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When the Colorado Model Railroad Museum opened in May 2009, it was the culmina- tion of David Trussell’s 50-year dream for an HO model railroad that would be in the top tier of public model railroads in the world. Trussell’s dream start- ed to become a reality after his retirement and acquisition of a suitable building site in down- town Greeley, Colorado. The concept for the layout dated back to a 1951 article in Model Railroader by Linn West- cott, “If I Had a Million” (subse- quently reprinted in 101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders). That article formed the template to transform Trussell’s dream into reality. From a firm concept to opening day took nine years. Actual layout construction com- menced with the 2003 ground- breaking, although planning be- gan in 1996. More than 35,000


volunteer hours went into bring- ing the 5,500-square-foot lay- out to a finished state prior to opening. There are a number of unique attributes about this massive model railroad: • The 9,500-square-foot building housing the layout and the railroad artifacts was designed and constructed spe- cifically for the model railroad. The structure is large enough to house a 1:1 full-sized Colorado & Southern wood caboose with- in the building! • Unlike many public lay- outs, this layout was designed to be accessible to the public. It features generous 48-inch aisles, allowing visitors and vol- unteers to “walk into” the layout for close-up viewing without a glass panel separating the visi- tors from the layout. The build- ing also features a mezzanine for visitors to have a bird’s-eye view


of the layout. • “Theatrical” lighting in- cludes hundreds of carefully positioned spotlights to simu- late sunlight without multiple shadows. • Prior to opening, volunteers completed all public areas of the layout with scenery and struc- tures, though there are addi- tions to scenic details on a con- tinual basis. • Operations were designed to be handled by volunteers op- erating trains using hand-held DCC throttles with a CTC dis- patcher or automatically oper- ated by a proprietary computer program. • A total of 14 run-through staging tracks that are 3,000 to 3,600 scale feet each plus 3,600- to 4,000-foot passing sid- ings give plenty of operational capability to run relatively long trains.


Train 12 Train 12 — the eastbound SP heavyweight Cascade — is about to enter West Dog Lake after crossing Bridge 10 on the OC&E. The train is owned by the author and runs when op- erations are open to vol- unteers to operate their certified equipment once they achieve a designat- ed number of volunteer hours.


Sycan Branch The Weyerhaeuser Lum- ber Company operates the Sycan Branch. Here, Weyerhaeuser No. 4, a 2-6-6-2, is turned prior to beginning its run as the Sycan Turn to collect lum- ber from the 500 Transfer and ore from the Lucky Lass Mine.


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