G scale railroad layout plan – Cary’s

“My name is Cary from Crestwood Kentucky. I’m 52 years old and started collecting a G Scale railroad layout when my son was small.

I always wanted to do a G scale railroad layout but it seemed impossible without adding an addition to my house. I finally decided to do an outdoor layout.

I’ve been preparing the ground for the last few summers, in the winter months I’ve been building structures, vehicles and painting people which has been great fun!

For buildings, I’m using concrete backer board for the base and roof. I’m using real shingles, exterior house paint and lots and lots of construction adhesive and caulk.

Hope you enjoy these photos, I look forward to sharing more with you as this project develops.

My first project was this church. The walls are birch plywood that I cut vertical grooves in with my table saw to give the look of planking.

I lapped the shingles, but have since found a better method. As you can see I didn’t attempt real windows on this first project.

g scale railroad layout church

The water tower started with a large coffee can and planking I ripped on my table saw. This was my first attempt at building trestle and I was pleased with the result. That’s the fun with a G scale railroad layout!

g scale railroad layout watertower

The train station is plywood with planks glued on the outside. I tried windows using some thin plexi-glass. Still not the effect I was hoping for but a step closer. The shingles turned out much better by just gluing them down flat and covering the seams with a thin piece of shingle.

I use construction adhesive on the shingles but also use hot glue when corners flip up, the hot glue dries fast and holds the edges in position until the adhesive dries.


The figures are 1/24 scale from Ebay/China. they were inexpensive and have a reasonable amount of detail. The luggage is blocks of wood with wire formed for handles.

g scale model railroad passengers

My most recent and most ambitious project is this two story hotel with shops on either side. The walls are birch plywood and I used a router on the back side to mill out around the windows so the interior of the window would not be too thick.

The window panes are painted onto the Plexiglas.

The signs are also caulked and glued under plexi-glass and lightly airbrushed with dull coat to remove the gloss.

You can have a lot of fun with a G scale railroad layout.

g scale model railroad store front

g scale model railroad layout store


I always make the roofs removable so I can make repairs and look for critters once the buildings are outdoors.

g scale model railroad layout house

g scale model railroad engine

I found a 1/24 scale covered wagon on ebay, not a great kit, but the horses are very detailed.

The truck was a 1/24 scale Ertl die cast coin bank I picked up for $8. I removed the tanker on the back, painted it, added a flat bed and a figure. Good detail, made of metal to hold up outdoors, and inexpensive…..I’ll be looking for more of these!

The thing with a G scale railroad layout is the size gives you lots of scope.



Thanks to Alastair for his emails, it’s always interesting to see what others are doing.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my G scale railroad layout.


“Here’s a quick introduction and some first videos of my current N-scale layout which is under construction.

Like many modelers my age (I’m 74), I started out when I was young with a Lionel train set that my parents gave my brother and me. It was a typical oval with an internal route using two switches. Within a couple of years, I had mounted the track on a 4×8 sheet of plywood painted green, set in a paper mache tunnel, and added a few buildings.

It was my first and only “compete” layout. I spent hours running the train and setting off cars at the siding. (I would give anything to have photos, but back then we didn’t photograph much.) A couple of years later I tore up the track and started to rebuild the layout; we moved and it was never completed.

Over the next 40 years I started at least five HO- and N-scale layouts. None were completed and only one was built to the point that trains were running.

Twenty years ago, I began a large G-scale outdoor railroad that, although trains were running most of the time, I never considered complete. Also the changing weather in northern New Mexico where I live (temperatures go from 100 deg F in the summer to -10 deg F in the winter) caused the track to continually move about, necessitating frequent rebuilds. Worse, elk and deer would come through my back yard to drink at the pond, ripping up the track. Finally, it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to get down on my knees to work on it. So it is on hold for awhile.

About a year ago I discovered your site and was intrigued with the multitude of beautiful model railroads. I became determined to finally complete a layout. I purchased the Woodland Scenics “Scenic Ridge” N-scale kit which included everything needed to build a 3×6 layout using their system. (I highly recommend their products for building light weight plaster cloth and foam layouts.) My rational was, if I got everything at once, I might complete it. I also bought their “Town and Factory” building kit with everything needed to build 13 buildings.

After about eight months, the first stage of the 3×6 layout is virtually complete and trains are running. The scenery is mostly done and about half the buildings are put together and painted. I followed the original track plan (which can be seen on the Woodland Scenic website), but added three additional sidings: one to the factory and two in the yard shown on the bottom of the videos. This will allow some switching action.

But, of course, nothing stays the same. Now I am starting a second stage which will more than double the actual track, plus add a hidden three track staging area. I’ll also continue to work on the first stage, improving the scenery and adding people and vehicles.

More to follow from across the pond,


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Two wonderful narratives today – a big thanks to Dean and Cary – quite a G scale railroad layout. What a project!

And as Cary said, it’s wonderful to see what you are all up to. If you compare today’s post with last time, you really do get a feel of all the different styles and scales.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if you’re still watching from your armchair, and want to get involved, 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.

31 Responses to G scale railroad layout plan – Cary’s

  1. Ralph Berry says:

    Some wonderful ideas there Cary. That suitcase is very convincing, I cant wait to try it out.

  2. Richard says:

    Great to see others using G scale. I would like to see more of the railway outside as I am building a garden railway. The buildings are super. It gives some good ideas.
    Richard. England

  3. thomas says:

    I have both G scale and N scale… had to comment about the N scale video… I have the same layout “scenic ridge” I love it and highly recommend it for a beginner n scale layout… I however extended off of mine by adding 3 extra rails to the outside of it… whoever built the one in the video did a great job following the track plan though!!!
    For my G scale I just have a bland loop outside in the garden… I haven’t played with either in some time though…
    Switched the scenic ridge from DC to DCC and can run 4 trains at once for a total of 14- 16 locomotives…

  4. Mike T says:

    Cary: The G scale you done looks great. I like the buildings & use of old cars on your layout. I run in N scale & do the same by finding old cars & buildings that I can re make.Is a lot of fun to see what you can do with what someone else thinks is no good. Keep up good work

  5. Dave Cook says:

    On the “N” scale layout, why is the train running at what would look to be a scale speed of 100 mph or more?

  6. Cary Price says:

    Hi Richard, Not much to show on the outdoor railroad yet. Just piles of dirt and a few retaining walls. Hope to finish up the ground work and run power this summer and start laying track spring 2017. I’ll do another post later this year with outdoor progress. Thanks for the interest and good luck on your project! Cary

  7. dewaine says:

    nice one can’t wait to see it finished.

  8. Jose says:

    Hi I am new at these i started las october of 2015 these was in my mind for 50 years and finaly at 68 i starded would like to send a pic of my layouts

    i have no idea how to?

  9. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Very nice G layout..Amazing the amount of detail you can get…Your building progress shows well…Mike

  10. William says:

    Do you mean “G Guage”? And to what scale are you modeling?

  11. Dave Ewing says:

    Hi Cary, enjoyed your snap shots. Liked the Springfield Inn and especially the window treatment.
    Dave in Eden, NC

  12. dave says:

    Hey Cary hope to see it in person I’m in Indiana near Laconia and am building a garden rail way also I am using rolled 1 inch angle steel for curves same for the straight sections will look like the trains in the city it will be elevated 24 inches off the ground so I can mow under it the uprights H beam 3 inch set in concrete Have you seen the rail road near Greenville IN ?? he opens it to the public a few times a year Dave e mail thru my website link if you wish

  13. Cary says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments…….

    G Scale refers to the distance between the rails (about 2 inches). However different manufacturers produce different scales that run on this 2″ wide track. Bachmann produces theirs in 1/22.5 scale while Aristocraft produces theirs in 1/29 scale. I have both and build my structures to 1/24 scale. I look for figures, vehicles etc…. in either 1/24 or 1/25 scale.

    In regards to submitting a post, this was my first. I put my photos and text into a word document and emailed to Alastair.

    In regards to the Garden Railroad in Greenville IN, no I’ve not seen it but just found some video on it, thanks for the tip! I could not find anything as far as upcoming open house so if you have some more, that would be great. Also what’s your website, maybe we can hook up.

    Thanks, Cary

  14. Terrific G scale stuff!!
    I have a buncha G scale myself, but no yard so I just set it up in the living room…
    the N scale video is awesome….nice detail…you N scalers have a lot more patience than ANY of us other modelers…!!
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn from long beach calif

  15. Ian Mc Donald says:

    the buildings look great very interested in seeing the track layout.nice video good to see trains working.

  16. paul Otway says:

    Great looking railway

  17. Ray Suckling says:

    Hi Dean, the layout looks quite good. Is there any chance of posting a track plan as I am interested in seeing how it all fits together. Ray………

  18. Chuck Leech says:

    Cary: I am most impressed with your “scratch” buidlings on your G layout. I confess most of the buildings I buy I et at the couple of train shows we ahve here in Northern Vermont, which are laser kits that the maker has already assembled and painted. I just finished a Pikestuff N scale single engine house, and I will confess when it;s done it will look like a building thats seen it’s better days. For building’s now if I put them together I will stick to Walthers or Woodland Scenice kits. I really like the woodland scenics lay out, and as for the high speed operation, hell I like running them fast myself at times. I hope to post some pictures of my N scale in construction layout soon. I’ve been keeping shots of the progress, and am at the begining of the scenery stages now. Track is down and trains are running.

    Chuck Leech

  19. John Reynolds says:

    Amazing builds on the G-Scale structures….

  20. Joe Wright says:

    Thank you Cary for taking the time to post this. Looks like your hard work is paying off.

  21. Daniel says:

    Great N scale!!! Keep them running!
    Massachusetts MBTA modeler!

  22. Jon Fourre says:

    Love.themN scale layout. I, too, am 66 years,young and building my fourth model railroad. My wife finally gave,me the small bedroom and in it I installed two 33 by 72 doors in an “L” configuration and using two track plans I,found online, I’m building an N scale “empire”. Three main lines, a mountain scene and a cityscape. As it moves forward I’ll,be sure,to,send,photos.

    AL: could you provide instructions on how to send you pics and videos? Thanks in advance.

    Jon in Green Brook, New Jersey

    Any other modelers in Green Brook, Dunellen, Piscataway, Middlesex, Warren or Watchung want to join forces, the railroad,will have,tons of,operational possibilities. Main job: model late 1940”s and 1950’s steam transition with lots of both regional freight and,especially freight service to local towns and industries. So if you’d want to model CNJ, Lehigh Valley, Delaware and Raritan, DL&W, Pennsylvania and B&O, I’ve,got A DCC .setup that could handle 6 to 10 engines simultaneously. Respond to,this post if you have any zinterest.w

  23. Herman Weir says:

    I would like to meet Cary of Crestwood KY. I too like G -scale RR Trains.
    and I have several pieces .At one time I had A lay out to run my trains.,now they are back in the boxes..I moved and down sized,no place for a layout.

    I am located in LaGrange KY

  24. John Stepzinski says:

    Hi, I am about your age. I started with Standard Gauge. That is probably I am still in G scale. We bought a different house last year, so I am building a Train Room out of our storage room. I have emailed with some of the other modelers over the years. Now I am looking to find new contacts.

  25. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Cary…… that is fantastic work. Buildings and scenery and figures look great. Excellent job……please send pictures when it is up and running outdoors.

    Dean……nice job……great looking mountain scenery….but one recommendation…….slow down your train speed.

  26. Robert Burke says:

    “Dave Cook says: at 2:01 pm. On the “N” scale layout, why is the train running at what would look to be a scale speed of 100 mph or more?”

    Hi Dave and anyone else, including me, who find that the trains are often going too fast; if you click on the video settings (the little cog at the bottom of the video screen), you can adjust the playback speed. I find 50% works – and gives twice the watching time – but experiment and see what you prefer.

    Thanks Al, and all the contributors and commenters who make this such a great site. I look forward to each email.

    Cheers from New Zealand
    Bob Burke

  27. Chuck Laluby says:

    Hi Gary, wonderful ideas, I envy you because I’ve been collecting for years mapinly LGB/USA /bldgs and cars since 1988. I’ve now gone into “narrow guage” collecting all G guage so I have about 75 cars to pass on to some other enthusiest collector

  28. Erick says:

    Pretty neat, I like the idea of it all.

  29. Great work on both layouts. Some creative ideas.

  30. Bill Sweet says:

    I have a couple too many hobbies. G Scale is one of them. Just beautiful pictures you posted. Congratulations. — Bill

  31. Central NH says:

    Very nice. Would love to know dimensions of the building’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *