Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Colorado (Model) Railroading

Harry Brunk's model of the Georgetown Loop on his UC&N RR in Cheyenne. Platforms allowing viewing from different angles.
Over the last week, my wife and I have been in Colorado. Quilt Colorado, an annual was being held in Longmont this year so we decided to go. I told her that I could probably find something to do while she was enjoying her convention. As it turned out, I found a lot to do. The first day I traveled up to Cheyenne, Wyoming where Harry Brunk's fabulous Union Central & Northern Railroad now resides. It is on a second floor of the old Union Pacific depot and is being nicely restored. If anybody is not familiar with the UC&N, the books Up Clear Creek on the Narrow Gauge 1 and 2 can provide you with plenty of material to digest.
One of many small scenes in Blackhawk on the UC&N. These structures were
The layout was removed from the trailer in which it lived and was spread out with larger aisles and additional sections being added. Eventually, the railroad will extend all the way down to Golden including a Beaver Brook scene. I was told that Harry comes up to Cheyenne occasionally to help out with the work. It was really great for me to see a railroad whose construction I have followed for the last 20-30 years.
   On the way back from Cheyenne, I stopped in at the Greeley Freight Station Museum. It contains a very well-done model
Wider aisles allow better viewing of large scenes like Idaho Springs shown
railroad which occupies about 5,500 square feet. I am a little skeptical of museum type layouts but this one was done to a high standard complete with mini-scenes and very realistic scenery, bridges and rolling stock. There is a "club" which consists of volunteers who run the museum and explain things to the public. They also get to operate the railroad on certain days of the month. Set in 1975, the railroad can accommodate 85-car trains. It's worth a visit if you are in the area.
An overall view of the Oregon Central & Eastern, the freelanced railroad in the Greeley Freight Station Museum. 
The next day I journeyed to Colorado Springs and visited some of the Colorado Midland and D&RG related sites. Visiting Palmer Lake was something I had wanted to do for some time. I was also able to get some photos of some structures which might find a place on the S&C. All in all, I did manage to find something to do.