“I was lucky enough to see the world at a young age, always loved Holland and the people were wonderful.

Most of the rails in Europe are new and is a major form of transportation throughout…

I started Amsterken 4 years ago, most of the structures have been kit-bashed to resemble buildings in Amsterdam….

My pride is centraal station witch started as 4 Kibri city hall building kits. Made a roof real shingles and tried to copy the details on the station….

Made all base from foam and covered it with body filler, before it dried i put a soft mold of bricks and when it hardened i pealled the mold off to reveal bricks like the ones in the canals…

I put blacklights behide back drop left a space so light could show through.

Painted walls blue and put some red lights for sun, also used paper which looks great with blk light . I run Roco track and trains all digital, Faller cars system, RC boats for the real water.

I have taken most of the layout down so i can put bladders in for real water, I built modules so its easy to take down, just in case I move.

Kids have the best time with the fast clock for in / out bound trains bus schedules and rc boats…

Till next time Amsterken out…. Thanks Alastair…


A big thanks to Ken – a wonderful layout. A joy to see Godzilla in there too.

Now here’s a video – all made from his print out scenery. In fact, this download, gives you the very same town.

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Please keep ’em coming.



PS Looking for the Beginner’s Guide? It’s here.

63 Responses to Amsterken!

  1. dave jarman says:

    nice buildings but most are unsuitable for us here in the uk.
    can we have some uk design buildings? houses, indust. signal boxes etc?

  2. John M says:


    I lived in Amsterdam for 4 years! You have it down perfectly. I could almost imagine the rain!

    Well done!


  3. Jorge says:

    Hi Al and congratulations Ken.

    I can not find words to describe it. Central Station building is amazing. The detail makes it like real.


  4. Barry Read says:

    Ken, What a wonderful layout. Such a lot of hard work but well worth it in my eyes.

  5. Colin King says:

    Brilliant layout Ken, the work gone in to this is amazing!

  6. Bullfrog Eh! (Ontario) says:

    Amazing. The streetscapes, lighting, and interior shots all make one believe they’re looking at actual full scale photos. I especially liked the horizon lighing effect. Good luck with the bladder effect. Keep this audience informed.

  7. Simon Zeoli says:

    Great layout, beautiful workmanship. Photography was very well done, too.

  8. Paul Greene says:

    wow. someday Im gonna get out my old Lionel from 1950 and play with it again. It sure was fun.

  9. Jay, New Orleans, LA USA says:

    Awesome layout. I’m considering starting a layout with my 8 yr old son. I can’t even imagine the work which would go into such a layout. Would love to se a short movie of this layout.

  10. Ben says:

    awesome the black light and other lighting is just awesome

  11. bruce says:

    Paul: someday never comes do it now you won’t regret it. I wish i had started mine 25-30 years ago.

  12. Tom Pica says:

    I really enjoy the realism of the town and the buildings along with the landscapes.

  13. Kerry says:

    Very nice detail, love Godzilla, my kind of humour, good job Ken!

  14. Glenn Roach,Richmond,VA USA says:

    The Amsterdam layout was very nice to see. Thank goodness that model RR builders are forgiving on items put on the layout being fairly close to scale. What with the Godzilla put there with good intentions, an not even close to scale according to the ship at dock behind it… Just tell everyone that is the SON of Godzilla.
    Your son’s layout is amazing to see he has such skill to put it together. He even shows it at train shows that is a cool thing at his age. One ? are all the buildings shown all from that downloadable website?? If not I could not tell the difference between them and the houses around them.

  15. Tom says:

    Can you describe Ken’s work in one word … Masterpiece!
    W T G KEN!


  16. Lee Barry/ CEO L"Z"PMRR says:

    xecellent work as shown by the pictures. Also excellent work as shown by the video. Why do people always want to “destroy” a masterpiece in model railroading, kinda reminds me od Jim O’Connell from Santee,Ca. who built my Z scale layout. Every time he was featured in Z Track magazine with picture of his layout he would tear it down and start again. I never had the “giddy up and do” to hardly build a first one much less rip her apart and do it again.

  17. Roland Burch says:

    Ken, what a great job. The detail is so good, I cannot find the correct word for it.

    The video is a good sales pitch.

  18. David C. Scott says:

    Brings back memories of 10 years ago Winter, cold and the flight to the Philippines gets cancilled so we go in by train. The model you can almost smell the dodgy local cigerettes and the atmosphere in the Station. I couldent wait so dashed into the train expecting a modern toilet but was met by a hole down onto the rail!!!!
    Later on a train in China I met two lovely ladies who had borded a train in Amsterdam and were going all the way to Ho Chi Min City, what a journey.
    All the best

  19. Cameron Davies says:

    Dear Ken

    What a brilliant layout. I can see there is an incredible amount of research, effort and attention to detail that has gone into it. I know Amsterdam station well and you have captured it perfectly. A great piece of architecture and worthy of modelling. If you get a chance to post a video of your layout that would be fantastic.



  20. paul Otway says:


  21. Richard Chester says:

    Working on a coal company community, I need a model of the old company store build in late 40’s or early 50’s any ideas?

  22. THOMAS says:


  23. Ian Mc Donald says:

    the lighting is just great, the detail in the buildings is so real.need to see more.

  24. Bob Lowes says:

    You’ve created a masterpiece! Most folks would take a shop vac and vacumn all the “trash” left after construction, but you’ve left some of it that really adds to the realism. Perfect! I’ll have to give you 5+Stars. Keep the film coming as it shows all of us what CAN be done with a few pieces of paper.
    Thanks for sharing.

  25. Arnie Steiner says:

    Hi Ken — missed the original posting of your marvelous layout. Superior use of kitbashing skills, super detailing, weathering and lighting. Love the use of the bus/car system. Magnificent ambience too. What scale are you running? Just got to see your video – awesome! Can you post a picture or info re your track plan.


  26. ron says:

    Just one word AMAZING, I think your layout is the most lifelike I have ever come across, well done Ken.

  27. terry p. says:

    Love Godzilla in the yards. Nice touch.

  28. jim morris says:


  29. Ian Carruthers says:

    This is the most amazing layout I have ever seen!! Absolutely brilliant!

  30. Allan says:

    I can’t believe how realistic the trackside pics look. Difficult to believe it’s not the real thing. Everything looks “used” and “old”. Brilliant. Best I’ve ever seen.

  31. Chris says:

    Fantastic layout, was in Amsterdam in Sept. and could really relate to the scenes on your layout. Would really like to see more of the overall layout as well.

  32. John says:

    A video of Amsterken PLEASE!!!!!!

  33. Fred Svoboda says:

    Wow. The Amsterdam layout is just spectacular, not just the scale and detail of it but also the artistic effect, including the great lighting.

  34. Edwin Schmidt says:

    Layout looks really great. I spent a lot of time in The Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular in the early 80’s. The layout brings back fond memories and looks just as I remembered beng there.

  35. Jim says:

    Really enjoyed your pics Ken. Great detail and life like.

    Super video of the “old town”. Love the weathered streets.

    Jim AZ

  36. Dan says:

    Nice, thanks for sharing and have fun.

  37. Robert says:

    One minor error and that is make sure that the wires to and from the various buildings and poles have some slight droop to them as real ones do actually because they do have some actual weight that would cause that to happen. They should not be made taught as you have them. Otherwise a nice model set up to see.

  38. Seth Lampe says:

    For the guy looking for a coal town company store, look no farther than the Cass Scenic Railroad in Cass West Virginia.
    Seth Lampe
    Chi-Town Union Station

  39. Cary B says:

    Nice layout Ken.

    Cary B

  40. Dick Bonsall says:

    This layout is nothing short of stunning. The details and the amount of work you put into it are unbelievable. Truly a world class museum quality effort. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to experience this! Congratulations! My mind is reeling that this is not a real city!!!!!

  41. Rick Lochner says:

    Ken’s layout reminds me of our visit to Maduradam which is a large model city in Holland complete with model airports and ports. Good job Ken!

  42. David McClelland says:

    Absolutely Fantastic Ken! The Cruse Ship is excellent. Please send more photos in the near future!!!!

    Conductor Dave, Dayton, Ohio.

  43. Leo j Hoonakker says:

    Ken the most beautiful layout I have ever seen. You should be very proud. By the way I was born in Holland and moved to the USA in 1960. Again Ken you should be very proud – in my opinion the very best. Leo, Langley OK

  44. David Hannan says:

    Love the lighting on the second image!
    Dirty Dave

  45. Bob Walker says:

    Wow – so that’s where Godzilla’s been hangin’ out lately… Holland!

  46. Ray says:

    Great job. I spent four years in Holland after college playing baseball. Love it there. My wife is Dutch and we have spent the past 35 years visiting at least once a year. I love there rail system. You can get anywhere in the country by train. My N scale fleet has 8 Dutch locomotives including a custom made IRM which I see in one of your pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Brad says:

    RE 11:36 AM .It’s a model of Amsterdam,why would he want UK structures on it? I think it’s fabulous but some have to complain about anything.I live in the US but don’t complain that I don’t see a NYC loco on his layout.Terrific work,love it all

  48. Harvey Kahler says:

    Looks true despite a later period than when I was in Amsterdam for a week in 1974. Very nice work!

  49. Missing the bicycles!

  50. Charles Utt says:

    It is rare to see a train layout which displays a place so well I can recognize it by what I see in “toy” form. Well done! About 2 years ago my wife and I had a 4th floor room in a hotel about 2 blocks from Amsterdam’s main station. From the room’s window I could watch trains of all kinds come and go from that station you modeled.. It was exciting to see the variety of trains from local commuters to the dark red streamlined Thalys and the blue and yellow Eurostar high speed trains leaving the station. The incoming trains could be seen approaching from about a quarter mile (or half a kilometer) away and it was fun to guess which of a dozen or so lines in the yard would be chosen as it got closer. Thank you, Ken, for sharing your excellent work, and thank you, Alastair, for organizing it all for the readers.

  51. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome layout, Awesome scenery, I like the design on the central station. Very well done!!!

  52. Robert Brady says:

    I thought Rodan killed Godzilla or was that the other way around?
    The Critic.

  53. Elmer Banks says:

    Thanks for the vid. of the print out buildings. I have been mixing them into my layout and they look very nice. This is real model building. Takes time and effort. If you put any “pike” under a microscope, you will see imperfection. Take any modern train ride thru middle America and it gets seedy in spots. Love the print outs. Need more pics of low budget displays. We work hard with what we can afford and appreciate the finer , upscale designs.

  54. Having spent sometime in Amsterdam you nailed it. Thank you and well done.

  55. Great layout

  56. John Bullock says:

    Great layout. Did you use a travel agency cruise ship model for the Amsterdam Lines ship at harbour?

    Will King Kong make a future appearance?

  57. Larry D Stamm says:

    Looks so real . Near seen better.

  58. Ian says:

    Hi Alistair
    How about some U K buildings to printout.

  59. PETER LAITY says:

    Brilliant job on Amsterdam, love it.
    I am doing a German layout and great to see some European cities and towns.
    So sick of drab UK railways or US western desert set ups, no offence meant to anyone as each to their own and lots of work in each layout.
    Keep up the good work.

  60. robert tiemann says:

    aaahhh godzilla run! ha ha. i liked that touch. very nice building aging. i might put something like this in mine when i put mine back together.

  61. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    One of the finest scenic RRs I’ve ever seen!


  62. Torsten says:

    Just Amazing!!

  63. william james palmer says:


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