James’s stunning HO layout update

Jameie’s been in touch again with his stunning HO layout:


Welcome again…if this is too much too soon, I understand.

I have stories behind all of these scenery setups…

HO layout

Two workers returning to the office at the canning company at Barcelona peer.

Ho buildings

Salvatore, a first generation from Italy carries bags of potatoes from the Desiderio food distribution facility.

HO scale

John, and Ernie, both Originally from Ireland take a closer look at a car that’s made its way from the West coast.

HO layout

These two brothers, Lowell and Lee, have never been able to agree on anything… they might even disagree if the sky was blue… if it was ever sunny.

HO scale model railroad

Pasquale pushes that cart along all day and even though his English “isn’t so good” he loves chatting it up with his fellow employees

HO scale model railway

The King Brothers (they are twins) and they married two sisters… their glass blowing company sells beautiful pieces all over the world.

Oscar Rayford, owns the local concrete plant… he’s responsible for all the sidewalks in town

David Gray, a huge man… is seen switching here for a shipment of sand to Rayfords concrete. David, is one of the key actors in the theater group in Buffalo Creek.

Rick Wilber, a novelist that specializes in Science Fiction books opened a bookstore and it attracts a wide variety of people. They are anxiously awaiting the store opening on a nice Sunday morning.

Romito-Donnelly makes furniture and their key designer was Vincent Tondiglia, also an Architect, Vincent can be seen in his Little Italy studio drawing a new building. He is also this authors father in law.

HO scale model railroad

Down in Lackawanna Jim Collins works along with many Irishmen at the Bethlehem Steel plant. Here, a pot is being moved.

Angelo is waiting for a local delivery to pass his tower… there are 4 NYC towers in the area, Angelo has worked in all four the towers for the railway and is the longest employed tower operator.

HO scale model railroad

HO scale model railroad

Hooker Chemical in Niagara Falls makes some nasty chemicals, we’d all come to find out years later, but in this time period their tankers can be seen everywhere.

I hope you find these interesting enough to post… if not, I’d certainly understand


Well, Jamie, it’s never too soon to post new pics, and they are definitely interesting enough – I loved them. And the stories behind each picture really do bring it to life.

If you missed Jamie’s last post, it’s here.

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

A huge thanks to Jamie. Please do post a comment below if you enjoyed their layouts as much as I did.

That’s all for today folks, except one last thing: I normally put my feet up on a Saturday, but yesterday I reposted an old one from Arnie. It seems to have gone down well – should I make this a regular thing?

Okay, that’s it for today.

Please do keep ’em coming. And if you want to get going on your very own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



28 Responses to James’s stunning HO layout update

  1. Tom says:

    Not sure of the exact size of that motoe but looks similar to a scalextric car. Maybe a quick swop might be in order.

  2. Jim Prentice says:

    Jamie , loved your narrative. It brings a storey to modelling and your layout looks very “busy”.
    And to Dave’s Christmas contribution, simply brilliant. Surely there must be an opening as a film director to tap into with your movie making skills.
    Always look forward to Alistair’s daily posting of excellent tips to help me get my HO layout underway.
    Merry Christmas all from the Gold Coast, Australia.

  3. Eric Rayner says:

    James. Great imagination, love your scenes, so lifelike.
    Dave. Another wonderful Christmas video from the master. Great to have a tour on the Santa express. Can’t have snowed that much as I saw no gritters or snowploughs out 🙂
    To Al and all modellers out there the world over, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  4. Malcolm hodgson says:

    I just love the backstory to every character on your layout. Brings the whole scene to life and sparks the imagination.

    As for the motor problem, if it was clogged with carbon it sounds like the brushes have worn out. Even though it has been cleaned it may be that the contact is now only being made when the motor is cold and when it warms up it expands slightly and the marginal contact is lost.

    Regards to everyone, have a great Xmas and new year, hope Santa leaves plenty of modelling goodies in your present sack!

    North Wales

  5. Big thanks Dave! I don’t no how you do it brilliant, a great start to Christmas!!
    Happy modeling Christmas & New Year 2020 to all!!

  6. Sid Pratt says:

    Great detail.

  7. george zaky says:

    Wonderful story and pics of your fantastic layout
    Many thanks for your great videos. The best to you and yours.
    Big Al
    Thanks for what you do
    To all
    Merry Christmas and a very healthy new year
    George from NY

  8. Erick says:

    That Awesome; I am going to make my broad something like this.

  9. Harold Cornell says:

    As a non modeler I enjoy you all. Merry Xmas and a very happy new year to all of you

  10. Ed Eggers says:

    Jamie great job loved story with each

    North Carolina US

  11. Oh my goodness!! The pictures are great but narrative really brings the whole layout together. What a wonderful way to display all your hard work. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  12. Mike says:

    Jamie, Excellent Detailing on the scenery especially the paving bricks on the sidewalk, and the back story for the characters. And For Dave,,, really liked the special background effects of the layout for Christmas. How did you find the snow flakes that fluttered down like a snowglobe? Where did you find the mini video camera that brought the train trips to life?

  13. Gary Manganiello says:

    Dave….. you are quite the movie maker…..love your videos and a fantastic model railroad.

    Gary M

  14. James A. Ruggiero says:

    Thank you, everyone. I wrote an essay with several chapters chronicling my youth… the people noted in the “book” are real people that had parts in my life. My dad, and his brother, really did own D&T cleaners, my Uncle Sam really was a shoe shine business owner. In these most current pictures Jim Collins is an Irishman that happens to be my insurance agent… Lee and Lowell are real brothers, but they never fight… and Pasquale is, in fact, a first generation Italian immigrant. Rick Wilber (google him) is an author of Science Fiction books and I know him from coaching his daughter in Futbol. Finally my Father in Law was, in fact an Architect, as am I..
    Thanks for your interest in my layout and I will send more parts to Al as I can.

  15. Samuel says:

    Thank you for sharing such a great layout.

  16. STEPHEN HYK says:


  17. Brian – I suspect your magnets inside the motor are corroded. Time for a new motor.

  18. Mark says:

    Jamie- As Al said, you have an excellent narrative of your layout, and great detail!

    Thank you!

  19. Ian Ker says:

    If Brian’s motor was ‘clagged up with carbon residue’, it almost certainly came from the brushes. There might not be sufficient remaining on the brushes or they might have deteriorated so not conducting electricity properly. Suggest look for replacement brushes – ebay can be quite a good place for sourcing hornby spares.

  20. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow that’s a really good layout!!!! Nice job !!!! Love the pics thanks for sharing them and the storyline behind each pic !!!!!

  21. James Ruggiero says:

    Stephen Hyk…
    Some of my buildings are scratch built. Many are Woodland Scenics, and even more are from estate sales and old collections. I have several “N” scale buildings (my layout is HO) that I’ve kitbashed to work with my layout. There are about 110 buildings on my layout.
    People I find on eBay mostly from Peiser… I’ve also had great luck at model train shows picking up deals. But mostly I buy a bag and hand paint them to fit the scene I have, I’ll cut arms and move them, or use an arm from one person on another.

  22. Frederick J. Mallon Tomball Texas says:

    Dave, enjoy your videos, helps me keep working on my layout.

  23. HENRY BETZ says:

    Somehow, This site lost track of me. I wish to be reinstated, if possible. It is always a great source of information and inspiration for layouts, engine repair, general maintenance and new products. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

    Henry Betz from Pennsylvania, USA

  24. Loved your photos and comments Jamie, very entertaining.

  25. love it all and wish I was younger to try out all the fantastic things every one have shared ! hope all stay well an safe for the new year !
    keep posting it all Al.

  26. David Wooff says:

    Great hobby work.and in particular many thanks to Alastair for his perseverance.

  27. Ed says:

    Response to Brian:

    Looks like your wheels/pickups might need cleaned. CRC makes two great products (to clean & then Protect). CRC “QD Contact Cleaner” is great for removing gunk & oxidation. CRC “2-26 Multi-Purpose Precision Lubricant” helps prevent gunk & oxidation. Both products are plastic safe.

  28. Clay S says:

    Extraordinary! Wishing a great 2020 to all!

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