Bernard’s layout – 18 years in the making


Here are photos of an HO layout worked on for 18 years.

It’s been disassembled and moved to another location.

We’re using several suggestions put on your website by other readers.

All the connectors are being soldered.

Three buses are being used for track, turnouts, and lights.


A jam packed layout from Bernard!

Had a ton of emails from the last post – linking to Ted’s woodworking. Same response: half say, “It’s a scam!” the other half say, “It’s great, here’s what I built…”

Have to say, I’m in the latter camp. Building a kennel for this little chap:

Haven’t named him yet. Any ideas gratefully received.

Don’t forget, if you’re heading off to ebay, bag a deal with the ebay cheat sheet.



PS Please keep ’em coming.

81 Responses to Bernard’s layout – 18 years in the making

  1. Since its a german shepperd I suggest you name him “Banhoff”.

  2. Hi,

    When I saw the photo of the dog, it immediatly let me think of an Australian Dingo…..

    So maybe its name should be Dingo…..



  3. What about ‘Woofington’. That’s our generic for all woofers. Is he Z scale?

  4. With a glorious rich colour like that I would think ‘Bovril’ would be an appropriate name. Not a railway name but then again, he doesn’t have wheels!



  5. great layout, should call your puppy Lionel πŸ™‚

  6. Well, my hubbie and I think Kasey would be a good one. Mr. Engineer, Roundhouse… He sure is adorable! Good Luck on a name and let everybody know what you come up with!

  7. Its a great layout, not sure your scale, your dog is great. I’ve been working S scale for the past year, so i would name the dog Flyer
    Merry Christmas to you and everyone

  8. Why not “Ted”

  9. I agree with Andy, Lionel!

  10. Nice layout! Nice dog! He looks like his name should be “Blucher” or “Rommel”!

  11. Hi, my wife and I really love your dog! How about calling him Thomas? I’ve been looking at this site for a long time, and this is my first comment. Nice layout!

    Jerry and Kim

  12. Well done with excellent detail and weathering. I think these two things are what makes me enjoy model railroading so much. Thank you for sharing your masterpiece with us. Its a beautiful puppy, German Shepherd?

  13. Great layout!!! 18 years well spent!

    A Name for your dog Al could be … “Tom Thumb” or a few others … boxcar; engine; caboose; or Brutus for as big as he is going to be. Look at

  14. the size of paw!

    Be safe … Be well!

    best wishes,


  15. Bernards layout has a little bit of everything without looking overloaded and cluttered. Very well proportioned. Good job.

    When the dog grows into those feet and ears he’ll be huge! Maybe “Max” for his name?


  16. Wonderful I had a German Sheppard for 16 years very loyal loving dog. She
    looked just like yours. I named her CINDER.

  17. Dog’s name … Floppy … for its floppy left ear.
    Don’t use Lionel.

  18. Good looking dog – how about Trackside, or Chessie (there’s a certain irony to that considering the logo …)

  19. Wonderful layout!!! Happy Holidays!!!

    He looks like a “Bull” to me. A Hobos worst nightmare. Lol!

  20. I think you should call him GWR

  21. Al–Just tried the link to Ted’s woodworking site; It really does some kind of virus attached to it as Ted’s home screen opens, but it is redirected to something else, and my own firewall blocks the rest of the content.

    Otherwise, many thanks for the pics of Bernard’s layout. Still gathering ideas for may own!

  22. Assuming you TRAIN him well, he can represent ALL the major scales!

    Then you could name him “GOSHOTTNZ”!

  23. I have not replied in the past but have greatly enjoyed your site. I have been in the Hobby for 40+ years and have had several layouts which I have taken apart and tried to improve . I am currently working on another one, in N-Scale, which is what I model in. I plan on sending in some pictures nexy year.
    Thank you for promoting this great Hobby called Model Railroading.

  24. A big dog like that could be a “Challenge” – I like names like Challenger, Big Boy or Steamer. If he gets into the layout, maybe Buster would be a good name.

  25. Beautiful shepherd got 2 of my own Bobbylee and Hanna love your web site how about Burlington .

  26. By looking at the pictures you can tell someone really loved what he was doing. Great job. Thanks for the website, Really enjoy each one.

    Bob in Georgia USA

  27. Hi there. Great work on your layout. How about naming the little guy Bo… As in Bo Bo for diesel wheel configuration. 2 legs X 2 legs. Bo Bo?

  28. Your pooch reminds me of a semaphore signal – Stop and Clear ahead! I think Bahnhoff is a good one, but could be a mouthful when used in discipline mode! Just had a thought how about “Tracks”.

  29. Terrific layout might not live that long so mine will have to be a quicker fix. Nice dog, why don`t you call him HOOCH! That brings in the HO layout and time of year when you will be enjoying a glass or two of Hooch.

  30. What a beautiful German Shepard. I’d name him Diesel.

  31. Al, how about Oshon?

  32. Very nice layout, please keep up the good work.

    With regards to your 4 legged companion, how about “Trax”

  33. A great layout.

    The dog could be called Boomer


  35. Nice layout and a good looking dog

  36. They look great

  37. An impressive layout. You must have had a lot of patience and ‘dogged’ perseverence over all those years.
    Your German Shepherd pup looks fabulous. Don’t worry about the floppy ear, as it will soon come upright.
    I have had 4 Shepherds (3 males & 1 female) over the years. My current one is the bitch. Now 10yrs 9months. She got her first 2 basic sheep herding titles just weeks before her 9th birthday. She has not worked sheep since then but last weekend we went to the herding demo and she still remembered what to do.
    All the best for your modelling and of course the pup – bring him a nice juicy steak

  38. I had a black n tan shepperd ,, his name was Rex ….
    and then my father in law named all his shepperds Duke …..

    two great names for a great looking puppy !!!!!

    good luck and happy holidays



  39. You’ve a great layout there, I hope you don’t mind if I use some of your ideas to solve a couple of brain twisters I’ve gotten myself into.

    If your dog gets as big as his ears and paws predict, maybe you ought to wait to find out what name HE likes. ;<)


  40. Great layout.
    The pup is going to be big as you can tell from his paws.
    a good name would be GRUE-SOME, and he would live up to it.

  41. Dingo nah not a good name as it’s my real name, wot is a good name is “Defor ” in other words D for Dog.

  42. How about;
    Chew Chew.

  43. Beautiful Sheppard, I would name him Diesel. Big, strong & tough like a diesel train. Thank you all for your great train system and layout ideas and this web site. Marvelous job every year as always! Thank you! Ray Appenzeller from Philadelphia, PA USA

  44. how about Diesel

  45. Paul Campagna got the name right.I agree.

  46. I like the ‘Banhoff’ suggestion. My granddaughter got to go there recently and brought back posters of it. Nice place! Fitting for a German Shepherd!

  47. I agree with Joe on this one. I was thinking”Floppy” would be a good name for your dog with that one floppy ear. The layout looks great too .
    Kenny from Chicago.

  48. Great layout….nice work. The shepherd is beautiful. Name him ;Dirk”

  49. I am so happy with this post. I just started and now know that I can die in peace because of my age. But I can have so much fun working on my model train. I felt I was taking too long, but not anymore. Off to spend more money on my train model. Thanks….

  50. What a great layout!! Try the name DeOhge a name my Uncle David has used on at least 2 dog pound pups that turn into some big brutes.(DeOhge is just a play on the letters D O G)

  51. It is good to see someone else is taking a few years to complete their layout. I work away and when I come home I only get a few days to work on my layout each month. Your puppy looks great, maybe when he gets into your layout you could call him Godzilla.

  52. Great layout and detail. Just the motivation we needed to get going again.

  53. How about Caboose, or Shunter, or Hopper?

    The standard kennel shape with a sharp pitched roof, look good, but very hard to get into for cleaning/item retrieval/blanket change etc.
    I made a great kennel once, that had a flat roof, sloping backwards to the rear panel, where hinges enabled the whole roof to flip over onto the ground. Elevating the kennel directly off the ground provides ventilation & longer life as well ! Enjoy great times with your new best friend!

  54. Oh Man hat a lot of names to choose from.
    Ihave 3 children. They all wanted a dog. My late wife was away taking care of my aunt in exas during my son’s birthday. I wrote him a note: “We owe you one dog. We bought a schnauzer. Now came naming time. The kids each wrote a name on a pie of paper and I placed them in a hat. Since it was to be my son’s dog, he plucked name from the hat. It turned out to be he paper he put in the hat.The dog became known as “Senator”. If he ever got lost the finder would think he would get a handsome reward from the Senator!

  55. Lots of good names. You have a job ahead of you. Good luck.

  56. I have never owned a German Shepard, but currently own a Yellow Lab. I didn’t name her, but my next dog is going to be called PD, short for Puppy Dog; I call them all puppies, even my lab who is 14 1/2.


  57. Call the dog “Choo-Choo” after all, we are into trains.

  58. Love most of the name suggestions…
    I was thinking “Chuff”…

  59. Good lookin Pooch there Al!

  60. Shepherd-Keeper for 60yrs & this is one Nice pup – beautiful with a gentle face. The Home & Away ear will come up by 6mths – occasionally a little later. As he’s to be Al’s dog, could you name him anything better than “S{t}ation ? Got it covered both ways !

    Keep up the good work – despite the ‘dark-hours crying’ . . . a hot water bottle is a cure-all for lonely pups – if you Must put him out before he’s One.

    South Wales

  61. Love the awesome layout!!!! I’d name your new pal Zugmeister. Pronounce the “Z” with a hard “Ts”. I have to admit I do like the name banhoff, though the correct German spelling if intended is Bahnhof.

  62. hi everyone give me please please a clue what is the best Dc turnouts in hoscale or ooscale in code 100 please i dont wana trow money away kindly theunis

  63. Very nice photos of your layout some of the scenery looks like Washington state name your dog SPIKE…. EVERYONE IN TRAINS KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE…CHEERS THEODORE

  64. Call the puppy Boris. So German

  65. Hi Al, love your posts.

    I thunk the dog should be called “Carpenter” – I’m sure he’ll be doing lots of jobs about the house!

  66. Corrected copy (darn auto-correct)
    Both the layout and your pup are beautiful. Since you’re the Engineer your pup should be the Conductor.

  67. I would second the name “Carpenter”. My dog’s name is Sachi but I often call her ‘Bad Dog” when she does odd jobs about the house.

  68. Hello there,
    Just want to say that layout is superb! It gave me an idea of what on part of my layout where I have some crusty run-down buildings. Thank you for sharing the fruits of your hard labor, it’s greatly appreciated!
    Regards, Tom.

  69. Looks Like the 80’s TV series ALF !

  70. call him’ “steamer”: beutiful puppy you have there.

  71. Thor? Zeus? Odin? Dammit? You’ll be saying that a LOT. One last one: FRED.

  72. Name the Dog, “Tracker'”

  73. Superb layout ,and a super build sawmill.
    The puppy dog i like the name Brandy.

  74. In the EBay cheat sheet where is the ON 30 scale

  75. He sure is a nice looking pup. How about Loco?

  76. Beautiful Dog! Shep or Brownie come to mind. Nice layout. As has been said a layout is never completed but this is close. Bill in Nova Scotia.

  77. Great looking layout. Cute dog too. I think “Casey Jones” would be great. I’ve got the feeling he already runs things in your home. πŸ™‚

  78. cute dog you should name him EL LOCO ( The Locomotive )

  79. Pup looks like Bauxy, from that old tv show Lost in Space

  80. Is the dog a male or female, because the sex matters in the name you pick. I noticed most of the names assumed he is a male.

  81. Wonderful layout! And wonderful dog, too!!!

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