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Building the D&RGW Narrow Gauge - A Project Layout


Beginning in December, 2010, this project railroad will take you through the process of building a layout step by step. The layout is based on the narrow gauge operations of the Denver and Rio Grande Western in Colorado and New Mexico in the 1930s.
  1. Concept and Planning
  2. Motive Power and Rolling Stock
  3. Benchwork
  1. Track
  2. Wiring
  3. Scenery and Structures

Concept and Planning

K27 radius test

Deciding on a prototype is only half the challenge. Once you've decided what to model the next step is figuring out how to make it all fit in the space you have available. See the decisions and planning behind this layout.

Motive Power and Rolling Stock

463 Left

The trains themselves are often one of the biggest factors in determining what and when we model. Narrow gauge equipment certainly has a character all it's own. Get reviews on all of the equipment used on the D&RGW project.


benchwork mockup

Get started with a simple open-grid platform and a novel support that can double as the layout's storage container when not in use.


track installation

The narrow gauge track of this layout is one of its most distinctive features. Learn how to lay smooth, trouble-free and well detailed track in HOn3, or any scale or gauge.



The electrical system on the project layout couldn't be much more simple. Using a Digital Command Control system, even with just a few basic wires, multiple trains can share the track of this small mainline.

Scenery and Structures

completed store

On a small layout like this, scenery plays a big part in telling the story. From buildings to mountains, tunnels to rivers - learn how to add dramatic and realistic scenery to your layout.

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