Du Reel Au Miniature or “From Real to Miniature” is a hidden gem in New Brunswick, Canada. My wife suggested we go on a little shopping trip and to sweeten the deal she suggested a stop at a spectacular train bridge. I did a quick search on the Internet for “edmundston, nb trains” and the first hit was a CBS news article on a gentleman in Edmundston who has turned his passion for trains into his life’s work. A quick check of the map and we were off!
The website; http://www.dureelauminiature.com/ is mostly in French but there is an English section to give you an idea of what this place is about. The owners, Guy and Géraldine LaForge, describe the place as a Railway Interpretation Centre. They promise an interesting exhibit, lots of railway nostalgia and a large, 900 square foot HO Scale layout. Nothing special happened on the trip and we arrived at the location with no issues. Easy to find. We pulled into the parking lot and saw that there was a large building and several smaller buildings on the property. We got out of the car and were greeted by Guy and one of his hired students, I think his name was Joel.
They explained that Guy was going to hang back and let the student lead the exhibit as this was his first time. As we stepped into the large building he explained that it was intended to represent an engine shed. All materials used on the site are recycled as Guy feels that his generation and the generation before him have ruined the earth. The exhibit this year is a retrospective on the tools and techniques the railway men used through history to do the carpentry work needed to build a railway. The student did an amazing job with all the items on display, explaining each one to us in detail. He must have been nervous for his first time and English was not his first language. He did a great job with lots of enthusiasm.
They then showed us a couple of other attractions but I won’t ruin it for you, there are a few fun surprises. Guy showed us his plans for the future and took us to show us the miniature railway that runs over a kilometer through his property. It is capable of carrying a number of passengers to show off his beautiful place.
We then went into the basement of his home where he has a reception centre with chairs and showed us a brief video. Guy’s passion for railroads shone through in every word he said. Then came time for the HO Scale layout. This was what I was really interested to see and shared with Guy my own passion for trains and model railroading. I will let the pictures speak for themselves as I post them below. The layout is over 900 square feet in size and features many places where the details are amazing. It takes six people and three computers to do a full operating session on his layout.
Guy, his wife and the three students are warm, welcoming people. An asset to the hobby and to the tourist industry in New Brunswick. These links will get you more information: