Kootenay Express 2019

Cranbrook, British Columbia

May 29 - June 2, 2019.


Welcome to Kootenay Express 2019

We are currently under construction and adding new content.  Please check back regularly for more information.

Latest News

The Railway History Centre – Down ‘n’ Dirty tour is now full. Currently there are two tours on Friday May 31, 2019 at 1-2pm and 2-3pm. A wait list will be created for any new registrations for this tour.
After much discussion with Teck Coal, they are unable to accommodate us with a tour. Sorry for the disappointment.
The Non-Rail program is going to be fun! We are going to have many entertaining projects for you to participate in as well as the usual relaxing puzzles, book exchange, colouring pages, cards, and more. Checkout the Non-Rail Program page for more information

 The guest speaker at the Banquet is Jim Cullen, a life-long railway enthusiast based in Calgary, Alberta.  His presentation will focus on the lighter side of railway preservation and feature anecdotes on some of his railway museum misadventures in Canada and the US, some memorable personalities, and what the future holds for railway preservation. 

Jim has been part of the Western Canadian railway preservation scene for the past thirty years and has volunteered with many railway museums in the region including leadership, operating and collections roles at Heritage Park Historical Village, Champion Park, and the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel (now the Cranbrook History Centre), and as a director at the California State Railroad Museum Foundation in Sacramento.  A consultant since 2003, he has led many planning projects with numerous museums, historic sites and non-profit organizations.


Volunteers are needed to judge and staff the Contest Room to provide security for the entries. Model contest judges earn 2 time units towards their AP Association Volunteer Certificate.  Contact the Contests Chair, Jim Little to assist in this very important function.

Host Hotel / Accommodations

209 Van Horne Street South, Cranbrook BC  V1C 6R9           (250) 417-0444            cranbrook@prestigehotels.ca

Please call the hotel to take advantage of the event rates with the event code "Kootenay Express".  On-line booking with the event code is not working.  We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Alternate Accommodations

Best Western Cranbrook Hotel

1019 Cranbrook Street N
Cranbrook, British Columbia V1C 3S4

1 (800) 780-7234

**** Will not take reservations until Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort is full ****

Click here for a listing of
Cranbrook and area hotels

Mount Baker RV Park

Interested in more camping locations?  Click here for info

Elizabeth Lake Lodge

590 Van Horne St S
Cranbrook, BC V1C 4W7

(250) 426-6114

Preliminary Schedule

May 29
Registration 9 am to 5 pm
PNR Board of Directors Meeting 3 pm to 6 pm Baker
Ice Cream Social (Meet & Greet) 6 pm to 9 pm
Registration 7 pm to 10 pm
May 30
Sullivan Mine and Powerhouse 8 am to 12 pm
Layout Tours 1 pm to 5 pm
Sullivan Mine and Powerhouse 1 pm to 5 pm
Clinics 2 pm to 5 pm
Clinics 7 pm to 10 pm
6th Div AGM 7 pm to 8 pm
Contest/Display Room 8 pm to 10 pm Sam Steele
May 31
NMRA Canada AGM 9 am to 10 am Baker
Tour (details to follow) 9 am to 2 pm
Railway History Centre – Down ‘n’ Dirty Tour 1 pm to 2 pm
Contests/Display Room 2 pm to 5 pm Sam Steele
Railway History Centre – Down ‘n’ Dirty Tour 2 pm to 3 pm
Clinics 2 pm to 5 pm
Contests/Display Room 7 pm to 10 pm Sam Steele
Clinics 7 pm to 10 pm
PNR Annual General Meeting 8 pm to 10 pm Baker
Jun 1
Clinics 9 am to 12 pm
AP Evaluation 9 am to 11 am
Contest Judging 11 am to 1 pm
Modelling with the Masters / Clinics 1 pm to 5 pm
Show & Share 1 pm to 3 pm
Banquet / Keynote 5 pm to 10 pm
Jun 2
Train Show 9 am to 5 pm

Prototype Tours

Railway History Centre
Cranbrook History Centre

The Cranbrook History Centre is a museum and archive dedicated to the research, preservation, and restoration of heritage pertaining to the history of Cranbrook and the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is located adjacent to both active railway operations and the Convention Hotel.

This museum houses an impressive collection of 28 pieces of passenger rolling stock from the age of continental rail travel. Included are 7 cars from the famous 1929 Trans Canada Limited, the CPR’s premier all sleeper train. The Trans Canada Limited (TCL) was introduced just as the Roaring ‘20s crashed into the Great Depression. The result – the train ran only one season before being discontinued and the cars re-purposed to other trains. These cars represent a significant part of the CPR heavyweight fleet, and with modifications and re-buildings, served through the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and early 60s.

Your convention nametag will allow unlimited access to the museum and rail cars during the days of the convention.


Sullivan Mine and Powerhouse

Sit back and enjoy the comfort of a guided motor coach on a short journey to Kimberley where you will switch and ride the rails through the Mark Creek valley. You will learn the history of Kimberley, the Sullivan Mine, and about life as a miner.

While in the Underground Interpretive Centre, you will listen to a miner guide describe hard rock mining and demonstrate some of the equipment used in the Sullivan Mine. You will then visit the Mine Powerhouse which features the huge compressors and generators that powered the mine. Board the train again to learn more about Kimberley and enjoy scenery and glimpses of occasional wildlife as you travel back to the station.

Once back at the station, remember to explore the Orpheum Theatre, the North Star Schoolhouse, the Miners Cabin and the Caboose as part of your adventure into history.


Railway History Centre – Down ‘n’ Dirty Tour
****Full - Wait list created ****

This tour is designed for those SERIOUS modellers that want to get down from the platforms and vestibules and focus on the details of the exterior of the cars. The museum has graciously given permission to get down in the dirt to record details of the cars with a camera, note pad and tape measure.

Museum board members as well as members of the local Railway Club have volunteered to act as tour guides. This tour will be limited in numbers and will only be available once or possibly twice depending on interest. There is no charge for this once in a life time opportunity, but please remember you must sign up for a ticket on your registration form if you are interested in getting Down ‘n’ Dirty.

Friday, May 31, 2019 at 1-2 pm and 2-3pm. This tour is now full. Any new registrations will be added to a wait list.


The tour will require the physical agility necessary to get down and back up, and to crawl around under the cars, quite literally, in the dirt.



Layout Tours

We have eight personal layouts available to visit while attending the Convention and one pre-convention location south of Calgary for those travelling from the East. More details and directions for the personal layouts will be made available in your registration kit.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 9:00 am to 6:30 pm

DeWinton Station Garden Railroad (indoor, Pre-convention)
For description, contact info and directions from Calgary go to www.dewintonstation.com. To continue on to the Convention, we recommend you go directly to Okotoks “or Turner Valley” then Black Diamond and south on Hwy #22 to the #3 Hwy at Lundbreck Falls AB. Continue west on Hwy #3 to Cranbrook. The drive via Millerville to Turner Valley and Black Diamond is scenic and about the same distance just be certain to fill your tanks in Calgary as stations are far between if your fuel levels are low.


Thursday, May 30, 2019 1-4 pm

This session includes 4 layouts at 3 locations in Cranbrook within a short walking distance of each other. Parking is also available at each location.

Pacasmayo Railroad
12’ x 19’ Peruvian, HO Scale
Kootenay Central (CP)
5.5’ x 13’ Canadian, HO Scale
Brookville Sub
10’ x 22’ Canadian, HO Scale
14’ x 10’, HO Scale


Friday, May 31, 2019 1-4 pm, 1-5 pm

There are 4 layouts (2 outdoor, 2 indoor) available for viewing Friday afternoon. No registration is required.

East Kootenay Live Steam (outdoor)
32’ x 80’, 7-1/2 scale, includes a Cli-Shay and C-Liner built from scratch. Located in North Cranbrook approximately 10 minute drive from the Convention Centre. Open 1-5 pm
10’ x 12’ multi level layout (indoor)
Bottom level is the Bark Shanty Tie & Timber Railroad (HO logging); mid level is HO – no specific road; and the top level is the Denver Rio Grande Western Colorado steam HO/N3. Approximately 25 minute drive from the Convention Centre. Open 1-5 pm
Gauge One Live Steam (outdoor)
245’ includes American and British Roads and Scandanavian buildings. Approximately 35 minute drive from the Convention Centre. Open 1-4 pm
Columere Pacific (indoor)
23’ x 23’, HO scale. A scenic drive to Columbia Lake approximately 1 hour from the Convention Centre. Open 1-4 pm Note: this layout is only 10 minutes from Fairmont Hot Springs.


More information coming soon....

Preliminary Clinic Information

Clinic Topic Presenter
The Making of Johnson Landing Diorama Dale Sproule, MMR
Rail: From Mill to Mainline Rob Badmington
Wiring Your Layout Kevin Rudko
Signals For Your Layout Kevin Rudko
Scratchbuilding CPR Signals Roger Walker
T.B.A. Mike Barone
T.B.A. Adolph Hungry Wolf
T.B.A. Rich Mahaney
T.B.A. Doug Burton
T.B.A. Stirling Millar
Railroad Advertising in the National Geographic Paul Hobbs
You Thought Prototype Research Might Be Fun Paul Hobbs
TTX - An Unnoticed Giant Paul Hobbs



The Convention will have full Achievement Program Evaluating, Regular Contest (both Non-Rail and Rail), and an area for Prototype Display with the following restrictions:

  1. ALL entrants in the Model contest  MUST be an NMRA member in good standing.
  2. The Photo Contests will be for prints only ( i.e. NO Slides)
  3. There will not be a Railroad Pass Contest
  4. Non-Rail Categories will be - General, Needlework, and Railroadiana
  5. A People’s Choice vote  will be available for all registered attendees.
  6. Entries that have previously won First Place in a PNR or NMRA Contest may not be entered again.
  7. NO sales will be permitted in the room.

The SPECIAL CONTEST this year will be a “THUMBS CONTEST”  based on either a piece of rolling stock (no Motive Power) or structure of the entrant’s choice. Structures must be no larger than 6”x 6”

ALL Entries for AP evaluation and/or Contest MUST be on legibly filled out NMRA Forms #901 AND #902.No exceptions. These are  available on the NMRA Website


Models may be submitted for judging in the following regular contest categories:

  1. Steam locomotive: All types of steam locomotives. Entries must be powered.
  2. Diesel and Other Locomotives: All locomotives except steam or traction, including heavy electric locomotives. Entries must be powered; multiple-unit entries must have at least one unit powered.
  3. Passenger car: All types of cars in passenger service other than cabooses, traction or maintenance of way.
  4. Freight car: All types of revenue freight cars, including express and company service cars other than M of W.
  5. Caboose: All types of cabooses, including M of W.
  6. Maintenance of Way: All types of non-revenue equipment not included in categories 3-5 above, all types of trackwork, all types of non-revenue railroad off-track vehicles.
  7. Structures: All structures, other than trackwork, without significant scenery. Scenery, if any, is not judged.
  8. Displays: All dioramas or groups of models displayed with significant scenery.
  9. Traction and Self-Propelled Cars: Self-propelled cars, and all models of electrically powered equipment except heavy electric. Models must be powered; multiple-unit entries must have at least one unit powered.

Required Forms

To enter the Model Contest, entrants must complete  separate NMRA From 901 AND 902 for every model submitted.

These forms will be collected in the Contest Log Book in chronological order with the Contest Claim Check attached. Entrants will be required to sign the claim check at the time the model is returned to them in good order at the end of the contest. Proxy entries will be accepted.

For any contest model to be formally judged, the entrant must, at a minimum, complete and submit the model with a NMRA Form 902 and or written description, depending on which category is being entered. This form may be accompanied by supplemental information, plans, photographs, etc., that the entrant feels will help the judges appreciate the model.

Failure to provide a Model Contest Entry Form will result in the model not being formally judged as part of the Model Contest. In this case, the model can still be displayed as a Showcase (display) item that will be a candidate in the Popular Vote portion of the contest, along with any other models submitted for display only.


A plaque will be awarded for Best of Show, Levity and Ingenuity. A plaque and blue ribbon will be awarded to first place winners in each category. Ribbons will be awarded for 2nd and 3rd place finishers. Honorable Mention Certificates will be awarded for models which score over 87.5 points, but do not place among the top three in any category. Models achieving 87.5 points or better will receive an Achievement Program Merit Award, regardless of what place it finishes in.

NMRA Achievement Program

Models achieving 87.5 points or better will receive an Achievement Program Merit Award, regardless of what place it finishes in. Only NMRA members in good standing are eligible to receive AP Merit Awards.

Remember that some AP certificates require some qualifying models to receive a Merit Award. This is a perfect opportunity to complete those requirements. Go to the NMRA website to view the requirements. If you have questions about the NMRA Achievement Program, contact either:

  • Jack Hamilton, MMR, PNR Achievement Program Manager
  • To Be Decided– PNR 6th Division Achievement Program Representative

Arts & Crafts Contest

All registered convention attendees and accompanying family will be eligible to participate in the Arts & Crafts Contest. The contest categories will be:

  1. General (any non-needlework art & craft: e.g. painting, drawing, sculpture, woodcarving, photomontage, etc.)
  2. Railroadiana – Same as General but must have a Railroad Motif
  3. Needlework - (same as General Kit Built, except entry is type of needlework – e.g. knitting, embroidery, needlepoint, etc.)
Required Forms

To enter the Arts & Crafts Contest, entrants must complete a separate NMRA Form 901 and 902 for each entry submitted.


Awards shall be given for first, second and third place in each category.

  • General-original, General-pattern and General-kit
  • Railroadiana-original, Railroadiana-pattern and Railroadiana-kit
  • Needlework-original, Needlework-pattern and Needlework-kit

People’s Choice Contest

All registered convention attendees will receive a ballot form in their registration packet and will be eligible to participate in the Popular Vote Contest. All contest models, photographs, trains, craft items and display-only items are eligible for the popular vote and will be identified with a numbered tag for this purpose.

Modules will be considered to be models in the Popular Vote Contest.


A Popular Best of Show plaque will also be awarded for the item that receives the most votes regardless of category.

In Summary

We hope the above contest opportunities encourage all convention attendees to participate in at least one contest. Certainly everyone can participate in the People’s Choice Contest just by completing and submitting their ballots. For those who do not wish to enter any of the formal contests, we ask you to bring and display examples of your craftsmanship for the mutual pleasure of all attendees.

Jim Little, MMR
Contest Chair

Non-Rail Program

The Non-Rail room is open to all registered convention attendees. Please always wear your Convention ID name tag.

The Non-Rail program is going to be fun! We are going to have many entertaining projects for you to participate in as well as the usual relaxing puzzles, book exchange, colouring pages and cards. We will be having a Movie night on Thursday evening and Bingo night Friday evening. Bring your sewing machine or your knitting needles to work on your own projects if you’d like!

We are planning a “High Tea” on Friday afternoon. (Cost tba) In order to attend this High Tea, we must dress in our finest outfits, gloves optional….. oh just kidding!  Wear whatever you like but you might enjoy making a “Fascinator” on Thursday and a glittering broach to compliment any outfit (small fee)!

We are thinking about a road trip out to the town of Kimberley for a little shop hopping and self-pay lunch on Saturday. There are wonderful Tours (Pay) in the works. Hopefully they won’t interfere with our in-house fun too much!

The Arts and Crafts Contest is open to all convention registrants! Entries can be turned in during the scheduled contest room hours (see program for exact times). The results will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. Check the Contests page for rules and forms.


Kootenay Express 2019 Registration


Full Fare:  $139.00/person

Includes convention, train show, Meet & Greet ice cream social, clinics, layout tours, contests and unlimited access into the Railway History Centre in Cranbrook

NMRA Rail Pass: $20.00  6-month membership for all Full Fare non-NMRA Canadian members

Companion/Youth: $65.00/person - Accompanying Full Fare registrant, as per above list of activities

Banquet: $38.00/person - buffet dinner


Guided Bus Tour: $49.00/person - Sulivan Mine and Powerhouse, Kimberley, BC

Railway History Centre:  N/C -  Down ‘n’ Dirty tour, Cranbrook, BC  (special interest access to study train details – you must register ahead of time as numbers are limited)


High Tea: $25.00/person – all registrants are welcome

Online Registration and Payment now available - Click Here


Download the Registration Form

Mail the form to:
Kootenay Express 2019, c/o Lori Sebelley, 44694 Ashbury Place, Chilliwack, BC   V2R 2Y6
Make cheque or money order payable to Kootenay Express 2019


Kootenay Express 2019 Committee

Title Position Email
Ed Molenkamp Chairperson, Advertising
Lori Sebelley Registrar, Advertising
Dave Robinson Treasurer
Larry Sebelley Prototype
Brian Stokes Clinics
Jim Little Contests
Eugene Kits Website
John Martin 7th Div. Liaison
Sandra Lusk Layouts
John Koob Public Show
Suzy Madsen Non-Rail Program
Rob Badmington Advertising
Doug Burton AP Coordinator