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miklin

Upper Canada Railway Society

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I was a member from 1973 to approx 1995, at the height of its' popularity,largely due to the exursions that were run in 1970s and early 1980s. Since the website seems inactive, I was just wondering if the club has been officially disolved?

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I don't believe that the UCRS has officially dissolved, but it certainly seems to be in its death throes.

Dan

Same sad story all around.

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Same sad story all around.

I guess it depends on what exactly you mean by "same sad story".

In this case, we have a group that was not able to continue its prime directive (running rail-based charters) and that was not able to entice younger blood to join.

Dan

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back in the mid 70s, the direction of the Newsletter was changed. It was attempted to change it to a glossy photo magazine format and I remember at times, helping mail out runs of 700+ that were sometimes a year and a half behind on their publication date. It was done with the best intentions but allienated some folks when nothing was received from the society for months on end. A one page news sheet was issued to compensate until the old type newsletter could be reinstated by I think the damage was done when a great number of folks were allienated and lost interest.

I pondered at that time if the railfan interest in Toronto was big enought to support three major clubs locally. Part of the problem also was, of the 700 UCRS members, hypothetically, only 10% likely lived in Toronto, and of that amount only a handful could find the time to dedicate to the Newsletter, Car 13 maintenance, Charter Planning, etc.

The move from meeting location to meeting location may have had something to do with it also. It was ideal when the society met at the Toronto Camera Club on Mt. Pleasant near George's Trains (which was a bonus). Transit fans were happy as the ex Kansas City PCC's were assigned to Mt. Pleasant also (the ones with no standee windows).

After the Southern Railroad had a derailment on one of their steam excursions, liability insurance for charters started to soar. Plus Via never had enough spare equipment available for charter. (CN & ONR used to quote charter rates at cost!) In the end, no one really looked forward to travelling in Go Bi-Levels to Gravenhurst which was all that was available and so the charter saga ended.

I was happy to be a member of the TTS for quite a few years (actually was President in 1982 when we met at John Laraways house) and saw then that the future of charter trips was by bus or coach. I am pleased to see that the TTS is still active and with early retirement approaching, I hope to get back in the hobby. The late Larry Partridge and Dave Smith should be given credit for setting up the TTS.

Also kudos to Hamilton's Doug Page for keeping an unofficial UCRS Hamilton chapter alive.

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If you are looking to get back into the hobby, especially in a "hands-on" sort of manner, you may want to look at the TRHA - our website is www.trha.ca

Dan

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