The Denver and Southwestern Railroad

Donald R. Paulson
President and General manager
Ouray, Colorado

The Denver and Southwestern Railroad (D&SW) is an HO/HOn3 model railroad set in the early 1950's. It is very loosely patterned after the Denver and Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) and the Rio Grande Southern (RGS).

For a brief history of the Denver and Southwestern Railroad click here.

Below are a number of recent shots of the railroad.

The standard gauge D&SW begins in Denver and heads southwest to Salida, west to Gunnison and then south to Santa Fe where it connects with the Santa Fe Railroad (AT&SF). Since the AT&SF and the Southern Pacific (SP) jointly own the D&SW, you will often see their engines and equipment.

The D&SW is a very healthy railroad with coal, lumber, mining and agricultural products providing most of the shipments. Passenger business is booming as well. In recent weeks the daily Denver-Santa Fe Express has left Salida with two sections. Since the time period of the railroad is the early 1950s, you will thus see both steam and diesel power on the D&SW.

The Narrow Gauge Division of the D&SW proceeds from Gunnison to Lake City and then winds through the San Juan mountains via Ouray, Red Mountain and Silverton. A new extension provides service through Placerville and Ophir with the completion of the new high bridge between those two towns. The San Juan Southern (a wholly owned subsidiary of the D&SW) provides a second route from Ouray to Silverton via Animas Forks and the rich mines of the area. The mining, lumber, coal and annual stock movements providing enough shipments to keep the narrow gauge alive.

Last Modified 5/12/2017