HO switching layouts

John’s added to the HO switching layouts on the blog with this fab update:

“Hi Al,

I’ve been busy with more stuff since I “retired” than I had when I was working! But the railroad has continued to grow in spite of everything else.

This time I added a few feet to the isle area of the layout, and put in tracks for more industry.

This part of the layout is pinned to switching and moving cars to the various industries. It will be wired and controlled separately from the rest of the layout.

I have always found “HO switching layouts” to be fun and challenging. How to get that tank car to the oil distributer without trapping the engine in the siding, collecting 2 “empty” boxcars and replacing them with “full” ones on a siding only long enough for 2 cars at a time, stuff like that.

I also added the “Almost Heaven RV Resort modeled after on of the worst places the wife and I ever took our RV! Actually this the one on the layout is better.

On a whim I bid on a bunch of Army vehicles, and won, so I put in the West Virginia Coal County National Guard yard post.

The small “Quonset” buildings are cookie holders from Girl-Scout cookies, the bigger ones are stripped cardboard.

As always, thanks so much for all you do for the hobby – world-wide!

I’ll send more pictures in a few days, trying out some interesting camera settings.


John from Baltimore”

HO switching layouts

HO switching layouts

HO switching layouts coal mine

HO scale house on the hill

HO scale military base

model train forest

HO switching layouts

HO switching layout south facing

HO layout track plan

 model railroad quarry

model train park

A big thanks to John for adding to the HO switching layouts on the blog.

I’ve been a fan of his layouts for a long time now.

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

13 Responses to HO switching layouts

  1. Robert E Brady says:

    Great layout especially Penn Central.
    The Critic

  2. Brian Olson says:

    Stunning detail!

  3. Don says:

    the mine & military outpost are awesome, well done.

  4. Stephen Hill says:

    Very nice layout , absolutely amazing . You’ve made it look easy . Great job , the town seems so real . What overall pleasing layout , very nicely done indeed . Gives us novice folk marks to aim for … thank you .

  5. Bill in Virginia says:

    Excellent layout. I always like layouts that have the ability to have a long run so one can railfan but also has a lot of switching opportunities as well. You have both :))

  6. Rob says:

    Lots of variety. Interesting scenes and original modeling. Industry and running room. Great layout, Rob

  7. George Zaky says:

    Always a thrill to see an article from you. Loved that Army base-gotta add some soldiers.
    Much thanks for the updates & hope to see some more.
    You’ve inspired many & me especially with your very clever ideas.
    Big Al
    Ahhhh- Sunny cold AM, Java, & John- What better? Think I’ll go make something.

  8. Ken Holbrook says:

    I love the variety that your layout brings. Especially the coal mines and what appears to be an old haunted house on the hill. I wasn’t sure if that was the Munsters or the Addams Family house, but it looks awesome. Great job on a remarkable layout!

  9. robert dale tiemann says:

    good detail. very nice.

  10. Steve Ruple says:

    Excellent layout, many interesting scenes. I think it’s the Munsters house, doesn’t look like the Adams Family house but very awesome, great job !!!

  11. John M says:

    Great layout! Especially the big haunted house. Is that a kit, or was it scratch built?

  12. richard rudolph says:

    Wonderful work

  13. John says:

    John M – the haunted house is from a neat company – Gold Rush Bay
    https://www.goldrushbay.com/ who 3-D print models. My haunted house was painted, window “glass” installed (not included in the model), and then partially destroyed, railings broken, stairs collapsing, and windows broken out. Then stuff all around. Al had an article on it a few months ago. Thanks for the question and comment!

    John from Baltimore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *