N scale train controller

Will has been in touch with his N scale train controller which made me laugh.

He took his inspiration from the movies ‘back to the future’ and Spaceballs:

“I found out that you never really finish one of these things.

But there comes a time when you have to put it down.

A few years back I sent some pictures of a small layout in N-scale, you may remember.

I planned to have it finished in a few years.

It looked something like this:

model train layout

My circumstances required that I have had to finish early:

N scale train controller

N scale train controller

n scale mountains

N scale mountains

N scale wooden bridge

Summary – Mostly from scratch.

Buildings are BBQ cedar wraps, soaked for a few weeks so grain stands out.

There are nine outhouses (commemorating my weak bladder), eight tiny people, seven waterfalls, six bears, five trash cans, four raccoons, three dogs, two old rusted vehicles, and an old monitor spewing water onto an ore vein.

The mountain is Capitol Peak and the Knife Edge in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. There is also the Crystal Falls Mill near Gunnison, built in 1892.

Several references are made to popular movies. Two examples are on the controller itself, Back to the Future III and Spaceballs.

This was my first attempt at doing a train diorama, and if you like it, please take a bow.

You all have been an inspiration to me.


Maybe a switching game featuring Kennecott Mine in Alaska… If I can stop playing with this one.


A big thanks to Will for sharing his fun N scale train controller.

I enjoy any layout that has character – and this one certainly has. Loved the nods to the movies.

Please do keep ’em coming folks.

And if you want to stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Remember, it’s the start that stops most people.



18 Responses to N scale train controller

  1. Frank Ludwig says:

    Love the “Space Balls” reference…always good when a loco functions well at Ludicrous Speed.

  2. Marty says:

    did that German Express train come across the ocean??

  3. Sedat says:

    very good ,so beautiful

  4. NJ Mark says:

    Thanks to all for sharing. And a special thanks to Al. This year Cheers! NJ Mark

  5. george zaky says:

    Imaginative and wonderful layout. You N guys never cease to amaze me.
    Big Al- thanks
    From the Polar Express- ” Funny about trains. It doesnt matter where you’re going. It’s that you get On.” And so it is about our hobby that has a little more meaning. Get on with it with joy & spirit!!
    Best and be safe
    George from LI,NY

  6. Doug Lasater says:

    What fun. You did an incredible job on this. My grandsons would go crazy about your set.

  7. Erick says:

    Pretty neat looking. Keep up the good work.

  8. Robert Wilkinson says:

    Be sure to shout out a BIG thanks from Bob Wilkinson in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
    Thanks so much for re-kindling my childhood love of trains!!!
    Bob Wilkinson

  9. Greg Schaefer says:

    And if any of you are ever in Chicago, the botanic society has a G scale railroad. Outside in the better weather, inside for Christmas. All of the scenery is made from natural items, just like W. Buildings and bridges are all made from scratch using sticks and twigs and varnish. W, thank you for sharing your wonderful work. Wishing you the best.

  10. Overwhelmed today…
    First the N-Gauge layout…
    Awesome, so much to love.
    The “Steampunk” fascia and controller are just genius work. Very fun.
    As one familiar with Malakoff Diggings… The monitor is seldom modeled when mining scenes are modeled.

    How come on my side of the pond we use 7.5 inch track gauge (5′ broad gauge in 1.5 inch scale) while you use a more appropriate 7.25 inch gauge (closer to scale but 7.125 would be closer yet.)? On the other hand, for 1 inch scale, you use 5 inch gauge (5 food broad gauge) while we use 4.75 inch gauge which is very close to scale?
    In 1 inch scale, 4.75 inches is equal to 4 foot 9 inches… Very close to the proper 4 foot 8 and 1/2 inches that is standard track gauge.

  11. dave says:

    A bit of steampunk in the N scale !

  12. mike vassar says:

    Love the layout.

  13. Mike Balog says:

    The N Scale Layout was Imaginative. Laughing at the Speed Points on the Controller, Direct Reference to the “Space Balls” Movie…

  14. Mark Houck says:

    Thanks for sharing great job, the steam is great and give me ideas

  15. I also love the steampunk vibe. Very cool!

  16. Mike Matejka says:

    love that futuristic control panel — great things in a small space with N scale!

  17. Great layout great job on the controller funny stuff!!!

  18. john thorogood says:

    In “W’s” picture #5 reminds me of the grotto on the Hawaiian island of Kawai.
    That’s the only one you can get to by small water craft.

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