Our History

Previously in the basement of Denver’s Union Terminal (Union Station) housed o­ne of Denver’s most exciting, historical attractions – the oldest and o­ne of the largest O Scale (1/4 inch = 1 foot)model railroad layouts in the country. The “Colorado Midland Railway” layout encompassed 6500 square feet, spanned over 75 years, and, continued to be maintained and expanded by club members of the Denver Society of Model Railroaders until 2011. The “original” Colorado Midland Railway was abandoned in the early 1920’s so the club had taken a few liberties with the rolling stock, including diesels and mid-20th century railroad cars, which are lettered, for this now defunct railroad. The model railroad reflects the landscape of Colorado spanning our members’ interests from the transition period of the 1950’s to the present era of hi-tech diesel locomotives. Club members privately owned most of the equipment; however the equipment owned by The Club is lettered for the Colorado Midland Railway.

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The layout was comprised of two separate mainlines; narrow gauge (3 feet between the rails) and, standard gauge (4 feet 8 and o­ne-half inches between the rails). The trains traveled over 4000 linear feet of track, some pre-fabricated; some painstakingly hand-laid. It took almost 30 minutes to traverse the standard gauge mainline (approximately 1600 linear feet of track) and 25 minutes to traverse the narrow gauge mainline (500 linear feet of track).. Both operations represent Colorado mountain railroading at the turn-of-the century and beyond Due to its size and age, the layout employed building practices and materials dating from WWII through today’s most up-to-date materials and techniques. Model trains depict railroad commerce, including passenger trains, priority freight trains and local traffic. Multiple trains were run so the observer was able to see both vintage and modern equipment moving along the tracks. The Club showcased its equipment through “theme nights”, which were advertised in local newspapers and railroad publications as well as o­n our web site. The terrain was made up of plaster over wire mesh with small stones from Colorado quarries, gravel, ballast, and dirt scraped from local rail yards. The club’s goal was not to recreate specific Colorado scenes but to make a composite of the state’s geographic makeup. You could see the plains areas, the Rocky Mountains, the o­ngoing construction of the mesas so prominent west of Grand Junction and, the narrow gauge extensions such as “Sargent” that climb up Marshall Pass and encircle the standard gauge. For more information and our future layout plans, contact us via our web site at denveroscaleclub.org or call 303-572-1015.

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