Model train yard – Glyn’s update

Glyn’s been back in touch with an update on his model train yard:

“Hello Al

A few days ago I was able to get back to modeling and built a new steam loco service shed which was the final kit I needed to complete the structures integral to my steam and diesel service area.

The first image is the un-assembled layout showing the 3 limbs of the basic E structure with the marshaling yard as the center limb.

The 2nd image shows it all bolted together minus any structures or scenic components.

The 3rd image is a close up of the track layout for the yard with some connecting roadway ramp added.

I then glued down some foam construction board painted grey, as a foundation concrete slab for several of the warehouse buildings abutting sidings. With these in place I built a coaling station, sanding tower, water tower, signal tower, diesel fuel facility and a steam loco repair shed.

I juggled them around a little to achieve the effect I wanted and make the yard as functional as possible prototypically then set them in position and applied my ground cover of gravel and light sand to hide the base board.I spray painted a road along the left hand side of the yard and centre striped it for traffic flow.

I haven’t applied pools of standing water, grass or any lights and figures yet but at least the basic form of this section of the layout is now set and glued down. Next will be insertion of the yard illumination with Brawa light towers and then some detail landscaping before figures are added.

It’s all been great fun which is what it should be. I hope to provide a video of the construction to date in the not too distant future.

Thanks again


model train yard Coaling station

Construction foam board concrete pad

model train yard Diesel fuel facility

Final assembly model railroad crane

model train yard final set-up

Model train yard:

model train yard Marshaling yard 2

sanding tower

HO scale Unassembled model rairoad modules

HO scale Water tower

Huge thanks to Glyn for sharing his model train yard update. Stunning work and stunning pics. And as you know, I do love the progress pics.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

41 Responses to Model train yard – Glyn’s update

  1. Ian Schoeman says:

    I love it. Those tanks look really good? Is it metal?

    Great layout!

  2. Norman Backman says:

    WOW !! What a layout in the making. Terrific, can’t wait to see the next instalment.

  3. Glyn says:

    Thanks for the kind comments. No, the diesel fuel tanks are from a plastic Faller kit and one of the nicest looking fuel facility kits I could find out there. They are sprayed with a grey primer (Home Depot) as a base coat then sprayed with silver enamel from Floquil. Then I lightly sprayed a patchy coat of “Smoke” acrylic to weather the tops and bottoms of the tanks and staircases using my airbrush. An airbrush is so helpful to achieve smooth effects. Once dried I smeared some of the Smoke color in streaks from the pipe joints etc to simulate leaked oil. I lightly spotted the seams and odd metal joints with Rust acrylic paint. I also added some crackle effect on the tank tops to simulate peeling paint. Not very good at it yet but you can buy crackle effect medium or you can achieve it with women’s hairspray -couple of useful videos on YouTube that I saw.

  4. ian impett says:

    WOW, What a great room, I bet were all very envious IAN

  5. ian impett says:

    Hi mate, where did that great crane come from??????? IAN, The layout is great too, I was a bit carried away with your space in previous comment. Iv’e got a room but nowhere as large as this. amazing !!!! regards IAN

  6. Wayne Pursh says:

    Wow, that is just, ………wow. The beautiful weathering and detail…….Wow.

  7. George Ross says:

    THIS IS GREAT. Continued success with the layout.

  8. Steve Roberts says:

    Oh for the space – great job Glyn. Going to be a great railway. SteveRUK

  9. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Very nice , please share future photos,can you post a layout diagram?

  10. david howarth says:

    nice progress Glyn ….Dave

  11. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Well sir…For “Not being very good at it”….You have done one hellovajob at it…Very nice detail….and I like the “Home Depot” inclusion….There are many things usable there at a cheap price….Keep up the good work….Mike

  12. Gary Reese says:

    Love all the detail. Great work.

  13. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Fantastic work Glyn. The before and after shots show just how much you’ve accomplished.

  14. Phil Saruk says:

    I love the layout; the weathering is fantastic! I just have one question on your Coal Station; I see the coal goes from the Rail Car to the Box on the side of the track or vice versa; but how does it get delivered? Truck? The Coal Dumps I’m familiar with have a conveyor dumping into Rail Cars then the Rail Cars go over a section of track where the coal is dumped from underneath through the bottom doors of the Rail Car; there it is pushed around by front-end loaders, and then loaded into trucks for delivery. In your scene I’m confused about how the coal gets into the Box or where it goes from there. If the Caol goes from the Box to the Rail Cars, How does it get in the Box; you don’t want to load the coal twice. Just a thought.

  15. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Al and crew. Just one short tip my wife showed me. Place a steel wool pad in a small covered plastic bowl full of vinegar. In about 24 hours it make s a great staining solution for ties, ( sleepers), ballast, ,plaster scenery, etc. The longer it “brews ” the darker it gets.

  16. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Great work Glyn. Love the look of the loco servicing facility and the coaling facility is a wonderful addition. Your weathering details make a world of difference to the finished models. You’ve done an impressive job with the overall track plan/layout which offers a multitude of operational and exceptional viewing opportunities. The continuous changes in line of travel and elevation make for lots of action. It’s great to have the freedom of space you have to accomplish so much. I look forward to viewing future videos. Thanks for sharing. Arnie

  17. Alan Lindabery says:

    Everything looks great. Just one question. It looks like you are using saw horses to support the platform. Is that correct? how far apart are they? Thanks

  18. Mark Piznik says:

    Fantastic stuff. I’m in the planning stages of “My World” and I hope it turns out to be as wondrous as this. Great work!!

  19. John Deamer says:

    great modelling Glyn superb before and sfter shots

  20. paul Otway says:

    wow,the start of something big.

  21. Keith Miller says:

    I enjoyed looking at your photos – thanks for taking the time to share. Very nice work. Hope there will be updates in the future – and I look forward to the promised video!

  22. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Great work Glyn

  23. Ronnie Thompson says:

    Wow! Great layout. Very realistic fuel facility.

  24. Glyn says:

    Thank you all- I am blessed to have a nice basement space for the layout. In answer to a couple of the questions:
    I took the easy way out and built the supporting base board on sawhorse trestles (Home Depot again) spaced about 4′ or 1.5 m apart. They are great but feeding bus wires around can be tedious as the cross beams get in the way. As for the coaling station, I’m as perplexed as you are!:) I’m trying to figure out if I should model the coal being loaded from coal hoppers or have an extension of the road to have truck delivery. I’ll have to cogitate on that one for a while- my old simple mind just takes a while to sort these things out!:)
    As for a track
    Plan I have it in a previous post but would be happy to email
    It to you if you send me an email address. happy railroading all..

  25. Stephen Hyk says:

    I like to know where they get the Models, Houses, displays, etc. some zi never seen before. Turn Tables, self built or store purchase? What Gauge of RR are these. This display is just out of this world.

  26. Glyn says:

    This is HO gauge and the track and turntable is Marklin. The buildings are mostly from Faller with some from Vollmer and a couple from Kibri. I will be building some 20-30’s style US buildings for the east end of the layout and these are mostly from Fine Scale Miniatures from Peabody MA in the U.S.

  27. JACK D. BERG says:

    love to see pix like that reminds me of my good old days with my large layouts
    thank you

  28. Gib says:

    Great detail !!

  29. Pete says:

    I really like the coal crane! Does anyone know if there is a kit of this so I can order it?


  30. Larry Aronson says:

    Wow! It’s nice to see that someone else has Märklin trains! I have a TON of Märklin tracks (M track, acquisition beginning when I was a young kid in the 50s), switches, signals, buildings, engines and rolling stock — but no place to set up a layout! I am hoping to move to a new, custom built home in the next year or two, with an eye on “up-sizing” (I have several hobbies that take up entire rooms!). To answer someone who asked about the crane – that’s a Märklin product.

  31. Steve Molaf says:

    Yes, would like to get copy of your layout. My parents’ next door neighbor whole basement (quite large) was all don up in a layout very much like yours, as I remember. Thanks for reminding of some grreat memories

  32. Neil Feder says:

    How about publishing the track design thank you what a great project

  33. Jim McQuillen says:

    His “coaling station” reminds me of a bit of early California trivia. One of the early rail roads, SP I think, named their coaling stations alphabetically starting with Coaling A which morphed into the current town of Coalinga. Nothing Spanish about it. Now you know more California history than a great many of its citizens.

  34. THOMAS says:

    There are times when I doubt that any trains actually run on these layouts … it seems that miniature movie sets are all this is about . Where are the trains that move ? Now and then it would be refreshing to see a Train .

  35. Robert Brady says:

    Very good idea THOMAS. Why don’t you show us your Choo Choo’s. If you’re suggesting they all for the most part look like miniature movie sets then yes they must be doing a great job creating, Don’t you think?
    BTW, Plenty of running layouts on YouTube.
    The Critic

  36. Bill in Virginia says:

    Beautiful work👍🏼 I have ask – what are the little black nubs standing proud on each tie in the center of your track? Never seen that before so wondering if it’s just cosmetic from the manufacturer or do they serve a purpose?

  37. Dixie says:

    Bill in Virginia – it’s Marklin track and it has its power supply via those rather than through the actual railway lines.

  38. Mike Balog says:

    Hello Glyn:

    Great Layout seen in the construction stage and with the major buildings in place. I have a suggestion for your Coaling Station ahead of the turntable in the engine service area. Looking at your photograph of that area.. You will find an open space between the coal bunker, and the track next to and ahead of that.

    One siding goes along next to a “warehouse” type building with a loading dock. There is one short siding to the left of it. Why not, Take that Up, Turn the Switch the opposite direction; and put the siding back down facing the Coaling Bunker. That way you can put in an “under the track coaling pit” ,.,, that is a cut below the tracks, that would have the Hopper Cars, clam shells open up and dump their coal load into a holding bin below track grade.. Then you place a Conveyor Belt unit that goes from that bin, so it carries the coal up into the large above track coal storage bin ( the large rectangular one ). So the large mobile bucket could pick up the Coal and dump it into the Coal Loader Hopper next to it.

    Otherwise, you could have the Coal being hauled from a Hopper Car or Gondola Car by the Crane with the Clam-shell Bucket into the Coaling Tower. That is an easy way out. It would look nicer and more realistic with a below track dumping pit, with the conveyor hauling that coal up into the large coal bunker serviced by the Crane. Just my Two Cents… Hope that helps and Satisfies the “Critics” who Read the Blog… Mike in N.H. USA.

  39. Rod Mackay says:

    The railways never had anything delivered by road that they could haul for themselves, back in the day. The coal would arrive by freight train in open mineral wagons (gondolas in the US) and these would be shunted adjacent to the crane which would unload them into the ‘box’ then the empty wagons would be despatched to their next job. The hopper would be filled by the crane moving coal from the stack in the box as required, and locks in need of fuel could then run under the hopper and top up whenever required. In the UK some bigger loco depots had US style coaling towers, where a whole wagon at a time would be lifted to the top of a much larger tower and tipped into it, storing hundreds of tons ready for use; however many lesser depots worked to the end with just a bank up to a raised coaling platform, usually roofed in, where coal was shovelled down out of the wagons into tubs that were wheeled across the platform and tipped into the locos’ bunkers or tenders, on a lower adjacent track, as needed. At a small branch line shed for just one or two small locos, coal supply might be just one wagonload, shovelled out onto a low platform, then the locos brought alongside and the coal shovelled UP into their bunkers. If that sounds like a lot of hard work, it was! But labour was cheaper than major investment, and coaling was often done by blokes who had been taken off footplate duties due to injury, illness or colourblindness, and it gave them a job. I’ve not seen anything quite like the crane/box/hopper setup here, I think it may be a German idea, but the principles are the same – cope with only occasional bulk deliveries, keep a few days supply in hand in case of disruption, and coal locos quickly to get them and their crew back earning.

  40. Erick says:

    Very kool. I like the coal refilled.

  41. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice set up, i wish i could do a set like this.

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