D&RGW Platte Canyon Subdivision

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
The Rio Grande Platte Canyon Subdivision is a fictional portion of the Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW)railroad set in the early Fall of 1965. The Platte Canyon Spur extends west into the mountains from a break point just south of Sedalia, Colo, on the Joint Line. Joint Line traffic includes trains from Santa Fe (ATSF) and Colorado Southern (CB&Q) as well as the Rio Grande. Most Platte Canyon Spur traffic is from the mountain coal mining district the spur was constructed to reach, but mining towns and small customers along the route are served by the railroad as well. Coal loads travel to Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I) in Pueblo and electrical power generating plants along the Joint Line to Denver.

The railroad is modeled in HO scale. It's a small layout that has roughly 4.5 scale miles of track and covers about 20% of our full basement. Staging consists of three yards that operationally represent points North, South and West of Sedalia, Colo. Each yard has four tracks. The Upper or "north" staging yard sits atop the south yard while the west yard is a stand alone. Train detection was required for the yards since they're hidden during normal operations (see pg 4 for staging/train indication pics).

Recently, an older MRC DCC system was upgraded to a Digitrax Super Chief system for train control. The improvement has been incredible!

While the layout is basically complete, we still have several planned projects, the largest of which is signaling. There's also scene super detailing and scenery refinements to do.

Thanks for taking the "virtual visit"!


F3 at CF&I's Split Rock Mine #4.
101955571.jpg


Empty coal drag rumbles toward the Joint Line from Denver's Cherokee Station power plant.
105893342.jpg


GP30's struggle upgrade with a load of Platte Canyon coal bound for Martin Drake in Colorado Springs.
104531973.jpg


Mountain meet! This railfan found himself in the right place at the right time. The long, rugged hike in was worth the effort.
105893231.jpg


Eastbound coal train on the Platte Canyon Spur.
105898494.jpg


Southbound freight crew waits for train orders as a Northbound blurs by.
105898496.jpg


ATSF power at Sedalia, Colo
105898489.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
A couple more pics...

Company switcher shuffles hoppers at Cherokee Station.
105899279.jpg


F3/F7 ABBA consist south of Sedalia, Colo.
105899282.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Hi grande man, and welcome. I was to your site, but I'll have to return to it tomorow, too close to the witching hour now. Well what can I say, the trackwork, the models the scenery and presentation, just doesn't come any better, looks realistic and believable. I have one question though, in the first photo that fence, would you like to tell us how you did that. Has to be one of the best I seen yet.
Cheers Willis
 

Lady_Railfan

House Mother, Cheerleader
Fabulous layout AND photography! I had to keep blinking to be sure I wasn't looking at real photos of railroading days gone by. Welcome aboard!!
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Thanks for the positive comments. My little boy and I have had a wonderful time building and running trains on the Platte Canyon Sub. Model railroading has been such a bright spot in our lives and it's great to know others can enjoy it via the web.

As for the fence, it's a Builders in Scale kit. The "chain link" is like a mesh hairnet material. Here's a straight camera angle shot of the fence, the pic of the F3 was at somewhat of an angle.

105899699.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

B_Kosanda

Member
Nice looking layout Grande. Do you have a layout picture we can see? I'd like to get a look at the track plan.

Bill
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
B_Kosanda said:
Nice looking layout Grande. Do you have a layout picture we can see? I'd like to get a look at the track plan.

Bill
Hi Bill. The layout is a small one. It's basically a 4x14' main table that we moved to our new home last summer that houses a heavily modified Atlas track plan that we ran for several years. I was in the frame of mind to scrap everything and start over, but my 10 year old wasn't to keen on that so we added on to it and went with a shelf type addition that's anywhere from 12" to 30" in width. Actually, for the room we had, the modified Atlas plan is good, save the tight radius curves. What we ended up with basically has outside dimensions of 14x10' but the side parallel to the main benchwork only extends 10' from the back wall so a diagonal section connects it back in to the main benchwork. A new section of track runs behind and then under the main setion and emerges on the opposite side where the mine scene is located. There's a duckunder and staging is (will be) on three levels behind the backdrop. Grades are steep, but what the heck, this is mountain railroading! The climbs actually add to the illusion, IMHO. Here's ho hum pic of the overall layout as best I could fit it in. Please excuse the loose insulation on the HVAC duct and construction junk laying around (this pic was taken some months ago). :eek: I really hate this pic because perspective really isn't a good thing when you're modeling a western open expanse in a corner of a basement! :D With a small railroad you have to view a scene in front of you and if you turn 90 degrees imagine that you're a great distance from where you were. We did manage to keep the scenes separated well. The town has view block scenery so there's no "around in circles" feeling while running trains.

105159650.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I have a Scale Structures LTD. chain link fence kit, I hope it turns out like that one! And I love that overhead view, looks like its occuping!
Josh
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
jbaakko said:
I have a Scale Structures LTD. chain link fence kit, I hope it turns out like that one! And I love that overhead view, looks like its occuping!
Josh
I hope your fence turns out better. :)

When you build that knock out layout someday I'll be chomping at the bit for pics!
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Wow! back again. thanks for the links, that sure is one honey of a kit, best looking chain link I've seen so far. There's a how to build it chain link fence somewhere in the posts by a member here that looked excellent also. I'm not ready for fencing yet but gathering ideas for when I am. You and your son have built a fantastic, realistic looking model railroad. That overall view is great for seeing the big picture and I hope you will be posting more close up photos of the various scenes I'm sure they're appreciated by all.
BTW, have you thought about entering your photos in the monthly photo contest. Well it's more for fun than an actual contest, and if you get one vote or ten it really doesn't matter as members vote on what they like, not quality or subject matter. :D It's just a fun thing, myself I enter photos just to participate. LOL most times I don't even vote for my own :eek:
Cheers Willis
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
CBCNSfan said:
Wow! back again. thanks for the links, that sure is one honey of a kit, best looking chain link I've seen so far. There's a how to build it chain link fence somewhere in the posts by a member here that looked excellent also. I'm not ready for fencing yet but gathering ideas for when I am. You and your son have built a fantastic, realistic looking model railroad. That overall view is great for seeing the big picture and I hope you will be posting more close up photos of the various scenes I'm sure they're appreciated by all.
BTW, have you thought about entering your photos in the monthly photo contest. Well it's more for fun than an actual contest, and if you get one vote or ten it really doesn't matter as members vote on what they like, not quality or subject matter. :D It's just a fun thing, myself I enter photos just to participate. LOL most times I don't even vote for my own :eek:
Cheers Willis

Willis, here's my photo contest pic, hope I submitted it correctly. One thing I have to keep in mind as a limiting factor is my el cheapo $150 Sony Cybershot camera. It's great for the money but lacks depth of field. Some of the pics posted are shot from a distance at 4M and then cropped in an effort to overcome some of the camera's deficiencies.That can make it harder to get the camera angles I'm after though. Maybe one day I can cough up the $$$ to get something better.


And a shot of some hobos hanging out by a real "end of train device". :D
101955540.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
You're doing great with that camera! I has no focal set lengths or marco mode? Od for a sony, normaly it will allways have focal length's on a sony... keep taking pics!
Josh
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Golly! nothing wrong with those photos, I have an el cheapo Cannon Power Shot A40, I'll probably learn to make better use of it sometime.
Cheers Willis
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hey guys, I didn't mean to sound like I'm knocking the camera. It's great for the money. It's just that it doesn't have an aperature adjustment. Small aperature, higher exposure time is what I've been told I need for increased field of view. For a point and shoot, the Sony great. I guess I'm just spoiled by the photography in Model Railroader magazine and these forums.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top