Calling all model railroad beginners...

"The quickest and easiest way to build a stunning layout"

  • Let me show all the model railroading tips and tricks - from the experts on the blog - you need to plan and build, step by step, a breath taking layout...
  • How to save a fortune on engines, rolling stock and scenery...
  • And how to side step the costly mistakes every beginner gets suckered in to...

We've all seen those amazing layouts – Like Dave's, Mark's and Arnie's. They look like the real thing. But believe it or not, here's how, you can plan and build a breathtaking layout, step by step, no matter how little space you have, or what your budget is.

And it all starts with the layout plan – that's the difference between a layout that never derails and runs like clockwork, smooth as silk without the stop-starts that blight most beginners.

What's more, I'm about to share a unique resource that I've built up over years of blogging on railroads. You'll know in days what the pros took years to learn.

Frankly, it shows you, step by step, how to plan and build a layout that your friends and family just won't believe you've created.

It doesn't matter if you've never modelled before, or you've just rediscovered your trains in the attic and blown the dust off. You'll be amazed at what you can create with this resource.

From: Alastair Lee

Dear Model Railroad Beginner,

Of course, I'm biased, but the downloadable information I'm about to share with you is unmissable for beginners and seasoned modellers.

Why do I say that? Because over the years I've collected hints and tips from thousands of model train enthusiasts – and together they make the most comprehensive model train resource you can ever imagine.

They make up a quick and easy step by step action plan that has you creating masterpieces in days.

Do you want to make that stunning layout?

A layout that fills you with pride, one that you're bursting to show your nearest and dearest?

Well I can tell you, even if you've never picked up a piece of track before, you can do it. What's more, I can prove it too - you've only got to see the pictures of some first time modellers on my blog: take a look at John's and you'll see exactly what I mean.

If you feel daunted by the thought of having a go - don't be! It's all about breaking it down: planning the layout to fit your space, the bench, putting the track down, what scenery to go where and why...

Seems like there's a lot to think about and do...

And then of course, there's all the electrics to sort out - and that's the last thing you want to get wrong after putting all your scenery down!

Seems like there's a lot to get to grips with, doesn't there? It's not your fault if you're thinking that - every beginner has been there.

The reality is, with the right planning and a solid step by step approach, anyone can create an absolutely stunning layout. And there's nothing more satisfying too.

Here's how to make it happen with whatever time, budget and space you have

It doesn't matter how much time or space you have - or if you have 'sausage fingers' like me. You just need the right process. And that goes for every part of your layout - the scenery, the electrics, the detailing... everything.

Once you know what to do - and why - they'll be no stopping you.

And it's hard to express the satisfaction you'll get from the hours and hours of running your locomotives. What's more, the look on your grandkids faces when they see your layout will be priceless.

And believe me...

If I can, you can!

And here's how – with my step by step “Model Railroads for Beginners.”

What makes it special is how it came together. Years and years of tips and tricks from the blog give it enormous value – but I have to say, when the folk in my Hall of Fame started endorsing it, even I was amazed.

It made me very proud of the book – and I know it'll give you the most direct and quickest route to a layout that makes you proud too. And that's a great feeling.

It's funny, but it's one of those hobbies that you never stop learning about. Nobody knows everything – so there's quite a learning curve. But this book softens the blow.

What's more, mistakes are expensive too – not to mention the time they burn. So save yourself a small fortune and hours of heartache – give the book a go.

So would you like to get cracking?

Well, you're one click away from taking the first step. In fact, it's the only thing stopping you.

So please don't sit there mulling it over any longer. Scratching your head over where to start won't get you anywhere. The truth is, you can't bumble or dither in to making a stunning layout.

You can, however, spend a fortune, waste countless hours and still have nothing to show for it. And believe me, when that happens, it's soul destroying (ask me how I know).

Or you could bury yourself in books. But that's not cheap either – and they all have one particular slant – how does the saying go again? "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

And again, that's what makes this book. There's a collective wisdom about it.

Of course, you could just camp down online and get everthing you need. But you'll soon grow tired of that. It's like keeping the contents of your kitchen all over the house, in every room. In the end, it'll drive you crazy. There's no order. No, “What to do next and why”. You get the picture.

In fact, even on my blog, as helpful as it is, you'd waste hours looking for the stuff you're after and soon get side tracked.

And that's another reason why I put this book together. Everything you need, in an easy to follow, step by step, process to build a breath taking model railroad is laid out for you.

Just where can you grab this treasure chest of model railroad 'how-to' tips and tricks?

“Model Railroads for beginners” is a one stop book that holds all the secrets to your breaktaking railroad.

This downloadable book has been years in the making and grabs the process of planning and building your layout by the scruff of the neck:

  • How to get started effortlessly – it's all down to the simple step by step planning
  • How to sidestep those mistakes every beginner gets suckered in to (again, ask me how I know...)
  • How to make sure your trains and track run smoothly and compliments the scenery
  • How to look after your engines, rolling stock and layout. After all, it'll be your pride and joy!

These are just some of the critical principles that make or break or a layout. Fortunately, every base is covered in Model Railroads for Beginners.

So what's stopping you? You really are just one click away from starting a journey that'll give you years and years of joy.

Here are just some of the insider secrets you'll learn

Here's a taster of the treat you're in for:

  • How to choose the layout that gets the most from your budget and available space
  • DCC systems demystified so anyone can plan for one.
  • How to calculate how many engines you can run at one time – and what you need to increase it.
  • How to find where those annoying electrical problems are – and how to fix 'em.
  • The right scale for you (get this wrong and it'll drive you insane).
  • Where you can buy most (not all) of your stuff at discount
  • How to make scenery from items you'd normally throw away
  • Simple ways to make meadows and fields come to life
  • Which track options are best for you – and why
  • All engines and rolling stock are not equal – see how and why and save a small fortune.
  • Simple ways to clean your track – and make a track cleaner
  • Weathering made easy – of course, I'm biased, but you won't find better a better way to make your engines, rolling stock and scenery look aged.
  • How to wire your layout from start to finish
  • And a lot, lot more...

That's just some of the nuggets you'll uncover in Model Railroads for Beginners. It's there for you, right now.

What's more, it's continually being developed, tweaked and improved. But best of all, the updates are free, for life.

Now's the time to take that first step to your own breathtaking model railroad

Seeing as you've read so far, you are probably wondering just how much 'Model railroads for Beginners' is.

I have good news for you. No, great news.

First of all, other online resources tie you in to membership – you don't get any option. That's not the case here: it's a one off, one time payment.

And that payment, how much is it? Just $9. Yep, that's right, you get everything I've listed for just $9.

But the good news doesn't stop there though. You also get exclusive access to 'gated' content on my blog. That means, nobody else can see it – it's just for you. And it covers all these hot topics:

Free bonus #1

47 Money saving model railroad tips you never would have thought of!

As much as I love this hobby, it's one downfall is how much it can cost. But these tips, tricks and gems save you money, time and time again. And they just go to show – never throw anything away!

Free bonus #2

Weathering step by step for stunning results. The difference between a great layout and a stunning layout is often the weathering. It just casts a light of realism over your whole layout.

And it's incredible how subtle it can be too. Just a few simple weathering tricks transform an 'out of the box' engine in to a hard working, battle worn, loco that keeps the railroad going.

But best of all, it's incredibly fun. In fact, it's my favorite part of the whole process. I could spend all day doing it.

Free bonus #3

Scratch built bridges made easy

Daydream over a model railroad – and there are always a few features that make the wish list... Mountains, tunnels, lakes... and of course, a bridge.

This gated content takes you step by step, girder by girder, how to scratch build your own bridge. Why scratch build one? Well, it's enormously fun. And making the bridge to fit your layout (and not the other way round) is very satisfying.

And strangely enough, the eye is always drawn to them – so they have to be spot on. Here's how to get them just right.

Free bonus #4

Water features step by step

There's only one thing that's just as fun as bridge building – making your own lake or water feature. But it's also the most tricky. Get it wrong and you'll feel like pulling your hair out. There's a real art to it.

But this gated content makes is to easy and simple. In fact, it even shows you to get waterfalls just right, so the only thing that is going to limit you is your imagination.

Free bonus #5

Stunning tunnels

The last in most folk's wishlist for their layout is a tunnel. In this free bonus you'll see more tricks than you can shake a stick out. Like what to do when your train derails in the middle of it!

And of course, how to get those tunnel entrances looking beautifully weathered.

As you'll find out in model railroading, there are lots of different ways of doing the same thing - and this is especially true with tunnels. We cover them all!

Free bonus #6

Free updates for life! It doesn't matter when you bought, you'll always have access to the very latest version (and I'm editing and adding to, all the time)

Now, I'm not going to embarrass myself and tell you all these free bonuses usually sell for a crazy price and you're saving gazillions - because any fool can see the value in them. They make it a complete, one stop package, that just gets better and better with time. I'll continue to add stuff while it's still getting outstanding comments like Dave's and Mark's.

What's more, no matter how much stuff gets added, it'll still be a one time payment of just $9.

It's a great price, and all because the book and gated content is delivered online - there are no fulfilment or print costs (I shudder to think how much it would cost to print and ship everything that is included).

You'll get the book in a downloadable PDF format, which can be read on any computer (PDF stands for Portable Document Format for all the geeks out there). What's more, even on a dead slow internet connection it only takes a few minutes to download.

And of course, it means you can get it any time of the day or night - even in the small hours of the morning.

'My personal, 60 day, 100% satisfaction and money back guarantee.

Let me make it as easy as I can for you…

I really do believe you’ll be utterly delighted with your Model Railroad for Beginners guide.

I say this for two reasons.

Firstly because talented modellers like Arnie, Dave and Mark all give it a big thumbs up. Read their testimonials on the guide – and then look at some of their blog posts. Frankly, these folk know what they are doing.

Secondly, years and years of blog posts from modellers all over the planet have amassed a collective wisdom I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else.

And there’s another reason too. If you don’t think it’s worth every penny, for any reason – or no reason at all – tell me and I’ll refund you in full.

There’s no small print. No catches. Nothing. I’m far too long in the tooth to be squabbling over $9. I genuinely want you to be utterly delighted or I’ll happily give you your money back.”

It's time to stop dreaming and start planning

So this is where the rubber meets the road – for just $9 you can be doing, instead of dreaming.

And it's a really small sum when you consider how much it'll save you in the long run, and how proud you'll feel when friends and family comment on the stunning layout born from your new hobby.

What's more, just so there's no risk whatsoever on your part, it comes with a cast iron, no quibble, money back guarantee. If you don't think it's worth every penny, let me know and I'll refund you in full, no questions asked.

Of course, I'm biased, but I think you'll be utterly delighted.

Just click on the 'add to cart' button below and take that first step.

  • The complete “Model Railroads for Beginners“ step by step guide – 109 pages of foolproof instruction with colour pics and diagrams.
  • Bonus 1 - 47 money saving railroad tips
  • Bonus 2 - Weathering step by step for stunning results
  • Bonus 3 - Scratch built bridges made easy
  • Bonus 4 - Water features step by step
  • Bonus 5 - Stunning tunnels
  • Bonus 6 - Free life time updates
  • All of the print out buildings on the top of this page

And in addition to the Model Railroads for Beginners guide and the 6 online 'how to' bonuses, I'll also get:

  • A cast iron, no quible, no questions asked 60 day money back guarantee.

I also understand that I get all content, instantly online - so I can be enjoying the all the content in next few minutes.

Order goes through 100% secure Clickbank server

Polite note: I reserve the right to increase
pricing without prior notice.

The second your payment is approved, you will be pushed to a download page where you can save Model Railroads for Beginners to your PC.

Or you can just bookmark that page and always have access to it with your details.

In addition to the Model Railroads for Beginners, you'll also get your 6 bonus links. Of course, I'm biased, but it really will feel like Christmas.

Simply put, you are minutes away from mastering one of the most enjoyable hobbies on the planet. There is just no way to describe the feeling of pride and joy when other people eye your layout with envy.

Don't sit on the fence. The risk is all mine. Take that first step – and together you'll create a whole new world. You're one click away from doing - instead of dreaming. Take the plunge right now and I'll see you on the other side.

Your time to shine is now!

Of course, I'm biased, but if you've enjoyed the blog, you'll absolutely love the Model Railroad for Beginners guide.

And of course, the risk is all mine.

I guess I've said all I can.



PS Just so we're clear, you get everything above for a ONE time payment of $9. And it comes with a 60 day, no quibble, money back guarantee.

PPS Don't forget you get all the free print out buildings at the top of this page (and in the video below), and the free print out tunnel too.

PPS This offer is ending shortly.

Don't just take my word for it - here's what others say:

"Hi Al,

All the tips are great. I am 66 yrs old and have been working on my HO set up for the last 5 yrs. Been very slow because we have a Ranch in New Mexico and it takes alot of time to keep it going. I had trains as a kid. Here the BNSF goes by just on the other side of the road and I still get excited every time.

Keep them coming.


"Hi Al. I am very appreciative of your blog. The variation of scale, contents and tips make it so interesting. Additionally the chance for readers to reply not only shows the interest of others but is an encouragement that there are many others around the world with a like minded interest. You son's range of kits are very good. Keep the site going as it is brilliant.

Regards Peter"

"Hi Al

I have to say that thanks to you for all the tips you have been able to send over the few years I have been back in to the best hobby in the world. My wife would also like to thank you as thanks to you she has managed to get me out of her hair and tucked away in my train room leaving her to enjoy peace and quiet. All the fellow modellers who have sent in there ideas of do's and dont's have been fantastic and very useful but after you the biggest thanks for me anyway must go to Rob with Farland Howe, Arnie for amazing tips and Dangerous Dave (I call these the 3 guru's of model trains) All of there tips and advice for me have been fantastic and a lot of my inspiration for my own layout Scoobton Bassett (you kindly showed my pictures here) have all come from these 3 masters. All that is left to say is keep up the great work you do for us all. Bless you

Pete 'the Mackem' Jones"

"Hi Al

Your blog is something we look forward to every week and proved invaluable when we built our first layout. Unfortunately, due to space requirements our first attempt has had to be dismantled. We hope to be back with another one when the little one is a little older and we have the space available. Until then, keep ‘em coming.

Regards Wayne and Jayden"

"You have no idea of how much enjoyment you have given to so many people. Over the years I have saved every email tag that you've sent to me.

How can I say anything other than thank you so much for every email and video that you have sent my way. Most won't be in the "N" gauge that I'm into, BUT they can all be used to give me so many ideas that I can use in my own layout.

And thank you so much for caring enough to put them together.



I have to be honest and tell you that at one time I was very involved in model railroading, but due to having to live in company housing for over 25 years, I was unable to do it. I am now retired and just enjoy reading and watching your blog. It is wonderful. It is possible that in the near future, due to your blog, I might even get involved again even though old age has set in.

I hope my sad story will encourage you to keep up the great work you have started. Same days it is what keeps me going.

Bob-Venice Fl "

"Alastair: From my heart-keep up the good work. I never make time nor do I commit the funds to buy the model railroad magazines available thru my newsstands or subscription, the chief reason is that they are primarily made up of advertisements with a few articles thrown in to encourage purchasers. Your site concentrates (from my observation) on showing what and more importantly how other model train enthusiasts accomplish what they do giving us a myriad of techniques to consider. This has encouraged me to give serious consideration to finally build my own layout. At age 75 I had figured that I was too old to start because I in all likelihood won't live long enough to see it finished. By reading and watching your web site I now realize that I should forget about finishing and just enjoy doing. Again all my thanks, also kudos to your son's artwork?? and to all your wonderful contributors for which you furnish a place to display techniques, layouts, communication and just a lot of fun! - CD"

"I always look forward to all of the tips and your railways scenes. They certainly help me with my “little” hobby, “N” gage. Your efforts are always appreciated. Thanks all the best - John "


I think I was always interested in model trains because, as kids, my brothers, sisters and I had a set that was always put up under the Christmas tree every year. It wasn't the best but it created a lot of fun for all of us. My father actually gave that Marx set to my brother for his first birthday in 1945. My brother had no interest in the hobby and I asked him if he would give it to my son for his birthday. Sad to say my son has no interest either so I inherited it.

In 2012 my granddaughter died after a courageous battle with cancer. She was only 21 months old. Soon after I built the tables for my layout and I set up that old Marx train. That was the beginning of my love for this hobby. I invited my grandson over to "help." He was only three then. We brought the old set back to life and worked on the Plasticville scenery. The tracks had rusted and we had to replace them. Soon we learned that Marx isn't compatible with other trains so I have been buying used rolling stock and a Penn Central K-4. Now I am ready to work on the scenery. This is a great hobby because it keeps me out of trouble and has helped me develop a more lasting relationship with my grandson.

Your emails mean a great deal to me. They are a link to another world. The pics and videos you send along with them are always interesting to me. They have given me many ideas about layouts, scenery and explained terminology that I wasn't familiar with. When I read you emails I often get answers that I couldn't get elsewhere. Your blog inspires me to remain in this hobby.

Thanks for doing what you do and for keeping me involved in a great hobby.


"You offer a never ending supply of ideas and ways for building or rebuilding layouts. Some of the ideas are amazing, and those why didn't I think of that moments never stop. Keep up the good work.


"Hi Al I regularly read your mail and specially look at the pictures. And I learn alot from tem.

I am now 55 and decided to revive the model trains I kept from my teen years and were laying on a trunk for decades. I am now bringing back to life. You mails are always interesting because they encourage people and not like those guys that say "what a lousy ho model" it is one mm longer then it should.

Modeling is meant to be fun and you are helping it.


"I think all the blogs have been excellent and I certainly get inspiration from them. I started again at 66 to build a layout in my garage. I was so impressed with Sam the Dog video I have tried to replicate it. The board is suspended on four steel strutts from the ceiling and a boat winch is used to winch it up for my wife to park her car. Without your blogs I would not have got this far.


"Al. Thank you for your time, your patience, and your love of model railroading. I enjoy receiving your blogs and I look forward to reading them.



It takes a special person to do what you have done for all of us for quite some time. As you get more experienced at doing this, it is easy to forget that you are really a teacher, and a very good one I might add. Anyone in teaching must try to remember what it is like for us students to see, hear, try, understand, want, wish, etc. all kinds of things dealing with trains for THE VERY FIRST TIME.

You provide a conduit (like none other) to so many things that are new to us for the first time learners,…. or second timers,……. or a many timers – the information you provide may be mundane to some, but for many of us it is welcome knowledge about a very special hobby. WE THANK YOU MOST SINCERELY --- KEEP SHARING!

Melvin. "

"Brilliant.!! So many ideas, hints, & loads of fantastic layouts,a huge thank you from me.


"We'll Al, today my father turned 97. He built an HO layout, "the HO railroad that grows", for me when I was a child. Three years ago, I brought up the idea for an 8X6 HO layout for him. It's almost finished with just small detail and landscaping to go. We're both retired firefighters, so we have three emergency scenes. The board lights up like a Christmas tree when we turn on the lights. Anyway, I've been sharing your blog with Dad since the beginning and wanted to thank you for the endless ideas we have gotten from you. It's all been so helpful in having Dad here with me today.


"Hello Al,

I guess I am an old guy too and since I retired at 67 4 years back hve been steadily adding to my railway stock, track and buildings, etc, with the grand plan in view to construct the layout I always wanted but never got the time to carry out before. last year I build a small layout for my grandchildren to enjoy when visiting us for holidays which was an experiment for me to try out DCC in a small way and still run my DC stock as well. We all enjoyed it so I am going go for the big one now before it is too late!

Your blog has been my life jacket to carrying on and reading / seeing the different ideas, tips and wonderful efforts of my peers has been inspirational! There are other sites and of course railway modelling magazines to peruse too but there is a spark in "Al's" blog that is very vivid.

I don't know how to thank you more and the contributors like "Dangerous Dave" who make such excellent videos with a sense of humour and fun. Fun is what it has to be and fun is what you have made it.

Thanks Al.

Richard "

"Hi Al,

I have been a rail fan ever since I can remember modeling with my father. Now I work with my son and offer him tips, tricks and techniques offered only through your blog.

Your generosity, enthusiasm and devoted time sending assistance to everyone is a true testament to a man passionate about his hobby and life - helping others.

Thank you again for all your tireless work.

A devoted fan,


"I decided I was going to create a project on My grandson and I to participating in together. You're help has been monumental and inspiring. The last time my grandson was here his comment was" papa this is awesome". Thank you.


"Hi Al! I am new to modeling and have started a layout with my 10 year old daughter. I am enjoying your posts and have learned so much. I appreciate all your efforts and hard work to help keep us going. All the ideas are great and we will put them to good use. Thanks again!!

Bryan from Washington State USA"

"I have enjoyed reading the contributions and tips and some of the videos and photos are inspiring.

I am just returning to modelling at the age of 61 after marriage and family put everything in storage over 30 years ago! The hobby has moved on and your blog has been instrumental in getting me up to date.


"Thanks Al for all your hard work in compiling all these ideas, hints, layouts etc. for all long time now.

I have found everything useful and interesting.



I think that you are doing a great job. For the last 13 years my trains have been in boxes first because of no space and now that we are in a new place, house things to to. I now have the space and having followed your blog, come this fall things are going to be unpacked. I doubt that it would happen without you and your other contributors giving me the needed incentive.


"I don’t know what I would do without the blog and your help, I have managed to get my layout well started and is now ongoing a wee bit at a time (when its a wet weekend),,thanks again for all your help and long may it continue.

Donald "

"Hey Al,

I'm fairly new to model railroading, currently working on my second layout after I frustratingly ripped the first one apart due to poor track planning among other rookie mistakes. I've done a fair amount of Internet reading trying to absorb all the tips and hints I can. Your blog is by far filled with the most useful information on the web and I just wanted to say thank you for putting in the time and energy it takes to keep the best model railroading blog on the net up and running. Thanks again...Steve

"Hi Al:

First let me say a great big thank you for putting considerable effort in publishing the blogs.

I logged on a couple of years ago when, in my old age, I started with the idea of creating a model railroad and settled on O gauge; having no idea and certainly no experience having never done it on how to get going. I turned to internet and somehow found your blog — the absolute thing I needed. Many of the layouts you have published over the time have been a fantastic help.

Thank you very very much.

Ajit "

"I Thank You, I've only put one post on here a bout my coffee table layout, I have had to stop due job changes but I have read and looked at every email I get from you. All of your members are awe inspiring and the photos of layouts, the tips they are all so awesome so I thank you

Brian from KY "

"Hi Al:

First let me say a great big thank you for putting considerable effort in publishing the blogs.

I logged on a couple of years ago when, in my old age, I started with the idea of creating a model railroad and settled on O gauge; having no idea and certainly no experience having never done it on how to get going. I turned to internet and somehow found your blog — the absolute thing I needed. Many of the layouts you have published over the time have been a fantastic help.

Thank you very very much.

Ajit "

"Many many thanks. The tips, when you read them, are always the simplest of answers which you should have thought of yourself but never did. Please keep them coming as the simplest idea is always the best.

Thank you

David "


Enjoy the blogs.

Lots of great ideas – have changed my mind several times after having read the blogs. Sometimes it’s frustrating on my part because the answer was staring at me and I could not see it until after I read the blog.

Just keep those cards and letters coming - I appreciate them very much.

So thank you for all your time and effort putting this together.


"Hi Al.

A huge thank you for the great e-mails you send out to all of us.

I have been a model railroader for the past thirty years now and I enjoy all the e-mails you send out. Model railroad is one of the biggest hobbies in the world and I am proud of owning my layout,(28 feet by 7 feet) and as most guys, always changing or adding things to it. Your interest in this hobby is a great help to all who want to start or improve their layouts.

I have been a model railroader for the past thirty years now and I enjoy Al, you do a great service in sending the information you do and thank you for that. All the very best to you and keep the e-mails coming, they are great.

I have been a model railroader for the past thirty years now and I enjoy From Dave in CANADA. "

"Yo Al!!

I have been sitting here all this time reading your blog and tips. What I have read here has been both educational and inspirational. It seems to me that most of this information is based on British or European style or methods of model railroading. I bit different from the way we do things on this side of the pond. The main thing that I've learned is that you do not need a ton of money to enjoy this hobby. Thank you for your works and inspiration. Keep up the great works.

Bill "

Copyright © 2011 - 2023 Alastair Lee Ltd
Quay House, Quay Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, UK, TQ12 2BU | Email


ClickBank is the retailer of this product. CLICKBANK® is a registered trademark of Click Sales, Inc., a Delaware corporation located at 917 S. Lusk Street, Suite 200, Boise Idaho, 83706, USA and used by permission. ClickBank's role as retailer does not constitute an endorsement, approval or review of this product or any claim, statement or opinion used in promotion of this product.


All pictures and quotes taken from subscribers:

"Wow! Finally a book on model railroad construction that is not hampered by a single minded author/enthusiast! With multiple contributors and written in an easy to understand and absorb manner it's perfect for the beginner. It's also an interesting and enlightening read for an experienced modeler. I have personally been in the hobby for 60 years and I thoroughly enjoyed (and learned from) the insights and talents of my fellow modelers in this book. This will be a "must have" for my library! - Mark Loos, Hall of Fame member."

"This eBook guide helps to concretise and organize the essential thinking that is needed for a prospective modeler to want to roll up his sleeves and 'take the leap of faith' to start a layout. Even the experienced modeler can find useful information in this ebook. My journey toward building my layout was often by trial-and-error. I've learned that a successful layout outcome requires time and patience; that the three essential components are:

1. Imagine/Dream - envision what you want to create; 2. Plan - take the time to patiently research your ideas and make drawings of the track plan..; and then, 3. Build It. This ebook has been carefully thought out and addresses these key points. And it does all this via examples and how-tos. It's worth having a copy as a handy reference along your modeling journey. Good Luck,

Arnie - Hall of Fame member."

"I started out and maybe a few tips via magazines, but made so many mistakes that it would have been cheaper to go by the book... as the saying having this handy to read, stage by stage, would have helped me a lot and saved me money in the long run. A must for all beginner’s and even established modellers. - Dangerous Dave, Hall of Fame member."

“This is a great book for those of all ages embarking on the wonderful hobby of model railways. Al has drawn on a vast network of fellow modellers to compile a book that is full of sensible tips and sage advise taking you through all stages of developing a model railway. Al’s personable writing style and inspirational anecdotes will set you off in the right direction and ensure you enjoy the many joys of the hobby along the way. - Cameron Davies, Hall of Fame member."


I have been an avid reader of your blog for more than 4 years now and have thoroughly enjoyed your due diligence in maintaining a quality reading source. Several of the posts have given me ideas to apply on my own model railroad. Thank you for keeping everyone well informed, and please thank your loyal readers for submitting such thought-provoking projects. Cheers! -Dick"

"Gday Al

we don't have anything like your blog that I have been able to find here in Australia, so simply seeing the work of like minded people is a big bonus for me, especially as I live in the country. The thing I like most about your blog is the willingness of people from all over the place to share their railway making journey. Some are really stand out works of art, especially Dangerous Dave whose layout has been a constant source of inspiration. I have just begun designing an N gauge layout for my two young sons who love trains, having been Thomas The Tank Engine fans for all their short lives. Hopefully I will be sending in some of my pics and videos as the layout progresses.

So thanks you for setting up your blog and please keep them coming.


"Hi Al,

I am one of your readers who mainly likes to read and view your posts. I enjoy it very much. I started a model train project on February using many tips from your site. I have also liked and have bought many of your son’s templates for buildings and houses.

Thanks for your hard work,


"Hi Alastair:

As right from the beginning I really like the blog for several reasons which I won't remember all of them until I hit send 'cause well I turned 74 yesterday.

There has been a great variety of ideas, tips, layouts, pictures from people all over the world sharing their excitement and passion for this hobby. Modeler's first attempts, to seasoned modelers ideas, tips, layouts. Lots of inspiring stuff. Your blog doesn't show signs of getting tired.

I am very happy with your efforts and for all of the people who have taken their time and effort to share their passion.


"Hi Al,

I look forward to receiving your emails because there is always something you can learn from what other people are doing and if it wasn't for your links we would most likely be able to communicate with other like minded people.

I am also of vintage age and I am running vintage 3 rail trains (is that old or what?) but unlike most of your readers I am just starting out in the hobby and have a lot to learn. Because I live in Australia, a lot of the scenery I see in your links is European and is not relative to my part of the world however, having said that, I guess the methods of construction are the same regardless of where in the world you are situated.

Keep up the good work because if it wasn't for people such as yourself a lot of people, including me, could loose interest in the hobby and simply walk away from it.


"Hi Al,

I enjoy reading the stories and looking at the info people send in. I have built 3 layouts in the past (we have moved a bit in the last 6 years) and I am now gathering info for a fourth. You learn more each time you re-start, so looking at your 'stuff' is absolutely FANTASTIC!!...and then along comes Dave....BRILLIANT!




Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog. Every time I come across a help full hint, I save it to a folder for future reference. I also enjoy the videos and pictures as they give me ideas on a possible build in my garage. So here's hoping you continue the good work. I've learned a lot so far and am looking forward to learning so much more.


"I am a beginner at this as I am doing this for my great nephew and grandson. I have absolutely no knowledge of anything I am doing except for trail and error. I have received some great ideas and suggestions your site is invaluable. Thanks for it all.


"Hi Alastair, thank you for your blog. I and my seven year old son enjoy seeing the great creations and gather ideas for things we can do with our railroad set. Still just one landscape section, but planning our next addition. Thanks again for the inspiration and education.


"Hello Al,

My late father introduced me to the lifestyle of model railroads when I was old enough to crawl. Nearly 50 years later and my 5 year old daughter has been assessed as having problems with her fine motor skills. The answer was obvious – get her to help build a model railway layout. This is where your invaluable site comes in. I work fulltime in an office environment and my modelling skill set is sorely lacking. The inspiration and commonsense ideas you provide are beyond price. Keep up the great work. Goodness knows I need all the help you can give.


"Mr. Al,

Your site has helped me so much, for 40 years I have bought and bought HO trains, buildings, landscape things etc.. I have not had the time nor the space to do anything with them. Well guess what I now have the space and some of the time. I am using a room in the basement 10 x 12 in a U shaped layout and have enjoyed so much your emails and the write-ups of your following as to how to just about anything. I admit I am not way near a Dave but for a rookie I think I have good ideas and am counting on you to show me the way. Can’t do it without you. At some point I will be sending some photos but not just yet.

Keep it up Al,

St Louis Bob"

"You are only as old as you allow yourself to feel, Al. The clock says I'm 75 (bt I know it's off by about 40).

Starting a very complex layout, and were it not for the inspiration I have received from those who you spotlight, I doubt that I would have attempted a 12 x 12 setup that I thought about during a long and satisfying US Army career.


"Thank you Thank you Thank you. Al I live in a small country half way between Sydney and Brisbane there is only a few here train interested. My second effort [ 5'x 15'] would not of been,a lot of it starts with you and all those others who contribute you have all contributed. I got my engineering trade, 6 years 3 months with the N S W Government Railways, STEAM it's a part of me.You have been my oasis.


"i enjoy your blog al as i find it very entertaining as well as educational in building model layouts . i am in the beginning stages of both a n scale and z scale layouts which will be quite detailed and look forward to sharing my pictures and progress with you and your followers . the z scale will be a south-eastern united states model and the n scale i am looking to do the long island railroad theme which is the largest commuter railroad in the united states . as i get started , i will send pictures of the progress . thank you for your blog , look forward to more tips and tricks.


"Hi Al. My name is Paul Hennessey from Bradenton Florida. You not only provide a lot of entertainment but, also a lot of information that I have used to construct my lay-out. I have used the ideas that some posts provide and have used them with some great results. I inherited my lay-out from my Father and I’m passing it on to my grandkids. When I regain the ability to do photo macros, I intend to send you some shots to thank you and all the contributors for all you have done and still do. Each mailing shows me something new. Keep up the good work...thanx for all you do.


"The only liability I have identified to date is this: after visiting your web site with all its information and inspiration that it provides I feel like a blind dog in a meat shop. Truly I thank you for doing what you do Al.

Ken, USA"

"Your blog has been nothing less than the best! I have learned so many tricks and cost saving short cuts to setting up my 5 track O Gauge layout through the years. I look forward to seeing your member's layouts and save many of them. I am glad you asked for our responses because I believe you have touched the hearts and lives of many of us "Big Kids" who find peace in the time we spend with our trains. I know I do. I am 63. May God bless you!


"Hi Alastair I have been a loyal fan for a number of years and have attempted to add several tips as they occurred to me. Although most of your submissions are from HO people you have certainly given me many ideas. I have been slow to submit photos of my work but there are sections that I am sure some of your N gauge fans might appreciate. I like the sugestions that your forward where an individual has made something quite lifelike out of odds and ends and items that one would never suspect would have a use on a model railroad. Mine is a club sized layout and I have several friends that help out once a week. It may not be finished in my life time but it is the journey that is fun. Please continue your blog it helps keep me going.

One of your fans



I look forward to seeing a new post from you because the tips, ideas, and especially the accomplishments of fellow molders is always an inspiration and sort of satisfies my lack of space for my own layout. I enjoy building models, scratch-building buildings and the like, but I do not have space enough to actually build a permanent layout complete with scenery, railroad operations, and the ability to run multiple trains as I wish I could. Seeing what others are doing keeps my interest and sort of jacks me up to keep me doing what model railroading I can.

I do setup a couple of HO trains, plus an N scale and a Lionel train around the base of my "Train-Theme" decorated Christmas tree every year and it usually goes up in November and stays around until the middle of January. My Grandkids love it, as do I.

I know it is a lot of work, but keep up the great work, it is appreciated by model railroaders of all levels and stages... like me!

Thank you,


"Al Your site is a wealth of information about our train hobby. Please keep up the great work. You are truly an inspiration to our hobby. Thanks much



I do not know how I came across your site but I am so glad I did. I am an "amateur" n scale modeler but I love it. I do get inspired by your posts, the pictures, the ideas, and the videos. I have got some great ideas and I look forward to your emails. I was even lucky enough for you to post pictures of my Worcester Union Station. I have to admit, I was proud I made it on your site.

So, keep up the great work and thanks for all you do.


"Hi Al. My name is Keith I'm a Brit living in Ontario I wait impatiently for your emails. Although I've been modelling since childhood and thought that I knew everything ,well what do you know someone comes up with a new idea ,and it blows me away the amount of good knowledge that is found on your web site. You have modellers from all over the world looking at your site and also giving good advice and tips.

You are doing a wonderful job so please keep up with the good work. If it hadn't been for your site I wouldn't have taken the Yorkshire moors tour. I watched dangerous Dave's video when he went and although I am British I had never been to Yorkshire. Shame on me I know. So thank you Al and all the other modellers with their hints tips and videos.


"hi Al i am from London Canada and getting back into the hobby. the tips are fantastic and most are things i would not have thought of. keep the good work coming. this is the best of any blogs i have been with.

with gratitude.


"Hi Al

This is my first Email to you. I have built a few layouts in my time and now I am looking at building a lay out that i hope will out do the Germans covering a total area of at least 40 yes that is right forty acres so as they say I have my work cutout for me and all the models will be built by myself and a few friends it will include an airfield / navy base and a Army base with names like ( area 69 fire groom lake ) all has to be built but the good thing is that I now no longer have to work but I want to work on this project with you help and the help of others that have sent their projects so others can see them so the first thanks goes to you and the great team of scale modelers around the world thank you for your input it has help me figure many things out way a head of time which I am grateful for and a special thanks to you for getting this site up and running.BR>
Your Friend


"Al, I am 60 but feel like a kid again when my grandsons and I work on our layout. We have changed it many times from looking at your posts other links. Thanks


" Al, Your blog is the best and I enjoy so much the pictures and tips from around the world. It is so nice to make contact with others who love trains as much as I. This year makes 55years!

Some of my trains were given to me by my parents.

Thanks for all you do...........

Ed, USA"


I save all your posts and sort in different catalogs to reference. I marvel at everyone’s models and set-ups.. I watch over and over again the video’s and get “transported” back in time to the sights/sounds of yester years.. Sometimes the video’s made me feel like I am living right there in the moment!!! So realistic!

Thank-You so much for providing such an outstanding service. I do not blog, belong to or contribute to any other site or internet tool.. so Please feel how much I really do appreciate and love receiving your blogs..

Sincere Thank-You!

Dave A"

"Alastair: I’m a 63 year old toy train guy and I enjoy your posts and the layouts depicted, particularly the step by step construction progress shots. The late John Allen is credited with saying” planning a model railroad is a hobby itself”, and I believe it. I particularly like photos where the trackplan can be ascertained, as guys like me are on a lifelong quest for the perfect trackplan, that has lots of sidings to demonstrate operating accessories, and at least 2 loops for concurrent continious running.

One of the most important messages your site sends is that “I am building it and even though I’ve not done it before much, it looks pretty darn good”. I often forward your piece to scale model railroaders that I know who are “just breaking ground” on their layouts.


"Good Day Al from Canada,

Thx for your note and pls consider this a big THANK YOU from someone who is getting back into HO/HOn3 after a 10 year hiatus.

I look forward to your notes each day and no matter what the subject I usually find some things both "to do" and just as important "not to do". All these things are helpful and in some cases they have really helped me focus on what is really important for my layout (construction to start shortly after basement renos completed).

So please do keep your notes coming -- you are providing a great service to the hobby which is so important now that the local hobby shop and train show has virtually disappeared from the landscape.

Finally -- a special note to "Dave". Fastest modeller on 2 feet I have ever seen. Just great to see those fine looking British models rolling -- even for a US prototype modeller like myself.

So thanks again Al

Best to you, Douglas in Toronto"

"Thank you Al, the tips and ideas found are always interesting and in some cases have given me some new ideas. Seldom is there only one way things can be done and your website allows me to see how others approach the hobby and situations that crop up. Keep up the GREAT work and all the best to all in our hobby from Chuck in Tallahassee, Florida!"

"Hi Al Many thanks for your hints tips photos and videos which have inspired and helped me to return to a hobby I gave up when I took off to sea in the 1950s. Nothing as grand as your subscribers, but it gives me something to pass the time away. I just enjoy reading your blog.

I tell the wife I’m building it for the grandkids but I don't think she believes me!!!!

Thanks again.


"Thank you - i re entered the hobby a few years back and ran across you. i have been saving your tips, advice, and ideas since then. i look them over whenever i am stuck on something. most of the time you have been there done that so i can solve my problem. wether it was what you showed or even just parts of what you showed that helped me remedy my problem you have helped me tons of times. i watched you tear up your layout and all that work you did to restore to new layout. that made me think that the work i already did on my layout wasn't something that can be permanent but also can be flexible. i have watched your u tube videos a few times just to see how you did something then use it on my own layout. most of the time with changes to fit my layout. most recently it has been on led lighting. i loved how you lit your layout with led so off i went. you showed me how to start and my adventure in lighting began.

btw i am a old stinker also. just retiring. keep up the great work. there are probably a lot of others looking at your posts and not saying anything like i do but appreciate them all the same.

ernie "

"Thanks Al for your blog. I look forward to its arrival and enjoy it during the week. We presently are between homes and have no space for any modeling. Your blog and contributors have kept my interest high and I plan to start a new layout when we get settled again. I already have my lists of do's and don't"s, some added by your information. I haven't picked a scale or have any track plans yet. That'll come when I see with what space I have to work. The scale will be as large as I can fit, as I plan to get the grand children involved. Keep up the good work!


"As a silent member of this group I just want to say a personel, thank you.

I have enjoyed the stories and helpful hints.

I am currently looking at re-commencing my railroad empire after a few false starts. I have limited space and hence looking at n scale, this works against my reduced eyesight but means I can creat my empire in my limited space.

I am working on my design now and have committed over the coming weekend to have the start of my operational railroad in place.

This is what your blog has encourage me to start.

Happy to share my progress, especially as an ok deg person just starting out!

Alan "

"The scenery tips and hints have inspired me to improve my layout. It sat idle for several months with many lights not working and damaged scenery. Now it all all has been repaired thanks to you.



Its been a fantastic ride and the info most helpful. Some of the suggested "fixes' have been very welcome and I have used a couple of them to solve problems. Layout design and scenery suggestions were warmly received and welcome.

You have done a marvellous job and deserve a medal.

Best regards from a Kiwi


"Hi Al,

I just want to say thank you. I had a model railroad throughout my teens, 50+ years ago. Since I retired and unable to get out a lot due to health issues, I am getting back into setting up my trains. I have nearly 100 pieces of rolling stock and several engines from 50 years ago. Things have changed so much from the 1960's, my head is swimming with all the new technology. I read your blog faithfully and very much appreciate the ideas and information you and your readers give. With DCC, DC, Sound, etc., I have a lot to digest. I am modelling downtown Akron, Ohio in the 1950's. We had 5 or 6 railroads during that time and I have good memories of watching those trains and going downtown. Those were good times. I'll send you pictures when I get far enough along with the setup. I'll probably write you and your readers throughout the work with questions. So, once again you are greatly appreciated. I wish you the best. Take care.