Eric’s layout

“Having rebuilt my layout I am now going to send you a few e-mails containing pics of my latest version of Wensdale an N scale layout depicting a small village in East Yorkshire on the way to the coast. I sincerely hope you receive them, please feel free to put them on your mail out.

track plan

This is the plan of the revised layout, it is built out of a built in wardrobe in my small flat, I used compressed cardboard sheeting for the boards. The layout uses a one and a half turn helix to attain the height. I use analogue controls and also use another control for the lights so they don’t appear too bright. The wall is solid so I have to go round it.

british model railway

model layout

model railroad

model railway park

model railway station

model railway street

model railway

A wonderfully British layout from Eric. And a nice narrative too.

By the way, in the previous posts, Arnie has been kind enough to answer some of the questions (just scroll down to the comments).

And if Eric and Arnie have inspired you, don’t forget to have a look at this before it disappears in to the archives.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

52 Responses to Eric’s layout

  1. Bernard J Harris says:

    Really appreciate the comment re lights … I’ve seen lights on “steam era” layouts that are way too bright to be realistic for that period. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, certainly in our house, bulbs were 25W or 40W … 60W was an extravagance, and 100W unheard of ! The street lights were gas lamps, and if you could see the next one ahead of you, you were doing well!

  2. Ray says:

    Wow, simply amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Chris Hughes says:

    Nice layout, although as a professional bridge engineer, I have to say that you would never have a bridge of that length without any intermediate supporting piers. There should be a pier at each end of every girder section, however I appreciate you do not have room between tracks on your fiddle yard.

  4. capt Jim says:

    One of the most authentic, realistic and well planned layouts I have seen.
    Well done.

  5. a r murrell says:

    Wonderful, so pleasing to the eye. The bridge is super and
    does not impair ones view of the tracks. Smashing work!!

  6. Pete says:

    A very nicely scenicked layout. Just enough details on the scenery but not too much as to be overwhelming. I do have a question, is there a lift-up access hatch at the far end of the layout as shown in photo 3? It would be very hard to be able to reach back into this part of the layout if a train derails. Thanks for the great photos.

  7. Eric says:

    Thank you for the kind comments and thank you Al for letting me share my layout with you all. In answer to the scenic’s question all the boards above tracks can be removed for access, this has given me a nightmare of wiring so that I can take each section away, I used the double block connectors that pull apart but still a chore to do as I have a pair of twisted hands to work with, but the need to lift the sections is rare as you will note there are just two points under the boarded area the rest is twin track so very few issues with derailing. The park in the centre all lifts out for easy access. Bernard I agree I hate lights that are too bright, an anologue controller works a lot better for that.
    It has taken me around two years to get to this level so your praise makes it all worthwhile thank you.

  8. vince longo says:

    fabulous and the beauty of our hobby is you can design anything that you can imagine

  9. Dave says:

    ‘Plod’ Lurvs the Anglia Panda-car parked on the pavement ! and the dirty water in the culvert ! – a touch of realism rather than weed-free & too clean, which is my bug on layouts. This is Terriffic ! Well Done

  10. John Ketcham says:

    Very Nice!

  11. Dave Whatley says:

    Very good job on your layout, one of the better ones I have seen. I am working on my layout with a long ways to go and using some of your ideas but I will get there.

  12. Ricky says:

    I want a layout like this

  13. Ricky says:

    great job

  14. Bobby Baker says:

    Beautiful layout. I would like to know what kind of track Eric uses on his layout.
    Thank you. Bobby Baker

  15. Michael Farmar says:

    that’s look great, thanks for sharing.

  16. Ed Clark says:

    As a fellow N Scaler I know how hard it is to model at 160th the inch. You have done inspirational work. You could fit some small posts between the tracks in your fiddle yard for that long bridge and I always use a variable transformer for all my lighting – saves bulbs and overheating of fixtures.

  17. Terry says:

    Eric, sometimes a layout just feels right and yours is one of those. Congratulations. I am always impressed with people who model in N gauge, my old shaky hands and dimming eyesight just wouldn’t cope.
    On the subject of lights, in my early years we lived in a railway house and the electricity was tapped off the company supply. When a train (electric) pulled out of the station our lights dimmed down to a glow.

  18. Arnie Steiner says:

    Kudos to you Eric . This is a very well thought out and laid out N scale track plan with a lot of rail action and visual appeal in a small space without looking cluttered. Here in the U.S. we have a very different topographic and scenic look. I love the British and Eurpean settings. Your incorporation of a helix is great. If I understand you correctly, the layout incorporates popout sections to access the out-of- reach sections of the layout. If i’m wrong, it would be a nightmare to have to get to out of arms’ reach derailments…especially in the tunnel areas.

    Again, highly impressive.

  19. Roger says:

    Nice Job. Great detail & planning. Thanks for sharing!!! – Rog 🙂

  20. Don says:

    Great Layout for the space you have,can you show the Helix more

  21. Eric says:

    Bobby I use Peco track, mostly Settrack but use the longer points so I can get more rails in. All the curves are also Settrack as my fingers wont work well enough for bending track myself. Everyone I am overwhelmed by your lovely comments thank you all. Yes all the boards lift. The bridge i did originally use the shorter points and had room for piers but hey, I’m not an engineeer so did it this way:-)

  22. david howarth says:

    A great layout you have built there Eric , with plenty of trackwork and scenics …very nice …Dave

  23. Yale S says:


    Great work. I am rebuilding my N scale layout. I see there is hope. I’ve shared a few photos. More to come.

  24. Wayne says:

    Wow, fantastic detail in such a small scale. Very nice!

  25. Andrew Eatock says:

    Looks great Eric, well done 🙂

    What I nice website, I like the plans and photos, someone had a good idea creating this site.
    The railway is looking good, you have done an amazing job.


  26. WOW….now thats a really great layout….
    I like that you included the spec drawing of the plan
    and it always amazes me how you guys can work with that small scale stuff…
    sooo detailed
    but I want to see pix of your helix ….
    keeep em runnin fellas

  27. Lawrence Keesler says:

    Thanks, Eric! You’ve inspired me! I’ve had four sets of N-Scale U.S. ’50s era passenger trains for years now. I’ve delayed starting a layout, but this is so helpful I may yet get under way. Is there a photo of your controls available? Or any kind of schematic? Would much appreciate either.

  28. paul Otway says:

    great looking layout.

  29. Norm fron York PA says:

    My hat is off to you out there who work with “N” or “Z” scale. My eyesight and my shaky hands just don’t allow me the ability to work with anything smaller than “HO”. I’ve been plodding along for 5 years now with working on my own layout, with a 6 month hiatus during my battle with cancer, getting my layout to the point where I have all the track installed and wired for DCC and now am ready to proceed with completing the scenery. I love to see the detail on these posts and it has given me some inspiration as to some scenic ideas to try to include.
    Thanks Al for the this website blog.
    Norm from York, PA

  30. Perry says:

    Great looking layout Eric. You gave me a couple of ideas that I am going to use right away. Well done

  31. Tad heath says:

    Speechless!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!

  32. Steve Roberts says:

    Great job Eric, lots of interest and action. Captures East Yorkshires rolling hills well. Much respect – Steve R. UK

  33. Brian T says:

    Al. It would be a good idea to remind everybody that some of the photo`s submitted can be enlarged by left clicking on them. The above can.
    Very good .

  34. Keith says:

    Amazing layout. I agree with what the bridge engineer said but you have no room for uprights so what if you simulated an arch spanning across the tracks. It could be made out of plasticard strips. Regardless the bridge still looks good. Keith

  35. PETER BENSON says:

    Well done this is one of thebest layouts I have seen thanks for sharing .

  36. PETER BENSON says:

    Thanks for sharing one of the best layouts I have seen. well done.

  37. THOMAS says:


  38. Andrew says:

    As someone aiming to start modelling in the autumn [retirement] I feel inspired by not only this wonderful layout, but also the comments from what is a good community. I have a small room and accumulated 00 to work with so what I intend is much simpler, so heartfelt praise and thanks to Eric and all.

  39. Ian Mc Donald says:

    nice layout plenty of everything photos and now a video very nice.well done last few weeks have seen some great modelling thanks everyone and a special thanks to Al for Sharing.

  40. JW from Pennsylvania says:

    As a boy growing up in a rather small town, I have fond memories of my Father setting up the Lionel trains in our living room with the Christmas tree (real, and five feet tall plus) in the center. He did this after I went to bed. He later shared with me that he would finish about 3AM. He has passed away, but what he did every Christmas Eve always amazed me. Now, I look at the pictures of Eric’s layout and everyone else who shares their pictures and am amazed even more at what you are able to do. Absolutely fantastic!!! Please keep the pics coming.

  41. JW from Pennsylvania says:

    Just to clarify on my previous comment. I’m not talking about a train on the living room floor going around the Christmas tree. It was a 5 by 10 piece of plywood raised about 3 feet off the floor with houses, lights etc. and the tree in the center. On the plywood layout. Memories I will take to the grave……..JW from Pennsylvania

  42. Ron McCauley says:

    Great track plan. I recently retired and have been working on a plan for HO in a 19 by 19 foot space. This plan is just what I needed. I can expand it and make it more walk thru accessible with a bigger yard. I have drafted several versions similar to your plan and I hope you aren’t offended if I heavily plagerize your plan. Thanks….Ron McCauley

  43. Rob Robbins says:

    What a wonderful layout…GREAT JOB! As for the bridge may I suggest that your engineer friend build a suspension bridge for you? Your work is seriously a delight to behold!

  44. Jusst looked at your newer new layout. WOW YET AGAIN! What was wrong with the old one—this one? I know the European model is to dispatch trains—bug how about the American possibility of actually operating local trains, switching individual industries–large or smaLL? Excuse my typos, please! Even modern Great Britain is not devoid of interesting industrial operations to add interest, if you would wish…! But your layout…your happiness. I am actually close to “finishing” my own little switching pike, also in N scale, although it has taken nearly 19 years to discover what I wanted and what would fit in the available space. I have too many interests…can you tell? 😀

  45. Gary M from Long island says:

    Good looking layout….very nice….. I like the way you did the passenger car yard.

    Gary M of Long Island

  46. DJfromNJ says:

    Love your track plan. Very effective. Train bridge adds much interest to your layout. Yeah … bridge needs support columns – an easy fix. A pleasure to view. Well done!

  47. John Birch says:

    Excellent! I love it and admire the detail in such a small scale.

  48. Terry, Fleet says:

    Eric what you have created is a joy to behold and I think absorbing to operate.
    But NO! NO! Not a suspension bridge the prototype would quickly collapse under the stresses from trains. A cable stay bridge could be used and is easier for the modern image modeller to build but not for the period you model.
    As I am sure you N scale modellers know especially using European couplings if you want to run prototype passenger trains allow extra space for the over scale couplings when planning station platforms.

  49. James Maitland says:

    Very nice. I especially like the overpasses

  50. Erick says:

    Pretty Kool.!!!!!

  51. Ruben Simon says:

    Eric, you mentioned the wall. I wonder if you could have turned it into a mountain so there would be a reason that the buildings and such wouldn’t be able to be seen from whichever side you’re viewing from – just a thought.

  52. John says:

    Yes! Great layout. Thanks for including your track plan.

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