Denver's RailRoads — Phase One

Branches from Denver to Golden & Black Hawk

and the 7 Track Grand Junction Return Loop

Phase One Progress

For an up to date report on the progress of this phase, check out our new Blog page.

Phase One Progress to December 2016

Five of the 7 return loop tracks were actually built in 1983 in Wellington, New Zealand, as part of the first Denver's Railroads layout. They have since been moved, first to Brisbane and now to Townsville in North Queensland, Australia and increased to the 7 tracks in today's layout.

Both Denver Union Station and Rio Grande's North Yard were also built as part of that first layout but have since had their tracks torn up and removed to make way for the new layout.

The Golden Branch (including the Coors Brewery) was built as a separate stand alone DC layout, based on the Argentine Central Railroad, while I lived in Brisbane. Since moving the layout to Townsville they have been incorporated into the larger DCC Denver's Railroads layout and the Argentine Central branch has been altered and re-positioned as the D&RGW Aspen Branch.

Q1-Q3 2017 Action

As of January 2017 all of the 7 return loop tracks are complete and all 12 Peco turnout motors have been installed and wired to a diode-matrix controlled control panel.

The main line between the 7 track return loop and Glenwood Springs (where there is currently a temporary connection to Denver Yards) and the Denver Yards are almost complete.

The Golden and Coors branches are installed and wired to the DCC track bus. All of the Peco turnout motors have been installed and the rotary switches and push buttons on the control panel.

The testing of all of the instaled  Peco turnouts and the installation of Tam Valley Frog Juicers where there are electrical problems.

Q4 2017 Action

Completion of the main line from the 7 track staging yard to the Wye at D&RGW's North Yard.This will enable the test running of trains up to 50 cars in length. A single 100 car train could be run.

2018 Goals

Completion of the BUS wiring and the turnout wiring between Glenwood Springs/Golden Branch/Black Hawk Branch and D&RGW's North Yard.

Completion of the trackage from Aspen to the mine branches.

The painting and ballasting of the main line track between the return loop and Glenwood Springs and the track around Golden.

Commencement of kit building for Golden's industries.

Commencement of the scenery surrounding Golden and Idaho Springs.

Phase 1 . . .

Era: 1934 (end of Prohibition) to 1969

There are a number of parts to this phase:

  1. A seven track Grand Junction return loop (holding a total of 369 40' boxcars), representing all of the railway tracks that lead out of Denver, and Glenwood Springs, including a small yard and three industries.
  2. The C&S branch line from Denver to Golden, CO and the Coors Brewing Company.
  3. The C&S branch line extensions to Idaho Springs and Black Hawk.
Once complete this phase can also be operated as the 1930's steam era Clear Creek Railroad stand alone layout as well as part of the 1950/1960s Denver's RailRoads.

Phase One Track Plan

C&S Branch from Denver to Golden and Idaho Springs

This section is based on the Colorado & Southern Railroad (C&S).

C&S Branch to Black Hawk


Seven Track Return Loop