Wood train model – Jim’s

Jim’s been in touch with his wood train model that I think looks very impressive:

“I saw the scratch build yesterday. I am in to scratch building if you want to call it that. Mine are all wood and glue with no metal or plastic parts.

The material is pine, popular and maple. There are based on 1/25 scale, this 0-6-0 is 27” long. All the major parts mover as you push it along.

I acquired a lump of coal crushed it, and filled the tender.

The coupling is a Janny style with a removal pin so they can be joined together.

I call it the “Wooden Railroad”

My collection to date is the 0-6-0 ( just finished), GP9, GP9 slug, 50 ft boxcar, high pressure hopper and a new style oil tanker with the baffles on the ends.


wood model train

Now on to Mike:

All though it’s very short, and only two pics, it really does show that the only way things are going to happen with your layout is to make a start!

“Hi Al,

My good friend Michael G put me on to your ‘network. We live in Devonshire about 2 miles apart. He is modelling in HO/OO and me in ā€Nā€ gauges.

My layout is still very much work in progress, the two pictures will give you some idea; First is ‘Early Days’, The second is about ‘Two Months Ago.’



model train

model train

Call me old fashioned, but the only way forward in the hobby, any hobby, or anything at all, is to start, and then carry on…

And lastly, something that’s not really a train at all. But seeing as I was mesmerized by it, I thought maybe it’s worth posting:

That’s all this time folks. A big thanks to Jim for sharing his wood train model. Impressive stuff.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if you want to make that start, 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

23 Responses to Wood train model – Jim’s

  1. Denis (N) says:

    The simple train makes me wonder if I could use this to run a London tube train.
    as long as I have some way to move it through the station. If I ever get round to trying it I’ll let you know.

    Denis (N)

  2. Mike Street says:

    That’s some model Jim, amazing amount of detail, a few man hours gone into that.
    The train/non-train is fascinating, trying to fathom out the scientific principle.
    Is it magnetic induction? Someone from your many readers will know I am sure.
    Mike S

  3. Julian Holmes says:

    awesome tube train!! – that would make such a cool addition to a trainset!

  4. Barry Pearlman says:

    I too am fascinated by the tube train! Could someone please post a description of the parts that make up the train? Are they commercially available?


    Chesterfield, MO

  5. Roy says:

    Well great as for magnetic induction goes, but what can you used this method for apart from imagine tube train, seeing these tubes used still in some shops, hospitals, but by air intake suction clever I thought, messages and money’s sent by them. Well good luck if you come up with anything. Roy

  6. Tim Morlok says:

    Very cool wooden model. I would like to see Jim’s other creations. Video: Neat application of magnetic induction. Berry the parts are shown at the beginning of the clip – battery, magnets & copper wire to make into a coil. Tim

  7. Tom Durham, NC says:

    Al, I admire the woodworkers ability but thanks for the timely electric train. My young grandson is coming to visit. Haven’t seen him for a few years. He likes trains…started him with a G Scale LBG set. This simple electric train will make a project to work on together. Off to source the components. Always look forward to your blog. Thanks. Tom

  8. Nathan Perreira says:

    Just when you think you seen it all. Thanks for sharing your idea. Nathan

  9. Tom says:

    Jim, Great wood working; precision! That 0-6-0 a beautiful engine and tender to see. All wood amazing. Please send some pictures of the other engines(GP9) and rolling stock. I cannot imagine the hours of work. I just can’t say enough I truly admire and love your work and dedication. You are a credit to model railroading.

    Batteries, magnets, copper wire. put them together and that makes a train in motion. As Charley Brown would say. Good Grief! There are many thoughts going through my mind as to what could be done with this. Amazing! Put on your thinking caps!!!!



  10. paul Otway says:

    Nice work guys

  11. Robert Mocko says:

    World’s simplest train is a good conversation starter. keep ’em coming Al, loving this site.

  12. Ken Wilson says:

    Jim loved the wooden train were did you get I’v just started putting my train set together some of it is 25 years old I just retied and use it to keep my mine working

  13. Steve Lindhurst- - -,Wilmer, Alabama, USA says:


  14. wardell dean says:

    it look good but do you planning make it larger with more detailing what think about using all natural materail from your back yard make it more realistic

  15. Steve Fox says:

    Please get pictures of the rest of Jim’s wooden models. That was outstanding
    workmanship Jim!
    I emailed the electric train video to the rest of the guys in the local train club. šŸ™‚
    You do nice work Al.
    Thank you

  16. Brett Ratcliffe says:

    I could really use some guidance from those with experience. I have several TT scale steam locos (Berliner TT Bahn manufacturer) purchased in East Berlin in 1980. I am FINALLY getting around to completing a 5×9 foot layout but am guessing that the lubricating oil and/or driving mechanism in the locos needs cleaning or replacement. Could someone advise me? Thanks for any help.
    Brett in Nebraska

  17. Rod Mackay says:

    Brett, I had a little Berlinerbahn layout years ago, and I’m not a lubrication expert although I think you’re probably right, the stuff would need a gentle clean and re-lubricate, however a word of warning, I was always in the habit of cleaning the dirt off wheel treads with a fibreglass pencil and this completely did for at least one of my Berlinerbahn chassis, as the wheelset being cleaned would try to lift out of the worm drive and the screws holding the keeper-plate on are only lodged into a very soft metal which can become ‘threaded’ at the slightest pressure. I would suggest doing any cleaning very gently with cloth and spirit and try to avoid stress on the mech, and dismantle the chassis as little as possible, and DON’T overtighten screws, they’ll just thread the landing.
    The UK importer told me of a visit to the factory in East Berlin, where he saw product off the line being tested, some stuff passed and went for packing, some failed, but some which were limping a bit were sent down a spur line. “Are those for repair?” he asked through the translator. NO, came the reply with a big grin, “those are for export to our glorious Soviet allies!”

  18. nicholas Trigli says:

    While I have viewed this site for many years and mostly enjoyed it,I have a question: Most of this site is devoted to HO trains,now I’m sure there are many O gauge modelers ,such as me that would like to see more of the O gauge layouts and information

  19. Peter Briggs says:

    Hey guys, about a hundred years ago i’m sure i saw a model (HO scale) of an London underground train.I think it was at a model railway show, can’t remember where! Does any one know if this was a commercially sold unit or scratch built?

  20. Will in NM says:

    Mike, Those are great before and after photos and it looks like you’ve made a lot of progress on your N scale layout. I’d love to see some “in progress” photos if you have them as well as more shots of the finished layout.

    Jim, Your skill with wood is amazing! I can’t imagine how many man hours went into crafting that beautiful 0-6-0. Please share some photos of your other rolling stock projects.

    I too loved the magnets in the copper coil video. I’m not quite sure what the battery does in this case? Does anyone have a good explanation of the physical / electromagnetic principles involved in the demonstration?

  21. Will in NM says:

    To Nickolas Trigli, Al can only post what is submitted to him. If you want to see more photos and videos of O scale model railroads, post yours and encourage your fellow O scalers to submit their work too. HO scale is still the most popular scale for model railroads with N and O scales gaining some ground, so naturally most posts would be for HO/OO scale layouts. But we also see posts for G, TT, Z, and T400 scales here occasionally. I think that all model railroaders are welcome here no matter what scale they work in. That’s what makes this site so great — we can all learn something new regardless of what scale we’re modeling.

  22. Mike Balog says:

    That Wooden Steam Locomotive and Tender is Very Impressive with the Details. Liked the Magnetic Induction Train that was at the end. Thought of an application for Z Scale, N Scale, and H.O. Scale Layouts.. Remember, how many people would like vehicles or even “tiny people” to move about? Why not Try something like Magnetic induction. Making roads or sidewalks that had tiny Coils or the Wire beneath the surface. Then on top of the sidewalk or roadway,. have another item with a magnet attached to the bottom, placed Above the Wire beneath it. I know someone will say. Well Marklin or some other company already have such a roadway systems.. I have a couple of Christmas Displays made of Plastic, that have a Magnet beneath the surface. When the Magnet moved, the object with another magnet bottom moved also.. Any further thoughts?

  23. Jim Kennedy says:

    The principle behind the simplest electric train is the same principle being used today in pushing some of the trains through the tubes at 200 mph except the electrical current is controlled by computers.

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