British N gauge – Eric’s

Eric’s been in touch with his very British N gauge layout:

“Hi Al.

I thought members might like to see the update from the bare minimum in my previous video to the slightly revised and slowly taking shape layout.

Below is a plan showing the overall ( revised layout ) I have coloured the four tracks a little to show where they go and at what height.

british n gauge track plan

Picture 1 shows what problem I have to work with, both my hands are more or less the same, the fingers shown are at full stretch and can’t be straightened. Working in N gauge means they have to fiddle sometimes for a long time before something gets done so building is slow progress but it keeps them working

british n gauge

Picture 2 Shows the old farm level with a few improvements above the helix to the right of the layout. Flower seller, larger pub/ B&B and the slightly altered building land now with floodlights so they can work at night (slave labour). Ignore the bodies on the road a bulldozer will bury them later after all it is a work in progress.

british n gauge

Picture 3. This is another view of the farm section.

british n gauge

british n gauge

Shows the slowly growing land around the helix area, of course this has got to be properly painted and sown with grass.

british n gauge

model train

Shows the rest of the board with some covers temporally in place to take the village when I decide how I want it, on the video I showed the engine shed but decided that this would take up half the village space so decided to hide the three sidings in tunnels rather than have them open.

model railway

model railway N scale

N scale model railway

model railway

A long view back to the wall and a closer view of the main road that passes along the top of the village again a lot more trees and bushes to be sown there and I think the hot dog seller would enjoy more traffic and people visiting. The garages hide wiring I couldn’t conceal below the boards. The two back shelves there are both removable to get to the track below. I hope you like the progress to date.

model train

Happy modelling folks.


A big thanks to Eric for sharing his British N gauge. You can see his previous post here.

It’s all gone very quiet from our friends across the Atlantic, so please do keep ’em coming. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world…

And if you’re still sitting on the sidelines and looking for inspiration, you can get the Beginners Guide here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

38 Responses to British N gauge – Eric’s

  1. Anthony says:

    Looking Good. I have this Hot Dog Caravan.

  2. Stephen Boisvert says:

    I am building a 4×8 HO scale layout and would love to share my pics with what I have done so far. This layout will be for my grandkids. Where do I send my pictures?

  3. Christian Johnson says:

    You are doing a great job looksbgreat. Christian Tasmania

  4. david vulgar says:

    that is looking good. I see you have a major accident on the road with lots of people flat out and the driver didn’t even stop

  5. Keith Willoughby says:

    Fantastic! ….. I’ve just retired at 62 and am about to embark on a Z gauge layout, my hands are working fine and I find it a fiddle, so I take my hat off to you sir for your determination and patience. Great layout, can’t wait to see the finished article.


  6. Rod Mackay says:

    Eric, I struggle to work as neatly and consistently as that with two fully working hands, and even then I thought seriously about taking up stamp collecting instead the other night when trying to put some pointwork together that needed to have four plastic fishplates all lined up and engaging at once! Well done mate, Rod.

  7. bob says:

    Could you PLEASE provide overall dimnsions? Thanks


  8. kim says:

    N scale handicapped. Great work with the disability. The people pileup must be a normal thing for layout’s. I have a bunch that lay around as well.Keep up the great work Eric. love to see more as you go. thanks.

  9. I have to agree with what everyone else is saying. The pictures are fantastic. Once I get a bit further on with my layout, I’d like to share some pictures as well, if I knew how and where to send them

  10. Paul Vogel says:

    Yo Eric: My hands are both in fine shape but I wish my work was half as nice as yours. Great layout !!!!! Paul

  11. Ray says:

    Amazing work. Thanks for sharing

  12. Wayne Pursh says:

    Very impressive track plan and scenery is looking great. I admire your tenacity, workmanship and patience. Hang in there.

    Wayne – Pittsburgh

  13. Bob Lee says:

    I like it, and will at some stage place pics of mine on here, no Laughter please. I have decided to make a section of my layout the Waterloo Station in the 1940 era, I can’t make it to scale because the length of platforms would be about 10ft, This is going to take quite some time and I’m already past my sell by date so watch this space!!

  14. Bob Townsend says:

    Hi Eric.
    Well done, your layout achievement makes me envious!
    It is obvious that your determination and patience has overcome more than just the normal ‘challenges’ of modelling, especially in small gauges. You should be congratulated and held as an example to us all.

  15. David Hannan says:

    Very inspirational! Well done! I really like the background – the washout effect looks very realistic.

  16. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Coming along nicely.

  17. Bruce Buchanan says:

    Hi Rod. Yes it is OK to do stamp collecting and model railroading. I have been collecting stamps for 60 years, and N gauge for almost 35 years. Old retired Bruce.

  18. eric7 says:

    Hi all and thanks for you comments. Bob the layout is around 7 ft 6 ins by 4 ft 6 ins with the wall blocking straight lines and the reason for my helix which fits snuggly behind the wall. The backgrounds are Peco and look like real scenery rather than the photo backgrounds and a spring summer grass mix blends in well with them, or I think so. Send pictures in your e-mails to Al with a resume of your layout, it’s that easy but make sure the images are not too big or the e-mail may not get through. Hope this helps.
    Eric (Leeds. West Yorkshire).

  19. Gene says:

    Excellent workmanship, Sir! To do what you do, with what you have been handed is absolutely amazing. Thank you for the inspiration!

  20. kim says:

    For sending info or picture’s.Send them to Alastair. So send an email to Al and attach your work to the email and send.

  21. John Dye says:

    Thanks for sharing with us…. can you tell me what the dimensions of your benchwork or table are.

    Thanks, John Yuma, AZ USA

  22. Pete Evangel says:

    Eric. Fantastic layout. It looks huge and you’ve done a lot of work so far. I love the detail you’ve put in, including the people on the roadway!! Are you running all this on DCC? Would love to learn about your wiring.
    Pete-San Jose U.S.

  23. I am not certain I would have the strength of character to accomplish what you have done. I admire your tenacity and the what you have accomplished. I am not a model railroader, but I do enjoy seeing the work of others. Please continue on and remember that in disparity there is frequently strength available not given to others.

  24. Denis Mc Bride says:

    Excellent . Loved what you did with your layout. Go go to show what you can do with an idea and perseverance

  25. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Great work Eric You certainly have tenacity and patience. Most people would have thrown in the towel. I’m having trouble just with HO. Truth be told, I’m having trouble typing this reply. The Ol’ Sausage Fingers are slow to react (The wife says that the brain is even worse)……………………………………
    ……………………………………………….Fitz from near Phila PA. US.

  26. wow wotta great little layout and the economy of space is just what i am planning too….in my studio apt….
    I need to show my layout plan to Alistair
    great post!!
    keep em runnin fellas!!

  27. quick question here fellas and Alistair
    is there a website or softwear that does the graphics of the layout plan above..?
    I would love to have that….if anybody knows
    Mark StJohn from Long Beach Cal.

  28. jan watters says:


  29. Don R says:

    Eric, you are truly an inspiration. Just a thought: Assuming you own the house, would it not be possible to knock a tunnel through that intruding wall, even a small one so as not to affect its structural integrity? Great work and hope to see more as you get on. All the best

  30. Ross Johnston says:

    Great work Eric! I enjoyed your pictures and looking at your track layout. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Rossco Adelaide, Australia

  31. Ian Campbell says:

    Loves the builder’s portakabins next to the unfinished houses. 🙂

    As someone else said, I struggle to build in 1:144, N, & 1:700 with two normal working hands, i duinno how you manage any of this!

    Fantastic stuff, Ian. C, Tasmania.

  32. eric7 says:

    From Eric
    Unfortunately I am in a rented flat so can’t knock through the wall and I have had to keep everything so I can put the wardrobe back together when needed. The plan was basically drawn on Paint Shop Pro 8 which I prefer to use but there must be easier ways available. Pete I use analogue controls and do basic wiring under the boards as required no high tech work involved anyone can do it. Thank you all for your kind comments and hopefully I will try update in a month or two.

  33. Roy says:

    Hi Eric, great layout and fare size too, I had one like yours where you crawl under neath and up though the middle, but it was to much for me ended up in hospital. Well got a horse shoe shape now layout far easy now just walk to the centra. I work with n gauge and have done for 50 yrs now, don’t need a lot of space where 16 X 12 would taken the ground floor of this house. In OO that is, well you keep the good work coming, it does help you to relax more I think, well works for me. You take care now. Roy

  34. Barrie Davis says:

    Brilliant, I couldn’t do this with two good hands. One question, what software or method did Eric use to produce the layout diagram (Picture 1)?

  35. david howarth says:

    Great work you have managed there Eric , not easy in N scale and then problems with your hand , so top marks all round …Dangerous Dave

  36. Arnie Steiner says:

    Hi Eric – Great job on the progress with your layout. Kudos to you for all you planned and accomplished; especially given your somewhat uncooperative hands. I too work in N scale and even without any physical restrictions the work is a best time consuming and sometimes downright frustrating. Look forward to seeing your continued progress. Arnie

  37. John Reynolds says:

    Excellent work!
    Note: One of the best modelers I ever knew had hands that trembled like a leaf in a gale… He scratchbuilt everything… His models were in HO scale but many of his work pieces bordered on the microscopic…. Wish I had pictures to share…
    I just plain do not have the patience or fine motor skills…
    My work is a lot like I measure with a micrometer, mark with chalk, and cut with an axe…. Not intentionally! It is just my perception of the result!

  38. Brilliant work Eric, it is very nice to see a “work in progress” item and it will be just great to see some more pictures in a few months time. You have set yourself very high standards and I, for one, applaud you loudly. Well done indeed. Would be good also to see a video when you get some train movements organised.
    Best wishes. Norman (UK).

Leave a Reply

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