Christmas tree train layout

Rick has been in touch with is Christmas tree train layout.

I think there’s something quite special about it – you can tell he’s having bags of fun with it and spreading the joy of a train layout. And that’s all that counts.


My Brother-in-Law Fred Hughes from North Carolina brought your website to my attention.

He recently suggested I send along some photos of my multi-gauge Christmas layout, which changes thematically over a three year period.

This is the year of the 1960’s aluminum trees (three of them on my platform) circled by O, O-27, S and Classic HO trains dating from that era and various Plasticville and tinplate structures.

The layout is basic and pure fantasy with trains running via conventional power.

I set it up purely for the joy of running classic model trains – some old and some new – for me and for guests visiting over the Holidays.

I offer the following tour of this year’s Christmas layout.

christmas tree train layout

I have 3 ovals of track for the trains and a figure-eight for a trolley winding its way through a Plasticville village, and an Alpine village I picked up real cheap at a tag sale. The kind of “eclectic” arrangement my Dad would have made back in the day!

christmas tree train layout

I change the trains throughout the season and even have a special Christmas train for the grandkids on the big day. On the O Gauge loop I am currently featuring the sleek Lionel Santa Fe train I received when I was 5 years old. I still remember that Christmas morning and how stunning the train appeared then (it still does). It is great to have enjoyed something as a little kid that I can still enjoy as an old man.

model railroad locomotive

The Lionel Trolley I received when I was 6 or 7 years old negotiates the sharper O-27 curves in the figure 8, serving residents and businesses of the villages.

model train

I use Gargraves S Gauge track for the middle loop, running vintage AC Gilbert/American Flyer trains I have acquired at swap meets and train shops over the last 25 years. I love this GP-7 that is pulling some classic cars that likely saw action under aluminum trees in the 60’s.

model train

Last but certainly not least is a classic HO Revell yard switcher pulling five equally classic Revell freight cars that I acquired over the past few years from eBay. I am sure these gems also ran under aluminum trees 60 years ago. I will also run some classic Lionel HO, Fleischmann, Gutzold and others over this inner HO loop this Holiday season.

model train

By the way, I reserve realism and rivet-counting for my year-round, always under construction, HO layout in a converted bedroom.

Not sure if this simple Christmas layout is of any interest but feel free to share if you are so inclined. Pardon me but I must go back and run some trains.

Johnstown, PA USA”

A big thanks to Rick.

And now it’s my turn to spread a little joy.

I know this is a time when many of you start or plan your layouts, so I thought I’d do some of the print out scenery at a very silly price for a few days.

How silly? How does $1.45 a building sound?

Yup, it’s a very silly deal, and you can grab it here, for the next few days.

Please be quick though, it’s just a quick flash sale to say thank you.

And of lastly of course, Merry Christmas!



18 Responses to Christmas tree train layout

  1. Ken says:

    Thank you my Friend for all your posts over the year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  2. Rich Kulik says:

    Thank you for a year of great train posts. So appreciate your effort and success !

  3. Rick – very nice Christmas layout. Loke you, I received the Santa Fe Lionel train for Christmas under the tree almost 70 years ago. It is a classic. Purchased the dome car at Sears back then for $4.95 – price remains on the car – LOL!

  4. Mike says:

    Rick’s Christmas layout is great – love the multi gauges – gives me inspiration to pull out my childhood Lionel set!

  5. Tom Shak says:

    It’s awesome to see the trains you loved and received as a child running at Xmas!!
    I also save rivet counting for my unfinished O scale layout in the basement.
    There is something special about these Xmas layouts – it’s how my dad, uncle and grandfather did them

  6. THOMAS says:

    Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year !

  7. Thanks Rick
    Your pictures and story is inspiring me to expand my 1 loop O gauge “around the tree” to a multiple gauge, multiple loop everyone.

    And a hearty Thank You to Al for your ’round the year work with this newsletter.
    Happy Holidays everyone.

  8. Erick says:

    Look pretty Kool

  9. George Miner says:

    Great to see this layout!
    Reminds me of the the Christmas layout my father and uncle (both RIP)
    did for me and my brothers Jim (RIP) and Carl when we still lived on Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach. circa 1954
    Very fond memories. The house is gone and the road has changed to a major artery, although I understand the Lumber Yard across the street is still there.
    Layouts may come and go, but the memories last multiple lifetimes.

  10. Michael McConville says:

    Great post as always . Nice to see so many train enthusiasts

  11. Rick,

    That is a perfect Christmas layout. Various gauges and vintage trains. A child’s delight. I hope you share it with as many children as your nerves can deal with. Super, duper!


  12. Robert Muhme says:

    Nice multi-gauge layouts under the tree Rick! Makes me sad I told my dad it was OK to sell my Lionel just because I was in an apartment at the time.

    Al, and to all model railroaders worldwide, Merry Christmas to one and all! Thanks Al for your timeless devotion to our hobby all year!

  13. Ron Schultz says:

    Merry Christmas I have the Lionel set my dad got for my twin and I when we were 2 in 1936. it was only run under the tree until he was gone to war in 44. afterwards we played with it a little each year. finally, the reverse unit has gone out and it no longer runs well. I need to find someone to repair it.

  14. Bill in Virginia says:

    GreT layout Rick!

    Merry Christmas Al and everyone else who enjoys your posts !!

  15. Mark T. Pianka says:

    just outstanding O scale Lionel, some s scale and some HO very nice, Like the alum. tree had one growing up in the 60s, Have a great Christmas!!

  16. ken zufan says:

    your dad would have been happy with your work. merry Christmas

  17. Greg Marples says:

    Rick, you have an Edsel! That makes me smile, like the rest of your Christmas show! God bless us, every one!

  18. I love all four gauges you have on your layout

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