February 15th, 2017 by lenlarue No comments »
 Editor’s Note:  I have no idea what happened to most of the pictures throughout the site!  I had accessed the AVR site to do some editing of current info, and noticed they were gone.  They must have disappeared during an editing session when I lost the entire site for a while (scary!!).  I got the text back, but I guess the pictures disappeared into the ether!  I have managed to replace some of them…


 The AVR re-introduced the Fall Dinner Train Weekend in 2015, but we were unable to follow-up in 2016, having no way to process Credit Cards!  Last year we obtained our own credit card processing system, so held the Dinner Train Weekend on September 16 & 17, 2017.

Many thanks to all who helped in 2017:  Joanne Michelin who made the burgers, Wayne Hamel who cooked them, their daughters who took orders & helped out generally, also Zach & Ben Cox, Krista McKenzie, Gord Kushner, Richard & Marietta Persian, Dwight & Carmelina Kjartanson and Helen La Rue who helped with veggie prep & clean-up.  Yours truly, Len La Rue, did the planning, shopping & plate prep/serving.  About 90 meals were served over the weekend, and a good time was had by all!

We will be holding the 2018 Dinner Train Weekend on September 15 & 16, 2018.
For details, please go to “2018 EVENTS” on the main menu.

Christmas Weekends Afternoon Public Rides 2018

      After Bill Taylor’s death in August, 2013, the Family & the AVR have simply not been able to do the massive amount of work that Bill did in maintaining the 100,000+ lights!   If we can come up with a workable plan to modernize and reduce maintainance, we’ll let you know…

      This Christmas season, we will again give daylight afternoon rides, 1 – 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday, December 22/23, Saturday & Sunday, December 29/30 & Saturday & Sunday, January 5/6

Check out a great video from Christmas 2015 on YouTube from City TV’s “Wheeler in the Morning”:

Public Open House Rides – Weekends in 2018

These are traditionally held the 2nd full weekend of each month, from June through October
June 9/10, July 14/15, August 11/12, September 8/9 & October 13/14, 2018
Saturdays: 11:00 – 5:oo           Sundays: 1:00 – 5:00
1 ride – $2
12 ride pass – $20 (good for any AVR Public Event)
2 & under ride free
(All minors must be accompanied by an adult)

Hallowe’en Weekend Rides 2018

Last year, for the first time, the AVR offered Hallowe’en themed rides on the weekend before Hallowe’en  from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.  There were lights, pumpkins, skeletons, bone piles & lots of ghosts.  Occasionally someone jumped from behind a tree to scare the passengers, but not too much!  Many thanks to Maurice & Susan, Dwayne & Joanne & family for help with the decorations, & to all the members who helped during the Public Rides.  A great time was had by all of us and I’m pretty sure by all who rode, judging by the SMILES!!!

This year we will hold our Hallowe’en Weekend rides on October 27 & 28, 6 – 9 PM.


A few of us continue to show up at the AVR on most Wednesday & Saturday afternoons to do some work & share stories over a cool one.

Len & Vic replaced the failed front truck front motor/gear box assembly on 202.  Vic repaired the sheared roll pin, and Len reassembled the unit, so it’s ready to replace the next failure!  While 202 was on the lift, Len adjusted the brakes on the front truck, and later, Vic adjusted the rear brakes – it sure stops nicely now!
We finally ran out of propane in the propane cars, so Vic has been trying to negotiate a deal to get them refilled by Superior Propane, who bought Caledon Propane since we last had them filled.  Hopefully we can get the cars filled in the spring – if not, the steam engines may be idle…
Now that the snow has arrived, and will likely stay, a regular job is keeping the tracks, sidewalks & station area clear of snow until our Christmas Weekend Rides are finished.  So far, Richard & Len have managed with the shovels!   Len donated his old 21″, 5 HP Craftsman Snow Blower – We fixed the drive problem (an incredibly bad weld on the pressure mechanism that simply broke!) & Vic managed to get the carburetor  working again, so now we’ll be able to deal with heavy snowfall on the tracks much easier!
Wayne brought his chain saw again, & with help from Richard & Len, felled a dead tree that had fallen over above the tracks near Lighting Junction.
Dwight has been trying to figure out & fix a problem with the 24 V to 12 V conversion unit on 3001 – it’s intermittent!!  This supplies power to the lights & sound system, so we hope it will be working by next summer…

The 2 cabooses (cabeese?)were finally completed last winter and have run proudly at the end of each passenger train this summer!  Now our trains look like they did in the days of steam & early diesel – Bill would be very pleased!  Gil did most of the wood work in his workshop, and Ed scored all the board lines to simulate siding.  Gil & Ed did most of the main assembly & Vic helped out with various parts of the project.  All the details have been added/fabricated/painted – Len fabricated the hand rails (mostly from coat hanger wire), all end details including the ladders, 8 stair sets, and the undercarriage details – lots of silver soldering!  Castings were used for window frames, brake control components & hand rail attachment details.  We chose different colour schemes to make each caboose unique visually.

Cosmetic repairs have been completed on GP9 3001 – all the hand-rails are now reattached, and Len fabricated & installed new vertical door hand rails on F7 6109 (2 had vanished, & 1 was damaged).

Vic & Len have been working to sort out the problem of steam oil not getting to the left cylinder on 2365 – the cylinder seized up with rust over last winter. We thought we had it fixed by re-plumbing the steam oil feeds, but after running at an Open House last fall, the cylinder was seized again this winter!  This is an ongoing project!!  We tried out thicker Teflon in the cylinder drain cocks, as the original ones were too thin & suffered early failures, and we seem to have solved the problem!

Repairs are still ongoing to the dolly-moving winch – Len is working on this, with help & advice from Vic.

Len & Vic are still working on designing & building the Tank Car kit, started several years ago by Frank.  (This project has been on hold while the cabooses were built & 2365 was worked on…)

Barry & Ed show up for moral support.  Richard & Gordon are also fairly regular on Saturdays, with Richard doing a yeoman’s job on re-ballasting last summer/fall & replacing rotten ties, with help from Gord, Zach & Ben, usually using the Box Cab 25.  Richard has also done a fair bit of track leveling & un-kinking.  Dwight continues to trouble-shoot turnout & signalling issues.

Len, Dwight & Vic worked on 3001 which had lost its sound ,air compressor & headlight.  It was determined that the problem was a malfunctioning 24 V DC to 12 V DC convertor, which proved to be unrepairable.  A new one was ordered & installed successfully by Len.

This year the AGM was held on Saturday, February 10, from 1:00 to ~2:15 in the AVR Station.  All paid-up Members were welcome, and some paid at the meeting!  Copies of the minutes are e-mailed to AVR members.

The club no longer maintains a Station phone number, but e-mail, cell phone, and postal contact information is kept  up-to-date on the Contact page.  So, if you try and ring the old number and find it disconnected, it doesn’t mean we’ve gone away – come out and see for yourself on a Members’ Work Day or Public Open House/Rails.

Interested in becoming an AVR Member?

We have application forms in the Station Building. Please contact one of the members or Executive, best done at the AVR, and we will explain the categories, etc.  Annual Individual Associate Memberships are $20, Annual Family Memberships are $30.

Edit Your Bookmark for the AVR

June 19th, 2014 by lenlarue No comments »

This new AVR website is found at http://www.assiniboinevalleyrailway.org/.  If you got here by going to the old website, you might want to update your bookmarks with the new address – easy to remember, slightly harder to type.

All the old content was archived and is now available here!  Go to the Top Menu, click on “Old Pictures/History”, then on the hyperlink “old website content”.

Club Members:  If you would like to have input to the site, please contact Len La Rue, President, AVR at 204-832-3448 or send e-mail to president@assiniboinevalleyrailway.org.