Orthogonal plan view of the original layout (1935-2011)

During the month of June 2010 the University of Colorado Denver Center of Preservation Research conducted a full 3D scan of the historic Colorado Midland Model Railroad.  On the subject of the Denver Union Station Hotel project we have been granted full preservation of the Midland Route historic model railroad and will be a welcomed part of the historic Denver Union Station redevelopment that will open in 2014.

Using state of the art Leica LiDar 3D scanning technology a small crew from the school produced a full data point cloud and texture mapped 3D model of the layout.


Michael Nulty Technical Coordinator for the Center of Preservation Research at CU Denver is setting up another scanning session that can last up to 4-5 hours. In the immediate foreground are sculptured cliffs produced in the 1940’s by a past member that draws on experience as an artist for Disney Animation before World War II.

The following jpeg is a screen capture of the 3D model and its point cloud data represented as green points to create the surface of the objects contained in the scan sequences. The HO model railroad next to us can be seen in the image to the right.

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In the following jpegs 3D photogrammetry was used with wide angle lens digital captures applied to the 3D model data of the layout to create a full computer 3D model with real world texture and imaging.

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In this view, impossible without the LiDar data we can see an aerial view of the historic layout as never before seen. The support beams of the floor stand out and end in space where the floor of the main hall of Denver Union Station lies above. Seeing the 3D model of the layout using the software is an amazing visual.


Using the LiDar data an Orthogonal Plan View of The Colorado Midland Model Railroad developed by the Center of Preservation Research.

Feel free to look into the project further on CU Denver’s website.


In the following digital capture the green LiDar beam can be seen on one of the Burlington Budd pre-War cars in the Exposition Flyer consist while the LiDar scans the Leadville area of the layout.


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(c) All images are copyright of the Center of Preservation Research University Colorado Denver/Boulder

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