Christmas model train layout

Taz has been in touch with his Christmas model train layout.

I don’t which I enjoyed more – his narrative or his pics:

“Hi Al in all of Al’s followers 

My wife bought us a new Christmas train (she thought it was cute) actually I think it was because I gave away the one, we’ve had for three years. 

Here’s a little story about a town approximately 20 miles South of Whiskey Run. It is called Pleasant Valley.

Pleasant Valley was on the main run through this state as a water stop. As the state grew the lumber companies moved in and made Pleasant Valley loading station for their logging company.

During that time the little town grew slowly. Railroad figured there was going to be quite a town there, so they built a nice station.

Then the logging company called Z Timber lost their lease and moved out. When they moved out, they neglected to take a 0-6-0 engine with them.

The people of Pleasant Valley heard of it through hunters that had seen it up in the timber. Several of them got together, went up looking for it, found it and brought it out.

A banker from New York that comes out here fishing a lot. Heard what they were trying to do with it and found some backers for them. They restored Eileen to its original specs.

They called it Eileen because it leaned to the right just a little, which they could never figure ou why. So that’s how she got her name.

They bought 3 old time passenger cars from a collector up north. Restored them to pristine shape. You know out of all those investors they all want to pay their way when they use Eileen except for one who I don’t want to give you his full name, but his first name is Mike. When he brings his friends out here it’s all for free. 

What were they going to do with Eileen in these cars? When the logging company moved out some investors bought the lease and made a ski run where they had been logging trees. You can’t get there from here by automobile, but the old train line runs down through the valley and up the other side of the mountain and back down to Pleasant Valley.

In the wintertime Eileen makes a trip up to the ski lodge three times a week for three months. In the summer she makes that trip three times a week for four months during the heavy vacation months. 

From here the run takes approximately an hour and a half to the ski lodge. Then from the ski lodge back to Pleasant Valley is approximately an hour. Going up you go through a valley next to the river. passed and under waterfalls here and there.

Coming down is through heavily forested mountains. If you watch hard, you’ll find deer, elk, squirrels, bears occasionally and if you’re lucky you may see a mountain lion.

In Pleasant Valley you’ll find an old fire station that one of the colleges in the state bought and completely refurbished it.

Students from several colleges in the state come down and put on dinner theaters through the summer months, to help with their college expenses. 

You’ll find a small shop owned by the Will twins Zeke and Zach. Their mother had had eight kids and Zeke was supposed to be the last one. That’s why he was named Zeke. But lo and behold he was in there with his brother, so she named him Zach.

If you can’t find something that you need or want, you go to the twins, they’ll find it for you. You need a stick of dynamite to blow out a deep beaver dam or some shotgun shells for your domestic shotgun, they’ll get it for you. If you’re looking for some wacky tobacky they know where it grows. It’s still there in some places from when the railroad was originally built. 

Theodore Torrents owns the hardware store. (We call him TT for short) went out to check on his horse and found that he had gained a cow. Must be Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, she lives up in the valley, In an old log cabin with a burnt-out barn.

She must get lonely up there because she comes down occasionally. (The cow). She had 15 of them before the fire, once in a while the hunter would find one up in the timber someplace. 

Looks like the gas stop is busy today. This cold weather rings in the business for Eddie and his dad. His grandfather started on that corner when the Z logging company was here.

At the old gas pump, you had to pump the gas up into a glass cylinder to tell how many gallons of gas you were selling, then drain it out into the automobile. They had only gas for 20 miles. Eddie and his dad could fix anything that had wheels.

There was a story about an old man White who brought his wagon in to town for supplies. One of the wheels was so loose that it wobbled as he came in.

Eddie’s grandpa took that wheel down to the river threw it in for two days to soak up then brought it back up to the station on and made oak shims to tighten it up and sent old man White on his way. (No charge) Thay get to hunt old man Whites ranch whenever we wanted to. 

The hardware store is owned by T T. He carries almost everything for the farmer and rancher. He sold the Wilsons a nice riding lawn mower last year.

Mr. Wilson kept bringing it back in and said that it was quitting on his wife. T T went out to the house had Mrs. Wilson got on the lawn mower and started mowing. Sure, enough it quit. Mrs. Wilson said that lawn mower doesn’t like me. TT said you just don’t weigh enough to keep the safety down on the seat. I’ll adjust that. No more problems. 

There’s a bus that comes down from Whiskey Run twice a day when Eileen is running. Instead of driving 150 miles around the mountain people come down and ride Eileen up to the ski run in the morning and back down to the depot in the evening. 

The general store also has been here since the logging company. It probably had about 5 owners. They try to keep up with everything. Like virgin olive oil, really hot sauce, pizza dough and the like.

They used to get fresh milk from Mrs. Oleary till the barn burned down. The owners say they’re glad that Whiskey Run has kept the box stores out of their town. It makes for better business down Here. 

I see pastor’s out there with his bulldozer cleaning the parking lot off for Sunday. He lives in Whiskey Run. He comes down here on Sundays with a very good sermon.

He’s also the bartender at summer theaters for the college people. He also runs the patrol when we can’t find anybody else to. He has a small contracting business in Whiskey Run. Very busy person. 

It seems that we can’t keep the fly fishermen off the river during any season or any weather. They just keep coming. They’re good for business though usually they’ll forget something and must get it at the store, or they come down with nothing and clean the store out. What’s that guy doing behind the trailer? You could get fined for that. I would not want to turn one of those canoes over in that icy water. 

Then there’s the weed house. James Weed is a weird real estate person in Whiskey Run. He built that little house down here to get away from everybody. Got married in the church last weekend just before the storm came in. Haven’t seen him or his bride for four days. But they must be OK, there’s smoke coming out of the chimney. My wife told me that she wouldn’t take his last name because she did not want to be called Mary Weed. (Her last name is Thistle). 

So that’s Pleasant Valley, Hope you enjoyed it. I have!! 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a clickety clack 


PS I ran out of white out can’t see my screen anymore”

christmas train layout

Christmas train layout

christmas train layout

christmas train layout

christmas train layout

christmas model railway layout

christmas model railway layout

christmas model railway layout

christmas model railway layout

christmas model railroad layout

christmas model railroad layout

christmas model railroad layout

christmas model train train layout

christmas model train layout

A big thank you to Old Taz for sharing his Christmas train layout. Hope you are all feeling festive!

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you jump on your own model train journey, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

27 Responses to Christmas model train layout

  1. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    So good!! Such an enjoyable story, one can get right into it. Reminds me so much of Garrison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon fictional town. It is also fun to study the layout. I hope Oldtaz (Big R) doesn’t mind my mentioning that it took him just 3 weeks to build this Christmas layout. Just so darn good. Merry Christmas everyone.
    Dick (Liitle r), Hardin Mt USA
    PS That looks like my old ’46 chev at Eddie’s gas station, it was black.when I sold it, Hopefully Eddie will install some good snow tires on that outfit.

  2. Rod Mackay says:

    It must lean a bit because logging engines work along steep slopes and had smaller wheels one side than the other to keep the water level across the tubes. Honest. Well, as honest as I’m Santa Claus. Ho Ho Ho?

  3. Rich B. says:

    I like it, not too many snow theme layouts out there, why not for all year long? Was vanilla frosting used for drifts, good idea for wedding cake.

  4. Jim says:

    A wonderful and well written story. Are you sure that OLDTAZ isn’t Garrison Keiller reincarnated?
    Whatever, I certainly enjoyed the story.

  5. Brian Messenger says:

    Taz, well done with the story of the Christmas layout.
    The layout has some excellent scenes on it which follows your story very well. As one reads it, you feel almost part of the story.
    As Alastair commented, it does bring a smile to my face.
    Merry Christmas to you Taz and family.
    Brian, the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA 🇿🇦

  6. Macbear says:

    A lovely dream from Taz. My much more modest layout has a story, but it’s evolving as is my layout – which I started abut 6 years ago and as a lot of scratch building is done, progress is very slow. I think I’ll start to write the story like Taz.
    Merry Christmas.

  7. Stephen Hill says:

    With a creative mind like that is easy to see how you displays are so fun . Wonderful story , was actually believing it still in the third paragraph. What a delight , thank you . Always look forward to your posts .

  8. Rob McCrain says:

    Great story telling skills. Loved the layout. Themed layouts are always interesting.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  9. david howarth says:

    Well thats a story to wet the appetite , nice layout with the snow giving it that Xmas feeling

  10. Peter Slota says:

    what did you use to make the snow drifts

  11. George Zaky says:

    Old Taz
    Pleasant Valley with the snow outside. It may be cold outside but it is cozy inside. Much thanks for a warm story this time of year and keep creating.

  12. Brian Olson says:

    Love it! Very creative and very festive.

  13. Richard. Smyth says:

    I really enjoyed the narrative.
    I think your ” snow”. looks very realistic .
    How did you do that?
    Thanks again for making me smile !

  14. ALLEN says:

    Great snow scene Taz and loved your story. What did you use to recreate the snow? It looks fantastic!!

  15. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like it. my uncle did something like this in his garden, a long time ago. it was huge, unfortunately my relatives wouldnt let me buy it and destroyed it. yours brings back memories thanks.

  16. OLDTAZ says:

    Thank you all for your nice replies. Snowdrifts were made from one tube of latex caulking, a putty knife and some white paint. Some of the trees were already white, others I used thick white paint drawing down on the tree to leave little piles of snow. The snow on the roofs and the top of Mr. Weed’s car is clay and white paint. I must correct little R, but it took a total of approximately 12 hours not counting drying time. We all miss getting Miss O’Leary’s fresh milk! The community is going to build her a new barn and try to gather up her cows that are spread all over the country. To put her back in business. The display was made so that it could be torn down, packed up and used again next year. Unless I find some young person that is really interested in model trains, I may have to build another one next year.

    Season’s greetings to all and to all a clickety clack.


  17. Eric the Firefighter St. Louis area says:

    Taz, one of the best narratives that go with a layout. Enjoyed it and makes me want to come and visit.

    EricThe firefighter
    St. Louis, Missouri

  18. Mike Matejka says:

    Well done — great story telling! I hope when visitors come they learn the full details!

  19. Dave 435 says:

    I like the way you made the snow plow marks along the roads. Very realistic.

  20. George Moffatt says:

    For cripes sake, dig out the firehouse!!!!!


  21. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    The snow looks real. I miss the snow. I live in South Mississippi along the Gulf Coast.

  22. Will in NM says:

    Great story and a wonderful Christmas layout. I’ve been working on my HO scale Christmas layout since 1997 and it’s never gotten as far along as yours in just 12 hours! I agree that your story telling skills are right up there with Garrison Keillor’s.
    Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas>

  23. Ralph Berry says:

    A great setup Taz.
    It puts us all in the celebratory mood.
    Merry Christmas everyone and happy modeling.

  24. ROGER TURNER says:

    To Oldtaz
    Fantastic story, you have a great imagination and are a great storyteller, I really enjoyed reading it.

    Regards and MERRY CHRISTMAS

    Roger in Kansas

  25. Tom Provo says:

    I absolutely loved the story, especially as my wife is Eileen.

  26. Milton Beimler says:

    Old Taz
    Thank you so much for that heart warming Christmas story with pictures. You should publish it as a short story. You do have a talent. I wish my layout looked half as good as yours and I have been working on mine for over 12 years. Keep up the wonderful work. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Please keep your wheels turning on the tracks.

    Milton B. in Va. USA

  27. Dave Karper says:

    I have to add my say. Fantastc job on the snow!!!

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