Rio Grande Southern

Layout Description

My On3 version of the RGS runs from Ridgway to Dolores with Matterhorn and Trout Lake in between and has the Telluride Branch extended into another room. I model the 1950 era due to the array of old worn out equipment and locomotives the RGS was using in its final years of operation.

Ridgway occupies one end of the layout room with a scale 624’ of track. My track plan allows for the complete 7-stall Roundhouse, a 60’ turntable to accommodate a K-36 needing turned for the D&RGW, and all of the yard tracks. Large cattle pens with dual loading chutes are maintained for the fall stock rush. The painted background represents the Cimarron Mountains to the East of Ridgway with distant mountains of Ouray represented in one rounded corner of the room and distant views of old Dallas in the other corner.

Leaving Ridgway the line runs out onto the High Line Bridges 46-A, 46-B, 46-E, and 46-F. All of these trestles are scale length and will have scenery 17” below and 13” above blending into the painted background mountains of the Sneffels Range. This scene occupies one 22’ side of the room and is directly across from the rooms’ removable duck-under entrance.

At the other end of the room and after coming off Bridge 46-F the track curves into Matterhorn where a siding on each side of the main supplies ore loads and B&B loads for the RGS crews. Just down the track are Trout Lake and one siding. The mountain range behind Trout Lake is painted onto the background across this end of the room. The Trout Lake Tank is located on one leg of the Dolores wye and will share its water with Dolores. Lizard Head peak, a prominent symbol of the RGS, is tucked back into the corner.

At this point the Telluride Branch takes the straight side of the wye and goes into the adjacent room through a closet. Telluride includes the station, some sidings, a turntable, a 180° curve around the 8’ end of the room to end at the Pandora Mill for ore loads and supplies for the mineworkers. A loop track back to the Wye is possible but will require a duck-under and is being studied.

Back at the Trout Lake wye, the engineer can throw the switch to the right and take the route into Dolores. Dolores occupies 15’ space and has the station, goose barn, cattle pens, in-ground coaling ramp, and several warehouses and oil facilities for the RGS to service.

Layout Stats:

Scale: On3 Length of Mainline: 140 feet
Room Size: 15' x 22 ' & 8' x 15' Maximum Grade: None
Prototype: Rio Grande Southern RR Turnout Minimum: No. 6 L&R, (3) 3-way stubs
Locale: SW Colorado Minimum Radius: 40"
Period: Fall, 1950 Scenery: Pink foam, Sculptamold, Hydrocal
Layout Style: Around the wall Backdrop: Hand-painted on 3/32" panels and sheetrock
Layout Height: 54" Control: Easy DCC
Benchwork: 2x4 frame with cantilever brace Roadbed: 1/2" Micore on 1/2" OSB on 2x2 frames
Track: Handlaid code 83/70 Operation: Stock trains, Ore, Lumber, Machinery