L shaped HO scale layout

Bob’s been in touch with his L shaped HO scale layout:

“I dismantled my layout in January and started a larger around the wall layout with a swing gate.

L shaped HO scale layout

Below are pictures of where the layout stands today starting with the track plan.

track plan

The following are pictures taken from points around the layout.

I added a 1×4 ledge just below the ceiling and installed LED strip lights to get better coverage of the layout and eliminate harsh shadows.

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

L shaped HO scale layout

The following are pictures of the block control and other power connections.

I have four PSX1 circuit breakers; one four each half of the double mains and one for each of the yards.

I have an SB5 that powers half of the double mains and one yard and a DB5 that powers the other half of the double mains and the other yard and another PSX1 that provides track power to my three Switch8s and an PSXAR1 that controls reversing the lead from the bottom main to the turntable that is to the left of the roundhouse.

model train wiring

model railroad wiring

model railway wiring

mode railroad

I am currently working on a flashing crossing with working gates for the double main as well as test running all my locomotives.

Once everything is good to go, I will decide on what scenery I want and do the backdrop based on that.

There will be a tunnel in the corner where the drainage ditch is. There is a piece of Masonite protecting trains from falling off. Access is available from below in case of derailment.

That is, it for now. Thanks for all you do for the hobby.

Bob in Newport News, VA.”

(You can see Bob’s last post here.)

And now to Hall of Fame member, Bill.

He’s sent in this vid of his trains running – stunning stuff:

“Hi Al

I’ve taken a little break from project work on the two layouts in my garage and just had some fun running the N Scale layout. I’ve attached a link to the video. Just some relaxing rail fanning before I jump into the next project, or two, or three 🙂

Best to you and all fellow modelers.

Bill in Virginia”

That’s all for today folks – a big thanks to Bob for sharing his L shaped HO scale layout, and to Bill.

If you’d like to see Bill’s last post on his backdrop, it’s here.

And of course, he’s in the Hall of Fame too.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

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.

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

model train answers

31 Responses to L shaped HO scale layout

  1. Jim Myrhum says:

    I just hope he never has to troubleshot that wiring maze!!!!!
    Musta spend more money on just the wire alone!!

    Kinda makes me glad I still run DC — two wires off of transformer and connected to track in four places and trains run just fine. No Fuss – No headaches

  2. Brian Rockey says:

    Wonderful scenery on your N Gauge Bill. Stunning.
    Best Regards
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  3. Robert Brady says:

    Showing progress is one thing but showing a mess is another. That electrician’s nightmare under table is scary. Good thing it’s only 12 volts.
    I am interested in the finished product though. Is Good luck in order?
    The Critic

  4. Alan says:

    Awesome layout is it Kato

  5. John Fuller Jr says:

    Wow I agree with Jim wire nightmare, glad I just run DC , I also run O gauge Lionel blue tooth two wires to track , no blocks , 6 trains run anywhere they need to go with their controllers, time for HO and N to simplify the systems !

  6. John Bullock says:

    Beautiful layout!

  7. Charles Maxim says:

    To Bob, all I can say looking at those pictures of your wiring is, WOW! That’s way beyond me.
    To Bill in Va. what a great layout, I love the Pennsy stuff. Excellent work on the scenery also.

  8. Thats some wiring job you have done there Bob …Dangerous Dave

  9. SHELDON. ARIZONA. 🇺🇸 says:

    Thanks for running your 🚂 at realistic speeds.
    What do you think the WD40 is used for. Haven’t seen that before.

  10. Erick says:

    Pretty neat. That is what something what mine going to look like.

  11. CARL R ANGDAHL says:

    Wires wires wires. What a nightmare. Great work above the table but beneath goves me a headache just looking at the pictures
    I went battery power……..no wires.

  12. Ruben Simon says:

    After seeing those fearsome wiring photos, images of a train running around a Christmas tree might restore my desire to ever get started… ;-D

  13. Malcolm hodgson says:

    Hmmmmmm…… I thought the point of DCC was to simplify the wiring to two bus wires? Then have accessory decoders close to the pint of usage, thus eliminating the wiring headache.

    I have 54 sections of D.C. on my layout and it doesn’t look as complicated as these under the board shots. Each section is then fed off an accessory bus to run all the lighting etc. Locally.

    Still if it keeps you occupied! And you are enjoying it then carry on!


    North Wales

  14. Ken says:

    Beautiful layout

  15. Terry Miller says:

    Layout plan looks good but would like to see some dimension numbers for size and radius of curves.

  16. JOHN SUMP says:

    Where can i get some LED lights for buildings and street lights?

  17. Bob, Newport NewsVA says:

    Scale is HO. Dimensions around the outside are: Left side – 12ft;top – 14 ft; right 6ft; Bottom left 8ft; Bottom right – 4.5ft; From bottom left across gate to the bottom right – 6.5ft. The layout is 30 inches wide. Radius for the inner main is 26in out main is 28 in. Crossovers are Atlas #6 and #8. Yard switched are a mix of Atlas #4 and Peco #5. The rest of the track is Atlas Code 100 Flex Track. The tracks in the round house are Code 83 Flex. Each lead to the turn table is a section of straight code 83. There are a total of 23 turn outs driven by tortoise motors connected to three NEC Swithch8 controllers. There are two control panels: One panel controls the North yard and the bottom right switch(14 switches total). The second control panel controls the West yard and the switch from the outer main to the turn table(9 switches total).

    As for the wiring, everything is labeled an works for me. The golden rule is: My railroad, my rules. I don’t count rivets. Don’t model any era. I just enjoy doing what I do. I grew up around railroads and my father worked twenty years for the B&O and the Curtis Bay yard was two blocks from our house. I enjoy model railroading my way.

  18. Robert Mathisen says:

    This is all nice but my scale is G and I did have a barn to build it.

  19. Andy evans says:

    Atta boy Bob! Funny, the most comments that I see seem to be from folk who have never posted anything regarding their projects. Do what you like, and if you want to run a pink locomotive with an elephant on the tender, go for it!
    As Model Railroader keeps reminding us: ‘model railroading is fun!’

  20. Berniedoc says:

    Bills N scale layout especially the scenery is unbelievable

  21. Robert Brady says:

    Huffy Huffy ; My dad worked for New York Central as a Foreman in the boiler makers shop in Croton On Hudson,NY ( Harmon Yards ) Me as a young man of 8 years old took a F7A diesel and drove it out of shop and in to a staging lane. Naturally the engineer was also there. Pulled the horn 3 pulls.
    Have a nice day Bobby.

  22. Louis F. Caputo says:

    Bill’s water and rock treatment is so natural and inviting! Weathered buildings look lived in! Entire layout has been crafted beautifully & I commend him for a fine job.

  23. Roger says:

    Great doorgate !

  24. Dan Willams says:


    Really like the water channel you made!! You’re right, your train your way. I feel the same.

    Dan, Richmond Virginia.

  25. I like your trackplan, and your shape of the layout is alright, I had on my layout a similar pull-out so I could get to the center, and I concluded that a wrap-around design was much better for my visitors and me.

  26. Warren Cleversy says:

    The control panel wiring looks like a wiring nightmare!! Hopefully you have kept it to a minimum of colors so your able to know what’s for who.

  27. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    I just can’t believe how well N gauge trains can run. I tried N gauge when they first came out and felt that they would never see reliable running, so I went HO. Now at 89 with failing eyesight and Shakey hands, I’ll have to stick with my HO.

  28. Ken Holbrook says:

    This is the first time I’ve read so many negative comments about someone’s layout. If you don’t have the skills to create your own little “fictional reality” layout with lots of switches, lights and accessories, and decide to run a DC train around a Christmas tree then more power to ya! But don’t criticize other peoples layouts by saying they are “scary, dangerous and are a wiring nightmare! I didn’t start my layout with the intent to showcase the wiring underneath, I started it with the intention to create a place to enjoy the fruits of my labor once I was done. The wiring underneath the layout will take the shape of a spaghetti dish as time goes on. But (we) know exactly which wires go where and I’ll bet Bob does too! Have fun with your layout and don’t criticize others…at least not on this forum.

  29. Steve Ruple says:

    Great start Bob, I’m waiting to see more improvement on your layout.
    Awesome video Bill, just love all your layouts. I’m always waiting to see what you come up with next. Awesome job !!!!!!!!!!

  30. Jeff in Seattle says:

    Wow!!! Bob is making a GREAT start to his layout. And I love Bill’s videos! Thanks for the inspiration guys!!! Toot Toot Chug Chug….

  31. robert dale tiemann says:

    good start keep us up on progress.

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