HO scale city layout

Bob’s been in touch with his new HO scale city layout:

“Hi Alistair,

I’ve finally begun the new SLO&W.

After 7 years in boxes, I’ve completed all of my new benchwork and laid down about 40% of the track and cork roadbed.

Unfortunately I never made a video of the old layout.

Here are a few photos of my progress on the new layout.

It’s still very much a work in progress.

I will have more updates to share with everyone later.

My theme will HO scale city layout but will still include a trestle and bridge as well as some rockwork and detailed scenery…there will be a lot more structures as there will be more of a focus on switching…the layout’s smaller footprint will limit the size of any trains I can run.

My new layout occupies an area about 14′ x 16′ (the old one was in two rooms each one bigger in area than the new train room).


HO scale city layout

HO scale city layout

HO scale city layout

HO scale city layout

HO scale city layout

A big thanks to Bob for sharing his HO scale city layout.

Now on to Eric (you can see his previous post here).

“Hi Alastair

Just a short movie from the rails, Lots of things to see when moving around the layout.

So keep your eyes open on the layout, not all the fire memorabilia throughout the room and you might see the recovered Titanic propellers on a flat car, rabbit hunters, robo’s hitching a ride, a signal light that fell over and a foam seam that did not get covered with ground cover.

So watch the clip and keep an eye out.

Thanks Al for all your hard work and all the information that your subscribers share.

Eric The Firefighter, St. Louis Area, Missouri

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

A big thanks to Bob and Eric.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to create your masterpiece without all the mistakes.



27 Responses to HO scale city layout

  1. Nice view using the mini cam .Eric , they do let you see part os a layout that normally you miss …Dangerous Dave

  2. Brian Rockey says:

    Wow Eric, that is a serious man-cave, and a great layout. Nice video.
    Brian, Wokingham, Berks, UK

  3. Roger.... Kentucky says:

    Great video, great job…..well done!


    fantastic video – thanks

  5. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow that’s a great video and a great job on your layout!!!! P.S. from one firefighter to another great job on the room you have your trains in brother !!!!!

  6. Colin Johnstone says:

    Loved the layout. Keeps you guessing where it will next.

    Also interested in the fire service display. Is it part of a museum?

  7. Ed Eggers says:

    Awesome video great layout
    North Carolina us

  8. Larry Ripplinger says:

    Nice ride through the layout! Do you remember a fire fans club called “The Box Eight Club?” My
    Uncle was a member.
    I as born and raised in South St Louis many years ago..

  9. Elliott says:

    i was wondering if most people use a dummy engine when i see them with two back to back running or are both engines powered

  10. NJ Mark says:

    Great work to both! Eric what kind of camera did you use? The video was awesome. Cheers! NJ Mark

  11. Lawren ce Mercier says:

    Very impressive

  12. Jim AZ says:

    Very nice. Always appreciate a great cab ride. And to Bob, you’ve a lot going on there and it’s looking good.

    Jim AZ

  13. Robert Brady says:

    Thanks for the ride on your train,Fantastic. Great Job their Eric, U da man-man!
    The Critic

  14. Terry Sipe says:

    Bob, Even at the work in progress stage it looks great. I loved the Aermotor factory. I researched Aermotor wind wheels when I scratch built one for may farm. You are doing a great job at blending the scenery into the backdrop. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your updates.
    Eric, Great layout. The ride down the pike was a real treat. Thanks

  15. Wow! Forgive me, but wow! I am just getting back into model railroading and every time I turn around. I keep seeing amazing things people have done with their layouts and I am so impressed by the level of skill these people have! Take Bob here, for example, he did a great job of going from fall colors in the trees and stuff. Then he transitions from fall into the desert with really cool looking cacti in his layout! Great job!

  16. Danofive0 says:

    WOW! Very cool.

  17. Gary M Sedovic says:

    Eric the firefighter eh? First, I thought I would be watching just another model rr video. Then, just as the video was about to begin, I noticed all of the fiefighter memorabilia hanging on the walls. THAT peaked my interest and I thought hmmm. At the end of the video (which was VERY impressive) I thought I should drop you a line of appreciation and congratulations on all of your hard work. THEN I saw that you’re a firefighter from the St. Louis area. My career was with the St. Louis City Fire Department as a dispatcher at Fire Alarm (1970 – 2004). I was very impressed with all of your hard work. Your layout is very well done.

  18. joseph coco says:

    Joe from mass. nice looking layout Great job my friend.

  19. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Nice Video Very nice layout and Thank You for Your service to the Fire Department!

  20. Ron Schultz says:

    Loved my “ride on the train” from the cab . Bing al old retired fire chief , I had to ride it a second time . the boots coming down the pole and the firefighter on the aerial are
    a great addition to the fire – train room .

  21. Don says:

    Very nice layout. Would like to see the two separate maybe on an incline and one move over the other and then join back together again. However, it still is a really nice layout! Good job!

  22. Bill McSweeney says:

    Love to hear about the fire background
    My wife and I have 40 years in the fire service as well as being train enthusiasts

  23. Eric Kiehl says:

    Hello I have answered questions that were ask and here they are.

    Thank you for the time.

    Eric the Firefighter 🚒

    So here we go,

    Colin Johnstone answer:

    Yes it was part of a museum that we operated in St. Louis County Missouri in a Mills mall that donated a store front with about 3200 square feet.
    The museum lasted 8 yrs. before the mall was closed. We displayed 68 Firefighters personal items, all being different and going back to the 1800’s to present, Over 70 Firefighters volunteered to staff the museum. We also taught fire safety education for children and prevetion.

    Larry Rippling answer:

    Larry some of my friends were in the Box 8 Club. Some even helped and displayed their item’s in the museum mentioned above. We also sold some of the tshirts they would sell to raise funds.
    What is your uncles name?

    Elliott’s answer:

    I use dummy locomotives because it is hard to match power engines pace unless you are DCC.
    So I change out the plastic wheel sets with metal wheel sets so the run smooth and true.

    NJ Mike’s answer:

    I us my fire helmet cam from work.
    It is sold by Firecam in Belleville Illinois. http://www.firecam.com, model is FireCam Mini.
    I mount it on a flat car with rubber bands and a foam mount to get it level and push it along with the locomotive.

    Thank you for the questions and we will continue to firefight and play with trains.

    Eric the Firefighter from. St. Louis Area.

    Also check out the Hobby Shop were I work Part time at


  24. Dave Karper says:

    I just got around to watching Eric the Firefighter’s video. I like the aerial ladder at the entrance. Nice work done on the railroad. Also, Eric, check out Fairfield Collectibles for fire engines, not HO scale, but very nicely done. The Ahrens Fox gives me heart palpitations. I’m retired Baltimore, Maryland Fire Department tillerman, Truck 17. Alistaire, you may pass my EMail address to Eric.

  25. Brian Olson says:

    I like the “corner” building in the first picture. I have something similar, a great way to blend corners on the backdrops.

  26. TJK says:

    Nice ride Eric.
    Enjoyed the fire artifacts as well.

  27. R B says:

    I didn’t see any turnouts. Are there any that I missed?

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