N scale layouts

Got this N scale layout on a door which I rather liked:

“Really enjoy your daily emails.

I’m 77 and decided to build my first model layout since I was in HS.

Chose N-scale on a hollow core door using Kato track at the recommendation of my local train hobby store.

Started last year and I am nearly finished.

Wanted to model early 1950’s in a NM/SW Colorado type free style landscape.

The depot is a model of the Glorieta, NM station using Red River Models of Tyler, TX kit.

The passenger train is the “starter kit” from Kato which is the first diesel passenger train.

The freight train is pulled by a Bachman 4-8-4 which was the last steam engine for Santa Fe.

I love Santa Fe because my Dad worked for them from age 17-65 as a telegrapher and Agent in E. Texas.

The hollow core door is topped with 1″ insulation foam and a second layer is used for the middle section.

The mountains are made from the left over insulation. There is a camping area on the back of the layout behind the mountain and next to the RR bridge that is not very visible in my pictures. Bought most of the building on E-Bay except for the depot kit.

Three of the buildings have the names of my grandsons on them-Bryce Wheels and Deals (Loves cars), Blake Broadcasting Company (BBC), and Jacob Cauley Texas Music Conservatory (will be a music major in college). May add a backdrop later. Jope you like my N scale

Dave & Carol
Houston, TX”

n scale on a door corner view

curved track model train

n scale on a door model train

n scale on a door town scene

n scale scenery

n scale on a door railroad tunnel

A huge thanks to Dave – I do love reading about your layouts and how folk add their own little twists.

There are hundreds and hundreds of N scale layouts on the site. Here are just some of them.

Bob’s stunning small N scale layout

“The only dedicated space I had available for a layout was a corner of my office/library, so I am now an N scale modeler.

My current layout is approximately 5 ft x 10 ft and built on a movable table for access.


n scale layout 5x10

You can see all of Bob’s pics and read his narrative here.

Small N scale layouts

small n scale layouts

Here Bob talks us through his small N scale layout, step by step.

N scale trains – Arnie’s

“I live in New York and have been an N scale trains model railroader for many years. I love the pictures folks have submitted of their layouts giving photographic reality to their creations. My layout was constructed about 10 years ago after about 2 years of work on it. Though I continually make small changes at this time (such as landscaping and other scenic details), it is otherwise complete.


n scale trains layout

You can see more of Arnie’s N scale trains here.

Jeff’s N scale:

“I have pretty many different types of engines from steam to modern diesel. The majority I’ve painted and numbered to WM engines best possible. Switching from HO to N really puts a strain on the nerves and eyesight.


You can see all of Jeff’s pics and read his narrative here.

Bill’s N scale

N scale scenery

You can see all of Bill’s N scale pics here.

Nich’s N scale model railway

You can see all of Nich’s pics and read his narrative here.

Graham’s N scale layout:

“So, into the 21st century and a growing collection of N Gauge engines and wagons, collected in a hope of building a more mobile layout for me.


N gauge layout

You can see Graham’s pics and narrative here.

Fred’s stunning N scale:

freds stunning n scale

You can see more of Fred’s stunning N scale here.

Another stunning N scale layout

“My layout (N Scale) is about 24 feet by three feet, with a “dogbone” right angle section at one end for track return under a mountain.

At the other end there is about eight to ten feet jutting inward (away from the viewing front, which forms a harbor, that accomodates a chemical tanker piered for loading at a refinery.


(A different Fred!)

n scale bridge

You can see all of Fred’s stunning layout here.

John’s N scale layout

“It has local and through freight services, commuter services and through passenger services.

It is point to loop, thus trains go somewhere and come back. When they get to the eastern terminal they must be switched to go the other way.


N scale train bridge

You can see John’s layout here

Ralhp’s N scale layout

“Completed the 1970s midwestern town, the hill (and park) above it. Everything was constructed on the workbench, and then moved to the layout (due to my physical limitations). Nothing is glued down, so opportunities for mods later, and if necessary complete dismantlement.


Ralph’s 3×5 N scale layout

Small N scale layout – Bob’s

“Of course I still made changes along the way – upgraded to DCC, good idea, bought new engines which cost less than converting old ones.


small N scale layout

You can see Bob’s A< href="https://modelrailwaylayoutsplans.com/bobs-n-scale/">small N scale layout here.

N scale small layout

“I have accumulated approximately 30 locomotives and somewhere around 110 to 120 freight cars and some 20 passenger cars.


N scale small layout

You cans see Richard’s N scale small layout here.

A big thanks to Dave for sharing his N scale on a door – and to all the others.

That’s all this time.

Don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to get going on your own layout, just like Dave, Jim and the others.

Keep ’em coming.



46 Responses to N scale layouts

  1. Sonny Eppes says:

    Would like to have that for my grandson to see. Had a 9-5 HO ft my son and I built long ago. Always wanted an n scale.

  2. Roy Forbes says:

    It looks very good and in really a very short time. You have included plenty of detail and obviously a lot of thought went into it. Well done

  3. Tom Durham says:

    Absolutely first class modeling. Like especially incorporating his grandsons interests into the scheme. Thank you Dave for a great result.

  4. Bill Austin says:

    Thanks for the affirmation. I started my own N-scale layout in my garage at age 69 (I’m now 71). I keep thinking I’m too old for this scale but continue to slowly work on it.

    Your layout is magnificent. Now that I see what can be accomplished by someone in my age bracket I have renewed inspiration to keep at it.

  5. Ralph in Eureka, MO USA says:

    Nice job Dave. I’m nearly 72 and you have given me hope that someday there still will be a small n-scale layout in my home!

  6. Jim says:

    Amazing how much one can model in so small a space. Very nice work. Novel town square.

    Jim AZ

  7. Cary Price says:

    Great job Dave! Really like the way you gave some thought to the time period mixing both steam and diesel. Also using family names for your store fronts, I’m doing same for my garden RR project. Your layout is very well thought out, hope you enjoy running for years to come. Thanks for sharing!
    Cary in KY

  8. John Reynolds says:

    Very well done!
    Fantastic little layout!!!
    A little about the Santa Fe Northerns…. While I am surprised to hear they were the last steam on the Santa Fe, there is more to the story….
    For those unfamiliar the Northern has a wheel arrangement of 4-8-4 or if you count axles European style 2-4-2…
    Right now there is one Santa Fe Northern that has been restored and runs in the United States… It is a big engine and resides in Southern California. Big as it is, it is roughly on par with some other famous Northerns running in the United States… That is very likely to change next year! In 2018 another Santa Fe Northern is scheduled to be brought back to steam, this time in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque Northern is from Santa Fe’s last class of Northerns and is one of the heaviest/largest Northerns built for use in America (and possibly the world). I believe this is the prototype for Bachmann’s N Scale Santa Fe Northern and the one running on the layout…
    Again, excellent work! Excellent for any modeler but especially so given the age of the builder and that this is a first layout!

  9. Warren Ferguson says:

    Great work! I’m particularly impressed with using your grandsons’ names in the business district. I’m seventy six, and still accumulating things for a layout. Hope to get going soon. Congratulations on a beautiful job! Warren in Alabama

  10. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Dave….You have done yourself proud….I am 75 and still building custom layouts by “Word of Mouth” only…Keep up the excellent work….Mike

  11. Kevin McArdle says:

    Beautifully done, and just the right amount of visual interest, buildings, scenery and track plan. Wishing you many hours of enjoyment with your railroad.

  12. Rich B. says:

    Gorgeous layout, not too complex and like the Plasticville village (may not be actual Plasticville). As a model railway should look.


  13. Bob Miller says:

    Great job Dave. I started my first layout when I was 65 in HO scale and was not even close to the excellent layout you have completed. I am now on my fifth one at 75 and you have given me new enthusiasm. Once again,you are a very talented individual …nicely done.
    Bob from beautiful downtown Pelahatchie Mississippi

  14. Thomas Murphy says:

    Grand work Dave, your pride and enthusiasm shows well in your accomplishment.

  15. Dan Ogle says:

    Just wonderful.Makes me want to build

  16. Ed Anderson says:

    Good job, you inspire me!

    I’m 73, and like you am starting my first layout since a kid at home.

  17. Tom Sallee says:

    Dave. You did better than good. You did real good! Tom

  18. Jim Kreamer says:

    That is totally awesome!! Great effort!!

  19. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Looks great Happy rail roading.

  20. JAMES K STEVER says:

    Excellent workmanship

    After looking at the N scale layout you have completed, It has inspired me to starting my N and HO scale layout.

  21. Ian McDonald says:

    a great layout plenty of scenery very nice detail, lots of track . thanks for sharing.and looks like a lot of fun with the grandkids

  22. Rob McCrain says:

    You’ve done a spot on job of this layout. Well done, Rob McCrain Farland Howe

  23. Dr. Bob says:

    Great start Dave! I love the way KATO engineers their track but it needs to not look like a surgical implant. I’m speaking of the symmetrical lines made by the engineered ballast on the layout. Ballast is poured then spread over track ties. The results are smooth and somewhat uneven symmetry along the tracks. KATO track is by no means a bad track to use, it’s just a personal preference on my way it looks. Please do not be offended, I meant no harm. Although the layout looks great! I can tell you put your heart into the scenery and preservation of a lot of details for the grandson.

  24. Ross Johnston says:

    Great job Dave! I really enjoyed your photos of your layout. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Rossco, Adelaide, South Australia

  25. Steve I says:

    What a great job! I like what you have done with such a small space.
    I also use Kato track, I am still building my HO layout. I have been absent
    to post anything as of late, but will soon. Getting to my point, not sure of the
    person name? But I agree, not to be hurtful,but helpful. Kato makes their
    own ballast for that track. I believe if you ballast your track you will be alot
    happier with the end result and the look.
    Steve I S. Cal

  26. Bill Imperatore says:

    WOW Dave!!!…what a great looking layout! I love it!


  27. Len says:

    Really inspiring for us super seniors who are just starting out in N guage. Nothing to be afraid of with the approach and advice you got. Well Done and Thanks for Sharing.


  28. Thomas Timberman says:

    I like to watch trains no matter how big or little they are. These just as good as the last ones. Now 76 and working on an N model railroad It is 2′ X 6′ all the space I have. I enjoy N and my age I do have Arthur’s Itis in my fingers but all the better the exercise keeps my hands and fingers limber. I love model railroading and just cant can not say enough about it’ Keep up the great work. Thanks Al for all you do. It has been awhole since was on here. Glad to be back!! With all that is going on please stay healthy and safe safe. Prayers for all too!
    Thomas Timberman USA

  29. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Dave nice layout. Really like the very subtle small height difference at the front of the layout. It works really well and breaks up the whole front of the layout. Have to agree with Dr Bob and Steve1 the Kato track is not the nicest of tracks. It does look very artificial but each to his own. Perhaps trying KAto ballast would change the look. The rest of the scenery etc is very well done with a lot of thought obviously put in the design.

  30. Robert Brady says:

    Now If you add another door and L shape it what a great expansion u would have.This could go on & on.I’m an HO guy and I want to expand all the time.Great job by the way!
    The Critic

  31. Robert Brady says:

    P. S. Dave; by the way add a B unit to that diesel and that motor cycle is a bit out of scale just say n .lol
    The Critic

  32. Robert Brady says:

    To JIM AZ;first seen you layout before and super love it.Now Can those Chinese Containers,( Covid ) They sell Nice looking Finishing washers to add to your beautiful wood frame work.And where’s ( F R E D ), flashing rear-end device?
    The Critic

  33. Marvin Johnson says:

    I’m still working on my weathering skills, but have not seen any examples of Graffitti on containers. These are like a blank canvas to the Graffitti artists, and would be a great opportunity for modelers to add personal messages. Have any of your followers attempted this?
    Marv Johnson
    Kildeer, IL

  34. Bill Roberts says:

    Out standing layout from top to bottom! How do those people keep the streets so sparkling clean?

  35. Gary M from Long Island says:

    To Dave & Carol…….Loved the N scale layout BUT I have enough trouble with the HO scale size. I spend a lot of time looking around for things I drop off the layout table. But that’s me…. Your layout is great.

    Jim AZ…… great weathering job…….great looking train and layout.

  36. WillBill says:

    Great layout. Fill in the gaps below the balast. Then it will be fantastice.

  37. Nice to see Dave and Carol sharing the kudos. A very nice job, indeed. I may have missed something, but when did they move the Statue of Liberty out west? Haha, very nice use of an otherwise useless door. Keep it up and add that b unit to the SF.

    Jim, I have used powders for some weathering, but I now need to dig up those chalks. Those well cars are really sick! That is a compliment to be sure!

    Keep em running guys and gal!

    MN Dan

  38. Norman Kivari says:

    your layout is incredible you gave me some idea’s i have O gage

  39. Gary Mitchell says:

    Hi Dave & Carol from NZ
    Your layout looks great, encouraged me to get stuck into my N gauge layout which I haven’t touched for a while.
    Regards Gary

  40. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great layout, Enjoy the fun with your grandson!! Well Done!

  41. Stu says:

    Great job Dave. Really impressed with the detail. I’m 75 and retired last year after 51 years as an advertising art director so I’m also into details. I’m working on my first HO layout in 35 years.

    Jim AZ, nice job on the weathering. I prefer the softer touch so kudos to you. Really enjoyed seeing the double stack train (DSTs), especially the lead “K” Line container. I worked on their advertising for 31 years.

  42. Jim Bentz says:

    I love your N scale layout. I am just beginning to start working on my layout but can’ decide on the scale N or HO. I am starting with a 4′ x 7′ plywood table I made that will drop down from the ceiling of my garage. With that space I am looking at starting from scratch with N scale. I have some HO track and cars from my son’s old train set but I thought I would use them for display.

    I thought maybe you could help me make the decision. Since I would need track, cars, switches, controller for N scale trains unless you tell me different. I am 76 years old and have a lot of time on my hands.

    I would love to hear your comments and suggestions.

    Thank you,Jim Bentz in San Diego

  43. Ben Hawkins says:

    I like looking and reading about the N, HO, G scale articles and layouts.
    What what about some 0 Gauge?

  44. Walt says:

    I actually love the “N” Scale idea! I even incorporated it with my “HO” Scale when I was a kid as a mine train!
    Sure wish I had pics of those days, but that was 60 years ago!
    Now that I’m back into my train fettish I can barely deal with “HO” with my old, fat fingers!
    Besides it’s closer to the scale of my wife’s Dept 56 North Pole Series collection that I used as an excuse to restart my train hobby!

  45. James says:

    Impressive, my man, I’m not 77, but 66 I’ve been saying I was going to build my layout for a year now. Not the one I want,(mid size) but a layout all the same(door size) I better get to working on it, cause time is truly wasting!

  46. Bruce Todd says:

    Hi gang just getting back into model train’s I inherited a lot of track from my uncle along with some rolling stock and engine’s all n scale unfortunately he smoked and the track and road beds are just to carbed up and yellowed from it tried to clean it so anyway I have to get all new track which is fine my area is 60″x30″ to build so I’m starting small and sorry I’m very old school only have DC controller how can I keep an engine on a siding and use another on the same track

Leave a Reply

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