Jake’s stunning layout

“My brother and I started this layout approximately 2 years ago, at that time we called it the “2 Jakes RR”, as time went on and construction moved at a fair pace we came up with the Potomac Branch & Jasper, the 2 main areas serviced by the PB&J( now known affectionately as the “Push, Bump & Jam”)

The layout is 17′ X 17′ and is a walk through. It has a double main line totaling 170 feet in HO scale. All engines are DCC with more than half of them with sound. we are presently motorizing the switches, we have plans to install block signals, lighting in some buildings, and caboose lights.

I use Woodland Scenics materials for the landscaping, in a few places rock molds were utilized but for the most part rock faces are hand carved and painted.

My brother handles all soldering jobs, engine and rolling stock repairs, painting and anything electrical. My job covers landscaping, model assembly,and weathering.

I`ll send updated photos as construction is completed.


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Elk River Logging Co. engine 9 hauling a load of bark across Elk River ( this Bridge was built by me 40 years ago, it`s been in every layout I have constructed, 5 to date)

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A work in progress, inside the engine house, there`s a lot of work here to finish this scene …… stains on the floor from years of repairs, arc welder in the pit, overhead lighting, more furniture in the office,(files, shelves etc.)”

“This is what the plastic kit sold in the US by AHM, Lionel, IHC and Model Power and probably a dozen other importers would look like. But having grown up in a cucumber [specifically pickle cucumbers] growing area I knew what a pickle plant should look like so I did a bit of kit bashing.


This is the final result. Now there are tanks for vinegar, purified (read filtered) water, a receiving dock and sorting room, a larger brining tank and a packing room.



What a great way to start the year! Really enjoyed these two – a stunning layout from Jake, and John’s Pickle factory looks like a very satisfying scratch build!

And to all of you who haven’t started creating yet, “this will get your started.

Keep ’em coming.



19 Responses to Jake’s stunning layout

  1. John,
    You are a very creative “young man”! Nice job, very realistic.

  2. Thank you for your dedication, the updates, tips, pictures and articles.

  3. Wonderful layout, smashing work, will look
    really special lit at night–great modelling.

  4. I also have my bridge I built 40 years ago and am trying to find a place for it or just display it on a shelf above my latest layout!! Fantastic!

  5. Excellent work. Beautiful building work Well done.

    Steve R UK

  6. I need a pickle and peanut butter sandwich, add a little miracle whip and I’m good to go. started making these 70 years ago when i would be hungry after returing from the city swimming pool . See what your pickle factory started. Time for me to move some freight carrs on the South Point RR ( HO )

  7. Breathtaking, Jake. That bridge is, understandably, a keepsake! You details are among the best, starting with your vehicles through to your buildings.

  8. I really admire your continued efforts and dedication to the layout. It helps to have a partner who keeps you focused.

  9. Great modeling work. You can buy LED welding and fire, blinking lights for about $10 each in all 3 scales.

  10. stunning layout John!! the detail on the scenery and the buildings is terrific and the 40yr old bridge is a piece of art!!

  11. Very nice, wonderful work.

  12. Nice bridge.

    Paul otway

  13. great work on the layout that bridge is a work of art, and the scratch build is unbelieveable, nice work.

  14. Stunning isn’t the word…
    A very excellent layout, tremendously well done!

  15. Thanks for showing us a quality and clear layout.
    Would love to see more with your mountains and tunnels?.

    Best always,

  16. What a truly fabulous layout. Loads of atmosphere and attention to detail.

    Any details available on the building of the log hoist or crane?



  17. Great work. I like the period vehicles you are using. Are they Classic Metal Works?

  18. Push, Bump & Jam? I was thinking Peanut Butter & Jelly! Excellent work, guys!

  19. Great looking lay out. Nice to see brothers working to gather. Ejoyed the whole lay out. Good health to you guys.

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