Eileen and Ged’s layout

“Hello again Al…thank you for your comments. To begin with we built an 8x4ft base, with a circular track but soon realised to do what we had in mind this wasn’t long enough so extended it to 12×4 ft much more satisfactory…

Where to start?… This being our first model train venture plus the two of us in our turned mid 70’s we made a few mistakes but by now feel we are doing reasonably ok.

We found “The Toy Fair”, we picked lots of bits and pieces up very cheap and can’t wait for the next one, also got lots from eBay and Amazon…. I must say Al though it’s not to everyone’s taste we rather like using plaster cloth, it comes on a roll and goes quite a way plus we are happy with the results….at the moment I am working on a paddock for horses, Ged on the fiddle yard but oh how we are enjoying it.

Many thanks Al to you for your time and all the brilliant enthusiasts who send in their great tips.

Best Wishes

Ged and Eileen”

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

“Thanks for all the great tips. They have been very helpful as I am building. This may be a tip of little interest, but it has worked for me. I used LAN Cat. 5 wire form the 21 blocks and 22 switch controls on the panel…


to a set of telco 66M blocks…


Turns of the 24 gauge LAN cable has a 5 amp rating for DC. No need for soldering or wire stripping. On the track I used Telco butt splicers….


Again no striping or soldering. Turns out to be economical, about 9¢ a foot for the 8 conductor LAN Cat. 5 and less than 10¢ for the connectors.


That’s all this time. Please do keep ’em coming. And the latest cheat sheet is here.



25 Responses to Eileen and Ged’s layout

  1. Ged and Eileen you have done well for your first layout , expanded already , bet you expand even more before the Year is out ..??..Dave

  2. Brilliant effort you two, great space as well!

    The Metcalfe buildings look very nicely made.

    Glad you’re having fun.

    All the best.

  3. Thanks for sharing the wiring configuration and blocks. That was actually the most interesting set of pictures for me as I am always second guessing myself on how to set mine up. Very helpful.

  4. Hi and congratulations,

    I’d like to learn more about the LAN wire. I don’t quite understand how it works in comparison with ordinary wire. Why does it not need any soldering??

    Thank you

    Raymond Bove

  5. You have a wonderful layout. You have some good ideas.
    Thank you,
    Roland – Nashville

  6. So glad to see a woman fully involved in a layout. I’ve done a small one for the grandson and I am starting on a 4×12 HO layout as well. Lots of fun, isn’t it?

  7. Ged and Eileen,
    In model railroading …
    Part of the fun
    your never done
    Your first … your mid seventy … your amazing start!
    Looking forward to your next update.
    Thanks for the information on the wiring system … extremely helpful!
    May all that you wish for be the least you receive,
    Keep up the great work.
    Best regards,

  8. Ellen & Gad I really like your layout, it’s very detailed and easy to work with, I love it.

    I have a question for you are these models make of cardboard paper or other materials, and where do you order them from? I would like to have the whole set and are they HO scale size?
    Thank you, and keep up the excellent work
    Have a Blessed Day
    John Graves

  9. That’s a fantastic first try. Can get some super great idea’s on Al’s site here. Cant wait for more photo’s.

  10. Great looking layout guys keep up the good work

  11. Great start you two, some people think we oldies are a bit daft starting projects like these, but it keeps us active, and our brains exercised. No boredom!
    Ive’ just started a small ‘n’ guage layout, the first for 50 years. Great fun isn’t it.

  12. Very nice layout. Next year I am going to make a layout of the Rocky Mount, NC as it looked in the 50’s. I will post pictures as I build it.

  13. Nice layout and wiring! What I am truly amazed about is that your wife I presume is in partnership with you building and having a train layout! Tell me what is your secret with this partnership? I got to find me a wife like that as welk! Does she like going fishing as well? All in jest please!

  14. Nice layout and wiring! What I am truly amazed about is that your wife I presume is in partnership with you building and having a train layout! Tell me what is your secret with this partnership? I got to find me a wife like that as well! Does she like going fishing as well? All in jest please!

  15. Good job,, you solved a dilema I have had, in how to mount scenery against my backdrop, problem solved.


  16. In response to Raymond’s query, I believe I can explain.

    From a modeler’s point of view, Cat 5 or LAN wire is simply a cable of 4 twisted pairs of wire contained in a common layer of insulation. Each of the 8 strands of insulated 24 gauge wire is a different color. Since there is a thin strand of strong fabric included in the cable, it is easy to pull the strand and strip off the outer insulation, leaving you with 4 twisted pairs of wire. These pairs can then be separated for individual 2-wire tasks. How you use these wires is up to you.

    Wiring a fiddle yard with 8 strands of wire in a single cable can simplify your wiring task, especially if you need to trouble shoot in the future.

    As for not needing to strip wire, the terminal strips pictured appear to be telephone or telecommunications style terminal strips. The wire is pressed between two posts. The posts cut through the insulation to make the electrical connection. Thus, no stripping a this point.

    You may find purchasing Cat 5 cable to be a cheaper way to buy wire in bulk. With so many colors, it should make wiring and troubleshooting easier.

  17. Out of curiosity, I looked Home Depot’s site and found Cat 5 wire for sale.
    100 feet for $19.38
    500 feet for $58.97
    1000 feet for $85.00

    Remember, 100 feet of Cat 5 wire is 800 feet of single strand wire. That is less than 2 1/2 cents a foot!

  18. This is amazing for your first attempt!!!

    I am still thinking about my [future] first one. My question is as follows: why did I not see any re-railers? I know that I am missing something. Is every model railroader so good with track-work that they do not need them? Is every piece of rolling stock so good that it behaves well? Are they all weighted?

    Help please.

    Joe Chute

  19. Very nice first layout Ged and Eileen. You have all the basics and a good track plan.
    I have the feeling this is only the start of something big.

  20. It is a great layout, but can I make a suggestion.

    The loco shed is a bit close to the siding beside it. Move the shed back a little bit otherwise you could have a derailment there.

  21. I’m with Ray on the LAN wire suggestion. I am wiring up my layout with lights etc. so would like to know what you are doing with the LAN wires because soldering is a pain. Maybe some close up shots may help explain it better.

  22. @Eileen and Ged:
    Really nice work that you both done on your layout. I like your yard and engine house area.

    I like your idea of using the telephone hardware for your connections. Does make allot of sense if you have a large layout, but how practical would it be for a 6ft by 3ft, “N” scale layout?

    @Raymond Bove:
    The wires do not need soldering because they are press fitted into wire points that crimp the wires.securely.

    As it was explained to me by a telephone lineman one day. It was a system created so that telephone linemen could make quick, solid connection and would not need to use a gas heated soldering iron or mini-blow torch while in the field doing a service call.

  23. Cat-5 (LAN) type cable is not rated at 5 amps. In fact it carries an average of 30 milliamps for telco and computer use. 24 gauge is much too lite for trains and the current they will require even on short runs. The cable will overheat and could cause a fire.

    Unless you combine multiple pairs to increase the gauge of the wire, I would suggest nothing less than 18 gauge or above for track power. You might get away with that wire for throwing switches as the current is momentary only.

  24. How come you don’t DCC it would have been less wiring and you
    could have controlled every thing from one or to boxes.

  25. I belive this is realy good for your first layout.Lot better than mine.

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