Dick’s railroad layout

“Hi Al,

Just thought I would send a few pictures of my “N” scale layout. It’s 3 X 7. I’ve been working on it for a couple of years but am about disband it as the curves don’t allow me to run any of my larger engines or long cars. I run regular power to it, not DCC. I have too many engines to switch to DCC. I have been collecting “N” scale engines since 1964 and haven’t set up a layout until a couple of years ago. As to amount of time I have in it, that’s hard to say as I work on it only once in a while. My next project will on a 4 X 8 board and I’ve been getting a lot of hints from your emails which I really appreciate. Many modelers have great tips and hints which we can all use. Thanks for setting this web site up and all the work you put into it.

Dick in California”

“The one thing I have not yet come apon is a good track sensor for “N” gauge. The ones for HO work but are not to are not even close for scale.

I use .030 fibre optic for my signal lights The strand goes under the board to a bye colour LED. DC power one direction for red– reverse current for green and AC gives a yellow orange .


Hi Al,

I to learnt the hard way and in the end decided that the most important factor on any railway is its wiring I hence came up with the ideas shown

As you will see in the diagrams of one of the sections of my layout all the wiring is cable tied and hot clued to the base board, believe me NONE of these wires move!!

Each section of layout has its own control board i.e.for points, lighting etc. There is still only one DCC controller, and a couple of transformers for the whole layout which is connected to each board by mini plugs.

If a short circuit occurs then you can disconnect each section of layout till the short circuit clears, you then know that the fault lies in that section.

As I am now in the Autumn of my life climbing under boards etc is not so easy, so another little tip, after you have completed a section of layout wiring PHOTOGRAPH IT it makes life a lot easier when tracing those wires, and don’t forget to label items its to easy to forget whats what.


“Did you get part 2 of ‘Accidents Happen’, Alastair?

Thought it would have gone down better than part 1 ….you got a good response from part 1.



Latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘? is here. Bag a deal!

I have no idea what it is about Dave’s videos – but even the silly ones are watchable! Made me smile any how.

Please do keep ’em coming.



29 Responses to Dick’s railroad layout

  1. I believe railway practice is to avoid accidents. They are never pleasant, to say the least.

  2. Another very enjoyable video from Dave. Has HMRI reported back on the cause of the accident yet?
    I noticed the derailed truck. It’s nice to know that even someone as expert as Dave can have his problems. So there’s still some chance for me.

  3. Very well done good job it was only on the model railway. Congrats

  4. Brilliant bit of fun Dave

  5. I love the way Dave embellishes his layout with real life events. Creating the story and the video enhances the whole operation. Thanks for sharing

  6. Dave; another video well done. I enjoyed it. Since I am a retired 911 Shift Supervisor and a volunteer Medic/firefighter these last two videos where close to my heart. Brought back many memories.


    Tom N

  7. Dave – Fantastic video lots of fun.

    Dick – nice layout so much going on I really enjoyed it thanks for sharing

  8. Very amusing Dave, the chopper was a hoot. Congrats to all the hard working staff at DMR. Love to see more…

  9. I just love watching the DMR videos. Now our remarkable Dave has started to animate them. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next! Well done Dave.

  10. Dave, your how-to videos are very informative and your short movies are a marvelous trip to watch. Keep up the good work.

  11. Iwas pleased to see a man with my same problem—too many good engines to switch to dcc, the cost would be prohiitive. It would be nice to see the costs come down but I am not going to hold my breath. I love all of tyhe hints that giveus direction to make something at very little cost. If you could find some like that for N scale it would be great. thanks for the great tips so far.

  12. Great lay out. I like that you have control of all things going on.. You put on a great show. Can wait for the next video.

  13. Very nice layout Dick. I am always amazed and impressed by ‘N’ scaler’s. As an O scale guy I stand in awe of your skills in building and maintaining your layout.



  15. Nice layout you have built Dick , loe all that detail , even got a camper van park , and Lawrence that is a very professional job with the wiring , well done both of you.

  16. Should read Love all the detail

  17. way cool

  18. Hi There .Al please could you tell me what sort of DCC control Dav uses as I am thinking to go down the same (track ) .Is system is very good. Tanks. Anthony.

  19. Another fantastic effort.

  20. I like Lawrence’s wiring tips. Dave and the DMR are becoming an institution! I love the animation, a change from seeing trains going round and round!! Great job Al, keep mailing those tips and clips!

  21. I think Dave is having more fun with his trains than what is allowed ! Thanks for sharing.


  22. Dave – That’s brilliant. I have been following this series of e-mails from Alistair fdro some time and I love your approach. Not just brilliant scenery, but operation as well. Are you on DCC or standard DC? What controllers do you use to get that superb slow running and smooth starts? I’m about to build a layout for operation, (Hornby Dublo 3 rail, all over 60 years old) which will never look good scenically, because of the the track but should provide lots of operational fun
    Thanks for all your tips and videos

  23. Well done Dave. I enjoy your creativity in the layout and in the video editing.

  24. I would be interested to know where the turn table came from. I model in N-scale and can’t find a turntable of the appropriate size. I have had one ordered from Diamond-scale since last January and the Cornerstone one from Walthers is to big. I have one from Peco but it is disappointing to say the least. Sam—(zookeeper32@hotmail.com

  25. A1 Dave

  26. To Dick in CA: my story is similar to yours. My latest 4’x8′ (first platform in 35 yrs) was started 3 months ago. I am doing a ‘1942-1954′ period when freight cars -primarily open hoppers, flats and boxcars were 40 footers. I fitted three separate lines (PRR, DL&W and Reading) as they occurred in my home region. The tightest curves are on the RDG which ran mostly hoppers so it works OK. I even get a little wheel slip on my steam loco as I used hear many years ago The PRR has passenger cars that are the longest cars of all and they fit the scheme. I am doing DC as I too have too much motive power from five decades of collecting to bother to change to DCC. A suggestion, if I may, avoid contemporary long length cars and enjoy the past. No operating sessions, just satisfaction in running.

  27. Just Way too Cool !! Loved it !!!

  28. Surprised there aren’t more accidents on Amazing Dave’s layout with all those vehicles driving on the wrong side of the road. Loved the helicopter. The stop action reminded me of the old Mr. Bill feature on USA Saturday Night Live show.
    Thanks for sharing all the great photos, tips and videos.

    Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA

  29. Love the mobile home park in photos # 2-4.

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