Battle River
Railway Modellers

Battle River Rails 2020


BRR 2020 Registration Form

Covid 19 Update

Thanks to all who have shown interest in the 2020 Battle River Rails convention. This event has been cancelled. We are in the process of returning any registration fees to those who submitted them. We will be posting further updates as they become available.

The Battle River Railway Modellers are pleased to announce that we will be hosting the PNR 6th Division 2020 Convention, looking to build on the success of the 2010 previously held in Camrose. Layout and prototype tours have been confirmed, clinics planned and the host hotel chosen. The only thing missing now is you!

You can register by downloading the registration form and sending it back to us at Payment information is on the registration form.

Host Hotel

Le Chateau Camrose, 3911 48 Ave has been chosen for the convention venue on May 16 & 17, 2020. This is a newly renovated hotel that has a mix of premium and budget rooms. It’s well located for access to the Evraz tour and the Camrose Railway Station where the Meet’n’Greet Coffee and Registration (May 15) and the Barbeque (May 16) will be held. Reservations can be made online at or give them a call at (780) 678-4007 Hotel Website

RV Parking

For convention participants who plan to bring their RV’s to Camrose, the Exhibition Trail RV Park is only a few blocks from the convention hotel. This is a Good Sam Club park that features a selection of pull-through and back-in sites with full hookups (30-amp power), WIFI and shower and laundry facilities. Reservations can be made online at or by phoning (780) 678-2888

Prototype Tours

Heading up the prototype tours is a visit to Evraz Camrose Works, a steel mill that produces the pipe used in the oil and gas industry pipelines. This tour gives a behind the scenes look at the making of an item critical to Alberta’s economy. We are also working on another location, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet, so watch for a future announcement.

How to Clinics

We have planned 3 clinics on each Saturday and Sunday mornings. Looking to improve your skills? These clinics might give be just what you need. A full listing of the clinics will be posted as soon as they are all confirmed.

Layout Tours

Currently, four layouts are on the itinerary for tours. These include Norm Skretting’s layout that is based on the CN Clearwater Sub in British Columbia and the Okanagan Sub (although the Okanagan Sub is not modeled) and Doug Burton’s transition-era layout that is set in June 1959. To increase the opportunity to see the layouts, the layouts can be available for viewing both the day before and the day after the convention by appointment only, if there is interest.

Norm Skretting’s Layout Description

“I have used actual siding names and they are in correct geographical order, but are not accurate representations of the locations. I have also located several industries on the layout that are not there is real life, such as the cement plant at Avola and the fruit packing plant in Exlou. I did that to add to the way freight and switching possibilities. The operating scheme is based on trains that ran during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and I used a car card system for the movement of the cars. The centre of operations is Kamloops Junction where through freights and passenger trains change crews, setout local traffic and pick up traffic for east and west of Kamloops Junction. There are three local trains that originate and terminate in Kamloops Junction. All other trains originate and terminate in the staging/fiddle yard.” “The Clearwater Sub is controlled by CTC designed and built by Kevin Rudko of Signalogic Systems. This system is very prototypical and is based on Canadian signal systems. The signals can operate in a standalone ABS mode or, with the use of a laptop computer, can operate in CTC mode. All siding switches are controlled by the dispatcher, who is located in another part of the basement. All main track switches, except for siding switches, are locked and must use a key to unlock them in order to line them as required. Radios are used to communicate with the dispatcher and the Kamloops Junction yardmaster.” “The layout is powered by a Digitrax simplex radio system, so crews can follow their trains around the layout. It takes about 10 - 11 people to run trains during a regular operating session with a dispatcher, Kamloops Junction yardmaster, one (sometimes two) yard crews, staging yard yardmaster and helper and five or six pool crews. It is always enjoyable watching the layout come to life through the effortsof everyone involved. There is a lot of activity that happens in the layout rooms and I am pleased with the reality that can be acheived in such a relatively small space. The main layout room is 14x22 feet and the staging area is about 10x14 feet.”

Doug Burton’s Layout Description

Where many model railroaders struggle to get the space for a layout, Doug Burton, who is both 6th Division AP and 6th Division convention coordinator, found the answer in the open basement of a new house. While he has a large layout, he’s also combined it with a home theatre. The layout, depicting the transition era when steam and early diesel locomotives moved side-by-side on the rails, follows the exterior walls of the basement, leaving plenty of room in the middle for a theatre. Doug has painted backgrounds on the walls to add depth and perspective to the layout. The layout is controlled with Digitrax Power and operates with the JMRI software.

C.P.R. C-Liner