About the Niagara Frontier Region (NFR)

The Niagara Frontier Region (NFR) is one of 17 regions of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA). The NFR has members on both sides of the Canada/ United States border. In Canada the region serves the Province of Ontario (Except the area west of Thunder Bay). In the United States the NFR serves parts of Western New York State and a strip of Pennsylvania (from Erie, PA north along the New York State Border). The Region is further divided into 8 divisions to better serve the local membership.

History of the NFR

The NMRA’s Eastern Regional Organizational Chairman in 1947 was Wilbur E. Hare. His job was to assist regions in his part of the country to organize. Members of the Buffalo, Hamilton, Rochester and Toronto clubs petitioned the NMRA to form such a region and, at the Executive Meeting at the Oakland National Convention in August, a Charter was granted to the Niagara Frontier Region. The Region was granted all territory within a radius of 150 miles of Buffalo NY. The only restrictions placed on the conduct of Regions, as affirmed at that meeting, was that it conform to the NMRA practice and By-Laws.

The Niagara Frontier Region of the National Model Railroad Association was organized during the weekend of October 25-26, 1947. The Buffalo Model Railroad Club hosted the convention. On Saturday, they toured the DL&W’s coal dumper at the Buffalo Harbor dock and the company’s engine terminal facilities. After the banquet, the New York Central invited regionaires to view the operation at three key signal towers that handled the movement of the New York-Chicago traffic.

Meanwhile, operation at the O gauge Buffalo Model Railroad Club continued unabated all hours of the day and night, with one notable exception. Sunday’s business meeting started with a simple ceremony at a locomotive control cab in the club’s layout room. Traffic was suspended briefly while Wilbur E. Hare presented the Charter to Albert J. Kamm, the temporary chairman.

Al Kamm had already served as NMRA President and Vice-President, and was a founder, Vice-President and President of the Buffalo Club. He chaired the meeting that adopted the first NFR Constitution and elected its first executive:

President: Adrian “Doc” Buyse, a founder and former President of the Model Railroad Club of Rochester, editor “emeritus” of the NMRA Bulletin, former President and Secretary of the NMRA.

Vice-President: Albert J. Kamm.

Secretary: Borden Lilley, co-organizer of the Model Railroad Club of Toronto, holding office there since its founding in 1938.

Treasurer: Keith Doan, former officer of every kind in the Kodak City Model Railroad Association.