Bill’s N scale track pics and video

Bill’s started on his N scale track layout:

“Hey Al,

I have been following your blog for years with great intentions of adding instead of always just taking.

Anyway, you seem to be begging for stuff so I’ll send you my railroading story.

As a youngster, I had an S gauge American Flyer set that got plenty of use, mostly when I combined it with my best friend neighbor with American Flyer gear.

He had a big basement and we spent hours running trains, never worrying about scenery.

Then when I was 15, we moved away and I left my stuff with him. Basically that ended my railroading days for about 25 years.

Then one year, my wife returned from her yearly trip to visit her sisters and brought me a little N gauge set as a “thank you” for taking care of our two boys while she was gone.

That first oval of my n scale track expanded to this: (photo #1)

n scale track

Shortly thereafter, when the boys were in the 7-11 year old range and more into balls than model trains, I realized the two were mutually exclusive. So, for the next 20 years it got packed up and trains were again out of my life.

Once again we moved – this time just to a different house where I had a bit of room to re-set up the layout (and no young boys throwing balls).

n scale track

Actually, the “cookie cutter” layout was built just before it was packed up. So when we moved, here is what I brought with me. I had just semi-retired and had time to work on developing my project.

n scale track

n scale track

n scale track

I have since added background panoramas taken near our home in Boulder, Colorado. I have also added a number of electronics gadgetry such as lighting that comes on as the overhead lights dim. Finally, I added a trolley that runs up and down main street in the town.

I hope this gives you something that will interest your readers. If you look, you can find many things that were submitted in posts to your site over the years. I will try to send a video separately since files don’t always go if they are too big.

Keep up the good work.


Looks like Bill is having fun with his N scale track.

“Well we started having so much fun building the printable buildings we forgot about the train layout but I thought we would put them together and send you a picture of your models…now we have to figure out a layout and start that.

Love your blog and the stuff is amazing that gets sent in

Sid and Vicki”

Wow – Sid and Vicki have been busy. I really do love seeing the print out scenery you’ve made.

Now on to Gary:

“Finally have my new design on my new layout. We moved in December to a home in Sellersburg Indiana.

I now have a 24 x 20 detached garage that is going to be my train room.

Just got a chance to start working on it. Got my walls painted blue and started painting some clouds on them.

Also I’ve drawn my track plan. My yard tracks are a hopeful situation probably won’t be able to fit as many tracks in as I drew because of the switches.

But the rest of it is done in 1 inch scale so I believe the curves and everything else will work. With a minimum radius of 26 inch on the main lines.

I’m planning on a ravine on the peninsula that is going to go from 38 inches off floor, down to 6 inches off floor with a tall Trussell and a waterfall behind it.

Next up is the track lighting. Here is the track lights location for on the ceiling.

Still have a little bit of work to do to the clouds. And I wanna use some white paint to fade the blue out at the horizon line.

I will keep you updated on my progress as it goes!


A big thanks to Bill and Gary.

Bill’s right, things are very thin on the ground this end at the mo, in fact I’ve never known it to be so quiet. So if you’d like to share anything, please do mail it in.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

(Here’s a load more N scale layouts if you’re after those).

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.

model train answers

18 Responses to Bill’s N scale track pics and video

  1. All is amazing today!
    Bill’s “On again, off again, on again” story should be an inspiration to all. His layout is a work of art! Well done.
    Gary’s dedicated train room is wonderful and I hope to be doing the same by the end of this summer (but my train room will be smaller). His track plan looks a little o’er ambitions but that is OK. Part of the joy of this wonderful hobby is having big dreams.
    Then there is Sid and Vicki…
    Wow, just Wow. Al’s print out kits are a lot of fun to build and you have been very busy! Love it! I know that I love building them and seeing how I can make each one “my own”. What you have done with your collection is just a flat out impressive achievement!

  2. Erick says:

    Pretty Neat.!!!!!

  3. Thanks for your service to the hobby. I have a N scale 4×8 layout in my unfinished basement that was uncovered for over ten years. Extreme natural weathering.
    Your emails perked my interest again, watched some U tube videos. Decided to convert to DCC, was bored before watching two trains run laps. I will attached some photos before I removed almost everything to clean and tip over to work the underside wiring.

  4. Robert D. Bouskill says:


  5. George Bach says:

    Great layout Bill. Can you publish a copy of the layout-I would really like to do one like it thanks George B

  6. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Great work Bill and Gary………loooooovvvveeee what Sid and Vicki did…….i can’t wait to see what they come up with. When I was a freight conductor for the PRR, there were many small towns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania where our train would go right through the center of the town.

  7. Dannofive0 says:

    WOW! Very cool.

  8. Philip Gray says:

    Thanks Bill for your story and the photos/video.
    I am always amazed how “N” gage fans can do such a good job, as my eyes are 84 years old. I as a youngster started with an 027 Lionel. Fortunately it is in the antic for some future application. Several years ago I renewed my interest with a new “HO” layout, 4′ x 8′. hope to send photos someday. I like multiple elevations as you have on your layout, adds a lot on interest.
    Thanks again for your submittal and to Al for making them available to all of us!

  9. Greg says:

    Wow this layout is so great a real inspiring set up keep up the great work

  10. ScenicsRme says:

    Gary, nice layout plan. What scale is it, HO I assume? I’m in a short holding pattern on my own layout and would be willing to do an Xtrackcad drawing that was perfectly to (any) scale using preferred turnouts, brand and size, sectional and/or flex track, etc. just for practice, I’ve gotten quite skilled at using xtrack on my own layout, and now find it fun to work with. That way you could be sure that everything fit as planned. If interested tell Alastair that he has my permission to send you my email address so we cam discuss it off line.

  11. Rich B. says:

    Agreed, what a diversity of posts this AM. RR is eye candy, it’s all good. Yes, building buildings has developed into an art form, those are really well done. And the train building is perfect. Nobody ever uses cotton batten for distant 3D clouds??

    Rich, Regarding

  12. Brian Olson says:

    Nice video, gives us an opportunity to “take it all in”

  13. Delmar gene Servoss says:

    wow great job your run is to short

  14. George Zaky says:

    Sorry for being repetitive but you N guys are a Hoot. Mr McGoo eyes here with gorilla fingers can only wish he can do what you did. Nice job & it looks like it runs nicely.
    Sid and Vicki
    Wow! You’ve done Big Al good. Now that you’re great at making buildings time to plan the layout of the century with the most imaginative themes. Two talents are better than one so Go at it! The following message applies to you guys too!
    The most important thing in your diagrams is the little square marked heat & AC. I like your plan but it needs a precise track plan to show proper curves & elevations so you have a smooth running operation. Go cheap every where except for track & turnouts and then the beer will be more spectacular in the man cave. That’s what the refer is for -right?
    You are now enlisted in the Big Al fan club and it is mandatory to keep us posted. So Forge ahead with vigor! Damn the finances! As Rocky said in the movie ” Go for it!”.😁
    Big Al
    I got all fired up this AM. LOL.
    Love this- be well

  15. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. i like it.

  16. Don says:

    love the church, waterfalls, tunnels & inclines for the trains to up & over the whole setup is awesome & well done.

  17. Andrew Aves says:

    Awesome layout Bill – I love it.
    Are you DC or DCC and how do you manage the reversing loop?
    Best wishes to all
    Andrew in Oz

  18. Bill Kuster says:

    In answer to George B’s request for a drawing of my layout, I am sending a photo of the track pattern (separately). It is built on a 54″ x 72″ board using the old “cookie cutter” mode which I’m sure is much more difficult than using a foam base! That was the way it was done way back when I started.It is all Atlas track (minimum radius 9 3/4″) except for a couple sections of flex track.
    Thanks for your interest.

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