Friday, April 23, 2010

Transport: Testing the Miniature Railway

The "locomotive team" of Dave Wetherald, Arno Martens, Michael Guy, and Mike Salisbury looked over the "Sweet Creek" locomotive as it sat on the miniature railway turntable in Toronto's Roundhouse Park on 23-April-2010

TORONTO, ONTARIO - The culmination of more than a year of effort came yesterday as the miniature railway in Toronto's Roundhouse Park was tested for the first time using its own steam locomotive, Toronto Railway Heritage Centre #3, named the "Sweet Creek." While the tracks had been tested using a volunteer-owned "diesel" locomotive on New Year's Day and the "Sweet Creek" itself had tested on an initial section of track last July, this was the first chance to see how the railway would perform in the form that will soon greet the public.

Mike Salisbury watched carefully as Michael Guy ran the "Sweet Creek" past the Toronto Convention Centre for the first time in Roundhouse Park on 23-April-2010

The testing came off as successfully as anyone could hope. The very first time we hooked up passengers cars for the trip around the approximately half-mile figure-eight, we ran a complete circuit without incident. A few minor issues were encountered that can be corrected in the track and on the locomotive itself, but it was clear that if we needed to run tomorrow, we could do so.

The first train run by the "Sweet Creek" through Roundhouse Park passed Don Station, which was undergoing restoration work on 23-April-2010

As always, a train in the park brought out kids from all over--but this test run brought out the adults as well, especially locals such as the Steam Whistle Brewing employees that had watched as the railway was constructed, mostly last summer and fall. They were out to offer their congratulations.

This view from 23-April-2010 will soon be publicly available--seeing the crossing shanty and the base of the CN Tower from behind a miniature steam locomotive in Toronto's Roundhouse Park

The first public event for the railway will be Doors Open Toronto on 29-30 May 2010. Come out and visit us then!

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