4×8 N scale

Ray’s been back in touch with his 4×8 N scale:

“Hello Al,

I have been a fan of your blog over the past seven years and have found the emails, videos, and “tips and tricks” extremely helpful and informative.

I find myself looking for your email first thing every morning. Thank you and keep up the great work.

I am attaching a video of my N scale layout, updated less than a year ago.

I think I have mentioned in an earlier email that I started with a 4 x 8 layout on a piece of plywood placed on top of the pool table.

The pool table is now gone and N scale trains have since taken over my entire basement.

This video shows the accumulation of trains, rolling stock, and scenery over the past 7 years.

My layout is not a specific prototype and may not make sense to your viewers.

I have a fleet of 10 plus Dutch locomotives, because of the time I spent in Holland after college and since my wife is Dutch.

I have locomotives from different eras and road names. I have modeled a collection of places and activities that I have enjoyed over the past 60 plus years, including an amusement park, circus, fishing holes, lakes for swimming, water falls, mountains. a variety of wildlife, a scale model of Worcester Union Station, parks, European outdoor market, windmills, a gondola lift, and much more.

Although I have basically run out of space, I am sure there will be additions, and adjustments in the years to come. As we know, our layouts are never really finished.

Wishing you and all your followers a very happy and healthy New Year!


Massachusetts, USA”

4x8 n scale circus ferris wheel

4x8 N scale circus

4x8 N scale mountain scenery

4x8 N scale mountains

4x8 N scale train station

4x8 N scale trestle bridge

N scale church

N scale city hall

N scale gas station

N scale town sidings

N scale town

N scale trees

N scale waterfall

A big thanks to Ray for sharing his 4×8 N scale.

Of course we all know this hobby is about making a start – so if you want to see Ray’s start, his first N scale post is here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you leap out of your chair and start laying track, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

45 Responses to 4×8 N scale

  1. Bill Sweet says:

    What an artist.

  2. Brian Rockey says:

    Wow! That’s a big layout Roy. Really nice to see a circus and funfair. Great stuff.
    Happy New Year to you, Al and all ‘readers’ from Brian, Wokingham, UK

  3. Brian Messenger says:

    A very nice, well detailed large layout you have there Ray. I like the transition from layout to backdrop behind the fairground. Well done.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA.

  4. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    Love to see a populated model railway and also the fairground and working ferris wheel – great work.

  5. James Prentice says:

    Ray. That is one great layout and makes me envious. Love all the activities going on from the funfair to the mountain chairlift. You can be very proud of this railway.

  6. Hi Roy A full raiway with loads of interest and variation as you run round. You have certainly packed a lot for the viewer to look at. Only one thing caught my eye was the arches on the large bridge which you have stopped at track level. As there are no supports under the bridge to act as a foundation then the arches would continue on down to the lower level and into a foundation. The layout again shows the individual style adopted by many builders to have a large town area with loads of detail within. When in reality very few cities have large expanses of track within them . It tends to be quickest way in and out again in reality. I think Dangerous Daves railway is a very good compromise and his layout is well worth a look. Anyway again Roy well done

  7. Greg Marples says:

    Wow! I can’t begin to list all the structures and views I was impressed by! Traveling from continent to continent on one tiny train in a few moments! What a great idea! As for running out of room, my brother collects, repairs and runs larger “toy” trains and accessories. When his trains taking over the house became an issue with his very patient wife he went and bought an old, three story house just for his trains! The moral is, don’t stop building because you run out of space, get more space! ( My brother’s nuts)

  8. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    Lots of nice scenery with a minimal of trackage–perfect!

  9. I would love to know where you found n scale Union Station I built the towers out fiberglass and would love to add one to my layout as well

  10. Robert Brady says:

    Fantastic layout And a man after my own heart CSX rules. Need operating hours of that carnival.
    Great Job
    The Critic

  11. Mike Balog says:

    Fantastic Layout and Video.. and this is ALL N Scale ! Loved the Circus and Rides,,, the Union Station and the European station, The Cable Cars were a
    bit wobbly though,,, Nice City Area, and the Elephant Circus Parade… Brings Back Memories when I grew up in Bridgeport, CT. P.T. Barnum’s H.Q. down along Seaside Park… And the Circus Train used to park up off North Ave., They would have a Big Parade down Main St. all the way to the Park ~ All History Now.

  12. John says:

    Thank you for maintaining this site. I also look forward to them every day. As Ray touched on, its “our railroad”. Misfit equipment, world locations and eras; it doesnt matter. Anything goes! As long as you enjoy it. Nice job Ray. Happy New Year to all. God bless,
    John, Philadelphia USA

  13. Ray says:

    Ken. I found the Union Station kit here in Massachusetts at Hobby Emporium about six years ago. Look them up on line, they might have another. I grew up In Worcester so needless to say I was excited to find it. Took me over 100 hours to build.

  14. Red says:

    What a massively gorgeous layout
    Thanks for sharing

  15. Philip Ford says:

    What a fantastic layout, waterfall, funfair, a variety of things to keep the eyes looking I do have two questions mind.

    1 did I see some kato high cubes, 2 stacked on a wagon?

    2, did you create the tunnel mouth itself or buy one, if so what brand.

    Loved the Ferris wheel, time and patience, I take it is a Faller kit? Superb

    Well done all round.

  16. Ruben Simon says:


  17. Jim AZ says:

    A very nice layout with so many interesting and unique features. You should be very proud of your time, effort and modeling skills. Well done.

    Jim AZ

  18. FENDER DOCTOR says:


    ALL ON 4 X 8 ?

  19. Louis Caputo says:

    Your superb weathering of the freight cars is a detail many modelers overlook or consider inconsequential. Your time and effort paid off, however, as it brought the layout to “life”. Thanks!

  20. Mr. Ron from S. Mississippi says:

    A truly spectacular layout. I don’t see any problem in mixing U.S. and European models. They all blend in well as far as I can see.

  21. Ed McGinley says:

    Nice layout sir, plenty to see

  22. Welder dave says:

    A lot there and really detailed ! All in N gauge ! Hats off to any one that can work with such small items ! My fingers are just too clumsy for that fine work I’m a G gauge builder of a all steel elevated outdoor layout that’s slowly this spring getting out of the shop work and getting installed I hope so much has happened this year with pandemic and work being really busy it’s been delayed too many times . Loved the circus that’s a gone thing here in the US due to a few obnoxious people that ruined good entertainment !

  23. JoeS - in ME says:

    First, Thank you Al for maintaining this site; I’m sure it’s a lot of work and we all appreciate it. As with others, it’s the first thing I look for when I open my emails.

    Ray — fabulous layout! A lot of variety that I wish I could build into my O gauge but I am limited by space. A lot of great scenes to get ideas from.

  24. Jim Spencer says:

    Great layout but, COME ON THAT IS NOT 4X8!!!!

  25. William Orton says:

    Very nice layout. I caught the gondola in the first few minutes and I new there be a ton of detail. Great work! Show us a few Dutch locomotives in the next video please👍

  26. Malcolm says:

    Very impressive! Great detail and very well populated, better than most that I’ve seen.

  27. Glenn Dean Holden says:

    Wow- what a layout- like the movie theater, hope it lights up at night- fantastic job- congratulations!

  28. robert dale tiemann says:

    kinda reminds me of some of the places ive scene in southern states. i like it. great scenery.

  29. TJK says:

    Hello to Ray in Massachusetts, I am located 12 miles North of Boston.
    Nice layout….the burnt out house is a different touch. Any info on the cable cars?
    I am looking for a new addition to our layout as the grandkids enjoy the interactive additions. I have different areas we use as interactive area, deliveries and such. A cable car operator at the controls may add a new flare to the layout for us.
    Thanks TJK……….Job well done.

  30. Gary M from Long Island says:


  31. Tim Shirk says:

    Not sure of comment on tracks in city. In Dilworth, mn and Grand Forks, ND , there were turntables inside town. Grd Fks has passenger station, large warehouses on eastside of main N/S thorough fair and roundhouse on west side next to that street. The 4 lane street went under the tracks. The roundhouse was start of a large switch yard stretching west. Most disappeared in the 80’s. All downtown warehouses converted to multifamily housing and sidings removed. The passenger station is served by Amtrak. The railyards reduced to 2 main tracks and two long sidings. Surplus property sold off to adjacent university or business development. Coal once filled downtown and university buildings. Those converted to other fuels and even those tracks were pulled up. If my eyes had not seen it as kid, I would never know know. Two companies great northern and Northern Pacific operated lines. On north side of town was industrial and grain elevators. All but one track is left to serve them. All the tracks that cut through residential neighborhoods are gone, land sold off.

  32. Brian Rockey says:

    Wow Ray – fantastic layout – so much going on – Fairground, Circus, Drive-in movie, brilliant.
    Best to all.
    Brian, Wokingham, UK.

  33. R J Miller says:

    Great layout. I like the look of open space that still has interesting features included. Great job.

  34. John Birch says:

    Wow! Congratulations Ray. Loads of detail and interest. I particularly like the cathedral.

  35. David says:

    Love the drive in movie . Have you used a tablet (or chrome book ) so pictures move ….

  36. DELMAR G SERVOSS says:

    looks great, a lot of work in that one but its nice to have the room

  37. Bruno Barnes says:

    Surely that’s larger that 4×8. Just super!

  38. Kevin McArdle says:

    Love the cable cars

  39. Brian Olson says:

    Fun to see things like a baseball field, or as we see here a carnival. In my case I built a small community airport.

  40. Frank Pumillo says:

    Great layout and love all the detail. Great job, bravo!

  41. Steve Ruple says:

    Nice layout Ray, looks great

  42. roger turner says:

    Ray, you have packed a lot into your layout with great detail and yet it doesn’t look crowded. Love the working lifts and the windmill, really adds to the overall look.
    Very interesting layout.

    Best regards to you and all for a blessed Holiday Season.

    Roger in Kansas

  43. robert dale tiemann says:

    circus procession, love it.

  44. Bud Backus says:

    Fantastic. Nicely detailed. The video was great to look at. No matter what we feed them, layouts continue to grow. Have lots of fun,

  45. matiSon says:

    Nice 4×8 layout. Good details. There is a lot going on, and it is visually interesting.

    I’m working on a 4 x 8’ HO layout, and had an idea earlier: Has anyone here done a layout with both N and HO? I’m not sure how it would work. I suppose that the things farthest away would look even farther if the trains in the distance we’re smaller. I’ve never been great with perspective. If anyone has an opinion on this and wants to respond, please comment. Thanks.

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