ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, LEAVERITE
and NORTHERN RAILWAY
Layout At A Glance
The Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite and Northern Railway is an
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,
Mountain House, Leaverite and Northern Railway
G Scale / 3 Foot Narrow Gauge 1:22.5
+/- a bit
x 38 feet, multi-level, outdoors
225 feet mainline
150 feet to / in storage shed
48 feet in yards, sidings
LGB 16000 curves and switches, Code 332
15 locomotives and powered units
42 freight cars / cabooses
16 MOW cars
12 passenger cars
people and children
20 animals and birds
Foothills and Rocky Mountains
01 July 1885
Rocks, rocks, more rocks, redwood bark mulch
Ground cover: Astroturfica, Plants:
USDA Zone 3 tolerant.
LGB steam engine, cattle, sheep sounds, ambient
sound with thunder, wolves, loons, distant trains
Single track mainline, manual switching for sidings and
10 amp transformer
AristoCraft Train Engineer walk-around
Trains knuckle couplers, Dean Lowe and Bachmann metal wheels
by appointment 1-403-845-2527
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.
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
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, and 3 Mason Bogie.
Passenger and freight cars are all DSP&P equipment, either leased or
second hand. 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
The garden railway, with house and 160 acres of ranch land, was put
up for sale in 2016. The prized locomotives and rolling stock were
put on display in my condo. Two trains were left for the new owners,
the scenic modules were sold to a neighbour, and the balance of the
rolling stock was put on consignment. Photos on this website show
the railway in its prime.
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
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
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
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
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
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
DSP&P #71 on Trestle #3 (left) and running through Glacier
(right) - Leo deGroot
I love kitbashing
and improving commercial models to attain a little more realism.
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
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
Satellite photo-mosaic of Rocky Mountain House, Leaverite & Northern
Railway. North is to the right.
Click here for larger image
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
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
Interview and Photos published in "The Mountaineer" newspaper, Rocky
Mountain House, Alberta, 26 July 2016.
Photos and article by Logan Schenk, Staff Reporter.