Folded dog bone layout

Rob’s been in touch with his folded dog bone layout:

“Hi Al… plan to keep your layout flexible … do not make everything so rigid that it becomes too much trouble to make modifications …

allow for the rearrangement of some scenry (trees) and layout accessories and buildings … minor adjustments to track … maybe add a siding …

the whole concept being similar to rearranging furniture in your home to offer a new perspective … I have found that this approach gives me new incentives and extends the pleasure of the hobby by working the mind …

always have a theme in mind for your layout … give a function to different parts … city … industrial … rural … give the trains a place to go … for me it was the small town USA … along with coal, oil / gas and freight …

FYI, the Gulf oil tanks on my layout were made from coffee cans … 6 1/2″ in diameter and 6 1/2″ tall …

my layout is a 6′ x 18′ dog bone, 3′ wide in the middle … 90 sf of table top surface … runs two trains, over and under action with bridges … four sidings … fun to run


folded dogbone layout

folded dogbone layout

O scale freight

Model train layout

model railroad silo

A big thanks to Rob for sharing his folded dog bone layout – I thought his advice was spot on too. Very succinct!

“Hi Alastair,

Here are a couple pictures of a bridge I am building for the track to make it to an actual folding bridge – access entrance.

I am using this craft-type balsa you can find at a big-box hardware.

This balsa represents 8×8’s about 16 feet high. Then there will be side rails that will be the foundation for beams about the same width. These will support the track.

This will be an area as a dry river bed. And, formed with a drywall patch compound that sets up quickly.

The white foam area will be an oil platform and scenery. It will have a track and a siding for service.

So, here is the beginning construction. Perhaps you could consider sharing this.


model railroad bridge

model train bridge

model train bridge pillars

I do love seeing a layout before the scenery is down and the bare bones are hidden. Such a joy then to see the ‘finished’ pics.

Now on to Dave:

“Hi Al, had another day up in North Yorkshire , managed to capture a bit of steam


A big thanks to Dave – you can see his layout in the Hall of Fame.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

9 Responses to Folded dog bone layout

  1. Rick Berger says:

    Dear Mr. Lee,
    I am looking for a rather unique item, that I hope your readers may help with.
    It has to do with the “S” gaugers among your faithful readers.
    A number of years ago, an American company named Hartoy, Inc., issued a special edition of their 22’ bullnose trailer in a circus theme. I believe it was a custom imprint for a train club somewhere in the eastern United States. These trailers came on a flatcar, although some came in a window box in a clear, plastic shell. All of them came with a fifth-wheel dollie that would allow for double and triple trailer rigs. The basic white trailers, with the circus themed decorations, had the number “124” in a circle on either rear, bottom side of the of the trailer. The basic orange colored trailer had the number “122” in the same location.
    My buddy and I are looking for a couple of the basic orange trailers with the number “122” on the back, rear side of the trailer…although we would consider all of the options!
    As I stated above, both trailers had a basic white and a basic orange paint job, respectively, with a number of circus-themed pictures on each side of each trailer.
    This is as accurate as I can recall from pictures that I once saw.
    If any of your readers can help us with this search, we would greatly appreciate it!
    Thank you for your time, and the great work you do on this site!!
    Rick, Seattle, WA, USA

  2. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice i like it alot.

  3. Stephen Hill says:

    Bob, looks like you’re having fun , that’s all that counts . Great start to your layout , the oil tanks are awesome.
    Good to see you’re enjoying your trains .

  4. Rob McCrain says:

    You and the missus are looking good Dave.

  5. george zaky says:

    Very nice O scale layout. When a layout is super detailed its a beast to make changes so the planning stage is most important.
    Scale please. I’ll assume HO and though the columns are massive I like a base of light ply under the track because the track is not really strong enough on curves. The column should be at the joints and no joints between.
    Dave & Deb
    What a delightful trip through North Yorkshire. Coffee in hand, the piano music now an ear worm, and a wonderful movie to start the day. It doesnt get better than this- thanks. So glad to see the both of you well. Keep it that way!
    Big Al
    Hollywood should learn from you. Gracie

  6. Patrick Leonard says:

    Love the Erector Set bridge.

  7. Jersey Shore John says:

    Amen, Rob!

  8. Don says:

    love the whole layout from the oil refinery to the Grainery, water towers, the tankers on the train & especially the passenger train on the bridge the entire thing was well done.

  9. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Rob…..nice layout….looks like fun.

    Keith……. send the pics when finished.

    Dave…… always love your videos.

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