Toms fantastic railroad scenery

Got this in from Tom.

He’s a man of few words, but the picture speak for themselves.

A real stunner!

“Thanks for all the hits and updates, thought I’d include a bit of my On3 for you to view. Tom – Pres. CEO & mostly janitor … Narragansett RR”

A big thanks to Tom for mailing his pics – what a layout!

Other business:

Since my last mail I’ve had a stack of emails asking why I don’t put a list of train books together (as well as the fiction titles I asked for). So I will, but here’s the thing – I’ll just list the books that get recommended a lot.

So for example, on the fiction stuff (I just wanted something good to read) these two authors kept appearing:

George Macdonald Fraser – Harry Flashman series

Clive Cussler – Isaac Bell series

So if two or three book on the train side get enough ‘votes’ I’ll list them. So hit reply to any of my mails and let me know your best train read / train ‘how to’ book.

That’s all this time folks!

Don’t forget the latest ‘ebay cheat sheet’ – now with S,Z scale and America flyer.



80 Responses to Toms fantastic railroad scenery

  1. Terrific detail fantastic layout; felt like I was looking through a portal into
    the American past.

  2. WOW !

  3. I have two words that came to me after seeing it. WOW, AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Absolutely inspiring Tom, well done!

  5. This is truly one of the finest miniature displays I have seen in model railroading. Tom has made this setup exceptionally balanced between the scenery and the railway system. The railway is not overbearing and the only item of interest in the plan. It would be a wonderful idea if someone would video this display in action, in detail. It would be very useful to others in seeing how detailed they can be when they put their mind and effort into their hobby.
    What a great pleasure to view these few photos. Please send out more.

  6. Wish I had the time to get started with my boys. I would be happy with a layout which looked half as good. The level of detail is amazing. Great job.

  7. Tom,
    SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP!!!! Wow!! No need to say more!

  8. It doesn’t get better than this!

  9. That looks about as real as anything I have ever seen…fantastic job on details that look so proper.

  10. It just goes to show that the train is not the main feature of a railway but completes the story of a town, city, village or just an area and its inhabitants how and where they live. I envy you Tom to have the skills, artistry and patience.

  11. Tim’s attention to detail during this peroid in history is truly amazing. You truly feel like you are back in time. An incredible layout. GREAT JOB!!!!

  12. I moved to York, PA eight years ago from RI. I remember fondly Carrie’s Seafood Restaurant in Narragansett, RI. Great work with the scenery! I am making slow but steady progress with my own layout.

  13. Tom! This is probably the greatest detailed model i have seen. Your attention to detail makes this model soooo very real. i can hear the crickets chirp, and the birds singing. Very well done, makes me feel like i was growing up again!

  14. This is a Marvellous layout which puts us all to shame.

  15. Never seen better. I’m dripping with envy. (Lol). Wish I had that skill level.

  16. Best I have ever seen. Great job!

  17. Excellent craftsmanship. I’ve honestly never seen an On3 layout done poorly; it’s seemingly easier to work in the larger scales for narrow gauge.

  18. Such an incredible work of art! I am so impressed and hopeless in ever trying to duplicate such greatness!

  19. Beautifully done. Is the scale On3 or Hon3?

  20. Absolutely brilliant, beyond belief. I’d like to see an overall view of this layout. I couldn’t produce something like this in a hundred years. The creativity and workmanship that went into this is amazing. Thanks for sharing this.

  21. I could actually taste the dust through a portal to the 1930’s. Reminded me of the London-Port Stanley electrified rail era where it ran beside the John Labatt Brewery on Maitland Street in London. I think it proves the point that a well planned and designed layout is more of scenery with some rail rather than the reverse. Fantastic.

  22. Incroyable / unbelievable

  23. Very nice. Thats what a model should look like.


  25. Truly amazing detail. Best I’ve seen!!

  26. Outstanding. …so real. Good looking railroad ties. Don in California.

  27. What an awesome display. I have never previously seen such realistic and immaculate detail in any model railroad. So nice, to see the modelling ‘grab’ the viewer’s attention. It would be so nice to see an action video too ! – Please Tom !

  28. I’m at a loss for words, however, the realism is absolutely superior to anything I have seen before or likely will see.

  29. Can’t say anymore than what has already been said Tom. WHAT A GREAT LAYOUT!!! The detail is just unbelivable

  30. I’ve seen a lot of proper railways on this site, this one takes the cake. It’s real and so wonderfully improper.

  31. Respect! That just ooses character. Looks like it could be up there with the Franklin & South Manchester!
    Thank you Tom for taking the time to share your work with us.

  32. This is fantastic Tom. You’re depicting the era I really, really like. I think life was better then. Maybe that’s because those were the days of my youth. Are some of the old buildings scratch built? They are great and the old tires and things really make the scenes.

  33. Now this is really class AAAAA++!!!! Someone from Model Railroader and especially the Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette should be all over this gentleman for a complete story article with everything we all want to know about included. This truly is among the best I have ever seen and I have studied practically every model railroad magazine there is from 1933 on to today.

    This could be the next “Up clear creek” type series of articles that have been ever so wonderful in the Narrow gauge & Shortline Gazette.

    Totally inspiring.

    Thanks so much for these pictures. I really do hope we’ll see and read much more about this one.
    Dick from Hardin Montana USA

  34. I have been following This blog for several years now and I have never seen a more realistic looking layout. I just decided to go into N Scale and I only hope that I can come 1/2 way as close to As somerealistic as you have done Tom… As someone said earlier,I would love to see a video of this layout! Simply fantastic!

  35. Tom, I cannot add more to the opinions of the others. I just like to tell you that I feel less than an amature. Your imagination makes me feel that I could never accomplish one hundred of your creation.
    Thank you for sharing your invaluable accomplishment.
    Paco Gayon

  36. This is amazing. Pure art.
    Thank You for the photos.

  37. Nice sceen’s

  38. I have been watching your Web Site for some time now. I have been a Model Railroader for over 40 years in N-Scale. These were some of the most fantastic and well done scenes that I have ever seen! Great work Tom! Wish I had that type of ability and attention to detail as you have.

  39. Amazing. I cannot imagine how many hours Tom spent on this. There is a level of detail very seldom seen in this hobby.

  40. One reason I dont like this layout. It makes mine look so paltry!! This layout has so much detail. Absolutely beautiful job. I just love the diver getting ready to enter the water. Stunning detail right up to the helmet air hose!! Please post more photos or a video!!

  41. That is staggering, everything looks so real and done beautifully. Well done

  42. Fantastic work!!!!!!!!!!!!


  44. Amazing pic’s, really inspiring

  45. SO lifelike, this man has talent !!!!! I love the attention to the minutest detail. I only hope that my “S” gauge layout will look a small % as good as Tom’s.

  46. Hi Al.

    You can’t be anything but bowled over by the attention to detail that’s gone into Toms layout. I agree with comment above. the railway runs through a believable landscape rather than being the dominant feature and that’s what makes it so special. I can remember reading recently a pro modeler pointing out that the landscape was there long before the railway so the trick is to make make it look like your rails are threading through an established scene. Toms layout does that to a T.

    Very, very good.

  47. I had to keep looking-just super detail and any time you may have some spare time-I need help with scenery on my layout-it is a hobby in progress!

    Thanks for sharing you talent!!!

  48. Truly amazing,thanks for sharing.

  49. one of thes day’s i will get mine stared .trying to buy thing’s off ebay but no luck. bid angest dealer’s is hard to do. when you are on a fix income.

  50. fantastic detail!

  51. This is on great great lay out. My hat is off to you.

  52. Absolutely phenomenal photos…Something I have always wanted to do…A real prototypical layout…In order to make mine complete, I am looking for a diner like in the 4th picture in this group…I can kitbash an old trolley, but they have been hard to find…Any help would be appreciated…

  53. Absolutely incredible! One of the best I’ve seen.

  54. Looks so realistic especially the loco shed and industrial area.

  55. Looking at Tom’s Model Railroad I can look back in time to another great railroad in ” Roadside America ” named America in Minuture in Shartellsville, PA

    The first time I saw that I was amazed, I will not go in to detail reference breivty sake. This is the best I saw in 1953, and several times thereafter visits would take me back. Has been top on my list all these years. Until today … these pictures of Tom’s railroad are a mirror to roadside america and the detail is beyond discribing … so I won’t even try.

    What I will try is this: This takes me back in time … even some before my time. It makes me stop and think about the hardships … the bad times and the good times … life good or bad but lived where did that time go hear we are today and a better person because of it all.

    Thank you Tom for sharing the pictures … Thank you Al … for bringing them to us. Congradulations a piece of History preserved for the ages.

  56. magnificent! The diving scene reminded me of Captain Haddock in Red Rackham’s Treasure!!

    Very well done – A true piece of art…

  57. looks great …. the real thing

  58. Like all of you, I’m a train guy. And, the first eight pictures or so were fascinating to me without having trains in them! Great layout and photography. Congratulations.

  59. You amaze me. I really love the top picture. How do you do it?


  61. Outstanding! I can’t imagine the time that you put into this. Excellent job!

  62. great detail and that is the winner i have sat down and studied every photo the old looking building, the old cars i just love them have never seen them in the magazines or shops.thanks for sharing.

  63. It shows shows what talent, patience and brainpower can achieve when you put your mind to it, this should be an inspiration to us all, truly impressive modelling and photo’s….am I jealous ?……you bet your boots, am I envious ?, absolutely, am I motivated to make a model like that ?, YES I AM !.

  64. FANTASTIC Tom, well done, like me you would rather concentrate on the diorama detail and the trains are merely a moveable part of the scenery.

  65. I can but only agree with the comments made by my fellow viewers – it is a privilege to be in such creative company. A message for Cecil Johnson: I’am having great fun buying up cheap Chinese train sets from pound stores as and when I can and building them up into something big. They are about O scale and the lack of detail allows you to custom the carriages and locomotives to your own liking. They may never be, in my case, authentic looking GWR, but they’re good and it really is fun. All the best everyone!!!!!!!!

  66. Stunning. Thankyou for posting. Like many other readers I would love to see the a video.

  67. Unbelievable Detail! Absolutely Awesome!

  68. Unbelieveable…………….what a great layout………

    I only hope I can do work like that with my new N gauge layout………….


  69. Absolutely awesome!!

  70. Think I need to start again with my layout. I’ve never built one before so I’m making all the classic mistakes!!
    Great pics, lots of inspiration!

  71. Breathtaking…… In my book the best work I have seen in years and I am 65 and been modeling all my life. Better than mostly any I have seen before. The guy is an artist and above all he has captured realisum to a dedree not many can match. As near perfection as I have ever seen. Lovely photos but the camera can only se what it sees.
    I would love to buy you a pint.

  72. Nice work Tom, you are right up there with the greats like Troels Kirk and the late Charles ‘Doc’ Patti.

  73. Fantastic,never seen anything as nice and professional.

  74. ANY Clive Cussler. The Wrecker, It’s centered around trains.

  75. I am so glad you are selling and not breaking it up. I just cannot understand how some modellers can spend lots of money and time building a fantastic layout and then after some time they break it all up and then start building another layout. Your detail work is amazing. Cant wait to see your next project. Keith

  76. Hi, All …. I couldn’t say any more than was posted already by the folk
    who wrote in. having watched the blogs for several years, I’also interested in any advice that could be posted for electronic control of engines besides DCC whatever … pulse control by Both AC & DC
    Motors ? Having a electronic back ground of most any consumer
    style of appliances …. Microwave, TVs, GDOs, some audio, I’m now in retirement starting Our/My hobby of Model railing. MANY good tips
    You’ve posted! Any schematics around to build ones own speed controls
    after AC or DC is applied ? Or using 555/556 timer chips for control of
    speed of low voltage power to Train signage/crossing signals, whatever ..
    THANKS ….

  77. I am working on my HO Great Northern layout and seeking preferred options on purchasing city structures: Feed Mill, Brewery, Station, Church etc.

    What kits do your recommend?
    East Lansing, MI

  78. Love the details and realism. Very inspiring.

  79. Clive Cussler’s book THE STRICKER (Issac Bell series) is also train related.

  80. Almost forgot: Cussler’s book NIGHT PROBE is train related also

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