Andy’s latest layout

Okay – first things first. I think there were gremlins about again in my last mailing.

If you missed Ken’s latest Amsterken layout, it’s here.

Now, remember Andy and his War of the Worlds piece? Well have a look at this one!


Over the last two offerings I shared my passion for T-trak and most recently my t-trak corner module and my War of the Worlds (Old- 1953 George Pal version vs New- 2005 Stephen Spielberg version) straight module.

Today I would like to share with you my newest corner module. This module comes directly from a scene in the 1953 George Pal version of WotW’s. In this scene the first of the “meteors” crashes outside of town there are several visitors to the site and one individual even hits it with a shovel (noting the hollow ring) the Sheriff and the scientist have gone out to look and discover that the three men they left to “Babysit” the meteor are now gone (piles of ash) and that the meteor has “unscrewed” it’s lid and has the heat ray/probe sticking out (see the last 3 pictures) all you know what breaks out from there. The Army brings in tanks and personnel and it becomes an all-out war.

I built this module as a complimentary piece to the version I shared earlier. Model Railroading has got to be about capturing the minds and hearts of the young and old alike. That requires a little “out of the box” thinking, and finding “common ground”. Therein lies the beauty of T-Trak. You can add or subtract modules to cater to your audience…. If it needs to be prototype it can be if it needs to be more it can do that as well. As always I would love to hear your member’s thoughts… (Good and bad I use them all)


Rob has been in touch again with curve update. Enjoyed this one.

That’s all this time my friends.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you spring into action, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS Don’t forget – last few days on Big Kahuna bundle deal for the print out buildings.

34 Responses to Andy’s latest layout

  1. john creasey says:

    hi, do you think its necessary to have the crossing/tunnel configuration? Why not a simple return loop and then your marshalling yard can be either behind the station, as they often are in real life, and coming out past it. I can send you a drawing if you want
    John Harrow, uk

  2. Nice job Andy with the T track , you must have good eyesight , and Rob , your new plan looks to be a improvement on your existing layout..

  3. ron says:

    How did you reach the areas near the wall. They seem to be amost 4 feet from your standing area?

  4. TJ says:

    Excellent work by both of you! Thank you very much for sharing. Keep the pictures and video coming. TJ.

  5. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Love it! Looks like a scene from the X-Files!

  6. Ban Taul says:

    i found that 33.25 & 35.50 are perfect for wide sweeping turns for bachmann trk perticerlly(sp) for long passenger cars & for steam locos like 4-8-4 & longer. some times the tighter radius don’t cut it

  7. Thomas Meleck says:

    Very cool, Dude. Rock on.

  8. What is the base made of

  9. Peter the mackem Jones says:

    New plan looks good Rob looking forward to part two

  10. Toni Olivar says:

    I am in high hopes that you are planning to make a complete “War of the Worlds.” layout and that you create a video of the layout when you feel that you’re finished. I have no doubt that all of us readers here would be VERY INTERESTED in seeing it when done.

  11. THOMAS says:


  12. james says:

    I’d go for it…. sounds like a plan

  13. Peter says:

    If you have the room try using a transition curve for your “big curve”, this will make your trains run smoothly and look more realistic.

  14. D.B. Lewis says:

    Personally, I would like to see more T-Trak postings here.

  15. Rod Mackay says:

    Rob, although you used to have a large general goods yard somewhere near each town, it was also common right up to the 70s to have other traffic handled at passenger stations – perishables, newspapers, fresh fish, mail and parcels were often dealt with by dropping off vans in a little bay platform or loading dock. Sometimes these would run as whole trains, sometimes just a couple of vans shunted off into the siding or picked up again by the loco of a passenger train. That might make the working of your new station a bit more interesting. Also, most large stations had at least a few trains that terminated there, ran round, and went back the other way, so I reckon you need a crossover as well!
    Have fun…

  16. Christine says:

    I think you guys are getting too far away from the train thing. Looks like toys.

  17. Hi:
    The layout as is-is to be complimented. Cornering passenger cars without the correct spacing distances between the triple track- affect what you have already accomplished causing your want for change?,
    By using ‘flex-track” it can be done exactly like you have planned. Your scale procedures give you adequate turning radius without you having to correct it at the ends as you already have depicted on track closes to your yard. [Howe Station] Curve to straight-a-way can be continuous as you show with the new design with no snake movements that create de-railing with contact of on-coming con’sist. Keep going the way you are presently and keep sharing with us your wonderful inspiring work. I enjoy your work as shown and am looking forward to your sequels. Thx much!

    Harold Jr.
    PS: Love the music too!

  18. DANIEL o WISEMAN says:

    very good , and I amazed you take the time to do such a presentation , lets run some trains, got a show this week end ……….. by all means lets move out to the edge of the table,

  19. Robert Brady says:

    Andy it took me till the last 3 pics to completely understand where you were going.It is unique and a story line to boot.Not a fan of the module thing,too much work and money for that plaster and has to be identical in height. So your sayin if you want to change out the ”ufo” dingy you can add another landscape module? I suppose.All n all it’s innovative and kool. show more and provide a little action next time.

  20. Jan Boen says:

    Hi Rob,

    Sweeping curves etc all good ideas.
    I would add the 4th track if really necessary but certainly not a fifth one.
    You have a good balance between track and scenery. Keep it that way and don’t cram in too much track.

    Just my 2 cents,

    From Belgium

  21. steve joyce says:

    How super cool. I love that movie. Dynamite

  22. george zaky says:

    Totally agree with your philosophy. Great job. Like to see the whole thing because, bottom line, the trains have to run.
    I like to plot out in large as scale as possible, to scale, and tape the plots together since it appears you and I dont have a large plotter. The results help reveal more issues. Perhaps you may use light grid lines. I like to make blocks of the longest cars and see if they bang anything around the corners. Definitely add the stations and intended buildings and roads to see how they affect the dimensions. Super job.
    George from NY

  23. Mike Matejka says:

    Well done & fun! It would be a little much to have the destroyed City of Los Angeles!

  24. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Hi Rob
    Great idea to change to wide sweeping tracks particularly on the main lines. If you look at recent posts from Dangerous Dave you will see the effect it has had on his railway. It has opened it up his layout and as I said to Dave sometimes “less is more”. I think you will have to be careful with the relocation of the town to the inner side of the tracks so as not to over crowd that area and lose the scenic view of the sweeping curves that you will have spent so much time to imagine and create on you layout.
    I myself would much rather have a well detailed station and supporting tracks and buildings rather than a town site. Especially if you do not have the room for it. Again this is echoed in Dave’s layout where he does have some “town” type building but it is kept to a fairly small area of his layout.

    Best of luck with the layout changes I’m sure it will be a triumph.


    It will be very interesting to see the layout changes as they are develop.

  25. Stephen White says:

    Rob, Nice video as usual. Love the drawings. I think the minimum distance on curves is 2 inches between centres. I like to go to about 21/2 inches because long coaches will sometimes clip. Dangerous Dave found this out recently. Changes sound good. Don’t worry about getting close to edge, its OK. And yes, how do you get tp the wall at Howe St Station? Good Luck.
    Steve (Sydney)

  26. Jim Logue says:

    I’m really excited to see the article on T-Trak modules. I have several T-Trak modules and have been to a number of T-Trak shows. It would be great to see more articles on the building of T-Trak modules. Thanks, Jim L, Recently moved from New Jersey to South West Florida.

  27. Rob, while you are reworking that end of your layout, I would suggest reducing the sharp “s” curve of the turnout to Lowand Yd (min 4 in video) by using a larger radius turnout and moving it about a foot to the right. I always enjoy your very informative videos. Good luck with your new project.

  28. Walter Dustmann says:

    Andy, All did was start browsing through the photos and when I say the three guys waving at the light…It hit me…George Pal’s War of the Worlds. It’s 3:11 AM here in Baltimore and I started laughing so hard I fell over a chair and to the floor. And they are not toys like the other person emailed. They make various alien landings in kits and already made. Menard’s makes a good one where the alien is trying to steal a cow and the farmer is trying to pull it back to the ground so it won’t wind up in the space ship. Anyway, amazing use of extra space. Now all you need is Walther’s Drive-In kit and have it showing War of the Worlds on the screen. A 7″ tablet can fit into the screen and there you go.

  29. Franz Jr says:

    Hi Andy…

    As soon as you mentioned the first scene (meteors crashing down) and the ‘unscrewing of the lid’ I immediately heard ‘Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds’ part for those scenes in my head 😀 I _love_ that sound track 😀

    Keep it up… I’d love to see a completed (er, well, mostly since no one really finishes their layout 🙂 ) WotW scene set 😀

  30. Frank says:

    I like it when model railroaders capture and show elements from movies and pop culture.

    You not only get to model something interesting, but it’s part of a layout so you can enjoy it everytime you go to run trains.

    Frank in Orlando

  31. Rob, If you straighten the tracks in and out of the station, You will have the room to add the 4th track. Otherwise, Great pan. Go For It !!

  32. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    Hilarious! Just watched that movie (again) on TCM.


  33. Hammerdean says:

    Being a huge SciFi fan and a model railroader and WOTW still on my list as the greatest scifi flick of all time, your design is great. I love how you incorporated the rails into the model. And especially the Martian death ray head coming out (I never knew the proper terminology of it). Great imagination.

  34. william james palmer says:


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