CRHA Exporail News, November 2010

 During this year, Exporail (St-Constant, QC) has been carrying out a $1.3 million capital improvement project called Plan B. The major elements of the plan call for the modernization of Hays station, converting Building 5 into an open reserve. Also included are the creation of three station gardens, installing three interpretation islands, new signage and the restoration of steam locomotive Maritime Railways number 5, as well as Montreal Street Railway tramcar 274.


Hays Station has received all new windows and doors, new floors, is fully climate controlled to today’s archival standards and has been brought up to code. The second floor has been made into exhibition space permitting the installation of the Wellington Toter train control panels and the display of more artefacts for the public. A new large viewing window has been installed on the second floor giving visitors an excellent view of the turntable and yards.


Building 5 has received new doors and its roof has been resealed. Additional lighting has been installed along with new stairways and interpretive signs for each piece of equipment. There are new station gardens in front of the Angus Pavilion, Hays Station and Delson Station.

Maritime Railway number 5 and MSR 274 will be placed into the Angus Pavilion upon completion of their restoration. It is planned to move the restored CNR diesel electric car 15824 into the Angus Pavilion once minor repairs are completed to its front truck.


It is expected that all of the work will be completed before March 31, 2011. As part of Plan B, major switching work had to be carried out to rearrange the exhibits in Building 5.  This was carried out over a six day period from July 19 to July 24 by our team of volunteers headed up by Dave Barnard. A highlight of the moves took place on a rainy Saturday, July 24th, when the John Molson was steamed up and carried out the switching of our three European locomotives under the supervision of James Scott.


Exporail has taken delivery of a new 7 ¼ inch gauge locomotive for use on its popular outdoor miniature railway. Numbered 1751 and decorated in authentic Canadian National ‘green and gold’ colour livery, the locomotive is 8 feet long and weights 875 pounds. It is powered by a two cylinder Briggs and Stratton engine which drives a hydraulic pump. There are two hydraulic motors, one per truck and all axles are chain driven.

The locomotive is a replica of Canadian National’s first Jeeps that were numbered between 1700 and 1750, we chose 1751. This locomotive is presently undergoing final testing and slight safety modifications at Exporail and will be in service alongside its CPR decorated companion for the 2011 season. The locomotive was custom built in the USA for Exporail. The miniature train ride is the second most popular attraction at Exporail after the streetcar ride!


October  -  Autumn hours, Exporail opens Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:00 thereafter until October 31.


November 6  -   Winter hours, Exporail opens Saturday and Sunday only 10:00 – 17:00


Nov. 6 to Dec. 12. -  Letter to Santa. - Send your letter to Santa Claus aboard the mail car


November 14  -  End of the temporary exhibition Pack Your Bags, a travelling exhibition produced by the Canadian Children’s Museum-Canadian Museum of Civilization


November 28  -  Museum Express train from Lucien-L’Allier Station in Montreal to Exporail


Nov. 28, 2010  to Jan. 4, 2011 - Railway Christmas - Eaton's miniature train exhibit, crafts and storytelling for children, model train layout and rides on a miniature railway. Annual Christmas Tea for adults (with reservation). 


Canadian Rail, September – October Issue.


The September – October issue of Canadian Rail will feature a 60 page bi-lingual edition devoted to the AMT and Montreal’s commuter rail history. CRO’s Jean-Francois Turcotte along with a host of CRHA volunteer editorial members are pleased to have produced such a comprehensive look at the AMT and commuting by rail in Montreal from the 1800s. Some of the historic CRHA Archive photos are stunning!

Canadian Rail is available at most local hobby shops, at the Exporail Boutique, and is mailed to members of the CRHA.


One of the thematic islands just installed at Exporail. C.S. Cheasley



 New miniature railway locomotive 1751 on a test run piloted by Gilles Bouthillier who was responsible for tracking the construction of this locomotive. C. S. Cheasley



Maritime Railway No. 5, cosmetically restored, will be moved into the Angus pavilion on October 30, 2010. C. S. Cheasley



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© CRO November 2010