Jim’s 12×14 HO scale update

Jim’s been in touch again – his last post is here.

“Hi Al.

Jim from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada back at ya. Thought I would send Part 2 of my train layout video.

I started the layout in the winter of 2003 & only worked on it each winter since. It has basically been finished since about 3 years ago except for purchasing new engines, rolling stock, people, animals & scenery.

Watching Dangerous Dave’s tear down & rebuild is starting to get to me, but then again, so is my arthritic knee & that keeps a tear down & rebuild in the far background for me.

I very much enjoy receiving your e-mails every day & there always seems to be a good tip in each & every one.

So keep ‘em coming & kudos to you & all the model railroaders out there who are submitting their efforts to the cause.

Thanks again.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here – crazy crazy deals this time of year. Have a look.

A huge thanks to Jim – just goes to show it doesn’t matter at what pace you build your layout, they are all fun.

That’s all this time folks – I know it’s a short one but today I’m in screaming hurry.

Please do keep ’em coming.



17 Responses to Jim’s 12×14 HO scale update

  1. stef Loisou says:

    Jim, a very realistic looking and operating layout; no need to change a thing? enjoyed viewing
    from Stef..a 70 year old Lionel train enthusiast

  2. NJ Mark says:

    Great layout! I love the detail especially the quarry and the trestle. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year. Cheers! NJ Mark

  3. joe wierer says:

    Very , very nice layout…and nicely filmed/presented.

  4. Terry Miller says:

    Very nice layout and Jim has created something I’ve never seen before: A freight train that goes into a tunnel and comes out a passenger train! Lol
    Keep up the good work Jim

  5. Mike from Wisconsin says:

    GREAT layout! Could you share your track plan

  6. Warren Ferguson says:

    Beautiful layout, Jim! I don’t see any reason to tear down and rebuild, unless you’re just trying to outdo Dangerous Dave.
    Keep up the good work!
    Warren, AL, USA

  7. Ben Olson says:

    Jim, an awesome layout and very nice video, thanks for sharing! I have been searching for a wooden trestle like yours. Can you share where you purchased it?

  8. Great stuff, like the loaded coal cars and the looked so real. thanks

  9. paul vogel says:

    Been doing my HO layout for a long time. I wish I was as good as you. Excellent work. Fun to watch. Thanks for sharing !! Paul NE Ohio USA

  10. Rob McCrain says:

    A really wonderful layout. Great work, good track plan and some fabulous buildings.

  11. Great layout you have there Jim …..I have a few joint problems , new knee 2 yers ago , and now getting bad in my hands , but just can not resist the challenge of new layout , but think this will be the last time ..Dangerous Dave

  12. Jim MacLean says:

    Answers: In one of my previous posts, I did submit a picture of my track plan.
    The curved wooden trestle was not a purchase. I cut 12″ long by ¾” thick pine boards with a bandsaw into strips of ¼” x ¼”. Those pieces were then hand cut into various lengths for the cross members & struts. Over 500 individual pieces were used in the making of this trestle. With cutting, gluing, clamping & drying it took me approx.3 weeks of afternoons & evenings to complete. Interestingly, I assembled it upside down on a work table & when finished, fitted it into the space reserved in the layout & then plastered in the quarry & gorge to the trestle footings. The mountain & waterfalls were already finished & in place before placement of the trestle. The trestle is 28″ long by 9″ high and 4 ½” wide at the bottom and tapers to 1¾” at the top. HO scale dimensions are: 203′ long, 65′ high. I fitted the coal cars with a false bottom & then glued down about ¾” of real crushed Cape Breton coal found between the old railway tracks about a mile from my house. Will send Part 3 of my layout at a later date. Many thanks to the viewers for their interest & very kind comments. Jim.

  13. Phil Knerr says:

    enjoyed watching the nice train action on your well done layout!!! GOOD JOB!

  14. Love your lay out. Did you make the trestle bridge or is it a kit? I want to build one like that and looking for some info. Elmira, ON. Canada

  15. Rod Mackay says:

    Jim, if the constructor bug is still itching, you could do a small portable layout in sections just say three feet long, that you could work on seated comfortably on a table or suchlike, and simply turn up on their sides for wiring etc., no great contortions or bending needed. Two or three boards like that could stack out of the way under the main layout when not in use or being worked on, and be taken in the back of the car to events. In a space say 9’ x 2’ you could have an HO industrial switching line, or maybe an HOn2 passing station with hidden sidings behind in 6’x 2’, or a streetcar or interurban line.

  16. Wm althaus says:

    Really enjoyed the video tour of your layout Jim. You have put time and effort into it and it shows! Nicely done :D. Bill in Virginia

  17. Tony says:


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