Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad

Large Scale Models of DSP&P Rolling Stock

Large Scale modeling of the DSP&P is not easy. With minor exceptions, most ready-to-run (RTR) comercial models are only moderately correct for the DSP&P in the 1880's. I model in 1:22 to 1:24 scale and virtually none of the available DSP&P equipment has the correct body, roof, under-carriage, colours, or lettering. More disturbing, none of the RTR models shown below are currently in production and are becoming hard to find on the after-market.

This page illustrates the models that have been produced, with my comments on their deficiencies. I used the available rolling stock to “represent” the real thing, without worrying too much about accuracy. I have renumbered, re-roofed, and repainted some cars, kit-bashed others to represent what the railway could have used, and live with the time-sliding problem of the DSP&P’s very short but very eventful life.

See also:  The Wood Roof Problem
   Tiffany Reefer Patent
                  Dressing Up Commercial Models

Accucraft's DSP&P Freight Cars
Accucraft's 1:20.3 scale waycar is pretty good. Made of heavy brass with steel wheels, it comes painted in straw yellow as a DSP&P un-numbered waycar or as a brown, unlettered, generic transfer caboose. No dry transfer numbers are provided by Accucraft to give the waycar a number – that would have been a nice touch. I labeled mine as DSP&P #60 to match my 1:1 scale replica waycar / train storage shed.


The Accucraft model generally follows the dimensions of Charles Brommer’s plans for DSP&P #73 in the Jan/Feb 1992 "Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette". However, the window treatment on the model is weak – in the famous photo of Waycar #72 (with Mason Bogie #42), the lower sash clearly slides up inside the upper sash. The model does not replicate this feature as obviously as it could have. The end railings include a solid panel between each pair of inboard uprights, as on Brommer’s plan. This ODD feature does not appear on other plans in my collection. Brake rigging and pedestal details are good but nothing moves. Doors are  spring loaded but there is no interior detail. Coupler pockets are designed for link and pin fittings (not supplied).

Hartford Products DSP&P Freight Cars
Accurate DSP&P freight car models were produced by Hartford Products in 1:20.3 scale. These were craftsman kits produced in the 1990's. Production may have resumed after a long break in availablity -- see Ozark Miniaturses website for availablily. Here are the Hartford photos of their completed kits. My only complaint about these models is their extreme scarcity.

Above 5 photos: Hartford Products 1:20.3 scale DSP&P freight cars. These are beautifully
designed and accurate craftsman kits.

Delton DSP&P Freight Cars

DSP&P Tiffany Reefers: Delton 1:24 scale "Plain" (available in 2 road numbers 1055 and 1056), and Delton "Fancy Script" version (based on the Tiffany advertisement in the 1878 Car Builder's Cyclopedia). Neither has correct roof or ventilation holes in the end walls. The fancy script version never ran on the DSP&P. About 1000 of each were produced in the late 1980's.

Bachmann DSP&P Freight Cars

The Bachmann 1:24 scale UP reefer has the correct road number for the post-1885 era, but wrong roof.

Aristocraft "Delton Classics" DSP&P Freight Cars


Delton Classics from Aristocraft 1:24 scale. The Tiffany reefer has incorrect roof and no ventilation holes, the box, flat, and gondola have the wrong road numbers, the hopper is a Quincy and Torch Lake model and never ran on the DSP&P, and the DSP&P never had a long caboose. And DSP&P cars never had logos on their sudes. Oh well, they are pretty!

USA Trains DSP&P Freight Cars

The USA Trains 1:24 scale reefer 903 has a logo and black paint on the doors that shouldn't be there and of course the road number and roof are wrong. They also produced a generic Tiffany car that had the ornate lettering resembling the standard gauge car (not the DSP&P car). They also produced a fictitious DSP&P long caboose.

LGB DSP&P Freight Cars

LGB's sole 1:22 scale DSP&P entry had wrong road number, wrong roof, and no ventilator holes. Otherwise a credible Tiffany reefer. Tens of thousands of LGB's Cooke 2-6-0 DSP&P Moguls were produced -- why not a full train of freight cars? Marketing people amaze me sometimes.


Model Die Casting DSP&P Freight Cars

MDC turned out a 1:22+/- scale DSP&P  waycar, but no other DSP&P cars. It has a correct road number but the window arrangement is wrong and it comes with two 4-wheel trucks instead of a 4-wheel bobber undercarriage.

Customized DSP&P Freight Cars


Some custom lettered cars purchased from eBay vendors

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 metal 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. Doesn't it look nice!.