1:20.3 scale D&RGW Cumbres Station
Scratch Building 1:20.3 scale D&RGW Cumbres Station out of Wood and Sintra  (PVC Plastic) with Resin Castings
by Dan Stuettgen

Before I start with the detailed step-by-step directions on how I built this model of the D&RGW Cumbres Station, you  need to know that this model is of the Original Cumbres Station at Cumbres Pass on the D&RGW line between Chama and Antonito and was torn down in 1956 as a cost cutting measure by the Railroad management.  The current Cumbres Station is the old Section House which I will also be modeling, but will be another tutorial.

Materials used:

1/4"  (6mm) thick Sintra (PVC Plastic) for the sub structure
Houseworks Basswood Clapboard Siding #7035  3/12" x 24" with 1/4" face
Custom made Resin Casting of the Windows and eve supports.
Doors custom made using Evergreen Scale Models Polystyrene.
Painted with Polyscale D&RGW colro paints.
Shingles hand cut from ceder vernier
Semi-fore Order Board made out of Brass tubing and brass sheet                               

I have always liked the Cumbres Pass track layout after I had seen it in person many years ago on one of my trips with fellow Narrow gauge modelers and have wanted to incorporate it into a layout.  Now that I am building a 1:20.3 (Fn3) railroad I thought this is the perfect time to do Cumbres pass , but I wanted to do it as it had been in the late 1800's which would include the original Station that had been torn down in 1956. After an extensive search on the web and studying a number of books on the D&RGW, I was able to locate a number of photos of the original station and obtaining a copy of the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette that had drawings of the station in 1:87 (HO) scale I was able to work towards building the Original station.

I had the plans enlarged to 1:20.3 scale for reference as I did not want to cut them up to use them as patterns for the many different size windows and doors and other details.  So I sat about using Deltacad to draw scale drawings of all the doors, windows and eve trim details that I could print out full size in 1:20.3 scale an use as templates for making the masters for these parts.

Since the station had 15 windows of 5 different sizes and configurations I decided to make masters of these and then make molds to cast them in as a labor saving measure.  I cast the frames separate from the window sashes and mutton's, as it allowed for simpler molds and I could glue the sashes in to make some of the windows look like they were open.  There are 8 Large windows, 2 windows of the same design that are smaller and wider on one end of the station. On the second level there are 4 small windows that are roughly the same size except two have 4 panes and 2 only have 2 panes.  Lastly there is one small window in the privy that was added to one end of the station as the snows in the winter could reach depths of 8 to 10 feet and that would have covered any outhouse.

The doors were made out of Evergreen polystyrene and no molds were made of them as there were only two freight doors and one station door, so it did not take much time to make these doors.  I had thought about using Grandt Line doors for the freight doors as well as the Station door but after careful study, the ones Grandt Line offers did not match the actually design of the doors and since I wanted to make the station as accurate as possible I chose to make my own.


East End of Station.
West end of Station.
Photos of original station from Friends or the Cumbres and Toltec Collection

Model Photos by Dan Stuettgen​​