FIRST G A U G E E V E N T ! ! !

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by George, May 21, 2001.

  1. George

    George Member

    This coming Saturday, the 26th of May, I will sponsor the first annual GAUGE MEET at the National Railway Museum of Canada in DELSON, QUEBEC.

    Delson, for the unknowing, is minutes south of the isle of LAVAL (Montreal).

    Take your mattress stuffings, get a plane ticket, get in your car, or MY GOD YOU CAN EVEN TAKE A TRAIN!!! Let's stop this cyber nonsense and get together and have a great day we can tell all the rest about!

    I don't have a scanner so somebody with one has to show up!!!!

    Contact me for arrangements. If we get of you soon enough, fast enough, we can embarrass the house into a group rate!!!!!!!!


    Let's rally and walk the rail "TOGEDDER" as we say in Quebec.

    Contact me for a great time!!

    George [​IMG]

    P.S., We won't tell your Mum where you went that weekend!

    [This message has been edited by Dave Hagan (edited 05-20-2001).]
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    ummm.... [​IMG] well..... [​IMG] geeee.. [​IMG] ummmm [​IMG] should I? [​IMG] Let me think about it....

  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    I would love to go. But a friend of mine is getting married! If I could. I would bring my "scanner". Actually it's a 2 meter(144MHz for you non hams) radio. I have 70 out of 100 US railroad channels programmed! Have a good time.

  4. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Is the 26th May a special event day? With timing etc, it is too soon for me to arrange etc. If I were to do it, I would want to tie it in with a vist to some friends, (NYC) & Chicago, and I've always wanted to see a Space Shuttle take off too. A drive/train through the Rockies has also been on the list. To make it by Sat, I'd have to be out of Sydney Wed/Thurs. A friend from Sydney, happens to be visiting Montreal at the mo (for 5 weeks). Getting there is no Prob (Freq Flyer Miles) and time is no prob (not working). Perhaps in a months time or so. if 26th May is not a Special Occasion?
  5. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    Hi George
    I'd love to be in Canada again...never been to Quebec...but...won't be back that way till late July at the earliest, or I'd swing north on my way to Virginia..:sad:
    Hope some 'gaugers' can make it. Take some pics...
    I appreciate the intent, good buddy.
    all the best,
  6. George

    George Member

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    Did you get the do up and running for this Saturday?

  8. George

    George Member

    Hi you guys!

    Well, the FIRST GAUGE EVENT has come and gone and for those of you who missed it, you really missed something, and we missed meeting you.

    First, we had six show up. Not bad considering! The highlight was one Gauge observer happened to be a member of the museum who has spent a considerable amount of time performing volunteer work at the site. The result was an extensive three hour tour (without the shipwreck!) of the 65 acre facility.

    There was so much more to see than I had expected that it was simply mind boggling. The Canadian Railway Museum of Delson Quebec, Canada, is anything but another minor collection of poorly maintained, vandalized hulks.

    There are at least two stations served by an operating open tourist trolley which rings the facility, making several stops at interesting points where people may board and disembark. There are many steam, diesel and assorted pieces of rolling stock out of doors, but the treasures of this collection await you inside two large inconspicuous sheds.

    Upon entering the first shed, I had to gasp and take a step backwards. We came face to face with the Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson which carried the king and Queen of England across Canada in 1939. I thought the only one preserved was the one running out west. I almost fell over again when I rounded the front of this masterpiece, and gaped down a seemingly endless aisle, flanked with the finest example of massive mainline steam power I've ever seen assembled in one place in my life.

    I haven't stood next to a Berkshire locomotive since 1973, and I had nearly forgotten how massive the 2-8-4's, 4-8-4's and 2-10-2's really are. With their gargantuan Vanderbilt tenders, they're almost the size of a barn. It's truly something to look up at a locomotive and the drive wheels reach far over your head.

    Our friend knew EVERYTHING about each piece we saw, and it was a true sensory overload we couldn't get enough of. They have the largest locomotive in the commonwealth, the fastest locomotive in the commonwealth, the tiny John Molson.....Some of the locomotives had wooden stairways alongside, enabling one to climb and walk through the cab for inspection, which was protected by plexiglass sheets from probing hands.

    They have "The Dominion of Canada", a large steamer which was a gift from the UK. A small SNCF switcher from France sits across from a British Hudson with something we'd never seen before. A diaphragm on the rear of the tender, permitting walk through access to the steamer's cab via a tunnel along the inside side of the tender. One true piece of Canadiana was a Canadian Pacific school car, lovingly maintained complete with desks and the children's books. This was something I had read about in grade school, but never thought I'd see.

    The second shed was a traction enthusiasts dream. Trollys and interurbans, mostly from Montreal, filled the shed, with half of the shed blocked off for restoration work. We were told that this is where the rolling stock of vintage Canadian National and Canadian Pacific passenger cars are stored, including one New York Central 10-6 sleeper which was sold to CP in 1959.

    The sheds are dark, not making it very conducive to taking pictures. A new federally and provincially funded project called EXPORAIL is in the process of constructing a new massive shed to house the collection, and to bring indoors a lot of the wonderful pieces exposed to the elements. Hopefully it will be peppered with skylights permitting better lighting conditions.

    Out of doors there's enough to start a museum alone. Along with steam locomotives there are cabooses, CN & CP Alco diesels, a CN F-7 in Zebra stripes, an Ontario Northland diesel I couldn't identify, the largest Atlantic steamer I've ever seen from CP and some MOW gear.

    The staff couldn't be nicer, and the language barrier was non-existant, which I can't say the same for outside of the museum. An old coach serves as a gift shop with scant offerings, and food is limited to potato chips, pop and ice cream, but what else do you need? [​IMG] We got a discount group rate, and if we had desired, we could have brought food and used a picnic area complete with tables and benches, immediately adjacent to the parking lot and railroad tracks. A CP line runs along the side of the place (that's how they get things there!) and we were treated to two freights during our visit.

    To get there, take Autoroute 15 to exit 42 and follow the signs on route 209. The entrance is directly across from a strip mall on the left, before the railroad crossing. Park, walk down the road across the bridge and get your day ticket inside the station. From downtown Montreal, the ride is UNDER 20 minutes. This detail is never mentioned in any railfan magazine, leading too many to think this location is somewhere out in the Eastern Townships.

    I'm sorry I don't have a scanner to share pictures with you, but I've asked someone to try and scan something from the day to put here. The threat of rain kept many away, but it was sunny, and it got HOT. This museum deserves at least three to four hours of your time to really get to see everything. We literally had the place to ourselves for the day.

    To those of you who came, thanks! And to those of you who missed it, we hope to meet you some other time and get to say hello! One way or the other, this museum is a must-see.


    [This message has been edited by George (edited 05-30-2001).]

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