Current Layout by Jim Spice

Layout Name:

"Denver & Cat Canyon Western"

Official Web Site:

Layout Status:


Track Type:


Track Manufacturer:


Rail Size:

code 70, 55




mountains of Colorado & New Mexico

Railroad(s) Modeled:


Control System:

DCC (North Coast Engineering)

Featured In:

The S Scale Resource, Feb 2020, pg 20


As you enter the layout, this is the scene that greets you. The mountain side hides several storage tracks for full trains. The terrain is hung from the wall and can be removed in four sections for access to those tracks. In the background, Jim Spice is in the red shirt. The overall layout starts down this wall, goes across the back wall and continues up the other side. From there, it turns into the center peninsula where it makes several loops gaining and losing altitude. Jim has cleverly designed this area so you can't see the loops themselves, just the visible track that runs around the perimeter on the peninsula.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

This view looks along the wall with the mountains, looking at the log pond and mill. The main track is the right side of the parallel tracks (the left one is used as a passing siding, run-around, or logging area drill track).

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Bill was there during an operating session, and they were running the Shay, the mill switcher.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Here we turn the corner and run against the back wall of the building. The track running in front of the water tower is the main track, while the one barely seen against the rocks in the background is the same track after it has made its loop into the mountain and through the storage tracks. Therefore, Bill's train started going from right to left past the water tower and then came left to right on the track in the back. Jim did all the scenery work including the backdrop painting.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

This view shows the majority of the layout along the end wall of the building (use the water tower as the tie-in to the previous photo). Layout owner, Jim, is telling Steve Hatch (center) and Terrel Tinkler (foreground) about how he did the scenery. Jim is active in a military aircraft museum specializing in flyable helicopters, but yet he was able to build most of this layout in just two years! (Jim was a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam and has at least one Purple Heart)

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

This view shows more of the end wall. The turntable leads to a scratch built engine house of 3 or 4 stalls plus "whisker" tracks.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

We've turned the corner and this is the opposite wall from the entry.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

This is a continuation of the previous photo. Almost all track is hand-laid.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Steve discovers an "oops" in the layout. Continuing from the previous photo, the layout turns back on itself into the peninsula. Steve gives some scale to the size of the layout.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Continuing around the peninsula, the view gives a nice overview of it. The mine is in the foreground. The tracks leading into it are sharply curved with a steep grade leading into them, which provided some realistic operating challenges.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Passenger train along the side of the peninsula.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Catching some action at Eagle Falls on the outside end of the peninsula. Directly above the tender is a bald eagle perched in the rocks. The two bridges are the ends of the loops inside the mountain.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)

Remember, this is a hobby! A bit of frivolity and an homage to John Allen of Monterey.

(copyright © Bill Winans; used by permission)
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