I model the DENVER & RIO GRANDE WESTERN RAILROAD in On3 (1/48th scale) on October 17, 1937 at 4:00 p.m. with a focus on the yards at Chama, New Mexico! I selected the D&RGW to model since I enjoyed the variety of topography it provided and the narrow gauge because it could be modelled in On3 in the space I had. I decided to model the 1937 era that had not yet introduced the Flying Herald and was a period still suffering from the depression years. This justified the weathering of my models. I chose October 17, because the fall in Colorado is spectacular with Aspens contrasting against the Pines and 4:00 pm... well, why not?
The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad ran in both the states of Colorado and New Mexico. The line from Chama to Antonito criss-crossed the state's borders.
I began building my D&RGW layout in 1982 in my basement, a year after building my home. The basement was finished in drywall with a T-bar ceiling, lighting and carpeting. After developing several layout designs, I selected the one that maximized the space that I had, still leaving room for the family recreation room. That solution was a shelf layout around the room with an island peeled out at each end. Chama, New Mexico, was at one end of the "point-to-point" and Pagosa Springs, Colorado, at the other. Pagosa Junction was represented at a wye where the main line split, one line going to Pagosa Springs and the other headed into Black Canyon.
Over the years my layout was photographed and published in the Bulletin, Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette. Unknowingly I had begun preparation for my MMR. The layout was substantially finished in 1996 and then was taken down and distributed among several friends. I decided to build a new loop layout the following year with the knowledge and skills developed from the previous layout. For me, the "journey" was the joy, not the final layout. This new layout also represents Chama, NM. Most structures and cars are scratch built and the track is hand laid. Hand painted background murals and scenery represent the Colorado and the New Mexican countryside. All the work you see is mine.
After rejoining the NMRA , I was soon encouraged by friends, Bill and Mary Miller, to submit my efforts to the NMRA Achievement Program. I achieved eight Achievement Programs in one year to earn MMR #300 (Cars, Structures, Scenery, Prototype, Civil, Electrical, Volunteer and Author). I am a founding member of the Canadian Association Railway Modellers (CARM) having developed the architecture of the association, graphics and web site and earning the CRC #1 certificate of accomplishment.