The Model



I am including in this page those changes to my original RGS layout to update it to a model of the DRGW.

Much of the model railroad is the same, but I have changed the names of the various towns to be more in keeping with the DRGW as opposed to the RGS.   To do so, I have merely changed the original RGS names to made-up, fictional town or location names.   I have used Spanish for most names, and the changed name has either an opposite meaning or perhaps a similar meaning.

For example:

Ridgway on the RGS is now Cresta Via on the DRGW.

Butterfly Mine on the RGS is now Mariposa Mine on the DRGW.

Bridge 45A on the RGS is now The Long Trestle on the DRGW.

Ophir on the RGS is now Canon da Nada on the DRGW.

Lizard Head on the RGS is now Cabela de Lagarto on the DRGW.

Pro Patria Mill remains the same, since it is a very distinct structure and name.

Rico on the RGS is now Pobre on the DRGW.

You will note the wry humor (I hope) in the renaming.

I have recreated to the extent possible – within the 14 by 20 foot room that encloses my model railroad – the aura, atmosphere, and approximate surrounding of the Denver and Rio Grande Western narrow gauge in “Sn3″ scale, signifying a scale of 1/64” to the foot and narrow gauge track of 3 feet between the rails. The layout is point to point, meaning that it starts at Cresta Via, continuing through Canon da Nada, along the “high line”, over Cabela de Lagarto, and finally arriving at Pobre. Some parts are more complete than others, as will be evident from the photos. Earlier photos and videos were made with an iPhone, and the later ones with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Note that by clicking on the thumbprint photos in this website you can enlarge them and/or view them as a slideshow.


This is a scan of an original CAD drawing of the layout and its framework.  It’s the only documentation I have left showing the planning that went into the construction, which faithfully followed this plan:

RGS Layout


Layout Entry

Featuring General Superintendent “Giordi” Surveying His Kingdom


CRESTA VIA:        (Cresta)




This mine structure is a series of Ragg’s kits, changed a bit to fit into a particular space.   I will also be adding to the siding at a later date Banta’s Crick Hollow Hardware.   Although not very prototypical to have two structures such as these on the same siding, it will provide more opportunities for operations.   Some day I might actually start operating on the layout, as opposed to just running trains.   Perhaps.



This is a representation of Bridge 45A, the long trestle just before reaching Ophir on the RGS.   I have added a wood truss bridge in the middle just because I wanted to build one.   It is the longest structure of any sort that I have on my model railroad.   So far nothing has fallen from the trestle, but a slow speed restriction applies for the whole length.

 Long Trestle Web Photo


CANON da NADA:     (Nada)

You will note that some of the original Ophir structures, retaining walls, and the curved trestle have been retained.   The siding just above Ophir now has a water tank and section house, along with a miner’s hotel.   The town buildings across from the retaining walls are now where the Ophir Depot and Tram House used to be.

(Click on photo to enlarge)



 HIGHLINE:       (The High Line)




CABELA de LAGARTO:      (Cabela)





This, of course, is from the Rio Grande Southern, as produced by Bill Banta.    It was quite an interesting challenge to build, and is a spectacular structure.   The wye is tucked into the only space available, and used to turn locomotives for Pobre, the end of the line on my model.   The tunnel holds only enough track for a locomotive, but in my mind it goes through the mountain to greener pastures and faraway destinations.




POBRE:     (Pobre)

Rico/Pobre is the southernmost place I’m modeling.  Situated between the river and the town, it was a (fictional) busy division point on the (now) DRGW.

The first photo is of the original Rico, with Ragg’s engine house at the rear, in front of the mirror.  The photos below that are the first of the new structures in Pobre.   This will be the last area to be completed, once a water tank (PBL) and depot (Ragg’s Crested Butte) are added to the existing arrangement, which used to be Rico.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)




Twenty Five Cars to Pobre

Previous Layout Video:

DRGW Narrow Gauge Video

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