Upper Canada and Algonquin Railway

Hi all,

We can actually see our lawns down here in Northampton, MA! I have a few general questions, as I was not present when the route discussion took place. I understand that the UC & A is a fictional narrow gauge railroad, but I'm guessing that not only the location, but a proposed route was mapped out at some time. I downloaded the "Upper Canada" map from the website, but need further direction. Are we modeling anywhere along the Algonquin Short Line and the Upper Canada Railway? Are we connecting the two with our own proposed shore route along Georgian Bay or linking the two railroads with barge service (ie. Slocan Lake, B.C.). Fictional towns? Are we modeling late 1800's through early to mid 1900's, or a specific year (1905)? And are we concentrating on logging, or can we add fish processing, gypsum mining, etc. to the mix? Also, I don't want to step on anyone's toes, so it would be helpful to know roughly what part of the route has already been represented by the completed modules. I have a working knowledge of AutoCAD and can draw up members modules, if they post somewhat detailed measurements. That should do it til I get to the $&#*? wiring stage. Oh, are backdrops allowed? (I realize that they would have to be two-sided to allow for the orientation of the modules.

- Mase Maronn

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Hi Mase,

Some of the answers are actually found through links on this site that may be hard to find.  Rob and I have been preoccupied with a few other things lately and as a result there hasn't been much activity for a while. There is a  w_h_o_l_e  lot of stuff we want to add that will clarify what the UC&A is and hopefully paint a better picture of where we want to go and how we intend to get there.

I will get back here with more detail on the week end. In the meantime some others may chime in. See you later.




Hi Mase,

Welcome! I’ll have a go at trying to answer at least some of those questions...

Conceptually, the UC&A is an amalgamation of several smaller shortlines, and represents a network rather than a single route. As the amalgamation was relatively “recent”, some of the individual lines still retain much of their original character and lettering. This mirrors the real world Midland Rwy /Grand Trunk / CNR amalgamations.

The overall routing is rather nebulous, the better to model fictional places, although that doesn’t stop anyone from modelling a real location. The map was created to inspire and give folks a better idea of the overall concept and how their modules might fit in, rather than lock in specific places and routes. The lines on the map are mostly based on the original colonisation roads, and form what might have been feasible shortlines in our fictional amalgamated universe. Folks are free to adopt or draw from any of these, or come up with something else interesting that might fit in.

All this plays well with our idea of modular group set-ups. The focus is on serious prototype operations, with a point-to-point modular arrangement featuring a mainline, branches, and staging as necessary. Individual members can build a simple module just for group set-ups (perhaps as a distraction from a home layout in another scale), or the module can form a small switching layout at home and serve as a layout design element in group set-ups. As a home layout, the module could be UC&A, or retain its own identity as part of the “recent” UC&A amalgamation.

By way of example, my own “Keg Harbour Railway & Navigation Co” was conceived as a branch, connecting the small switching port of Keg Harbour with the narrow-gauge mainline at Blackfly. Originally an isolated logging and fishing community served by steamers on Georgian Bay, a logging line was pushed farther and farther into the bush... and eventually connected with the narrow-gauge network that came later. The light rail and bridges and sharp curves prevent large motive power on the branch, so operationally the light engines based in Keg Harbour must run turns to Blackfly where mainline trains drop and lift cars for the branch. The module serves as a switching layout at home. For group set-ups, the overall Keg Harbour Branch includes the Keg Harbour switching module, a planned Blackfly mainline junction module, and a couple curved intermediate modules to increase the run.

Keg Harbour has a backdrop at home, where it is viewed from one side, but backdrops aren’t currently part of the module standards and in set-ups the modules are generally accessed from both sides. That said, we’re pretty easy...


Rob Hupfield
General Manager,
Keg Harbour Railway & Navigation Co
A subsidiary of the Upper Canada & Algonquin Rwy


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