OO scale layouts – Geoff’s

There are lots of OO scale layouts on the blog now, here’s Geoff’s:

“Hi Al,

Geoff Tate here from Northumberland. I have been building a OO scale model railway in my 8 x 6 garden shed (its expanding into the garden now!)

Its no where near finished, but the pics help me identify what needs to be done. Control is DC, stock is mostly Hornby. Track is Hornby/Peco/Atlas.

I am also building a HO scale railroad in my garage in Florida (where I have more space). I started that one in April this year, in the space vacated by my 1982 Corvette! This one is DCC. No pics yet but back out next month so I will keep you posted.


oo scale layouts

oo scale layouts

oo scale layouts

oo scale layouts

oo scale layouts

model railway

model railway

oo scale layouts

OO scale layouts:

model railway

model railway

model railway

Now on to Cameron:

“Dear Al,

Another instalment.

The next building in the Lanarth line up is the signal box. Unlike the goods shed there were no plans available for this building on line so I
needed to work up the plans based on photos from the site.

I wanted to show a bit of detail inside the signal box so spent some time scratch building the furniture that would be typical for this type of signal box.

For the windows I first tried plastic mullions but these were too thick. In the end I used clear acetate sheet with the window mullions painted on using a bow pen. This turned out to be quite quick and very effective for a building that has a lot of glazing and mullions.

The progress and final photos are attached.



model railway signal box

model railway signal box

signal box scratch build

OO scale signal box

oo scale signal box

“Hi Al , Have been asked a few times re putting weights on to rolling stock to help keep them on the tracks ..well here is my answer with a couple of tips ..

Hope this can be of some use to some of the modellers experiencing these problems



A big thanks to Dave and Geoff for sharing thier OO scale layouts. Hope they’ve inspired you to roll up your sleeves and get going! The Beginner’s Guide is here if that’s you.

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



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

26 Responses to OO scale layouts – Geoff’s

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Probably best not to force your back-to-back gauge between the wheels like that as most wheels are on little plastic insulating bushes round the axle and shoving the wheel out at an angle can crush the plastic and leave you a wobbly wheelset. I find if I take the wheels out I can shift them by twisting gently between three fingers of each hand, moving them out while keeping them at right angles to the axle. For really stubborn ones, I hold the axle firmly in pliers and use a tack-lifter between the pliers head and one wheel, so the V in the lifter goes either side of the axle and the ends press evenly on the wheel n line with the axle. The angled head of the lifter gives a leverage against the pliers so squeezing their handles towards each other gently gives you great control.

    If your back to back dimensions are right but you still get derailments, other things to look for are: little extra lips of plastic moulding flash, or slightly misplaced under frame details, stopping trucks (bogies) or coupler mounts turning freely; distortion of the car frame or mounts so the truck pivots are not perpendicular, which can be caused by, say, not getting the body back onto all its holding lugs after fitting lights, people or whatever; and finally are the NEM pockets that hold the coupler heads drooping? If so the coupling bars may be overriding when the train jerks or stops. A problem for UK modellers using tension lock couplings may be different makes not being compatible, which can lead to over-riding or one hook going to the side of the opposing bar and applying side force on a curve.

  2. Tony Dodd says:

    There is a standard formula for weighting OO rolling stock:

    28g + 5g per cm of wheelbase length.

    I use DeLuxe Material’s “Liquid Weight” very successfully.

  3. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Definitely on the way Geoff….Be interesting to see how the outdoor extension comes out….As for extra weight in my cars I open them up and glue or use the “self-sticks” like Dave uses to hold them in place….Mike

  4. Ron Schultz says:

    I now find my self trying to count the ceiling panels on Dave’s RR to figure how large his room in the loft is . I can also see an other space behind the one end that looks like he has a den or room there At 8 feet per panel I figure his layout may be nearly 60 feet long. That’s why the long trains look so nice . Thanks for the train rides on your lay out .And all the tips. very welcome . Thanks, Ron In Ohio, USA

  5. Joe says:

    Hi Dave,
    I watch all of your posts and enjoy them greatly. I notice that you have numerous free standing buildings. Are they ready made buildings, snap or glue building kits, paper buildings glued over a stiffener or completely scratch built and hand decorated?
    Thanks and keep on a posting.

  6. Looks really good. Are you aware of Jenny Kirk’s modeling on You Tube? She too has expanded into her small garden area. One picture shows just thin plywood uder the reack. What kind of baseboard support are you using (I have a hard time with small print)?

  7. tom kocher says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I was born and raised in Sunbury, Thought I would get your thoughts on the pre-war Lionel 00 trains I have – some of which I am going to sell, since I am much older now .. and will likely not use them in a train layout ever again.

    I have two sets of the hudson engine and tender .. each with several cars. They are both in good condition. I also have a fair amount of the 3 rail track, with two switches as well.

    My Dad and Grandfather’s all worked on the railroad … initially right out of the Northumberland yard – and then subsequently out of the Baltimore Bay View yard .. which caused our eventual move to Baltimore.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this when you have a moment.


    Tom Kocher

  8. Stephen D Gispanski says:

    Nice lay out, my father turned me on to O gauge when I was really young. Even at that time I did not know there were so many gauges. I can’t wait to start building mine. I like how you have yours spread out, I know you still have to install landscape and other businesses. But I think your lay out looks good. I have different lay outs for mine but we are going to move so my man cave is full of boxes that have HO & O gauges and a bunch of modules that are airplanes. Until then, I have a thought on how I am going set it up, and It will change by then. I will keep on looking.

  9. Harvey Trewarn says:

    When will someone post some photos of a layout that doesnt look like a kit plonked on a flat board. I am tired of seeing flat roads…flat villages….flat rivers…..flat construction sites….flat house blocks…..and even when someone does build a mountain side scene, the mountain looks like an ice cream cake in the middle of a kitchen table.
    If you ever take a ride in a helicopter and look down on the countryside…..NOWWHERE is ever completely flat…..not even the dessert.
    Get some imagination guys and show me a LIFELIKE scene.

  10. Alan Marriott says:

    I had a more practical way of weighting the rolling stock. I used $1 and later $2 coins. Always knew where there was spare cash if needed at 4 coins per carriage/wagon times 71 units. Did remember to remove them before heading off to PNG to work and gave the whole shebang away to a club member. Believe some of the 1.2km of track sections, 41 locos and 71 rolling stock are still running at model shows around Melbourne some three decades later but those I knew have long passed on. Still looking out for my Hornby Britannia loco acquired in 1973 for the princely sum of $7 from my 16th birthday gift money.

  11. Wallace Daffner says:

    If you put the weights inside the tank car it works just as well and doesn’t look so unreal.

  12. Ian Mc Donald says:

    thanks for the layout photos looking good. great how to and good to see some trains running.

  13. Greg says:

    Nice!!!!! As for weights in my cars I use stick on tire weights they come in 1/4 oz up too 1 oz they seem to work very well you have to be sure to center them so the car doesn’t lean. Can’t wait to see the expansion good luck.
    Happy Rails
    Greg SC USA

  14. Helmut Eppich says:

    Great running session! Always amazed at the layout’s size, detail, and amount of trains. Must have won some awards. I’m not too familiar with model railroading to know if there are any. If there were awards, you should receive one.

  15. d j howarth says:

    Hi Ron to answer your question re size , its just 30 ft. long and 8ft wide , always looks bigger on the screen ……and regards my building , some are scratch , a lot are the metcalfe card buildings that you build yourself , and a lot are the ready made ones which although expensive they do look good ….Dave

  16. Laurence Thompson says:

    A reply to Harvey Trewarn.
    I don’t want to get into a debacle about what’s right or wrong but feel that you are being a little disrespectful to other modellers. If you actually take a good look at some of the creations, finished or not, there are some wonderful layouts with fabulous landscaping and near to perfect within the scale they represent. No disrespect Harvey, you are entitled to an opinion but the beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!

  17. Bob Filipiak says:

    I was born in Shamokin and my grandmother’s house was on the hill above the Nothumberland yard. I. Grew up in Baltimore and lived two blocks from what became the Bayview yard. My father worked for the B & O and I spent Saturday mornings walk v that yard picking up scraps of discarded drainage.

  18. Mike Reich says:

    As a long time helicopter pilot in the Midwest USA I found even gently rolling landscape looks flat from 1000 feet the typical modeler’s perspective. Create however your imagination dictates. I have tried to use parsley to imitate trees but it doesn’t dry well and doesn’t hold up for my indoor landscape. But it might be perfect for a garden layout. Comes up every year, lush if you seed it densely CHEAP, bugs don’t like it, never gets too tall but easily trimmed. Suggest you try it.

  19. Jack windt says:

    I am currently building a ho and hon3 layout in a garage at my home in Sarasota, Florida…… I also run a oo Lionel train equip set up.both two rail and three rail……I ll send pictures in the near future……

  20. Will in NM says:

    Nice start on the OO layout. The white ballast looks a bit large for the track.
    Some earth toned latex paint over the base wood with some strained dirt sprinkled on top would be a quick ground cover that would look more realistic.

    Another nice video. I can only wish I had your video editing skills.

    Your fishing weights are probably less expensive, but I like Pinecar stick-on weights. They’re self-adhesive (double-sided tape) and come in one-ounce slabs (two to a package) that can be snapped off into 1/8 or 1/16 ounce rectangles. I think they’re originally designed for use on Pinewood Derby cars to adjust the weight of the car for better performance on the gravity-driven races.

    I used almost an entire 2-ounce package of them last week to bring a Walthers 23,000-gallon funnel-flow tank car up to its recommended NMRA weight. I pried off one end of the tank and stacked the two strips of weights inside with the self-adhesive tape holding them to the bottom of the tank cylinder, then reinstalled the press-fit tank end. It runs like a champ now and the extra weight is invisible.

  21. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Hey Harvey … maybe you could belly up to the bar and show everyone pictures of your layout’s magnificently realistic undulating landscapes? Then we might all suddenly “see the light”, and joyfully realize that the only right way to do it MUST be The Harvey Way. Can’t wait to see your photos (but I’m not holding my breath).

  22. Mike Matejka says:

    Tom Kocher – if you have 00 gauge pre-WWII Lionel, if they are in decent condition, they would be of value. There is a limited market for those who still operate that equipment but many Lionel collectors like to fill out their span of Lionel products by displaying them. You might check out some of the railroad specialty auction houses — when Lionel 00 in decent shape shows up, it usually attracts decent bids.

  23. Erick says:

    Good Workmanship.

  24. Charles Eyster says:

    In response to several layout appearance comments, I think many modelers start out in the two dimension world initially, moving into three dimensions rapidly. The one commenter mentioned the aspect of four dimensional considerations – elevation changes. This is a difficult concept for many to see and develop accurate perspective. This blog has an enormous number of modelers that have reached this level of expertise. I’ve seen the one guy who is a demigod of geology and rock formation creations, while others excel in water scenes or background scenery and skylines.
    You have yo be understanding of anything people do and wish to submit. We learn a lot from all. I think to only to myself that most O & S gauge layouts lack in the detail that HO permits. Although each of my sibling had O gauge, while the other had S, I had the HO trains! Maybe I am biased towards the later scale. But, I am of the age when this was what was common in the 1950-60’s generation of modelers. How many of us had totally unrealistic metal or styrofoam green turtle shell mountains, before we attempted brown crinkle paper ones as a DYI mountain project? I was many years into my layout before I attempted plaster mountains and elevations!
    Don’t be so hard on flat earthers! It’s their layout, their comfort zone and their idea of dimensional reality!🤔😉

  25. TJK says:

    Hey Dave,
    Entertaining video. Seeing the tanker cars was a bit different as well as the box cars in the yard. You have a great collection of passenger cars.
    I do not own a single passenger car, all my rolling stock is freight related..
    Maybe it’s time to expand my horizons.

  26. TJK says:

    I, along with Dwight from Toronto patiently await Harvey’s photos.
    Maybe even a helicopter ride video!

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