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Rio Grande Southern RR - Workbooks & Modeling Resources


This section lists books, videos and other references for the RGS. Many of these items are out-of-print or otherwise hard-to-find, so to help locate them (in case you'd like to own them yourself), I've included links to places where they can be found. Categories include:

RGS D&RG / related Modeling Video Misc
RGS books   Area Exploration books RGS Modeling RGS videos / cds   Book Stores
RGS magazines   Area History books RGS QuickPic   C&TS Videos
RGS music (really!)   D&RG books RGS Workbooks   D&RG Videos
  D&Sng books RGS Model Videos   D&Sng Videos
  EBT books   Misc Videos
  Misc books

Modeling Resources

  1. New! Master Model Railroading books: An amazing set of books by the producer of the QuickPic books (see below), this new series covers 3 areas - Electronics and Animation (2 books), Towns, Cities, Structures (2 books) and Scenery (2 books). These are unlike most other modelng books, and feature extensive photography and very detailed step-by-step instructions on the topics covered. The first scenry book, on rushing rapids, is something I've never seen anywhere else. Check 'em out!       Find this book at:   BHI Publications


  2. The Scratchbuilders, Craftsman and Narrow Gauge Buyers Guide: 2003, Light Iron Digest, Washingtonville, OH, 80+ pages (softcover). A listing of manufacturers, vendors, dealers and suppliers catering to model railroaders. Each full page listing will have the manufactures name, product line or list, photos, and/or diagrams of select products. Name, address, phone number, email and/or fax numbers, web site and payment options. This is a "first" for the scratchbuilder/craftsman hobbyist.
          Find this book at:   Light Iron Digest


  3. RGS Freight Car Modeling Guide: Ron Rudnick, 2003, (self published), Phoenix, AZ, 25+ pages (softcover)
    Another new book on the RGS! This is a guide including plans, histories, rosters and other surprises. Plans include 24 and 27 foot box cars, coal cars, flat cars and work cars. Also includes drawings for Silverton Northern and Silverton box cars and Montezuma Lumber Co coal car. Surprises include the RGS 300 series coal cars. Contrary to popular myth, they were not D&RG 8300 coal cars with the eight painted over. Only about a dozen of them were former 8300 series cars, the rest were from D&RG 6800 flat cars up, and included several RGS coal and flat cars. Available directly from the author for $15 plus $1.50 postage. Write to: Ron Rudnick, 2050 W. Dunlap D-34, Phoenix, Arizona 85021. You can also email him at spark@quik.com. Or try the links below.
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay


  4. Taking Stock: Vic Stone, 1992, Creedstone Publications, Hampshire, UK, 254 pages (hardcover, spiral-bound)
    An extremely detailed look at D&RGW stock cars, aimed at historian, railfan and modeler. The book documents these cars to the Nth degree, and includes official D&RGW plans for the various types of cars, covers variations of each car type, and many variations of car lettering. It is a very comprehensive book. The cover is unique, and folds out into a 1/2" scale drawing of the DRGW 550-5849 series stock car. Unfortunately, the book is currently out-of-print and hard to find. Vic has a few copies left in England, available for the original price of $75 each. Contact information is Creedstone Publications, 23 Sinah Lane, Hayling Island, Hampshire, UK, PO11 OHH, Telephone: 02392 463913, or email Vic at: creedstonepubs@aol.com. Or try the links below.
          Find this book at:   Amazon   Alibris   eBay


  5. John Maxwell Collection: This is a very complete set of drawings, of many narrow-gauge items, especially RGS items. Drawings include bridges, cabooses, freight cars, locomotives, maps, work equipment, passenger cars, streetcars, structures, track, signs, and other items. There was also a large collection of photosgraphs on the site. Unfortunately, the collection and website were managed by John's son Bruce, who has now passed away and this collection is no longer online, and I'm not sure who owns it or where it's located now.


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QuickPic Books

These softcover books are a collection of very detailed photographs of various railroads, including a large number of narrow gauge and RGS topics. They've been created by Tim Mulina and various guest authors / photographers. More details and ordering information is available on Tim's main site.

I've included below those of Tim's books that may be of interest to the RGS modeler.
  1. Quick Pic Book - RGS Bunk/Outfit 01789: Mike Condor & Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 58 pages (softcover). 118 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for RGS boxcar 1789 / Outfit car 01789. The carbody photographed can also be used for boxcars D&RG and D&RGW 4000-4099, Silverton 500-544, Silverton Northern 100-109 and US Naval Base Pearl Harbor 1942 and later.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  2. Quick Pic Book - RGS Goose #1: Tim Mulina, 2004, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 50 pages (softcover). 84 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for a newly-built replica of RGS Goose #1. This was the first Goose, and acted as a prototype for the larger geese to follow. It was scrapped by the RGS when the later geese were built. This replica was built a few years ago and is in private ownership. It operates from time to time, at RailFest in Durango and elsewhere.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  3. Quick Pic Book - RGS Goose #5: Mike Condor & Tim Mulina, 2004, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 62 pages (softcover). 106 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for RGS Goose #5. This is one of 4 Geese that were modified for tourist hauling by the RGS. It's now owned by the Galloping Goose Historical Society in Dolores, CO, and is operating!
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  4. Quick Pic Book - RGS Goose #6: Mike Condor & Tim Mulina, 2004, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 50 pages (softcover). 81 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for RGS Work Goose #6. This is the only of the RGS's 7 geese that was dedicated to MOW service. It's owned and on display at the Colorado RR Museum, and is operating sometimes.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  5. Quick Pic Book - RGS Locomotive #20: Mike Condor & Tim Mulina, 2004, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 66 pages (softcover). 132 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for RGS #20. This is a 4-6-0 originally built for the Florence & Cripple Creek, and is now on display at the Colorado RR Museum. It's owned by the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  6. Quick Pic Book - RGS Locomotive #42: Mike Condor & Tim Mulina, 2004, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 66 pages (softcover). 149 b&w photos
    A detailed, photographic reference for RGS #42. This is a 2-8-0 originally built for the Denver & Rio Grande, and is now on display in the roundhouse museum of the Durango & Silverton RR. It has been cosmetically restored, but is very worn and has serious frame damage; it's unlikely it'll ever operate again.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  7. Quick Pic Book - C&S / RGS 7015-7064 series NG Stockcars: Tim Mulina, tba, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 119 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the C&S's 7015-7064 phase-1 stockcars, which were used on the C&S and later on the RGS.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  8. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 3000-series NG Boxcars: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 42 pages (softcover). 64 b&w photos
    Another of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 3000-series box cars.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  9. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 6200-6219-series NG Flatcars: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 42 pages (softcover). 78 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 6200-series flat cars.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  10. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 6500-series (class 23 & 24) NG Flatcars: Tim Mulina, 2006, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 118 b&w photos
    Another of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW 6500 series (Class 23 & 24) flats. This book includes never before published photos of the class 24 cars as well as a number of others that were taken in the early 1960's by Maurie Walker in addition to the normal highly detailed photography that the series is know for. The photos include some of the special use cars that the D&S uses. D&RGW's 6500-series flat cars.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  11. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 700-series NG Drop-Bottom Gondolas: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 70 pages (softcover). 115 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 700-series drop-bottom gons.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  12. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 1000-series NG High-Side Gondolas: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 50 pages (softcover). 105 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 1000-series high-side gons, including cars numbered 1000 thru 1499.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  13. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 1500-1899-series NG Gondolas: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 89 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 1500-series gons, including cars numbered 1500 thru 1899, and including both high-side gons and pipe gons.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  14. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW long NG Reefers 150-189: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 104 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 150-series long reefers, including cars numbered 150 thru 169.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  15. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW Narrow Gauge Consolidations in Color: Tim Mulina, 2009, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 46 pages (softcover). 157 color photos
    A book with the same focus as the Narrow Gauge Mikados in Color (see below), except this one focuses on the 2-8-0 consolidations of the D&RGW, including the C-16, C-17, C-18 and C-19 locomotives.
    BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  16. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW Narrow Gauge Mikados in Color: Tim Mulina, 2009, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 46 pages (softcover). 224 color photos
    Tim notes that they've asked repeatedly over the years by modelers and custom painters as well as fans for books that show the actual colors and weathering patterns on the K-27, K-28, K-36 & K-37 locos. We have been listening and this is the result of your requests. This book is full color so you can see the subtle shadings of grays, the lime and rust and water and oil spots, the places where cinders land during the right wind conditions and many other details usually overlooked. These are almost all digital images so we were able to get the color as accurate as possible
    BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  17. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW short NG Reefers 32-81: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 91 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's short reefers, including cars numbered 32 thru 81.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  18. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW 5500-5849-series NG Stockcars: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 119 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW's 5500-series stockcars, including cars numbered 5500 thru 5849.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  19. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW NG RPO / Baggage car #60: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 2nd ed, 34 pages (softcover). 36 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering the D&RGW 60 RPO / Baggage-Mail car.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


  20. Quick Pic Book - D&RGW NG Coaches 280 and 284: Tim Mulina, 2003, BHI/Rail Systems, O'Fallon, MO, 54 pages (softcover). 104 b&w photos
    More of Tim's very complete photographic reference books, this one covering D&RGW coaches 280 and 284. According to Al Kamm (w/the exception of the bay window on the three Chili Line configured coaches 284, 306, & 320), the following cars were similar to the 280 & 284: 256, 270-276, 278-283, 285, 287, 289-292, 297, 297, 300-305, 307-309, 313-319, & 321.
          Find this book at:   BHI/Rail Systems   Alibris   eBay


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Workbooks

Mike Blazek has these created loose-leaf format workbooks give detailed information on yards, structures, tracks, bridges, etc. Detailed yard and area maps are provided where appropriate.

Mike also has a large number of very detailed drawings available for numerous buildings used by the RGS and the towns it served - mines, stations, section houses, etc. These are scale drawings, in either HO or S scale.

For either workbooks or plans, visit Mike's website Or email him

  1. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 1 - Rico: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
    (description mostly from Amazon) This is one of a series of amazingly detailed workbooks of specific narrow gauge locations. In this one, the focus is the Rio Grande Southern's Rico yards about 1920. There's a hsitory of the town, then 7 chapters of detail - maps (RGS, Rico with Enterprise branch, Grand View smelter schematic, Enterprise Mine schematic), the yards (plans for the South, Central and North yards), trackwork (track, ties and ballast, rail, turnouts, switchstands), buildings and structures (paint color schemes, building and structure inventory, space requirements for buildings, full sized and reduced scale plans, list of available plans), bridges (Rico's bridges, Bridges 66A, 66B and 66C), details (analyzing photographs, sketches and signs), operational possibilities and resources. The delightful pen and ink drawings bring Rico to life and make it easy to visualize the railroad, the yards and the structures. Unpaginated but about 2" thick.
          Find this book at:   Amazon   Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  2. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 2 - Telluride: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  3. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 3 - Dolores: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  4. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 4 - Ridgway: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  5. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 5 - Placerville-Dallas Divide: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  6. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 6 - Ophir: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  7. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 7 - Brown - Vance Jct - Matterhorn: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  8. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 8 - Durango - West Durango: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  9. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 9 - Pandora: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  10. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 11 - RGS 1919 ICC Valuation Report: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


  11. Narrow Gauge Workbook - Vol 17 - Mancos - Lizard Head - Coke Ovens: Mike Blazek, 19--, (self published), Costa Mesa, CA, --- pages
          Find this book at:     Alibris   eBay1   eBay2


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Modeling Videos

  1. Model RR videos on YouTube: There are a suprising - and growing - number of videos on YouTube featuring modeling or scenery building, many of them focused on narrow-gauge or similar layouts. I'm trying to maintain a personal playlist with these videos here, as I find them.


  2. Building the RGS vol 1 - Building Durango, Part 1: Green Frog Productions, 2001?. 60 minutes. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3 set in the 1930s. This volume includes benchwork, track laying, scratch-building the roundhouse, car shops, ash pit and more. Includes slides and film footage from Mallory Hope Ferrell, and (of course) video of the new layout being built. It's narrated by John Koch.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  3. Building the RGS vol 2 - Building Durango, Part 2: Green Frog Productions, 2001?. 60 minutes. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This volume includes a fascia for the layout, ballasting in the Durango yard, shrubs & bushes, scratch-building the Durango depot, a mine retaining wall, a tunnel portal, rock casting (using rubber molds), a backdrop, and details inside the car shop.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  4. Building the RGS vol 3 - Building Dolores, Part 1: Green Frog Productions, 2001?. 60 minutes. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This volume starts work on Dolores - benchwork, track laying (including stub switches & their wiring), a photo backdrop, a unique access door, wiring, scenery, and planning for the town which will include some bas relief work.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  5. Building the RGS vol 4 - Building Dolores, Part 2: Green Frog Productions, 2001?. 70 minutes. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This continues construction in Dolores, including the Dolores river, cottonwood trees, more buildings, bridges, a canyon, pine trees, a retaining wall, and blending the 3d scenery into the photo backdrop.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  6. Building the RGS vol 5 - New Mexico Lumber Co, Part 1: Green Frog Productions, 2002?. 60 minutes, video and DVD. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. Part 1 of a three part section covering The New Mexico Lumber Co in McPhee. This video includes construction of two plaster buildings, a std company house in styrene, a small plaster cabin, and some work on a tunnel and trackwork under the logging camp. A great series covering consruction of an entire smal town, w/lots of buildings being built from scratch.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  7. Building the RGS vol 6 - New Mexico Lumber Co, Part 2: Green Frog Productions, 2002?. 60 minutes, video and DVD. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This continues construction in McPhee, including the Company Store (w/an an interior), a highly detailed Donkey Engine, and beginning installation of a photo mural built in vol 5. Water and a water tank are also built.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  8. Building the RGS vol 7 - New Mexico Lumber Co, Part 3: Green Frog Productions, 2003. 63 minutes, video and DVD. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This finishes up construction of the New Mexico Lumber Co area, and includes installing the photo mural, construction of the sawmill, slash burner and engine house, and finishing up scenery around McPhee. Lots of operating shots from a typical day in McPhee as well.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  9. Building the RGS vol 8 - Back to Durango: Green Frog Productions, 2004(?). 59 minutes, video and DVD. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This moves back to Durango to cover some rarely-modeled items: construction and placement of the Graden Flour Mill, the stock pens south of Durango, the balloon loop in the yards, and a small passenger-car storage yard just west of the roundhouse.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  10. Building the RGS vol 9 - Dolores to Rico: Green Frog Productions, 2004(?). 73 minutes, video and DVD. Color. A new building series tracking the construction of a major RGS layout in On3. This moves along the main from Dolores to Rico, and includes the construction of a huge 8'x10' rock wall and a tunnel leading into Rico, an 18' photo-mural backdrop behind Rico (focusing on blending the backdrop and 'live' scenery), and finally the addition (in Rico) of a large sampliing mill and ore bin.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   GreenFrog


  11. Modeling the Prototype - 4 Narrow Gauge Layouts: Green Frog Productions, 19--. 55 minutes. Color. This video covers four finished layouts from Paul Scoles, Dave Woodrell, Jim Noonan, and Bill Busacca. Paul Scoles’ freelance layout features Sn3 railroading in the Pacific Northwest. Dave Woodrell’s Sn3 layout shows us a late 30s RGS from Ridgway to Rico. Jim Noonan’s modeling shows us a HOn3 RGS from Ridgway to Telluride. And finally, Bill Busacca’s Sn3 covers the RGS town of Dolores in the 40’s.
          Find this video at:     eBay   Green Frog: main   Greenfrog


  12. The Rio Grande Southern - Modeling the Prototype: Green Frog Productions, 1995. 60 minutes. Color. A photo excursion of Duane Danielson's On3 RGS layout, with additional b&w photos from Mallory Hope Ferrell. Video also includes a history of the RGS, tips on modeling the line, a mini-clinic on building evergreen trees, and other building & scenery tips. In print and easy to find. Here's some reviews of the tape.
          Find this video at:   Amazon   eBay1   eBay2   Green Frog: main   Greenfrog


  13. Scratch Building Structures: Green Frog Productions, 2005. 60 minutes, video and DVD. Color. This video was created by taking material from the 'Building The RGS Series' (see above), and adding a lot more details specifically related to scratch-building several of the structures described in that series. Apparently there was a good deal more material that didn't fit into those videos, and it has been collected here. There are four structures covered: a small boilder house, the RGS office building, a repair facility, and the proposed Illium depot - all RGS structures.
          Find this video at:     eBay


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