted the remaining two poinsettias and completed four stars and one half of four more.

Monday Bill turned on the water system and found a water leak by Creosote Crossing. Word came today that the six #6 frogs were shipped from Cannonball on the 2nd of August.

Tuesday Bill closed an ebay session and started a another and picked all the items that need to be shipped. Packing will take place Thursday with items in the mail on Friday. 

Wednesday Gil cut the slots on a group of the level crossing boards. He then coated them with wood preservative. Vic moved the engine house south west heater to miss the lift when in its storage position and then modified the shelf to take the pull out winch. Bill nailed in the level crossing boards on the siding at Amur Glen. Phil and Ed prepared rails with appropriate rail joiner holes.

Thursday Gil cut up more boards for curved level crossings and coated them. He took a group of new boards to Amur Glen. Bill cut the grass by the station and did the trimming.

Friday Bill worked on Ebay sales and updated the web.

Saturday was our August open house with a steady flow of visitors and lots of members present. 2365 and 6109 looked after the public rides. Those operating the public rides were Bill, Brian, Vic, Len, Ed, Phil, Ralph. Other members managed extra repairs during the open house. Gil continued on the level crossing project completing the north crossing at Amur Glen and cutting material and coating it for the west tunnel area. Vic made up hoses to accommodate a 30 lb propane tank for 2365, Richard replaced a number of ties in the station area. Dwight did switch maintenance and brought out templates to design the switch at Duck Lake. Bill repaired a bad dip and high spot at mile 11 while Phil and Ed transported 10 pails of rock to fill in the area. After  the open house a BBQ for members was held.

Sunday was the second day of the open house with almost twice as many visitors. The railway was operated by Len, Rob, Bill, Phil, Ralph, Ed and Stephen. Vic worked in the engine house installing the west winch and Gil completed the four level crossings at Tunnel Junction allowing the lawnmower to once again cut the last section of nature trail. 

Monday Bill turned on the water and found the leak at mile post 30 and with assistance from Jessie a new section of pipe was cut in. The two then walked the entire line and found where squirrels had chewed two hoses making them unusable. Another leak was later found under the track near the spur switch at Chapman. This will need to be repaired when more hose clamps and connectors can be purchased. Bill replaced the defective light switch for the steaming bay flood lights. 

Tuesday Aug 14th Vic and Gil spent the afternoon making up the bracket that will hold two of the dolly winches and anchoring the pulleys etc that will be used. Bill dug up the location of the second water leak and fastened in a new section of pipe only to find a third leak under the north switch at Chapman. Bill worked on this weeks Ebay. 

While digging it was observed that this section of the railway sits on eight inches of 3/4" clean limestone sub road bed. The average depth of crushed rock is 6" with some thin areas at 4" and most areas more than 8" and all the way to 16"  in some places. That made for many truck loads of clean crushed limestone. On this bed the track was laid using 2" x 2" ties and rail. For ballast the first few years we put down a layer of 1/4" fine limestone. This material when dry set up like concrete and proved over the years to have problems. In the winter it did not allow the track to move and became a futile bed for moss to grow. It also retained moisture that would if left accelerate tie failure. As the new track was being laid we switched to 1/2" clean limestone allowing moisture to run through, more ability to contract and expand with the change of seasons and make it difficult for moss to grow. The final track had less problems. What to do about the moss and old 1/4" down material still needed to be addressed. This material in most places only went as deep as the ties which were on 3/4" rock so we simply removed the old ballast and replaced it with the new material. This has improved the track however there are still some rising and falling areas partly due to the forested nature of the railway and partly due to the large quantity of clay under the ground in this area. From actual surveys we have noted a movement in the top soil between summer and winter of between 6 to 8 inches in different areas on the railway. A lot will have to do with the amount of water content in the soil. Solution would be to follow the Roman's road building formula and dig a six foot deep trench and fill it with graduated material. The Roman's may well have discovered that in Manitoba the trench should be 8 to 10 feet deep to stay ahead of the frost migration. 

Wednesday Aug 15th, Gil fastened the two winches to the bracket that was made up, He then cleaned up the outside unloading lift and tested some sealer on concrete. Phil worked on a spare controller box for our diesels, drilling holes and mounting components. Ed drilled some rails and with Barry made up the first track panel for the Duck Lake siding. Bill repaired the water leak under the north Chapman switch only to find a leak seven feet north of yesterdays fix and then one 7 feet south east. A trench was dug along the track and an 18 foot new section was spliced in. The seventh leak was found 40 feet north of Chapman and repaired. Three hose reels were repaired where squirrels had chewed the pipe. Project complete and system up to pressure by 9 pm. During the afternoon Lyn, Peter's sister brought two friends by and Bill gave them a train ride and Ed showed off Peter's show cars.

Friday Bill spent time working with Peter's model collection.

Saturday Gil, Richard and Bill hoisted up the winch bracket and Gil completed it by bolting the whole unit into place in the engine house. Richard and Bill went out to Chapman and filled in the seven holes under the track. A train load of ballast was added to the area. Richard gave a group of 12 visitors a ride. Bill and Richard spent the next hour fixing cross elevation and kinks in the track. Ed and Fred built two more track panels and Fred went out with Len and tied trees back where squirrels had cut the ropes. Dwight machined the #6 frog and started to lay out the north Duck Lake siding switch. Len and Bill then spent from 5 pm till 8 pm repairing dips and cross elevation problems around the railway and located an eighth water leak at creosote crossing.

Sunday Bill repaired the eighth water leak at Creosote Crossing and tested the system. Additional food supplies were picked up for the joint meet and the spaghetti sauce was constructed and put in the freezer. The first 20 name tags for delegates were printed up. Four new 50 foot water hoses were picked up and put out at Old Fort, Winch and Duck Lake. The fourth will be used as a spare. The locomotive rack was put in the small trailer to take 2365 to Red River on Saturday. It was screwed in but a couple of "U" bolts at the back would help. 

Monday August 20th, Bill picked up more food supplies at Costco and name tags holders. More name tags were made up. Contacts were made.

Tuesday Bill brought home a steamer to keep food hot. Picked up a load of groceries and boiled up a pot of sausage for Friday breakfast. Bathroom sink was scrubbed and this weeks Ebay was finalized. Another nine name tags were printed up.

Wednesday Gil cleaned up junk around the railway and did some general cleanup. Vic attended to some last minute loco adjustments. Bill cooked the pork chop dish and prepared the tuna salad. Last minute shopping was done. Whit and company arrived from the US about 4 pm and we unloaded and spotted cars from his trailer. Barry unloaded his pacific.

Thursday morning about 15 gathered for a 9:00 am breakfast ad then the three Pacifics were steamed up and cars were spotted around the railway for the switching program that Ed and Whit organized with up to six trains carrying out various assigned tasks. The BBQ started at 6:00 pm and was attended by around 30 people. The remainder of the night was spent bi-directional night running.

Friday started with a 9:00 am breakfast of pancakes and sausage followed by more operational bi-direction running. A new dispatch board was made up. Dwight conducted some switch maintenance and completed the Duck Lake switch. At 5 pm the dinner  train was set up and the first section was out by 6:15 pm with Richard at the controls. Second section followed with Phil. Dinner was spaghetti and meat sauce, pork chop dish, tuna salad, garlic ring, beans and wieners, salad plate, condiments and other items. Dessert was cake, ice cream and cookies. The cake was a birthday celebration. We had about 36 for dinner consisting of ten from the USA, Two from Australia, Two from Kenora and one member from the Manitoba Live Steamers plus AVR members. After dinner more night running until 10:00 pm when we started loading equipment and putting other equipment away. The night was completed with a visit to the HO railway.

Saturday breakfast was at 9:00 am and then completion of loading and the trip to the Red River Valley Railway on Inkster and then unloading. We had Whit's 17 cars. Six from the AVR and Barry's flat car pulled the three Pacifics as a triple head unit. We followed out tail until 6:00 pm when we stopped for dinner and then continued until 10:00 pm.

Sunday the three locos were in steam about 12:30 and we ran until 3:00 when loading started. Bill showed a couple of guests the AVR and unloaded 2365 and returned for the five stacked gondolas and loaded and unloaded them solo. Equipment was put away at the AVR by 9:00. Bill also did five loads of dishes and Mary-Lou laundered the dinner train table cloths.

Wednesday Vic and Phil worked on the various lifts. Vic changed the cock valve teflons on 2365 and straightened the bracket on a traction motor from 202. Vic has spent a lot of time researching and arranging the acquisition of a new piece of motive power for the AVR.

Saturday Sept 1st Richard cleaned up garbage that the Raccoons had got into. They had got into a closed garbage can full of egg shells and proved a steel lid is no match to their abilities when it comes to food. Vic helped Dwight plant the new switch at the north end of Duck Lake to start the task of building the siding there. Richard moved more rock to the location.

Wednesday Vic replaced the gears on a traction motor gear box and repaired the damaged motor hanger.

Saturday Sept 8 was our open house with a steady flow of visitors. Richard, Fred, Gil, Vic, Dwight, Len, Phil and Bill ran the railway. Locomotive 2365 developed a steam leak early in the run and was taken to the steaming bay for investigation and the problem was a damaged gasket. Will Bill cleaned it up Vic got gasket material and a new gasket was made and installed. The locomotive was returned to service at 4:30 but it was noted that the other side gasket should also be replaced. Gil started on the sink installation. Dwight put materials together for another switch. Gil, Vic and Bill got the AVR trailer out and checked over for an upcoming trip. Dwight and Phil worked on some electronics. At 5:30 a small group of members stayed for the traditional BBQ.

Sunday Bill steamed up 2365 while Len got trains out and with help from Phil the open house started with a larger group of visitors then the day before. Gil and Vic soon came and helped with the open house. Gil and Bill put all equipment away. 

Monday Vic and Gil left with the trailer to pick up equipment. Bill purchased six new locomotive batteries as the price dropped 30% and they were August dated. They are currently on charge. Bill picked up the first load of dinner train groceries and dealt with Mondays Ebay.

Tuesday Vic and Gil continued their drive. Bill took the loco rack out of the trailer, Packed up parcels for the mail and bought the second load of groceries and then washed half the station floor and the washroom.

Wednesday Sept 12th, Bill emptied out the station and swept the entire floor, then washed and scrubbed the floor and vacuumed the mat. The fixtures in the washroom were washed and the shelves in the fridge. All mustard and ketchup bottles were washed and refilled. The six new batteries were charged. The outside beverage and dish table was set up and put in place. Ed completed 1.5 new tie panels and Phil worked on the design of the winch controller. Vic and Gil continued their journey to pick up supplies.

Thursday Vic and Gil arrived in California. Bill picked up all the pies and put them in the fridge, set up the food working tables, spent time with reservations and set out all the dishes and cutlery.

Friday Vic and Gil headed back to Winnipeg with their cargo. Bill picked up the last of the groceries including the perishables and put them away and cleaned up more areas. Dwight presented his dinner train program at he WMRC and Bill showed pictures of this years AVR work.

Saturday Len and Bill started preparing vegetables and food items at 8:00 am. Richard and Marietta came at 10:00 am and helped prepare food and got out the dinner tables and casual train. Linda, Phil, Jim, Ed and Becky assisted with running trains and serving tables. Dwight serviced the track and checked switch operations. The weather was great and all had a good day. Vic and Gil continued on the long drive home. Bill completed the day by washing all the dishes and table cloths and a late re-supply trip to the store. The others in the crew helped clean up and be ready for Sunday.

Sunday Bill started food prep at 7:30 am and Len started vegetable prep at 8:00 am working until 10:00 and then off to church. At noon Richard, Phil and Becky got the trains ready and soon were joined by Fred and Christine, along with Linda. Brian and Joan came for the first couple of trains but left as it appeared we had enough staff. Ed and a guest came to assist with the casual trains. There were six dinner trains and they were all full. It was a great day and all went well. The group stayed for clean up and train put away. Bill washed dishes until midnight. During the last train of the day Vic and Gil arrived with the AVR train trailer and quite tired after their six day trip to California and back. A member of the AVR had donated the funds to purchase a partially built Pacific and all its related parts. It will be the members job to complete it for operation. After a short rest Vic, Gil, Fred and Richard started to unload the accessories and move them to the engine house area. After the trains were put away and dinner train clean up was complete, Vic, Len, Phil and Bill unloaded the locomotive along with its boiler, tender frame and trucks and 3001 pulled the newly acquired #5427 to the station. All other supplies were moved indoors. An exciting day for the club and a big thank you to the donor and Vic and Gil for making the long drive. We will now have a good project to look forward too.

Monday Sept 17. Bill washed six more loads of dishes and stowed them away. He then updated the web site and completed the painting of the back half of the last four stars.  A group of Peter's models were selected and photographed for the Monday night Ebay. The next project was to remove the cylinder cover and plate from the right side of 2365 and make up a new gasket and put it all back together. The left side was checked and tightened. The locomotive now has 600.5 hours of operation. Last task was to remove the smoke box cover and running board and check and test the steam oil lubricator. The locomotive was re-assembled. The Monday night Ebay was closed and next weeks was set up. Christine took all the Sunday linens to be laundered.

Wednesday will Bill attended the United Nation's Montreal Protocol meeting in Montreal Vic and Gil laboured at getting the parts for #5427 organized. Vic re-welded the 8'6'' loco stand back together and Gil hung up a new section of wire wrack shelving in the engine house.

Saturday Vic continued with the sorting of parts and tested and modified the mount position of the trailing truck on 5427. Bill built new spacer boards for double staking gondolas. Phil's mom helped sand the long boards while August cleaned up fallen apples. Phil did more design work on the winch controller. Dwight changed out a switch controller to a new design. Fred and Richard double stacked 12 gondolas and together with Bill and assistance from Phil the cars were loaded in the trailer for the trip to St. Croix. 

Sunday Vic milled the back support for the trailing truck of 5427 to allow more side movement needed on 50 ft radius railways. Bill cleaned out the van and installed the locomotive rack in the back.

Monday Bill prepared 2365 and 6109 for their trip to St. Croix and loaded them in the van and trailer. The additional tanks and supplies were loaded and the load secured. Bill closed Ebay and listed next weeks items. Vic sorted and stored parts for 5427 and started studying plans.

Tuesday Bill packed up packages, did paper work and mailed out items. Fastened down the trailer box and did last minute tasks. Vic continued to study plans. Barry left for St. Croix.

Wednesday Bill and Len left for St. Croix in two vehicles. At St. Croix all equipment was unloaded just before the rain started. At the AVR Vic started work on a traction motor and put the run wheels on the lift under 5427.

Thursday Bill steamed 2365 and tested out their track. Len repaired some ties in the roundhouse tracks. Bill gave rides and rescued a ballast spread car.

Friday at St. Croix Bill and Len helped using 2365 to move surplus ballast from one area to another. Phil Shaw and Phil Mendelson along with Vic and Ralph arrived at St. Croix. Phil took the Diesel operators course and Ralph took the conductor course. During the meet it rained for a portion of each day.

Saturday at the AVR Richard removed a fallen tree, cut 200 feet of deer fencing in half and with help from Gil removed all cut wood from Paterson to Old Fort. The small snow blower was relocated in the maintenance building for the winter. At St. Croix, Ralph, Vic, Bill and Len ran 2365 while Phil ran 6109. Dwight started to fabricate switch covers for snowy weather.

Sunday Sept 30th it rained hard all day. The AVR provided the two trains that handled the Sunday open house at St. Croix with 271 passengers. The 1" line only ran a few trips with 3 visitors each and had to shut down due to excess rain. 2365 and 6109 was run with Len, Bill, Phil, Vic, Ralph and August helping out. Three St. Croix members took turns conducting. The gondolas were stacked for re-loading.

Monday Len and Bill loaded all equipment and closed up St. Croix and started the trip home. Once home Bill closed last weeks Ebay.

Tuesday Gil completed the lower shelf for storage in the engine house. Bill took pictures for this weeks Ebay, Set up the sale items, packed and mailed parcels and updated the web.. 

Wednesday Gil sprayed more sealer on the steaming bay pad. Vic hooked up #5427 to test run on air. Bill, Fred and Gil un fastened 2365, 6109, an operator car and 12 gondolas from the van and trailer and put them away. Ralph and Ed helped at the station remove small items. Vic, Ralph and Barry ran the locomotive 5427 on air on the lift. It ran well but will need some tuning and loosening. Barry checked the valves and running gear. Discussion about which members would be willing to tackle which jobs on the construction of tender, cab and other needed jobs. Bill started making light strings and separated 400 clear lights for the eight new stars. Bill picked up 300 feet of deer control fencing.

Thursday Vic started repairs on a traction motor. He along with help from Gil and Bill test fit the boiler on #5427 and took it out to run behind 3001 to check for clearances and track ability. Some adjustment were made to the suspension and it appeared that the main drivers have enough lateral movement to negotiate even some of our sharper curves. The trailing truck could use some additional side to side play. The locomotive negotiated the tunnel diamond, station diamond, station cut off and tunnel cut off. Equipment was put away. Bill tested and repaired about 1950 lights and prepared another 200 for snow flakes. Vic returned in the evening and milled out the back support for the trailing truck of #5427 to allow more lateral movement.

Friday Bill used the electric leaf blower and spent 5 hours removing the huge quantity of leaves around the entire railway paying particular attention to the switches.

Saturday Bill got 2365 out along with six cars and got her steamed up for a special party at 10:30. Vic arrived and together we gave two trips to our guests. Gil got the gas leaf blower started and tidied up some additional leaves. Dwight continued on his project of making switch covers for winter operations. Phil continued to work on the winch controller unit. Vic with help from Ed, Phil, and Gil removed the boiler from #5427. Vic then removed the side rods etc. carefully marking and securing all parts so the drivers and bearing boxes could be removed for machining to get more lateral movement. Bill, Fred and Gil cleared the trail for and erected 300 feet of new deer control fencing to 54" height. Additional height will be added. Phil and Bill put the trains away. 

Sunday Bill removed the locomotive rack from the van and put back the seats. In the afternoon and evening Bill completed the next "Nutty Report" and serviced and repaired 2700 lights mostly on the roof of the house.

Monday Thanksgiving Day Bill set up the new page on this years St. Croix Fall Meet and put lights oh four new stars. Gil worked on the new portable sink unit.

Tuesday Bill picked up three more roles of deer control wire and opened and closed this weeks Ebay listings. Barry picked up the rear driver set and machined the bearing boxes to allow more lateral movement and returned them.

Wednesday Vic replaced the rear drivers and dropped the front drivers on 5427 and carried on making other modifications as needed. Ed and Gil did annual inspection and maintenance on seven of our gondolas doing miner tightening as needed. Bill took the Elie Pre School for two train rides and a tour of the buildings. Ed showed off Peter's show cars. Phil continued to work on the winch controller. Bill printed up the first ten copies of the "Nutty Report" and completed three new stars and set out the first four. Gil brought down the stand and sink for the station so it will be available for special events. He had built the stand at his home. Barry came and picked up the front driver assembly for machining. 

Thursday Bill printed the balance of the "Nutty Reports" made up envelopes and folded and stuffed for mailing. He also looked after a customer for the estate sale and updated the web. Gil came with his chain saw and made logs out of two dead trees that were too close to the railway.

Friday Barry returned the front wheel set machined as needed. Bill mailed out Ebay parcels and all "Nutty Reports" In the evening three stars were lighted and a new power lead strung. A start to the first of the new style snowflake was half complete. 

Saturday Bill completed the last of the eight stars and steamed up 2365. Phil and Len got the trains out and set up. The October Open House was quite busy with two trains being needed most of the day. The open house was operated by Vic, Gil, Len, Dwight, Carmelina, Richard, Phil and Bill. Being a Saturday when members were not needed in operation duties other projects were done. Vic returned the front drivers to 5427 and re-assembled the frame and checked other components. Gil did service and maintenance work on a second bunch of gondolas. Richard cleaned up garbage around the facility. Phil repaired a locomotive controller box and Marietta took the station fridge apart and gave it a good scrub. After the open house 16 members and family gathered for a BBQ.

Sunday Oct 14th, Bill steamed 2365, repaired lights and updated the web. Vic and Phil got the other equipment ready and we had a busy day for the October open house. The weather was good. The railway was run by Vic, Phil, Len, Gil, Ed, Bill and Becky. While not operating Vic replaced the running gear on 5427 and Gil serviced the remaining gondolas. Len put 3001 and cars away and later Bill blew down 2365 and put the other equipment away and put up some lights (1150).

Monday Gil moved rock and placed it along the side of the track near the east tunnel and Charleswood east where it needed additional material.  Bill removed moss on 45 feet of track and spread and swept 40 feet of ballast that Gil had brought.  Bill tested and repaired 800 lights mostly on the storage building.

Tuesday Gil took 3001 and 202 to the steaming bay lift and did an inspection, adjustment and lubrication of the power trucks on both locomotives. Bill removed another 60 feet of moss south of the Winch siding. 600 lights were put on the playhouse and south face of the garage. Bill closed and started another week of Ebay.

Wednesday Vic started to work on the boiler jacket of 5427 by tacking the first piece and then machining the second section to fit correctly onto the front piece. Phil helped with the project. This may take some time. Phil also started the repair of the electrical damaged by squirrels last winter. Gil took 6109 to the steaming bay lift and checked the power trucks adjusting the brakes as needed and replacing four brake shoes and lubricating the gear boxes. Ed and Bill loaded the train with ballast and completed the remaining 65 feet. Bill put up 1400 lights and repaired a number of additional strings and stripped lights for making objects. 

Thursday it rained most of the day. Bill repaired lights in the station all afternoon and evening.

Friday Vic welded the first two pieces of the boiler jacket for 5427 and ground off areas as needed. At home he worked on the steam dome. Bill packed and mailed packages and spent 3 hours on club administration. He tested more lights and repaired squirrel damage and put up 1350 lights.

Saturday Gil, Richard and Bill put up the first 100 feet of top deer fencing. Vic worked on 5427 and Phil worked on the squirrel eaten electrical repairing damage. At 1:00 pm the AVR members had a meeting in Charleswood station. Members in attendance were Bill, Len, Ed, Dwight, Richard, Rob, Gil, Fred, Vic, Brian and Phil M. The following business was discussed. The start of the Christmas run for 2008/9 was set back one week. The July meet was shelved in exchange for single day or night operating sessions to be set several weeks in advance when a group of members want them. We will hold a Wednesday night to Saturday morning meet ahead of the Red River Meet to accommodate our American Members. The meeting set a reserve budget for completion of 5427 and several people agreed to help with the tender and other aspects. Brian offered to be the co-ordinator of associate members helping at Christmas. The idea of buying a trailer or modifying our existing trailer was deferred to the AGM. The building of an unheated storage shed for materials was approved. The buying of a TM tank car was approved pending information to be obtained that it would be legal in Canada.  After the meeting Vic and Gil pulled 5427 around the old loop to check its track ability. Phil continued to work on electrical controls and will investigate the removal of the vox feature from our radios. Dwight made a switch point cover for winter operation and is designing an air blower system for keeping snow out of the lightning junction switch. Vic continued to work on 5427 and Gil, Richard, Fred and Bill went back to deer fencing putting up another 100 feet of top and 100 feet of bottom wire. Bill put up 500 lights. 

Sunday Barry set up the timing on 5427 and did some other fine tuning. Bill repaired six power points eaten by squirrels and tested and set up 2250 lights.

Monday Phil completed the squirrel damaged wiring under the panel and closed it in putting steel wool and mesh over any area they might try and get into. Vic welds more on the boiler jacket and positioned the fire box section. Gil cleared the area where the new shed will go. Bill took a look at the shed specifications and Vic checked on an alternate brand. Bill repaired lights and prepared more. More squirrel damage was repaired.

Tuesday Bill ordered the 10 x 10 storage shed. The wire tree on the play house was re-lighted. Six more squirrel damages were repaired and other lights were put up. Ebay was closed and set up for next week. Bill did about two hours of AVR admin. Vic spent time with the metal supplier getting information on material and made copies of the plans for modification.

Wednesday the Tuxedo Pre School was coming with first class in the morning and second class after lunch. Bill got out two complete trains of seven cars each behind 3001 and 202. Gil operated 3001. After there first ride they were given a tour of the station, show cars and engine house and machine shop. After their snack they had their second ride. The truck arrived with the building materials and it was unloaded by Gil, Vic and Bill. Vic spent his afternoon putting in pop rivets to the fire box end of the boiler jacket. Discussion took place about the tender design and Bill took a train to upper storage and brought down a load of Christmas lights for testing. He then put both trains away. 

Thursday Gil arranged the 18 foundation blocks at the storage building site and placed crushed rock under after bringing a train load to the site. Bill put lights on the main house, repaired others and tested more.

Friday the trusses came and Gil completed the foundation placement while Bill put out more lights.

Saturday Bill tested and put out more lights. Richard, Fred and Bill cleared deer fence line. installed 200 feet of lower fence and 200 feet of upper fence then pounded in three steel gate post holders. Phil continued his work on the electronic winch controller. Dwight checked all bonding wires on the old line and screwed down some switches that will not be needed in the winter. Gil with help from Ed sheeted the east end of the shed. Vic continued to work on 5427 and Barry attended to see the locomotive run on air. Bill updated the web and worked on lights till 10:00 pm. Rob took pictures of various projects on the railway. August and Joseph entertained themselves with the flat car.

Sunday Bill put up 4550 lights and tested many others. 350 red lights for the upper part of the station where painted and 300 lights were replaced for the multi colour string. It takes less time to paint than replace. 

Monday Gil, Vic and Ed went at erecting the shed and got all the framing rafters up, most of the floor deck and started on the walls. Bill tested lights, painted 400 lights including the ship. 1770 lights were put up and a number of squirrel damage was repaired including putting mesh on an area of the garage that they are attempting to re-enter. Brian investigated the safety of a tank car and the project will be put on hold pending more information.

Tuesday Gil worked on the walls of the shed and Bill put up more lights.

Wednesday Vic continued to put rivets in the boiler jacket of 5427. Gil with help from Vic and Ed put up the remaining walls. Bill continued on lights, repairing and testing.

Thursday Gil put on the roof of the shed and Bill put up several thousand lights.

Friday Gil built and hung the doors on the shed. At home Vic worked on tender plans. Bill spent the morning and evening painting, testing and repairing lights.

Saturday Vic and Rob put all the shingles on the shed while Gil and Ed worked on the trim. Dwight worked on his air blower system for the Lightning junction switch to keep it snow free this Christmas. Brian printed up more inspection pages and a new page for 5427. He also sorted jumpers or Christmas Lights, Richard, Fred, Phil, August and Bill put up the illuminated parking fences in the upper and lower parking area, steel poles and the 12, twelve foot arches along with 17 six foot arches, the camels and Bill carried on with lights until midnight. In all 10,030 lights were put up.

Sunday Bill completed the lights on the station and completed other areas. The first of the new 100 light snow flakes was completed Sunday night.

Monday Nov 5 Bill worked on lights and yard work. All the colours on the angels, poinsettias, bells and flamingos were touched up with translucent paint. Half the peace on earth sign got new lights.

Tuesday Gil worked on some shelves in the storage building. Bill put up a group of Christmas lights and closed this weeks Ebay.

Wednesday Gil completed the shingles on the storage building. Vic completed plans for the tender, worked on the new locomotive and welded the bottom piece back on the gingerbread house. Ed helped Gil cut up material for the trim. Phil continued his work on the winch controller. Bill and Gil got two train loads of rock for fill in front of the storage shed entrance and spread the material. Phil and Bill got out two trains and provided rides for the 30 people from Carpathia School. Bill put up more lights in the evening.

Thursday Bill continued with lights in the afternoon. Gil and Jim did battery maintenance on all the locomotives. Gil completed the afternoon by putting some trim on the storage building.

Friday Bill completed the setting out of candy canes around the railway.

Saturday Nov. 10th, 2007 Bill started the day by repairing and testing Christmas lights. Phil spent the afternoon installing a new relay system for controlling the tunnel power outlets remotely. Vic, Gil, Richard and Bill moved the boiler off the eight foot dally. It was put in the new shed and the five foot dolly was put in the engine house. Vic continued work on cutting parts for the boiler jacket. Richard and Fred moved and set up the Ashdown buildings along with its supporting tables and then using train 202 took a load of empty light boxes to upper storage and brought back the yard trees. Ed made some emergency repairs to several of the Ashdown buildings. Gil and Ed did some trim and Richard painted. Gil moved the surplus steel and other storage items into the new building. Bill spent the afternoon putting steel into the yard for lighting and prepared for the annual 11th yard light up. April helped with fetching and moving. Rob and Gil inspected operator car 220 and did some repairs to the trucks. Dwight continued his snow covering of the engine house switch and fabricated more parts for his air blower device for Lightning Jct.

Sunday Remembrance day. After Church Bill set up the yard area and Station "Q" area using 5474 lights. All the trails got new lights this year as the older ones had faded. Candy Cane lane was set up along with all but two candy canes. Work commenced at 1 pm and was stopped at 10 pm.

Monday was a day off due to Remembrance day and Bill spent most of it putting up over 6000 lights and repairing many more.

Tuesday was the last of the mild days and more lights were completed along with repairing the remaining upper area arches and putting the steel for the upper walking trail. Paul cleared leaves in the "Q" area and removed old lights on seven arches. He also cut a roll of deer fence in half to make 200 feet of upper section. Bill continued with lights till 10:00 pm.

Wednesday Vic continued to weld and grind pieces on the boiler jacket of 5427 and to start plumbing in the smock box. Gil cut and nailed trim pieces for the shed and move in materials and clean up the maintenance building. Ed painted the trim boards. Bill made the gate for the east tunnel line and hung it up with Gil's help. 

Thursday Bill worked on lights in the afternoon.

Friday Phil completed the relay installation for the tunnel electrical line and started repairing and replacing the sockets on the old line that squirrels had removed. Bill repaired most of the remaining arches and put them out. Repaired and decommissioned a quantity of lights and repaired more squirrel damage. The first of the new poinsettias was completed.

Saturday Bill put new lights on three arches including the two 9ft ones for Ash Grove and with help from Richard put them in place. Richard cleaned up a good volume of garbage and bagged it for collection. Richard, Fred, Mario and Bill installed the remaining 13 road arches and completed all repairs needed. Fred, Richard and Bill set up the large illuminated Christmas train and the basses for two manger displays. Phil along with August spent the afternoon repairing squirrel damage to more power plugs on the old line and checking arches that were plugged into them. Gil built the second gate for the deer fence at Ghosty Diamond, mounted posts in the steel sockets and hung it with help from Fred and Richard. Vic continued on locomotive building. Dwight worked on his blower system. Bill continued on lights late into the night and updated the web page. 

Sunday Nov 18th, Bill put up lights primarily in the Chapman area where many trees get wrapped with lights.

Monday Gil fabricated the third gate for the walking trail. Vic cut out the steel for the cab of 5427. Barry brought copper pipe for Phil S. for the whistle. Bill continued with lights.

Tuesday Gil mounted the gate on the trail. He also prepared some aluminium drawers. Bill repaired and put out lights and spent the evening on closing and starting Ebay.

Wednesday Vic mounted the new drawers under the work bench and relocated one wood drawer. More work was done on the cab. Ed assisted with holding and clamping parts. Bill repaired various objects. Put new lights on five arches and put 300 lights on one half of the gingerbread house.

Thursday Bill printed up passes and info sheets. With help from Paul the last of the lower fencing is in place. Bill put out the last of the steel objects and added some extension cords were needed. The deer are confused.

Friday Bill spent the afternoon putting out signs and working on the gingerbread house.

Saturday Vic continued on the boiler jacket, cab and retaining ring for 5427. Ed moved the aluminums shelving to a secure spot and with help from Mario and Barry moved the lumber for tunnel wing walls to an area close to the tunnel. Ed and Rob tacked up the painted trim on the new shed. Mario repaired a light panel that had posed a problem. Rob and Joseph took 3001 to the upper storage building and stored empty light boxes and brought back the four lighted bikes. They also moved the completed track panels to the Duck Lake area. Richard uncovered the Ashdown display and set out the two nativity displays. With Fred they ran 100 feet of upper deer fence wire, cleaned up outside and set up the four newly lighted arches at Amur Glen, moved tables from the station to storage and moved our 8ft table to the Amur Glen fire pit area. Phil repaired more squirrel damage on the line and worked on the TV line. Becky set up a lighted tree at the east end of the house. Dwight secured all switches and set up his new electric blower system to keep snow out of the Lightning Junction switch. He has been working on this for several days at home. It is called the giant mushroom. Bill started on part two of the Gingerbread House and completed it by 2:00 pm. An interview was done with The Sun's photographer and Rob ran a train with Joseph, August and his sister. Bill continued with lights until midnight and had an interview with the Sun's reporter.

Sunday Bill set up the gingerbread house and completed the gingerbread girl. Phil repaired an electrical junction in a main power feeder that had failed. 

Monday Vic continued work on 5427 and Bill painted lights on the gingerbread girl, repaired overhead lights and two display bikes. He worked on The sea monster display.

Tuesday Bill completed the sea monster and put it out in the display along with the gingerbread girl. The overhead lights in the lower parking area were put up. Ebay was closed for this week and started for next week. 

Wednesday 28th, Nov. Vic worked on 5427 mounting the boiler to smoke box ring. Ralph cam for a few days and replaced new coloured lights in the "H" for Piece on Earth. Ralph and Bill repaired the last two bikes and put them into the display along with the Christmas Train Rides sign. Gil used the small snow blower on the tracks and with Vic got the big machine working. 

Thursday Ralph worked on a new poinsettia and Bill put lights on a lamp post, gingerbread boy and a male caroller.

Friday Vic continued work on the cab of 5427 and replaced a charger in 3001 and Ralph completed the poinsettia while Bill put out the caroller and the gingerbread Boy and illuminated the two body parts of the sea monster. Phil worked on the lower parking area TV camera. Gil did some cleanup. 

Saturday Dec 1st. Richard cleaned up outside the station while Bill cleaned up inside the station. Vic continued to work on 5427. Gil cleaned track and took the big blower around the nature trails. Richard, Ed and Bill put up the upper parking overhead lights. Fred set up his street car around the Ashdown buildings. Phil completed the camera repair. Bill set up all completed new displays and started on the gingerbread swing. Dwight did service on switches and air blower and west Charleswood switch. Rob and Joseph cleared snow from the track. The railway was run today by Gil, Rob, Joseph, Phil, Becky, Dwight and Bill. 

Sunday Gil cleared snow on the tracks while Bill used the big blower on trails, drive way and parking areas. The railway was run by Jim, Phil, Mary and Bill. Locomotive 3001 was put on the lift and 6109 was put in the station.

Monday Bill fabricated two fence supports and planted one. Gil and Bill set up 100 feet of upper deer fencing. The railway was run by Richard, Jim, Fred and Bill. Rob took videos and checked out 3001 finding a loose wheel. Bill worked on the Gingerbread swing.

Tuesday Dec 4, Rob cleared the tracks using the small blower and shovel. Bill used the big blower on trails, road and three parking areas. 5 hours. The railway was operated by Jim, Phil, Ed and Bill. Two groups cancelled due to weather but back in the bush it was one of our more pleasant evenings.

Wednesday Vic and Rob repaired the traction motor assembly in 3001 and Vic repaired the brake hanger with some help from Bill. Lights were repaired and Bill put out the second deer fence post and repaired the damage to the fence. Fred got the street car line opened and operating. The railway was run by Fred, Richard, Gil and Jim with Bill in for a short time. The snow man that Bill and Rob assembled was put into the display.

Thursday Gil cleared the track while Bill cleared the station area and yard trails. Bill repaired some squirrel and deer damage to lights. 3001 was exchanged with 6109 as a motor anti-rotation plate was found that is suspected of coming from 6109. The railway was operated by Becky, Richard, Ed and Bill.

Friday Bill confirmed that the anti-rotation hanger was indeed from 6109. A 3-D angel was assembled and put into the display. The railroad was operated by Gil, Bill, Fred and Rob. Being a slower cold night one train was operated and Bill was able to start on the tail from Ogo Pogo the sea monster.

Saturday Rob pulled a traction motor from 6109 and replaced the anti-rotation bracket. Vic assisted with re-building the traction motor and started to re-build another. Phil serviced the controller on 3001 and made some repairs to the control interface. He also spent more time building a new spare controller box.  Dwight worked on electronic light modules at home. Bill completed Ogo Pogo's tail and put it out in the display. It was the coldest night of the season so only one train was operated. The Assiniboine Valley Railway was honoured with its first wedding on site out in the forest with campfire and a background of Christmas lights. The wedding party got the first ride of the night. The railway was operated by Richard, Rob, Ed and Bill. Bill spent more time working on the Gingerbread swing display.

Sunday Bill inspected lights and repaired 250 lights. Work continued on the swing display and section one was completed. The railway was operated by Jim, Ed, Barry, Dwight, Rob, Audrey and Bill. Rob has downloaded some Train video to YouTube and can be accessed at the following link.  AVR VIDEO

Monday Vic and Gil worked on 5427 drilling an opening in the fire box for inspection purposes. Bill put water under Ogo Pogo and set up half the Gingerbread swing. The railway was operated by Jim, Rob, Bill, Gordon and Sandra.

Tuesday Dec 11th, Gil serviced the track and Bill worked on completing the caroller girl. There were four youth groups in and the railway handled a good number of people. Barry, Ed, Jim, Phil, Rob and Bill looked after the operation.

Wednesday Vic and Gil completed the drilling out of the fire box opening on 5427 and test fit the stainless steel sleeve. Ed assisted Rob in inspecting four of our cars. Bill completed the carolling girl and put her into the display. The second half of the gingerbread boy on a swing was started. Two youth groups were in and the railway gave almost 500 rides during a very taxing evening as it snowed from 5 pm all evening trying the metal of the dedicated group of volunteers. The railway was run by Gil, Richard, Rob, Phil, Ed, Phil S. Dwight and Bill. 

Thursday Rob replaced the front traction motor in 3001 for routine maintenance. Gil used the small snow blower on the track and shovelled the new line while Bill shovelled the old line. Bill also used the big blower on the driveway, trails and two parking lots but after three hours of operation the back auger bearing failed as two nuts came loose and fell out. The remain area was done by hand with Bill, Rob and Joseph. The railway was operated by Rob, Joseph, Phil, Ed and Bill. As it was very cold riders were few allowing Phil with some help from Bill to rebuild the snow blower in the engine house.   

Friday Bill continued to work on the half of the gingerbread swing. The railway was operated by Rob, Richard, Fred, Bill and Shirley. The riders were light due to the cold night.

Saturday Dec 15 Vic continued the work on 5427 cutting and forming material. Gil serviced the tracks. Bill made repairs to lights and completed the work on the second half of the gingerbread swing display. The railway was operated by Phil, Becky, Jim, Carol, Rob, Gil, Barry and Bill.

Sunday the railway was operated by Ed, Fred, Len, Phil, Mary and Bill. Bill serviced lights and put out the second part of the swing set while Gil serviced the track.

Monday Vic lined up the boiler jacket with the frame and welded as needed. Dwight completed the sequencer for the gingerbread swing. It was a busy night on the railway with Rob, Dwight, Richard, Jim and Bill operating the railway.

Tuesday Bill picked up the last two spur gears, traction motor bearings and cups. Gil checked the track and lubricated as needed. Bill repaired lights and put 100 lights on the heart and started the lady caroller. Phil worked on the spare loco controller. The railway was operated by Gil, Rob, Ed, Becky, Phil, Jim and Bill to the largest group this season. 

Wednesday Vic worked on the burner for 5427 and Gil serviced the track while Bill checked and repaired lights. The railway was run by Barry, Jim, Vic, Phil, Richard, Fred and Bill. It was a busy night.

Thursday Bill serviced lights and picked up supplies, Gil checked the tracks. Our busiest night of the season with mild temperatures. The railway was operated by Gil, Richard, Rob, Shirley, Ed and Bill.

Friday afternoon Gil checked and lubricated the track, Bill checked and repaired all lights. The railway was operated in falling snow by Fred, Gil, Richard, Barry, Dwight Rob, Phil, Becky and Bill. It was the largest turnout this year.

Saturday Vic spent the afternoon mounting the arch and other modifications to the boiler on 5427. Bill spend part of the morning and all of the afternoon till 5:00 pm on the big snow blower doing the upper two and lower parking areas and all trails and the road. Rob and Joseph used the small blower on both loops and did some shovel work. Ed and Craig using shovels and broom cleaned up the final work on the tracks. Bill checked lights and found evidence that a Christmas grinch had visited the site the previous night. Dwight completed the second electronic cycle device and Bill put it on Ogo Pogo's tail. Phil continued on electrical work. The railway was operated by Becky, Phil, Vic, Gil, Rob, Ed and Bill in light snow conditions. 

Sunday was also a busy day with lots of visitors. The railway was operated by Phil, Mary, Rob, Ed, Richard, Gil, Fred, Len and Bill. Locomotive developed problems during the evening and was retired to the lift. Later in the evening Rob and Len removed all four traction motors for service and tightened 5 wheels and replaced one traction motor that had a bull gear roll pin shear. The locomotive was put back together. Bill did other administrative tasks and technical support to the two engine re-builders. The crew was finished at 1:00 am.

Monday Vic continued to work on 5427 and replaced a charger in 6109. Rob and Joseph took a load of donated food to Winnipeg Harvest. Bill used the big snow blower on the main road and tested and serviced the lights. Christmas Eve was moderately busy while no long line ups occurred people arrived just n time to keep the two trains full and steady. The railway was operated by Vic, Bill, Phil, Becky, Mary, August and E. When 6109 was tested the problems of Sunday had been addressed but the number three motor smoked and will need replacement.

Tuesday Christmas Day there were no trains but Bill had to repair a damaged arch by some motorist who hit and ran. Other items were repaired and the display went on at 6:00 pm till the end of Christmas day to many people who enjoyed a quiet walk around. About 9:00 pm a circuit chirnobled.

Wednesday Boxing Day. Bill was up early and carried out administrative duties and then repaired the electrical problem restoring the system to operation. Failure was at a previous repaired squirrel attack. Bill ended and started a new week of Ebay. The railway was operated by Phil, Bill, Dwight, Mary, Andrei and Richard

Thursday Gil checked and serviced the tracks while Bill checked trails and lights. Four members were present to run the railway with 700 rides given. Brian, Gil, Rob and Bill operated the railway.

Friday Gil serviced track while Bill purchased supplies, did administration, packed up Ebay parcels,  cleared snow on trails and checked and repaired lights. Vic worked on 5427 in the afternoon. The railway was operated by Rob, Gil, Dwight, Carmelina, Vic, Ed, Richard, Marietta, Brian and Bill. 

Saturday Vic worked on 5427 and started rebuilding traction motors and gear boxes. Barry picked up four new spur gears for machining and a quantity of locomotive wheels that need machining. Gil serviced the track and checked for lubrication. Phil continued to work on the spare control box. Bill set up a mini dancing light display in the area north of Old Fort using some existing lights and adding 1000 more including 12 wrapped trees. The lights are synchronized with music. The railway was operated by Vic, Len, Rob, Brian, Gil, Ed and Bill.

Sunday Dec 30th, Gil serviced the tracks while Bill checked lights and trails. It was our busies night of the run with 866 people on the trains. The railway was operated by Richard, Marietta, Rob, Ed, Barry, Brian and Bill.

Monday New Years Eve was colder but busy. Bill checked rails and lights. The railway was operated by Phil, Becky, Mary, Richard, Marietta, Vic and Bill. At the end those operating gathered in the station for a dinner of Chinese food.

Tuesday, New Years Day Gil serviced the tracks while Bill checked and repaired lights. It was a cold day. The railway was operated by Gil, Len, Phil, Mary and Bill. After the run the group finished off the Chinese food.

Wednesday was a cold and windy day with only 135 hardy Manitoban's coming out. Gil serviced tracks while Bill checked lights and repaired where needed. Rob took food to Winnipeg Harvest. The railway was operated by Gil, Richard, Marietta and Bill. Over the last two slower days Bill got the lady caroller completed. Bill closed E-bay.

Thursday Bill packed up parcels and did administration work. Gil cleared and checked switches and track. Bill repaired lights and tested system. The railway was operated by Fred, Dwight, Rob, Shirley, Ed, Vic and Bill to over 600 people.

Friday Bill mailed parcels, checked lights while Gil serviced the tracks. The railway was operated by Phil, Gil, Becky, Rob, Vic, Ed, Len and Bill to over 700 people.

Saturday Vic supervised the modification welding of the boiler from 5427. Gil serviced track while Bill checked lights. The railway was operated for the larges number this season of over 900 by Ed, Fred, Phil, Mary, Len, Richard, Barry, Vic and Bill.

Sunday Gil checked track and Bill checked lights and the railway was operated by Len, Phil, Becky, Ed, Dwight, Carmelina, Jim and Bill. After the run fourteen of the members sat down in the station to a buffet of Chinese food. This evening we took a picture of our 15000 rider of the season making the season our second best year. The AVR thanks all the volunteer members who gave of their time to make the event possible and all those who came to ride our trains. To one and all we wish the blessings of Christmas and the promise of a good New Year. See you all in June

Monday Bill did administration work, Vic started a pressure test on the new boiler, Rob and Joseph took the last of the donated food to Winnipeg Harvest and helped Bill take down the big signs at the top of the road.

Wednesday Vic continued his work on 5427 and Ed commenced the drilling of holes in the burner tubes. Gil re-arranged the cars in the car barn to get access to the log cars that need to have detail work completed. Phil continued with the set up of the winch controllers. Bill updated the web page. Bill made up the financial statement for 2007.

Saturday Jan 12th to Jan 19, Gil worked on the log cars completing some of the fine detail. Ed drilled more of the burner tube holes. Phil completed his work on the winch controllers and the Shaws reported on their whistle making progress. Vic completed a boiler hydro test on the new boiler up to 280 psi. Bill ordered six new unfinished traction motors from MDM for rebuilding spare diesel traction assemblies.

Monday Jan 21st. Vic with help from Gil and Bill test fit the boiler jacket on 5427 and decided it was a good fit. Gil continued to work on log car upright pegs and Bill did administration work. Bill cast some brake parts for log cars. Gil repaired a breach in the deer fence.

Wednesday Vic started welding on the burner, Gil completed the last of the top log car detail. Phil started to make steel car stops for use during summer switching sessions. Bill picked up steel rods for log cars. Gil cleaned the engine house while Bill cleaned the station.

Friday Bill cleared the track of snow and ran a train on the old line. Pictures were taken of new light features.

Saturday Jan 26th, Bill spent the morning updating various web pages including the open house page and Christmas light picture pages and then made up the first two pages of the next "Nutty Report" Vic continued to work on the burner, cutting five new flame tubes and marking them for drilling. Phil picked up steel and made a car stop device. He painted it flame red. Gil checked the area for deer and found none. Richard cleaned up the garbage and took it to the end of the road. He then brought the two nativity sets into the station for drying out. Rob and Ed drilled holes in the log plates and base plates so they can be welded as one piece prior to painting. Richard, Bill and Gil took down and stored away the 4 x 8 fence panels in the upper storage. Bill made a plan for truss rods on the log cars. Dwight tapped out the eight turnbuckles and Bill treaded rod. Rob did inventory of parts for car building. Bill and Dwight boxed up the nativity set pieces. Len started cutting parts for the cab of 5427. Later Bill completed the last two pages of the "Nutty Report".

Sunday Bill updated web pages, did administration work, took 202 out for several afternoon runs, checked for deer and started printing the "Nutty Report". The first set of truss rods were completed on a log car and the other side was started. After dark Bill took the family for several more trips with the Christmas lights on and completed the printing of the report. 

Monday Bill mailed out the "Nutty Reports". Vic continued to work on the burner and cut additional pips and tacked several in place. Gil began drilling out holes in burner tubes. Bill completed the truss rods on the first log car and made up and mounted the end details. Vic welded the log channels onto the base plates and Bill cleaned up the welding marks with the side grinder. 

Tuesday Gil completed the drilling of the flame tubes for the burner and Bill made up the end rod details for the remaining three log cars. Later in the evening Bill closed and set up E-bay.

Wednesday Vic tacked in the burner tubes and test fit the burner, making other parts and test fitting. Gil had turned two air reservoirs for the log cars at home. Bill completed the truss rods on log car #2 and started half of car #3. Gil and Ed sorted out our drill supply. Phil made up a second car stop device. 

Saturday Feb 2nd. Bill started the day selecting pictures for the web page to create new pages on locomotive 5427, four log cars, Barry's 5404 and other modifications and completed the upgrade in the evening. Gil made up four more air reservoirs for car construction in his home workshop. Vic completed the work on the new burner and welded rods for Bill and continued work on the boiler jacket. Gil made some modifications to the west side deer fence. Richard cleaned up garbage, put away the boxed nativity sets and with Gil took down the large Christmas train and nine of the 16 foot road arches. Bill completed the truss rods on one and  a half cars. They are now ready for painting. Phil continued cutting steel for more car stops. Rob with Richard adjusted the coupler on 5427 and then Rob continued his inventory of car building parts and took progress pictures. Barry and Vic discussed locomotive building. Dwight checked some systems and made a PDF of the last "Nutty Report". Ed got brush and paint ready for painting.

Wednesday Vic continued work on 5427, drilling holes in boiler jacket for railings, machining parts and other tasks related to the K-4. Gil checked the fences for deer and tied up and disconnected light cables. Ed masked the rods on a log car and gave them a coat of paint.

Thursday Gil disconnected arch connections in the back area getting them ready for transport.

Saturday was a blizzard day. Gil spent time grinding excess material on the sand dome of 5427. Rob took construction pictures. Bill painted the coupler end of a log car. Dwight discussed projects. Bill spent hours on accounting for the Abel trust fund.

Monday Feb 11, Gil patrolled the railway finding four deer inside the fenced area. Due to a light cover of snow two areas of possible breach were located and Gil put two pieces of rebar and some dead fall against the worst. Bill completed the wire tie in at the steaming bay and secured the wire and cut the surplus 30 feet in half using one piece at the steaming bay area and the second piece on the south side where Gil had done some repairs.

Tuesday Bill took pictures of E-bay sale items and listed them for this week and closed last weeks selection. Gil patrolled for deer.

Wednesday Vic and Phil turned their attention to the cab of 5427 while Bill took more parts pictures and did some computer updates. Gil patrolled the deer fence area. Bill made up some paperwork for Saturday's AGM. 

Thursday Bill packed parcels and posted them.

Saturday Feb 16 Bill started a cleanup in the station. Vic, Rob and Bill stacked gondolas, organized equipment and were able to get all station equipment in the dog house clearing the station to be a car building facility for the rest of the winter. Bill cleaned up the rest of the station and set it up for the AGM. Vic had spent hours machining air tanks for 5427 and was joined by Phil on some ongoing cab work. Gil patrolled for deer and was joined by Richard, Fred and Bill to bring in Christmas displays and disconnect objects ready for transport. The AGM started at 3:30 with Bill Chairing and Richard appointed recording secretary. Other members in attendance were Ed, Dwight, Barrie A., Bettie, Barry S., Gil, Fred, Vic, Phil, and Becky. Members Len and Brian sent regrets as they were travelling. After the formality of reading minutes, accepting reports, discussing financial reports, the meeting discussed next years projects. Funds were approved for steel for the upper engine house storage tracks, some used car purchases, a new lineal car storage building, two tracks wide by 50 ft long located at north Duck Lake spur, acquisition of a new 13 to 14 ft trailer, a tank car and additional funds were set aside for completion of 5427. Prioritizing of projects was discussed and until the snow is gone, Vic will concentrate on 5427, Bill will concentrate on the four log cars and Christmas display removal, Rob will set up for the box car assembly, other members to assist with these projects as needed. When it is possible to work on track two main projects will take priority, in maintenance the final 500 feet of old ballast will be replaced with new stone along with levelling that track and the siding and spurs at Duck Lake will be completed along with the new car storage facility as we have now run out of storage for new cars and this will add up to 18 new car spaces. The signal department will protect diamonds first and the radio department will make modifications to eliminate the problems between head set plugs and the actual radio. The problem with radios has been identified as poor or intermittent connections between the two parts. Dwight was elected to a two year term as Vice-President. After the meeting Mary-Lou, Linda, Shirley and Christine joined the group for a Chinese Buffet and conversation. 

Sunday Bill updated the web site and cleared snow around the station and engine house. As more snow is predicted this operation will be repeated. In the afternoon Bill disassembled the gingerbread displays and Ogo Pogo and brought them in along with three containers of lights.

Monday was the first observance of the newly declared holiday in Honour of Louis Riel. Bill took three boxes of lights down from the upper parking area. Gil brought in some arches and then cut out windows for 5427's cab and filed and ground were needed. Bill started checking materials to build three or four outside braced box cars and completed the painting on a log car and started a second car.

Tuesday Gil spent time filing the window openings on 5427's cab and Bill closed last weeks E-bay and opened this weeks items.

Wednesday Vic continued on 5427. Gil assisted and brought in arches. Bill packed up club e-bay items and collected three boxes of lights. Phil checked out some new sound systems. Ed masked and painted truss rods on log car #2 and Masked car #3.

Thursday Bill packed more e-bay items and made a trip to the post office.

Friday Vic started on body filling work on the boiler jacket of 5427. Gil brought in a large number of arches. Bill packed up more parcels and made a post office run.

Saturday Gil, Richard, Fred and Bill spent most of the afternoon putting away Christmas lights, clearing all displays from the south end including the upper parking area and then putting away most candy canes, poinsettias and angels from the railway area. Ed, Dwight, Gil, and Rob made air tank brackets and mounted tanks on four cars. Ed masked the last car and put a first coat on all parts that needed paint. Rob, David and Bill transported the box car parts to the station. Vic and Barry reviewed progress on 5427. Phil demonstrated the sound system that Vic had got. The bracket for the air compressor was made up.

Sunday Bill took down the lights in the station "Q" area.

Monday Vic continued work on 5427, test fitting the boiler jacket after trimming the back of the fire box end to match the front of the cab. Phil worked on the new spare throttle box for the diesels, Gil painted four log holding arms and took down arches and trail lighting. Rob laid out the box car parts and test fit components and he and Bill discussed bolster fabrication to match our trucks. Bill took down the lights in the yard area, play house and steaming bay area including the candy canes.

Tuesday Bill closed and opened another E-bay.

Wednesday Bill completed some administration and packed parcels. Vic continued to work on 5427 on the side walkways. Gil painted the remaining log car log holders. Phil completed the spare locomotive controller. Len completed the painting on two log cars.

Saturday

Sunday Bill picked up a used propane tank car at train mountain in Chiloquin, Oregon and tied it down in the van for the trip home. Rob toured the Oklahoma Club track.

Monday Bill placed an order at Cannonball for some parts needed in car construction that Rob will pick up. Rob picked up parts and returned to Winnipeg.

Due to several key members being away on trips in March, Bill, Gil, Ed, Rob, Richard etc. not a lot was completed. Prior to Gil's trip he turned out brake pistons for the four log cars. Vic continued to work at least three afternoons a week on walk ways for 5427. Phil started the task of drilling holes in parts for the box car. Fred removed the G track from the Ashdown display and Richard took down some lights. 

On March 10th the new tank car became a Canadian as it arrived in  Canada. On Monday Bill was taken on a tour of the new track expansion in Victoria by Cliff. 

On Wednesday March 19th Rob cleared the track to the loading spur.

Saturday March 22nd, Bill, Gil and Rob unloaded the TM tank car #3108 and pictures were taken by Joseph. Vic continued work on 5427 forming, cutting and machining parts of the running boards. Gil painted the brake pistons. Ed and Rob mounted the brake components, Cylinder, regulator and pistons on the four log cars. Richard, Gil and Bill took down a group of lights.

Sunday Easter, Bill took down station lights. Bill updates web page.

Monday Vic continued work on 5427 working on running boards, Gil spent time with body filler on boiler jacket, Rob drilled holes on box car parts, Phil drilled out more parts. Bill packed up parcels to post, put new items on E-bay and selected info for lettering of seven cars.

Tuesday Bill ordered car lettering and took down lights. Gil sanded and applied more body putty.

Wednesday Vic continued to work on running boards for 5427 and Gil continued with filler and sanding on the boiler jacket. Bill did administration and paperwork for the railway.

Thursday Bill took down some lights and Gil worked on the boiler jacket.

Friday Bill made a list of projects and needed material fabrication.

Saturday Vic continued on the running boards for 5427 while Gil completed the body filling on the boiler jacket. Fred cut up bolster bars and truck slide bearings and king pin mounts for the box car. Phil assembled the four ladder units for the box car while Rob drilled more holes in parts.

Monday Bill spent time with the sign man, picked up parts and opened and closed E-bay. Vic worked on running boards and Gil gave the sink unit wood work a coat of stain.

Tuesday Bill packed and mailed E-bay sales and took down dog house lights. Gil put a coat of verithane on the sink unit.

Wednesday Vic worked on running boards and cut 20 cam units to replace nylon cams on Mountain Car brake. It was found that during our cold winters the nylon comes loose so steel will be tried. Gil gave the sink unit a second coat of verithane and started drilling holes in steel cams. Rob continued drilling holes in box car parts and Bill took down lights on the car barn, dog house and east side parking.

Thursday Vic, Gil and Bill took the tank car apart and prepared it for powder coating. Rob drilled more holes in the box car. Dwight submitted plans for tank car lettering.

Friday Rob worked on the box car and with Bill's assistance got the king pins ready for welding and the inner frame supports.  Bill worked on the web page and Gil on brake assemblies on a pair of trucks.

Saturday April 5th, Vic worked on the frame of the tank car repairing and welding the ladder and walk supports to the frame and getting the tank ready for powder coating. Gil continued to work on modifications and repairs to brake systems. Bill updated the web and welded the frame of the box car making all modifications needed to mount Cannonball trucks and our standard style of coupler. Bill cut 12 coupler mount plates and drilled welding holes. Len cut 12 - 1/2" by 3/4" mounting centring lugs, Dwight marked the centres and Bill drilled out the centre holes and Len tapped the threads. Becky sanded and filed the pieces. Rob and Fred worked on marking and drilling holes in the box car parts. Bill, Rob and Phil turned an outside braced box car over so Bill could measure the main material for making four more. Phil and Becky cut and sanded small pieces of AVR rail to make WMRC contest trophies. 

Sunday Bill made a plan of plywood cuts for the box cars. The tank was picked up for sandblasting and powder coating.

Monday Bill picked up the vinyl lettering for four log cars and three gondolas. Ebay was closed and opened for another week. Wood for the box cars was sourced. Vic worked on the running boards of 5427. Bill got 3001 out for a photo shoot. Len came with a group of travelling musicians and a video crew. The guests were taken for a train ride on the short snow free piece of track and given a tour of the facility and shown all equipment and current building projects.

Tuesday Rob laid out the mounting holes in the side support angle iron.

Wednesday Vic continued to work on the steamer boiler jacket, mounting the boiler straps and touching up some body filler. Bill spent all available time adding items to E-bay as it was 5 cent day.

Thursday Rob put a log car on the station work table and Bill cut and applied the vinyl lettering to car 313 in preparation for the WMRC show this weekend at the VIA station.

Friday Bill updated the web page. Bill picked up a 5' sq sheet of Baltic birch 1" thick for the new outside braced box cars and cut the sheet into four pieces for the main floors. Bill took down the illuminated nativity, angels, carollers and piece on earth sign from the yard and Rob and Bill loaded the new log car and old flat car for the WMRC show at the Railway Museum. The pair unloaded the equipment at the show and set up the display. Dwight brought a display of switch and signal equipment. 

Saturday Bill welded and ground the 12 coupler holder units. Vic and Ralph worked on the boiler jacket and the running boards of 5427. Richard gathered up garbage around the railway and gathered up track side lights. Richard and Bill took down the lower parking fence and put it away. Dwight checked out the track conditions now that the snow has receded. Barry came to check on progress and add his expertise to certain loco building skills. Rob and several other members looked after the display at the museum. The powder coated tank came back from Gimli. 

Sunday Rob, Fred and Ed watched the show at the museum along with Robs two kids. The public was light. Dwight cleaned up the signal and switch display while, Rob, Bill and Fred brought back the cars and track to the AVR.

Monday Vic worked on the running boards of 5427 and Ralph worked on body filler on the boiler jacket. Gil painted the frame of the new tank car and changed oil and serviced our snow blowers. Phil applied the lettering to three of our log cars. Rob completed the hole drilling on the side holders of the box car. Bill cut the four centre sills for the box cars along with 16 bolster plates. Ebay was opened and closed for the week and lights were taken down.

Tuesday Bill packaged parcels and took down lights. Gil cut the four floor boards to length for the box cars and checked the water in the bush.

Wednesday Vic continued on running boards and modified the upper walk way on the tank car. Gil painted it and put the west pump into operation. Phil took a look at radios for possible modifications. Bill spent the day on E-bay selling items for the trust fund. 

Thursday Bill set up the east pump and Gil checked the west pump, spending time clearing the feeder ditches. Bill packaged up parcels and took them to the post office.

Friday Gil met with the sign man on the tank car and the lettering job was completed. Gil also checked the west pump. Bill spent the afternoon and evening collecting lights along the track and using 3001 checked both rail lines.

Saturday Bill updated the web and got a train out. Vic and Rob took the tank car body outdoors and Rob took a series of pictures. The tank was then put back on the frame and Vic replaced all the bolts and secured the walk way. Rob, Fred and Phil spent the afternoon drilling holes on the box car side. Bill and Gil spent the afternoon taking down lights in the Chapman and Creosote area. The train was used to transport four train loads of light storage boxes to the upper shed. Mary took down lights along the east and centre fence and some at Old Fort and mile 6. Bill cleaned up lights at Old Fort and East Tunnel. August helped transport lights. The new tank car was added to the light train and taken to Paterson for Rob to take pictures. Dwight spent the afternoon replacing all spring switch levers and dressing all switch points on the railway. Bill started the job of yard cleanup after our long winter.

Sunday Bill updated the web and packed up 5 orders to be mailed out. Rob brought his family plus a guest for a train ride.

Monday Vic worked on the right side running boards and its hangers. Bill opened and closed this weeks e-bay items. 

Wednesday Vic completed the work on the right side running boards. Gil & Linda worked on the upper sections of deer fencing completing the second level where needed. Phil worked on locomotive controllers.

Thursday Bill packed up parcels and mailed them out.

Friday Rob completed the rivet hole drilling on the side of the steel box car.

Saturday April 26th Vic mounted the right side running boards to the boiler jacket of 5427. Bill drilled out mounting holes on 5 bolster bars for the 4 outside braced box cars and then welded in king pin holders in two centre sills and welded bolster bars on one car frame. Rob marked out mounting hole locations on the steel box car. Dwight gathered materials for four new switches that will need to be built. Gil fixed up some deer fencing and started to switch table saws in the machine shop.

Monday Vic worked on the left running board for 5427. Gil and Bill took remaining lights down in the "Olds Fort" area and Gil started moss removal on the track at mile 36. Bill opened and closed this weeks E-bay and drilled out the remaining bolster bars.

Wednesday April 30th, Vic continued cutting, welding and grinding parts for the left running boards on 5427. Gil completed the switch to the smaller table saw for the shop and located the old saw behind the station and began constructing a weather protective top. Bill packed up more packages for mailing out. Rob continued to mark holes for the steel box car.

Thursday Gil completed the new top for the saw and cleaned up the shop. Bill packed more parcels and mailed them out.

Saturday Bill updated the web page and did more yard work near the station. A quantity of steel poles and re-bar were put away along with the small building from the Ashdown collection. Vic continued on running board construction. Adding the extensions past the fire box to the cab. The right side is starting to take shape now. Gil and Bill removed moss from the section of track from the "Old Fort" east switch to lightning junction. Using 3001 and some cars, the surplus material was loaded in 5 gal buckets and moved to mile 28 for use in repairing road pot holes. A load of Christmas lights were taken to upper storage. It took another train load to complete the moss removing process. The west side pump was then removed and stored. Fred and Ed completed the moving of Ashdown buildings to storage and finished the afternoon by drilling holes in the second side of the steel box car. Dwight made modifications and upgrades to a group of high switch stands. Bill set up the track panel jig and set up rails and switch ties for future assembly. If anyone is interested in doing renovations to the Ashdown collection the club would welcome their help. A work area will be made available in the maintenance building for such endeavour. The buildings will require some rebuilding and a good coat of paint.

Sunday May 4th it snowed. So late in the season. Bill cut four bolster bearing plates and welded them to the outside braced box car steel frame and mounted the completed frame on the wood floor. Four intermediate steel channel bars were cut and test fit.

Monday May 5th Vic continued to work on 5427 cutting more parts and mounting the air compressor to the left side of the locomotive. Bill opened and closed another session on E-bay and packed up parcels. 

Tuesday more grounds clean up and a trip to mail parcels.

Wednesday Vic cut and fitted more parts, making several more hanger spots and then mounting the bell on the locomotive. Bill drilled fastening holes on the under floor channels and fastened them to the car. These were welded to the main sill and ground off. The first floor is now ready for paint and brake detail. Rob took a series of pictures of progress on 5427.

Thursday May 8th Vic spent the day getting metal for the "Z" bracing and angles for the four outside braced box cars. To keep club costs down Vic spent the day bending all the material as needed to form the various pieces. It looks to be excellent material.

Friday Bill picked up club supplies, updated the web.

Saturday Vic transported material to the engine house and spent the afternoon working on 5427 completing a good part of the left running boards. All members present agreed that the locomotive is starting to look very good. The preliminary plans for the tender were unveiled and they look very impressive. Vic and Gil got the tender frame and trucks out so Vic could check for fitting locations and modifications. Rob continued with rivet hole drilling on the second box car side and also lined up the three gons that need lettering applied. Ed and Phil provided some assistance.  Ed put a coat of shellac on the first car frame and floor. Phil continued with controller repairs. Bill laid up the second frame and welded on the bolster bars at one end. Dwight continued with his modifications of high switch stands to make them more durable. Gil, Bill and Mary spent most of the afternoon clearing deadfall and small trees from the area where the club will build a low level 50 ft long car shed for storing of from 16 to 18 rail cars. The new shed will be located in the north west corner and have track access off the new passing siding at "Duck Lake". Gil and Bill using tape measure and long string with steel poles outlined the position of the building and then cleared and raked the area in preparation for sub roadbed. Len picked up coupler castings for machining and assembly.

The new car shed is planned to be 41" wide plus 7" of roof overhang. The west wall to be 30" high and the east wall to be 25" tall allowing a slightly sloped single run roof. There will be two tracks in the shed. Several of the roof panels will be hinged and liftable  for access if anything gets derailed inside. The shed is not intended for anything more than car storage. The foundation will be 2" by 6" pressure treated lumber laid on a bed of crushed rock and pinned in place with long pieces of re-bar driven into the ground to stop movement. A double layer of heavy Polly will be applied to the base below ties to act as a vapour barrier making the storage area dry. The siding will be the same material that is on the car barn and engine house as it keeps its paint a long time and is a maintenance free material. A discussion is to paint the structure with a dark colour that will blend into the surrounding bush.

Sunday Bill cleared leaves and brought in 1500 lights missed on the west trail.

Monday Rob worked on the steel box car completing all rivet holes on the second side and started placing components. He was able to give some special guests a tour of the facility. Bill updated the web page and set times, dates and meal list for the Joint meet with Red River at the end of August. This weeks E-bay was ended and a new list started.

Tuesday Bill took packages to the post office.

Wednesday Vic continued work on the new locomotive. Gil and Bill put up the rock pit plywood for a new load of crushed rock in the upper parking lot. Gil made up two track panels. Ed put a second layer of shellac on the completed car base and put a first coat on three more floors. Bill welded and ground the second steel frame and cut and drilled the middle area steel supports. Phil worked on control box refurbishing. 

Thursday Bill picked up two more shellac containers and three sheets of Baltic Birch cut into 8 car sides and pieces for the ends. 

Friday Vic and Gil test fit the boiler jacked and got the tank car onto sawhorses for Vic to work on the piping. Bill got two gallons of box car red paint for the new shed and a re-paint of the upper storage shed. 

Saturday Bill updated the web, and did administration work. Vic continued on the linkage to the Johnson bar on 5427. He also did most of the piping on the new tank car . Bill repaired 33 pot holes on the driveway. Gil made up six more track panels. Ed put a second coat of shellac on the car floors and started painting the new storage shed.  Gil, Dwight and Bill measured the track needed for the Duck Lake project. Total track came to 435 feet. We will need all rail on hand, 700 additional ties and 5000 track screws. Dwight cut up switch parts. Rob and Fred continued on the steel box car completing all hole marking and getting the sides ready for riveting. Bill drilled out the remaining sills for the wood box cars and welded in the king pin one inch nuts. Gil and Bill measured additional cuts needed for the wood sides and ends for the wood box cars. Dwight and Bill took templates to the Duck Lake area and laid out the area to determine what switches need to be built. Switch to new car shed will be a #6 modified "Y" The south main line access switch will be a left hand #8. The south spur switch will be a right hand #6 and the car shed switch will be a left #6. In the evening Bill welded together the third frame with its four bolster bars and ground it. Rob took lots of pictures of today's progress.

Sunday Bill moved leaves in the morning and ran trains for a birthday party in the afternoon giving 49 double rides on four trips. After that the tracks were greased, deer chased out and equipment put away.

Monday May 19th, Victoria Day. Vic worked on the locomotive, making parts for mounting the air tank on the right side and adjusting the linkage. Rob did service to car 105 and adjusted the truck mount spacing, adjusted the brakes and tested it. Gil worked on some trucks. Bill welded the remaining bolster bars on the outside braced box car frames, cut the bearing pads and welded them all in place, cut additional channel and started mounting frame #2 to the floor. Rob started driving rivets into the steel box car parts. 208 are now installed. Bill closed E-bay for the day and took pictures of the next E-bay listings.

Tuesday Bill ordered and picked up 5000 track screws for the Duck Lake expansion. Bill prepared 3001 for the wind up wiener roast for the 82nd cubs and scouts and gave 26 people a double ride. The evening was spent starting this weeks E-bay. Rob worked on the steel box car putting in 268 rivets to the side.

Wednesday Vic pressurized the tank car to check all the new piping for leaks. It passed the test. Vic continued on with 5427 completing the tank placement on the right side. Gil picked up supplies. Phil took 3001 apart and found the dynamic brake problem and repaired it and did some test running. Bill cut the remaining frame channel for the box cars and screwed down the second floor unit. Bill then took 2365 out of the engine house and cleaned the exterior and steamed her up to check the safety valve and warm the boiler. He then prepared the locomotive for a static boiler test and brought the pressure to 200 psi. All systems appeared tight. Jim our steam safety officer was called and he came and tested the boiler at 180 psi checking the fire box and smoke box for leaks. It was determined that the boiler was not leaking. The locomotive was re-assembled and steamed up. The injectors were adjusted. Bill lubricated the locomotive and Jim and Bill took her out for a first of the season run. The boiler was blown down and locomotive put away. Boiler Certificate was filled out. 

Thursday Bill boxed up E-Bay parcels. Vic worked at home on arranging materials for 5427.

Friday Bill made a list of AVR projects, Did admin work and ordered a truck load of crushed rock.

Saturday May 24th. Vic continued with the piping work on car 3108. Ed got more of the storage shed painted. Gil was the first to arrive as he met the rock truck to get it unloaded near the spur at Paterson, allowing easy loading of rock on the train. Gil cut up more splines to define rock placement and then hauled some rock to the duck lake area. Rob, Fred and Carmalina spent time working on the steel box car. Fred put in 92 rivets and Carmelina put in 68 on the second side, Phil, Joseph, Becky and  a new member moved rock to the new siding. Dwight did some work on signals, switches and future plans. Down at St. Croix Railroad several AVR members participated in the Spring Meet. Members from Winnipeg were Barry, Phil S, Bill and Mary-Lou.  It was a nice day with lots of Rail activity. Bill spent time on trains as a conductor and operated 1280 for two trips. Barry had run her on Friday and Phil S. had his 1" loco fired. Later in the day 1280 developed some problems that will require time in the roundhouse. The day ended with a BBQ. Back in Winnipeg Rob took pictures of the log cars with long loads.

Monday May 26th Vic continued with 5427

Tuesday Bill closed last weeks E-bay and started a new weeks items.

Wednesday Work on a number of AVR projects continued. Vic on 5427 and Dwight fabricated and installed four dangerous goods placards and placed them on the tank car.

Saturday May 31st Vic continued work on 5427 mounting the boiler hand railings and starting some of the piping. The burner was welded. Members moved more rock to Duck Lake. Rob assemble the side walls and frame for the steel box car. Ed painted the back and north side of the shed.

Wednesday June 4th Richard took down the remaining Christmas poles and with Gil's help put away the Ashdown display tables. Trees were stored away. Vic continued on piping for 5427 and Rob continued on box car fabrication. Bill picked up AVR supplies in Kansas City.

Friday Bill spent the afternoon printing out AVR sales for the trust fund. Rob worked on the box car.

Saturday Bill spent the morning and evening packing up E-bay packages to be mailed on Monday. He also used the weed-eater around the station.  Vic was able to put the final piping connections on the tank car and pressurized it and tested for leaks. The car is now ready for service. Dwight manufactured switch linkage parts for the four new switches to go in at Duck Lake. Bill and Richard using weed eater and rake cleaned up the north end spur area off Duck Lake and moved the splines for new gravel work. Gil and Frank brought three loads of rock and with Richard and Bill levelled off the material. Rock was spread up and into the new car shed area. Rob worked on the box car and then filled the two hopper cars three times and he and Bill spread four car loads at the area between Lightning Jct. and the east switch at Old Fort. During the afternoon Bill marked a number of track areas that need some attention after the winter and Rob filled two cars of rock pails to get this area levelled before next weeks open house. Gil and Frank put the west side pump into action to take care of Friday's rain. 

Sunday Gil gave a retired CNR railroader a tour of the AVR. Bill cut the grass around the yard and in the upper parking area. Rob brought his family to see a new pair of deer born this morning. The mothers who have been staying out of the fenced area since Feb have now decided it is a safe place to use as a maternity hospital. We have mixed feelings on the issue but we can deal with it after the open house. 

Monday Vic continued his work on 5427 and Bill mailed more parcels. The track west of the station was lined up and a bump due to winter heaving was fixed.

Tuesday Bill packed up another six parcels and mailed them. 

Wednesday Vic did the black touch-up painting on the tank car and continued with boiler jacket parts on 5427. Rob worked on rivets on a box car end. Ed and Phil painted the front of the storage shed. Bill and Gil went around the new track and lined all the straight track. 

Thursday June 12, Rob continued on the box car and worked with Vic test fitting the boiler into the jacket of 5427. Bill cleaned up the station and washroom area and checked the west pump and found in not operating. He pulled it out. Rob tidied up his station work area. 

Friday Bill repaired the west pump and put it back into service. Next project was to grease the new track using 3001. Dwight modified the riding car to take a new version of the oiler and greased the old  track with the new device. 

Saturday June 14th was our first summer open house but due to intermittent showers it was a quiet day allowing extra work to get done. Bill got 2365 out and had her in steam by 10:30 am. Frank and Len got out cars and 3001 to run opposing direction to the Pacific. Vic continued to work on 5427 working with the jacket and lubricator lines. Gil came with boots and deepened and cleared the ditch from Duck Lake pumping station to Ghosty Hollow. Richard with help from Frank and Marry replaced a large number of bad ties around the old line. Rob set up the show cars and took some video for U-tube of both the steamer and the diesel pulling the train. After the close of the open house 20 people gathered for an evening BBQ followed by some late day running just for fun. By 10 pm all equipment was put away. During the day Rob got his final test on steam operation and is now qualified to pull the public on steam.

Sunday Bill steamed up 2365 at 9:00 to have her preheated. Len came just after noon and by 1:00 pm we were ready to go with two trains but as there were only two members we could only run one train until 2:30 when Phil, Becky and Frank arrived. The visitors were light but steady and more than Saturday. By 6 pm all equipment was put away. Phil got some hands on steam experience after the open house. 

Monday Vic gave rides to the good folks from Caledon Propane who unveiled the new propane car and got a ride and tour of the railway. Bill purchased flowers and set up the flower pots around the station.

Tuesday Bill completed the flower pots and set them out. In the evening he closed one weeks E-bay auction and started another. 

Wednesday Vic continued work on 5427 getting all materials ready for a test fit. With Gil's help the boiler was put into the boiler jacket. Bill did more flower planting. Bill packed up parcels and posted them. 

Thursday Bill cut the grass in all areas. More parcels were packed and mailed.

Saturday Vic and Gil hoisted the boiler and jacket onto the frame of 5427 and got some needed assistance from Frank as it was a tight fit. It is beginning to look like a locomotive with the test fit boiler and jacket in place. Vic has done a lot of work on this locomotive to date. Dwight got to work on the "Y" switch and prepared a frog and set out switch ties. Frank provided some help but after others had left Dwight got a good start on completing the switch. Richard and Bill fetched a train load of rock and spread it at Duck Lake Fred joined in for the next two train loads and Gil assisted for the last. In all 104 pails of rock were filled, transported and spread. The first layer is complete to the end of the new car shed area.

Sunday Bill used the weed eater to cleanup the tall grass at the top of the road and then replaced the worst 10 feet of rotting east side wood fence to keep deer out.

Monday June 23rd was 5 cent day on E-bay so Bill added about 80 items for next weeks auction. Food was purchased for an AVR event.

Tuesday Bill picked up the balance of food supplies and closed last weeks E-bay.

Wednesday Lyn came for a visit to see progress on the AVR. About a dozen people gathered for the occasion. Fred took the group for a triple train ride and we toasted to Peter's memory. 

Thursday Bill packed up seven packages for mailing.

Friday Rob is transporting 25 extra rails from Oklahoma City but the transportation device is currently tied up on a siding so some delay may occur.

Saturday June 28th, Richard cleaned up around the station and engine house. Bill completed the first three pages of the next Nutty Report.  Bill and Richard cut up all the ties that Dwight had specified for the next three switches. Frank carried wood and assisted Dwight in the completion of the car storage building spur. Fred and Phil carried out a level survey to see where rock needs to be added on the car storage spur. Dwight, Phil, Frank, Richard and Bill transported the switch and materials to duck lake and Bill and Dwight positioned the switch in the correct place while Phil and Frank moved templates around. Dwight cut in the connecting rails while Bill tied in forty feet of tie panel to the south. Dwight and Bill screwed in the connecting rails and put all the supplies away. Vic and John from Kansas arrived and Vic gave John a tour of current projects and Bill took him for a train ride to see the new expansion.

Sunday Bill picked up fencing materials for the next panel. All the cut ties were given two coats of wood preservative on the cut faces. Bill mixed up 12 gallons of Round-Up and administered it to weeds on the road bed around the railway. The big lawn mower was used to cut grass on the half mile of trails in the bush. The train was called into service when the mower stalled after hitting a root. Jumper cables were connected to the train to start the mower. Last task was to update the web.

Monday Vic put 5427 on the lift and adjusted the burners. Rob delivered a box of rail from Cannonball. Bill spent the afternoon and evening clearing E-bay and entering more items for next week.

HILT FRIESEN

It is with a great deal of sadness that I must report the passing of one of Model Railroading's more well known persons. Hilt suffered a heart problem on Friday and died Wednesday July 23rd, 2008 of heart related complications. Hilt was active in the WMRC having served the club in many capacities including President over the years. He has been involved in the NMRA and TLR in a number of areas for many years. He was a member of the AVR and was active in setting lettering for many of their cars. He was very involved with printing the CP sig publication for a number of years.

For many years Hilt has operated Elmwood Hobby Works on Henderson Hwy. In this endeavour he became known to countless model railroaders in the Winnipeg area. In all he did he was a tireless promoter of the hobby we all enjoy.

Hilt's Memorial Service will be held on Sunday July 27th, 2008 at Braeside Mennonite Church, 1011 Munroe from 3 pm. to 5 pm. It will be informal with food and beverages and a chance to speak about Hilt if you are so inclined.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to Hilt's wife Stephie and their children and grandchildren.

Hilt you leave a really big hat to fill.

Bill Taylor

Tuesday Canada Day July 1st. Bill spent time with E-bay and set up the second 9 feet of new fence from the first section to the maintenance building. Planted a bunch of flowers. The last two pages of the Nutty Report were composed. Dwight started on the south spur switch for Duck Lake and Bill assisted with the project. 

Wednesday Bill boxed up parcels for E-bay and posted them. Vic continued his work on 5427 making and installing parts. Bill put wood preservative on cut-up switch ties. Gil cut a series of regular ties. Ed put the trim back on the storage building. Bill and Phil installed another 40 feet of rail at Duck Lake. Dwight completed the #6 right hand switch for the south spur at Duck Lake and cut up rails for the #8 spring switch on the main track.

Thursday Bill cut grass in the yard.

Saturday Vic continued with 5427 installing fittings on the air tanks, took 5427 off the lift and put 2365 on the lift for maintenance work. Bill treated the cut ties with preservative. Gil cut more ties and stacked the treated ties. Richard cleaned up and got a train out and with Fred on the level and Barry and Richard sharing rod man duties and Bill on the rake the sub roadbed was raised and levelled from the switch at the siding to inside the future car storage building. Dwight with assistance from Frank completed the #8 left hand switch for the south end of Duck Lake and it was transported to location. Bill kept the printer going during the afternoon and printed up the next issue of the Nutty Report. Len put anti-slip material on the short riding car of 6109 and assisted Bill with the repair of 2365. The head plates on the front of the cylinders needed to be tightened. Rob and Joseph reloaded the rock train.


Sunday July 6th Dwight and Bill installed the left # 8 at the end of Duck Lake and then positioned the #6 right-hand for the south spur. While Dwight completed the tie-in of the two switches, Bill used the weed eater along the main lines from mile post 11 south and east to mile post 6 and from the diamond at mile 25 north to mile 22.

Monday Vic worked on a slide bracket for 5427 and put on two lock nuts for the suspension of 2365 and put her back on her dolly and put 5427 on the lift. Bill did weed eating from mile 17.5 north to mile 16.5.

Tuesday Bill did weed eating from mile 2 to mile 5

Wednesday Vic continued work on 5427 and prepared the new propane connection between the tank car and 2365. Gil and Bill worked on the last bit of track on the connection between the # 6 and # 8 switch at Duck Lake and later the first train was run through. Dwight arrived in time for the first train and the two spent some time levelling the #8 switch. Gil picked up wood preservative and gave the cut ties a first coat and Bill later gave them a second coat.

Thursday Bill did weed eating from 34.5 south to 33.5 and the from mile 14 to mile 12 until the weed eater failed. 

Friday Bill picked up food for the Saturday BBQ. Vic was pleased that the tender sides had been cut and drilled for 5427.

Saturday July 12 was our open house. It rained all day quite hard so the riders were light. Vic steamed up 2365 and Len and Phil got cars and the second train out. The first official meet was held at the new siding at Duck Lake between 2365 north bound and 3001 going south. All went well. Richard, Fred and Gil worked out in the rain removing 1/4" down from the lap switch east of the station and replaced it with 1/2" clean rock and replaced about 12 ties on the switch. Gil used the old material to patch some potholes in the road. Len did a couple of rock runs. Vic worked on 5427. Bill prepared food and a BBQ was held at 5:30 for members and wives.  

Sunday was a bright day. Phil and Rob got cars out and Bill steamed 2365. We had about three times the visitors. Rob took his first solo on 2365 with passengers. Later in the day a large train was made up and run. Dwight worked on the new siding, putting in insulated joints and  completing the track. Some expansion joints were added and one old rail was replaced with a new rail. 

Monday Vic got checker plates cut for the walk ways on 5427. Bill picked up more 2 x 4s for ties and a new weed eater and gallon can of WD40. Bill closed and opened another session of E-bay.

Tuesday parcels were wrapped and mailed.

Wednesday Ralph came to help on the AVR but it rained all afternoon. It was frustrating as outside work was difficult. Gil started on a track panel. Vic continued on 5427 and with Gil cut out a template and then the front wall of the cab that contoured the back end of the fire box. About 5 pm the rain stopped and Ralph and Bill went out to Duck lake and while Ralph joined 40 feet of tie panel and rails together Bill started screwing down the track north along the spur.

Thursday Vic and Ralph spent the afternoon cutting and fitting some of the checker board material for the walkways on 5427. Bill cut the grass in front of the station.

Friday Ralph and Gil cut up a quantity of ties and Bill gave the end cuts two coats of preservative.

Saturday July 19th, Ralph did some filing on running board parts and Bill put two coat of preservative on cut ties and when dry put more up for treating and Gil cut up our remaining stock of material and put on more preservative. Gil made up two more tie panels. The main crew consisting of Ralph, Rob, Fred, Richard and Bill using 3001 headed out to Duck Lake to start and complete the ballasting of the new siding. Once complete Fred, Richard and Bill completed the spreading and levelling of material at the site of the new car storage building. Rob put the trains away. Dwight checked all switches after the ballasting operation and made plans to build another switch to replace the switch at the west end of Amur Glen and then using the old switch after some re-building at the door of the new car storage building. Vic came to prepare for his trip south to pick up the new trailer that the AVR is purchasing.

Sunday Bill updated the web page and checked the batteries on 3001 suspecting one bad battery. Test results were all batteries had correct fluid. The forward pair were fully charged and doing all the work. The centre pair top battery was only showing 10 volts no load and 8 volts loaded. Also was warm so we have lost a cell or two. The rear pair of batteries were not charged and upon inspection the fuse in the back charger was blown. This would account for reports of low capacity on the locomotive with only one pair doing the work. The centre system was removed from the circuit awaiting a pair of new batteries. The top centre is the oldest battery in the fleet. Vic and Rob got 5427 out for some tests on the track. The trailing truck was not moving as needed. Rob, Ralph and Bill checked the rear suspension on the lift and after some considerable checking it was found that in the connection of truck to frame there was a difference of 3/8" from one side to the other. This will be investigated further. Vic, Ralph, Rob and Bill pulled out the unloading lift and put on the charger so the battery would be ready. Next task was to put in the three steaming bay removable tracks. Bill drilled out three new holes in the middle support where frost had moved the centre posts.

Monday July 21st Vic and Phil S. headed for the USA to pickup railroad related equipment. Gil spent time drilling out a collection of rail. Rob spent the afternoon and evening putting rivets in the steel box car end. Ralph and Bill using 25 transported tie panels to Duck Lake and proceeded to screw down the track on the northern spur to where the switch at the future car storage building will go. Ralph got the task of running the first train down the new spur. Bill and Rob put trains away and Bill closed this weeks E-bay.

Tuesday Bill picked up batteries for 3001 and bushings for gear boxes. Rob worked on the box car and completed the ends, mounted the trucks and it is now on the rails. Bill removed the centre batteries and installed the new power source for 3001.

Wednesday Phil, Debby and her son Billy, Ed and Bill cleared all dead fall from the south spur at Duck Lake and then cleared organic material from the track and put in the splines for sub-roadbed. It is now ready for rock. Dwight set up ties for a replacement switch for west Amur Glen and cut and drilled the rails for the switch. Bill set up E-bay for next week.

Thursday Bill cut grass on the nature trails and upper parking.

Friday Bill updated the web.  Phil S and Vic are expected tonight. The new AVR trailer was picked up and pulled into Winnipeg and stored in the upper parking area.

Saturday Phil S. and Stephen unloaded the new Pacific and she was steamed up and put to the Test at the AVR. After several hours of running she appeared to handle the track well. Certain changes will be made to improve her operation in the future. Vic continued to work on 5427 paying attention to the rear truck and the throttle. Back at Duck Lake the crew of Ed, Fred, Frank, Bill, Ken and Billy laid down the first layer of rock on the new 80 foot south spur. Rob took the steel box car out for some photos. Dwight completed the rail assembly for the west Amur Glen replacement switch.

Sunday Bill made up a PR piece for the Media on the Aug open house. Bill and Phil S. put the new pacific away. 

Monday Vic worked on 5427 and Gil picked up a replacement door handle. Stephen came to steam the new Pacific, Vic pulled it out and Later Gil helped put it away.

Wednesday Vic continued with 5427, taking her out to check suspension and tracking side motion. Phil M worked on steel car stops. Bill, Ed and Len using 25 picked up a load of rock and using the 7 ft level brought up the elevation on the south Duck Lake spur. Rock was also dropped at East Amur and Creosote Crossing for some cross elevation problems and Bill spread the remaining rock along the sides of the new track west of Charleswood where walking traffic has packed it down. Bill spent the evening closing and opening E-bay listings.

Thursday Vic machined parts for 5427 and worked on the locomotive suspension system and back truck. Bill used the weed eater around the station and on the track from the east tunnel past Paterson and west to Ghosty Crossing. He also received a load of crushed rock in the upper parking area. 

Friday Vic made a template for the boiler back plate and checked on progress on the tender sides. Bill picked up BBQ supplies and three new surveillance cameras and installed them. Bill replaced two broken water valves on the water system. 

Saturday Aug 2nd, Vic Formed, cut and welded the boiler back head for 5427 and continued with other fabrication items. Barry came to check on parts and will do some work on the pop valves. Richard cleaned up debris and with Fred and Bill and 3001 did a complete level survey on the south spur at Duck Lake. Dwight completed the switch for west Amur Glen. Bill repaired a water leak at Chapman replacing a 42" section of pipe. Richard and Bill repaired an expansion leak on the water system under the station platform. Len replaced the door lock in the maintenance building and ran an air line under the tracks from the engine house to the station for next weekends display. Bill picked up plumbing supplies. Richard and Fred did some cleanup of the station table for the open house. Bill cleaned up the sink unit and pulled off the oak trim and wall panel in the station and cut and glued the tail pieces and elbows in place. The place for the drain was opened through the drywall and a start of the water run was determined. A new vent tee will be needed. 

Sunday Bill picked up a 2" by 1.5" tee for the station and then cut and connected all the drain lines but was 6.5"  short of pipe but fortunately Rob came to the rescue with the needed 6.5" pipe. The drain was completed. Then Bill cut into both hot and cold lines under the hand sink and cut appropriate holes in the station wall above the new sinks and mounted a backboard to hold the wall mount faucets. Plastic lines were run from water source to tape fittings. The wall panel and oak trim were replaced. Job took 5 hours.

Monday Bill installed some new surveillance cameras and packed up E-bay packages. He rented a set of crimping pliers and crimped the four water pipe connections.  Vic worked on 5427 welding, cutting and fitting the cab floor. Barry worked on one pop valve for 5427. Rob took photos of progress and showed equipment. Phil S. and Stephen steamed their Pacific to give relatives a tour of the railway. Bill found and repaired a water leak north of Chapman and pressed Stephen into getting three pails of rock for filling the excavation. Bill put away the locomotives.

Tuesday Aug 5th, Vic continued to work on the cab of 5427. Barry made up the mounting fitting for the second pop valve on 5427. 

Wednesday Bill cleaned up the station for the open house and closed and set up a session of E-bay. Vic worked away on the cab floor of 5427. Gil made up a couple of tie panels. Dwight removed the old west end switch at Amur Glen and with help from Phil and Bill cut in the new switch and re-graded and did the tie in. 

Thursday Vic continued on 5427's cab, Rob experimented with paints for the box car. Dwight continued with the fine tuning of the switch and tied in both connecting tracks.

Friday Vic chased after tender parts and worked on 5427. Bill packaged parcels. Rob dumped rock at the switch and levelled off the siding to allow trains to pass. Ed brought a group of 34 lawn bowlers from a national championship for a BBQ and train ride at the AVR. Vic steamed 2365 and Bill manned the grill.

Saturday Aug 9th was open house day. Bill greased the rails and set up for an engine display in the station. Clayton & Mardell Punshon arrived at 9:00 from Saskatchewan with their bountiful display of stationery steam engines which they set up in the station and provided an informative and educational display for visitors to the Saturday and Sunday open house. Saturday was a steady day with 2365 doing most of the work. 6109 was used as the opposing diesel as 3001 had developed sound system issues. Phil and Bill were able to re-program the sound system. 25 developed controller issues by possible being towed around the railway. The solution is under investigation. Vic worked on the cab for 5427 most of the day. Richard swept rock at Amur Glenn and continued to replace ties on the railway.  Gil put in a culvert need Duck Lake and made up three other track panels. Bill cooked up a BBQ after the open house.

Sunday trains and display were ready for quests at 1 pm and more people came to ride. The Pushon's continued on their display. Bill, Len, Phil, Becky, Rob and Robert operated the railway.  At 5 all equipment was put away. Sunday morning Bill started to scribe the box car sides.

Monday Vic continued on 5427 and Bill completed the scribing on the box car side. 

Tuesday Bill scribed the second side and Vic riveted detail on the cab roof of 5427.

Wednesday Bill scribed the ends and Vic test fit the cab. William cam by. Bill assembled the sides and ends to the floor on the first box car. 

Thursday Vic fastened down the checker board plate on the running boards and made a matching lid for the lubricator.

Friday Vic continued work on 5427 with more cutting and detail work on the cab.

Saturday Aug 16th, Vic worked on 5427. Richard bagged up the garbage and got 3001 out and transported five track panels to the south spur at Duck Lake. He connected joint bars and started completing the track. Dwight tested the repaired controller on 25 but it only goes in reverse. He suspects a bad relay. "THE BOX CAB WAS HANDLED IN A TRAIN UNDER
OTHER THAN ITS OWN POWER WITH THE KILL SWITCH ON WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN
OFF. THIS RESULTED IN EXTREME BRAKING CURRENT DUE TO THE BRUSHES BEING
SHORTED TOGETHER THROUGH THE CONTROLLER. THIS RESULTED IN THE CIRCUIT BOARD FOIL AND THE RELAYS BEING BURNT. " The relays were a mess of burnt and melted plastic. Dwight replaced them and the board is ready to be reinstalled in the locomotive and tested.  Dwight carried on making adjustments to the new trackage at Amur Glenn for signalling. Bill had injured his knee and could only do jobs like computer update.

Sunday Aug 18th, Jim and Barry brought over some guests and gave them a full tour of the railway. It was decided that the AVR will hold a steam safety school again in October. Dates to be arranged.

Monday Vic continued on 5427 with welding and grinding the boiler back plate and cab components. Phil M removed the defective motor from 202 and lubricated the gear boxes. The motor had lost its mounting screws causing the gears to bind. The locomotive will be available for operations during the meet. David put the lettering on gondolas 135 - 145 - & 155 taking six hours to complete. Richard ran a train for a group of his family and conducted a tour. Gil and Bill designed the building at Duck Lake North and drew up a list of materials needed. Bill updated the computer. Vic and Bill agreed on a plan for the storage bays in the engine house increasing locomotive space from 2 to 6. Steel to be ordered.

Tuesday Aug 19th Vic continued work on 5427's cab drilling, grinding, welding and riveting detail parts. Bill picked up 10 twelve foot 2 x 4's that will make up 20 trusses for the new Ducky car storage building. Gil drilled out the rails needed for the storage building. Bill found, dug up and repaired the water leak at Creosote Crossing. Bill cut the grass by the station.

Wednesday Vic continued with the cab details on 5427. Gil sanded the ends of the first outside braced box car in the new series of four. Gil cut up the first truss for the Ducky car storage. Phil lubricated the gear boxes on 3001 and 6109.  His last job of the day was to complete the trackage on the south Duck Lake spur. It is now usable during the meet. Dwight, Carmelina, Bill and Mary-Lou attended the funeral near Winnipeg Beach of Len's Father John. The clubs condolences go out to the LaRue family. Bill completed the day by ending and starting an E-bay session.

Thursday Vic continued on details on the cab and cab floor of 5427. Bill repaired 10 or 12 trail lights with re-built tops and new light bulbs. Gil cut up more lumber for the Ducky car storage building. Bill packed up E-bay parcels. Phil, Pat, Bill and Gil got 6612 loaded for the meet at Red River. 

Friday Vic worked on piping for 5427. Bill mailed out packages, updated the web and spent two hours checking track, lifting dips and addressing cross elevation problems and repaired eight trail lights.

Saturday Vic assembled parts on 5427 and spend time cleaning up the engine house and machine shop. Richard cleaned up garbage and took a load to the end of the road. Bill emptied the station fridge and with help from Rob took it outside to be properly cleaned with air and garden hose. It was replaced and yes even the floor under was moped. Rob put the rook walk on the steel box car and painted the underside of things. Len, Richard and Bill took 3001 with two ballast hoppers and ballasted the curve on the new south spur at Duck Lake. Some branches and a deed oak were taken down  and moved away from track but Len and Bill while Richard fetched a train load of rock. Track elevations and dips were addressed at Duck Lake and the crew then addressed the new switch at West Amur Glen. Next was the main and siding at Paterson that had caused some trouble. It was levelled. Some kinks in curves were removed and the area checked for elevation. The crew moved to Creosote Crossing and raised a dip and checked for other elevation problems and finally lifted two dips just west of the new tunnel. The rock was all used in those repairs. Len repaired two electrical plug ins that squirrels had removed and Richard did some gate repairs. During the afternoon Dwight replaced the control board in #25 and restored the locomotive to service. He then checked all switches on the system. Frank cleaned off the loading lift pad and assisted Vic in engine house cleaning. Phil M worked at home on repairing a couple of locomotive control boxes.  A group of six AVR members not including duel members attended the pork roast at Red River. 

Sunday Aug 24th Bill updated the web and put chargers on the loading lift and 2365's service car and took a look at the card order system. Next project was buying groceries for the meet and preparing spaghetti sauce for Monday night and vegetables for Sunday BBQ and Monday Dinner. Vic, Rob and Phil came to help unload trains and to get equipment out. Whit arrived with his trailer at 7:00 pm and the group stopped for the BBQ. Americans traveling up to Winnipeg include AVR members Whit, Carla, Dan, Danielle, Bob and Steve and guests, JJ, Dick, Pat, and Kathy. Once the trains were unloaded Whit's pacific was steamed and along with several AVR diesels operations went on until almost midnight. There were about 25 for the BBQ but no visitors from Red River.

Monday started with breakfast of sausage, pancakes, hash browns for about 18 people at 9:00 am. Immediately after UP 2856 and AVR 2365 were steamed up and along with diesels AVR 3001 and 6109 a switching session of four trains was begun with BSOCR 5404 joining in for the second session. In all three sessions were completed with each train given the task of finding and picking up four cars each and delivering another four cars to specified spur tracks. A full session takes about two hours so that took us to supper. 2365 was set up with four tables and gave some people a dinner train while others used the picnic tables. Supper consisted of fried potatoes, spaghetti and meat sauce, bbq chicken, rice, salad, vegetables, chips etc and dessert was Whit's famous blueberry cobbler with ice cream. Thirty Five stayed for dinner including one guest from Red River. After dinner more running was done with locomotives running in both directions until about 10 pm when things wound up as several had to catch a morning flight. Dwight replaced a bad switch point at East Ashgrove.

Tuesday's breakfast of bacon and eggs along with hash browns was served to 14 people. After breakfast Rob set up 2365 with 31 cars and made a number of trips around the railway with him, Phil M. and Whit as engineers. It was planned that 2856 would join in and add another twenty cars however 2856 was shut down due to a tube leak. Later in the afternoon three trains were put to work on another switching session. Whit took 2365, Phil on 3001 and Stephen Shaw took MP 6612. Supper of hamburgers, leftover chicken, Potatoes, salad, chicken noodle soup etc was enjoyed by 20 or so people. After supper 3001 and 6612 were assigned the task of collecting cars and pushing Whit's up the spur for loading and storing the AVR cars in the car barn and dog house. The lift developed some problems and it was feared that the gear motor had cooked but it is now felt that the big battery charger has failed and that a less than one year old battery has lost one cell. A new gear motor is on hand at the railroad and this will be installed in due course and end the reliance of batteries. 

Wednesday Ralph and Vic continued work on 5427, sanding and filing, riveting and drilling. Bill checked batteries and repaired another charger. It was determined that one new battery out of 202 had failed. Bill closed and opened E-bay. Ralph and Bill cleaned up garbage around the station and four bags were taken to the end of the road. Bill would like to thank Rob, Ralph, Debby and Becky for helping with the dishes during the meet and  Caledon for helping with fuel and Sweden Freezer Rentals for the loan of two steamer units to keep food worm. Bill picked up six treated 2 x 6's for the Ducky car storage foundation and eight 2 x 4's for trusses.

Thursday Bill returned a defective battery for full credit, picked up another eight treated 2 x 6's and eight more 2 x 4's along with a roll of vapour barrier. Vic checked on tender sides and calculated gear ratios for the lift. Bill updated the web and got kits ready for mailing.  Gil moved the wood purchases to the cutting area.

Friday Vic continued on 5427, replaced the pressure gauge on 2365 and ordered the steel for the locomotive storage rack in the engine house. Bill packed and mailed out parcels.

Saturday Aug 30th, Vic spent the day putting rivet detail in the cab of 5427. Richard cleaned up around the station and after the four legged racoons. Frank filled the pot holes on the road. Bill drilled holes in the 2 x 6 treated planks for Ducky storage. Richard loaded them on the train and delivered them to Ducky Storage. Bill raked back ballast and planted 9 of the planks and drove an 18" re-bar at each end of the planks. The last four needed more rock. Richard went around the railway and retrieved 30 re-bar sections that were being used to protect trail lights but with the gates they could be recycled to new use. The tape stops had to be cut off each.  Rob, Frank and Ed got a train load of ballast and spread it on the south Duck Lake spur. Ed did the preliminary ballast sweep. Frank and Rob got a second load of ballast and used it to level the end of the Ducky Storage foundation and Bill got the planks in place. Rob cut the last two 14" pieces to make the 50' 4" run. Frank and Rob got another load of rock and Richard spread it along the outside and Bill raked the inside. Rob, Frank and Bill put trains away. Bill spread and swept the two hopper loads dropped on the north spur. Dwight spent the afternoon re-building the old switch from Amur West that will be used for Ducky Storage and he took it out by train for a test fit.

Sunday Bill took out 3001 to give his grand kids a ride and Jessie is now able to operate the diesel control herself. Eight more years and she can qualify to do public runs. While out Bill swept the ballast on the 80 ft Duck Lake south spur and tested the performance on the back two batteries of 3001. It was determined that one had failed so the bad one will go back for warranty and the good one from 202 will be paired on 3001. While checking systems it was also determined that the front battery charger on 202 is not charging. Equipment was put away and gates closed.

Monday Labour Day. Bill made up a page for the August 2008 meet. Vic cut pieces for the cab of 5427. Bill replaced batteries on 3001. 

Tuesday Vic put more details on the cab of 5427 and Bill set up 110 items on E-bay as it was Nickel day.

Wednesday Vic test fit the cab and added detail to it and the jacket. Dwight and Bill aligned the Ducky storage switch and the curve and tangent on the lead spur. Ed and Bill lined up the switch after Ed connected the switch and a section of rail. Bill gave Barrie A. and his family a triple ride and closed last weeks E-bay.

Thursday Vic and Phil Shaw using the new AVR trailer went to pick up the steel for the upper engine house storage rack. This structure will increase 12 ft locomotive storage from two to six in a heater area. Gil cut up more of the wood for Ducky car storage and Richard cleaned the moss from the area east of the station and with assistance from Gil raised the dip in the area 8 scale inches and re-ballasted the area. Bill took out a couple of cross elevations and serviced a car with Gil. Richard put all the equipment away.

Friday Gil cut up more truss pieces and Bill picked up the last of the 2 x 4's needed and started removing moss from the level crossing at mile 33.10 south towards Chapman. The spent tailings were carried by pail to the level crossings that Gil made at the interchange east of the tunnel to make the crossing ramps.

Saturday Sept 6th, Bill removed more moss on the main line and did admin work. Bill loaded 5 hoppers and spread 45 ft of ballast on the main line. The west station cut-off switch was ballasted and the west Charleswood diamond switch. Leaves were removed on about 100 ft of track and 30 ft at west Charleswood was re-ballasted. Gil spent from 11 till 4:00 pm building trusses for Ducky storage. Ed cut 14 diagonal braces. Dwight modified 202 and 25's riding cars to take the oiler unit. Vic continued with details on the cab and cut parts for the turret of 5427. 

Sunday Bill removed moss by twilight and dusk and got another 20 ft ready for ballasting. Gil completed more of the trusses for Ducky storage. Vic continued to cut and machine parts for the turret of 5427.

Monday Vic re-installed the cab with the new turret in place. He continued to cut and machine parts. Rob re-fastened the steel box car sturops. Bill loaded two ballast cars and ten pails of ballast and 10 pails of moss filled fins. The old material was deposited at the tunnel level crossings. The 10 pails of ballast were spread at Charleswood west and 20 feet of mail line was ballasted. The tank car was cleaned and put out for Caledon to fill for the open house.

Tuesday Gil completed the trusses and also cut and applied more gussets to make the walls more stable. Bill removed another 25 feet of moss. Bill closed a good week of E-bay and started another.

Wednesday Gil transported the completed trusses from the station to Duck Lake by train. Bill took the trailer and picked up 9 sheets of wall siding. Phil helped move it to the station area. Brian started the maintenance sheets on 6612 and the tank car. Gil removed 30 feet of moss and we are now at the north switch at Chapman. Phil and Debby picked up the old moss ballast and transported it to the level crossings and several pot holes. Bill spread, skreeded and swept 60 feet of ballast from 5 hopper loads that Phil, Debby and Billy brought from Paterson. The tunnel cut-off track and east station cut-off switch were also ballasted and Bill swept and levelled them as well as racking the level crossing approaches. 

Thursday Bill used the leaf blower to remove all organic material from the trackage North of Duck Lake to the Crossing at Ghosty in preparation for adding ballast and levelling.

Friday Bill loaded the hopper seven times and spread 3500 pounds of ballast on 118 feet of track from the small bridge at Ghosty Hollow to near mile 10 and flanged and swept it. 3001 was used and the sound system worked. suspect the wire to the volume switch is intermittent.

Saturday Sept 13, Open house started at 11 am till 5 pm. Rob, Phil, Len, Richard and Bill were in charge of running trains, Becky and the kids looked after the station. Dwight looked after trouble shooting track, signals and switches. Gil spent his time laying vapour barrier and starting truss set up at Ducky storage with help from Richard. Vic did some work on 5427. after the open house Bill cooked hamburgers for about 16 members. 

Sunday was day 2 of the open house and as the weather was better we had a larger group of visitors. Phil got trains out and with Bill fired 2365. Trains were operated by Bill, Phil, Rob and Vic. Becky and August looked after the station and Becky did some platform duties. Vic spent most of his time working on 5427. Gil pulled the west side pump and completed the set up of trusses and started cutting sleepers for the rails inside Ducky storage.  Rob, Phil and Bill put equipment away. August got some instruction on lubricating and cleaning 2365. Stephen spent the afternoon working on 6612 in the engine house, finding a bad check valve and leaking valve end gasket. Bill spent the evening packaging parcels.

Monday Vic spent the afternoon on 5427, doing work on the running boards and putting in rivet detail on the sand dome. Stephen with a friend replaced the leaking gasket on 6612. Gil did the investigation on metal roofing for Ducky storage and with Bill laid out a template for track spacing in the building. Bill loaded three hoppers of ballast and spread it at Duck lake on the main line. Rob filled four hoppers and two were spread. Bill flanged out the rock and swept it. In all 80 feet of track was re-ballasted and two hoppers are full. Bill mailed E-bay parcels.

Tuesday Vic continued his work on 5427. Phil S. and a friend came to check on repairs needed on the checks for 6612. Gil and Bill laid out the ties for the double track panels for Ducky Storage Building and made up the 100 feet of track in 5 ten foot sections for the building. The panels were taken to location and set in place. Bill closed today's E-bay and set up one for next week.

Wednesday Gil put on all the roof strapping on the new building and lined up all the truss frames. Bill washed the floors in the station for the dinner train. Bill loaded more rock and almost completed the ballasting at Duck Lake. Vic continued his work on 5427.

Thursday Bill picked up more supplies for the dinner train and Vic continued on 5427 and Gil completed the prep work on the building.

Friday Bill made up the spaghetti sauce for the dinner train and made three grocery pickups for the expected guests. 

Saturday Sept 20th was day one of the dinner train. Bill and Len spent the morning preparing vegetables soon joined by Marietta on prep and Richard on train preparation. The guests arrived at noon for the first trains. A casual train also was run and operation ended with the completion of the 6:45 train. Linda and Gil helped with the serving. Phil joined in after work. Rob helped with operation. Vic continued on 5427.

Sunday was day two of the dinner train with Bill cooking the meats while Len prepared, salads, dishes and desserts. Richard, Rob, Fred, Christine, Carmalina, Phil and Becky helped with operating trains and serving food. Dwight completed the track connection between the Ducky storage building. By 9 pm we were cleaned up. We had prepared and served over 200 dinners.

Monday Bill loaded the trailer with equipment for St. Croix and Vic worked on 5427.

Tuesday Bill loaded 2365 into the van and Rob loaded four log cars and one flat car into his van.

Wednesday Len, Bill, Rob and Joseph left for St. Croix, arriving at supper and unloading all the equipment. Vic worked on the tender of 5427.

Thursday Vic left for Kansas City to pick up a tow vehicle. Phil and Pat S. left for St. Croix. At St. Croix Bill and Rob transported fire wood with our log cars. Bill ran 2364 pushing their ballast leveller and plough. Len cut trees that were needing removal, built steps and railing to the propane filling area and completed some other projects. Bill, Rob and Whit ran 2365 with 44 cars in the consist.

Friday Vic worked on the tow vehicle in Kansas while the St. Croix meet continued.

Saturday Sept 27th Phil and August worked at the AVER. Phil worked on a locomotive controller while August cleaned up fallen apples. To give August locomotive practice the apples were taken to Paterson for the deer. Vic continued his work on a tow vehicle and Phil and Pat Shaw, Len, Bill, Rob and Joseph were the Winnipeg AVR attendees at the St. Croix RR fall meet.

Sunday at St. Croix the AVR helped with their public open house hauling almost 400 passengers. After supper the trailer was loaded. Vic did last minute repairs to a tow vehicle in Kansas.

Monday Bill, Len, Rob and Joseph completed the loading of AVR equipment at St. Croix in Hudson, Wis and drove home to Winnipeg. Vic drove home from Kansas City. Rob and Bill unloaded 2365.

Tuesday Sept 30th, Vic arrived with a used 3/4 ton trailer tow vehicle for members to evaluate. Bill cleared the early E-bay and spent the afternoon unloading the trailer of equipment from St. Croix. The evening was spent on E-Bay sales.

Wednesday Oct 1st Bill cleared moss on about 40 feet of the track at Chapman. He also removed leaves on about 300 feet of track. Debby and Billy removed leaves around the old line through Ghosty Hollow area. Bill spent the evening packing up E-bay packages and mailing out a group.

Thursday Vic worked on riveting on the tender. Bill mailed a group of packages.

Friday Oct 3rd Jim and Bill got out two trains, 3001 and 6109 and gave rides to a large group from the Tuxedo Pre School. The morning session lasted from 9:15 to 11:00 and the afternoon session from 1:15 to 3 pm. Jim and Bill put all trains away. Vic worked on the tender for 5427 getting it ready for floor welding. Bill blew leaves around the station and on the line up to Creosote Crossing.

Saturday Oct 4th, Bill converted web page info to old laptop as a problem with Front Page has occurred on the new laptop. Updates were made. Vic arrived with the tender and drilled out the propane vent holes in the floor. Dwight did some modifications to the track oiler and he and Vic started the job of digging under the engine house pad for insulation. Richard cleaned up junk around the station and he and Bill went and levelled the Ducky storage walls, removed leaves from the inside and cut up six sheets of siding into 18 pieces and fastened 12 onto the building. Later Bill fastened the next six panels and spread blue tarps over the 50 ft structure to keep leaves out.

Sunday Bill spent several hours getting a program to allow uploads to the web. There is a memory problem with the HP laptop possibly re-set when Windows did an upgrade? Barry and Bill cut two sheets of siding into six panels and Bill took them out on 3001 and installed them. Stephen made some repairs on 6612 and with Phil steamed her up and went on a test run. Bill took two casual visitors for a ride and tour. Later he cleared leaves on 2000 feet of railway.

Tuesday Vic continued on piping for 5427. Bill closed and started another E-bay session.

Wednesday Oct 8th, Vic made up permanent hangers for the walkways and started the piping for the injectors on 5427. Bill spread three ballast cars of rock at Chapman and using 14 pails of rock completed the north switch. 11 buckets of old ballast was used for the path to Ducky storage. Phil helped close gates and put trains away.

Thursday Vic along with a welder from Champ Stainless started the welding of the tender base and sides. Bill packed and mailed parcels.

Friday Oct 10th Vic completed the welding operation and picked up the metal roof for Ducky Storage. At the AVR Vic made up more parts on 5427 and with Bill cut the tender frame in half for lengthening. Bill blew leaves on about 3000 feet of railway.

Saturday was the first day of the October open house. Bill got 2365 ready and steamed it up. Phil and Len got out the cars, lubricated the locomotive and re-arranged the conductor car for 2365. Vic arrived with the tender and metal roof. Richard and Len picked them up with 6109, delivering the tender to the engine house and the metal roof to Duck Lake.  Richard and August picked up propane tanks at the loading spur and delivered them to the storage cage. Vic worked on the tender frame, cutting and welding in the extension pieces to lengthen the frame. A track was put into the maintenance building to store the tender and frame.  Richard cleaned up the area and took 6109 to the upper storage building and came back with all the boxes of lights. Bill, Len and Phil operated the steamer while August looked after the station and Ed was conductor on some trips. Earlier in the morning Bill repaired and serviced the first 1,650 Christmas lights. Dwight repaired the switch micro switch at Lightning Jct. and serviced some other track. Richard replaced some ties, Len installed a switch on 2365's air compressor. Bill cut up vegetables and cooked for the October members BBQ.  After Phil and August put equipment away and Bill cleaned up the food. 

Sunday it poured rain so few people came but it allowed some work to get done. Len and Phil repaired the air brakes on 3001 replacing one of the solenoids. Next task was the sound system and some pinched wires and a bad controller cable were repaired. August assisted. Bill spent the day testing and repairing 1000's of Christmas lights assisted by Emily. Becky swept out the engine house floor.

Monday, Thanksgiving Day Vic worked on water column extensions on the tender. Bill tested and repaired 1000's of lights ready for set up and serviced and repaired 7200 lights in the bush and on the second floor house roof.

Tuesday Vic took the towing vehicle for a safety inspection and worked on 5427's tender. Gil test fit the metal roof on the Duck Lake Storage Building. Bill test and set up 2450 lights and closed E-bay and set up a new set.

Wednesday Vic worked on running board details and other detail parts on 5427. Gil started to install the metal roof. Phil replaced five power points in the bush with metal boxes and duplex receptacles and repaired two pig tails all to get ahead of the squirrels. Bill tested more lights and set up 3400 lights. Ed expanded the excavation project around the engine house.

Thursday Vic and Bill took the tow vehicle in to have some repairs done. Vic continued with detail parts on 5427. Gil continued on the roof mounting panels and setting up hinges on some panels. Bill tested more lights and set up some distribution cables and mounted another 4400 lights.

Friday Vic and Bill picked up the tow vehicle. Vic continued on detail work on 5427. Bill put up 4050 lights and serviced many more strings. Gil continued on the Duck lake storage roof.

Saturday Gil completed the metal roof on the Duck Lake storage. Vic and Ralph worked on details on 5427, completing brackets and sand dome piping. Richard cleaned up and with Frank covered the west tunnel top with black plastic to keep water out. One bad timber was replaced and the mounts for the illuminated ship were re-fastened. Ed with Frank continued on the excavation under the engine house stoop. Richard removed moss on the east track at Chapman. Dwight repaired some signals and cut rails for guard rails through both tunnels. Bill blew out the track water system and opened all valves. 3558 lights were put up including most of the Chapman trees. Many light strings were tested and repaired.

Sunday Oct 20th, Vic and Ralph continued on adding and making detail parts. Bill set up more lights including the dancing display at Old Fort.

Monday Vic continued on parts of 5427. Bill put up 1750 lights and repaired more lights.

Tuesday Vic cut up steal for the locomotive stand and removed one set of dolly track. Bill tested, repaired and put the upper station lights up. Vic fired the boiler of 5427 bringing it up to 212 f to test the new burner. It was able to produce free steam very quickly and with adjusting the flame looked good. Bill fired up 2365 after 5:00 pm for a cub and scout group. Train rides were given. Bill made up a complete train and spend 2 hours blowing leaves off the railway. Later in the evening Bill closed and started a session of e-bay.

Wednesday the weather was wet all day. Vic dismantled 5427 for boiler insulation and painting. Bill repaired and tested lights all day. Painting a bunch of blue and red lights for the station. Squirrels prefer LED lights to normal mini lights. Last year we tested 1000 LEDs in three areas. Squirrels chewed all sets requiring repair. LEDs require care in putting new lights in the proper order and polarity. Not a simple socket change. Frank put rail joiners between all rails being used for guard rails in the tunnels. Bill did paperwork and packed up a group of parcels for mailing and updated the web.

Thursday Vic continued working on 5427. Bill put up more lights and repaired lights from last year.

Friday Vic and Bill took the tow vehicle in for a replacement part. Bill spent the afternoon putting up lights and Vic continued with the insulation job on 5427. Gil cut and installed the small end pieces for Duck Lake storage.

Saturday October 25th, Richard cleaned up the garbage and took the empty light boxes to upper storage and returned with the art trees for the yard using 3001. Vic, Gil and a friend of Vic's struggled to slide the boiler of 5427 back into the jacket. Bill put out 2510 lights and repaired and painted lights. Frank went back to work on laying the guard rails through the east tunnel and bridge. Richard with help from Fred cleaned moss on the track at east Chapman completing the area to past the east switch. At 3:00 pm Bill joined them and hauled and spread ballast on all the cleared track. Bill swept ballast until 6:00 pm. Joseph used the leaf blower east of the station and around many of the walking trails. Rob took the box car out and spray painted the ends. Gil blew the leaves out of the new car barn and built the end wall and covered it.

Sunday Bill painted several hundred lights, repaired a group of lights and put out a 1000 lights. Vic started painting primer on 5427

Monday Vic continued to paint 5427 with primer an Bill repaired lights and put some out. Frank continued on the guard rail project and Gil continued on Ducky Storage door end detail.

Tuesday Vic continued to make repairs to the engine shell. Bill put out 940 lights and repaired eight new squirrel damages to lines in the display. E-bay was closed and a new session started.

Wednesday Vic made some repairs to the grey primer and then sprayed black paint on both the boiler jacket and cab along with the running boards and accessories. Gil built the two front doors for Ducky storage and put them into place. Bill painted lights on the west trail and put out 2186 lights with a good start on putting out stars, snowflakes and poinsettias. Phil M. repaired several power plugs that had been chewed off by squirrels over the summer. Ed dug earth from under the engine house door and was assisted by Vic.

Thursday Vic painted the dark green on 5427 and tidied up some of the finish. Phil S. and Stephen pumped the remaining water out of the tender of 6612. Gil completed the building and mounting of the doors on Ducky Storage. Bill painted lights, Repaired objects and got started on putting out arches. Parcels were wrapped.

Friday Oct 31st Halloween. Bill started putting up six foot arches doing about 25 along with a set of bells and finished by touching up the paint on 12 angels. Gil completed the trim on Ducky storage. It is now ready to accept cars. Gil has made a nice job of the roof and doors.

Saturday All Saints Day. Richard removed the last of the old ballast and moss from Chapman. Bill painted light bulbs on deer, carollers, nativity set and other objects. Gil and Bill took eight cars to Ducky storage and put them on the east track. It was noted that the track will hold nine cars so times two is 18 cars in the building. Richard and Fred hauled ballast to complete the main line and the siding along with one load on the spur. Richard and Fred set up the Ashdown display tables. Bill spread and swept ballast on the main line and spent the remainder of the day putting out 3250 lights. Dwight spent the afternoon checking all the bond wires on the old main line and did what repairs were needed. Ed and Vic worked away on the excavation under the engine house door. Gil put a coat of concrete seller on the unloading area pad. 

Sunday Bill spent the afternoon putting out lights and got started on the display at Winch and the lower parking fence.

Monday Vic blew another coat of paint on 5427. He continued on excavation and test fit the first of the insulation. Gil took 3001 out to get rock for the excavation project. Bill screaded rock and swept the siding at Chapman followed by a levelling job on the whole Chapman area to the diamond. Later in the afternoon and evening 2630 lights were put out.

Tuesday Vic tackled the tree to the left of the engine house, running a chain and come along to the old oak tree. Bill assisted and cut up the branches for the fire pit. Gil and Vic spent the afternoon digging on the project with Gil moving mud while Vic chopped roots. Bill removed the leaves from the Winch area and around the station. More lights were put up and while installing Ogopogo the electronic module smoked. In the evening E-bay was ended and started. Bill moved the red trailer to its upper parking area.

Wednesday Bill picked up more insulation.  Gil and Ed continued to dig under the right side of the pad, the left side having now been insulated and backfilled. They ran into several pieces of old concrete. Bill continued with lights, putting out the camels and setting up the "Q" area. Phil S. assisted with the Christmas Illuminated train. Bill started taking strings apart for future features.

Thursday Nov 6th, The weather turned foul as a Colorado Low hit Southern Manitoba. Vic continued to re-assemble 5427 after being apart for painting. Bill worked on the web page and Christmas displays.

Friday was a quiet day as the Colorado Low turned the landscape white. Bill painted lights in the station and repaired strings.

Saturday Nov 8th, Bill painted more lights in the morning. Richard cleaned up the garbage and connected power jumpers to the lower parking fence. Dwight checked all switches that will not be needed during the winter and spiked them to the main. Cleaned ice and snow from the automatic switches and started up the snow switch blower. Ed, Gil and Frank continued to work on the insulation project under the engine house entrance. The insulation is now under the concrete. Bill, Richard and Fred put up the upper parking fence. Set up steel poles and set up nine of the 12 Ft arches and a group of small arches, 5050 lights in all. Vic continued construction on 5427 working on the side blow downs. Gil dug up more switches and covered them in the station area. Bill set up all the steel poles in the yard. Phil M. continued his project of replacing power plugs eaten by squirrels. Rob and Joseph cleaned the snow off the entire main line and some sidings

Sunday Bill spent the day putting up more lights concentrating on track arches. Phil M. continued with squirrel damage. Dwight completed his project of winterizing the railway.

Monday Vic continued on 5427 details. Bill put up 2900 lights completing the yard trail lights and completing the "Q" area.

Tuesday Nov 11th Remembrance Day. after Bill and Phil M. attended remembrance services they went to work repairing squirrel damage and Bill put up 39 of our candy canes for a light count of 4216.

Wednesday Vic worked on 5427, working on piping and throttle. Rob moved the steel box car to the machine shop and did some work on it while Phil M. repaired another half dozen power plugs. Bill put out a group of lights including side lights in the upper parking area and trail lights. Gil cleaned snow on the two switches at Duck Lake needed to access Ducky Storage and covered them. Bill packed and mailed e-bay parcels and picked up 2000 washers for track laying.

Thursday Bill repaired and put out 20 railway arches. Gil and Jim did the annual maintenance program on five of our passenger carrying gondolas. Vic continued on the reassembly of 5427. Vic dug an extra two foot pit for another two pieces of insulation. One of which Bill picked up. Vic backfilled with assistance from Bill.

Friday Bill repaired and put out another 1950 lights while Gil and Jim did annual maintenance on four more gondolas. 

Saturday Bill repaired and put out lights in the morning. When Richard arrived the two carried out the six - 9 ft arches for Amur Glen and Ashgrove along with three 12 foot arches. Two six footers were returned to the station. Vic continued on 5427 adding more of the detail to the left side. Richard replaced all paving stones removed for the insulation project. Frank worked away on the spike down on the guard rails through the east tunnel. Fred repaired an arch and with Joseph stripped a high arch and four original candy canes that all will get new lights for 2008. Gil and Ed serviced another four gondolas and recorded all the maintenance in the rolling stock log book. Brian made up several new sheets for 6612, the tank car and steel box car to keep track of maintenance. Bill, Richard and Joseph set up the PEACE ON EARTH illuminated sign. Dwight checked the signal system and repaired the tail electronics for Ogo Pogo's tail. A number of other small clean up projects were looked after by various members. Bill continued putting out lights until 8:30 pm. Rob worked on lower end grab irons on the box car.

Sunday Bill repaired lights and set up a number of displays. 

Monday Vic continued to assemble 5427 and work on details and piping. Bill repaired lights and set up additional displays.

Tuesday Vic mounted the throttle and worked in the cab of 5427. Gil and Jim serviced five of the gondolas. Bill put out more lights and started on the animated light display.

Wednesday Vic laboured away on 5427. Jim and Mel serviced the last of the 17 gondolas. Bill completed most of the animated light display and re-lite a second candy cane. 

Thursday Vic continued on piping and turret for 5427. Bill repaired the remaining stars and snow flakes and completed the second animated light display.  Fourteen wires were repaired out in the display caused by squirrels. Gil and Jim serviced the four operator cars.

Friday Vic picked up the suburban and with Bill moved the new trailer to upper storage. Bill set up more lights and made some repairs. Jim re-connected the short ridding car to 202.

Saturday Bill started on the Gingerbread on a teeter totter and completed the first object taking three hours. Richard cleaned up around the station and put out the donation box and cleared snow. Vic worked on piping for 5427 and continued to re-assemble. Barry machined some bull gears for diesel traction motors. Phil S. is going to arrange the machining of six new axels. Richard transported the roll of overhead parking lights from the upper shed to the station along with the four illuminated bicycles. Gil cut apart a downed tree in the members parking area and repaired some damage to the west side deer fence. Fred broke up the ice with a rubber mallet and scraper on the Ashdown display tables, benches by the station and some picnic tables. Richard, Bill and Fred put out the 16 main road arches. Rob made and installed grab irons on the steel box car. Bill serviced the bicycles and put three out and serviced, repaired the overhead lighting and put new lights on a third candy cane. Four wires were repaired out in the display that squires had chewed.

THIS SAD NEWS CAME TODAY

To our valued Members, (Train Mountain Members)

Greg Petersen and I, Sharon Breen are letting you officially know of
Quentin’s passing at 2:30 A.M. this Friday morning November 21, 2008.

 
We are sorry to have not notified you sooner, but we were making arrangements today.
I admitted Quentin to the emergency room on this Wednesday noon, just to have him checked out as he wasn’t feeling well, and had some new achiness in his chest. After admission to the hospital, Quentin requested Greg’s presence on Wednesday afternoon, and Greg, Mrya and their son came quickly. He felt much better yesterday, and told Greg and Myra that they should go back home. However, and fortunately, they stayed. Suddenly, early this A.M., he went into respiratory distress, and then respiratory failure. Thankfully, his suffering was very brief.

 
As per Quentin’s request, there will be a private family burial out of town. He specifically requested a memorial service to be held at Train Mountain later. The
details are still being arranged but it will be in the spring. You will all be notified of the event. As the Vice Presidents of Train Mountain, Greg and I wish to assure you
that we are each committed to our valuable members, to Train Mountain itself, and to the
future enjoyment of this great hobby on Quentin’s superb creation. We will send you more information soon. If you would like to send anything, (please no flowers), send to the
Train Mountain address:
36941 S. Chiloquin Rd.
Chiloquin, OR 97624
With gratitude,
Greg & Sharon

Sunday Nov 23, Bill worked on the web in the morning. Gil and Vic wired the storage building behind the engine house with a couple of plugs and light fixtures. Phil M. replaced two power points that had been chewed by squirrels during the summer. Bill put up the overhead lights in both upper and lower parking areas, put out the last bicycle, decorated a tree and repaired four wires that squirrels had chewed this week. While inspecting Bill found over 1000 lights out due to squirrel destruction. Rob made up and installed more grab irons on the steel box car.

Monday Vic and Gil cleaned up traction motor parts for diesels. Vic assembled one whole traction motor.  Bill repaired a set of flasher lights and repaired seven squirrel chews restoring 500 lights. Barry machined several bull gears for traction motors.

Tuesday Vic repaired a second traction motor. Bill and Vic moved equipment around the engine shop to get 202 on the lift and Bill with assistance from Vic replaced two traction motors on 202. Bill adjusted the brakes while Vic disassemble the old traction units for new gears and shafts. 202 was taken out on the line for a test run but it was determined that the control system had a bad contact on a relay.  Gil worked on the east deer fence to strengthen it in order to start re-growing trees in our forest. Bill repaired eleven wires that had been chewed by squirrels restoring over 1000 lights.

Wednesday Vic turned his attention back to 5427 after cleaning up from Tuesdays diesel overhaul. Gil continued work on the east deer fence. Dwight made up a light controller for a gingerbread display. Phil M. worked on the electrical contacts on 202 and took her out for a test. He then repaired several squirrel chews and connected a series of arches. Bill put out 1200 lights and repaired eleven more squirrel chewed wires restoring another 900 lights. Jim did some work on #25. 

Thursday Vic continued with re-assembly of 5427, with addition of details and hole making in the boiler bulkhead. Jim added oil to the gear boxes on #25. Rob took advantage of the above freezing day and completed the primer paint on the steel box car. Bill cleared now around the station and yard trails and on the whole main line. The day was spent repairing squirrel damage with repairing eleven wires and returning 1200 lights to service including two candy canes.

Friday Bill registered the Suburban for the club. Bill repaired 14 wires cut by squirrels, replaced the lights on the playhouse tree and made other repairs and set ups.

Saturday Bill completed the second gingerbread figure on a teeter totter. Richard cleaned up, moving unneeded supplies and setting up both small nativity sets. Vic continued work on 5427. Fred, Richard, Frank and Bill set up the Ashdown display. Fred set up his street car track on the display. Richard and Bill set up the main sign and Bill put up all the small signs. Frank chipped ice off all the benches and tables that had not been done the last Saturday. 

Sunday Bill set up the last art tree, did last minute repairs and worked on new displays. The sound system was set up. Vic continued on details and piping for 5427.

Monday Dec 1st. Vic continued with 5427 and repaired some traction motors for the diesels. Bill spent time repairing squirrel damage.

Tuesday Bill completed the last poinsettia and put it and a candy cane into the display and repaired some squirrel problems.

Wednesday Vic ran the main handrails on 5427. Ed cut up steel for display bases and cut steel for six future stars. Bill repaired eight squirrel chewed wires and restored 1000 lights. Dwight made a controller for the gingerbread man on a trampoline.

Thursday Vic mounted the throttle in 5427. Bill repaired squirrel damage and completed 25% of the teeter totter. Rob picked up wheels and axles for diesels.

Friday Vic worked on 5427 mounting more piping and connecting steam lines from the throttle to cylinders. Gil checked radios, Bill shovelled snow on trails and by station and repaired two squirrel cuts restoring 350 lights. Bill spent the evening working on the teeter totter.

Saturday Bill completed the wiring on the teeter totter. The bulbs were painted. Frank shovelled the tracks and Vic added more detail to 5427. Bill set up the new display with Richard and repaired some squirrel damage. Richard and Bill cleaned up the station and set it up as a waiting room for Christmas guests. Dec 6th was our first Light run. The railway was operated by Phil M., Frank, Richard and Bill. All went well but 6109 lost the #3 traction motor. It was a cold night. Attendance was average.

Sunday Bill spent four hours on the shovel, clearing trails, paths and the railway. The night was cold but all equipment ran well. Bill, Ed and Richard operated the railway.

Monday Jim, Bill and Dwight operated the railway on a cold night. All operated well. During the day Vic worked on cab controls on 5427.

Tuesday Vic and Ed put 6109 on the lift and Vic dropped the #3 traction motor and prepared a replacement. Bill reinstalled the rebuilt the unit and then repaired about a 1000 lights taken out by squirrels. Vic put 6109 on the dolly and 5427 back on the lift. As three youth groups were booked in it was a busy night with Ed, Phil M., Phil S. and Bill operating the railway. All ran well.

Wednesday Bill spent from 2 till 5 on the big snow blower doing trails, roads and parking areas. Gil used the truck mounted blower on the track and cleaned up. Bill spent till 6 on the shovel removing snow. Jim, Dwight and Bill operated the railway during impossible conditions. Ice formed on the rails as we ran and only 2 to 4 passengers were carried on short trains. We could only handle half those who might have ridden. Vic machined pinion gears for traction motors.

Thursday Bill cleared snow on the track and trails. The temp dipped to -28C so our riders were small but the trains ran well. The railway was operated by Phil, Becky, Rob, Ed and Bill.

Friday Vic made more parts for 5427. Bill cleared snow and repaired squirrel damaged plugs and wires restoring about 700 lights. Bill cleared snow on the trails while Rob and Joseph cleared snow on the track. It was a milder night and we had our largest group of guests. The railway was operated by Rob, Richard, Phil M., Vic, Gil and Bill. The trains ran well and traction was good.

Saturday Bill updated the web and repaired squirrel damage. First main task was running a new circuit to the outside of the main house terminating in a duplex box. Next task was to run a #14 wire into the west side display to correct a voltage drop in that area and spread the load with an additional circuit. Vic and Barry worked on 5427, silver soldering the piping to the throttle. Bill shovelled the old and new track. Gil serviced the switches east of the station. Fred serviced the street car track. The railroad was visited by a hardy, enthusiastic group of riders who braved the cold night. The railroad was operated by Rob, Gil, Jim, Barry and Bill. 

Sunday Bill Repaired about six squirrel related problems and worked on the gingerbread man on a trampoline. Another miserable cold night but people came and rode the rails enjoying not having to wait in line. Trains were run by Gil, Dwight, Fred, Barry and Bill.

Monday Vic worked on 5427, concentrating on the piping inside the cab. Bill spent more time on the gingerbread display and cleared snow on the old line. The temperature was -28C with lots of wind. Rob, Jim, Barry and Bill had a good conversation in the station but no guests came to brave the weather.

Tuesday Vic worked on the tender frame drilling holes for water, air and gas lines. Bill cleared snow on the new line. Several of our youth groups cancelled due to cold temperatures. The railway was run by Becky, Phil, Frank and Ed. Bill spent some time on completing the first level of the gingerbread display and closed up the display as he does every night at 10:00 pm.

Wednesday Vic ran the lines on the tender frame and made some parts for the cab interior. Bill repaired the wave controller for the ship that the squirrels had chewed restoring 450 lights. The first layer of gingerbread was coloured and tested. The light on the second layer were put on. The weather was still cold but no wind and Winnipeggers are getting use to the cold so a good enthusiastic group attended, happy not having to wait out in the cold. The railroad was operated by Rob, Barry, Frank, Jim, Phil and Bill. 

Thursday Bill tested the second level, colouring the lights and got a start on the top level. Bill cleared snow on trails and on both new and old lines of the railway. The railway was operated by Frank, Jim, Fred & Ed. Dwight replaced a broken main rod on the station switch.

Friday Vic mounted the tender fame to the tender on 5427 and continued with cab interior details. Gil repaired the station cupboard door. Bill completed the gingerbread man on a trampoline display. Rob and Joseph cleared both tracks while Bill cleared trails and station area. The railway was operated by Rob, Gil, Fred, Jim and Bill. During the run 6109 died on the line and was rescued by 3001. Rob and Bill checked out the controls but did not find the problem.

Saturday Dec 20th, Bill cleared snow around the station and on yard trails. Used the big blower on the lower parking area. When Vic and Rob arrived Bill had 5427 put on the dolly, the tender on the table, and 6109 on the lift. Dwight and Bill spent half an hour on a conference call with electrical drawings trouble shooting the problem. As all control functions checked out it was decided that we had a direct short in a motor. Bill disconnected motors 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 ran. It was determined that #4 was shorted. Rob replaced it. While on the lift #1 had a loose wheel. This was also replaced. Vic repaired wheels as Rob changed traction units. Bill went back on the large snow blower doing two passes on the back trails, clearing the large and small upper parking and all roads. Gil took the truck mounted blower and went around both tracks with Frank following with the shovel. All major snow was cleared by 4:30. Bill repaired the lights along Roblin that had been damaged by a deer. 500 lights were restored. Hot chocolate was prepared and Bill spent till 6:30 clearing snow on all yard trails and station area. Joseph and Rob cleared new snow on the old line. As snow was still falling we operated on the old line. Rob applied de-icer and it helped with traction but we started with short trains eventually getting to 11 passengers each. 3001 had trouble negotiating the east switch at Ashgove and was replaced by 6109. For a cold slippery night it was a good turnout. The railway was operated by Becky, Phil M., Jim, Frank, Rob and Bill and due to the continual snow all were needed all the time. 

Sunday Bill and Vic put 3001 on the lift. A loose wheel was found on traction motor #1. Vic prepared a spare traction unit. Bill set up the new gingerbread on a teeter totter display. In the afternoon Bill set the switches at Ashgrove to use the siding. Barry and Bill went out on the line to test 6109 and had trouble. Bill spent the remainder of the afternoon changing the #1 traction motor of 3001. At start up 6109 was put on the lift and 3001 was put back into service. The railway was operated by Gil, Richard, Phil M., and Bill while Barry and Rob repaired 6109, dropping a traction motor and repairing a wheel. 

Monday Bill repaired some squirrel damage on the railway. Vic continued with 5427. The railway was operated by Jim, Phil M., Dwight, Rob, Gil and Bill. It was a cold night.

 Tuesday Bill cleared snow from the yard trails and station area, taking a pass over the bush trails and clearing half the railway. Phil S. cleared the other half. We had our largest group of riders today so far this season. The railway was operated by Phil M., Fred, Frank, Rob, Gil and Bill. 4000 spare standard lights were picked up at 50% off for future needs.

Wednesday, Christmas Eve. Bill cleared snow and repaired more squirrel damage. The temperature dropped to -25C. The railway was operated by Ed, Phil M., Becky and Bill.

Thursday, Christmas Day. As per custom we did not run trains today but Bill was able to do some light repairs restoring about 300 lights. A good crowd walked the site enjoying the quiet time. Bill took 3001 out in the afternoon and made about 8 trips putting de-icer on the track using Dwight's spreader bar and pump from the train. Bill put 2/3 of the lights on a new snow flake using new LED lights as it will be used where fill light is not needed.

Friday, Boxing Day, Vic worked on the tender platform of 5427, Bill did admin duties for the railway, picked up additional lights for next year and repaired a number of objects damaged by squirrels and technology, restoring about 400 lights. It was a mild day which promised a heavy turnout of passengers. It was a Colorado low that went south of us so snow was minimal and did not start until after 9:00 pm. We had our largest attendance of the season around the 900 mark and three trains of 15 passengers each ran. 6109 caused some trouble while other locos ran well. The railway was operated with Becky in the station, Bill as gate keeper and ticket collector, Richard, Phil M., Frank and Len doing operator duties, Ed, Rob loading trains and Phil S., Vic doing crowd control and Dwight on switch maintenance. Except for a few glitches with 5427 the night ran very well. Rob, Vic and Len put 6109 on the lift after the run and checked all running gear. No apparent deficiencies were found. Len lubricated all slide surfaces and Bill adjusted a brake hanger. The switches were covered and gates closed. About 11:00pm a loud bang was heard and the 5 & 6 battery charger on 3001 turned off.

Saturday Dec 27. Bill switched chargers and cleared snow on the yard trails and in front of the station as well as updated the web page. Gil and Frank did afternoon track maintenance. Vic worked on rivet detail on the rear platform of 5427's tender. The trains were run by Phil M., Frank, Vic, Phil S., Rob, Jim and Bill.

Sunday Dec 28. Bill repaired a dozen light displays, some necessitated by squirrels and deer and several tech failures. A snowflake was completed and put out in the display. The railway was operated by Richard, Ed, Len, Rob, Shirley, Jim and Bill.

Monday Bill spent several hours doing AVR administration work and then checked and repaired lights with repairs to a string of 400 taken out by squirrels. Gil service the switches and level crossings and put de-icer on the track. Vic repaired a traction motor replacing bearings and pinion gear. The railway was operated by Brian, Dwight, Phil M., Len, Bill, Ed, Rob, Gil and Barry.

Tuesday Bill looked after getting hot chocolate ready while Gil checked the track. Bill checked the lights. Vic continued with 5427's tender. The railway was operated by Richard, Brian, Phil M., Len,  Bill and Frank.

Wednesday, New Years Eve, Bill did Admin work, checked lights, updated the web and sanded areas. Squirrels attacked 400 lights on the west trail. Bill started on the next snow flake with LEDs. The railway was run by Phil M., Becky, Mary, Frank, Phil S., Barry and Bill. After the run the operators plus immediate family and members, Vic, Pat, August and Emily celebrated the New Year with a Chinese feast and toasted Halifax, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg as the clock struck midnight across the country.

Thursday New Years Day Jan 1st 2009 Barry did some work on the throttle linkage for 5427. Bill started clearing snow at 9:00 doing the station and yard trails and using the snow blower on the bush trails, roadways and three parking areas, completing the shovel clean up at 6:00 pm. While out Bill repaired the 400 lights the squirrels had taken out on the west side and repaired the 500 lights deer had taken out up on Roblin. Gil and Frank took care of snow out on the railway and serviced level crossings. Phil S. did a last cleanup on the track. The railroad was operated by a large crew of Richard, Fred, Phil M., Ed, Rob, Joseph, Gil, Becky, Len, Barry and Bill. 

Friday Vic continued work on 5427's tender. Bill repaired squirrel damage on the east fence line repairing 5 chews and restoring 450 lights. The next snow flake was completed and put out into the display. The railway was operated by Fred, Dwight, Len, Frank, Phil M., and Bill.

Saturday Bill updated the web page and started snow clearing at 9:00 am doing the station platform and Q area with shovel then using the big blower on the parking areas and roads. At 11:00 am the snow was still falling. At 3:00 pm the snow was still falling. Bill broke for lunch at 4:00. Frank took the big blower and finished the big parking lot. Barry worked on the throttle for 5427. Rob and Joseph took the small blower and shovel to the track. Frank joined in and Phil S. did some detail clearing. Bill made up a new power lead for upper trails power distribution and Frank put it in place. Bill cleaned up yard paths while Rob checked other areas. There was a lot of snow. The railway ran to a large and happy group of guests operated by Phil M, Frank, Barry, Len, Helen, Bill, Richard, Rob and Joseph.

Sunday Bill did admin work in the afternoon. Some minor light repairs took place. Gil serviced the small track snow blower for the summer. The temperature turned cold for our last day so riders were less. The railway was operated by Rob, Len, Phil M., Barry, Fred, Becky and Phil S. Following the last train at 9:00 the station was transformed into a banquet room and the following members enjoyed Chinese food and good toasts until quite late to celebrate the end of the Christmas Light Run. The following were present; Bill & Mary-Lou, Phil & Becky M., Phil & Pat S., Len & Helen, Rob & Shirley, Gil & Linda along with Dwight, Ed, Fred, Barry and Frank. Afterwards trains were put away and the station was returned to its normal state.

Monday Jan 5th, Vic worked on 5427 cutting tender parts. Phil & Stephen S. took down the signs at the end of the road and Bill spent the afternoon doing administration for the club and closed the upper parking area and put up "Train Running in June" signs. The lights, per tradition, will stay on for three more nights until Ukrainian Christmas on the 7th and then turned off till next season.

A big thank you to all the club members who gave of their time to make it a good run. The cold temperatures decreased our normal number of riders but those who braved the -30 days and -45 wind chills enjoyed the experience and look forward to next year when we hope the temperature will be back to normal. 

For all members the club's annual general meeting will be held at 2:30 pm Saturday February 21st in Charleswood station followed by a dinner at 5:30 PM. Please RSVP for the dinner so we can order enough food. 

Tuesday Bill did admin. work for the club. Vic worked on 5427. Bill took the train rack for 2365 out of the van. Phil, Stephen and Vic moved 6109 to the station, two riding cars to the dog house and 6612 onto the stand for repairs.

Wednesday Vic worked on 5427 and Phil and Stephen S. started doing repairs to 6612. Bill and Gil replaced the seats in the van. Gil started to sort and tidy drawers and shelves. Phil M. started on a controller. Bill brought in the nativity figures.

Saturday Vic worked on 5427 and replaced the door lock on the station as it was getting hard to open. Barry took measurements for the turret for 5427. Frank and Rob did battery maintenance on the diesels and replaced the blown charger in 3001. Dwight picked up the bad charger for possible repair and took the marker lights for 5427.

Wednesday Jan 14th, Vic worked on 5427. Barry had fabricated a new turret and transition for 5427 in his home machine shop and it was installed on the locomotive. Rob took pictures of progress. Vic's persistence about insulating the engine house landing pad has paid off as during the sub cold weather the engine house door has remained functional. 

Thursday Bill updated the web.

During the middle two weeks of Jan., Bill drove to San Diego and Vegas for a holiday. Back at the AVR Vic continued to work daily on 5427 with Barry taking on some important piping jobs. Gil sorted material on shelves disposing of unneeded items. Gil also found a repair solution to the three plastic drawer units and repaired them so the drawers work properly. Dwight bought a small shear and brake for the machine shop. 

Monday Jan 26th Vic and Barry with a friend worked on 5427, completing piping in the cab and tender step details. Bill removed side and running boards on 2365, removing the centre boiler strap for painting. Phil S. and Stephen inspected 6612 for gasket replacement. 

Wednesday Vic and Barry worked on 5427. Bill produced the first 4 pages of the "Nutty Report"

Thursday Barry installed the whistle on 5427 while Vic worked on the tender. Vic proof read the first 4 pages of the "Nutty Report".

Friday Vic worked on 5427's tender, preparing steps and foot pegs. Bill completed page five of the "Nutty Report".

Saturday Jan 31st, Bill printed and stapled half the "Nutty Reports". Richard cleaned up the station and engine house garbage. Richard, Bill and Joseph took down about 6000 lights including all gingerbread displays, the big train, some direction lights and the lower five arches. Frank started cleaning up flash on new truck side frames. Dwight worked on the new shear and brake and generated a .pdf of the latest Nutty Report. Gil cut up steel brackets to replace the failing wood brackets where the six foot arches are stored. Vic welded them as well as installing piping items on 5427. Phil S., Ste