N scale model train layout – Eric’s

Eric’s been busy on his N scale model train layout:

“Hi Al

I attempted to build a new layout a while ago after having to gut my old Wensdale layout.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to turn out to my liking, so I restarted from scratch, using just normal Peco setrack with gravelled underlay. The pictures show it from the start. figuring out in my head and not on paper how I wanted the tracks to run. Somehow I managed to fit five working tracks into the space. I dismantled my helix but kept the top farm board and also the main road on the back wall. The rest has just come together quite nicely and run well without accidents.

In this new scenario I opted for not having a station but kept a fiddle yard at the front with connecting rails so the engines can go from one track to another. As can be seen in the attached photos how it is coming together, yes even the joins. It has now reached a point where I need to fine tune the scenery. The later pics show less joins but a few are still obvious.

This layout is analogue with conventional wiring running off my eight controls, 5 for the tracks and 3 for the lights. The size is around 7 by 5 feet but with a solid wall by the farm board that the tracks have to go round. This time I have used studs for point switching on the 6 hidden points and find it much more positive than the old lever type switches, the hidden sections also light when the track in powered so I can see the points have changed. One thing I must add is that I have full access to all the tracks around the board, this means I have 8 lift away boards and 5 lift off pasterwork sections hence a lot of joins.

My only concern with myself is that I love designing the tracks and building it, the scenery although essential to give it body, I dislike meaning I am already thinking of a new layout even though this one has a way to go yet. Ah well we have to keep our minds active.


N scale model train layout

N scale model train layout

N scale model train layout

N scale model train layout

N scale model train layout

N scale model train layout

n scale sidings

N scale model train layout:

n scale tunnel

n scale night time

N scale model railway

n scale model railway

N scale model railway

N scale model railway

N scale track plan

N scale model railway


And here’s the video:

“Hey Al, I’ve been enjoying the pics n the tips. I have one of my own. I got your engine house after watching the how-to-video n thought I’d give it a go. When I finished it up, I thought, it needs down-spouts. I was going to use wooden dowel rods, but thought, years ago a lot of these buildings had brass or copper for rain gutters. I took the rails off 2 old pieces of track n cut to length. I used the rail as the back, sliced a grove down the wall for the rail to set in. Cut just the slightest part of the rail near the end n it turned up ever so slightly n then I super-glued it in the grove. Now I just need to figure out how to get that dirty greenish aged look.




Bob has done a sterling job on the engine shed.

If you’d like to have a go at one, here’s a special offer just for you.

Thanks to everyone – I really enjoyed Eric’s N scale model train layout, the video really does it justice.

That’s all this time folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

And if Bob’s engine shed has got you on the verge of starting your layout, good, because it’s all about starting: the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

42 Responses to N scale model train layout – Eric’s

  1. Lawrence says:

    Absolutely beautiful. This is one of the best and the type I would like to do. I am going to move in Set 2016 and will being doing another set up. Thanks for showing of yours.

  2. RONALD S BUTLER says:

    great layout will post mine someday tks again Ron

  3. Don Stanley says:

    Wow, excellent work.

  4. Frank holsinger says:

    Clean, not cluttered.

  5. david howarth says:

    Fantastic layout you have built there Eric , looks very good ..and `Bob to add the green age look , drop of PVA and sprinkle some of the scenics grass on , preferably the darker green one ….Dave

  6. Al Faulkner says:

    How come you don’t mention what gauge the person is using.

  7. Ken says:

    Really nice layout. I love n-scale for how much railroad you can get in a small space.

  8. David says:

    I read these every day, still a year from starting mine, but this ( to me) innovative idea of only seeing the front of a layout, with lots of action, is super. I loved it!

  9. George Reid says:

    What gauge? Great looking track work. I am the opposite.. I hate the track work and usually stall completely before it can even start running trains. I love the scenery part. Hummm perhaps we should partner up.

  10. George Reid says:

    Oh sorry i see it’s N gauge now in the video title. I always brush past train/track videos so didnt see that.

  11. Mike Hooper/Ottawa, Canada. says:

    A great layout. The talent and overall skills in model- making show through. well done!!

  12. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Lookin good Eric….Beautiful countryside effect…Bob…Very slick idea…Mike

  13. Eric says:

    Thanks for your comments everyone, I remember many trips to the Yorkshire east coast in my young years before they bypassed all the small villages, The scenery reflects my remembrance of those days with the few cottages at the side of the road and the rest of the village not even noticed as it was off the beaten track. Now you go to the coast and miss all these sort of sights, shame on the road builders,
    Happy modelling.

  14. Phil Saruk says:

    Great Layout! So Much Work! Beautiful!

  15. Mark Jarvis says:

    Hi Eric, nothing wrong with set track, gives nice straight straights, and smooth curves, yes its a compromise in looks but we build railways to run not to keep putting the stock back on the track. Keep up the good work


  16. Don says:

    Out standing I can only dream of having a layout that size and looking that good.

  17. Dr Bob says:

    I noticed you had a pair of tongs on pic#4. Just curious want role they had in the construction of your layout. Very nice track laying, neat, orderly, and exceptionally busy. Love your ideas in getting around the supports in the layout…superb!

  18. M L says:

    I would love to see an enlarged shot of the yard full of those locomotives, things are coming together nicely. I love the scene of the row houses/apartments with parking lot: looks fantastic!

  19. Eric says:

    Ah, the tongs are very handy when constructing as it is either get down and crawl into the centre to get a tool, or just pick the item up from the front with the tongs. The most used item is also shown in that pic, that is a lawyers bodkin a wooden handle and a long needle like stem with point and a needle type hole in the end. It serves as a hole starter for screws, trees etc and also using the needle for pulling wires through small holes. Also useful is the 18″ blue ruler with a track cleaner superglued to one end can reach track I can’t, the other end I attach double sided sticky pads to help rescue a derailed coach from a tight space. Hope this is useful.

  20. Vic Heffren says:

    Beautiful !

  21. Joe says:

    Wonderful pics and great video…You certainly have a talent for detail…

  22. JAYRAY says:

    Wow Eric, you certainly managed to put a lot of track into that layout. It did come together quite well. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Joe

  23. James says:

    nice looking layout

  24. Ian Mc Donald says:

    That layout is just so inspiring seeing the start and where you have come is magical the video is great backup seeing trains moving on the layout. hope to see some more follow up. nice idea with the down pipes.

  25. Don gator Henry says:

    nice layout,

  26. Don gator Henry says:

    nice layout,got some good ideas thanks, Gator

  27. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Well done looks great lot of work , great job

  28. Franco428 says:

    The initial track shots of his concept for the layout looked a lot like many of my friends last try at making something great. The finishing didn’t have to be special because of his “Yard” designs. But Eric did and excellent job to finish his layout with special features. I was looking at Eric’s yard design and was thinking how I could make a diode switching matrix to change single switches or a switch for a single train path for a yard that size. The older I get the less time I seem to have for all my projects. Eric’s design is elegant as it is complex. I may have time to finish a layout like Eric’s. Thanks for the ideas.

  29. steve says:

    to turn your copper rails green use copper sulfate solution , no idea on what the mix is but artist use it on copper foiled stained glass .

  30. John Reynolds says:

    That is a stunning build….
    Lots of good ideas on the shed….

  31. Robert Lethbridge says:

    FAN FLIPPING TASTICK!!!!!!!!!! Delightful !!!!
    Thank you for sharing what you have acheived, Eric

  32. william gavel says:

    Do they make these cutout buildings in O gauge?

  33. Ian Schoeman says:


  34. William Mitchell says:

    It’s a fantastic layout!! You are a great builder and a super craftsman. I wish I had your talent and maybe I would start my own layout. I will just have to be happy seeing other owner’s masterpieces.

  35. Scott J says:

    I can imagine the control panel you have for a DC layout of that size.. lots of selectors, switch controls, etc. Probably like mine before I went to DCC and got rid of all the complexity. Great job on the trackwork, gives me a few ideas for using some of my spare crossovers!

  36. Grant Miles says:

    William, I do hope that you will try to build a layout. We all have that first layout. It’s a learning experience that’s both rewarding and enjoyable. Folks like Eric and Dangerous Dave are sharing their projects, skills and enthusiasm. Their postings are certainly encouraging. Myself, I will lay track anywhere, scenery, a little more difficult.. This is our Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, may you all have a nice weekend with family.

  37. Bill in Virginia says:

    Really like the yards you have set up. Realistic and very good for operations 👍🏼

  38. Erick says:

    I like it and pretty kool ? I just hope mine comes out that good.

  39. Jay Shell says:

    I assume he buys his switches wholesale. I lost count.

  40. Red says:

    I would love to have a layout with a yard like that.
    Amazing layout, love it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  41. Andrew Aves says:

    Eric, You must be one of the most active layout builders, we must have seen 3 or 4 of your layouts in the past few years, all of them at a very high standard when finished.
    I am just completing my fourth layout rebuild in my shed in 10 years and like you, once the layout is finished and fully operational I think of revisions and improvements and I start again.
    Andrew in Oz

  42. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Eric great looking layout, love the yard and lights great job!! Nice scenery also God Speed!

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