Gus’s O gauge layout


I really enjoy your site. I thought I would send a few pictures of my layout four years in the making. The layout is 9’-0” X 17’-0” (274 x 518). We can run four trains. Some of the scenery is store bought and a lot is scratch built from materials around the house.

The table is built aircraft style with ribbed construction and 2 x 4 legs that have gusset braces at 8 perimeter locations. The center is supported by 4 2 x 4’s. The deck is two layers 1/2” plywood.

The trackage is the old fashion Lionel tubular track set on foam track bed. There are about 800 hand cut ties glued under the tracks with o scale ballast.

The layout is powered by two Lionel 275 watt transformers.

The lighting is divided into five separate circuits and are powered by five multi tap transformers.

All of the building scenes are built on 1/8 thick board so that I can remove each scene and place it elsewhere on the layout.

The mountain and tunnels are made of scrap styrofoam and sculpted using a hacksaw blade attached to piece of wood and heated red hot with propane torch then covered with plaster cloth.

All main buss wiring is # 12 with # 14 feeders. Wanted to make sure minimal voltage loss. One thing for sure is that you learn to correctly wire the layout so you don’t burn up things.

Have some of the usual accessories. Coal loader, stationary crane, water tower, culvert loader and a circus car. The locomotives are Lionel, K-Line and Williams 1950 to present.

Thanks for a great site and all of the ideas. It great to see what you folks do across the pond.


O gauge

O gauge

O gauge

O gauge

O gauge

O gauge

O scale

And here’s one from Dave that I should have posted last week – but it was another one that fell through the cracks:

“Hi Al, just uploaded this video trying to lighten the day.

Its a trying period we are going through which is going to get worse, so just hope this can bring a smile to some, and take the advice and try to isolate, we all have to do our best and as many modellers are in our later years, this apples more so than ever.

Regards and try and keep safe


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for this time.

Today will probably be the last day to get the Silly discount bundle deal on the print-out scenery, if you want to enter the scratch building competition.

Course, I’m biased, but it’s a fab way to keep yourself busy.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if you want to make a start on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



24 Responses to Gus’s O gauge layout

  1. The last night for Tony’s.

    Ginger makes a surprise visit.

    And a great job on an O scale railway!

    Thank you for a terrific relief from the virus!

  2. Michael Glass says:

    Love your video & it did put a smile on my face, the layout is beautiful, I’m 65 & I’m a Model Railroder my railroad is HO & N Scale Amtrak & Metra.

  3. Colin Edinburgh says:

    Thanks again for your update. I really like the recent changes to made to your layout. Good to watch your trains running. Keep entertain us

  4. Peter Farrington says:

    Many thanks to Dave for his latest episode of light relief, I like your enthusiasm Dave, your carp wouldn’t survive where I live in Cheshire as we have Herons that throng our local canal. I am going to have a look at those magnetic couplings you have demo’d as they do seem to be a very useful piece of kit.
    I have made the most of the sunny weather this last week to complete the main structure of the mountain tunnel section of railway, it’s about 12ft long on part of the 10ft diameter turning loop at the bottom of my garden, woodwork painting and styrene mountain to follow.
    I am one of many who are in a 12week lockdown, no leaving home for anything, at least my railway and computer keep me sane.

  5. Larry Mlynek says:

    Great Job! You are so creative.

  6. JACK MASARIE says:

    Great, Gus. Love all you have done.

  7. george zaky says:

    9 x 17- wow. How do you get to the middle? Would like to see an overall plan. Nice work
    Many thanks.
    All be well
    George from NY

  8. Robert Brady says:

    Love the village set up not The 3 rail tracks.Not a fan .You would have thought they would have caught up to the rest of the manufacturers with the electric pickup.

  9. Robert Brady says:

    Well before your advice I was hanging in Tony’s Night club,had a wonderful time was getting sort of tipsy so I left and caught a train home. Good night Dave Stay isolated.

  10. Great detail. Unfortunately N scale is too small to do some of this stuff.

  11. John Ultee says:

    My old American Flyer train set, put away in 1962, keeps calling to me and you people aren’t any help in resisting it.

  12. Dan Hulitt says:

    Gus, wonderful o guage layout, lots going on. Wonderful words of advice from Dave and nice to see things growing. Our snow has pretty much left, but not time for planting yet.

    Mn Dan

  13. Susan Cannon says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful layouts! Great job on the O scale Gus!
    And thanks for the video Dave!
    Y’all stay healthy and take care of yourselves. Much love to all my fellow railroaders around the globe.

  14. Bob says:

    You can not help liking dangerous Dave and his wonderful railroad that actually runs. So much better than mine. I also love the Lionel layout featured. Good work by everyone

  15. David Schaffner says:

    Always cool to see the Cookie Monster pop up….Love the grey bridge and often wonder where he got all of them fantastic buildings, houses and his wonderful array of autos, buses, trucks and all things interesting…What a great layout of interesting engines and sound effects….I get just a little more jealous every time I watch one of his videos. He is also a master videographer…..I’m still trying to figure his accent…UK?

  16. Dave is always a delight…
    That O gauge layout is just fantastic,
    Very nice “High Rail” work… So realistic you hardly notice the old Lionel track.
    Al’s print out scenery is its own world of fun…
    I have started on my “Shelter at Home” project…
    A freight shed using the covered bridge, the wooden tunnel, and the barn.
    Some of his other textures will come into play as soon as I can get more ink for my printer!

  17. Mike Matejka says:

    Love the Lionel – with ballast and ties the 3-rail track is not a distraction. I model in multiple scales, but always include my Lionel, because it is just plan “Fun.” Gus did a great job with his scenery and his buildings to creata a great layout.

  18. Joe Gennari says:

    Beautiful garden!!! WOW!! Question… What do you do with your FISH in the Winter?
    pray for the world! this could be a very long time before we are able to move around…….there will probably be a different normal!
    god be with everyone!!!

  19. Will in NM says:

    Gus, Wow! I’d never thought of laying ties under Lionel 3-rail track. What a great way to keep your Lionel and still achieve better realism. Nice layout! I especially liked the downtown scenes. Now if you could just figure out a way to add the hand-laid ties to the upper level tracks … 🙂

    Dave, Thanks as always for another entertaining and informative video. I wish you could teach us all to do such great video editing.

    Keep safe everyone! Too many of us model railroaders are in the vulnerable age group for coronavirus.

  20. Joe E Wallace says:


    I have enjoyed your videos for some time… The one thing that has enhanced my watching is the OUTSTANDING background prints that surrounds the layout… It gives me the idea while watching that it is way more authentic than before… almost seems real… Love it… jw

  21. D.J.Radanovich says:

    The layout is great and Your garden with the Coi pond is so beautiful. You’ve brought us all a cheery respit from the present trauma. Thank You so much.
    D.J.Radanovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  22. Hemi says:

    GREAT O scale layout! NICELY DONE!!!!

    I myself, model HO scale with a little bit of N scale tossed in for forced perspective, BUT I have a couple O scale engines that I got for gifts and one will always be a “Shelf Queen” but the other one!? A Lionel 3 truck Shay in Western Maryland, I just wished I HAD a circle of O-54 or o-72 curves to run it on during these times! As I have some straight track! I got circles or curves in O-27 and O-31 but the Shay won’t run on those tight curves! SO for now I’m stuck at just “admiring” it!!!!

    Be GREAT to find someone local to me with an O scale layout to get it some good run time too!

    So I’m envious! NICE JOB!

  23. Thanks all for your comments re my video , just to answer a few , I use Cyberlink. Power Director for editing , it can be downloaded as a free trial for 30 days , maybe worth trying ….think the programme is now about $80 Power director 15 is my last one …as for my accent , yes from good old Yorkshire in the UK …and the question re my Koi in winter time , i put Polycarbonate covers over for about 4 months , just leave one filter running ..they sort of semi hibernate …..think we shall all be Happy when Tonys can open up again ….Dangerous Dave ..aka DMR

  24. Very nice layout gus shows all your hard work.Dave your video was great I love
    watching all your passenger trains and the garden was very nice too

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