Dave’s animated railway layout

“Thank you so much for all the tips. i really enjoy seeing all the different layouts and what others are doing. I have had trains all my life, mostly OO gauge and where I grew up in Cleveland, a friends dad had the basement of the house set up in OO for his son and “us” kids. In the upper attic an HO layout for the adults.

My experience in scale model RR layouts is minimal and so contribution will match, but maybe someone can use them….

I am currently in the process of setting up an HO layout in the ManCave. I m trying to use as much “stuff” that i have collected over the years. For my base I have 4 standard 6′ x 30″ tables that i picked up at the “club” stores for less than $50.

our kids are grown now, but both had to do CA Mission projects for school. For some of the landscape we used 24″ x 24″rolls of grass covered paper and 15″ x 24″ brick pattern paper (which goes on sale after the projects are due) I found some in a box up in the attic along with Styrofoam i kept in different shapes from large purchases (a tip i saw early on).
I hit the local lumber and building material stores for EP insulation to cover the tables ( extruded polystyrene insulation my biggest layout building expense so far). they had scraps but i just went with the 2″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet $25. They cut the sheets to 30″ x 6′ for free and they fit right on top. I tacked them down with hot glue along the edge and is secure so far. Being in a corner helps stabilize the layout.

Looking at the different card board boxes everything comes in, i have been using them to make tunnels and for backing for some of the paper print outs offered on previous links.

As i was going through the attic boxes actually looking for something else i came across Christmas decorations and the moss/grass sheets i used for nativity scenes. I remember that they were getting worn and decided to recycle them for the layout. I cut them to cover the Styrofoam blocks. I keep pics of the ManCave RR layout as i go along and will post if i come across an inexpensive interesting tip!



“Hi Al
Yes I have one tip, use green tee leaf’s as ground cover as alternative to the norm. you can also mix other types of tea leaf to vary the area that is to be covered.

Also very small coloured stone used in craft work, found in cheep shops etc is good if small enough for N gauge.

Cheers Mike”

“Hi Al

I have been receiving your great tips for a couple of years now and thanks to you and all the other railway guys I started my own layout. I have attached some pictures of my layout “Scoobton Basset” and I would be grateful for any comments and tips our friends can offer. I think I am about half way through. Can I also thank Arnie and Dave for the inspiration and know how especially Dave on lights and point motors.

Many thanks


And lastly, I think the talented Dave has been on the sherry again – either that or it’s April Fool’s day:

Click here for the very latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘…



34 Responses to Dave’s animated railway layout

  1. Excellent video but why the use of a swear word in the subtitles? Shame.

  2. I loved it. Was fun to watch.

  3. Tim, I hope you’re joking. Dave doesn’t deserve that man!

  4. Absolutely fantastic.

    It is good to have a bit of fun and Dave seems to be a master of it.

  5. Brilliant but surely the fire engines should have gone “ding-a-ling”?

  6. Dave that episode was a great show to watch. The GREAT Animators of yesteryear are smiling down on your work. They are sitting around and commenting on a new member to their world of animators. Keep up the good work.

  7. HOLY CRAP (ah, Tim, so sorry– LOL) , Dave, you’ve done it again! Amusing and inspirational. You seem to have an abundance of time on your hands– and use it wisely. Keep it up– we love it!

    PETER- I really like your buildings– models? Scratch built? or???

  8. Nice video Dave. Tim, when did crap become a “swear” word? Nice layout Peter. Lots of nice detail!

  9. Brilliant

  10. Great stuff Dave, good to see a sense of humour



  12. Hey Dave being a retired 911 Emergency Dispatcher … and a Firefighter/Medic I can relate to the Train wreck video..
    We use to say train hits car … car loser!

    One story remembered: In a rural town in the county I worked in. One morning at about 0200 hours got a report of a train accident involving an 18 wheeler … I asked which end of town was the accident ( Train crossed the main road both ends of town about 2 mile apart. About the same time I heard the town police officer say … a box car just rolled past me going in the north bound lane … I am coming south at the north crossing … and it just passed me and there it goes. It was a foggy night. The engine on the train peeled the trailer open like a can opener. You can imagine the mess. The tractor was 200′ down the track attached to the front of the engine. Amazing but no one was hurt … the best part.
    I enjoyed the video Dave. I Enjoy all you do. Thanks again for sharing.
    I’ll bet that person in the car the train hit … CRAPPED their pants.
    I love the numor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck with your layouts Peter and Frank
    Thanks Al for all!!!



  13. For Nother Grandpa, Thanks for the kind comment on the buildings. They are all built from Metcalfe card kits, they are very easy to put together and pretty good value for money.

  14. Neal – thanks for your comment, appreciate it.


  15. Peter; That is phenomenal! you stated this layout is your first??!!! BS i say to you man. looks like you’ve been modeling for a LONG time. well done keep it up and when you think its completed– send us more photos.

  16. For a first layout Peter you have done a really good job. It looks like you have made the buildings from the Metcalf range and again a good job. Shame about the pink backdrop though lol. Keith

  17. model railroading is fun, I wish I could make the cars on my layout go,

    i mainly use matchbox models. i like the layouts.

  18. To Peter,

    Nice job on your developing layout. While it’s hard to determine the size and track plan, the township looks very nicely laid out. And the selection of structures is quite appealing.

    Good luck with it.

  19. Love ring of folding tables. Having a plan in place for breaking down the layout into more manageable parts is a good move.
    Congratulations on your layout Peter. Very nicely made and a convincing piece of town design.
    Thanks for the video Dave. I had a good old laugh when I was watching it. I had forgotten how fun it is to set up a toy broken down car on a toy level crossing. I hope no toy people were hurt during the incident.

  20. Good video Dave!!! :) LOL Cool fire!


  22. Pete you layout looks very good , a video would be nice with a tour round ,Franks doing a good job also/.

  23. Pete you layout looks very good , a video would be nice with a tour round ,Franks doing a good job also/. sorry if I upset with the small swear word , but wonder what one would have said faced with that situation ? Did manage to get the bell sound , but only in the 2nd instalment ..Dave

  24. Dave , WHAT a show eh? But its the driver of the diesel we really feel for ,will all be revealed in the next exiting installment of “The Train crash”?
    So keep up the very good work Dave and more power to your elbows
    LOL Jayne and Bernard

  25. Dave that’s awsome, great fun

  26. Great work Dave. I love your stuff and can only wish I had your energy!
    Ignore the boring comments about swearing. Jeez – if that upsets you!
    Can’t wait for the second episode!…Steve from Australia

  27. I am getting sicker by the moment with envy over the enormous talents of the man. Why cannot I do what he does. I do try . . . and fail. Will my anxiety never end?

  28. Peter,

    For your first layout you have done a remarkable job. Well laid out and has a nice mix of complementary structures. Very well done …

  29. A big thank you to all for the very kind comments and encouragement I really appreciate it. I did forget to say that the scale is OO on a board 8’x4′ the track plan is widely based on the track mat that came with the starter set. I will keep you all posted and put a video together (wont be in the same class as Dave’s though) Once again many thanks guys.


  30. Dave is having ENTIRELY too much fun… must be retired!

  31. Thanks for the info, Peter– I will look into those card kits. Good luck with your project

  32. I don’t think Dave was on the sherry. He looks and sounds like a Yorkshire Bitter man to me, as I was before I went to Australia.

  33. Very entertaining Dave.I’msurprised you don’thave a Faller car system on your railway.

  34. Dave,
    Great job. It reminds me of the part in” The Addams Family” movie where Gomez was playing with his trains and engineered the head on crash. I haven’t seen it for years and will have to find to see it again.

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