Elmira Railway Museum

Almost a time machine


You could not have asked for a nicer Saturday. With some of the regular errands out of the way we headed east to the Elmira Railway Museum. In addition to a great community museum, the site includes the a complete wye just west of the site. Where the museum has seen steady change over the years, the wye remains untouched. What a great resource given my interest in pursuing a model railway set during the spring and also to gather some more data for my track files.

DSC01678Standing here and looking across to the other leg of the wye it’s not that hard to imagine a pair of 70 tonners shoving another half dozen reefers into place. Setting aside some pretend nostalgia, it was great to study the railway in this landscape during this time of year.

DSC01688With camera and notebook in hand it was great to really study the details and record them, as I described earlier in my post about a track database:

  • Elmira’s wye was built adjacent to the main track. It was designed for turning trains and not to join branches so there are two turnouts on the main track and the third leg, is a stub.
  • The two main track turnouts have 1:8 frogs. The third turnout is a wye with a 1:6 frog.
  • I measured rail height in at least two dozen random locations within the station proper and then out on the main. On the main the rail ranged in height between 5 and 5-1/2″ tall from base to the running surface. In the station, one of the sidings was laid with rail that ranged in height from 4 to 4-1/2″.
  • Tie spacing seemed to range between 24″ and 28″. Naturally, with thirty years since the last train ran through this station many of the ties are rotten and have shifted. This measurement is based on those where the ties felt like they were still in their correct location.
  • Tie plates were still present on the main track but not on many of the station sidings and the stub-ended tail track on the wye.

Elmira Museum – RPO after the fire, Spring 2001

In the spring of 2001 I made my way east to visit the PEI Railway Museum in Elmira, PEI. That previous winter vandals had set fires in the two railway cars that had been at the museum. Both were heavily damaged. The museum “saved” the trucks from the wooden baggage car and hadn’t decided the fate of the steel RPO yet. Those trucks are now all that is left of both cars as the Museumm chose to scrap the RPO as well.

Here are some photos from my trip.

Elmira station – picture found of RPO

While cruising around the web looking for pictures of CN’s 44 tonners in service on the Murray Harbour trains I did come across a picture I haven’t seen in a while – of the Elmira Railway Museum when the railway post office (RPO) was still parked outside:


I have some similar pictures and even a couple of the wooden baggage car in my own collection. Looks like that’s a few more to scan and post here. What I could really use is some sort of tractor-fed scanner that I could just drop a stack of prints in and click “Scan” and then come back later when the whole lot is done.