Model trains New York

James has been in touch with his Model train New York – like many of you his theme is from memories of his youth:


It’s been a while since I’ve written you.

Thanks for keeping this going, it’s great inspiration to see everyone’s work.

Last time I sent you my layout I explained that my layout is an homage to my youth, it’s filled with family tie ins, friends, and reminders of trains as a youth.

The layout is 14’ x 26’ with one side housing the mythical towns of Buffalo Creek, Walden, and Brighton.

The other side has Lackawanna and Little Italy. The two yards are Bison and Frontier. All of these features are reminiscent of Buffalo and Western New York.

There is a long “story” that I wrote before building this, and if you are interested I’d love to send it to you. Here are some pictures of my layout.

HO scale fisherman

HO scale freight

Model trains New York

Model trains New York

Model trains New York

HO scale freight

Model trains New York

Model trains New York

HO scale freight military

HO scale

Model trains New York

Model trains New York

HO scale train yard

model railroad freight yard

HO scale model railroad

HO scale freight train

Model trains New York

I’m an architect by education and practice. These pictures are more focused on the layout work, not the trains.


A huge thanks to James – model trains New York! Over the years, there have been many, many layouts modeled on fond memories.

It’s also another great example of your layout can be whatever you want it to be.

I may be mistaken, but I think this is James’s first post.

Now on to a blast from the past with Dangerous Dave:

“Hi Al,

well back home after a holiday and back to the layout, glad to hear you have decided to continue with your site.

I have just loaded this video showing how I have added new track, ballasted, adding rust to rails, and adding scenics, all done within a week, so easily done by most modellers without having to crash the bank balance and not a lot of elbow grease…

A couple of pictures here to show the difference when scenics added to the track work ..showing before and after.


Before pic:

After pic:

How I did it:

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here (It goes mad this time of year – have a look.)

That’s all for today folks.

A huge thanks to James and Dave. Some great pics today.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to start your model railway fun today.



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

19 Responses to Model trains New York

  1. Bill in Virginia says:

    James you have a beautiful layout! Love the detail in your scenes. 😀

    Dave as always great to see your work and your railroad. Great stuff!

  2. Chet says:

    Love the fine detail, you can tell you have a great love for this work.

  3. John Birch says:

    Excellent work, James. I love the human interest. I know that there are many different styles of layout – each depending on the interest of the builder, but personally, I like to see layouts with enough track to make running interesting but with enough space to create a miniature world with little details that are interesting and true to real life. That seems to be the case with James I love it.

  4. Jack Benjamin says:


  5. Rob McCrain says:

    James, What a fabulous layout. I has such wonderful detail. Your street scene is superb. Love it. Rob McCrain – Farland Howe

  6. Bob Richards says:

    Great scenes James. This is what I really like. In addition your picture quality is excellent. I can’t say enough about how impressed with your layout. What gauge is your layout? Your detail is fantastic!!

  7. Bob Richards says:

    Dave, as always your work is beyond excellent. I enjoy all you do.

  8. Mike Matejka says:

    James – details & careful scene setting are what make a unique layout – well done — great when a meaningful back story is included.

  9. James Ruggiero says:

    Hello everyone,
    Thank you for the most gracious comments on my layout and pictures. I have so many more scenes to show, stories to still complete, and scenery to design. I wasn’t sure people would be that interested.

    If you would like to see more of my story, and my scenes – let me know and I’ll post them along with the chapter that they are part of!.

    Alastair, thank you for posting my layout.

  10. Robert Brady says:

    Love town and village scenes. great job.

  11. Chris l Lamb says:

    amazing work. enjoy any size train set

  12. nice layout you have built there James …..Thank you all re comments on my updated video with the changes …..Dangerous Dave

  13. Gary Manganiello says:

    Great detail……

  14. Jim AZ says:

    Nicely done, James. Great looking scenery especially the realistic street scenes. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  15. Devil’s in the details. Great job.

  16. Richj says:

    Very nice

  17. John Hauser says:

    Excellent job on your layout, your attention to detail is very good.

    Can’t tell you how appreciative i am of your “how to” videos. Your revitalization of sections keeps me motivated as to how one can improve over time by changing things. Keep the videos coming!

    John Hauser, LI NY

  18. Scott says:

    James: Great layout with fabulous detail. Where did you get the people. I have not seen any of those from the companies I buy from. Also loved the signage on your buildings. Did they come on the buildings or did you design them

  19. Phil Hofner says:

    James I love the Frontier Yard sign as I did work in frontier yard as a carman and foreman from 1992 till2004. I actually grew up in Lackawanna and South Buffalo. Great job on your layout.

    Phil (Frontier Phil) Hofner, St AQugustine FL

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