HO scale layout 5×14

Dana’s been in touch with his HO scale layout 5×14.

Like most of us, his layout grew and grew… but that’s all part of the fun:


Have enjoyed your site for years.

Anyway, thought I’d send a few photo’s of my new, currently under construcution layout, in HO scale.

I’m 80 years old so it’ll probably be my first and last layout. I am trying to do my best after obtaining many, many HO items these past years.

It started out as a 4×4 and soon went to 4×8.

This then went to a 5×8, then 5×10 and until I have now a 5×14 to work with. Funny how one always needs more space!

Instead of just doing one thing and then another I’ve decided to finish one end first and then the next section and so forth. It’s not correct but like the old saying goes,
“It’s my railroad and I’ll do what I want!”.

I’ve laid the outer main down and soldered the sections together. I tested it with a loco I have and everything worked fine.

Then I placed 2 inch and 4r inch risers, covered them with plaster cloth, thin coat of Plaster of Paris and painted that section brown.

I temporarily placed some buildings on it just for fun. They still need lighting and some detail work (people, interiors, cats and dogs, etc).

Even your buildings will get lighting after using poster board as supporting material. I’m even thinking of cutting out the windows and doors and installing Tichy items in their place.

I do my own decals to help keep costs down. I just finished a fleet of semi-trailers for a major carrier in the 50’s, Navajo Freight Lines.

I’ll be building a freight terminal to place them loading and in the yard. . I also stenciled a tee-shirt with my favorite railroad, The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.

I hope your readers can forgive an old man his mistakes as I go along with the build.

It’s such an enjoyment to spend time doing this.

If, by chance, you wish to publish this, please feel free to edit as you please.



So. California”

polystyrene risers HO scale layout 5x14

HO scale trestle bridge

HO scale trestle bridge

HO scale risers

santa fe train t shirt

temporary buidlings

A big thanks to Dana for sharing his HO scale 5×14 layout.

There’s one particular line in his narrative that I absolutely love:

“It’s such an enjoyment to spend time doing this.”

That’s what it’s all about – otherwise what’s the point?

Now on to something festive? Too early? I don’t think so – there’s only a small window for all the Christmas layouts.

“The edible model railroad. Christmas time of the year 2010, my wife Alice, her best friend, our daughter, our two granddaughters and I decided to have a model railroad building party.

On the kitchen table were placed bowls of supplies to be used by each of us to build with such as gumdrops, juju bears, licorice rope, twizzlers, candy canes, chocolate drops, sprinkles, and much more.

We then had a cake baked in a cookie sheet so it was shallow and of course represented the Earth. We each were given a rice krispie block, (made with rice krispies and marshmallow) to decorate however we wished to be part of the train.

We had a whale of fun, as you can see from the results in the pictures.

The graham cracker church with a choir singing out in the courtyard, with a long train going around all was pretty tasty with billions of calories hahahaha.

Rather than cutting the railroad up into a bunch of miniature half acres, we just ate the railroad in reverse of the way we built it.

Now our granddaughters are grown up, such good memories!!

Hopefully this will spark some new ideas and ideas for more edible creations and maybe a few others out here have done similar activities to share with us.


I tend to steer away from the pics with people in – I have no idea why – but Dick’s been such a fantastic contributor to the site over the years:

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

10 Responses to HO scale layout 5×14

  1. Kenneth Charles Reilly says:

    You say you can do your own decals. THAT WOULD BE GREAT, not have to
    mawait for a company to do it. HOW does thar happen 😕 Or, how do you it ?
    It would be GREAT to to a passenger train of the Chicago Great Western. I do
    not know where to start, how to get the details how to paint as to how the actual
    train looked and was painted. I have thought of putting TWO dome cars in the consist, maybe A B A, and an observation car. Two or three engines, and 7 passemger cars WOULD LOOK PRETTY SHARP ! I have seen pictures of the CGW as a toy or for real, and the two tone red is very pretty. There are other consists I would like to model, tool Let me know just what to go through

  2. Robert Brady says:

    Ok lets see more terra firma under them rails there Dana on the bend. Show us more progression as you go.
    The critic

  3. David Howarth says:

    Nice start to your layout Dana….and Dick well as you say never too soon to start with the Christmas celebrations and what way could be better ?

  4. George Zaky says:

    I’m 80 also but you are as old as you think you are. Forge ahead with vigor and keep us posted.
    What a wonderful idea. Makes me think of the song ” The Candyman can”.

    To all the Great people who have showed us the way – May this Holiday Season bring you Joy, Happiness and a train thing you wanted.

    Cant thank Big Al enough! God Bless

  5. Rob McCrain says:

    Great start to what will no doubt be a wonderful layout. Be careful of inclines and declines, they can both contribute to problems in the long run. I know they are very tempting. I will be interested in your progress so if you could report back on how you are doing from time to time, that would be good.
    Wow, what a cake? It does look delicious. How fun to make too.
    Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  6. Willard Wheelock says:

    Bravo Dana!
    I am 80 too! Never too late to enjoy this great hobby! I am in the process of redoing my Monvalley layout (6th layout) and will have some pics to offer. Keep going and send us updates! Info on how you make the decals would be greatly appreciated too.

  7. James Corradini says:

    Hi Dana, nice start a start is always good Navajo Freight Lines the blue-eyed Indian I just saw one of their old trailers the other day her face was still nice and crisp I was amazed how well it looked another freight company gone by the way gobbled up by larger companies. It’s never too early for Christmas my wife started decorating before Thanksgiving are you going to eat the cake?

  8. Bob From Towson says:

    I like the train that you can eat !!!!!!

  9. Old Taz says:

    Boy O Boy all that cake and i didnot even get a smoke stack or a cupler.Looks alote like suger.Well dune Alice and kids.
    Dana you just keep going,good start have fun with it!

  10. Howard Morrison near Portland, Oregon, USA says:

    I use Microsoft PowerPoint to make decals. You can resize objects, and text, and change shades of color to match as you go along. I have used it in the past at work.

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