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Bob Lenz’ Colorado Western & Aspen Junction Model Railroads

photos by Dale DeWitt

Bob’s layout depicts the grandeur of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, because “where can you find scenery like that and gallant little railroads fighting to reach the riches found there!”

Two railroads operate on this beautiful layout, the HO standard gauge Colorado Western and the HOn3 narrow gauge Aspen Junction. Each railroad is based on the prototype Colorado Midland. The standard gauge Colorado Western runs from Leadville through Hellgate past Thomasville, where the logging branch heads uphill via switchbacks. There are a total of 17 trestles, 7 bridges and 4 tunnels on this layout. All of the Basalt railroad tracks are dual-gauge including the yard where the Colorado Western interchanges with the narrow gauge Aspen Junction. The mining line climbs from Basalt (48”) through a series of switchbacks to reach the mining district at the railroad’s highest elevation (74”) where the mountainous scenery reaches the sky.

This tremendous layout occupies a 20×40 foot room with tunnels, bridges, trestles, tons of rockwork, and scenery from floor to ceiling. The backdrops are a creation of famous local modeler and artist Greg Gray, as is the beautiful scene of a mountain valley town which is illuminated during night operation with black light. Bob has created a complete mountain experience using sound, visual effects, tons of detail, many trestles, backdrops, and the sound of locomotives as they fight their way through the Rocky Mountains.