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February 15th, 2017

 AVR DINNER TRAIN WEEKEND Sept. 15 & 16, 2018 Cancelled!!

Someone(s) decided to have a bonfire and deliberately burned down the Christmas Light Display storage shed at the Paterson siding the night of September 10.  The Fire Dept. was called but were only able to put out the last of the fire in the pile of rubble…  Unfortunately, we were storing the Dinner Train tables there, so they are now a pile of twisted metal!  There is no way we could build new ones before the weekend, so this year’s Dinner Trian Weekend is cancelled.  All the reservees have been phoned & we have arranged to refund the credit card & cash payments (one generous patron refused the refund and insisted we keep it as a donation!).  I’m sure we will build new tables & plan to have a Dinner Train Weekend again next fall…

 For info about the Summer Open House Weekends, the Hallowe-en Weekend Evening Rides, the Christmas Weekends Afternoon Rides, and the AVR Dinner Train Weekend, please go to “2018 EVENTS” on the main menu bar.


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.

With the burning of the Christmas Light storage building on the night of September 10/11, Len & Richard, with some help from Vic, pulled up the long spur at Paterson on September 12.  This was done to allow access of the heavy equipment that will be needed to clear up the rubble.  We had moved the location of the ballast pile earlier this year to a more secure location along the driveway (last spring someone had stolen the remainder of the ballast pile that was along the Paterson spur!!), so we no longer need that long spur!  We will dismantle the track for re-use, as the rails are in almost new condition.

Last year, Len & Vic had replaced the failed front truck front motor/gear box assembly on 202.   This summer, 2 of the drive assemblies on 202 failed!  Len & Vic trouble-shot & replaced 2 of the drive units: one had a burned out armature winding, the other had a sheered pinion gear.  Len & Dwight replaced several of the brake hanger attachments that had failed, and the brakes were all adjusted again.  Len & Vic put all 3 diesels on the hoist (sequentially, not simultaneously!), and checked out the trucks, topping up the gear boxes with gear oil & adjusting the brakes.

In mid-summer, Len & Vic did a full inspection/lubrication/adjustment of all the riding cars on the 2 trains we use for the Open House rides, documenting the process in the record books.

Last year, we had finally run out of propane in the propane cars, but Vic was not able to get Superior Propane (who had bought Caledon Propane) to refill them!  He has finally negotiated a deal with Federated Co-op to supply our propane at a reduced cost, & they will be providing new logos to go on the cars.  Len has been firing up 2365 for several of the Open House Weekends.

Several dead trees fell down this spring & summer, so Wayne had to put his trusty chain saw to work again.  Thanks to Vic, Zach & Ben who helped Len & Wayne with the clear-up jobs.

Vic & Len had been working to sort out the problem of steam oil not getting to the left cylinder on 2365 – the cylinder had seized up with rust several times. We re-plumbed the feeds, now going to each cylinder separately, instead of into the common steam pipe.  This seems to work well, and Len has steamed up 2365 at several Open House Weekends this summer.  The cylinder drain cocks have been a perennial problem, so we tried out thicker Teflon in the cylinder drain cocks, as the original ones were too thin & suffered early failures.  This seems to have solved that problem!

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…)

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).  This summer, they are damaged again, so Len has removed them to be rebuilt!

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 & Gord have also done a fair bit of track leveling & un-kinking.  Dwight continues to trouble-shoot turnout & signalling issues.  Due to health problems, Gil has unfortunately had to “retire” from the AVR – much to his, & our, regret!  He still visits occasionally…

The 2 cabooses (cabeese?)were finally completed in the early winter of 2017 and have run proudly at the end of each passenger train these past 2 summers!  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.

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

This new AVR website is found at  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