Greg’s 20×10 N scale

Greg’s been in touch with his 20×20 N scale:

“You guys have renewed my interest in working on my 20×10 L shaped N scale layout that I started years ago.

It models the Union Pacific Central Division Hub at Marysville, Kansas, about 1928.

I have a lot of work to do, as you can see from the pictures, but that’s the fun part!

Overview of the yards, which I simplified and shrunk to indoor size. That’s the “old” depot. A fancy Spanish style one was constructed in 1929.

20x10 N scale benchwork

Had to get in close to show my scratch built coaling crane and sand tower. The ash pit is dug in but not constructed yet.

I must have 40 more structures to build in the yards and industrial area nearby. More track to lay also.

20x10 N scale roundhouse

Here’s the short leg of the L. You can see how I built the track base with three strips of 1/4” plywood curved and spaced apart.

I hand built the turnouts on the main line to a much gentler curve so my larger engines can take them easily.

I hope they come out with a 9000 series locomotive someday, I know they had trouble with the curves around here!

20x10 N scale benchwork

20x10 N scale benchwork

One turn around end is mostly done, needs weeds and finishing touches.

20x10 N scale town scene

There are tracks! Everyone needs a tall bridge, even in Kansas!

20x10 N scale trestle bridge

The corn field lifts out for access.

model railroad cornfield

The five story Pacific Hotel I built using DPM modular and scratch building techniques, it’s gone now so I had to do it from pictures.

model railroad town scene

A huge thanks to Greg for sharing his 20×10 N scale.

I do love it when the blog inspires people to start – and giving someone the enthusiam to carry on after a lull feels just as good.

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 N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

26 Responses to Greg’s 20×10 N scale

  1. Herman Crauwels says:

    Great layout !
    HC from Belgium.

  2. That tall bridge sure looks great , a centrepiece for a layout …Dangerous Dave

  3. Cary B says:

    Excellent n scale layout Greg. N certainly takes a lot of patience and your scratch builds show you have plenty of that.
    My favorite of the post was the lift out corn field, very inventive.
    Cary B Maryland

  4. Mke R says:

    Thanks for the inspiration Greg
    Love the. trestle

  5. David Clark says:

    Hello fellow Kansan from the “air capitol” !! im starting with a HO scale. 76 yr old eyes and hands wont let me go to N scale lol

  6. Rob McCrain says:

    I very much like the way you have the track running by a cultivated field. It gives a little air to a model train layout when you leave some space between things.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe – Colorado & Northwestern

  7. Al says:

    Real nice work, Greg. I am an 80 year old from just south of Wichita, anxious to start on my (to be) HO layout. I am in the planning stages, putting ideas on paper, and you have given me additional ideas for my layout. Thanks.

    Wish I knew of HO modelers close by that I could discuss ideas and see examples of what they have done.

  8. Mike Balog says:

    The Photos show fantastic eye for details,, the Farm Scene, with the rows of vegetation, The Trestle over the river with the concrete pier foundation, and the rock outcropping along the riverbank… Liked the City Scene, with the Wide Boulevard,for two lanes each side. All you need is a “paving contractor” to do the Paving of the Roads with the white lines. That Scratch Built Hotel looks like many I have seen across the country. IF you didn’t mention this was an N Scale Layout, I would have guessed it was an HO Scale one. Due to the Heavy Duty wood frame supporting it. You could lighten your construction using half that amount of lumber, and using 1″ blue board insulation or pink board insulation which is very light and easier to work with instead of plywood with 1/2 ” homosote board on top. That cuts down the amount of Dust put in the Air as you work with the older methods building your model railroad. ~ Mike in N.H.

  9. Erick says:

    Look great, I hope mine turns out like yours.

  10. Greg Marples says:

    Thanks for all the nice comments, fellow railroad nuts! I knew the big trestle would be popular, it’s was a easy kit, too. David, I am almost 63 and kind of wishing some of this stuff was HO! I am working on the 300 scale foot long PFE ice platform that stood prominently in the foreground of the yards. Trying to use plastic parts from a Walters kit minus the roof and adding N scale wood 2 x 8’s and 4 x 6’s to match the original. So tiny and delicate that it’s driving me crazy! Don’t try it after drinking coffee is my advice. Greg

  11. roger turner says:

    Thanks to Alastair again for his great work in keeping us all posted with our fellow modelers work. They have provided me with countless ideas and information, as I know it has others.
    Greg, your layout is awesome, love the detail and I would have guessed it was Ho also, if I didn’t know better. Glad to see a model of a site I am familiar with as I live in Shawnee, Ks and have driven through Marysville many times. Your pick of such a early time frame must be a challenge and you seem to be on top of it. I am doing western Kansas in late 1940’s to mid 1950’s and have fudged a little on buildings.

    I started my layout 2 years ago at age 81, so it is never to late. Keep up the good work

  12. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Greg….great job….. keep it going……..great scenery detail.

  13. Mr. Ron says:

    Your layout is looking great. I work with HO Marklin, but I wish I could work in N. N is too small for my shaky hands and failing vision (I’m 87).

  14. JC Nelson says:

    I like how wide you made the city streets. Too many times modelers make the streets too narrow which takes away from the realism of the setting.

  15. O Sells says:

    Great Job Greg, Orville from Cadiz< Kentucky

  16. Michael Childs says:

    Thanks Greg. Beautiful work esp. trestle. You have a lot of patience and skill besides good eyesight.

  17. Very nice work, Gregg. I really like your ‘Kansas bridge’, and the take-away corn field. At 82 years, I’ve just recently started my third layout. Lionel O27 in the 1950’s; and HO in 1980s; and now N gauge. This time, it’s just 7′ by 2′. But, it keeps me moving. A great ‘Thanks’ to Alastair, ‘Dangerous Dave’ and the worldly gang, for the motivation.

  18. Marklin ed says:

    Great layout Gregg , like everyone else I love the bridge and the rock wall. Corn field idea is awesome..

    Ed for upstate New York

  19. Ray says:

    Very nice layout throughout!
    Great coordination with detail and perspective.

  20. Richard says:

    A beautiful layout with lots of details. Like others have mentioned I like the feeling of large spaces that yo can get in “N”
    Thanks for showing this

  21. Greg Marples says:

    I’m back guys. I hope you noticed there are a lot of blank areas in the town that need buildings and details filled in, I actually measured the streets, sidewalks, and blocks and shrunk them down to more of a fantasy size. The streets are sheet brick as Marysville has brick streets. I have three or four more blocks of brick streets to lay down over towards the depot. The houses and barn behind the depot are just sitting there waiting for placement. The layout is built to come apart in three sections. One joint you can see where two 2 x 4’s are doubled up under a street. The other is at the corner at the other end of the yards and the unfinished leg. I used a plywood base for the flat areas because I am a carpenter and it was free (like the rest of the lumber), and the hills of the green areas are cardboard strips formed and stapled to the frame. I sort of basket wove it with hot glue to hold it together, covered that with damp paper towels and lightweight hydrocal. No base at all. Just layered plaster and paper, as I recall. I may have used some plaster cloth, not sure. Zoom in on my coaling crane! I’m really proud of it. They coaled the engines with it until the big coaling station was built in the 30’s.

  22. An Incredibly well thought out “N” scale model. WOW

  23. Tom Snyder says:

    Excellent benchwork and construction. Like your scratchbuilding as well. I have the same five-stall roundhouse that I had to section into three stalls to fit my compacted layout. (I enjoy modifying kits as well.). Please send more photos as you progress.

  24. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great looking N scale layout, very nice

  25. Greg
    An awesome layout from the pics. Keep up the good work and enjoy being engineer.
    Al the best

  26. Frank Pumillo says:

    Another beautiful layout!

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