Denver & Rio Grande Western
- Spring Division -
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
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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