Factory Tours

We have added two factory tours to the schedule. They will be done only once, and will be "first come first serve", as space is limited. We ask that you sign up for the tour with the convention registrar and pay a deposit of $10 to secure your place. The $10 will be refunded when you arrive at the factory site. Individuals are responsible for their own transportation. Both tours are about a 35 minute drive from the convention center.

You may register in advance for the tours by mailing a check (payable to "40th National Narrow Gauge Convention") for $10/person/tour to Bob Lenz, 907 Parkfield Terrace, Manchester, MO 63021.

If you have any questions, call Pete Smith, 618-531-5518.

General Rules for Both Tours

No high heels or open toe shoes, no sandals or flip-flops, no weapons, no strollers, no back packs, duffel bags, or cases. Photography and videotaping is allowed.  Shirts are required. The tour is conducted in a shops environment where dust, dirt and noise will be encountered. Dress appropriately.

Gateway Rail Services, Inc.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 12 Noon – 3:00 PM Noon – tour is 3 hours long (2 hour tour plus 1 hour walk around the site and take pictures)

Gateway Rail Services performs heavy overhaul repairs to passenger rail cars for private owners as well as excursion railroads and sometimes specialty jobs for major railroads.  We will tour the rebuild, fabrication and wheel shops under actual working conditions.  The company has about 140 old passenger and baggage cars dating back to 1920’s, on its 10 tracks.  After the shops’ tour, we will be allowed to walk around the cars and take pictures. 

  • Attendance limited to 25 people. 
  • A safety meeting will be scheduled before tour starts, usually 5-10 minutes. 
  • Required:  A Waiver of Liability form will need to be signed. An adult must accompany any minor child. 
  • Safety goggles—if you have them, bring them.
  • Wear a good pair of walking shoes. 
  • The facility has limited ADA accessibility with some assistance. It is NOT wheel chair friendly due to gravel and rough ground.  Fair amount of walking involved.

Continental Fabricators

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 3:45 PM – 5:15 PM – tour is 90 minutes long

Continental Fabricators fabricates pressure vessels, towers, drums, etc.  They also have special expertise in fabricating, restoring and rehabbing steam locomotive boilers.  Presently, they are producing a new pressure vessel, a 3-½ course boiler, and smoke box for Pennsylvania Railroad T1 No.5550 4-4-4-4 steam locomotive as well as a miniature boiler for Wabash, Frisco and Pacific RR.  In 2019, they completed a new boiler for Mid-Continent Railway Museum former Chicago & NorthWestern No.1385 4-6-0, restored a boiler for U.S. Sugar Co. 4-6-2 No.148, restored a boiler for Grapevine Tourist RR No. 1344 and restored a miniature boiler for Wabash, Frisco and Pacific RR.  We will tour the fabrication shop under actual working conditions. 

  • Attendance is limited to 30 people. 
  • A safety meeting will be scheduled before tour starts, usually 5-10 minutes. 
  • Required:  Safety goggles—if you have them, bring them; regular eyeglasses with safety lens are acceptable. 
  • Earplugs are suggested as arc welding and other fabrication machinery can get loud. 
  • Wear a good pair of walking shoes. 
  • The facility is NOT ADA accessible in the shop areas as floor is rough and uneven.  The floor is neither wheelchair nor walker friendly. 
  • Breaking into smaller groups, tours will visit many interesting areas at the site.