Engine yard HO layout update

Gary’s been back in touch with an update to his engine yard:

And what a narrative he’s put together.

What makes it more impressive, is how Gary has documented his whole journey.

His last post is here.

“Hi Alastair:

It’s been three months since my last update to you on my HO Layout of Sunnyside Yard.

If you remember, I have broken my layout into separate projects: Passenger Yard, Commissary and Power buildings, the Engine Yard and the Main Line.

I have sent along pictures of the overall engine yard and the scratch built Engine House. I still have much work to do on the engine yard but I am 99% finished with the south side of the engine yard which includes the Engine House and I thought I would send you an update.

I also built the utility building next to the engine house which I had to build from scratch because I needed to cover the circuits that control the work engine which runs back and forth alongside the engine yard. I could not find any building kit that fit between the tracks but was large enough to cover the circuits.

I hope you and the other modelers like the pictures.

I learned a lot from the emails you send showing the layouts from the other modelers. I got a lot of ideas from them.

One thing about Sunnyside Yards and for most all engine yards, there is not much green scenery in a train yard. So I have had to spend a lot of time creating scenes in the engine yard. I did take some liberty and added some shrubbery by the fence and around the tower poles.

I also messed up two of the switches with ballast; I have to go back and fix them. It’s been fun but it will be a long time before it is completed. But I think like Dangerous Dave I actually will never be finished. There will always be something to add or fix or change, which I think is the attraction to this hobby.

My next effort will be the north side of the engine yard. I need to complete a road coming into the yard which will go into the Commissary section.

So long for now. I will send another update when I complete the north side of the engine yard. Keep the emails coming; I am glad that you were ab le to keep the site going.


Gary M from Long Island.”

HO scale engine yard

engine yard HO scale

HO scale freight

HO scale engine house

model railroad sidings

HO scale north side

HO scale south side

engine house HO scale

“Hi Al,

just posted a short video showing some Freight trains running very slow (as I keep getting accused of running too fast).

It also shows a short piece of a new angle I have filmed from the roof of a freight car, must do more of that.



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today folks.

A big thanks to Gary for sharing his engine yard update.

Please do keep ’em coming, and don’t forget, it you want to make that start – just like Gary did – the Beginner’s Guide is here.



21 Responses to Engine yard HO layout update

  1. Peter Waring says:

    Dave , love your freight trains, but a bit slow I thought 😂😂. Peter..

  2. Larry says:

    Dave, Like the lay out and the way the freight trains are running. Freight trains normal run slower than passenger trains. I once had to wait an half hour for a freight train too pass. It was very long and there was no other way to get around it. I was in Maine.

  3. Tom says:

    Okay Dave. Great filming. I hear you hired an upscale band. Looked for them in park. Looked at station. Looked on high street. As good as they are, they should be seen.😁

  4. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow !!! that’s a really really nice job on your rail yard makes me want to start building my layout and use some of your ideas Thanks for sharing Chris

  5. John Frye says:

    Great layout and lots of interesting trackage, bet there are some fun switching of cars to sidings. I love that aspect of model railroading, like, how do you get the car into the siding and not trap the engine?
    The modeling of the yard with GG-1’s brings back memories. I actually got to ride in the cramped cab of one for about 3 miles when I worked at the legendary Potomac Yards ion Alexandria, VA. Seeing the track in front out of the tiny windshield was a real challenge.

  6. John. Dougherty says:

    Hi love the video, what camera does Dave use, would love to get one. Dave always has the coolest stuff.Thank you

  7. Gary Manganiello says:

    Fo0r Jim Frye……. I was a freight conductor for the Penny from 1966 thru 1972 working mostly in Sunnyside Yards, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Your right about the cabs in the GG-1, they were very cramped and you really didn’t see a lot looking out those small front windows. For a few jobs that I had, our crew worked with the original built GG-1 (#4800) rivets and all. I loved the GG-1. I think it is the best electric locomotive ever built. There was no better view than watching a
    GG-1 come roaring down the main line through New Jersey. They were beautiful. I wanted my layout’s theme to be GG-1 oriented. Thanks for the comment.

    Gary M

  8. Dan Hulitt says:

    Gary, have not ever seen so many GG-1’s in one place. Very well done scenes, loved it.

    Dave, loved the speed, can actually read the names on the cars, plus the new angles you shot from.

    Mn Dan

  9. Helmut Eppich says:

    Always like to watch your videos. They, and your layout, have that homey feel. Your running sessions are very relaxing. Your knowledge and experience with model railroading is amazing. There is a feeling of professionalism and wisdom accompanying your layout. Reminiscent of my local hobby shop as a kid. Was billed as a hardware store, but they carried lots of different “N”, “HO”, Lionel train sets along with track accessories, switches, various types of rolling stock, etc. Even had an older gentleman at the rear in a small area repairing engines. Used a jeweler’s one-eyed, single lens, loupe. Always loved that lichen and styrofoam tunnel spray-pianted green around the sides with white on top. Looking forward to your next video, as always.

  10. Helmut Eppich says:

    Oh yes. Your camera shots are great too!

  11. Norman Rosen says:

    Your skills as a modeler are matched only by your video skills. I for one do not believe your trains are running too slow. I know nothing about British Railway and I have a good sound system on my computer, but I swear that some of your diesel locomotives sound like they need a complete overhaul! Keep up the excellent work.

  12. Marklin ed says:

    Hello Gary I lived with in walking distance of Sunny Side Yards. Do you remember the American freight building in the yard. I think that was the name of my uncle worked there and cousin work there for Penn. Railroad. Great job on the Yard.

  13. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    Hey Dave, I like the slower speed and I really like the view from the roof top of the car.

  14. Martin Gliddon says:

    Brilliant Dave, scale speed running. It makes all the difference to your videos. This one is absolutely superb. Well done.

  15. Gerald says:

    I like this speed. Seems more realistic for the scale. As usual everything looks great.

  16. Dave, Your videos are always so entertaining! I liked the slower speeds of the freight trains. I have just one comment about the sound effects: why do we only duplicate the engine sounds? I live less than half a mile from a Union Pacific mainline and it’s not just the engine noise I hear when a train passes. The rumble and squeaks of the rail cars passing goes on for several minutes long after the engine noise is past. Should we be putting sound units in our freight cars too? Just a thoought.

  17. JOHN FELTY says:

    Way to slow down and smell the coffee. Really like your scenery/backdrops..etc.
    Good show!

  18. Cassie Andrzejewski says:

    Hi Dave,
    I love your videos and admire your layout. I have been working on a layout for my grandson. He loves it. I just started 18 months ago so I have a lot to learn. I am interested in knowing more about your train table, the cover and how you started the layout. My layout is O gauge, but want to build a new layout when my grandson gets a little older.

  19. Gary Manganiello says:

    TO:John Frye……

    Your question to me….”…how do you get the car into the siding and not trap the engine?…” In the second picture, you can see two tracks running down the middle of the engine yard. Those two track lead to a slip switch where I can move the engines from one side to the other. Each siding off of those rails is a block that I control the power to. My sidings are for the maintenance of the engines, so I will be storing only engines on those sidings. Two of the longer sidings will hold double engines. I can park an engine in the siding, cut the power, throw the switch and then run out another engine from another siding. The end result of my layout will be the ability to change engines on the passenger trains. The passenger trains will come off the main line and the engine will be uncoupled and run into the engine yard and a different engine can the come out of the engine yard and couple to the passenger train. I will have 5 passenger trains in the passenger yard with one thru track. But that’s a long way off from where I am now. I will finish the engine yard and work on the commissary buildings and then the passenger yard.

    Thank you for asking.

    Gary M

  20. Rod Mackay says:

    Larry, our UK Freightliner intermodal trains are timed for 75mph, most other freight such as those silver cement tankers for 60, some older stock like the 4-wheel oil tankers might be limited to 45, but all subject to whatever the line speed limit was at the location, some places such as sharp curves or through complex junctions could be as low as 15. Some of the modernised Royal Mail vans were good for 100 and are fastest normal service passenger trains run at 125, some could go faster but that would require in-cab signalling rather than lineside signals. Where we have that (just the link from London to the Channel Tunnel as yet) they do 186.

  21. Having grown up not far from the Sunnyside Yards I would say you did a wonderful job of capturing the flavor. The entire yard would be huge even in N-scale but this certainly give you the picture.

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