Operating on the Waterloo Region MRC

The Waterloo Region Model Railway Club has an extensive multilevel layout that models the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Sudbury Division from the 1970s. This means SD40-2s, MLW power, the Canadian, and lots of trains!

My son Nick is a member and I accompanied him to an operating session at the WRMRC in early March 2024. I felt very welcome! A few people remembered me from my previous visit.

Train 911

Nick and I were assigned train 911 from North Bay to Webbwood. We had to wait a bit for our train, but eventually we were given a clearance by the dispatcher and took our train out “on the road”.

Here’s Nick with train 911, led by CP 4094.

Communication between trains and the dispatchers is via handheld radio. For this first train, Nick was the engineer and I was the conductor. We took our train out of North Bay and did the required switching “en route”.

The layout is very large and a little bewildering to this newbie, as it features several levels and several helixes as well. The scenery varies across the layout from bare wood to full scenery. I noticed an increase in scenery from my previous visit. There’s always lots to do here.

Each conductor receives a packet of information for their train, indicating what the train will do on the layout portion of its trip. The car cards indicate where they should be set out – or kept on the train – so the conductor is kept busy with the paperwork. It’s too bad we don’t have a 1:1 scale caboose to sit in…

The “Canadian”

I had the honour of driving the “Canadian”, CP 2, on a portion of its route from Vancouver to Toronto. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I was too busy driving…

It was great to pilot the flagship train through the layout – and through the helix – before bringing it to Sudbury for the complex switching there.

Back in the 1970s, the Canadian went to both Montreal and Toronto from Sudbury, so the train was split at Sudbury and sent on its way. The westbound versions went through a similar process to combine at Sudbury.

Train 953

Our next train was #953 from Mactier to Cartier. I don’t think I took any photos of it other than this one.

The North Bay Turn

Our fourth and final train was the North Bay Turn.

We ended up having to stop at Romford for a 3 way meet, between us, another freight, and the westbound Canadian. Naturally the “varnish” got to go first, and as an unnumbered extra, we had the lowest priority.

The second train to pass had a collection of open auto racks in the manifest. We all admired these beautiful models carrying beautiful model cars. What a sight!

Random Railfanning

A pair of railfans watch the work at the Sudbury yard. The figure on the right is a 3D printed version of my son Nick!

Switching the Canadian in Sudbury.

Thank you to the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club for their “open arms” hospitality. I really felt welcomed and we had some good conversations while moving trains about.

Visit the Waterloo Region Model Railway Club’s web site