N scale winter layout

Dave’s been in touch with his N scale winter layout:

“Good day Al,

My name is Dave and I read and review your daily emails with much enthusiasm.

It’s refreshing to see how creative some modelers can be as well and the ideas they spark in my own mind. With that said I thought I’d share my recent creation in N scale.

I call the attached two pictures my “Winter Scene”of a winter scene. The brighter one is with a flash, the other is without.

The details of the scene are made up of one continuous N scale track on a 40″ wide by 30″ deep foam board layout.

The mountains and hills are all hand made and painted by yours truly.

The incline is as near to 2% as I could keep it. The houses are actually Christmas Tree ornaments with battery operated lights, the street lights, pine trees and cars are N scale off the shelf items all purchased on Amazon.

My intention was to create a portable layout that could be moved into the family room during the holiday and this takes up a small footprint yet provides an appreciable level of detail.

I still have to add more trees, some decorated for Christmas, more snow and figures such as ice skaters on the pond (a small mirror), kids having a snow ball fight in the park and some wild animals among the trees.

You might note the locomotive is not actually a locomotive but a German steam car. Unfortunately, the steam locomotive that matches the passenger cars is unable to pull all three up the inclines so I’ve had to find one that could.

I will eventually replace it with a vintage Arnold 0-8-8-0 steam locomotive.

Lastly, in the one picture (i.e. #2) you will notice there is a portion of an HO layout in the background. It’s also a representation of the area around CASS Scenic Railroad in Cass, WV.

I run various locomotives on it to exercise and test them, but primarily I run the old 80 Ton three truck Shays that are actually used at Cass. They are exact replicas and one has the Cass logo and number of old #4 that had a head-on collision many years ago.

If you are interested in seeing more of either one or should anyone have any questions regarding the layout just let me know.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do your postings.



N scale winter layout

N scale winter layout

Now on to Cassio.

He keeps sending me pics and videos with no narrative or anything.

Normally I discard these, but I think in this case, it’s a language barrier.

Also there is a real charm about his stuff:

“Hello Al, and thanks very much for a daily dose!

Not much to add, other than an interesting photo of 1942 CNW engine house in Chicago – one of my favorite photos

Best regards


“Dear Al,

I have seen several ways to add white lines to roads, the simplest and cheapest that I have found is to cut thin strips of paper and glue to the roadbed. Photos attached.

Best wishes

Queensland Australia”

A big thanks to Dave for sharing his N scale winter layout. And to Andrew, Dave and Cassio.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, 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.

PPPS But maybe it’s N scale? More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

19 Responses to N scale winter layout

  1. Robert Brady says:

    Cassio,love your yard scenes backdrop kind of out dated. Oh, ur Articulated Auto Rack Car Carrier 7 x 50 = $350.00, Not to mention the coal cars. Must be nice.
    Over all nice layout.
    The Critic

  2. Greg Schaefer says:

    I love the winter scene Dave. One year, a looong time ago, I built a small Christmas layout. 18 by 36 inches, folded dog bone that ran over and under to the North pole and back. All icy and white and shiny. (I put glitter in plaster)Tiny little 4 wheeled engine (Arnold I think)and colorful cars. It’s nice to see a change in model scenery once in a while. Thanks Dave.

  3. Richard Kellerman says:

    Striping tape for an auto works fine also

  4. Dave says:

    Great n scale I’ve been to Cass many times have done the overnight caboose trips to both Whitaker logging camp twice and top of bald knob 3 times that was when they pushed the caboose up along with the daily trains then brought you back down the next day they now leave the caboose up there 3/4 the fun was riding it up and back once it snowed overnight on bald knob really hard it had the coal fired stove we stayed warm quite a fun trip !

  5. Ken G says:

    I love it! What a great idea to make it portable so you can bring it out for the holidays. And your HO layout in the background looks great too. I love either a fall or winter scene becuase it it just adds so much interest. Thanks for the look!

  6. Bob From Towson says:

    AL, language barrier is right onn about Casio…Hes in Brazil I believe…

  7. Rocco Maley says:

    Hi Dave, This is Rocco from New Jersey. The “N” scale layout is great, but I model in “HO” and would rally like to see more of your “HO” layout. Can you please post some more photos of that layout? Also can you post the size and Maximum Radius of your layout. It looks fabulous. Great job. Rocco

  8. Frank Vazquez says:

    I love to see small layouts that utilize scenery to create the illusion that the track is not one connected loop. Not everyone has the option or money for a large layout, so small with good track plans and design give people hope that they can build something even in limited space.

    I would have liked another view of the larger layout to see how you laid the track on that one.

  9. Small layouts have there advantages ….a lot can be shown in a small area ..and then easier to look after …Dangerous Dave

  10. Ronald Conrad says:

    Hi Dave, thanks for the photos and idea for a small “part-time” seasonal layout, my youngest would love something like that! Like several others, I’m interested in more info/pictures of the HO layout – a track plan would be awesome!

  11. Malcolm says:

    I would bring my small Z scale layout in from the train building (yes, 30′ x 40′, super insulated) to the living room for Christmas — but our cat would see it as a collection of toys. A real problem. I have considered making a coffee table layout under glass. I’m sure that would frustrate the cat.

  12. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like the layout. making the white stripes isnt the esiest thing. i used a thin piece of cardboard and mad very small slits in it for the stripes. i painted each white stripe with a small brush and left over wall paint.

  13. Rich B. says:

    Nothing wrong at all today. Speaking on mountains yesterday, looking really good with the vertical steep terrain as is with Dave’s this A.M. Most excellent with other displays as well. Just coming out of nowhere’s now a days these RR’s. Just like here with the automobiles in summer. Never know I guess but have renewed my interest’s.

    And no scale boulder size pebbles strewn all over like from a recent hail storm. Just hate when those happen, the weather…

    Again, Rich

  14. Rob McCrain says:

    Wow, this one had tons of information. Nice going, Al. Dave, Cassio, Scott and Andrew, great submissions. Dave I think your layout is fabulous. It is a perfect size with lots going on. It is good to hold your inclines to a reasonable slope. Well done.

  15. Terry Miller says:

    Love Cassio’s layout….nice and slow and quiet. A big difference between noisy, whistle blowing, faster than the wind trains on some videos.

  16. Steve Ruple says:

    Dave, nice pictures of layouts; Cassio, nice video on train layout, I like the back ground pictures; Scott, nice picture of engine house in Chicago and Andrew, a good idea for making white lines on roads.

  17. Roger G Calhoun says:

    Scott – Nice picture of the Chicago engine house. But engine 2808 in the foreground has me puzzled. The only engine I could find with this number was a Canadian Pacific H1 Class 4-6-4 Hudson. But the picture appears to show eight drivers. Any idea what the engine is that we are looking at?

  18. Thomas Busler says:

    I found a photo of Wabash 2808, a 4-8-2, but it looks like locomotive in question has a 4-wheel trailing truck.
    Tom in MS

  19. Terry Plunkett says:

    For Dave and others… I had the same problem with a grade which I would have liked to be 3% or less. Ended up being almost 5% in one direction due to space constraints on the existing layout. Solution: I permanently mounted the whole 6ft x 4ft layout with a 2% grade to bring the track grade back to 3% actual. Worked a treat, and nobody can see the tilt in the baseboard. Sometimes you have to think outside the box!

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