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Denver's RailRoads Blog Page

Recording the progress of building the Denver’s RailRoads N Scale layout

All genuine posts are welcomed and will be acknowledged. Please submit your first post by email to: dennis@denversrailroads.com

Action Plan

Due to the size and complexity of the new enlarged Coors Golden branch the sequence of track laying has been changed to the following:

  1. North Yard Locomotive facilities
  2. Cargill, Alpine and RG Motorway Industries
    • Scenery can now commence for modules 7 & 8 between Utah Jct. and the Moffatt Tunnel East Portal
  3. Commerce City Industries
  4. Denver Union Stockyards
    • Ballasting and applying of scenic material for the Denver yards & Denver stockyards together with finalising the wiring and the control panels can now commence
  5. Craig Branch
    • Scenery can now commence for module 11 between the West Portal and Craig
  6. Repair the Joint Line Return Loop & South Denver Module
    • Rewiring of the control panel will be required here
  7. Denver Union Station – C&S Trackage
  8. UP Industries & small yard
  9. Ford Motor & East Denver Belt Line Lead Tracks
    • Ballasting and applying of scenic material for the DUT, Rice yard & industries together with finalising the wiring and the control panels can now commence
  10. Coors Golden Branch

Finished laying the Main Line — at last!

Finally finished installing all 7 staging tracks (holding 14 18 car trains) at the Grand Jct. return loop which means that both the Rio Grande and CB&Q/UP main lines have been installed, leaving only the track for 9 branches and industry groupings to be laid.

Removed part of the scenery divider thereby making it possible to expand the Coors Brewery trackage by 150% whilst eliminating the Glenwood Springs Industrial area which was not prototype based.

Before:

After:

Coors Brewery now has 8 separate buildings:

  • Coors Brewery Main Building
  • Power Plant
  • Brewing & Transload Operations
  • Rocky Mountain Metal Container Factory
  • Coors Porcelain Company
  • Bottling Plant
  • Distribution Center
  • East Silos Elevator

End of Year 2023 Review

Current Action through January 2024

  • Finish laying the track for the last quarter of the Grand Jct return loop and staging
  • Redraw tracks for Coors/Golden branch in CADRail
  • Change wiring to reflect direction of trains (currently wired as a loop)
  • Test and run main line trains
  • Prepare to start building kits and/or scenery
  • Finish building South Denver kits

Progress to date and 2024/25 Action Sequence

  1. Coors Brewery and Golden Branch:
    • Cork laid  
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  2. Glenwood Springs Industries: Cancelled
    • Cork laid Cancelled
    • Track laid Cancelled
    • Kits built Cancelled
  3. Craig Branch:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  4. North Yard Locomotive facilities:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Turnouts laid
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  5. Cargill, Alpine and RG Motorway Industries:
    • Cork laid  Completed
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  6. Denver Union Stockyards:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  7. Commerce City Industries:
    • Cork laid  . . . Use Kato Set-Track
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  8. Ford Motor & East Denver Belt Line Lead Tracks:
    • Cork laid
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  9. Repair the Joint Line Return Loop & South Denver Module:
    • Repair track
    • Finish building kits
    • Wire New Control Panel
  10. Denver Union Station – C&S Trackage
    • Cork laid  
    • Track laid
    • Kits built

Phase 1 Action:

Going well. As at 19th November 2023 — Progress is as follows:

  1. D&RGW North Yard Classification tracks:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Track laid Completed
  2. North Yard Locomotive facilities:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Turnouts laid
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  3. Cargill, Alpine and RG Motorway Industries:
    • Cork laid  Completed
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  4. Denver Union Stockyards:
    • Cork laid Completed 
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  5. C&BQ Classification Yard – using Kato #4 turnouts:
    • Cork laid  Completed 
    • Kato turnouts Completed
    • Track laid Completed
  6. Commerce City Industries:
    • Cork laid  Use Kato Set-Track
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  7. Grand Junction Loop:
    • Cork laid  Completed
    • Kato 19″ Set-Track Curves Just started to lay
    • Turnouts laid
    • Track laid
  8. Craig Branch:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  9. Glenwood Springs Industries:
    • Cork laid  
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  10. Coors Brewery and Golden Branch:
    • Cork laid  
    • Track laid
    • Kits built
  11. Ford Motor & East Denver Belt Line Lead Tracks:
    • Cork laid Completed
    • Track laid
  12. Repair the Joint Line Return Loop trackage

Current Progress & The Immediate Future

Action since June 27, 2023:

  1. Connected feeder wires for T428 & T429 to PD4 track and control panel
  2. Sorted out the G004/G005 track wiring confusion
  3. Cut gaps in PD4 white track as necessary
  4. Started to test run a train over PD3 & PD4, returning to North Yard over PD2 & PD5 track
    • Need to fix up to 4 or 5 black spots that prevents the train running without human assistance

Immediate Action:

  1. Fix electrical black spots on the main line loop of track that prevents the train running without human assistance
  2. Update the Denver’s Railroads (DR) website with links to sites with extensive prototype data
  3. Change the timeframe on the DR website from 1947-1969 to 1962-1972
  4. Make the track laying change as detailed under “Planning Change” below
  5. Finish building the South Denver Kits and start building the DUSTY kits
  6. Continue gluing rubber panels on garage floor
  7. Send Kato drop-in DC locos to Peter Flower for DCC installation

Planning Change:

Based on a number of operational layouts I have been viewing on YouTube of late, in order to start operations earlier than currently planned, I should build the RG North Yard and CBQ 38th Street Yard next.

This would include building the DUSTY Stockyards, Commerce City and the North Yard industries. I have sufficient stock of track, cork and turnouts to complete this task without a significant expense. There are very few operational issues in this build and once complete would enable operations by using the already laid South Denver loop track as DUT and roots south.

Once complete this would enable an Operating Freight and Passenger Layout between Denver North Yard and Grand Junction Loop & Staging Tracks.

Once complete the following urgent actions would be:

  1. Install the remaining 6 tracks of the 7 loop tracks at Grand Jct . . .
    • Install BD-20s connecting to the UP/CBQ main line and the 7 staging tracks.
    • Build the Flatirons scenery on the PD5 module.
    • Build the Winter Park/Moffat Tunnel scenery on the PD4 module
  2. Lay Craig Branch trackage and wiring and then . . .
    • Build the Craig Branch kits
    • Activate the two PD4 control panels.
  3. Activate DUT, South Denver, Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks
  4. Build the Layout Framework for the enlarged Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks.
  5. Relay enlarged Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks.
  6. Lay additional trackage for DUT area.

Ongoing Progress

Action since June 22, 2023:

  1. Glued down 20+ rubber panels on floor of layout room
  2. Test run Loco over PD4 & PD2 – electrical black spots problems identified

Immediate Action:

  1. Connect feeder wires for T428 & T429 to PD4 track and control panel
  2. Cut gaps in PD4 white track as they currently light up for multiple blocks
  3. Fix electrical black spots on PD4 track
  4. Test run a train over PD3 & PD4, returning to North Yard over PD2 & PD5 track.
  5. Continue gluing rubber panels on floor of layout room

Big Picture Tasks for Action — once the immediate tasks have been actioned:

  1. Install the Kato double crossover and industry tracks on the DUSTY small loop and then . . .
    • Build the DUSTY kits — its time for a change — and finish the South Denver kits.
    • Install all PD7 tackage and activate the control panel.
  2. Install the 7 loop tracks at Grand Jct . . .
    • Install BD-20s connecting to the UP/CBQ main line and the 7 staging tracks.
  3. Lay Craig Branch trackage and wiring and then . . .
    • Build the Craig Branch kits
    • Activate the two PD4 control panels.
    • Build the Flatirons scenery on the PD5 module.
    • Build the Winter Park/Moffat Tunnel scenery on the PD4 module.
  4. Lay the North Yard and CBQ Yard trackage.
  5. Enable an Operating FREIGHT Layout between Denver North Yard and Grand Junction Loop & Staging Tracks.

Next Phase: Activate DUT, South Denver, Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks

  1. Build the Layout Framework for the enlarged Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks.
  2. Relay enlarged Joint Line Loop & Staging Tracks.
  3. Lay additional trackage for DUT area.

Ongoing Progress:

Actioned since May 24, 2023:

  1. Laid NO-OX on PD2 & PD5 track.
  2. Applied CRC Di-electric grease to track just in front of every new Locomotive added to the layout. The Locos are held on the grease for 30 seconds or so, so that the Loco wheels get a good grounding.
  3. Successfully test run a number of locomotives pulling trains.
  4. Laid feeder wires to T424 to T427 on PD4.
  5. Connected BUS wires to G001 to G008 Gore Canyon track. Successful without any real dramas, including on the ballasted track.
  6. Locos can run on T428 & T429, meaning that the connection to the Grand Jct. loop is achieved. However specific feeder wires must be connected to the BD-20s on the control panel.
  7. Maybe found a couple of people to install decoders for me and to troubleshoot problem Locomotives.
  8. Purchased a Kato double crossover for DUSTY and two Kato single crossovers for yard planning.

Immediate Action:

  1. Finish connecting feeder wires to PD4 control panel.
  2. Cut gaps in PD4 white track as they currently light up for multiple blocks
  3. Test run a train over PD3 & PD4, returning to North Yard over PD2 & PD5 track.

Big Picture Tasks for Action — once the immediate tasks have been actioned:

  1. Install the Kato double crossover and industry tracks on the DUSTY small loop and then . . .
    • Build the DUSTY kits — its time for a change — and the South Denver kits.
    • Install all PD7 tackage and activate the control panel.
  2. Install the 7 loop tracks at Grand Jct . . .
    • Install BD-20s connecting to the UP/CBQ main line and the 7 staging tracks.
  3. Lay Craig Branch trackage and wiring and then . . .
    • Build the Craig Branch kits
    • Activate the two PD4 control panels.
    • Build the Flatirons scenery on the PD5 module.
    • Build the Winter Park/Moffat Tunnel scenery on the PD4 module.
  4. Lay the North Yard and CBQ Yard trackage.

Daily Progress & Error Blog

Actioned since 10th May 2023:

  1. Extended BUS wiring to second PD4 (Gore Canyon) module and control panel.
  2. Laid cork roadbed to Edna Mine, etc on the Craig Line.
  3. Began to install PD4 feeder wires.
  4. Laid NO-OX grease on PD6 & PD7 loop trackage.
    • D&RGW F7ABA runs very well on this track
    • Cleaned with a Peco block rubber all of the problem spots on PD2 & PD5 trackage in preparation for laying NO-OX on this track
    • Note that all testing has been conducted at NCE speed notch 10 (16 scale mph)
  5. Relocated BD-20s and Accessory point motor controls on South Denver PD11 loop.

Immediate Action:

  1. Lay NO-OX on PD2 & PD5 track and test the loop.
  2. Lay CRC Di-electric grease on PD3 & PD4 trackage and test with ATSF locos to be used at the AMRA show during June holiday weekend.
  3. Investigate and maybe fix the “short” problem running lighted passenger cars on PD2.
  4. Continue installing feeder wires on PD4 (Gore Canyon) module and test.
  5. Lay Craig Branch trackage and wiring.

Ongoing Action:

  1. Fix or replace sticky point motors: P313;315;317;318.
  2. Design PD4 control panel diagrams with Visio and install switches and LEDs.
  3. Build PD3 & PD4 kits and install scenery.
  4. Rewire South Denver PD11 trackage and control panel.
  5. Finish building South Denver kits.
  6. Test run trains from South Denver to Grand Jct. and return.
  7. Lay all of the Grand Junction return loop tracks.
  8. Lay DUSTY tracks and build livestock kits.
  9. Build kits for the layout trackage laid.

Daily Progress & Error Blog

Actioned tonight:

  1. Finished fixing the BUS wiring for PD4 tracks T315-T317 inclusive.
  2. After cutting new gaps in the White side I Installed plastic insulators in the gaps.
  3. Filed down and tested ok.

Notes:

  1. Loco moves very hesitantly over the Winter Park tracks.
  2. Needs a more thorough clean.

Immediate Action:

  1. Finish the BUS wiring for PD4.
  2. Fix or replace sticky point motors: P313;315;317;318.
  3. Checkout the actions request to fix the South Denver PD.

Ongoing Action:

  1. Need to investigate stalling problems with Big Loop turnouts.
  2. Solve “short” problem running lighted passenger cars.
  3. Complete laying track from Bond to Craig and temporarily wire.
  4. Design PD4 control panel diagrams with Visio and install switches and LEDs.
  5. Lay all of the Grand Junction return loop tracks.

Daily Progress & Error Blog

Tonight’s Cockup:

  1. Wired T415;416;417 white side. Red already wired and attached to Red BUS.
  2. Wired the white wires of T416;417 to their BD-20s.
  3. Wondered why up to 3 LED lights on the BD-20s lighted up at the same time.
  4. After a while I realised that the gaps had been cut in the RED rails – but not in the white.

Solution:

  1. Cut gaps in the white rails as well.
  2. That should fix the problem and will be a lot easier than re-wiring the Red wires through the BD-20s.

Then carry on with the schedule . . .