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Great Model Railroads By Allen Keller Vol. # 27


Volume 27 - The Utah Colorado Western of Lee Nicholas
Lee Nicholas' Utah Colorado Western is a bridge route running from Denver to Salt Lake City in the 1960s. This HO scale railroad features fine running first generation diesels and gorgeous rocky mountain scenery with hand painted backdrops. This creates the feeling the UCW has real work to do. Both Lee and the UCW are famous for operation. In fact Lee is one of the co-founders of the operation group, Pro-Rail.

Operation with camaraderie is the ultimate goal of all the work Lee and his friends have done on the railroad. Because of that interest in operation every locomotive and car must run extremely well or be replaced. Lee wants nothing on the layout that is not up to his high standards.

Lee and his friends will demonstrate cheesecloth scenery and mountain carving, backdrop planning and painting and staging yard operation.

The staging yard called the "Mole" is really a fiddle yard where consists are changed during an operating session rather than being staged ahead of the session. This fiddle yard is the key to interchange and car movements on the UCW. Because it connects both ends of the layout it saves money and space, and makes operation more like the prototype.

The UCW is a Great Model Railroad because Lee and his friends have used their talents and ideas to continually improve everything on the layout.


By George Ardwin
As I review the many videos in our library, I am amazed at the skill that has been achieved by model railroaders in this series. When I think I've seen the best that can be accomplished with the available materials, I am taken to an even higher level. LEE NICHOLAS and his friends have done it to me this time. His HO scale "Utah Colorado Western", is such a layout. The scenery is absolutely spectacular. The 1960's are the era for this 30' X 33' layout. It covers the line from Denver to Salt Lake City.

They use CTC operation, and OPERATION is the key word here. This layout is run like a fine tuned watch. The structures are both scratchbuilt and kitbashed. There are not a lot of people in the scenes, but the vehicles help to make up for it. The outstanding features are the overall scenery and weathering, with fantastic rock work.

The motive power is all diesel, mostly KATO. It is basically a freight railroad, with a single passenger run each session.

Here are the Demos offered:

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