It has been a few weeks since we lost our dear friend Mike McGrattan, and I would now like to share with you a plan to provide the N Scale members of Railwire with a way to honour him appropriately, and also for members to communicate their thoughts to the family. This plan has been developed in partnership with fellow RW member Geoff Gooderham (Angus Shops), RW administrator Gary Hinshaw, and Jason Shron of Rapido Trains who was Mike's employer. I have shared the plan with Mike’s family and they have given their approval.
This plan stems in part from a childhood experience of mine in the UK when my father took me to watch Sir Winston Churchill's funeral train pass by, and in part from my participation in the adventures of Little Puddy, an N Scale boxcar which Mike sent around the world in 2006-2010 via fellow forum members on the now defunct Scale Rails Online.
The plan is to assemble a special three-car passenger train comprising the following cars painted in CPR tuscan livery:
1. a baggage car (and possibly a sleeper) from Rapido Trains, in honour of his employment with that firm and his involvement in their N Scale passenger car projects;
2. a single window coach from Geoff Gooderham, a project produced especially for Mike as it was something he had wanted, and had pleaded for in his tagline;
3. a Micro-Trains business car from Lowell Smith, named MICHAEL MCGRATTAN in the tradition of many railways naming business cars after certain individuals.
This train will circulate among Railwire members in Canada and the United States, providing them with an opportunity to run the special train on their N Scale layout behind their own power, take photographs, and post the pictures to a dedicated forum thread recording the train's travels.
The train will be accompanied by a book of condolences in which RW members can record their memories and thoughts about Mike. At the conclusion of the train's travels, the three cars, the book of condolences, and a printout of the forum thread chronicling the train's travels will be presented to the family as a keepsake.
Geoff Gooderham has undertaken to paint and decal the consist, and the first two cars are now in progress. We are just waiting for the Rapido car at this point in time.
I will undertake to organize the train's travels, and we are aiming to start the train's travels in July. As Mike's Puddington Valley Division was set in the interior of British Columbia after he lived and worked here for a few years, we thought it appropriate that the train will begin and end its journey here in B.C. We would aim to complete the train's journey by June 2017.
If you are interested in participating in this venture as described above, I will ask you to register your interest with me via PM by no later than June 30. At that point in time I will create a schedule for a logical tour across Canada and the United States. To participate I will require the following information from you:
1. Your First and Last Name
2. Your Mailing Address
3. Your Telephone Number
4. Your Email Address
5. Your Railwire Name
6. Your Layout Name if you have one
Your information will be kept confidential and will not appear online. I will need to provide your name and address to the person before you on the tour so they can send you the train and book. You will be responsible for the cost of mailing the train and book on to the next participant, and doing so in a timely fashion.
I trust that this venture will provide our membership with an appropriate way to honour our dear departed friend, and that it will help foster a sense of community among our members.
I will post photographs of the consist once it is complete and ready for travel. Photographs of all subsequent layout visits should be posted to this thread.
I wish to recognize and thank Geoff Gooderham for his participation in this project including donation of a single window coach and preparation of the consist. I also wish to recognize and thank Jason Shron and Rapido Trains for their donation of cars and support for this project.