Denver & Rio Grande Western

- Spring Division -


Craig Brantley’s On3 Narrow Gauge Model Railroad

in Spring, Texas



    The D&RGW-Spring Division is a freelance Colorado railroad built to O scale (1:48), with the focus

    on 3' narrow gauge (On3).  The railroad is loosely based on the D&RGW railroad and operates

    prototype equipment, both standard and narrow gauge.


    The train room is 21’ x 32' and the layout occupies approximately 630 ft2 of the room.  After the

    track plan was drafted and revised, many times, a 1" = 1'-0" scale model was constructed of the

    room and plan.  Actual construction of the layout began on July 20, 2002.


    The track plan was designed with operations in mind with plans for hosting operating sessions in

    the future.  All towns have passing sidings and industries for switching cars.  Some of the layout's

    features include: a dual gauge main line loop around the room, a freight yard with turntable and

    engine service area, three mining towns and a six track hidden staging yard.  Plus the layout has

    two balloon loops setup to allow for continuous running (for open house).


    The narrow gauge mainline is 250 feet in length. The narrow gauge operation starts in the Durango

    yard and proceeds to Stony Creek.  From Stony Creek it runs to Rio Chama, then on to Spring. The

    engine will be turned on the turntable (passenger trains on the loop) at Spring and the train returns

    to Durango, via Rio Chama and Stony Creek. The standard gauge mainline is 85 feet in length and

    dual gauge (3-rail), which allows both standard and narrow gauge trains to operate on the same track.


    The Spring Division features DCC and sound.  DCC is provided by EasyDCC and includes wireless

    (radio) throttles. The wireless throttle allows the crew to follow their train and control the engine and

    sounds.  Phoenix Sound provides the sound. Phoenix System's DCC controls allow the crew to blow

    the whistle, ring the bell, and various other “noises” a loco makes from the wireless throttle.  Phoenix

    uses a 16-bit chip that develops very realistic sounds, which can be customized for each loco via a

    PC interface.


    What's next?  Plans for the coming year include: continuing the narrow gauge track to Stony Creek,

    then to Rio Chama, and ending at Spring.  Also, painting the backdrop and starting the scenery.

    Once track-work is completed, operations can start.  Future plans are to use RailOp software to

    generate train manifests and switch lists, and to have semi-regular operating sessions.



    Thank you for reading.



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