HO scale yard ballast

Bill’s been back in touch with some pics of his HO scale yard ballast.

He’s been busy on his scenery. If you missed his last post, it is here.

“Hi Al

I’ve been enjoying adding scenery to my second 4×8 section of my switching layout. I have a fair amount done at this point and it’s coming together nicely.

I’ve adding what is going to be my only major water feature and that is a ditch in which I’ve added Woodland Scenics water as well as some cattails and several HO Scale geese.

Another addition is a small bridge going off scene by the oil distributor.

I reduced the amount of roads I originally was going to add but doing so cut off access to the filling area of the scene so I created a small road coming in from off scene and built a small piece of a bridge where I had added some s energy in the side of the foam board base due to damage to it. I think it works well there.

I’ve done a lot of other scenery too. Pictures are below of the HO scale yard ballast. Still much more to do such as add in people and start to work on the larger buildings for painting and detailing. I’ll be busy for a long while yet and I’m enjoying every minute I get working on the rail road:D


Bill in Virginia”

HO scale yard ballast

HO scale yard crane

HO scale oil store

HO road crossing

HO scale yard ballast

HO scale yard ballast

HO scale yard ballast

“Hello Alastair

As a child, I had a Lionel layout, built into an unused cistern in the basement of our house in Wisconsin. A new Lionel layout was created in another basement in the ‘70’s.

However, in the latter part of that decade I visited the UK and made the costly mistake of walking into a British model Railway hobby shop (Howe’s in Oxford).

I was smitten. Since then I have been collecting OO scale equipment, structures and track in hopes of one day having a space worthy of the beauty of British rail in the Grouping Period, well, some of it anyway, because even in my wildest imagination I could not figure out how to justify all four railways in a single layout. I ended up settling for three, omitting the Southern Railway.

Now, at the ripe old age of 77, I am embarking at last on a large layout (22×8), in a new Wisconsin basement. I had an even grander one in mind, one with a huge terminus, but the reality of all the wiring of so many turnouts and crossovers struck home. I looked at what I had designed and experienced a panic, never having moved beyond a three-track format. So, I have changed my plan to be large, but relatively simple and using DCC. That, at least, was a benefit of the delay in building my layout.

I have begun constructing the table sections, six of which will be required. This will allow me to run large rakes of carriages, seven or more, and not exceed the capacity of a single straightaway.

I have completed the first table, just five to go. I have acquired Digitrax electronics and a fully “chipped” locomotive, in this case, the Hornby Flying Scottsman, to encourage me in achieving my goal, including putting chips in the locomotives that I have collected since 1978.

Wish me luck (and long life to complete my project).


OO scale track plan

OO scale steam train


Well done – it’s all about making that start! Can’t wait to see your updates.

And what about Bill’s latest HO scale yard ballast pics? Stunning stuff as usual.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the the Beginner’s Guide is here it today is the day you grab the bull by the horns.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here. Still going strong.

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

10 Responses to HO scale yard ballast

  1. Graeme Coleman says:

    Great layout, just drawing mine from my mind to paper, and am also looking at having it large but simpler so it will actually get built. Too many friends have such convoluted trackplans that only they know what a train is doing. I also use Digitrax, makes life much easier, and sound adds another dimension. Again, a great looking layout, congratulations on your progress.

  2. Ben Olson says:

    Bill, thanks for the posting of pictures. Well done! Your scenery work is awesome. You have given me several ideas for my layout. I thought the water feature in the ditch was both clever and realistic. Keep up the great work!

    Dean, you are off to a great start. Your bench work looks great, as does your plan. Be sure to post more updates!

  3. Gary Manganiello says:

    Very nice detail on the scenery…………great job.

    Gar M

  4. Steve JOyce says:

    My benchwork (MIanne) arrives today…so I will finally be getting a serious start. Been buying and gathering tons of scenery. rolling stock and track items….time to get them together. I too am not going to go too crazy with tons of wiring start simple with a couple main lines looping around entire spread then work inward.

  5. Bob Richards says:

    Bill. your scenery and layout is inspiring. I am very impressed. There are too many ideas you have included to list all I liked so much. Thank you.

  6. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Bill, it is always a joy to see your layout and updates, awesome scenery.
    Dean, welcome aboard, great start and I like your layout plan, our thinking and age are nearly identitcal. In fact our layout size is nearly the same. Long and lean running layout with oportunity for some switching and doable..
    Dick in Montana

  7. ALBERT LUPPO says:


  8. CARL ANGDAHL says:

    I know this is HO but the pics look like outdoors just after a rain. Great job on the “weeds”.

  9. Dominic Joseph Radanovich says:

    I have recently gotten interested in Free-Mo plus prototypical modeling. Beside my HO layout (of which You have published some photos) I am engaged in making a 2′ x 8′ modular layout which is very closely based on the double diamond crossing and city of Deshler, Ohio. I am subscribed to and watch “Virtual Railfan”. Of all their camera placement cities I find Deshler the most interesting. Trains go every-which-way through there twenty-four hours a day. Not only a double diamond but 3 wyes connecting all directions. The double crossing is at 71 degree angle. I have made extensive studies of Google maps of Deshler and made all my measurements from them. The only thing is I had to use 60 degree crossings as nobody makes 71 degree and I am not expert enough to make my own. This module consists of 696 HO scale feet of the north-south (more NE than N) single track which goes to Toledo, Ohio. The east-west double track is the Chicago to Pittsburgh line. This all was at one time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, but now is owned and operated by CSX. The old depot and switching tower in Deshler are beautiful buildings and should be restored to their former glory. There is a Railroad Fans Park in the southwest quadrant of the diamond. Anyone can come there, camp there, party there and enjoy watching the trains. They even provide free firewood for camp fires! Please, anyone, look up Deshler on Virtual Railfan and Google Earth. You will see what I am writing about and hopefully will enjoy watching all the activity. I”m hoping to drive to Deshler in spring to see for myself, take pictures and plenty of measurements. (My permanent HO layout is Milwaukee west to the prairie states and provinces.)

  10. Rod Mackay says:

    Dean, nice to see someone modelling British railways over there, I had a spell doing American N at one time too. There was one area where all four prenationalisation companies came together, and that was Oxford, a GW through route with a couple of interesting branches, but also Southern engines working inter regional trains in from Bournemouth etc., LMS trains from Bedford and LNER ones from the Great Central line via Woodford. A fascinating place!

Leave a Reply

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