HO scale roundhouse and turntable

Brian’s been in touch with his HO scale roundhouse and turntable. Stunning stuff:

“Hi Alastair

A few photos of my 99% completed HOn3 Roundhouse with all the lights fitted both inside and outside. Maybe add a bit more detail on the outside and some more weathering (dirt) on the floor inside.

Next project connected to this is the installation of the turntable.

That’s all for now.

All the best.


engine house

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

ho scale roundhouse and turntable

A big thanks to Brian – his last post is here.

“Hi Al,

Here is a little story about a brick from railroad lore and its travels before it finally came home.

In the early 1970’s I took my first professional post at Hartwick College, in Oneonta, NY (USA) which was also a major connection for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, said by many to be the oldest running transportation company in the country.

It also claimed to have the worlds largest roundhouse, @ 52 stalls, completed in 1916.

As my dad was an avid railroad fan I took a trip down to the yards to get inspiration for a Christmas gift. Sadly, all that remained of the roundhouse was 14 stalls and piles of bricks from the original structure.

I decided to liberate a brick and took it downtown to Jim Konstanty’s sporting goods store (Konstanty was a baseball legend for the 1950 “Whiz Kids” of the Philadelphia Phillies.) to have a plaque made – “Brick from the worlds largest roundhouse etc” Dad could add this to his growing railroad china collection that he was amassing from US and international railroads. He wrote about many of those procurements in his autobiography, Scorekeeper for the Angels (2005).

Dad loved the brick and sometimes took it with him to his “Romance of the Railroad” talks he often gave. (Dad was a Methodist minister so had ample speaking opportunities.) The brick was part of his collection for 35 years.

Dad passed away in 2007 and in 2009 mother had an appraiser come to make an offer on dads collection of Lionel trains, railroad china, and memorabilia. I held back some trains for my sons and the 150th anniversary D & H dining service plate but totally forgot the brick. How stupid was that?

Fast forward to 2016. I was preparing for a long trip but was doing some research for my own model railroad. I had just retired and was looking forward to getting my version of the Delaware and Hudson up and running. When I dropped “Oneonta Roundhouse” into my search engine, up popped an eBay ad touting, “Brick from the worlds largest roundhouse.” I was instantly intrigued and when I clicked on the image, up popped an image of dad’s brick. I gave a HOOT that I am sure my neighbors heard.

I was hard pressed for time in preparation for leaving, and a total neophyte on eBay, so at the asking price of $59.99 I figured and hoped that the brick would still be there upon my return.

After my return I immediately checked on the brick, it was still there; “Phew !!” so I contacted the seller with the note ” I have the provenance for this brick” and I told her the story. She got back to me promptly and was delighted to know the story. I offered her $25, but she paid more for it, so she countered with $40, and I said: “done deal.”

The brick now sits on my desk in our den. Apparently, the brick had traveled from auction to auction and she said this item was the only item that interested her.

The auction was in North Jersey, an hour from my folks southern Jersey home.

Waconia MN USA”

A huge thanks to Dan for taking the time to send that in – a wonderful story.

A big thanks to Brian too for sharing his HO scale roundhouse and turntable.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day stop dreaming and start doing, 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.

33 Responses to HO scale roundhouse and turntable

  1. dangerous daveErmnie has done a nice jhob says:

    Brians roundhouse is first class , so much detail been added , very nice ..dangerous Dave

  2. Peter Bayley-bligh says:

    Both the workshop and the story of the brick were great.

  3. James Malins says:

    The Roundhouse is a wonderful piece of work, demonstrating true skill. Well done.

  4. Colin says:

    Internal detail a Labour if love on the roundhouse. Little wi be visible from outside especially with locos inside. Well done

  5. Paul Case says:

    Brian did you build the roundhouse from scratch? Great story about the brick BTW.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Brian, I am looking at your pictures on my iPhone. I had to enlarge the photograph to realize it was actually a model! Beautiful work in the inside lighting is magnificent.

  7. Martin Van Laarhoven says:

    The incredible detail makes for a very realistic photos. I would like to learn more about his photography techniques!
    The brick story is great: congrats on getting the brick back Dan.

  8. Cary B says:

    Brian’s roundhouse engine house building is awesome. The detail is super.
    Dan’s story about the brick was such a great tribute to his Dad. I’m heading to the internet to buy his dads book.
    Thank you for your site Alastair, the connections you share are precious.

    Cary B

  9. Appookta says:

    When I saw the first picture, I thought I was looking at Brian’s room that his model was to be set up in! Then I looked “around” and realized this was inside one of the model buildings. So real!

    Thanks everyone who answer my question yesterday about the 100′ size trees in N-scale. Very helpful and encouraging.

  10. TOO COOL!!

  11. bob says:

    Love the brick story

  12. bill g says:

    when it takes a second look to discern that it is indeed a model you truly have created something incredible. nothing is out of place. very well done

  13. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    WOW…WOW…AND MORE WOW FOR THE ROUNDHOUSE….TOO “REAL”…And a very neat story about the brick…Thanks to both…Mike

  14. steve says:

    awesome roundhouse.

  15. dave says:

    Very nice round house !! don’t dirty it up much The people that worked in them took pride in there housekeeping from keeping tools put back and equipment cleaned to sweeping the floors that’s a really well equipped one how about a back shop added to it later with all the heavy machine tooling to rebuild the parts from the locomotives BTW in the one pic is that a Shay ?? offset boiler on one .

  16. Allan Jelinek says:

    Really cool! Nice Job !

  17. Johnny says:

    Brian after working for almost 42 years for the AT & SF Railroad, and the BNSF, I can remember, even going to the San Bernardino, California Round house with my Dad back in the 50’s. The interior is a really good representation of what it really might have looked like. The amount of light was not quite that bright. Real good job, from a old Railroader.

  18. Paul Selwyn Otway says:

    Love the round house. Very detatailed inside.

  19. Brian Messenger says:

    Thanks for all the great compliments about the Roundhouse.
    Answer to question one, the Roundhouse is kitbashed from a HO Kibri kit by cleaning up the inside windows and adding a very thin white plastic sheet to hide the molding marks on the wall. Then added a scribbled wood floor.
    Answer to question two, the photographs were taken with my cellphone, a Samsung J7 pro with a 13 megapixel camera set at the standard settings.
    My Background, I worked as a tool maker in a machine shop for 7 years therefore have a good idea of what a workshop interior would look like. Alistair did post photos of my 2 Stall engine house some time back which was fully detailed inside as well. – Brian

  20. Don Jennings says:

    The Round House is in deed beautiful. So much so that if you are an member of the National Model Railroad Association, you should enter the structure in a model contest

  21. Larry says:

    Brian, the brick story is delightful. If you want to see a roundhouse of those proportions have a look around Nevers France, on Google Maps. From what I can see ther are 2 there of nearly 50 stalls apiece that appear to be still in use.

    Cheers, Larry

  22. A truly blest brick! This reminds me of a story I once heard regarding a silver “brick” shipment at Air Express. All the bricks were accounted for except one. This was reported to the insurance company as a stolen silver brick. OK. Years went past when someone in the office noticed a weird looking doorstop. Upon examining it, under a coat of old grey paint it was discovered to be pure silver. After many years, thought to be stolen, the “brick” had been used all along as a door stop.
    The HOn3 round house is beautiful. I love seeing the old roundhouse and the engine facilities at Martinsburg, West Virginia.
    D.J.Radanovich, Milwaukee.

  23. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    Enjoyed Dan’s brick story and happy to see you got it back, and the silver brick story from dominic’s reply I enjoyed reading..
    And Brian’s roundhouse……wow!!! So good.

  24. Jeff says:

    That is a fantastic story about the brick and you roundhouse has absolutely beautiful detail! Seeing posts like this is truly inspiring.

  25. Jim Turner says:

    Enjoyed the model roundhouse and the brick story. My grandfather was a machinist for NYC in Albany and worked on the famous #999 now in Chicago museum. On a nostalgic drive up the Hudson I found out the Albany train yard is long gone but my respect for the men who keep those engines going is not. Just got my trains out of boxes after 50 yrs. This site was the impetus!

  26. Brian Rockey says:

    Incredible modelling Brian – just outstanding detail.
    Wonderful story of the brick Dan – glad you got it back in the family.
    Best to all.
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  27. Jim Donovan says:

    That is an amazing roundhouse, well done. The brick tale is a nice RR story.

  28. Jerry says:

    Wow! Brian’s roundhouse details are a powerful inspiration for how I can detail my 9-stall Heljan roundhouse that will remain unbuilt for several years! (I am finally ready to build the room for my layout that has been waiting on my retirement.) Many thanks to Brian for sharing!

    Dan’s brick from Oneonta, New York carries some nostalgia for me, mainly because I used to railfan along the Delaware & Hudson with a buddy when we were in high school. Our family had property in Decatur, NY, about 30 miles away from Oneonta and I would fall asleep nights listening to the 3- chime diesel horns as they traveled up and down the valley. Thanks Dan for adding history to my nostalgia! I never knew the D&H had a 52 stall roundhouse!

    Best to everyone who has added to my enjoyment of Alas site for so many years!

  29. Prentice Short says:

    Impressed is an understatement for your roundhouse. I am a lover of details and put many hours into a building, mostly interior, which is quite a feat in n scale. Can’t wait to see how you detail turntable. Loved the brick story and so glad you were able to recover what I would call a family heirloom. That story should be put on another brass plate and kept together.

    Best wishes,
    Prentice in Indiana

  30. james says:

    The Roundhouse modelling is 1st class. I am so impressed by the work and skill that has gone into the building of it. Inspirational

  31. Mike Buturla says:

    Great stories about the roundhouse and brick.
    About the brick, my son’s Mother & Father-in-Laws both lived in and worked at Hartwick College in Oneonta NY. as a basket ball coach and office administrator. We live in Ct and would like to communicate with Dan to see if he knew them.
    Can you put us in touch with Dan if possible?
    Thanks Al,
    Mike in Voluntown CT.

  32. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice closeups. i like the design .

  33. R J Miller says:

    Very detailed and true to scale. You should be proud of your fine work.

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