THE D&RGW - FOOTHILLS BRANCH
Since we live in the foothills a few miles west of Denver and 2000 feet higher this presented unique opportunities for a garden railroad. The first challenge would be no garden for the trains to run through because of elk and deer herds passing through many times per year. This layout takes advantage of what Mother Nature provided me with, such as sloping uneven mountain terrain. Thirty five feet of trestles and 25 feet of bridges were needed for the layout.
This railroad is visually unique due to the view from the track side layout. The view includes looking across a valley for 10 to 20 miles and includes peaks that are 12,000 ft, 13,000 ft and Mt Evans at over 14,000 ft. These mountains are covered in snow for 8 months of the year.
When I designed this layout in 2002, it was important to me that the layout was not overrun with structures. I have a few scratch built replicas of mines and stations from the Colorado early narrow gauge days. The structures are all railroad oriented. Between the structures visitors are able to enjoy the trains going through open spaces with great views.
This layout is extremely unique. Probably one of only a few layouts in the United States with spectacular views.