Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad

Large Scale Models of DSP&P Passenger Cars

Large Scale modeling of the DSP&P is not easy and ready-to-run, properly proportioned and decorated rolling stock are rare in any scale. Virtually none of the available large scale DSP&P passenger cars have the correct body, roof, windows, under-carriage, colours, or car number or name. Commercial passenger cars are noticably too short, with too few windows as a result.

This page describes what is available, with some comments on the deficiencies. I have also shown som customized cars that I managed to capture on eBay.





THE LGB DSP&P Passenger Cars
LGB made the only ready-to-run Large Scale passenger cars labelled for the DSP&P. They are patterened after the D&RG / D&RGW Jackson and Sharp cars -- DSP&P never had any cars of this type.The DSP&P models have a silver roof (should be black) and need to be renumbered. The cars are a little short and shy of a few windows because of it.

In the early years the DSP&P passenger cars were chocolate brown or Tuscan red (mineral brown). The LGB cars are more like caboose red, but are not too bad when not in direct sunlight.

At the right are Bill Goulds renderings of the D&RG cars. Compare the window arrangement to the LGB photos below. A few DSP&P cars are a reasonable match to these models, notably the Bowers and Dure coachs purchased second hand from the AT&SF.




LGB's 1:22 scale DSP&P passenger cars need a little help - they are all too short with incorrect window shapes and arrangements, but black roofs and new car numbers will assist. There was no combine-caboose or Mack Railbus (a Delton product) on DSP&P, but "it could have been"! The correct colour should be more brown, but in more natural light, the colour is about right (see below).

Here's what the LGB cars look like on my outdoor railway, after painting the roofs black. The Delton Mason Bogie on the lower level track looks more natural in daylight, too. It's the glare from the sun on the black car roofs that makes them look silver, on models as well as the originals in the old black and white photos, so don't paint the roof silver - nature will do it for you.

The LGB model of the single door baggage car is a close match to DSP&P #42. Note the new roof colour and the new road number.

 My LGB coaches have been renumbered to represent DSP&P # 16, 17, and 24, built originally by Bowers Dure for the AT&SD in 1879. The prototype had 13 narrow windows instead of the 10 wide spaces on the model.

 My LGB coombines have been renumbered to represent DSP&P # 23 and 25, built originally by Bowers Dure for the AT&SD in 1879.  These models are also a little short and need more and narrower windows.

Custom DSP&P Passenger Cars
Delton dressed a set of passenger cars in DSP&P livery for advertising purposes but the set was never produced for sale.

Depot G Hobbies offered a
Delton four car DSP&P passemger train set with a 2-8-0 locomotive (DSP&P #65) in 1989-90. Unfortunately, none were produced for sale and this colour sample was probably the only one to see the light of day. The garish red loco and refrigerator car (#1070) may have played a role in low interest, although the passenger cars looked like real winners. This photo is from the Depot G advertisement in Garden Railways magazine.

The photos of the paint samples from Lenny Sloboda's book on DLW history show a little better detail. Note the car numbers in the round "blot" on the coach (#9) and combine (#6) -- both valid pre-1885 numbers. The baggage-mail car is numbered 1301, a post-1885 number for car #43.

The Delton passenger cars are now made by Hartland Locomotive Works. The long RPO, combine, and coach in maroon can be relettered for DSP&P -- these may be in short supply.  Good decals were offered on eBay but not seen recently. These cars are longer than the LGB passenger cars so they look a little better.

The Bachmann Jackson and Sharp cars are also decent models, and their maroon colour matches the Hartland colour very well. Window arrangements are still wrong for most DSP&P cars but they are a little longer than the LGB versions, so they look pretty nice.

I purchased the above 3 cars from an eBay vendor. They are Bachmann kits painted and lettered for DSP&P. The three photos represent 1878 Barney and Smith combine #4 "Hall's Valley", coach #5 "Leadville", and Pullman-built parlour car "South Park". As for the LGB cars, they are a bit short and shy a few windows.

Some people have managed to improve the stock available. Bob Baxter did a beautiful job of adding arch windows and reasonable lettering to a Bachmann passenger car. Some very early photos suggest that the roofs of passenger caes might have been painted with white lead, so the white roof on this model is probably correct. Later photos suggest sunshine on a black roof, which looks like light grey, not white and definitely not silver or alumunum colour.