Operating Session On The
Fond du Lac Railway

I missed this one, but Dolf Roelofsen of our Nottawasaga Model Railroad Club (NMRC) attended and forwarded me a few photos. As explanation, this was an operating session held in conjunction with a Canadian Association of Railway Modellers (CARM) Mid-western Ontario chapter meeting in Port Elgin, Ontario. Dolf is a member of that region while I was a member of the adjacent Central Ontario region.

 The operating session took place in August, 2009 at Peter Stamford's Fond du Lac railway. Peter's work is well-known and he has been published in the model railroad magazines. While the HO scale Fond du Lac operation is capable of handling several operators, a second setup was made: An 18-inch x 72-inch book shelf module to ensure entertainment for all participants.

The images and notes forwarded to me by Dolf tell the story. Fond du Lac is (CNR circa 1957) a northern junction which handled trans-Canada passenger trains, long coal trains, and mixed east-west freight. Layout controls are Digitrax DCC using radio control throttles. Peter uses a full car-card system and follows a schedule of train movements that are subject to the directions from the yardmaster. The layout is operational on the story-telling side (front) with staging on the back side. Peter can choose from a wide variety of steam or diesel locomotives.

The secondary setup was Randy Schnarr's Beechwood Junction (also CNR circa 1957), a Canadian National branch line junction on the Bruce peninsula.  Randy says his story lines are still in development. The format is a window box with visibility limited to a 6-foot to 8-foot diorama at eye level. All operating is done behind glass, unless you have an "oops"! One lead track was attached to stage an incoming train.

carm groupThe session operators
carm directorsCARM Mid-west Directors. (Bill Osborne (deceased) was a former President of our Chapter)
fond du lac layoutFond du Lac layout. Credit: Peter Stamford
fond du lac montageFond du Lac montage. Credit: Peter Stamford
ctc panelBeechwood Junction and Fond du Lac. Credit: Randy Schnarr

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