Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Steam on the Prairies #3: The Assiniboine Valley Railway

A highlight of model railroad conventions in Winnipeg is a chance to ride the Assiniboine Valley Railway (AVR), a 1.6" scale 7.5" gauge “layout” located on a seven acre site at the home of Bill Taylor.

The AVR was started in 1995; it currently has 3 diesel locomotives, one box cab locomotive and several steamers, plus 39 cars. The tracks are aluminum rail on wood ties and ballast. The railway has 6,400 feet of track; the mainline is 3,700 feet long with seven sidings. A 24’ x 12.5’ station serves as a club room.

The railway winds through an aspen and hardwood forest; it takes over 25 minutes to travel over the entire line, including waiting for meets. In addition to being open on summer weekends, the AVR hosts an annual dinner train and is open during the Christmas season for the popular holiday light display.

In addition to riding the trains, visitors can also operate the AVR; during each convention Bill and the AVR gang hold an operating session, where you can throw switches and spot cars at "industries" along the line.

If you're ever in Winnipeg, check out the AVR!

Click here to “take a ride” on the AVR; Click here to visit the AVR home page.

(This is the last in the series of posts about Steam on the Prairies. Thanks goes out to Paul Ullrich and Ron Einarson of the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club for organizing such a great event.)

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