On30 narrow gauge

Jeff’s been back in touch with his on30 narrow gauge.

If you want to get up to speed, his last update is here.


Hi, little update after a year off I am back at it a little at a time.

I have started with the track ballast and the land scape. Last winter I had a mouse get into the garage and the little bugger did some damage to some shrubs. So I had to make more, no big deal because I need a lot more.

The pictures I sent show some of the landscape installed, my next project is installing the waterfalls and the streams. I then can install the trestles. Still working on adding more hard scape from the back forward.

Getting slower as I get older, I will send updates as I progress.

The scale I am modeling is on30 narrow gauge, all track was hand layer with over 25000 spikes installed.

When I make more trees I will take step by step pictures on how to.

As the the backdrop painting it was why I took a senior bob Ross painting class at the local craft store, that was a experience because I was the only male among 15 or more lady’s.

After a few practice paintings I started the backdrop, it took about three week’s to complete.

Like I said all buildings, trestles, bridges, water tanks etc, were all scratch built. Lumber was all cut on my table saw to the correct dimensions for my scale.

Some information I got from the university y Washington and some from the library of congress.

Again thanks for your great sit and the work you do for the model railroad community.



on30 narrow gauge

on30 narrow gauge

on30 narrow gauge

on30 narrow gauge

Now on to Ben, who has made that all important start:

“Hi Al! I have slowly, and I mean slowly, been working on my small layout. Work and my kids take up most of my time.

I finally placed the last building and will start landscaping soon. Thanks for sharing!


model train layout

model train timber yard

model train hut

model train scrap yard

A big thanks to Jeff for sharing his on30 narrow gauge- what a layout that’s tunring in to.

And well done to Ben. The ‘start’ is what stops most people, which is a great shame. Once you get going it’s a lot of fun.

Now on to a quick bit of housekeeping. Some of you are mailing me saying you’re not getting my mails anymore. Sometimes this does happen.

If you want to make sure you stay on the list, please whitelist my email address. Just google how to do it (every mail provider is different), and then you won’t drop off the list.

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

21 Responses to On30 narrow gauge

  1. Kaustav says:

    Now that looks like a proper, old school model railroad Jeff. No faffing around, no shortcuts. Beautifully painted backdrop, proper track work and those beautiful trees. Reminds my the work of Paul Templar (Shamus) of the old All Model Railroading forum.

  2. TONY DAVEY says:

    Love the painted backdrop, are you an artist, im just about to start on painting backdrops and the canyon walls on my American layout in England UK

  3. Allan says:

    Jeff’s scenery is unbelievably amazing.

  4. THOMAS says:

    not one train running !
    where are the trains ?

  5. Roger Vipond says:

    Very neat backscene, Jeff. Pity your art teacher isn’t based in London!

    What kind of paper/fabric and paints did you use please? I have a similar idea in plan, 8 ft long and 18 ins high with radiused curves at 18 ins from each end …

    The baseboards are set into a bay window, so the backscene needs to be resilient to the natural light …

  6. Robert Brady says:

    we need a broader perspective Jeff.Nice ground work so far.
    At first glance I thought the tracks were being flooded from the spring thaw,lol.
    The Critic

  7. Jeff says:

    One art course and 3 weeks of work and you produced that backdrop! I’m very impressed. Looks fantastic as does rest of layout.

  8. Evan says:

    The scenery behind the trestle was beautiful !

  9. Jeff Salisbury says:

    I first used a sky blue indoor latex from home Depot and painted the whole backdrop.
    Acrylic paint was used for the rest of the backdrop. I did use my airbrush on the clouds and for the mist at the mountain bases.

  10. alfredo pacifici says:

    Beautiful layout .Good job !!!!

  11. Neil Feder says:

    Wow!! You are really talented. The backdrop looks sooo real. Please post more pics of your layout and include the track design. Neil

  12. Dan Sichel says:

    Like some of the other commenters, I stand in awe of your backdrop painting ability. Nothing short of amazing well done! Did I mention I’m jealous? Cuz I am!

    Very nice layout.

  13. Joseph Boyle says:

    I enjoyed the comment on Bob Ross art school. You should be able to get all the info on this art form on the web. Google the “Joy of painting”. It is very easy and enjoyable you would be surprised. Happy painting.

  14. peter pearson says:

    I have just started my railway and yours are great you have given me a lot of ideas thank you

  15. great layout

  16. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Jeff……. the scenery and backdrop are gorgeous.

    Ben…..looking good……..stay with it.

  17. Ben Olson says:

    Jeff, the scenery work and bridges look simply awesome!
    Ben, you are off to a great start, keep it going!

  18. Stardust says:

    As always, I love the scenery, the buildings, and the waters. But what I would love to see mostly is the track layout. I want to see the actual track plan, the trains running, and the trackside places and people. This is because as a young boy, I was only able to lay track and run trains. Anyway, if all of you in the future would tell us the size of the layout, the gauge of the train, and the lighting I would sincerely appreciate it. Some day I will be able to do the great scenery as you all do. Thanks!

  19. robert dale tiemann says:

    nice work.

  20. Rich B. says:

    What I see is about the best ever. Looks 3D, any trains would obstruct the views 👀. The run of water looks good, even the bright blue. The thing is and maybe mentioned before: water is colorless and takes on the color of what’s available. Meaning from the bottom, the sides/edges and of coarse sky blue in open sea. What I love is our pool is Aqua water and this is from brown/black speckled sides and bottom + a bit of sky blue. And pollution, sky’s the limit (not meaning blue)… ☠️

    Sure, would like to see more on this at any time.


  21. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome scenery, I love the lumber company, great job.

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