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Narrow Gauge Equipment Roster and Reviews


One of the most distinctive parts of any model railroad is the train. If you are considering modeling in narrow gauge, you may want to take a look at these tips. The models used on the project railroad are all ready-to-run HOn3 products made by Blackstone Models. These are high-quality models designed for a demanding market. For complete reviews of each model used, check out the links below.

1. Locomotives - K-27 Mikado

K-27 front
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The K-27 "Mudhens" served the D&RGW for more than 50 years. Two remain in operation today. These mighty Mikados are compact powerhouses for any narrow gauge layout.

Read the complete review of the two locomotives used on this layout.

2. Boxcars

DRGW 3381
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Every railroad needs boxcars. The D&RGW had 750 distinctive 25-ton cars. Rebuilt in 1924-1926, these cars featured several variations. Blackstone has produced two incredible versions and the project layout features one of each.

3. Stock Cars

DRGW 5500
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Rio Grande narrow gauge operations maintained a succesful livestock business after many larger lines had lost this traffic to trucks. Single-deck cars were used for larger cattle. Sheep and other small livestock traveled in double-deck cars to maximize capacity.

4. Gondolas

DRGW 1232
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Among the most common cars on the narrow gauge Rio Grande were gondolas. Carrying coal, ore, stone and more, no Colorado layout would be complete without several of these. Blackstone Models has taken special care to make sure each gondola is an accurate representation of its specific prototype.

5. Flatcars

DRGW flat 6057
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

These simple freight cars were among the most useful cars on the Rio Grande. Many were modified for a variety of services throughout their history.

See the complete review.

6. Tank Car

right side
©2011 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
These classic cars are loaded with character. Owned by Union Tank Car, they were converted from standard gauge cars and saw service on the D&RGW and the Rio Grande Southern. Add one to a mixed freight, or move oil by the train load! Read the complete review and get the crude rolling!

7. Caboose

DRGW 0540 caboose
©2010 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

What train would be complete without a caboose? The Rio Grande's "long cabooses" were as distinctive as any other equipment on the railroad. Blackstone Models' replicas are highly authentic replicas of their individual prototypes.

Read the complete review.

8. Coaches

Blackstone coach
©2011 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

These classic Jackson and Sharp open-platform coaches harken to the glory days of railroading. Similar cars can be found on narrow gauge railroads all across the country and many of these wooden cars lasted in service longer on narrow gauge lines than their wider-wheeled cousins.

Read the complete review.

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