Mike’s layout


This is a HO scale layout consisting of 3 separate zones. Farm, Village and Mtns. There are 2 bridges, 2 tunnels and lots of interesting things to see along the tracks. I use EZ track. It’s just easier for me to work with.

The platform is L shaped 4X8X6. DC powered.

I used plastic, laser cut; self build (balsa) and paper houses and buildings. A little bit of paint makes them look more realistic. I purchased a bundle of paper houses I saw in your emails. They were easy to assemble and add a nice touch of realism.

The roads are made from a Woodland Scenic kit. The little details like the billboards were made from actual billboard pictures I found on the Internet. I reduced them to the proper scale, printing on photo paper, and attaching them to a painted balsa wood frame.

Mountains are made from 1” thick rigid insulation, stacked, glued, cut, shaped and painted. I also added some natural stone; plaster tunnel portals, and paper retaining walls. All topped off with some mosses and grasses I bought at the craft store.

The farm scene is my favorite. The farm house is paper, the store is laser cut and the barn and silo is built. I added a lot of little touches like the wheat and corn field as well as the plowed earth.

I topped it all off with people, animals, fences, gravel roads, vehicles and a few other items to make it fun.

I added a few more pictures.



“Ground charcoal makes great scale coal…………keep breaking it till it’s the right size….then use the dust mixed with white sprit to age the rolling stock..

Dry cleaning hangers(plain) can be cut to make telegraph polls (solder cross bars) fence posts etc.


“I use thrown-away charcoal filter elements (like body shop respirators use) stripped open for REAL looking coal in coal hoppers.

It is light weight, and an exact match for coal. It is a might large for N scale. but looks great for HO and larger scales.


“Hi Al , after a few more adjustments have now uploaded part 7 of the new layout , some have asked re fitting points motors , I shall try to cover this in the nest update , I wanted to get all the track sorted and running good before starting adding more lights and point motors.



Don’t forgot about the ebay cheat sheet. Now’s the time to use it…



28 Responses to Mike’s layout

  1. Fantastic Dave,how do you do it? The new layout looks really good. Do you put all your point motors above or below the track?
    Thanks again for the update.

  2. Man you are a great benifit, I would like to know where do you purchase your trains, why I see they are very expensive. I really have learned a lot from you.

  3. Nice looking layout you have built there Mike , and to answer Willie , I use the surface mounted points motors , I shall show fitting them as soon as I get to that stage …

  4. Mike, love what you have done. I used E-Z Track on my new N scale layout. One of the reasons is that when I get it ‘finished’ I can unsnap the track and easily reconfigure the whole layout.

  5. Dave, you are amazing. You pack much into a limited area and it all makes sense. Quite the imagination you have. Keep it coming.

    Mr. A. Lee
    How would I send you pictures or videos of a work-in-progress? I would like to share images of my first ‘N’ scale layout and allow your readers to make comments and suggestions.

  6. Thank you for allowing a visit to your Railroad.
    Al here in the US, State of Oregon near UPRR MP 613, Jasper, OR

  7. Mike’s layout looks great. Many fascinating details. Dave has made amazing progress.

  8. Fantastic. Thanks for the review.

  9. That is so cool!!!!!!!!!!! I want to do a small town with a McDonalds in my layout but I’m having a hard time finding McDonalds box cars and tractor trailers……so if anybody can steer me in the direction or has some….please email me. Thank you!!!!!!

  10. Another source of coal for HO layouts is at the commercial office cleaning companies. They have a black granule product they put in ash trays. If they still allow smoking in your office, take a look. I got a coffee can full from our cleaning crew. It is the same as the granules you find on of roofing shingles.

  11. Another great video… After watching this one, I can’t wait for the next.



  14. Another great video from Dave, He must spend a lot of time working on his layout. I am intrigued by the vehicles on his roads. I have seen some of them to be bought from some UK places (I am in Canada), but would appreciate knowing where he found the 30’s, 40’s 50’s & 60’s vehicles in such a wide assortment of types. There are ERF trucks, AEC trucks & Bedford trucks as well as buses of all types. They really add atmosphere to his scenes.

  15. Great layout!

    Dave’s done more in a month than I have in over a year on my layout! I love the Blue Pullman snaking into the tunnel in the video. Cheers, Marcus

  16. Bernard …the cars and trucks are mainly from the corgi range , Hattons here in England sell a lot of these and do post overseas

  17. Great tips and I want to order the houses when I start my layout. Was wondering, how did you make your Haystacks?
    And Haybales? They look real. Wanna put a farm on my layout.
    Thanks Harry

  18. Dave you are doing a wonderful job with your layout! I enjoy your updates and creating a beautiful miniature world with trains! Thank you for sharing it with all of us enthusiasts. Regards, Ray Appenzeller USA

  19. Hi dave. your lay out is great. I enjoy your videos as always.Is your lay out in your attic?

  20. HI DAVE

  21. You have to do weathering, because without it, it just looks like a toy. It needs that realistic look. Weathering can be fun to do, learn from it by photo’s of trains and from studying what’s in your day to day life. In no time you will get good at it. There’s books and videos to help you start out. Little is more when weathering.

  22. Great layout Mike. I also use EZ track.
    Thanks for the pictures, send more.
    Roland – Nashville

  23. Mike, I like the bales of hay. How did you make them? Paul

  24. Dave show me how to get all train running on all tracks at the moment I have only one train running and a layout with 3 sets of track

  25. I really like this layout. It has more than industrial scenery. I really like that. Rob

  26. Dave you are so creative. I can’t wait to show this clip to my Grandson.

  27. When I was a kid, I am 78 I used to hang out at Lionel Headquarters 15 E 26th st

    They let me operate a great layout I did not get a set of trains until after ww2

    Expanded some and my Son took it all when he maried and moved to Fl

  28. good job, dave. i’m learning from you and all. i’m starting my 6th layout myself. it’ll be different from all the others and now I have to decide my new motif. terry witkowski, stevens point,WI

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