The LT&N

The Colorado O Scale Modelers group presents the Longmont Terminal and Northern Model Railroad Co. LLC for your enjoyment. The LT&N represents a short line railroad on the Front Range. Longview is a small prosperous prairie town (not unlike Longmont, CO) served by a railroad and a major highway. The railroad serves the local agricultural economy much like the Great Western Ry.

Buildings in town are a mixture of commercial and kit built structures. The 1/4” scale allows for the inclusion on many small details like the invoice on the counter at the gas station. The era is the late forties to middle fifties when steam was still in use but the diesels were taking over because of efficiencies of operation and lower labor costs. Most of the buildings are of masonry construction reflecting an earlier era when businesses were passed down through the family and the community was important part of daily life. Style over substance creeps in via the automobile with it’s annual stying changes and flashy looks. Soon the railroad station will close as the highway improves and the automobile becomes the favored mode of personal transportation. The freight house will also close as UPS takes over small parcel delivery, but the rails will remain as moving bulk commodities like grain or coal is still their forte.

The layout consists of several sections (16) of a unique lightweight construction that allows one man the set up the layout in about an hour, a very nice feature for a portable layout. Each section weighs ten to fifteen pounds and is very durable to withstand the handling of setup and breakdown. The length of 48” was intended to allow individual sections to be transported in a car. The whole layout is now transported in a cargo van but soon an alternative will be required as expansion has exceeded the van’s capacity. A larger layout depicting a mainline style operation with passenger trains is under construction using the same type of construction. This layout has been displayed at over twenty train shows over the last ten years.

O scale or 1/4” scale is 1/48th of full size trains. It is large enough to build models that are mechanically accurate and functional. It is the preferred scale of model builders even thought it’s size prevents large layouts in most homes. The HO (half O) scale is very popular as its size allows larger railroads in the average basement or garage. Think of it as modeling an intersection rather than the whole block. Of course one can do the whole town if working in N scale, but with the smaller scales there is a loss of detail. These choices are part of what makes the hobby of model railroading so fascinating.

Colorado O Scale Modelers is a small group of train lovers who enjoyed collecting and building models of their favorite trains. Some are fortunate enough to have home layouts, others get their “fix” working and running on the LT&N. We exchange ideas and techniques for model construction and tell others about this great hobby. Many skills are involved in building model railroads making it a great way to teach how our economy functions and the railroads role in this country’s prosperity. Many manual skills and multiple materials are involved in building models that actually operate like the real thing.