Ben’s layout

“This is my work in progress it has no rhyme or reason it all come from my mind as i go it could be anywhere USA.

Also just a little of my stien & coffee cup col.

My train room is 12.5ft. x10.5 ft.


“Hi Al,

Here is a tip, what to do if you acciddently glue a points moving parts.

I did this the other day by accident.

I tipped very hot water on the point, hot water dissolves pva glue.

I then sprayed the point with switch cleaner lubricant, moved the point back and forth a few time. It then freed up.


Please keep ’em coming everyone – share, don’t be shy…

That’s all for today folks.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

36 Responses to Ben’s layout

  1. don says:

    hi, we need a one picture of the complete layout, thank you

  2. Tom says:

    Great start Ben keep us posted.
    Great tip Paul

    Thanks everyone

    Thanks Al



  3. kenn says:

    Ben, looking good. Is this HO on a 4×8? Just wondering how people are able to get so much track and scenery on a layout of that scale. I love the homemade trestles.

  4. Greg says:

    Since Ben did not dut the plywood on his benchwork, what did he use to support elevated track seftions.

    Also what is the maximum grade on his layout.

  5. I think what you have now it’s looking good. You have a lot in a looks like a small space. Like to see it when you have it all done. Best.

  6. Peter Jones says:

    Good start Ben, keep us updated

  7. Chris says:

    nice layout, thanks for the useful tip

  8. THOMAS says:


  9. Austin Wilson says:

    It’s good to see I am not the only nor using EZ track. Love EZ track on my layout. My better half thinks my layout is to big, so I have to start rethinking. I have a lot of the rec room covered. If the layout was straight, it would be four feet wide and forty feet long. Alistair, I will have to send you some pictures before I take it down and rebuild smaller. She tells me to go upward, track over track. Love my HO Scale layout. Austin.

  10. Ian says:

    great photokeep them coming

  11. Ralph says:

    That looks great Ben. I’m glad somebody else has started off running trains then worked out a theme. I know that is back to front but enjoyment is the basic idea.

  12. Mutt Rose says:

    I noticed on Ben’s layout there is additional present day fuel for the trains and tractors and it even has an additive called Barley insted of Corn. It’s no wonder Ben is having fun building his layout. I wonder if he needs any help, I volenteer. Most people around the world would not recognize this once popular beverage from 30 to 40 years ago – Hamms Beer. I didn’t see any track side construction in that area of the layout. Otherwise, Ben, you have a great layout started. I would like to see it when finished. Have more fun but not with the liquid fuel.
    Regards, Mutt

  13. Ian Camp says:

    Thanks for all these tips, photos and video’s. I am working on a N gauge layout based on GWR but some the tips and photos etc have inspired me to start a major rethink to the layout. I may bother you with some photos later!

    Keep them coming.


  14. Keith Carey says:

    Great start-up Ben. We are all OCD it seems when it comes to scanning for flaws. That’s why alot of us only “buy” and run the design plans through our minds. Which comes first? The track or the scenery? The track or the buildings?

    I have decided to cut a 3×3 opening in my 4×8 table. Then, i have added framing on both ends to add another 18 inches on each end. I have given myself a 2′ wide access along one side. Next I added 3′ x 10′ framing along the opposite wall – complete with a shelf 2′ below that for storage of Christmas items.

    Now I have this framework almost completed that has a 2 ‘x 11′ walkway. Perhaps you could consider building a second layer over your 4′ x 8’ about 10 inches above the existing level. And, create a city scene. Run some of the track under the 2nd layer as if people would look down from the street level and see tracks running through the city. Less track would be visible.

    I am impressed with the home-made trestles.



  15. Rod Mackay says:

    If you’re under pressure to use less space, remember the layout doesn’t have to be full-size all the time, You could have it hinged to fold up towards the wall, or you could have a front section that hinged down – used just for scenery if you think it would be hard to make working joints at the fold (eg if you’re using set-track sections) or you could have removeable staging yards that you add on only when you want to run – these can be made as dust-reducing stock storage too, if lidded.

  16. dan o wiseman says:

    yes yes my kinda lay out building , run trains , all the stuff as you want too

    great great great , I m re painting all my tables to day , and to morrow , all track is removed and 6ft wood bridge is wide enought for two tracks , so you can guess where this is going ………

  17. Mike Tummino says:

    Too bad we don’t have a pic of the entire layout. This seems to be an ever present problem.

  18. Larry says:

    These HO layouts are beautiful but doesn’t do any good for those of us that have ‘O” guage when it comes to a layout that will fit in a smaller area.

  19. Cary says:

    Ben, great to see your work in progress, please keep us updated. Also glad to see your staying hydrated with creative juices:) Cary in Kentucky

  20. Linda says:

    Great job so far. Keep the pictures coming.

  21. Bruce says:

    No mistaking R. Petty car #43.
    Ice work in progress. As others, post a pic of as much layout as possible.

  22. Eddie says:

    Ben, I am doing the same kind of thing.

    I started with a vague idea of what I wanted, then just bashed on to see what transpired. I think it works just as well as any other way, and in my opinion more fun.
    Keep it up…


  23. Fred enbee says:

    Yep your right no plans just jump in…I change my layout ideas every time I go in the engine shed…

  24. Roy says:

    Great looking layout. Could we see a picture of the whole layout? I like what you have done with that kind of track. That is the track I have and am building my layout with. What size is the lay out?

  25. Timothy says:

    My layout has no pacific time nor place I am a true fan of your layout. For I too always have a can of Pepsi nearby

  26. Arthur bedford says:

    The tip about freeing up glued points is great so long as you don’t have point motors fitted underneath. If there is someone out there who has a method of unglueing points without the need for hot water please share your secret.

  27. Robert Rolfe says:

    As to the question about un gluing stuck points, well time and a hobby knife will take care of that. I worked at a mine 50 odd years ago, they never had time to do it correct the first time, but always had time to do it over. That never made seance to me then and it still does not, take your time, what the hell is the hurry? As you will never be done anyway.

  28. Robert Rolfe says:

    Nice, only problem I have with it that road bed does not float in the air, as in should be supported some how between supports. However this is your layout and not mine and I think you may do as you please as you are not trying to make me and or anyone happy—–Go for it
    NV Bob

  29. Robert Rolfe says:

    Oh, on the stuck point reply I forgot to put NV Bob as sender, not that anyone really cares.
    NV Bob

  30. Robert Brady says:

    that’s what i did build as you go and still going. eztrack on upper level snap track lower level. Wish i could upload pic.

  31. Steven says:

    What scale is that beer can?

    Just kidding, nice job.


  32. I would like to see the entire layout in one picture to appreciate the layout.

  33. Fab tressels! They are brilliant. At what height increments are they constructed?

  34. Bill Kennedy says:

    You’ve done a fine job with the creation of your layout!! If I may, I’d like to offer a suggestion: and that is: paint the inner walls of the tunnel. You may wish to use BLACK. In the meantime ENJOY — It’s a labor of love.

  35. Frank says:

    Reading through the comments….

    “Floating roadbed. If we allow this to go on there could be anarchy, chaos and mayhem”!

    (I like the home built trestles. Anything made and that is cheaper and easier to use I am a fan of.)

    “Yeah… those HO scalers, always showing off to the larger scales how their smaller stuff fits on a 4×8 sheet. Oh how we loathe them”.

    (Seriously, I have HO and N scale stuff, but also an old Lionel O27 train set given to us by a Grandmother. I appreciate the big stuff, but had to go smaller)

    Wives will always say you’re taking too much space. We need to dream large then comprise just a bit. Or if you can, build yourself a shed or cabin just for your layout. I could potentially have a larger layout, but need to reorganize and clean up space. But I am leaning to wards small layouts or modules and then I can move things easily. I don’t think I could willingly dismantle something like a lot of guys will do… even though rebuilding can provide new possibilities.

    Frank in Orlando

  36. David G Barnes says:

    Alastair, thank you for keeping this site going and for all you do. i simply love rising early here in the U.S. state of Utah and seeing and reading the latest ideas from like minded old farts. Having been a machinist all my life i have built a machine that makes HO scale corrugated roofing and siding from aluminum beverage cans. They turned out so well that I have decided to offer them to you and your readers. if I were more tech savvy I would include pics but for now i am testing the waters to see if anyone would like to finally be able to have realistic looking sheets of this kind of roofing and siding. if there is enough interest I would be happy to offer them for sale to anyone who is tired of trying to make their rooves and industrial out buildings look more realistic. i can also make them in other scales if there is enough demand. The scale sheets are approximately 80 inches wide, (HO scale, equivalent, actually .9 inch) and can be made in lengths of up to 8 inches actual, or 50 feet in HO scale. they can be curved for quonset huts and trimmed to realistic sizes with scissors. please advise if you think fellow modelers would like to have a solution to this kind of realism. Thanks again, Dave in Utah.

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