John Short's
Denver and Rio Grand Western
May 15, 2005

The Denver and Rio Grand Western is an HOn3 layout built to represent the D&RGW as it appeared in 1948.  The layout occupies a 13' x 22' space in the basement, and is controlled by conventional cab control with five PFM-style sound systems, two of which were built by Gordon North.  Scenery is complete on 90% of the layout, and environmental sounds are included.  The Durango Yard is a focal point of the layout, and includes a scratchbuilt model of the Durango Roundhouse, which was featured in the Narrow Gauge Gazette.  The turntable is controlled by a NYRE turntable controller, eliminating guesswork when aligning the turntable to it lead tracks.

Construction of the railroad has been ongoing for some time with the help of John's friends. They have done an exceptional job.  The backdrop depicts wonderful clear skies that you only see high in the mountains.  His scenery flows into the backdrop superbly it's hard to see where one ends and the other starts.  The scenery is finished with the exception of an area around the helix and is first rate.  The structures, bridges, mountains and trees all blend together to produce a layout that is much more than the sum of its parts.   The sub-road bed is made up of splines.  Homasote covers the splines to which John has handlaid code 55 HOn3 track.  The railroad operates via DC cab control, but this will transition to DCC.

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