North Yard

A cold snowy morning in the Union Pacific era of North Yard

North Yard

Rio Grande's, now Union Pacific's, North Yard in Denver was and is the main yard for all large scale switching and operations for trains over the Moffat Line. The yard originally was an addiitonal and larger space to Rio Grande's original Burnham Shops yard which sits on the southern part of Denver. North Yard is substantially larger, and currently the only one of the two in use today.

The main building

The yard office at North Yard still stands as an icon and location for all crews and management to meet before trains dispatch on the Moffat line. The Rio Grande version had a large sign on the side which now resides inside the Forney Museum. The office is visible from either 48th or Interstate 70 when you traverse the tracks heading west from Denver.

Note the sign at the top of the building, this same sign can be seen inside the Forney Museum

Left: three tracks of power storage Middle: engine serviving and wye Middle Right: classification and main/sididng tracks Far Right: in oragne ballast, the DC loop around the layout

The Model

Our version of North Yard matches much of what you'd see today. We have a model of the yard office as well as the engine service and storage tracks, along with plent of long clasification tracks for train building. In addition we also have two arrival/departure tracks and then a siding and the main. This siding is one of the longest and makes it a common spot for long coal drags traversing the layout.


With this being the longest and largest yard on the layout, it serves the main purpose of car and train storage, classification, and then departure. On operating days expect to see activity buzzing around the yard as train start or end their journey here, as well as stop for meets or to pick up or drop cars for destinations elsewhere. Much like the real thing, we'll often staff this with a yard master and switcher crews to sort the many cars that are here at any given time.

Track order from the left: DC track 1, Main, Siding, AD1, AD2, 8 classification tracks and then the runaround/engine track