Wednesday, 1 January 2014

EXPO 2013 Layout Tour No.7

Frank Czubryt's Denver Union Terminal RR (O Scale) Don Janes

The yard tower governs all movements in and out of Denver yard.  A stack train is passing by on the main line in the background.
     After visiting Dick Elwell's amazing layout George and I headed into Adams, MA to visit Frank Czubryt's "O" scale layout.  I had been to Frank's layout several years ago while attending the Springfield train show but expected to see changes and additions to the layout.  These guys in New England are always improving their already great looking layouts.  When you pull up to Frank's house you see a small bungalow and just don't expect a large O scale empire in the basement but when you walk down the basement your expectations change.  As you descend the stairs you first see a very nice industrial scene with old brick buildings and a mainline running in front of them.  To your left is CTC machine where the dispatcher sits during operating sessions. The layout occupies about three basement rooms but the way Frank has laid it out it doesn't seem at all crowded or crammed in. No small feet in O scale.  The mainline runs around the wall and in the back room there is a large center island where Denver Yard is situated.  
     Frank is a retired Conrail Track Foreman and you can tell that he has drawn on his years of observing how a  real railroad looks to detail his miniature world.  As a retired railroader myself I can attest that Frank is pretty much spot on with his attention to detail.  He told me that he used his position at Conrail to get into all the different facilities and yards to observe how the real railroad looked and operated.
    As you look around the layout you can't help but notice the beautifully painted backdrop.  Frank watched a TV show on painting and applied what he learned to paint the scenery on his backdrops.  You might wonder why a guy from Massachusetts models Denver in the 1970's. Well, as frank explained, he used to model D&RGW narrow gauge and that's when he did the backdrops. When he decided to switch to modern standard gauge trains he didn't want to get rid of the Colorado landscape so he decided to model the Denver area. 
     Frank's layout was featured in the 2008 Great Model Railroads.  
The modern diesel shop is home to motive power from some of the local railroads that call on Denver and some from the east coast.  
A SAnta Fe unit is being serviced at the Denver diesel shop
This is an overall view of Denver Yard including a classification yard, car repair shop and diesel shop. Note the hidden staging tracks below the layout.
Here we see a double stack train running along the base of the Rockies.  Frank has done a beautiful job on the backdrop painting.
A couple of section men are enjoying their lunch break as a Rio Grande coal train passes behind them. The second unit is a GM lease unit.

These are a few of the scenes one sees when they enter the basement.  Well detailed but not cluttered.
This is a nice example of one of Frank's scratchbuilt structures.
This is Frank explaining some of the facets of his layout.
Compared to the diesel switcher one can see just how large O scale structures can be when looking at the massive ADM grain elevator
Here's George enjoying the tour of Frank's layout.  Note the size of the structures
The caboose track has cabooses from several of the railroads that serve Frank's Denver Union Terminal Railroad.

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