It was the summer of 2018 when I finally got around to putting in the cork roadbed into Wiarton. It was fairly typical, one strip then another. I used Tee pins to hold things in place and watered down yellow construction glue. The trees below were built by my friend Chris Creighton formerly Schomberg Scale Models. He has high standards and didn’t like the results. My standards are not as severe and luckily he gave them to me. They will eventually find spots in the foreground and my tree building efforts will copy these.
Now a Bit of History
Up until 1935, Wiarton was the home terminal in the Upper Bruce Peninsula for the CNR. That all changed to Owen Sound because it was a better and deeper port. Wiarton had a turntable and a 4 stall round house. All that shifted to Owen Sound so the round house and storage tracks around the turntable were taken out. The turntable remained. Therefore, I needed a turntable. I was going to scratch build one but I knew that Simon Parent had purchased a powered Walthers HO version and successfully did an S scale conversion. He got it when it was on sale a few years back and of course I passed thinking that I would build my own. Wiarton had a 70’ turntable and because of its position on the model railway, it would need to be bullet proof for a 180 degree turn. The Walthers one assured this. Unfortunately, the Walthers versions only come in three sizes, 90’, 110’ and 130’. Still, I decided to make life easier and compromised with 110’ which actually comes out to about 79’ in S scale. I wanted a bit of insurance for the length of the locos and if I needed to turn the combine which was always on the Wiarton mixed. I did not immediately convert the turntable to S but did install it before I completed any road bed so I knew where I was going to have to end up. I did have to add a bit of aluminum ‘L’ bracing after the fact to support it.
Wiarton’s turntable could hold any of the locos sent from Owen Sound. Typically though, Moguls and Ten Wheelers were found on the Wiarton mixed from Owen Sound. Occasionally, a light Pacific would venture in and sometimes the Northbound Way Freight from Palmerston would go straight in if it was warranted.
The roadbed continued down to the Wiarton yard but I had to do selective compression to be able to fit in the space I have.
Around this time, my granddaughter Isla was visiting from Kelowna, B.C. She was only 6 at the time and was quite impressed with the work so far but she really wanted run the trains. As mentioned before, the modules were down and stored so no train running was to be had. Isla and my grandson Everett were coming in October so Isla asked if they could run trains the next visit. “Of course,” I replied. However, my daughter Andrea was getting married on September 7 and I had a lot to prepare for that wedding including making a recording of me playing selections on the piano for a 90 minute duration. I could only manage to squeeze one more week of building in after the wedding and before the kids arrived. Next, what a promise to a grandchild can achieve.