Marklin HO scale – Andreas’s layout

Andreas has been in touch with his Marklin HO scale:

“Hi Al,

my name is Andreas Kilian and I live in Nova Scotia, Canada.

After much thought and having read, appreciated and learned a few things through your posts, I decided why not send you some initial pics of what I’m building.

My Model Railway days started way back in 1981 in Switzerland when we bought our very young kids a Märklin oval: 1 engine, 3 cars and no turnouts, and, of course, it was analog. The fun didn’t last very long and so I packed it up and put it somewhere.

A while ago I discovered it and thought now that I’m retired (have been since 2009) and alone, I have the time to put something together.

It’s strictly for my amusement, and that will show though some of the pics.

My first attempt was in what used to be a living room, roughly 20 x 20 feet.

Didn’t work the way I wanted, so I started a new one in my very large basement.

That didn’t work out either because I discovered that the humidity in the spring and summer is too high. High enough to develop mold and mildew. What next? Back into the living room but with a different idea.

Having grown up in Switzerland, using Marklin HO scale, and most of my engines being Swiss replicas, you might think my layout would show a part of Switzerland. Well, you would be wrong. It’s strictly fantasy land. The only thing “Swiss” will be something that I hope will actually look like the Matterhorn, once it is completed.

I’m not a very good photographer, and so, like the layout itself, it’s all very amateurish.

Just one more thing. I did, for a while, think about going into N scale, which offers far more possibilities as regards the layout, but for me, HO scale has more of a realistic look. And so, when I decided to go partly digital, I stuck with HO.

Pic 4: This triple arched bridge can be moved to the side so that I don’t have to crawl underneath.

Pic 5: There is absolutely no spare room between the canyon walls and the sides of the trains.

Pic 8: The East side of the Matterhorn “under construction”. It will measure 85 cm from base to summit.



Marklin HO scale

Marklin HO scale

Marklin HO scale

Marklin HO scale

Marklin HO scale

Marklin HO scale:

model train

model railroad

model railroad

A huge thanks to Andreas for sharing his Marklin HO scale. A wonderful narrative – and I do love seeing your layouts as the take shape.

PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

47 Responses to Marklin HO scale – Andreas’s layout

  1. kim says:

    Hi Andreas .I live in Quebec so that isn’t very far from you.The layout is starting to look great. Keep up the good work.

  2. Orv says:

    Wow! Very nice

  3. Alan Roberts says:

    Well done Andreas, you kept at it although you had a few problems at first.
    It looks like the makings of a great layout. Can’t wait to see the finished Matterhorn. I retired in 2008 and coincidentally after returning from Canada, Nova Scotia included, started on my first serious layout. Mine was a humble branch line in South Wales. A move of house 4yrs later meant dismantling it and most had to be completely re -built.
    Recently I have ventured into 009 narrow gauge as well. Of course over here in UK we have OO gauge
    Best of luck Alan

  4. Jack L. Casner says:

    Looks like a great project, Andreas! Have you stuck with Marklin HO?

  5. Paul Rodgers says:

    LOL your going to fill your house soon and will have to live Under your layout 😉 Paul…

  6. Rod Mackay says:

    There are some very Alpine bits of Germany too you know, which could offer you a better fit with the rolling stock, such as along the Karwendelbahn toward the Austrian border, near the Zugspitz. Looks like it’s going to be very nice, anyway!


  7. Thomas Murphy says:

    I have been rebuilding my HO layout for some time now and haven’t been going in the right direction because my ideas have been somewhat fuzzy. Andreas layout has put me back on the correct footing! Thank you for sharing your talents, it has been quite an incentive.

  8. Peter Ormerod says:

    Hi Andreas. Nice job. I am also in Nova Scotia (Smiths Cove) and really enjoyed seeing the work you have done in your living room. I also appreciate keeping a place of honor for your piano. I am an amateur musician as well as a model railroad enthusiast. I am building an On30 layout about the same size as yours and am having a great time doing so. I am also retired and this has become a great pastime. Would love to see more of your pics as time goes by.

  9. Jim Saccento says:

    Nice job.

    I especially like the way you bridged over to that piece of furniture along the wall to add some running distance.

    Jim, NJ, USA

  10. marklin ed says:

    Andreas great lay out can’t wait to see it finish. Marklin HO is my choice of railroad also.

  11. Jerry Treich says:

    Nice to see someone else who is working in Marklin HO! Looks as though you’ll have a really fun layout to play with and operate. Enjoy the challenges and creativity of building it! More incentive here for me to get my Marklin HO set out of the 40-year-old boxes!

  12. Tom W says:

    How do you move the bridge without too much fiddling?

  13. Tom Walsh says:

    How do you move the bridge?

  14. daniel barker says:

    Andreas, Great start-I also have MARKLIN equipment. To help you with your MATTERHORN, you might want to review pictures of the MATTERHORN at DISNEYLAND in CALIF. they have combined MATTERHORN, with rides and the scenes all fits together.

  15. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    You’re off to a great start Andreas. You have a good mix of scenery and operating room. Plus the nearly complete all around access will make things much easier


    Hi Andrea, I am always at person like that there to good but turn out great
    I will be waiting to see the finished product or some more progress photos.



  17. Marion says:

    Andres, I admire your efforts, and love the ways in which you are utilizing your space. Since you are living alone, there is no one to nag you about “messing up” the living room, eh? I say that with tongue-in-cheek, as I am the wife in this case, so there is no one to nag me. My loving, most helpful and supportive husband refers to me as “the engineer”, because it was I who wanted model trains.

    That wish got its start when I was four, at which time I also very much wanted a piano. The piano, which looks a lot like yours, came into my life at age 32, and I did learn to play it. The trains began on my 76th birthday, when my husband gifted me with my first train set. Soon after, my son showed me a collection of trains a friend of his had asked him to dispose of on ebay. I came home with 93 pieces of logos and rolling stock. Most of the cars were in their boxes with price stickers of around $2-5. Of course, the question was about where we could have a decent layout without adding on to the house. The living room is 19×32, but I was not willing to give up what I had waited 40 years to realize. I did add on a room! It is 16×18, and affords us space enough for a nice, u-shaped configuration. At age 80,we are so enjoying the building process. At this point, I have completed the farm and a small town. My husband is building a mountain with tunnel, waterfall, and ski run.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful layout!

    Marion in Mississippi

  18. Marion says:

    I just noticed my typo, and will apologize to ANDREAS for having caused his name to show up incorrectly!…Marion

  19. Bob Lee says:

    I like the idea of utilizing the piano, are you married, or is that a silly question, because ‘I’ would never get away with that!! but the end product should be worth it.

  20. Kenton says:

    Keep up the good work.

  21. Nathan Perreira says:

    Aloha Andreas,
    Thank you for sharing your layout photos it’s similar to the idea that I’d like to have in my addict layout. as time goes I look forward to seeing more of your layout photos.
    Nathan on Maui

  22. Al in Manasssas Virgina USA says:

    My son-in-law is from Nova Scotia as well. your reasons for moving the layout around and especially the basement is a problem for many of us. I like how you did not cave in to lining everything up on the walls. I started with a 4’x8′ layout and my club members all give me grief over it. Your layout shows that a layout can be designed in many ways. You have inspired me to continue on with my multiples of 4×4, 4×4, or even 2×4 sections to fill my area and also maintain reachable access. Good job and I like the yard.

  23. John Reynolds says:

    Very Impressive…

  24. Ian Mc Donald says:

    a great start to a nice size layout that will keep you busy for quite a while. I like the room just for trains. not much room for a sing along at the piano thou, hope to see more as you progress.

  25. paul Otway says:

    Very nice

  26. Ross Johnston says:

    Thanks for sharing Andrea and what a great layout you are producing. I can’t wait to see future installments as your layout devellops towards fruition. Cheers Rossco Adelaide, Australia. PS to Marion in Mississippi! Good on you and i would like to see you layout too in the future.

  27. Barrie Davis says:

    Hi Andreas, well done. The movable triple arched bridge is a great idea, I’d like to see more detail of that.

  28. David Pearsall says:

    Very impressive layout, especially the Truss Bridge. Was that a kit or did you make from scratch. Thanks.

    Dave in Texas

  29. Roy says:

    Well nice to have the space to work in, l many years ago did have a layout in n gauge about your size 21x 19, now been moving a lot the layout got smaller 16×12, think I have change the layout about 5 times. Doing this kind of hobby does help you relax a bit well been doing it for 50 yrs now and coming up to 70 age so does help. You keep the good work going and enjoy it those photos are great, see you have doors and cupboards around it but you found how to work around them. My layout is wall to wall but can walk to centre to operate. Roy Somerset. GB

  30. Wayne Pursh says:

    It’s gonna look fabulous. Very nice work and I love the triple bridge. Keep on trainin’.

  31. T Kendyal Free says:

    Fantastic layout…awesome !!

  32. Carl in Kansas says:

    I love your triple bridge. How do you move the triple bridge to the side? Is it hinged? Do you lift it away? How do you maintain good electrical connections? My neighbor is faced with that problem on his HO layout, but with 4 sets of rails crossing his opening. We are seeking a workable solution.


  33. David Wiber says:

    Always enjoy seeing new adventures in the model train world.Your layout is coming along very well…Dave/Missouri/USA

  34. Bedros Anserian says:

    Fantastic job Andreas. All the Best.

  35. skip says:

    very nice layout I wish I had a room that big.

  36. Bill sommer says:

    Andre nice just asuggestionhave basement waterproofed . I hadit done before i mved from nj to nc had it cleaned.what a layout i could have nowiam process of cleaning garage will be building a 8by14 1/45 scale ets layoutiam 82years young stoll?ike toy trains

  37. John Duryea says:

    Looks like your making a good layout i. t’s all about the enjoyment.

  38. Rob McCrain says:

    Fabulous beginning Andreas. I like the bench configuration because it is so easy to expand. Just split and add more surface. It looks like you are well underway to a wonderful workable layout. Send in some more photos and maybe a video when you get further along. We would all love to see more.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  39. The triple arched bridge looks nice, but there isn’t anyway a bridge could be built like this in real life unless you added a pier at each low point between arches. Just not realistic.

  40. DIONISIS says:


  41. Using a bridge to handle a layout entrance… Great idea!
    Keeps the trains from the trip to the floor!

  42. Will in NM says:

    Andreas, Thanks for sharing your in-progress photos of your growing HO layout. I too toyed with N scale for a while before deciding it was too small for my 73 year old eyes and hands to cope with.

    It looks like you are laying your track directly on the plywood sub-roadbed? Are you using glue. spikes or track nails to attach it or are you planning to eventually place cork roadbed or track bed under it? It seems like track laid directly on 1/2 inch plywood could result in noisy operation. I really like laying my track on 1″ or 2″ thick pink foam insulation board. I can just pin it down with 1″ or 2″ florist straight pins.

    Anyway, it looks like you’re having way too much fun with your new layout. Keep us posted with your future progress.

  43. Erick says:

    Very nice.!!!!!!

  44. ken loomes says:

    Hi Andreas, A bit like your self have had Marklin equipment for nearly 60 yrs. over that time its sat in boxes and moved countries with me, may be the oldest things I own bar me.
    35 yrs ago had a layout on my garage in New Zealand for about 5 yrs before a marriage split.
    Since then its been boxed but now in Australia and a place of my own I’m also looking and pondering how I can set it up in my 2 bedroom flat.
    The layout i once had, (wouldn’t fit) but I loved the way it worked at the time. Its guys like your self which inspire me to get my head down and do something but didn’t think there’s many Marklin modelers on here , but your post has brought a few to the surface.
    Thanks for the inspiration.


  45. Andrew Aves says:

    Great layout Andreas and I like the rail loop from trestle tables to run over the period sideboard.
    Andrew in Oz

  46. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    To Marion, I am 88 and live in Vancleave, Mississippi. Do you live close by? I would like to meet other model railroaders that live in this great state.

  47. robert dale tiemann says:

    i really like the terrain between the tracks, very nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *