Coffee table train layout – David’s

David’s been back in touch with a few more pics of his coffee table train layout.

It does look rather fun:

“Hi Al

I’ve taken better pictures of my coffee table layout.

It’s a combined HOe and 00 scale, in area under 1m or 3ft square .

I’ve used Peco 009 crazy track and a variety of French and German locos, japenese diesls and rail cars and Austrian coaches on the narrow gauge.

Points are electrical powered and 3 trains run on the loops a shunter and rail bus on the 00 which I can hide in the tunnel…

The ikea table is in my garden lounge . Need to tidy the wiring.

Visitors love it. The thing that surprises is that it works the trains run. Non railway people thinks is just a static display.

I suppose the open doors on wagons indicates that. I’ve selected wagons from Triang, made in the 1950’s which had opening doors used kadee couplings and scale wheels and weathered them. This allows the shunter to be used while the 009 trains runs.

I’m going to add lights in buildings and coaches for Christmas… locos have headlights already.


coffee table model train

coffee table model train access drawer

coffee table train layout

coffee table train layout

coffee table train layout station

coffee table train layout

coffee table train layout

A big thanks to David for sharing his coffee table train layout.

Now on to Jim:

“Greetings Al.

This is a brief update.

Your recent sale of printable buildings had two shacks that caught my eye.

I’ve written twice about my HO track layout’s theme and progress, such as it is. It is loosely modeled after Pipers Lagoon and Shack Island in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

I thought the gray shack and green shack really belong on my island.

They fit very well with the other, smaller shacks along the lagoon. None are super detailed; I need a lot more practice with cardboards, sharp knives and glues.

And here they are, just before an approaching thunderstorm.

There are two views, one from across the lagoon and one showing a view from high above.

printable building shack

printable building shack

The first photo shows some expansion underway in the background, off to the left. I’ve started but have a long way to go.

I’ll claim progress is being held up because of the threat of that nasty storm!

I also need to add some landscaping and vacationers near the two new shacks and that, too, will get done someday soon, I hope.

So thanks to you, Al, for the web site you keep and the printable buildings too.

Please keep ‘em coming!


A big thanks to Jim. Of course, I’m biased, but I think they look great.

If you’re new to the printable buildings, they are a lot of fun, and once you have the downloads, you can pretty much scratch build whatever you like, or just stick to the original.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get decide to have some fun and start your own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

15 Responses to Coffee table train layout – David’s

  1. I love the coffee table layout.
    A lot of action in very little space.
    Then there are Jim’s shacks, very clever and well done.
    What a fine collection.
    Of course I love to see anything that anyone does with your print out kits.

  2. David Nice to have your layout so neatly laid on a coffee table …….and Jim you have made a very nice work on the buildings all matching in with the layout era ..

  3. DJfromNJ says:

    Love the way Jim has “humanized” his layout with the water feature. It really brings his layout to life.

  4. Scott McClelland says:

    Why did you choose HO for such a small layout?! N would have allowed you to lay a lot more track, and have a lot more of everything for that matter.

  5. Cary B says:

    Hello Al,
    David and Jim’s Layouts were such a pleasure to see this morning. The coffee table is so detailed for its size and the weathered shacks on Jim’s layout look awesome.
    Thank you for keeping this blog going.
    Cary B

  6. Brian Olson says:

    Another example of “It’s not the size of the space but how you use that space” which makes our hobby so much fun. And… often challenging.

  7. George Zaky says:

    When I open this site I never know what to expect and that coffee table layout just blew me away. Just then I realized that Big Al assembles creations by Geniuses and so the the Blog should be renamed ” The Genius Blog”. Awesome.
    Jim -great layout. I struggle with scenery building due to Gorilla fingers and old age so yours beats mine big time.
    Thanks Al

  8. Erick says:

    Looks great.!!!!!

  9. Richard Boles says:

    Amazing amount of detail in such a small space. Very Cool!

  10. John says:

    David… a beautiful coffee table layout!
    Jim… love the tin roof weathering!

  11. Stephen Hill says:

    I enjoy the coffee table layout, I was trying to determine a way to have a train display in our small mountain retreat . Tiny rooms that don’t allow for much , but that’s a great idea , hope you don’t mind if I mimiic that . Marvelous train display and marvelous imagination .

  12. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great job on both layouts!!

  13. Stephen says:

    Big Smile, Thanks

  14. zatara says:

    that would be quite a conversation piece to have up and running when entertaining company;

  15. Wolf says:

    Very cool.
    I have the same coffee table and i am building a n gauge layout inside it. The main structure is built with multiple levels Just doing the finer detail.

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