12×4 HO scale layout – Ray’s

We’re starting today with Ray, who has shared a few pics of his 12×4 HO scale:

“Dear Al:

Like everyone else, I am thankful for all you do.

My day gets off to a good start with your post, my paper and a cup of coffee.

I am 87 years old, live in Ohio and have always fooled around with trains. My present layout is ho scale and 12 x 4 feet, and has 11 switches.

My talent level is very low and would not like some of the real pofessionals to see it.

That being said, however, i will share one item on the layout. I had a dead area between my freight yard and main line and came up with the idea of an abandoned siding, photos attached.

The caboose in the picture is from a kit that i built about 75 years ago. Might be an idea for someone with the same situation.

One other thing i found works well which some of your viewers may not have tried is using wallpaper paste instead of glue in applying landscape materials and paper to cardboard.

It is very easy to use and less expensive.

Thank you again for all you do for model railroading.


weathered locomotive HO scale

weathered locomotive freight HO scale

And now on to Hall of Fame member, Rob:

“I have a new video up and it has proven to be very popular.

I thought you might be interested in it for your blog over the weekend or something.

Folks are always wanting to see a track plan so here is the latest for Farland. I started modeling in 2012. It is chiseled above two of my tunnel portals.

In 2017 we finished remodeling our basement and as soon as it was completed I started building Farland 2. That would have been in February of that year.

In the second half of 2019, I started an n-scale layout of my town and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe that runs through it.

I took almost two years off from Farland to work on this. It might not have been as long as that but I got very sick in the middle and it took 6 months for me to recover enough to start up again on model trains. I sold that layout about a month ago. It was fun working on 1:160 scale but getting back to 1:76 (OO) has been very nice.

I never know what will be next, I just follow my whims and call it good.

Thank you for all you do for the modeling community. It is a lot I might add.


OO scale track plan

model train steam train

steam train tunnel

steam train arches OO scale

OO scale overhead view

model train trees field

OO scale engine shed

model train layout plan

model train freight

diesel locomotive bridge model train

A big thanks to Ray for sharing his 12×4 HO scale, and to Hall of Fame member, Rob.

That’s all for today folks – leave a comment below and let us all know what you think.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

30 Responses to 12×4 HO scale layout – Ray’s

  1. Stephen Hill says:

    Ray , I’m impressed that you have such enthusiasm in you senior years … a true inspiration alone in that , thank you .
    Every display is a man’s imagination and creation , professional or novice . What I saw if yours was very detailed and impressive , thank you for sharing .
    I too am a beginner and remind myself that it’s mine , that it doesn’t have to drop jaws. I’m amazed at each post each modeler presents , all are unique and inspiring . Not all need to be technical and elaborate to be fun or to be yours.

  2. George Zaky says:

    87 & still modelling- Bless you. Your layout is as good as anybody’s.
    Didnt know you had a set back. Hope you are well now. Much thanks for all you contribute to us mortals. When I see FH I cant believe the detail.
    All be safe & well

  3. Walt Walters says:

    If any of these photos were off your layout I think it is fantastic! You did a great job!
    I turned 72 today and have been into HO since I was 12 years old and none of my stuff looks that good!
    But I took a 50 year hiatus from the hobby!

  4. Ripper says:

    Hey, Farland Howe, you rock! The slide show, the video, the before & after shots, the close ups and the music! Holy Cow! Great job with this layout! The best to you!!
    Thanks for sharing this!!

  5. Erick says:

    Good Workmanship.!!!!!!!!

  6. David says:

    I don’t even know where to begin, but I’ll start with the house on the hill with the tall trees. Love it! So much to see and I love the old cars and the car cruising through town. Love the trestles and the rocky sloped ridge and the creative and artistic view on your marvelous layout. Some of your stuff is hard to find in USA, especially some of the walls leading to the tunnel… Are you UK??
    You give me so many ideas and am ecstatic about your layout….

  7. Kevin McArdle says:

    What a magnificent railroad. The professionals that you say you wouldn’t want to see your railroad would be as amazed as I am by your abilities and modeling prowess. Well done you, and thank you for sharing.

  8. Marklin ed. says:

    Thanks Ray for showing us that live is wonderful if your a model railroader.
    Rob it’s always great when you can maybe point out things that are need, (in ones option) more of those great trees. Your layout is one of the ones I really admire.
    Thanks again Alastair

  9. Ed Nickel says:

    I am impressed at how well everything flows and the long curves, looks natural and not like a toy. the buildings are just right and the landscape is inspiring, I have been modeling since I was 10 and I am 69. I hope to be as inspired as you at your age as we lose interest in things as we get older. Your work inspires me. Good Bless.

  10. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Ray and Bob great layout outstanding shots.. well done

  11. Paul Graffia says:

    A true masterpiece! Bravo! I have never seen anything like this. What beauty, what workmanship, what creativity. You are a model railroad genius. GOD has truly blessed you with an amazing gift… and you have certainly put it to good use. Way to go! Thank you.

  12. Calvin in Ann Arbor says:

    Ray: That is a very creative use of a “dead” area. It is great to see part of your layout. It would be nice to see an overall plan.
    Rob: Your movie is a joy to watch!

  13. Willard Wheelock says:

    Ray – do not sell yourself short. I like what you showed. I am 80 and still at it. Do not worry about what others think. As long as we are pleased with what we create that is what matters! I am on my sixth layout and learning each day.

  14. William Schnell says:

    Nice layout and always fun to see videos of them running, well done! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Dave Kreidenweis says:

    WOW your detail is fantastic I absolutely love your hand made trees, i have never
    seen anything like them before. You are truly a master modeler. Congratulations.

  16. Mr. Ron from S. Mississippi says:

    Rob, I am also 87 and building a layout. What can you tell me about the 3rd rail you have on parts of your layout? Are there suppliers who have parts for 3rd rail?

  17. Al Otis says:

    Great scenery Farland Howe

  18. Tony Fryer says:

    Watched you video, an thought I as watching a real train… great backgrounds, town, walls and cuts in hills . . . Nice work. Con una sonrisa. Tony

  19. Rob McCrain says:

    This is in response to Mr. Ron from Mississippi, 3 rail parts are from PECO. The chairs are IL-120 and the rail is code 60 flat bottom rail.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  20. JOHN Z says:

    Real nice job on your model RR empire

  21. Rich B. says:

    Farland is top contender here with his hobby. It’s just that every photo is… well you could study these all day. Still amazement with the foreign railroads (am in U.S.) and know actually nothing with operations, scales, architecture and scenics. 240V plug in power? Okay.


  22. Pete from Michigan says:

    In all the craziness in a normal day, spending a small amount of time in Garland Howe is amazingly calming.
    Thanks for sharing.

  23. SantaFeJim says:


  24. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like it all. the tree work is really good.

  25. Don Kadunc says:

    Rob, as a long time subscriber to your videos, I recommend viewing how you make your amassing trees. I only wish the English would learn to drive on the right side of the street. Great layout.

  26. Terry Miller says:

    FINALLY a track plan for FH! Thanks so much I’ve seen previous posts but with the plan it finally shows what goes where. Great job and fantastic layout.
    Terry/Idaho usa

  27. Jim AZ says:

    Amazing and massive layout. Great to have all that space. Envious. Great design and details. Love those rocks faces. Thanks for sharing.

    Ray, a few more photos please.

    Jim AZ

  28. Steve Ruple says:

    Ray, from the pictures you showed you have done a very excellent job. Don’t be afraid to show your layout because yours is just as good as anyone else that’s all that matters. Have fun and enjoy !!!!!!

  29. Jon Webb says:

    What a lovely English layout! I was an Air Force brat in England for three years in the late 50s, and this really takes me back. And those trees! Remarkable.

  30. Sparky says:

    Ray, you truly are an inspiration to all of us in the impeccable way you handle every job you involve yourself in. As realistic as it gets. Hats off to you and always sharing your knowledge. Flawlessly done as always.

    Thank you.


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