My First Layout- The Colorado and Southern in 9x5

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauges' started by southparkline1, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    I have been working on this layout for about a year now and it is about halfway complete. This is my first attempt at building a layout. It is in Hon3 and uses code 70 micro-engineering track. The layout represents the Colorado and Southern in the late 1930's and all equipment will be based off the C&S equipment towards the end of service on the South Park Line. The track plan includes an upper mainline with 4% grades and a lower mainline with 1% grades. Specific areas being represented are the main yard at Como (very condensed because of space restrictions), Forks Creek, and Central City (freelanced). The layout is not completely accurate because of space restrictions and I added a tunnel which I have dubbed Alpine Tunnel even though Alpine Tunnel shut down in 1910. Included in the layout are the Georgetown Loop high bridge as well as steep prototypical 4% grades which provide plenty of operating challenges. All track is operating and built except for the Central City spur and the Roundhouse trackage in Como.
    Here is a a rough drawing of my track plan:
    My rolling stock consists of:
    Locomotives: Key Imports C&S 2-6-0 #9, C&S 2-8-0 #58, Blackstone D&RGW C-19 346 (was leased to the C&S 1935-1937), and the shell of PFM 2-8-0 #65 which I intend to eventually rebuild.
    6 Gondola's all by Micro-Trains
    3 Reefers by Micro-Trains
    1 Stock Car
    4 Boxcars by labelle, Grandt line, scratch built and I plan to add at least 3 more
    1 C&S coach #70 by A.W. Enterprises
    1 Combine #26, scratch built, aquired from ebay
    1 caboose #1006 by Balboa
    2 Flat cars by Micro Trains
    1 C&S Rotary 99201, being scratchbuilt from an Alco Rotary by Walthers
    C&S #9
    Stock Car 7125
    Scratchbuilt Boxcar #8349 and Combine #26 linked at bottom
    More to Come

    Attached Files:

    • 126.jpg
      File size:
      44 KB
    • 128.jpg
      File size:
      54.9 KB
  2. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Here are some photos of the actual layout:
    Both Tracks in the foreground are the upper mainline, Central City will be located in the open space behind the two tracks.
    The main storage area on the Layout, due to space restrictions the roundhouse will only be 4 stalls instead of the prototypes 6 and the coaling trestle would not fit. The Roundhouse trackage has not been layed yet besides the turntable.
    The Forks Creek Area. My workbench is in the background
    The high bridge is operational but still requires dummy bridge footings and cross bracing. The bridges in the background are based off the twin bridges at Romney on the Gunnison line.
    The only part of the layout that has basic landscaping added is the "highline" portion which is a blended combination of Alpine Tunnel's west approach and Boreas Pass. My layout room doubles as a playroom for the children in my family, which is the reason for the toys in the background.
    Next I will upload photos of a two engine train over the upper mainline.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2012
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I can see a wide variety of great photo possibilities for the time when scenery is done.
  4. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Here is a run of a two engine mixed freight over the line.
    The consist is:
    2-6-0 #9 is the road engine
    2-8-0 #346 is the helper
    2 Gondola's
    2 Reefer's
    1 Boxcar
    Combine #26
    Caboose #1006
    Here is the train ready to depart Como
    The train begins its battle with the 4% grade. The Combine actually doubles as a track cleaning car but I have removed the cleaning pad for this run, because of this the combine lacks underbody detail. It also needs to be lettered. The bridge still needs cross bracing.
    #9 edges onto the highline as the little mogul struggles up the 4%. #9 is a rebuilt Key imports model and it is almost as reliable as the blackstone C-19. It actually has more pulling power than the C-19 on grades.
    Here #346, cut in the middle of the train, is working hard on the highline. The locomotive is a blackstone model with sound installed and you can hear the slipping of the wheels as it helps move the train up the grade. I have a ridgeway cinder catcher (Beartrap stack) that I will eventually add to the 346.
    Caboose #1006 brings up the rear of the train. The caboose still needs lettering and the Reefer needs grab-irons.
  5. Sly

    Sly TrainBoard Member

    Nice work!

    This is your first ever layout? If so, you're doing a great job. I like the division into scenes that you've managed in such a small space - the high line is made for photography.

    The track plan reminds me of the one in the first HOn3 annual, did you take some inspiration from that?

    Looking forward to seeing more photos of your progress.

  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Very nice. You'll need to spend a fortune on trees to forest those hillsides! (don't I know it!)
  7. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Yes it is my first layout, and it has been a learning process but very enjoyable to. The inspiration for the trackplan was from a model railroader trackplan book. There was an 8x4 layout with a similar trackplan and whether it was the one in Hon3 annual I do not know. The upper loop is similar but did not include a highline, which I added to add intrest. The lower loop trackage and the area based on Como are completely different. My version also has wider curves on the upper mainline since it is 9x5. Also the 2nd town on my layout "Central City" has more space for industries. There was a tunnel on that trackplan but my tunnel is in a different location and there was also a snow shed on the lower loop, but I completely redesigned the lower loop and do not have a snow shed on my layout. The main railyard at Como has more switching and storage space and I made room for a four stall roundhouse. In spirit the layout is based off of the trackplan in the model railroaded trackplan book, but it has been heavily modified to fit my needs and expanded to fit the larger 9x5 space. It is truely amazing how an extra foot of length and width can allow for more options when designing a layout, my original design was 8x4 but I decided to go a little bigger because I had the space. ( I believe I could have gone maybe to 10x6 but that would be a little to large)
    Thanks for the comments, I will post updates periodically.
  8. Grant_T

    Grant_T TrainBoard Member

    This is great for a first layout. Nice work. :thumbs_up:
  9. Avel

    Avel TrainBoard Member

    Really nice! First layout! Wow!
  10. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Here is brief update to my progress on my layout. The flash made some of the pictures I took a little bright.
    Today, with the new bridge constructed and in place,track laid, and wiring complete, my first train under its own power made its way into the freelanced Central City area. This area will eventully feature some small cabins, a coal mine and tipple, an ice house, a small depot, a freight house, and a few small stores. The track the locomotive is on is where the tipple will be located, the ice house freight and depot will be located on the track with the gondolas. The town itself will be located to the left of the trackage.

    Here is a view where the spur to Central City seperates from the mainline.
    A view of the recently constructed and installed bridge, still needing cross bracing just like my other bridges.
    I started doing some scenery work in the canyon, here is a view from the high bridge.
    And last but not least I finally installed a control panel. Before my controls were on the floor. Do to my fleet of brass locomotives and not wanting to install DCC, I decided to stick with DC power.
    The control panel has the ability to be tucked in under the table when not in use.
    Thats it for now but with all trackwork and electrical work done besides the roundhouse trackage, I should have another update by the end of the month because I tend to complete basic scenery fairly quickly.
  11. RatonMan

    RatonMan TrainBoard Member

    How about an overall picture.
  12. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Here ya go. You may notice one of the Forks Creek bridges has been disassembled, I had to do this to work on the scenery and prepare a location for the pump hose and water tower.
    003.jpg 005.jpg
  13. RatonMan

    RatonMan TrainBoard Member

    Very nice. Looks like you are moving right along.
  14. High Line

    High Line TrainBoard Member

    Very nice looking layout Alex. You mentioned the Key Imports #9 had more pulling power that the Blackstone C-19. Have you come up with a maximum amount of cars it can pull up the 4% grade?
  15. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    It depends what cars are in the consist. It can pull 4 micro trains cars fairly easily but to be prototypical I add another locomotive after 4. It can pull 5 but I don't like to strain the motor, rebuilding it once is enough work for me. When I have the combine in the consist, it can only pull one additional car because the combine is heavy because it is used for track cleaning purposes. The wooden boxcars that I have built are the lightest cars and I could imagine the #9 could pull 6+ but I only have 3 currently. The blackstone locomotive can pull about 3 cars with ease and 4 with slipping. It is fun having 4% grades because I have to double head quite often and it should be a fun challenge once I actually have industries to serve. I can't wait until I can add #58 to the active roster but I need to work on the layout before I start work on my 3rd locomotive.
    Prototypical- 4 loaded cars
    key model- about 6 cars (unless the combine is in the consist)
  16. southparkline1

    southparkline1 TrainBoard Member

    Update time!
    Long over due, but I finally have time to post an update on my layout. Things that have changed since last time: more scenery is complete, the layout is now DCC, I added another locomotive to the roster (Blackstone C-19 345), and some structures have been completed/under construction.
    Lets start with scenery.
    Basic scenery work is almost complete within the main canyon and I have started work on the Forks Creek area. My next goals will to be complete basic scenery along the entire creek, then move to Central City, and finally the Como area.

    Here is an overview, ballast is still needed and scenery work under the bridges still needs to be completed.

    A train coming up the canyon.

    The new rockface on the north fork section of Clear Creek right next to Forks Creek.

    The new rockface from Forks Creek.

    Looking at Central City from the upper track above Forks Creek.

    Plenty more to come (most likely tomorrow evening).
  17. Ironhorseman

    Ironhorseman Staff Staff Member

    It's looking very good, Alex. Thanks for the up-date. :)
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yes! Please do post more.
  19. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

  20. TrCO

    TrCO TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Very nice work indeed. Can't wait to see more progress :-D

Share This Page