Jim’s HO layout

“Hi Alastair,

My name is Jim Volmer Sr. and I live in Buffalo New York, on the western side of the “big pond”.

I have been involved in model railroading most of my life. I started very young, age 5 with my first train from Lionel. Boy do I miss that train. When I was in College, I gave my train away. What a mistake that was, looking back on it now. But as they say, ‘can’t cry over spill milk’.

So after I got married, I decided to get back into the model railroad again. With a young son, I started to build my layout, in HO that I have had for over 32 years. My son is grown of course so now it is time to start a new layout.

I have included some pictures of the original layout to see what I did.

The Mountain in the background is so of light in the photograph. I built the mountain out of strip carboard and screen, over which I applied some joint compound that I had. It was applied very thin, over which I hand laid small outcroppings that I made using Hydocal. There are over 1,000 little stones on that mountain. It took several days to complete

The next picture is looking down the double track toward the mountain. There are several switches with Control signals wired into each switch, that control the movement of the trains.

The next picture, shows one of four sidings that I have. This one is for the Cement factory.

The last picture shows the Diesel Engine Facility. There are three buildings, Car Shop, Engine House, and Service shop. The Car Shop was accessed using a turntable. The Engine House and Service shop are accessed by a Transfer Table that I bought from Walters a few years ago. This section was an add on to the old Layout.

Now that this layout has come to its end, it is time for a new era in my railroad.

I have included a drawing for the new layout. It will be on backwards 7 design. 8 ft X 11. Does not sound impressive, but I think the drawing will speak for its self.

As you can see there are a lot of new ideas going into this layout that were missing from the old layout. The Mountain will have four portals: two on the lower level, and two for the upper level. The Second set of portals will lead the train up an incline to 3.072 inches ( grade incline of 2%) through the Mountain, exiting to a 3 Foot Bridge, followed by two girdle bridges down to a zero landing to a reversing loop that will allow the train access to the Container Terminal. All trains can reverse the loop back again travelling through a series of switches

As you will notice, there are two service areas, one for Diesel, and one for Steam.
There is also a logging camp with several buildings. The Saw Mill is noted. Buildings 1 ( Wood Chipper ) 2 ( Log de-barker ) and 3 (Truck Loader )

Next to the Steam Engine Facility is a small holding Yard.

Well there you have it. I would appreciate any comments from your readers.

And as always HAPPY RAILROADING.

Jim”


“Alastair,

The photos of the town scene were all taken with a Sony digital camera DSC-F707 model (about 9 years old and still going strong) with the f-stop set on F8, manual focus and an approximate exposure time of 30 seconds. Camera did all the work in adjusting the exposure.

The only lighting used in all of the photos was the street lights on the sidewalk. (except the daytime photo).

This town scene is only four foot six inches long by one foot wide.

All the products used here are from the Woodland Scenic range.

All the best – Brian”


Thanks to Brian and Jim. Don’t forget the latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘ too – still amazed at the comments I get on that.

And as always: keep ‘em coming.

Best

Al

22 Responses to Jim’s HO layout

  1. Goo luck with the new layout Jim …always enjoy starting something new ….and Brian thats a good set of pictures from that camera

  2. I am very impressed with the new lay out. Gives me a few more thoughts for my new layout which I must start soon.
    Cheers from Laurie.

  3. Very nice layout Jim, I like it,like a lot.

  4. Jim.
    A very ambitious project indeed and well planned out.
    I am sure it will be very impressive when completed.
    Have fun with it.

  5. Brian.
    Excellent night shots.
    Your detailing is superb.
    Well done.

  6. I too had Lionel trains as a child, set it up every Christmas for 3 weeks, on the living room floor. I still have them , all from the ’50′s. Really like your layout.

  7. Jim, I can relate to your story about having a Lionel train when I was about your age and then regretfully giving it away. When I was a teenager in the 1960s I built an HO layout; but after I got married I took it down as it was in my parents’ home and I never rebuilt it. I still have much of the rolling stock and the Revel structures, which were considered “the” model kits back then. When I retired (I am now 65), my wife, who sadly passed away earlier this year, encouraged me to get back into model railroading and I am certainly glad that I did, as it has gives something to create rather than to lose. I am now building an N scale layout because of space. I am living in Vancouver, Canada. I’ll be interested in hearing how your new layout progresses; good luck with it, Jim.

  8. Nice layout, but if I may. Don’t switch down to a single main line at the upper left track layout drawing and add a crossover switch (center-right top) from inside main to the center track main to allow hands free two train mainlines running.

  9. Congratulations JIm, you took very good use of your layout size. Is great.
    Paco Gayon

  10. Interesting track plan (and old layout. Would like to see updates as it progresses. Chris

  11. Jim, great layout and thank you for the diagram of the layout. They always help to understand what we are looking at.

    Brian, very good pictures. I really like the night shot.

  12. Like the new layout, looking foreward to more pictures especially the mountain

  13. I always enjoy seeing what other modelers are up to. I gives me ideas for my own. Thank you Brian and Jim.

  14. lovely layout.

  15. great new layout it will keep you busy.after all these yearsi think you miss your old layout all the stories hope you have stored to look back on.

  16. like the light pictures it looks so real keep them coming.

  17. Nice layout Jim keep up the good work.

  18. Jim ,

    I concur with Tommy, with such forethought you have the makings of a fantastic layout. However. completing a double mainline track with crossovers allows for uncontrolled traffic and operational freedom while simulating local and mainline scenarios simultaneously..
    I was widowed many years ago.. but my hobby keeps me going..

    Steve

  19. A NICE LOOKING LAYOUT

  20. At last I had time to recover this email and enjoy the photos. When, if ever, I get rid of my addiction to be at work I plan to start something here at home. I was raised close to a community sawmill in the 40′s 50′s have a nice aerial photo of the site [the mill, SP mainline with spur, trestle over the Fall Creek River, Fall Creek, OR]. Being in a mobile home will make the layout n scale.

    Toot Toot from near UPRR MP 613, near Jasper, OR

  21. Hello Jim,
    I’m not far from you at Hamilton. I too lost part of the train set my father and mother gave me when I was five. I sold the milk car, the side dumper and a few others but I kept my old engine and refurbished it just last year.
    Love your C liner. I tried to model each type of steam engine and got into diesels too, all in HO scale. I think you should use what you built as it looks like a fine layout and it is “finished”. Your new plan has to have some tight radius curves which limit your steam roster to switchers.
    Best of luck whatever you decide.

  22. I found an easy way to make rocks, ledges and large stones is to use the spray insulation in the can. For ledges it can be formed with a popsicle stick smoothing it and for all others just spray

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