A Garden Railroad in 1/20.3 Scale

The Cibola Lumber and Mining Railroad is a Garden Railway in 1/20.3 scale. It is inspired by the succession of lumber companies that operated in the Zuni Mountains of the Cibola National Forest in Northwestern New Mexico from 1870 until the mid 1940s. Rolling stock and practice is based on Rocky mountain narrow gauge railroads in the 1930s. The nominal date of the line is 1932 to 1938.

The line is an imagined line running through North Central New Mexico  in a horseshoe shape from Farmington to Albuquerque and back up to Santa Fe. This reflects the unrealized ambitions of the RGS and the D&RGW to extend lines into Albuquerque. The Cibola interchanges with those lines at their respective terminus. Two made up towns are modeled on the layout. The company town of Cibola, location of the head office and the RR shops and the town of Broken Wheel, a southwestern cow-town and freight center located on the branchline.

Cibola L & M RR receives revenues from lumber harvested on federal forestry leases and from wholly owned mineral / land rights on three silver mines. In addition to these raw materials the line has built a modestly profitable passenger and freight service. Along with its own freight cars a number of regional business’s operate or lease rolling stock on the line.

Currently the Railroad is suffering from the effects of both the depression and the dust bowl but remains in the black for now. Equipment ranges from circa 1870s to the 1930s. The fleet includes flatcar mounted and framed tank cars along with wood and steel (murphy) roofed boxcars. Flats and gondolas are provided for shippers as needed. Livestock traffic is limited to interchange with the RGS and privately owned cars. Reefers are split between private and company owned cars, with specialty cars leased or built by shippers.

Motive power consists of a pair of 2-8-0 Connies and a pair of 2-8-2 K-27s. The lumber camps are served by a 75 ton four truck Shay and an ancient Forney. The mines are served on an independent loop by an 0-6-0 saddle tank engine.

Operations of the model layout is by NiMH battery using Airwire control and Phoenix sound. The mine loop is track power and uses R-1 LGB turnouts and brass 332 rail. Mainline track is approximately 400 ft of brass 332 rail by Aristo-Craft. All turnouts are #6 USA Trains manually operated with Ten Mille ground throws. It is three interconnected loops.

This site will cover the building of the layout and the customizing of the rolling stock and scenery.

I hope you enjoy your time here.

Boomer K.