My virtual model of the Gilpin Gold Tram is a 1 to 1 scale model using the Trainz Railroad Simulator. I started the project in the fall of 2003 and really don't expect it to be in 'finished' condition till 2005 or later. But obviously from the screen shots, one can tell much has been accomplished.
While much of the project has been done by my self, I have had a great deal of assistance from Linda Irene (shortline2) for the great trackage she has produced and many of the structures.
If one looks at old pictures of the area, there is a huge amount of 'clutter' for lack of a better term. I am having trouble modeling this clutter due to the limitations of the computer and simulator. As such, although I am trying to give as close of impression as possible of the time and place, my model looks much sparser than the reality.
This model is also proving to be a valuable tool to my historic research. For example, Mallory Hope Ferrell's map of the Gilpin shows the trackage going to the Banta Hill Mill and Mine working it's way down the ridge above Banta Hill. When I tried to lay the track to his map, it just wouldn't work. This led me to another map that showed the trackage working it's way down the gulch south of the ridge. And when I laid the track there, it worked perfectly. In another instance, I was looking at some unidentified pics of a mine. I recognized the location from my experience with the model, and use the model to confirm my guess (Forntenac Mine)
If you are a Trainz modeler and would like to contribute to the project, I would gratefully accept any help you can give. I am especially interested in accurate models of the equipment used by the Gilpin and models of the various mines and mills of the area.
A two part article about the Virtual Gilpin was published in August and September 2005 Railroad Model Craftsman. The article can be found here.
You can find screen shots of the Virtual Gilpin at Gilpin Screenshots.
Or compare historic photo's of the Gilpin Tramway to screenshots from the Virtual Gilpin at Compare to History.
This page was last updated 09/30/09
Copyright 2007 by Mark Baldwin