Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Introducing the Gateway Spur

The new layout has a name: The Gateway Spur.

I took it from the name of the main road that runs near my home. It follows the original line of the CPR when it first came to Winnipeg in the late 1800s.

As I wrote earlier on this blog about how the CPR came to Winnipeg, until 1881 the CPR planned to cross the Red River at Selkirk, north of the city of Winnipeg.

But the Winnipeg business community, realizing that being bypassed by the railway would turn their city into a backwater, made the CPR an offer it couldn’t refuse—tax free land.

The CPR obliged, and turned south away from Selkirk. Today it is a small town, and Winnipeg became known as the “Gateway of the West.”

So, Gateway Spur it is. (Even if, in real life, the line became the Marconi Spur before the rails were lifted and the right-of-way turned into a walking and cycling path.)

Fed by three staging tracks, the Spur is a simple line, serving seven industries and a team track.

It runs along three walls: 10 feet by 21 feet by 17 feet. (Excuse the simple track plan.)

I haven’t yet decided what the industries will be, but there will be a brewery (a large complex with three tracks), a mill, a plastics manufacturer and a furniture company.

I’m working on a simple operating scheme that will indicate which cars need to be picked up and which ones dropped off.

The most recent version finds me assembling a train from the two-track yard (based on what the operating scheme says I need for that day’s turn).

Then it’s out along the line to do the work. A session today took about 25 minutes to drop off and pick up seven cars.

Since this is pre-1989, that means trains all have a van (caboose). This adds a few moves to the run, increasing the time needed to complete a session.

Train length will be 5-6 cars, maximum.

Before ballasting, I want to run trains to see if the track arrangement really works. So far, so good.

All-in-all, it’s a good start to 2020, and for the Gateway Spur.


  1. Welcome to the world, Gateway Spur! I like the name.

  2. That looks like it will be fun to operate, John. The next chapter!
    Thanks for sharing,