The Program

Each year the Ottawa Valley Associated Railroaders (OVAR) , in partnership with the British Model Railroaders , host the Rail Fair train show each October here in Ottawa, Onario, Canada. Railfair is the major Model Railroading event of the year where the local clubs and groups show off their layouts, provide information and demonstrations to the visitors along with various dealers set up to peddle their wares. Railfair has been an annual event for over thirty years!

Each year, the show raffles off a completely finished model railroad to some lucky winner. The layout actually servers two purposes, each equally important; 1) Helps to raise funds for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, and 2) provides the opportunity to bring the wonderful world of models trains to a fortunate family.

Each year, a group of volunteers will gather on a regular basis over the space of 9 - 10 months to design and build the next year's Raffle Layout. Each layout is built from scratch with a new track plan drawn up, a theme for the layout established and flurry of activity to transform the "dream" into reality!

After a successful season building the 2010 Railfair Raffle Layout, the SLD has once again volunteered to build the 2011 version! Building these layouts is always lots of fun and provides an excellent opportunity to try out new techniques and expand upon our skills.

The SLD has volunteered to build the 2011 Railfair Raffle Layout for a number of reasons, the two key ones are:
  • To contribute towards Railfair and helping to introduce a new individual to the hobby, and
  • To provide an opportunity for SLD members to learn and practice model railroading construction skills.
Layout Design
Andreas Mank, the genius behind the track plan, has designed for us a 4ft x 7ft double sided layout that will feature a heavy industrial area on one side and a country side on the other. It's always a challenge to determine how to make best use of the limited space yet provide an interesting layout to view and operate. Andreas ahs once again outdone himself in exceeding these requirements.
The layout will support both continuous running as well as switching operations. There will be the greatest density of buildings we have ever seen on a raffle layout along with bridges and a waterfall. Through the efforts of Mike Hamer and other club members we already have a good start on fulfilling our donation requirements.

The Construction Process
We are starting construction a little later than we would have liked so the general approach we'll be following will be hosting work sessions on a bi-weekly basis that will ensure we meet the October 2011 in a controlled fashion!
The first work session will be held in conjunction with the April 16th Kit Busters workshop. Here we will bring the materials to the hall to build the bench work and perhaps start installation of the track work.
The general apporach is to hold a short educational session at the start of each work session where we will cover the work for the day, provide instructions and then invite the participants to take part in the work. e.g. learn by doing. So for example, in April we'll learn about different types of bench construction and then use one of these designs to build the raffle layout bench work.

Here is a preliminary line up of what we're looking at for construction sessions:
  • Build the Bench Work
  • Plan and install track work.
  • Determine the building layout, solicit structure builders from the club
  • Wire Track
  • Start Scenery - Contours, plaster
  • Paint Back Drop
  • Add ground cover
  • Install water falls, pond
  • Prepare Rolling Stock
  • Prepare layout for Railfair
Obviously there is more to it than that, but you get the general idea! Some workshops may span multiple work sessions.
Seating is limited so if you would like to participate in any of the workshops, please contact Grant Knowles to reserve a seat!

Please note that it does take a fair amount of work to build a layout let alone one in a short 6 and a half months, so we do require your assistance in this undertaking.
Speak to anyone that participated last year - it was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to learn new techniques - even for those who have done it all before!

Follow Along On Line
We will be doumenting the "build" over the coming months and will provide the material on this web site. Follow the links on the left for the specific topics.

This Web page is maintained by Grant Knowles and was last updated on April 2, 2011.