Ken’s American West layout

“Welcome everyone. After following Alastair Lee for about two years now I am at the point where I thought that I wanted to add some pictures of my own as I can always benefit from comments and feedback. Having always had an interest in the American west I wanted to convey a time when steam was starting to replace the old wagons heading west. I entitle the layout Westward Ho! simply because I have not really thought of a more creative name.

Although much of the history comes before, our story begins in the town of hole in the wall noted in the rough cut tunnels that blasted through the rocks in order to allow for the train to come into the town founded around a watering hole that protrudes from a rock. It was at this very hole where the Native Apache Indians used to stop and drink. It is near this watering hole where our settlers first came out of the parched desert to the rock from whence the water flows, or the watering rock as the Indians and the early pioneers referred to the land until the coming of the steam engine.

Just as the Native Americans were pushed west, so too do we find the early pioneers wanting to escape the industrialization era. And so we see them loading up their wagons and moving to . . . where we do not know just where they are moving to but is is anyplace better than hole in the wall where cattle barrens and outlaws have come brought there by the water and the greed of gold believed to be found in the nearby hills and barren wasteland.














I thought Ken’s layout had bags of character – and a nice narrative too.

Please do keep ’em coming. And if you haven’t had a look at the ebay cheat sheet for a while, now’s the time to too. Have a look at what’s there.



18 Responses to Ken’s American West layout

  1. Most unusal and very nicely done.

  2. Great, Ken. Thanks for sharing. John Allen (Gore and Daphited RR)
    was a model rr pioneer, who died in the late 70’s. His fabulous layout
    was frequently photographed (he was, himself, an accomplished photographer)
    and had many “how to” publications, which are probably still available. His
    layout was “Western” themed, though not as early as your own. Keep up the
    good work!

  3. Love the idea…very nice set up. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice story Ken and portrayed through your layout …well done

  5. Nice. Very nice. I am also working on a western setting. I have been working on it for over 2 years and am not near this far. I am still in the trial and error phase. Lots of trials and many errors. I am working in “N” gauge on a 4 X 8 foot table. I really appreciate this site. Lots of ideas. Thank you very much.

  6. Ken –

    Great concept! I live just outside St. Louis, Missouri and St. Louis was a major jumping off point for the westward migration.

    Your town must be very progressive and by the number of stars on the flag flying high, anticipated the growth of the United States.

    Just kidding. :-) :-)


  7. I thank you all for the comments. Yes the flag is a little ahead of its time but reminds me of the progression. I hope to post more pictures and further narrative in the future but am also looking for ideas. Like some of you I have had to learn through trial and error. My original design was totally scratched after making a bit of effort. My ideas are expansive but the space and cost of building the dream are limiting. I actually am starting on part two of the project.

    I am wondering how to connect the upper line with the lower line without creating polarity issues which is what happened in the initial design. I want to be able to run both lines simultaneously and be able to interconnect if possible.

  8. what a nice layout
    the detail is superlative and the narrative too
    goood job!!

  9. I think your layout is quite nice. You might want to re-think the flag you have flying. It is a 50 star flag and I don’t think at the time you are portraying there were 50 states in the union.

  10. i like the old time layout too.


  11. A great way to use some models that would otherwise not fit in. My Wild west models come out for special excursions and “movie making”. Maybe I need a permanent western “set” on corner of the layout. Thanks for some great ideas.

  12. great theme, like the township.the building fit right in.

  13. Great job ken,enjoyed looking at your lay out. I think that it’s a great idea.

  14. Finally, somebody with American Flyer ‘S’ scale; REAL model trains.

  15. A great idea Ken, I don’t recall seeing a model set this early before. Well done, thank you for sharing.

  16. I love a railway with a history! This is really interesting, I live in the wild west of Scotland, Argyll. Hardly a frontier but a lot of people left here for the Americas in the Highland Clearances. Contrary to popular belief, manywere pleased to get the chance to go and start a new life, often paid for by the Laird who could see the land could not support the people. Thanks, D/

  17. I cought the flag thing as well. Just for information sake there were 31 states pre civil war say1850, and post civil war say 1870 there were 37. Hope you can modify your flag for the time period you built your layout. It looks very good and I wish I had the time and space to play with different time periods, including the future. Phil


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