South Park and Pacific Railroad
The South Park In Living Colour
interpretation of colour from grey-scale photographs is an
art-form controlled by historical documents that suggest actual
colours in use in a particular era. It is far from an exact
science. The photos on this page are some of the best available
to indicate what the South Park Line prohably looked like in the
South Park Locomotives
There are, of course, no colour photos of the DSP&P in action
in the 1880s. So
here is the next best thing - good quality models of DSP&P
locomotives, as rendered by various model railway manufacturers.
The colours used are somewhat speculative. This should not
detract from your appreciation of the beauty of these wonderful
machines. Sadly, the pretty paint jobs didn't last very long.
Most were "Plain Jane" black with gold lettering even before the
UP renumbering in 1885.
A rare gem, DSP&P #2 "Platte Canyon", the South Park's only
4-4-0. This model is a custom detailed HO gauge loco,
approximately correct size for Sn3 gauge. Lettering is "what
might have been" around 1884-85. (Author's collection)
2-6-6T and 2-8-6T Mason Bogie Locomotives
Accucraft 1:20 Scale DSP&P
Mason Bogie #4 "San Juan"
Accucraft 1:20 Scale DSP&P
Mason Bogie #6 "Tenmile"
Works 1:24 Scale DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #15 "Breckenridge"
Scratchbuilt 1:20 Scale DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #15 "Breckenridge"
Berlyn Locomotive Works Sn3
(1:64 scale) DSP&P
Mason Bogie #8 "Lake City", later DSP&P
Berlyn Locomotive Works Sn3
DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #6 "Tenmile", later DSP&P # 42
Berlyn Locomotive Works Sn3 DSP&P #15 "Breckenridge" (Author's Collection)
Berlyn Locomotive Works HOn3 DSP&P #6 "Tenmile" (Author's Collection)
Headshot of BLW's DSP&P #15
Pacific Fast Mail
HOn3 DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #15 "Breckenridge"
United Scale Models
HOn3 DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #24 "Buena Vista"
Overland Models On3 DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #10 "Granite"
Pacific Fast Mail On3 DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #12 "Como"
Scratchbuilt 1:20 Scale DSP&P 2-6-6T Mason Bogie #22 "Crested
Scratchbuilt DSP&P 2-8-6T Mason Bogie #25 "Alpine"
DSP&P 2-8-6T Mason Bogie #241 in post-1885 black paint,
formerly #26 "Rico" by NJ Custom Brass in HOn3
LMB On3 DSP&P 2-8-6T Mason Bogie #28 "Denver"
2-6-0 Mogul Locomotives
LGB's 2-6-0 Mogul
in 1:22.6 scale, dressed as DSP&P #71, with reasonably correct colours. DSP&P 69 - 74
were Cooke-built in 1884. DSP&P Cooke Moguls always used coal so the
wood load in #71 is incorrect. (Author's Collection)
Custom detailed and painted Nn3 (1:160 scale) MicroTrains model of DSP&P 2-6-0 Mogul
#113, formerly DSP&P #71, Nice Russia iron boiler and ornate domes.
DSP&P 2-6-0 Brooks Mogul #35 "Dillon" in N scale by Atlas. This is a
wonderful paint job
on a locomotive that is only 3 1/2 inches long. (Author's
2-8-0 Consolidation Locomotives
Accucraft DSP&P 2-8-0 Conso;idation #51 at 1:20 scale -- "As
Built" colours (Author's Collection)
Accucraft DSP&P 2-8-0 Consolidation #191 at 1:20 scale --
renumbered from #51 in 1885
South Park Finescale Sn3 Cooke-built DSP&P Consolidation #63
Aristocraft "Delton Classics" 1:24 Scale DSP&P 2-8-0
Consolidations #63 and #64 (Author's Collection)
Ray Bjerrum's beautiful scratch built Cooke Consolidation
DSP&P #45 in 1:4.8 scale (2.5 imches = 1 foot) running on 7.5
imch gauge rails. The Tiffany reefer is actually the propane
fuel car for the live steam loco.
Another view of Ray's DSP&P #45 showing more detail and the
fancy scrollwork on the sand dome, plus "white-walls" on the
driver rims and a nice Russia iron boiler jacket.
Freight Cars In Colour
The following photos of models are intended to show
the appearance of DSP&P freight equipment in the 1875 - 1885 era
- the period before the Union Pacific takeover. Based on detailed
research by the builders, these are probably the best photos of DSP&P
rolllng stock available today. There will always be some disagreement about exact colours, especially about whether the reefers were white or
yellow. I personally favour white, based on the photos of the
original cars in use.
Cimarron Car Works Sn3 DSP&P Freight Cars c.1883
DSP&P #1437, the prototype
for the Cimmaron model (above), circa 1884.
Cimmaron products are available through Leadville Shops.
Products DSP&P 1:20 scale
Above 5 photos:
Hartford Products 1:20.3 scale DSP&P freight cars. These are
designed and accurate craftsman kits. Hartford kits are available
throufg Ozark Miniatures.
The Leadville Shops.Freight
Two accurate DSP&P laser-cut models (above) from
Shops, available in S and O scales.
MicroTrains N Scale (Nn3 gauge), 1:120 scale
factory applied lettering on a car that is only 2-1/4 inches long.
DSP&P models by noted modelers.
Two of Ron Rudnick's beautiful HOn3 models
A 1:20.3 model of a 31 foot DSP&P charcoal car by Peter Bunce
Peter's model of a conventional DSP&P boxcar
Comparative size of the charcoal boxcar and the normal car.
finished Labelle HOn3 kit, modeler unknown
WERE THEY WHITE OR YELLOW
Some people think the
Tiffany reefers could be straw yellow. Here are two On3
models for comparison.
3D computer renderings by
Dodge Scratch Built On3 Car Models.
See his railway story
Scale Freight Car Models
Only those with reasonably
accurate appearance are included here.
The Accucraft model generally follows the
dimensions of Charles Brommerís plans
for DSP&P #73 in the Jan/Feb 1992 "Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette".
(Left) Dwlton 1:24 scale Tiffany reefer. (Right) Bachmann 1:24 scale UP reefer.
Murphy metal roof must be replaced with double-board wood roof
and roof hatches need to be removed.
Aristocraft "Delton Classics" boxcar (needs new road number) and
Tiffany reefer. Both need double board roof.
LGB 1:22 scale
Tiffany reefer, needs double board roof and correct road
Some custom lettered
cars purchased from eBay vendors
Passenger Cars In Colour
There is no shortage of passenger
equipment models in all scales for D&RG and other narrow
gauge lines, but none of them
represent those on the DSP&P, except for the Deerfield River
O scale kit-basher car sides described below. The Mantua/Tyco/IHC
HO scale combine and passenger car are generic cars that do not
represent any particular DSP&P car, but the paint and lettering
are good. LGB large scale cars can be described in similar
Mantua HO Combine with duckbill roof. The coach is
similar. These cars are too short to represent any real DSP&P
rolling stock. Also marketed with IHC, Tyco, and Roundhouse
Deerfield River Laser Models On3 Quik-Kits
These are the most innovative passenger car kits to appear in a
long time and the only accurate DSP&P passenger cars produced in
any scale. The laser cut sides and ends are applied to Bachmann
On30 passenger car underframes and roofs. A little kit bashing
is needed for the longer cars, using four roof/underframe sets
to make three cars. Some car lengths are a little off (not more
than 3 feet) but this is a small trade-off for some fabulous
These cars sides are the first ever with panels instead of
tongue and groove siding, as delivered to the DSP&P in the 1874
-1878 era. Even the plaque for the car name is included in the
laser cut sidewalls.
DSP&P 1 "Auraria"
1874 Combine 31 foot body
DSP&P 2 "Denver" 1874 Coach 31 foot body
DSP&P 3 and 5 "Geneva" and "Leadville" 1878 Coach 40 foot body
DSP&P 4 "Hall's Valley" Coach 1878 40 foot body
DSP&P Pullman "South Park" "Leadville" "Bonanza" "San Juan" 1879
40 foot body
DSP&P 051 Paycar 1880 31 foot body
DSP&P 40, 41, and 45 Baggage 1878 31 foot body
BUILT DSP&P PASSENGER CARS
The beautiful On3
examples shown below were built by Dan Windolf. Note the
wonderful arched windows, and car number / nane plaques on some
cars. See the story, with full- size images, in the
Nov/Dec 2019 Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette.
DSP&P Coach #7
DSP&P Coach #9
DSP&P Coach #17
DSP&P Coach #17
DSP&P Coach #22
DSP&P Baggage Mail #??
DSP&P Parlour Car, image source unnown
Scale Passenger Cars
For more photos of Large Scale passenger cars,
LGB Passenger Cars.
Here's what the LGB
cars look like on my outdoor railway, after painting the roofs
black. The Delton Mason Bogie on the lower level track looks more
natural in daylight, too. It's the glare from the sun on the black
car roofs that makes them look silver, on models as well as the
originals in the old black and white photos, so don't paint the roof
silver - nature will do it for you.
The LGB model of the single door baggage car is a close match to DSP&P
#42. Note the new roof colour and the new road number (Author's
I purchased the above
3 cars from an eBay vendor. They are Bachmann kits painted and
lettered for DSP&P. The three photos represent 1878 Barney and Smith
combine #4 "Hall's Valley", coach #5 "Leadville", and Pullman-built parlour car "South Park". As for the LGB
cars, they are a bit short and shy a few windows (Author's
Some people have managed to improve the stock available. Bob Baxter
did a beautiful job of adding arch windows and reasonable lettering
to a Bachmann passenger car. Some very early photos suggest that the
roofs of passenger caes might have been painted with white lead, so
the white roof on this model is probably correct. Later photos
suggest sunshine on a black roof, which looks like light grey, not
white and definitely not silver or alumunum colour.
Close but no cigar .. car numbers incprrect and too large. Photo
Maintenance of Way Equipment In Colour
There is not much in the
way of commercial MOW equipment on the market, so most is
scratchbuilt or kitbashed. Below are sone examples.
SOme scratchbuilt Models
The beautiful On3
examples shown below were built by Dan Windolf based on folio
drawings and photos. Note the
level of detail and innovative construction techniques.
See the stories, with full-size images, in the
May/Jun 2018 through Jan/Feb 2019 issues of Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette.
/ DL&G FLANGER 08 (C&S 015)
ROTARY 011 / 064 (C&S 92000)
WRECKER 0103 (C&S 099)
maintenance of way equipment
My MOW equipment is
based on kitbashed representatioons of "what could have been" on
the DSP&P in the 1880's. Some bear a slight resemblence to folio
drawings; most are products of the Chief Engineer's imagination.
Colours and road numbers are definately not realistic.
My snow train consists of Rotary O2 and tender, water tanker W69,
coal car O174, kitchen car O185, bunk car O183, and a well worn waycar
Wedge plow O3 and steam shovel O4 are also available for snow
DSP&P Consolidation #64 pushes Rotary O2 enroute to Climax
The original USA Trains rotary was freelanced into DSP&P
To improve visibility, a cupola has been added. A
roof and backhead were added at the rear using Hartland parts, as
were a bell and whistle on the roof.
Side curatins are still at the laundry.
The tender is from an LGB Mogul
with sound added.
The complete snow
train: caboose, bunk / tool car, kitchen car, coal car, water car,
2-8-0 Consolidation #64, plow tender, rotary plow.
Wedge plow O3 sitting in the yard during a summer respite. It was kitbashed from an
Aristocraft plow, shortened by 3 inches, with a Hartland headlamp
added to backdate the original modern headlight.
Headshot of DSP&P wedge plow O3 showing rusting plow blade before it
gets scoured clean and shiny by the icy snow next winter.
DSP&P 2-6-0 Mogul #17 is shown here in the reflected light of the
engine house, with its pilot-mounted snow plow, ready for its
early morning run to Glacier and Leaverite.
When the snow and rock falls from avalanches are too dangerous for
the rotary plow, Steam Shovel O4 can be brought forward to clear the
line. The enclosed cab is a real comfort to the crew in the minus 40
temperatures of the North. This is kitbashed from an LGB flatcar and
a JS Woodcrafts steam shovel with the track assembly removed.
Snow train auxillary cars: Coal car O174 and Water car W69.
Snow train auxillary cars: Bunk/Tool Car O183 and Kitchen car O185
Snow train auxillary cars: Work Caboose O187 and well-worn spare
Starting with steam shovel parts and some Ozark Miniatures
a wrecking crane appears, loosely following a DSP&P folio drawing.
The wrecking crane tender/boom car includes lots of tools, parts,
rope, chains, junk, and a guard goat.
The pile driver uses the same steam hoist with a
free lanced mast holding
the pile driver's hammer.
car was backdated by shortening the flat car
and adding a truss rod underframe.
The USA Trains rail and tie car
was also shortned and loaded
with .... rails and ties.
shortened, the work caboose has tools and
The truck and wheel cars are less interesting
but are an essential part of any
Outfit cars just need to look used and dirty.The railroad name
since worn off. These are the bunk and kitchen
cars for both the work and snow trains, and have
been modified to include the simulated wood roof
of the era.
Roundhouse, And Water Tanks In Colour
The paint scheme for
DSP&P structures in the 1875 - 1885 era, the period before the Union Pacific takeover,
was light grey with olive green trim, as used today on the restorations
of the Como and Buena Vista CO depots, and the Alpine Tunnel
telegraph office. The colours were confirmed by the Denver,
South Park and Pacific Historical Society during their research
for the restoration work.
Thanks to Grant Law, a fellow large scale model railroader and
DSP&P fan, for suggesting this page.
For more information on the restoration of DSP&P facilities, see
South Park Rail Society.
DSP&P telegraph office at Alpine Tunnel CO, as restored,
with light grey and olive green trim. The bright sunshine makes
the grey look almost white - compare to the white background on
the station sign on the roof. Photo from
DSP&P Como depot, in 2015 at restoration dedication
ceremony. Compare the light grey to the white clothing and Como
station sign. Photos from the
Buena Vista CO depot restoration photos don't show the green
trim - maybe it was applied later
Photos from the
Buena Vista Depot before the restoration and new paint job
Buena Vista Depot, end view
Jefferson CO depot 1957, from a Google search
Gunnison stone depot - O sale Model Masterpieces kit
brick depot in 1994.
Mount Princeton CO Depot
Pitkin CO Depot
Como Roundhouse was built in 1881, seen here in late 1950's - photo enhanced to show door
The wooden engine stalls added in 1885 are long gone.
Como Roundhouse late 1950's - photo enhanced to show stonework
details. Note the finely cut column stones between each arch,
the keystone shape of the arch stones, and the random shape and
size of all the other stones. used to make the rest of the wall.
Portion of a side wall with a window and a doorway. The only
finely finished stones are those above and along the sides of
the window and door; the rest are random size and shape.
Arial views of front and rear of Como Roundhouse showing overall
shape of the stone building.
Leadville Roundhouse late 1950's
Both sides of Baker Tank, morth of Leadville on the High Line to
Climax CO. This DSP&P tank has been maintained on the
route by the LC&S tourist train.