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ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, LEAVERITE and NORTHERN RAILWAY
Layout At A Glance

The Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite and Northern Railway is an outdoor, large scale model railroad, nominally 1:22.5 or G Scale 3 foot narrow gauge running on Gauge 1 (45 mm) track. It is a little-known Canadian subsidiary of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad, serving the fictitious towns of Leaverite and Glacier in west central Alberta.

     
                    Overall view of Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite & Northern Railway,

Name:

Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite and Northern Railway

Scale/Gauge:

G Scale / 3 Foot Narrow Gauge 1:22.5
+/- a bit

Size: 18 x 38 feet, multi-level, outdoors
Trackage: 225 feet mainline
150 feet to / in storage shed
48 feet in yards, sidings
LGB 16000 curves and switches, Code 332
Rolling Stock: 15 locomotives and powered units
42 freight cars / cabooses
16 MOW cars
12 passenger cars
Population: 30 people and children
20 animals and birds
Prototype: Freelance DSP&P
Locale: Western Foothills and Rocky Mountains
Period: 01 July 1885
Scenery: Rocks, rocks, more rocks, redwood bark mulch
Ground cover: Astroturfica, Plants:
"Pinus Plastica". USDA Zone 3 tolerant.
Sound: LGB steam engine, cattle, sheep sounds, ambient sound with thunder, wolves, loons, distant trains
Operation: Single track mainline, manual switching for sidings and storage tracks
Power: AristoCraft 10 amp transformer
Control: AristoCraft Train Engineer walk-around
Couplers / Wheels: USA Trains knuckle couplers, Dean Lowe and Bachmann metal wheels
Visitors: Welcome by appointment 1-403-845-2527

History of the RMH,L&N Ry
The town of Leaverite received its name from the ranchers' term for large glacial erratics (rocks) left over from the last ice age - - - "leave 'er right there. it's too big to move". The largest leaverite in the world is at Okotoks, Alberta, about 160 miles south of the RMH,L&N location. Okotoks is a Blackfoot word for "Big Rock". Calgary, the major city close to the Big Rock, is  the home of a well known brewery, sending Big Rock beer across North America.

The Okotoks rock weighs in at 16,500 tons and travelled about 400 miles from Mount Edith Cavell, near Jasper. The biggest rock on the RMH,L&N weighs 4 tons and is about the size of an old Volkswagon. This monster, plus a dozen smaller rocks, were found on our ranch as we cleared bushland for grazing pastures.

  Placing leaverites on the RMH,L&N garden railway.

The RMH,L&N is about as small a garden railway as can be built and still be interesting. It is 18 x 38 feet with a two level mainline laid out as a folded dog-bone. The large rocks hide the train from view in many places. We generally run two trains following each other, making for some interesting operational problems.

An eight train transfer table is hidden in a fullsize reploca of DSP&P waycar #60.. A crushed brick sidewalk provides access on all sides of the railway.

All locomotive, revenue freight, and passenger equipment is on lease from the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad. These include 6 Moguls, 2 Consolidations, a 2-6-6T Mason Bogie, and a 2-4-4T Forney. Maintenance of Way equipment is on loan from the Rocky Mountain House, Nordegg and Pacific Railway. Almost all the rolling stock has been modified or kit-bashed in some way to make it unique to this railway.
 

Photo Gallery of the RMH,L&N Ry
Photos taken in 2008 -- 2012 by the author.


DSP&P Moguls 17 and 18 pull a seven car passenger express northbound on the Highline, DSP&P Mason Bogie #15 "Breckenridge" leads a reefer consist into Glacier Tunnel.


Head shot of #15 "Breckenridge" about to enter Glacier Tunnel with the Express on
the Highline above.


Kit-bashed waycar #69 trails the reefers through Glacier Tunnel.


The double headed express snakes into Glacier station.


Big Rock stands above the express as it pulls into Glacier station, Middle Rock and Little Rock stand behind the station.


DSP&P #15 enters Leaverite in front of the Pioneer grain elevator after clearing
Glacier Tunnel.


DSP&P #15 leaves Leaverite, approaching Bridge #1, a pony truss.


The double headed express and the reefer drag meet again on the southbound run, held
up on the steeply sloping side yard by more leaverites.


C&S #5 heads the MOW train past Rocking "Are" Ranch, pushing the snowplow, which
subs as a track cleaning car.


Broadside of the reefer drag with "Breckenridge" at the point.


"Breckenridge" pulls onto Trestle #3 while the tail car approaches Trestle #2, passing the
derrick for the Crain #1 oil well.


"Breckenridge" leaves Trestle #4  and approaches the Lower Steel Bridge, while the
express crosses Upper Steel Bridge.


The double header crosses over the MOW train at Shadow Lake while
"Breckenridge" pulls onto the Lower Steel Bridge.


"Breckenridge" starts the long pull up the 3.5% grade of Climax to the Highline.


Finishing the 3.5% grade on the sharp curve takes a sensitive hand on the throttle
to prevent spin-outs.


DSP&P Mogul # 18 with a four car passenger train crosses over Shadow Lake and
MOW snow train.


"Breckenridge" on the high trestle approaching Glacier station, crossing over C&S #5
 

 with the snowplow train.


The snowplow is about to enter Glacier Tunnel with "Breckenridge" on the Highline.


"Breckenridge" pauses for orders after taking on water at Glacier tank.


The Sunday local leaves Leaverite in the early morning sun.


C&S #5 hauls LCL freight and open loads of steam traction, thrasher, and new-fangled
automobiles across Lower Steel Bridge, with Big Rock overseeing operations.


C&S #5 on Trestle #3 with the open loads.


C&S Mogul #5 on Trestle #3.


The open loads southbound.


DSP&P Consolidation #63 heads out with the local way freight.


#63 crossing Trestles 3 and 4 with the local freight in front of Middle Rock and Big Rock.


Trestle #3 carries DSP&P #63 with Gorre and Daphetid boxcar and Victor Mining gondola
 full of gold ore.


DSP&P Mogul #71 heading south with the daily through freight with waycar #69 on the tail.


Sunshine on Leaverite country, with DSP&P Mogul #71 crossing the Lower Steel Bridge.

 
DSP&P #71 on Trestle #3 (left) and running through Glacier (right) - Leo deGroot photos.

 
I love kitbashing and improving commercial models to attain a little more realism.  Door hooks on LGB reefer were touched with black paint (lower left). All hardware, brake staff, and truss rods were painted black, ice hatches removed, air vent and ladders added, and a new road number inscribed, making the LGB reefer closer to the 1880 prototype.


The Murphy patented "outside" metal roof didn't arrrive until 1905 so no DSP&P car could have carried one until well along in C&S service. Converting the poorly rendered Murphy roof on the LGB, Delton, and USA Trains reefers and boxcars to a simulated wood roof makes a huge difference. The cure is to purchase some well used Bachman 933xx series boxcars at auction and snap off the roof - it is simulated wood, and the only one available in large scale. It needs to be shortened a bit in a miter saw to replace the Delton and USA Trains roof, and shortened even more for the LGB cars, then it just snaps into place.



DSP&P Consolidation #64 pushes Rotary O2 enroute to Climax Hill. See more snow train action
HERE.


Satellite photo-mosaic of Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite & Northern Railway. North is to the right.
Click here for larger image (300 Kb)


Display modules: Lost Lemon Mine (left) with Brewster, an 0-2-2-0 working the ore car, Daly Glen Tank and Station (center), Foggy Bottom Lighthouse and Poisson Ratio's Fish Plant (right).
Click here for larger image (1.0 Mb) 
Use the View > Full Screen option to scroll across the large image -- if you look closely near the front
 door of the fish plant, you will find me, my beard, and my Great Pyranees dog.

Interview and Photos published in "The Mountaineer" newspaper, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, 26 July 2016.
Photos and article by Logan Schenk, Staff Reporter.