N scale cabinet layout plans

John has been in touch with his N scale cabinet layout plans:

“I am 78 been playing with trains for about 75 of those years the lay out I have now started about 15 years or so ago

The HO is my main inters two main building are plastic two are wood kits the rest is scratch built

The N gage is housed in a cabinet the idea would be great for an office or small apartment

If you are interested in more pictures I can take as many as you like


N scale cabinet layout plans

N scale cabinet layout plans

My HO:

model train

model railroad

model train

John’s cabinet railroad reminds me of Steve’s layout – he built around his sofa in his living room.

“It’s too cold to do much with my South Wales layout in the garage, even tho it’s insulated and heated.

I’m actually in the process of changing the back scene to give it a makeover, but have not operated it since before Christmas.

I have re- vamped the shunting puzzle I built 18mths ago, it’s been standing on edge for over a year. I bought a DCC diesel to use on it and created a factory back scene. I’ve also put some ground cover to make it more realistic and I can operate it at my desk indoors, in the warm.

The points are operated by brass rods above the baseboard but hidden under a plinth with a Nissan hut on top. A second hut hides the DCC control box. The 3 uncouplers are operated by coffee stirrers which are pivoted to push the ramps up.

I’ve had great fun using it and it’s good for keeping my old brain ticking

The DCC sound makes it more interesting too.

Hope you like it

Best wishes


Far Nissan hut has power cable visible. Outlet other Side to bus bar”

shunting puzzle

shunting puzzle

shunting puzzle

(All images are clickable by the way).

A huge thanks to John for sharing his N scale cabinet layout plans, and to Alan too.

Alan got me thinking, I’ve only ever published two shunting puzzles, this one and Cameron’s.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And whether it is scenery or running trains that is your thing, 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.

24 Responses to N scale cabinet layout plans

  1. Dave Baker says:

    I would love to see more N site trains. I have a 1952 Flyer, and it runs great.

  2. Ash says:

    Nice concepts. I like these.

  3. Rod Mackay says:

    Could I just point out that it’s a Nissen hut (with an E) and not in any way connected with a certain Japanese automotive company, it was the invention of a Major Nissen of the RE around the time of WW1.

  4. NJ Mark says:

    I love the cabinet layout. But my eyes limit me to HO scale, unfortunately. Thanks for the great photos!! Cheers! NJ Mark

  5. Louis Di Girolamo says:

    Ciao: A beautiful cabinet and simple enjoyment at a fraction of the coast of a large layout. Lou , MD

  6. Frank Snyder says:

    Wow I love the cabinet n scale layout!

    John that is absolutely ingenious now every time I go to the Sheraton I’ll be wanting to buy their cabinet. I would love to see more pictures of the N scale sincerely Frank Snyder

  7. Terry Miller says:

    I tried a cabinet layout once…but the trains kept falling off the track when I put it away.

  8. Thomas says:

    Nice! What are the dimensions of the cabinet, and of the actual fold-down panel that the layout is built on? Did you build the cabinet or purchase it commercially?

    I say again–NICE!

  9. wes delano says:

    Nissan hut? I don’t think so, thats a Quonset hut named after Quonset Point Rhode
    Island where they were built during W.W.2. My aunt & uncle lived in one while they
    built their house in Ashland Massachusetts in the early 50’s

  10. Paul Selwyn Otway says:

    Nice shunting layout , YOu could make one using an ironing board.

  11. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great photos. the wardrobe concept looks great.

  12. Ian says:

    Nice! Thank You for sharing

  13. Cameron says:

    Nice layouts by both John and Alan,
    A layout in a cupboard is a great idea. I haven’t seen one done like that before. Ingenious.
    Ålans shunting puzzle is a very nice piece of modelling.
    Great posts guys.

  14. Kurt Koenigs says:

    Just think what you could do with a Modern Murphy Bed.

  15. Steve Collis says:

    Love the idea of the ironing board, may try that for my next layout, or why not now?

    Steve Collis

  16. Thomas Murphy says:

    Wow John! You certainly have my admiration and appreciation for your superb work. It’s folks like you who keep us “old geezers” interested in model railroading. Thank you so much!
    Regards, Tom (age 71) USA

  17. Dr. Bob says:

    Very nice John! Have not seen a good cabinet layout in many years and I see you have not given up on an age old tradition. By the way, beautiful cabinetry work! Did you build yourself? Keep up the great work!

  18. wow the ‘layout inna cabinett’ is priceless
    now THERE’S a guy who knows how to build a model railroad Pike…!!
    much detail and ‘not just a flat board train’ layout….
    I’ve got one comin’ for ya all to see soon……
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif…

  19. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Ingenious layout in a creative package.

  20. Those definitely are “Quonset huts”. The Navy Seabees invented those during WW2 to make up for a shortage of housing. They were lightweight but strong, easy to carry materials to a job site, and, did not require any internal bracing. They were loosely based on the design of the Native American longhouses. The actual base for the Seabees is at Davisville, Rhode Island which is adjacent to the now closed Quonset Point Naval Air Station. I was stationed there during the late 60’s when it was still operating. By the way, there was one railroad track heading into the area that just before it entered the gates, it had a turnout with one track heading into the naval air station going past a HUGE fuel storage depot and the other going into the Seabee facility. I could go on with more of the history of those huts but……
    Norm Lawrence in York, PA

  21. P. J. Mercer says:

    Great inspiration for one who now is ready to begin a build! The cabinet idea is perfect and solves the question for me of how to build and where to place it.

    So, after following Al for several years now with the compilation a multitude of ideas and tips along the way I no longer have an excuse not to begin! Hopefully in the near future I can post a photo or two of a “Blue Comet” based N-scale layout housed nicely in a cabinet. Keep inspiring we retired little boys!
    PJM, Lakewood, NJ (former site of a gorgeous station for the majestic ol Blue Comet)

  22. Wayne Mount says:

    You have nice stuff

  23. Ross Herbert says:

    Neat layouts.
    However, I really like the cabinet layout idea.
    I may have missed it in your narrative, but would you please let me know where you found it and who the manufacturer is.

  24. robert dale tiemann says:

    i have done a drawer type disply before, it was a lot of fun, i miss it. the cabinet one i tried, the trains wouldnt stay on the track but i just left it open.

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