Sunday, November 23, 2008


The Utah Colorado Western Railroad ( had a unique construction technique to minimize the number of legs necessary to support benchwork. The AT&SG Railroad adapted this technique of using TGI beams for long spans with 2x4 legs. It was decided to use the TGI panels only in the back along the wall to allow access under the front edge of the layout. The photo shows the TGI beams with the backdrop framework in place along the wall. This construction surrounds the layout on the three sides against the wall.

The board of trustees was very adamant about any construction impacting the walls of the railroad room. The policy was that the layout must be freestanding. In the previous version of this railroad the backdrop panels were attached to the walls. When the railroad was disassembled there the walls had to be repaired and refinished.The board of directors declared “Never again.” To accomplish this free standing benchwork the framework for the backdrop is attached to the back of the TGI beams and also secured against the 2x4 legs which were extended to reach the top of the sky. Nothing is attached to the walls of the railroad room. The photo shows this framework before the hardboard is in place. This framework will be covered with ¼ inch hardboard and then wallpapered with muslin to provide a smooth surface for the backdrop painting of sky, mountains, and horizon scenery.
More to come … visit us again soon.

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