A superb model train layout

“Hi Al – I have been following your mailers for quite some time now.

I really appreciate all your efforts in running this wonderful network of Model railroaders without having to maintaining any live forum or a group – I believe that is definitely a wonderful communication technique that you discovered to use emails like a forum or a group – a wonderful idea! 🙂

Let me know what you think.

Take care, and thank you in advance for your time.


Pretty amazing, eh?

A huge thank you to Kaustav. Do you think if we pester him enough he’ll send in some more pics??

Don’t forget to have a quick peek at the latest ‘ebay cheat sheet‘.

And before I go, can I just say a heartfelt thank you for all the nice comments about the site on the last post. I know it’s a cliche, but it really does make it worthwhile.



76 Responses to A superb model train layout

  1. As you say very Stunning Al , nice job you have done there Kaustav

  2. Rodney says:

    that is an awesome layout i havent started yet with mine but i have been collecting as much stock as i can to work with im thinking of macking my layout on 48″x 36″ so that i can dismantle if i had to its not going to be easy i have collected all of the emails that has been sent to me and i will ues them to make my own layout

  3. Colin says:

    Wow! I love the trains and ships combination. very realistic.

  4. Track7 says:

    I like

  5. Duane says:

    Fantastic layout, Im planing a layout like Rodney I wonder if he is planing on N or HO

  6. Keith says:

    HI Kaustav. Great layout . Could you tell me where the ships are from or are they scratch built. Also what gauge is the railway? Keep up the good work. Keith

  7. Bob O says:

    I like it, that was my second choice when starting my railroad…..wish I had seen this sooner. Nice Work!!!!

  8. Norman says:

    Kaustav’s model train layout is truly impressive. I was impressed that it’s of the Wrightsville Port here in NC. I live in Greensboro, in the Northern part of the state.

    And, that it is in the “N” scale, everything requires so much small and delicate work.

    Karustav, please send more more pictures. I’m sure we’d all love to see more. NCB

  9. Mase Maronn says:

    Great “modernized” N-Scale version of one of my favorite Ian Rice layout designs. Although I still have most of my “antique” N-Scale stuff, it’s a bit tougher to see than the HO stuff, which, itself, is becoming tougher to see. Outstanding layout, Kaustav!

  10. Chuck says:

    Shows a lot of talent,let’s see more please.

  11. Sheila says:

    Very interesting. Especially the winding road/track on the mountain. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing with all of us out in cyberland.

  12. farmer71rr says:

    another fantastic layout, thanks a lot

  13. farmer71rr says:

    really like this one, thanks

  14. Charlie Schmidt says:


    Great layout. Could you please provide scale and overall layout dimensions?


    Charlie Schmidt

  15. Allan says:

    Briliant layout, must have taken a lot of hours planning and building, I congratulate you on a job well done, you should be proud of the work you have done on this layout, how about some more pictures ?? Please !!!!, well done, regards all, Allan

  16. Emory says:

    Each post is so inspiring please keep it coming.

  17. Ben Zalewski says:

    Fantastic scene!

    Never imagined building a seaport theme for a model railroad. Your choice of equipment is very practical.
    Can we get several photos from directly above the layout?
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    –Ben Z

  18. Roy Richardson says:

    This has certinly given me some new ideas for a harbour scene, looks like a complete rethink. Thanks

  19. Ian says:

    Great looking layout

  20. Ian says:

    Great looking layout.

  21. john says:

    Hi Al, this site is great, and the ideas fantastic, it is extremely helpful to all railroad modelers. keep up the good work. John.

  22. cool harbor lay out going ad one to my lay out down the road nice job.

  23. Chris says:

    pretty amazing pic’s , love the lighthouse

  24. david says:

    what a great layout, you have done a very good job,it looks so real, all the best.

  25. Glenn Roach says:

    To you the Builder of this very nice looking layout using both land & water together. Some specs on the layout for the beginners in this hobby would be nice. Also did u use the liquid gel for the water or just paint it there, I could not tell.

  26. Ian says:

    a top layout keep the pics coming.

  27. Kaustav says:

    Thanks everybody, and thank you Al! I will make sure I send more pics and periodic updates of the layout as and when I complete any new section. Cheers till then. 🙂

  28. kenny clarke says:

    very good site have learned a lot and envied a lot more PLEASE keep this site going thanks kenny

  29. Dan says:

    I have been very slowly building a lay out for my grandson (yeah right!) and have been following this site for ideas.
    I have a company that provides subcontracting services to the ship repair industry (mainly US NAVY) and have wanted to incorporate a harbor/piers into my lay out….this lay out helped a lot.
    Our lay out is at the board stage:
    8’x4′ on one side, 6’x4′ on the other and 3’x4′ joining the two. 2″ of foam is in place for carving.

  30. mike says:

    very Great layout

  31. Maverick405 says:

    Excellent! May I ask the scale?

  32. paul Otway says:

    A very nice layout.

  33. Chris Goodman says:

    A great layout. Superb modelling. Love to see more pics. Thanks Alastair for the great information on modelling trains. Would be great to see some indoor garden railway modelling especially in gauge one track. Cheers, Chris Goodman, Tasmania, Australia

  34. Toni says:

    Dang nab it Kaustav. Those black and white photos look darn near like pictures of the real locations. Good work. I just wish that I could take photos as well as you do. Please keep those photos coming.

  35. Hi Guys
    I’m like Rodney above – love model railway but cannot stop to build just yet. I am buying Marklin rails & rolling stock whenever I can afford it as I had a failry large HO setup many, many years ago still packed away! I also have a large collection of matchbox toys ready to use. It will come out one day & I also copy, file & retain every email from our wonderful host!

  36. Hi Al
    There I am armed with pencil graph paper etc and a 22ftx20ft “space” that is to become the new Train ing area
    I am all of a ponder as to how to proceed
    Along comes a truly fantastic bit of inspiration

    WOW!! what a layout to inspire
    I can see it being so very interesting to operate let alone build My Slide rule has been ditched
    I shall take the easy way out and add my modifications to a A TRULY BRILLIANT bit of modelling

  37. Ralph says:

    Really great theme Kaustav,
    A port give us the excuse to have all sorts of beaut stuff. The crane, lifting bridge and lighthouse all fit in nicely and would be difficult to explain in another theme.
    Another advantage of a port is that you can have anything at all sitting around as it could be on its way to or from the port for shipment.

  38. Michael C says:

    That is a great layout you have, I am also curious about the oil tanker and where you found it, would it match a oo scale layout? Fantastic work, keep it up and great pics.

  39. Just what I needed to encourage me. I have been back to N Scale for only a year or so, and have recently decided that my layout is going to an Intermodal with a pier and yard, and a ship and cranes. Kaustav, you have done a brilliant job of demonstrating to me that I’m on the track (pun intended). Thanks for sharing. And, yes, I too would like more harbor pics from you AND from others.

  40. Kaustav says:

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments and I am truly overwhelmed! 🙂 So glad that you all liked it. A part of the compliments should actually go to my wife who is in charge of painting, weathering, scenery and many other stuff (as and when required basis!). The only thing she possibly hates about this hobby would be operation – she just loves to see the trains go round and round without her touching a button! 😛

    Here are some details, as requested:

    Scale: N
    Layout size: 6’X3′ (minus that curved area in front of the town scene), plus 6’X9″ staging – all areas under the layout is made into closets for optimum utilization of space, the space below the staging is a book shelf.
    Track: Code 80 – Peco turnout with remote throw and Atlas Flex
    Era: 1960-1970
    Roadbed – Insulation board on wood framing and foam filling
    Layout type: Portable

    All buildings, ships and other structures are scratchbuilt – primary material cardboard, and household wastes (like remains of toilet paper rolls for the oil storage tanks!). Some are heavily kit bashed, like the trestle.

    And yes, I will send some more pics, and other surprises VERY SOON! 🙂

    Thanks again everyone – Cheers!

  41. I enjoyed seeing your layout. great job.

  42. Randolph scott says:

    I am definately going to use some of your Layout on mine .


  43. Michael C says:

    Thank you for letting us Know how you modelled the tanker and fuel tanks, this is an area which has been on my mind for a long time and now seeing how you incorperated them into your layout, I am going going to do a similar idea with mine. Keep up with the wonderful work and compliments to your wife with the detail in the painting area.

  44. Austin Wilson says:

    That is a very stunning layout Al. Awesome. I just came up from working on my layout. Taking apart my very large rail yard and redoing it again. The layout is always a work in progress. Take care everyone and happy rail roading. Austin, loving the HO Scale.

  45. Duncan says:

    I like the feeling of space in the harbour, and on the quayside, not easy to achieve. I too have worked a lot in harbours with ships and trains and this looks very realistic The B&W photos are worth printing off to decorate the train room for insparation. Thanks ! D/

  46. Chris says:

    can you not show the complete layout. Im sure it will be just as good as the bit shown. Well done on a great layout.

  47. Vimal Jain says:

    Hi, Kaustav,

    I am retired from Insurance sector of age 69, but since childhood I love trains because my town is near to railway station, so when I joined the rail-road hobby about 1-1/2 year ago. I went with HO scale and as a bigner I also do the mistake to go with HO scale, because the space is the problem, I started 8’X4′ board and run the train round & round. I also started on Grand valley kit, purchased from Delhi, at present I am working on this kit. But after seeing your great N scale lay out I really Impress and want to go with N scale. But I have one problem with me that I cant do the such type of work as both you done. so I am going to go with similar idea. In the end again I love you effort and wishes for you future work.

    Really great Kaustav

  48. Ron says:

    Hi, Kaustav

    What a fantastic combination of a railroad and harbor layout.
    Would there be a commercial plan layout be available for
    this layout.


  49. fred says:

    A fantastic layout, look like the real thing,

    Fred (RSA )

  50. Tom Burris Sr says:

    Very Nice indeed. We have two Lift Bridges in our harbor, one is for train traffic the other cars and trucks.
    Could you share your plans for the lift bridge? I know I have HO but I think I can manage to scale it up for what I need.
    Also include if you would what materials you used.

  51. Edward says:

    Ships, Trains and bridges…..all of my favorites!!!!

  52. Donald Lango says:

    Kaustav ; i like this layout and theme , i would like to know where to get a N-scale oil tanker to incorporate into my layout , Thanks from

  53. Linda says:

    Very nice job. Keep the pics coming.

  54. Gaustav
    You really have a good handle on the sea port idea and your models are fantastic !
    You don’t need to get down hearted we all love this group and you are the heart and brains of it all !

  55. Cary B says:

    Al, Kaustav,

    Not much time this morning but I decided to view latest email and so glad I did.
    The layout out pics are so awesome and love the video.
    Once again thanks for sharing.

    Cary B

  56. John says:

    Great layout. Lots of operational scenarios.

  57. David says:

    Fantastic layout. Thanks for showing it and keep the photos coming.
    A big thank you to Alastair Lee and all you train modelers for keeping this site going.
    Happy 2017 to you all.


  58. Kenneth Seegert says:

    Very refreshing great job!

  59. chris jordan says:

    hi Al ta for my receipt so I can now enjoy another year of your excellent site thanks a gain for taking so much trouble to put items on the web that model railwayers (like me aged now haha) enjoy and give us the impetus to carry on with new ideas cheers and kind regards Chris

  60. Ross Johnston says:

    Great Layout and it has given me some ideas. Also thankyou for your layout plan. Alistair you must know how useful this site is, particularly to novices like me. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, Australia

  61. Brad says:

    Excellent detail on the lighthouse pic.That,the building and “stone” wall are fabulous-looks like the real thing! Yes DEFINITELY we need more pics-terrific layout!

  62. Jim Donovan says:

    Now that is a water layout! Very impressive, especially scratch building the ships. I thought HO scale is tough to make realistic, n scale looking that real, amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  63. Bill Wick says:

    This is my second till email your site. I never get tired of the comments and video.
    And essentially a beginner, especially with DCC, could I ask if anybody can assist with the intricacies of installing encoders in DC locos.”
    The post an inspiration to a novice, especially this is one. I took on a huge task for my great grand sons who wanted a layout in HO but also wanted a Faller car system they had seen on the internet, so I am in a little over my head especially with going to DCC right out of the box. Any help on either subject would be appreciated?????

  64. Great layout with boats and ships, Kaustav. Thanks for all you do Alastair. Been watching you posts for a long time; now it is time for me to join this choice group.
    My name is Gilbert Fayette (Americnized Lafayette) I’m now working on my third and biggest N gauge spread. I would send pictures, but I’m 87 and technically challenged on how to get them out. I build my layouts on foam. This time I am using 2 inch foam, sitting on folding tables. I am taking this approach, because of some limitations. Presently I am laying track; using KATO Unitrack because it just snaps together. I live in Las Vegas, NV.

  65. Jerry Barto says:

    Pretty amazing !! Wow !! Really like the ships and water feature. Very nice !!

  66. Robert Brady says:

    The only disappointment is when I click on photo’s they get smaller instead of bigger. love to see an overall of the layout and maybe a short vid.

  67. Keith Leonard says:

    Wonderful layout, as they all are in Al’s email world. Hey, I have a simple question. Perhaps an n scaler has run into this and found a solution. I need to replicate chain in n scale. I have a few flat cars, and am making up loads for them, such as flat wooden coffee stirrers cut up into lumber loads, plastic straws cut, painted and glued to the car as long pipes. I need chains to “secure” the loads but I don’t know what to use for chains. Everything seems to be too heavy for n scale. Any suggestions?
    Keith in upstate NY.

  68. Mark StJohn-Jones says:

    Pretty great layout
    Detailing the harbor is priceless

  69. bob says:

    great layout I love the ships

  70. Fantastic layout!!

  71. Jim Carlton says:

    Very Nice!
    As a side, is there a way to publish these photos in a larger format? They seem to be smaller size images that don’t enlarge very well, even on a large monitor. I would love to be able to look more closely at the detail from these fabulous modelers!

  72. Rick Rodgers says:

    I live in Leland North Carolina would love to have a chance to meet and greet with you. I am also on a scale. Had originally planned for HO but size limitations and radius preclude that.

  73. Thomas D. Parks Jr. says:

    Very very nice, but I see one thing missing it’s the crane for the containers by the ship that’s used to on and off load.

  74. C.H. Specht says:

    I tossed a harbor layout to Al about a month ago. I know he has it stashed somewhere and could drag it out for you guys just starting. I use ANYRail and can modify/adjust/rescale anything I do for any of you modelers. I’m pretty good at coming up with layouts, but as I am moving from New Mexico to Florida, haven’t started anything! (See? Just another excuse not to start. I’m going to throw this one in the trash too!)

  75. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Kaustav……I love your work and your attention to detail. The water, the ships and the bridge……..awesome. Great work

  76. Arjun from Woodbury says:

    I am in awe of beautiful layouts like these. These inspire newbies like me. I have a question though about the track work. While the main lines leading to and from the dock scene appear to be loop with the yard in the center, the left most yard track appears to me to, in effect, reverse the polarity (er, “phases!”). Could you clarify this? Or am I reading this track plan wrong?

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