A Station for Copper City

Finding a station for Copper City was an interesting process. I have several different Colorado stations that I like. The Rio Grande Southern’s Ophir and Rico stations have always interested me. However, either one of these stations is not a good fit for Copper City and the fictional Colorado and Rio Grande Southern. They have shown up in so many pictures that anyone coming to visit or operate the Copper City railroad will think of the Rio Grande Southern, not my C&RGS.

Fortunately, my favorite Colorado narrow gauge station is the Colorado and Southern’s Leadville depot. Have always liked the brick broken up with a string of stone, slate roof and the small second floor dormers. It is a station that looks like it could have been at home on any railroad, either standard or narrow gauge. Currently, the station serves the Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad, a scenic standard gauge railroad. The station was built sometime in the early 1890s by the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad. If you want to learn more about the station or see plans, find a copy of the May 1989 Model Railroader magazine which contains plans for the station as well as several photos.

C&S Passenger Train at the Leadville Depot
from the Denver Public Library Digital Collection

Copper City is a town (it was never really big enough to be what one would consider a city) that has a very prosperous past with both gold and silver mining during the 1880’s and early 1890’s. Gold mining remained steady and continued until the United States entered the Great War in 1917. Mining picked up somewhat in the 1920’s but never really returned to the late 1880’s-early 1890s pace when the Copper City station was built to replace the original wooden station that burned. The new brick station spoke of Copper City’s importance to the citizens and the mining activity in the area. By the September of 1939, the time I am modeling, Copper City is serviced by a mixed train and freight extras. The passenger car at the end of the train carries a few passengers, never enough to fill the car. Certainly not the volume of passengers the station once saw.  The station is not as grand or as clean as it was in its glory years. It is now 46 years old in the period I am modeling. It has seen its fair share of cinders, snow storms, and broken slate  shingles over the years.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to acquire an O scale scratchbuilt Leadville station from George Sebastian-Coleman. George had built the station as part of a Model Railroad video series on working with styrene. I was very happy that to acquire the station from George. Since its arrival in May, my limited modeling time has been devoted to working on a track plan that has the station as its focal point.

The model Leadville station on George’s new C&S layout
photo by George Sebastian-Coleman


Another view of the model station on George’s new layout
Photo by George Sebastian-Coleman



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