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Freelanced Narrow Gauge Models in Hon3 and HOn30

The First D.S.&W. Layout

The Diamond Springs & Western Railroad Company is a narrow gauge line leaving from the fictional town of Diamond Springs, Colorado and terminating in Silverdale, the station actually modeled. At Diamond Springs cars are interchanged with the D&RGW, so I can run cars lettered for the Rio Grande.

My First DS&W

Layout Data
Size:2.5m x 0.6m
( 8'2" x 2' )
Scale:HOn3
Turnouts:#4 and #5
The era of the layout is set to the late 20's, when for some reason a second live for the road began and the towns and the railroad prospered again. Therefore most of the rolling stock and the buildings are well maintained. Also some modern equipment like a gas electric engine appears. The road's own rolling stock was mostly bought second hand from other lines and re-lettered for the DS&W.

When designing the layout, the following objectives had to be met:

  • Due to space and time restrictions only a HOn3 switching layout was feasible.
  • As I like scratch-building or kit-bashing structures, enough space for the town and some mines was needed.
  • In case I find more time in the future, a connection to the outside world should be possible. This connection would also be used for a fiddle yard.
  • At least one run-around track was needed to allow for prototypical switching moves.

Finally, I settled for the trackplan shown above. I planned to add a small fiddleyard to the right, so trains have the chance to leave the layout.

When starting the layout, I used Shinohara track exclusively. The first turnouts I laid are No. 4's. Later I decided to start scratch-building the new trackage from code 55 rail. I do nail all my scratch-built track in place. The turnouts are built in place following ideas from an article by Tony Koester in the December 89 issue of Model Railroader. The turnout at the left front, leading to the Oil/Coal Dealer is a stub turnout - the only one on the layout.

In retrospective, two things could be improved on the layout:

  • The passing siding on the right back ( at the Mining Supply Store ) has no use on the enlarged version of the layout. By removing it, the whole trackage there could be reworked as a switchback, leading to 'the mines above'.
  • To speed up construction, all trackwork is level. Giving the whole thing a few grades would have made the scenery a bit more interesting.

Then, due to an upcoming move to a place with less room for modeling, the half finished layout had to be torn down. So all that is left from this layout are some structures and these photographs.

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