My recreation of the Colorado & Southern Railway in 1958 is based on the historical record built by contemporary railfans. By the late 1950s, the nationwide replacement of steam locomotives by diesels spurred them to photograph, film, and even sound-record the last days of steam on the C&S — the last of the Class I railroads to complete the transition. Luckily, many railfans published their treasures for a wider — and future — audience.
The almost simultaneous collapse of narrow gauge railroads in Colorado led to the creation of the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, a ready repository for old company maps and documents — not to mention a fantastic collection of locomotives and rolling stock! The museum was joined by historical societies, museums, and libraries throughout the prototype Northern Division's territory in preserving structures and the historical record.
Here is my distilled list of information sources that I used to create the Northern Division. I hope this inspires other prototype modelers in their
When I began exploring the Colorado & Southern in the late 1980s, books were the only game in town. Whether in libraries, bookstores, or museum gift shops, photograph-rich railroad books, many with maps, were my ticket into the prototype's past. This bibliography lists my collection of C&S Railway books.
I've already called out Goin' Railroading for inspiring me to model the C&S. I also have to spotlight Hol Wagner's The Colorado Road as the authority on C&S locomotives, passenger equipment, cabooses and more. Hol's tome spent years directly above my modeling bench as I recreated the prototype's roster for the Northern Division.
VHS video tapes were the next new thing in our hobby in the 1980s. You already know the impact Last Steamers of the Colorado & Southern had on me — I eventually wore out the tape and replaced it with a DVD. My operating crew grew tired of watching Last Steamers in the Crew Lounge every session (what???), and were pleased when I received a second C&S DVD with all new scenes as a gift in 2010.
More than just books, libraries will often have photos, Sanborn Maps, and even railroad company documents. That goes double for museums. You can often peruse their holdings online:
Search and you shall find. Here are some wonderful sites where you will be rewarded.
There are incredibly talented people teaching the world new skills on YouTube. Here are five of the best for modeling techniques. Explore their channels — you won't be disappointed.
Some incredibly talented people are friends of mine. I think you'll enjoy their websites.