Jim’s 4×6 train layout

Jim’s been in touch with his 4×6 train layout. But first, we start with Gordy:

“Things I have found useful:

Mix latex paint with wet Plaster / Basecoat, same color of scenery if chipped will not show. When applied, sprinkle fine mixed scenery material (sand, leaves, wood chips, twigs)
Chop up in an Old Blender.

Leave gaps/( loose Joiners) for tracks to expand / contract track gets out Of gauge on curves & switches.

The greatest frustration is to have derailments in an operating Session. (Losing an ore train, with loose iron ore is really bad — worse in tunnels, you can’t reach)

After years of running trains, when we dismantled layout, we found some ore cars inside the tunnels.

Good wiring, 16 ga. minimum Size, clean joints, use 60 / 40 solder with liquid rosin flux, DON”T MOVE JOINT UNTELL SOLDER HARDENED!

Cold solder joints are a railroaders dilemma (and electricians ) use color code – or have fun tracing wires. Same on circuit boards. Engines etc.

Make use of weeds, some bushes makes fine Trees, spray with cheap hair Spray, sprinkle with Leaves, (Model Woodland Scenecs eg.)

Easy way- (Shake & Bake Method ) Put Sprayed Tree, in Plastic Bag with Foliage, and Shake.


train layout plan

train layout show

train layout show

train layout show

train layout show

“After 40 years of being away from model railroading, I jumped back in on or about January of this year.

I’ve purchased some engines. 15 received so far, and about 50 pieces of rolling stock, more coming.

Not being as proficient as my colleagues on this blog, I bought folding tables, 2 x 2 foam board, the easier to take apart my dear and have raken over a good part of our sun room.

My usable space is 7’5″ x 15″0″ and this is what I have accomplished so far.


start of railway

I love what Ken has done – purely because it’s making a start, and that’s what it’s all about. Now on to Jim:


Attached are 6 photos of my layout and the start of my paint job on a N scale GP-35.

My layout is 4feet by 6.6feet with a yard and round house off to one end with a lift gate to a door to the rest of my garage.


4x6 train layout

4x6 train layout

n scale

n scale loco

n scale loco paint

painting loco

painting loco

4x6 train layout

4x6 train layout

4x6 train layout n scale

N scale

N scale

A huge thanks to Jim, Ken and Gordy.

I know I keep saying it, but I do love seeing what is going to pop up in my inbox each morning.

Please do keep ’em coming, folks.

That’s all for today folks.

And if you’ve decided you’re going to make a start, just like Ken, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet here.

model train answers

28 Responses to Jim’s 4×6 train layout

  1. Rich B. says:

    Nice looking loco but that first photo of mining operations is pure genius. Go down instead of up- never would of given a thought to.

  2. James Steidl says:

    I love the mining operation.

  3. Malcolm Hodgson says:

    The opencast mine is a work of pure genius!

    North Wales

  4. george zaky says:

    Awesome talent abounds. How all that assembly and artistic work to a high level happens never ceases to amaze me.
    way to go guys

    George from NY

  5. Dan Hulitt says:

    That is the best open pit mine I have ever seen done. Brilliant! Then there is that corner bridge that reminds me of Yellowstone Falls and the taconite mining operation looks like it was pulled from Duluth, MN.

    Nice paint job for the CP and the new layout looks to have a lot of options.

    MN Dan

  6. Jim says:

    Gordy , that huge Spaghetti bowl is sweet. Please take this bit of criticysm from a very seasoned modeler, I have 60 years behind me in modelling many differing layouts. Less is deffinately More. Cleaning all that trackage would be a nightmare. Not to say about the headache of wiring a Huge trackage layout.

  7. Jim MacLean says:

    Really nice layouts fellow modellers, & since I’m partial to Canadian road names, that’s a great old CP paint scheme you did Jim. Another Jim. (from CB)

  8. Jim Carr says:

    Al the 2 layouts shown are from 2 different Jim’s mine is the 2nd one with the painted CP GP-35. Jim from Saskarchewan

  9. John Birch says:

    Excellent open cast mine.

  10. NJ Mark says:

    When I first starting getting these posts I hoped to get a least one good idea to help me with my layout. Not the case, too many good ideas! There is genius out there.

    Thanks to all and Cheers! NJ Mark

  11. dan robinson says:

    That some beauty paint job on the CP loco, love the old C N and C P Colors, remembering, back then.

  12. TONY DAVEY says:

    Is Gordy the same Gordy that is in the NMRA British region and has been instrumental in getting the online meets together,
    Thats a super fine layout Gordy, love it

  13. Rob Colwell says:

    Bravo Zulu.

  14. Stephen Fetzer says:

    An extraordinary use of depth and expanse. Looking down into mine made me dizzy, Ha! very well done.

  15. Jeff says:

    Agreed that mine is awesome! And great mountain as well. All the pics and tips from everyone look great. Thank you for sharing

  16. Erick says:

    Pretty neat layout.!!!!

  17. Alabama Mike says:

    Gordy, thanks for all the useful hints you gave us.

  18. Love the mine! How original and it’s awesome! you did a great job, very impressed. Guess you still got it after 40 years

  19. John Marshall says:

    I am just getting back into the hobby after 45 years away. Lots of new materials and techniques for me to learn. At 85, not a lot of time. One question that I have, even after dozens of You Tube tutorials, which is better for general landscaping applications, and is one any better than the other? Hydrocal vs Sculptamold?
    Really enjoy your blog, have bought several of the buildings…they are really great.

  20. Rocco from northern New Jersey. says:

    Hey Jim, That is a nice layout. If I am not mistaken you got that out of an Atlas N scale layout book. The name of the book is ….”Nine N scale layouts”. This layout was on the cover of the book, and the layout itself was in the back of the book. It was the last layout in the book. I don’t remember the name of this particular layout, but I am very familiar with it. I know of three persons who tried to build this layout,because it was so beautiful, but they gave up on it, because they found it difficult to build. What is your secret? You are the only one that I know of that looks like they had it right. It is beautiful. Great looking layout.

  21. Don says:

    Looking fine!!!

  22. Don says:

    well done

  23. TJK says:

    The mine pit is spectacular….I wish I had the space to implement some of these terrific ideas!

  24. JeffJ says:

    OMG, that open pit mine is awesome! What an interesting and never seen aspect of railroading!

  25. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Jim, Ken and Gordy……. great stuff guys…….the tips…the pit and the re-furbish of the engine……all great stuff..

  26. robert dale tiemann says:

    really good. the mkine is a really goos idea. i wish i had the room.

  27. Steve Ruple says:

    Thank you Gordy for the good advice and ideas and the nice pictures.

  28. Dale Hogan says:

    Jim, good looking layout. I like the ‘English red double decker bus’ near that derailed steam loco. I used to work at a locomotive depot that had a breakdown train, this included the crane plus a modified passenger carriage where the breakdown crew travelled to the accident site plus there were 2 – 3 small freight wagons to carry breakdown equipment, etc.

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