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Archive for February 6th, 2012

Hi Railfans,

Click on “Track Plan for the….” in this same category to see the latest version of the track plan. I have used a program called Empire Express to do the drawings. It works well on my MAC, and has as many features as I need, without being too complicated. I keep working over the plan to conform to prototype practice, as my research continues. If you have seen earlier versions of the plan, you will notice considerable changes in both yard areas. If you are looking at the plan for the first time, the total space is 23 feet by 10 feet, and the little gray squares on the plan are one square foot each. The scale is On30, which means it is O Scale (1/4″ to the foot), but runs on HO Scale track, which represents 2.5 gauge or “narrow gauge” in O Scale.

If this is the first version you are looking at, my railroad, the Denver, Durango & Silverton, will be modeled on the narrow gauge operations of the Denver & Rio Grande Western and the Rio Grande Southern in the southern part of Colorado. These narrow gauge lines flourished in the late 1800s, and gradually died out in the mid 1900s, as the resources they carried, primarily lumber and silver and gold ore, decreased. The advent of better highways to serve these areas also contributed to their demise. Some sections of the line are still run as tourist railroads, notably the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and the Cumbres and Toltec.

My railroad will model the line from Durango up to Silverton, about a 45 mile run through the amazingly beautiful Animas River Canyon. I will also have an off-line hidden return helix that will function as Denver (and possibly other destinations). Basic traffic on my line will come from Denver to the yard at Durango, and then on to the yard at Silverton. Return trips to go the other way. The locals will serve the various on-line industries, as well as taking loads and empties between Durango and Silverton. The mines and the lumber camp will be served by little 0-4-0 and 0-4-2 Porter steam engines. I also have a two truck Shay that will bring logs down to Durango from the lumber camp. Two other Porters will serve as yard goats, and the main line will be served by two 4-6-0 Moguls, a 2-8-0 Consolidation, a 4-4-0 American, and a 2-4-4 Forney. These last four will handle the local duties, and the run to Denver. These lines also carried passengers, mostly miners and tourists, so I will be using a few coaches for these.

One unusual feature of the layout will be what I am called a “roll-under”. As opposed to the traditional “duck-under”, access to the west (or right hand) side of the layout on the plan will be via some kind of a seat on rollers (rails?) that goes under the central cross-over section.

The small numbers in parentheses on the plan refer to reference photos I have in files that I will use for modeling.  See the posts on the reference photos for the various parts of the track plan.  The index here lists thing alphabetically, not chronologically, so you’ll have to create your own chronology; I’ll try to record the posting dates accurately, that may help.

I hope you enjoy looking at this, and I welcome comments.

Mark

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