Serendipity at Wakefield

I’m in Ontario attending some training right now, and had a little free time to pop up to Ottawa on the weekend to visit my mum.  Being naturally adventurous and used to going on research field trips, she quickly agreed to join me for a trip to the end of the line at Wakefield QC to check out the turntable there.

About half-way up, I recalled that the Wakefield turntable is not very like the Pembroke one, but what the heck, we were committed, and it was a nice day for a drive in the country and we were having a good chin wag, so up we went.

Built on the bank of the Gatineau River, Wakefield is a perfect pocket model town.  I don’t know the history, but I suspect the station changed substantially when the steam train started running, and again when freight stopped proceeding up to Maniwaki (look at Colin Churcher’s excellent findings to learn about as much as you’re likely to).  However, it would be a really cool location to model.


As I say, the turntable was not quite what I had hoped for, being a half-through truss instead of a deck design, but it did confirm some interesting details, such as the mechanism for locking it in position, the gap between the turntable and the shore and the size of the pushing timbers. I was surprised by how poorly one end of the turntable aligned with the fixed rail.  (Click through on the picture of the turntable to see all the photos I took in my Flickr stream).


However, the real prize was something I had forgotten was there: the water tower. This water tower is approximately the same size as the one at Pembroke, which was 13’x12 1/2′ small. So, I crawled all over it snapping detailed pictures with my phone and taking summary measurements. (again, click through to the photo stream to see more).


After satisfying myself with the water tower and turntable, Mum and I had a nice walk down the river to find a coffee shop that would happily sell us some sandwiches for lunch. We stayed for a leisurely coffee and sandwich, then got back in the car for the trip back to Ottawa. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, and I am so thankful that I could share it.


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