Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad

Large Scale Models of DSP&P 2-8-0 Consolidations

Large Scale modeling of the DSP&P is not easy and ready-to-run, properly proportioned and decorated locomotives are rare in any scale. In the past, the locomotives that have been available in large scale can "pass" if you don't look too closely for some specific "South Park" details. The newer Accucraft 2-8-0 Consolidations are remarkable exceptions, with very faithful details and colour schemes.

This page covers the 1:20 scale Accucraft and 1:24 scale Delton / Aristocraft locomotives that ran on my outdoor railway, with some comments on their peculiarities.

DSP&P 2-8-0 Consolidations #41 through 49 were built by Cooke and were delivered in 1883. Numbers 50 throgh 57 were Baldwin products, and #58 through 68 were again Cooke models, also delivered in 1883.

Builder's Photo Cooke Consolidation DSP&P #63

DSP&P #51 as built, drawn by David Fletcher, in Sep/Oct 2015 NGSLG.

The Aristocraft "Delton Classic" 1:24 Scale DSP&P Consolidations
In 1989, Delton Locomotive Works began producing a Denver and Rio Grande C-16 Class 2-8-0, in 1:24 “H” scale, matching all their other products. The good-looking body was plastic with some metal fittings, and a good metal frame and metal wheels. Unfortunately, the motor and gearbox were a little primitive and it took 6 more years before all the mechanical issues were resolved. It was painted in several variations for the Colorado and Southern, among other road names, but none were labeled for DSP&P at that time. A paint sample in garish red is noted in Sloboda’s history of DLW, but it was never produced for sale.

After a number of corporate shuffles, the tooling for these locomotives ended up with Aristocraft Trains (now out of business). In 1996, they began marketing re-tooled versions of the Delton 2-8-0 under the Aristocraft “Delton Classics” trade name. Two versions were painted for DSP&P: a wood burning DSP&P #63 with diamond stack, and a coal burner, DSP&P #64 with straight stack and modernized domes. These road numbers represent the Cooke-built DSP&P locomotives #58 through #68, delivered to the DSP&P in 1883.

The level of detail is moderate compared to the brass models discussed elsewhere on this website. The model bears a strong resemblance to the builder’s photo of #63, but I can’t vouch for accuracy of the dimensions. The finish is good and equal to most moderately priced plastic models, Domes and headlight on #63 are fancy, those on #64 more plain as befits a more recent rebuilt locomotive. There is a wood or coal load as appropriate in the tender. Cab doors and windows are immobile. Couplers, on the rear only, are Delton knuckle type. My biggest complaint about this model is that the engine number on the boiler front is always "268", regardless of the actual road number elsewhwew on the model. It would not have cost much for Aristocraft to do it right.

The original Delton Classic locomotive was not “sound-ready” as this concept had not been developed at the time. It is relatively easy to add basic LGB-style sound sensors or full DCC and an American steam sound module in the tender.

Sadly, only aftermarket models of DSP&P versions of the Delton Classic 2-8-0 are available today. Aristocraft had commissioned David Fletcher to prepare a prototype for C&S #30, and although it was a masterpiece, Aristocraft abandoned all versions except D&RGW models of this locomotive. Aristocraft ceased all production of model trains in Dec 2013, so nothing is available except old stock in hobby shop inventory. The company was resurrected as Polk's GenerationEXT (fall 2014) but no rolling stock has appeared.

VITAL STATISTICS:   Delton DSP&P 2-8-0 #63 and #64,  1:24 “H” Scale
Retail price: then $350, now $450     Quantity built as DSP&P: Unknown (1000+??)
Model numbers: ART 80203 (#63), ART 80103 (#64)
Weight: 6 pounds            Size: 26.5” long by 4.2” wide by 6.5” high
Minimum radius: 2 feet    Power: 0 to 16 volt DC motor

a Aristocraft 2-8-0 DSP&P #64

Aristocraft 2-8-0 DSP&P #63 

David Fletcher's prototype model built in 2010 for Aristocraft, now in my collection. The model features a lower profile than the older production runs, more closely representing the real locomotive. Aristocraft decided not to proceed with production.

The Accucraft 1:20.3 Scale DSP&P Consolidations
Accucraft’s DSP&P 2-8-0 Consolidation model locomotive, in 1:20.3 “F” scale, made its debut in advertisements in 2007 and was delivered in 2010. The models were patterned after the Baldwin Locomotive Works engine at the Colorado Railroad Museum. This is the cosmetically restored DSP&P #191, previously #51 prior to the UP re-numbering in 1885.

DSP&P #51 was one of eight such locomotives (numbers 50 through 57) acquired by the South Park. Consolidations were the mainstay of Western narrow gauge railroads and some of these lasted well into the C&S era. DSP&P #191 became DL&G #191 in 1889, then C&S #31 in the merger of 1899.

DSP&P #51 with a Tiffany reefer and Waycar
#60 on the author's outdoor railway

The models come in two liveries: a dark green version of DSP&P #51 as it appeared in the 1880’s, and an all-black DSP&P #191 as it appears now at CRM. Both have simulated russia iron boilers. Both were available as electric or live-steam versions. Plans and liveries were drawn by David Fletcher – see more HERE.

The body of the model is built from heavy brass with steel drivers, side rods, and linkage. Level of detail is excellent, especially the domes, headlight, pilot, and rivet patterns. Paint and lettering is superb on #51 with all the ornate curlicues expected in that era. Dressed as #191, the engine is pretty “Plain Jane”, but that’s the way it really was. Domes and headlight mounts on both models are just as elaborate as on the Mason-built 2-6-6T’s. This locomotive carries the large Nesmith smoke stack. The two center pairs of drivers are blind as they were on the original.

The electric versions are sound-ready but not plug-and-play – there is a rat’s nest of open ended wires in the tender, accessed by lifting out the coal load. Coupler pockets are designed for link-and-pin fittings (not supplied).

I have no personal experience with the steam powered units. Online reports suggest 30 to 40 minute run–times, depending on loading. There are some good videos of these steamers on YouTube. The engine has a single flue boiler, two cylinders with piston valves, water level and pressure gauges, safety valve, lubricator, simulated Stephenson valve gear, reverse lever, and throttle.

VITAL STATISTICS: Accucraft DSP&P 2-8-0 #51 and $191, 1:20.3 “F” Scale
Retail price: then and today, $2200 to $2600 range     Quantity built: 41 electric, 42 steam
Model numbers: AL87-119A and 119B for steam, AL88-119A and 119B for electric
Weight: 24 pounds                Size: 30.0” long by 4.9” wide by 7.5” high, incl tender
Minimum radius: 4 feet         Power: 0 to 24 volt DC motor, or butane-fired steam

Painting of DSP&P #191

Accucraft's 1:20.3 scale model of DSP&P Consolidation #191 (originally #51)

Accucraft's 1:20.3 scale 2-8-0 painted for DSP&P #51 in 1885 colours, later renumbered as 191.