Department 56 model train

Denny’s been in touch with his Department 56 model train:

“I wanted to send you my Christmas ( 3 train layout).

We set it up every year.

But, Al, we then have to take it down.

Therefore, I am making a 2 train layout in my out building. It will be permanent. Soooo, fun.

I will send updates, as I progress.

I think your viewers will like what they see here.

A lot of department 56 houses, collected over the years.

Thank you, very much.


Department 56 Christmas model train overhead view

Department 56 Christmas model train

Department 56 Christmas model railroad

Department 56 Christmas model train

Department 56 Christmas model railway

Department 56Christmas model train bridge

And now on to Hall of Fame member, Dave:

“Hi Al,

just a short video of Diddy Dave on the layout again, bit of fun , maybe post to have a laugh.

Not sure if shall be posting any more before Christmas now , so like to wish you and all members the Very Best For Xmas and The New Year.



christmas layout

christmas model train

christmas decorations model railway

A big thanks to Denny for his Department 56 model train and to Diddy Dave too – it all looks like a lot of fun.

I hope you are all feeling festive, I did wonder whether there would be many Christmas layouts this year.

We’re going to finish with Old Taz today – he’s the gift that keeps on giving. If you missed his Christmas model train layout, it’s here.

“Gooooooooooooood morning Al 

This is just a little something that I made-up here a while back.

After seeing the layout, the gentleman in his office brought this project to mind.

The tubing is the tube that covers the florescent celling lights for safety. I started out going to use the tube for display purposes on the wall, but you didn’t want to sneeze while you were trying to move it or move it the cars you come off the track. There’s another good idea that went astray! 

So, here’s a little project for those of you that want to take your train to work with you. You don’t have to worry about the cleaning lady. The boss probably won’t say much about it. And the secretaries are going to go nuts over it because it’s so small or like one lady told me it’s itty bitty.

I think the pictures are probably self-explanatory. I used a piece of Styrofoam on the end. I’m sure that you could use whatever you wanted to use on the end of it like a block of wood finished off.

I even thought about taking two books and cutting a hole in each of them as a bookend. Probably there are a lot of different things you can do with it.

Just an idea, something more to make this hobby fun. You’ll never get bored with model trains, there’s always something more that you want to do around the corner.

Hey guys and gals, you have fun. Merry Christmas and a clickety clack 


PS I used white glue so if you want to take the train out of there soak it, wash it good and put it back on the track.”

model railroad tube

model railroad in a tube

model train tube

model train tube

model train tube

model train tube

model train tube

Thanks to Old Taz (again!).

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.

19 Responses to Department 56 model train

  1. Stephen Hill says:

    Denny , just love the old buildings , they are too cool . Glad y’all get to enjoy those each season . Good luck with out building project , will want to see how that progresses.

  2. George Zaky says:

    Your Christmas layout tells of Phenomenal smells from the kitchen, the smell of a real Christmas tree, kids giggling, trains clacking and the chaos of joy with the family.
    Diddy Dave
    You are the champion of train videos and spreader of good cheer.
    Old Taz
    Creativity runs rampant in your camp!
    To Big Al and all of his kiddies
    Thanks for all the gifts we shared throughout the year.
    Healthy Holidays, Happy New Year – Be safe!

  3. Carl Flowers says:

    The Department 56 layout is fantastic, especially for a temporary layout. I am a Dept 56 collector and I’ve waned to add trains. What scale is he train … HO?

    I look forward to seeing the new display!

  4. Geoff Sparnicht says:

    Great layouts, I really enjoy all the ideas you fellows give me. Merry Christmas all, and a blessed New Year

  5. robert dale tiemann says:

    i have always liked christmas layouts. too bad the “department stores” dont put them in their front display windows anymore. nice layout.

  6. Brian Olson says:

    Like a scene from a Hallmark Movie!

  7. Al Otis says:

    Very cool Christmas layout.
    The tubing is a great idea.

  8. DJfromNJ says:

    Al, thanks for all of your work through the year.

    Thanks to Denny for showing us the Christmas spirit can come on tracks, as well as come in fifths.

    Merry Christmas to all, and best wishes for continued modeling fun.

  9. Ed R says:

    Alastair, I must admit that there are a great many people out there who create such realistic scenes that I dont think I could ever come close. I do how ever would like to ask if it would be possible for those sending in their contributions to this great hobby, if they could mention the scale of their creations. I dont know about anyone else but that would be beneficial to those of us seeking new ideas for attempting to creat our masterpieces. Thanks

  10. DAVIDGOTT says:

    Thanks Denny and Dave another great video

  11. KenG says:

    Great Christmas layout!
    I often watch a YouTube channel called “Toy Man Television”, a couple out of Salt Lake City area of Utah. It is primarily about model railroads, and “heritage” steam railroads that still operate in the US (including Disney parks, Knott’s, Dollywood, etc.
    (They also do some videos on model kits for cars, and other fun stuff).

    They just recently posted a video about a friend of theirs who has one of the largest Dept. 56 layouts in the world (1500 sq. ft.!) with a Lionel layout all through it, and he has 100’s of vintage Lionel trains.

    If Al will indulge me here is the link:

    Also over the last few weeks they have posted a wonderful series on train (both real and model) gauges and scales and the history of them, including Europe and GB.

    Any model rail fan will really enjoy their channel!

  12. Tony Fryer says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone . . .

  13. Steve Clark says:

    Beautiful job Denny…..thank you for sharing!

  14. Bill in Virginia says:

    Wonderful layouts all!!

    Dave you need to paint a call box blue and have yourself popping in and out of it on your layout 😄😄😄

  15. Andrew Aves says:

    A big THANK YOU Alistair for all you do throughout the year to keep us informed and for giving us so many ideas to improve to our knowledge, skills and layouts.
    To you and all your subscribers I wish you enjoy a very merry Christmas and good health and happiness in 2023
    Andrew in Oz

  16. Mr. Ron from South Mississippi says:

    Thanks to all for the wonderful layouts and ideas and a Merry Christmas and happy new year. When I was a wee lad, I can remember the huge Christmas train layouts that Macys of New York would build. They were of course Lionel and American flyer, but to a small child, it was a sight to behold. I think it was the inspiration for future model railroaders.

    Often, people ask me how I know about New York City and post from Mississippi. When I started my working career, I began in New York in the ship building industry as a draftsman and made the rounds of the major shipyards around the country, finally settling down on the Mississippi gulf coast. It was a good tour that led me to spots around the globe and the U.S. and now that I am retired at 88, back building my HO model railroad. I am fortunate that I have a life long interest in trains. That has kept me alive instead of those feeling sorry for themselves. There are many friends I knew who died shortly after retiring and I attribute that to a lack of an outside interest, like trains; they would spend their days watching TV with a beer in their hand. Boredom can kill.

  17. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Denny….wonderful Christmas layout; love it.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Dave….. you are becoming a Cecil B. DeMille…… always love your layout and videos.

    Old Taz…….marvelous layout……..great detail.

  18. william janmes palmer says:

    love it

  19. Buz says:


    Great lay-out! Are your trains HO scale or…?



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