Devil's Creek Company (DCCo)

The story behind the scene...

This layout is the logical continuation of my previous layout, the Devil's Creek Co. #1 (what oddity !), which didn't survive his move. I have now a 13x10 ft. room that I can dispose of for my train and can give free rein to my imagination. I was deeply working on my future track plan and had already accumulated many sketches of what would be my dream railroad (without being entirely satisfied), when the light came under the form of the January 2000 issue of Model Railroader. Indeed, Mr. Lionel Strang had the good idea to present the construction of an N scale layout, the Appalachian Central, whose size and general arrangement matched exactly the idea that I had of my future layout.

So I pulled my sleeves up and started working on this new layout.

Some facts about the layout

Author Ecrire à Bernard Fabron
Bernard Fabron
Scale N (1/160th)
Size 2,10m x 1,70m (7ft x 5.5ft) for the main part, 1,40m x 1,80m (4.6ft x 6ft) for the future extension to Summit
Height 1,05m to 1,30m (41 to 51 in.).
Structure Extruded polystyrene on wood frame
Track and switches Peco code 80
Minimum radius r=25 cm (10")
Maximum grade 2 %
Layout control DCC (Lenz) to come

Design/Track plan

Click to enlarge This 7x5.5 ft. layout is based on the following simple principle: A single track loop is at level 0; from there a small montain branch line leaves to serve several industries.

I made the following changes to the original track plan from Lionel Strang, in January 2000 MR:

  • supress the hidden yard (I'm not an adept of this type of arrangement),
  • increase the size of the visible areas,
  • extend the branch line up to a terminal station (Summit) which will be located on an extension of the present layout.

The layout is fitted with a scenic divider over its length, in order to give a greater feeling of distance traveled by the trains.

Click on the track plan to enlarge it (70 kb).

A bit of history...

This layout depicts a portion of a main line in the Rocky Mountains which serves the stations at Twin Peaks and Junction. From Junction, starts a branch line operated by the DCCo (Devil's Creek Co.) which gives its name to the layout. Devil's Creek is a well know and picturesque area visited by numerous tourists lovers of spectacular scenery. The main line is operated by the U.P. and many trains can be seen headed by a lashup of several powerful engines, in order to face the heavy grades in this area.
The branch line snakes in the mountain wilderness to serve several mining industries which are the raison d'être of the company and reaches Summit (not shown on the current plan).

The layout is set in the sixties and a good mix of diesel and steam motive power can be seen along the main line, including some big 4-8-8-4 "Big Boys" making their last revenue runs, pulling heavy freights.
On its side, the DCCo owns its own motive power which is primarily made of second hand RS2's and RS3's coming from various other companies.

Most of the traffic is made of unit coal trains originating at the various mines in the area and, also, some way freights to or from Summit. A minimum passenger service is surviving to serve those remote areas. The summer season sees an increase in passenger traffic with tourists visiting the Devil's Creek area. An old Doodlebug has been kept operating to take care of this traffic.

Some technical infos...

The base structure of the layout has been built according to the method described by Lionel Strang for his layout. it is made of a wood frame on which are glued extruded polystyrene sheets which serve as base for the layout itself. The main frame has been made in three separate parts adjusted and screwed together, in order to ease a possible disassembly, in the future. The polystyrene base is strong enough to support the track and scenery and is very easy to work. It is also possible to make negative levels by carving the material once everything is in place on the layout. The whole scenery is made using the same material covered with plaster gauze.

Track and switches are laid on 3mm thick Depron strips which act as sub-ballast and then ballasted using the usual method.

The backdrop is made of heavy cardboard panels painted using oil paints. The advantage of using oil paints is that they have a long drying time allowing for many touch-ups.

The whole scenery has been fist painted with acrylics and then covered vith various texture elements and ground foam. Most buildings are scratchbuilt or modified commercial buildings. All bridges are scratchbuilt.

Electronic Rail Pass

An electronic rail pass is now available for the Devil's Creek Co. A facsimile of this rail pass is shown below:

Click to request your e-pass

If you wish to receive a Devil's Creek Co. Rail Pass, click on the image above, in order to send an e-mail request.

Some pictures of the layout...
(Click on the photos to see them full size and click on the full size photo to close it).

Click to enlarge

Photo #1 (64 Ko)

The loop at Devil's Creek.

General view of the loop and "New River Mine".
The main buildings (not complete) have been temporarily installed on the layout.

Photo #2 (62 Ko)

The trestle at the exit of Desk Gallery

Bird's eye vue of the trestle, while below, a coal train enters Twin Peaks yard.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #3 (54 Ko)

Going down to Twin Peaks

An UP Doodlebug, leased by the DCCo, still ensures good service to mine workers going to/from home. It is seen here passing through a snow shed, a common sight in this mountainous area.

Photo #4 (61 Ko)

Devil's Creek loop

View of the loop above Devil's Creek.
The buildings have not been yet installed on this part of the layout.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #5 (61 Ko)

Desk gallery (south)

A passenger train is coming down from Summit.
Note the wooden frame to protect the track from avalanches in winter, a distinctive feature of mountain lines in this area.

Photo #6 (60 Ko)

Towards Summit

A Doodlbug is crossing the trestle above Twin Peaks at a walking pace, on its way to Summit.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #7 (54 Ko)


A passenger train headed by an UP F7 ends its descent from Summit and is about to join the main line at Junction.

Photo #8 (48 Ko)

Unexpected stop at Twin Peaks

An event in Twin Peaks! The UP DDA40X # 6926 had to make a stop at the shops, in this town, due to a mechanical problem. This unusual event draw a crowd of onlookers

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #9 (52 Ko)

Twin Peaks shops

RS3's, #4 and #3, are cooling their feet, waiting for their return to Devil's Creek and Summit, while a GP30 is getting ready to power the next local.

Photo #10 (61 Ko)

Twin Peaks station

Crossing between a passenger train, still headed by a Challenger, and a freight train powered by the DDA40X, now ready to resume service after a few hours of delay.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #11 (39 Ko)

Busy time in Twin Peaks

Life is bustling in downtown Twin Peaks. The Challenger, while leaving the station, makes the windows rattle in the whole neighborhood.

Photo #12 (49 Ko)

West Twin Peaks

Heavy railroad traffic in West Twin Peaks, while the UP Doodlebug starts its climb towards Devil's Creek, and a pair of RS3's is headed to Summit to get some freight.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #13 (54 Ko)

Junction station

A freight train is entering Junction station. Meanwhile, the track gang is taking a small rest.

Photo #14 (45 Ko)

Devil's Creek

A train of empty hoppers is getting close to Devil's Creek and crosses Red River. This dramatic site gives its name to the Company.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #13 (47 Ko)

Meeting in Junction

This station, not served by passenger trains, is however a strategic place where many freight trains that move on this single track line of the UP can meet.

Photo #16 (45 Ko)

Devil's Creek mine

A DCCo RS11 is switching hoppers at the mine, where a febrile activity reigns. Meanwhile, a loaded train is about to start its descent to Twin Peaks.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Photo #17 (52 Ko)

End of the day in Junction

After meeting another freight, a heavy freight train with a GP30 and a GP18 on the point, leaves for a long night trip from Junction.

More to come...
Free Heaven Harbor Terminal RR Lakeside diorama

Page created by Bernard Fabron
Photos by Gérard Briffaud and René Vence
Last update : 12/30/2001
© 2001, Bernard Fabron, Gérard Briffaud, René Vence