HO scale DCC

Boyd’s been back in touch with his latest update on his HO scale DCC layout.

To refresh your memory, here’s his first post, and here’s a pic from it too:

model train hobby  HO scale dcc

As well as an update, Boyd has also answered the questions on his first post.

Here’s what he’s been busy with:

“Hello Alastair,

I must say I was surprised and very flattered for the attention received by my initial post.

If you are ever short of material, here are a few more details that address some questions/comments, as well as a couple pics of the next scene completed.

First to the comments/questions.

The hardwood floors were already there when we moved in a few years ago. I am fortunate to have this area that has become my mancave/train room.

Although the floor is nice, I can unfortunately attest that in a battle of floor vs jumper loco, floor wins.

I have an NCE DCC system with sound decoders in the 3 locos that I have so far, the horns and bells are a big hit with the grandkids.

I didn’t have a specific wiring plan. The layout has a double main, as well as a yard area and a branch line. I ran a separate bus for each of these lines, and they are isolated so a short in one area will not shutdown the other sections.

At some point, when funds are available, I will install circuit breakers and a booster. I ran the power feed to a 4-block splitter bar, then used suitcase connectors to attach the feeders to the bus.

model train wiring

For those who expressed surprise that this is my first layout, thank you for supporting my contention that anyone can make a great product, just get started. I watched a lot of Youtube videos by some amazing folks who make everything look so easy.

Some of it is not easy, at least for me. It took me 6 tries at tree making to get a product I was satisfied with, but that’s all part of the fun. I still can’t get static grass to stand up properly, but I keep plugging away.

When I start a new scene I am always amazed that it actually looks OK, and if it doesn’t, since all the scenic material is homemade or bits and pieces I pick up in the yard, I just rip out what I don’t like and start again. Fortunately, I haven’t had to do too much of that, but every new scene is a great learning experience.

Now to the latest scene. As I mentioned in the first post, I am moving on to the logging area.

I started by planting trees and adding forest floor materials to the quarry ridge that is the background for the logging area.

Future logging area:

model train logging HO scale DCC

Forest started:

model train forrest HO scale DCC

model train coal mine ho scale dcc

Wildlife has moved in already:

model train forrest scene

The locals say there are some strange goings on up on that ridge, but I haven’t noticed anything so far….

HO scale DCC forrest

That’s it for now, take care, and happy railroading.


A huge big thanks to Boyd for sharing his update.

I will never tire of seeing a layout emerge from the choas of the starting table.

What’s more, I think Boyd is spot on with what he says. Sometimes learning on the job is indeed the best way.

If you missed his first post it’s here: model train hobby.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming because you’ve all gone very, very quiet.

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



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

17 Responses to HO scale DCC

  1. Bill in Virginia says:

    Beautiful layout you have there Boyd. Lots of scenery and operations. Looks Great!

  2. Jim in Milwaukee says:

    Those pictures of the forest are so close to real. Especially the one with the moose in it. Excellent work on the scenery. Looks like the layout is coming along nicely.

  3. Lawrence A Quartano says:

    Great layout, excellent work.

  4. George Zaky says:

    Really nice job. This is calling for a logging operation extending from your forest.
    Keep us posted.

  5. Rober Gevert says:

    Your scenery is a knock out Boyd!!! Keepup te goodwork!!

  6. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Boyd…..I find doing the scenery very difficult. I am amazed at how good and realistic your scenes are. Great work. Impressive

  7. Jim AZ says:

    It’s looking good. Some great details with the scenery and oh to have so much space to work with. Just a little envious of folks who have dedicated “rooms”, basements or attics to build a layout. Have fun and hope to see more.

    Jim AZ

  8. Rick Shoop says:

    Those Scotchlok connectors are convenient, but do go intermittent over time, beware. In the automotive/RV world, those connectors have a very bad reputation.

  9. John says:

    Great scenery! Did I see Big Foot?

  10. Dave A Bellian says:

    Super landscaping job ! A-1

  11. Boyd says:

    Not sure if folks ever circle back to the comment section, but if you do, thanks for the positive words. Bill in Virginia, your videos have been a great inspiration for me. Rick, I am aware of the concerns with the connectors, I’m hoping my layout does not experience the bumps, shakes and jolts the auto/RV world sees. I read a lot of articles on using them on layouts and see several folks who have experienced no issues over many years, so thought I would give it a go. In any event, each piece of track, including turnouts, has a set of feeders to it, so if a connector fails and the adjacent rails don’t pass current through the rail joiners, it will be easy enough the find the offender. And John, I am always joking with my grandkids about seeing Bigfoot, so there had to be one on the layout. He and the moose show up in a different place each day.

  12. James Maitland says:

    I am always amazed at what you expert modelers put together. Many times I must look quite hard to tell scenes are models not the real thing. Since I work at the B & O RR Museum in Baltimore I sure can appreciate what you do.

    Thank you

    Jim Maitland

  13. Jim Robinson says:

    Thanks for the update! I always get new ideas from good layouts like yours.

  14. Dave Karper says:

    Boyd, circling back on the comments, I would like to tell you to keep psychology in mind that those who, do, can, and those who can’t, criticize.

  15. Dan says:

    great layout exceptional scenery one suggestion you maybe glad in the future if you dont use scotch locks to splice a wire the connection will break down eventually.

  16. Bob from Avon Indiana says:

    Love your scenery! So realistic. Great work.

  17. william james palmer says:


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