HO scale steam era buildings – Jim’s

JD’s been in touch again again with his HO scale steam era buildings. You can tell he’s a fan of the 1800s.

(His last post is here (at the bottom).)

“Hello Alastair, and all my fellow model railroaders.

I have been busy working on my layout called Ceder Junction.

The time period I am trying to model is the late 1800 s in the western United States.

It is a favorite period for me for some reason.

It started when I was a teenager and has never gone away. I love steam engines, the old style passenger cars and all the old time details that I am trying to add.

A lot of my stuff is scratch built ,one of my favorite things to do.

Now I am going to add more grasses ,trees, people and lots more details, which I am finding out takes a lot of time.

I have seen a lot of beautiful layouts on this site and I commend all of you for your hard work and skills and modeling all the different layouts.

It is amazing how everyone has great ideas and knowledge about model railroading.

Thus site has been so helpful, and I look every morning for Alastairs updates

Thank you for the dedicated work you do everyday Alastair.

Jim D from N. Dighton , MA ., USA”

HO scale steam era buildings mill

model railroad buildings

HO scale steam era buildings mill

HO scale steam era buildings bridge

model railroad oil pump

HO scale town buildings

HO scale steam era buildings:

model railroad buildings

model railroad buildings

HO scale steam era buildings

Now on to Dave:

“Hi Alistair, just uploaded this video, it shows the rolling road in more detail as requested by a subscriber, also a new Loco I have taken delivery of to day, a small tank Loco, and as shown it goes very well with a rake of 3 Celestory coaches…but again with a small rake of Freight trucks…



Brand spanking new ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today folks, a big thanks to Dangerous Dave and JD for his HO scale steam era buildings. (I do love an update).

Please do keep ’em coming, and thank you for the comments on the new ebay cheat sheet.

That’s all for today folks.

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.

31 Responses to HO scale steam era buildings – Jim’s

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Hi Dave, you could see those 14s on main lines as well doing the local stoppers, eg they ran the Golden Valley service from Gloucester up to Chalford, and were good for 70 with a light train. They were push-pull fitted and could work up to two autotrailers either side of the loco, the limit being mostly to do with how stiff the mechanical throttle linkage was from the end control cab, rather than weight.
    Brake van sidelights showed red to the rear when running, you only changed the one next to the main line to white when you were stopped in a loop line to be overtaken, however they showed white forwards at night so the loco crew could look back and see you were still there!

  2. Cary B says:

    Hello Al,
    Both these posts are really nice. soon I will send you photos of my much more modern and modest HO RR. I really love Jim D’s and of course Dave’s RR era. Its got me thinking I at least will need a small steam powered excursion train in the future.

    Cary B


    Hi Jim,
    I think your freight cars are too large for the time period you are trying to model.

  4. Hap Cummings says:

    Hi Dave,
    You are so far above me, but I love everything you put on. Would love to see your layout(s) in person. Truly wonderful to watch.

  5. Cary Price says:

    Hi Jim, what a great layout! I share your enthusiasm for scratch building and the items on your layout depict the late 1800’s in great detail. I think your scenes would really come alive with some figures, maybe that will come later. Good luck and thanks for sharing. Cary in KY

  6. What a wonderful layout, superb in every detail imaginable. Love the old cars and the weathered passenger car hanging in a hangar……Love your new engine & will probably look into buying it………Your trains appear to go rather fast and have no difficulty staying on the track. Love your video car and everything it brings to your realistic train layout. Is this from the Uk, your accent almost sounds foreign……..Beautiful & imaginatly planned.

  7. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Nice job, Jim.

  8. Richard Scott says:

    This is a very nice layout. I especially like the fact that he builds most of the structures from scratch instead of kits or ready built. That is my preference as well. Can you post a track plan as well?

  9. Jim, this is a great looking layout. Congratulations on the scratch building. In addition to the finishing touches you’re contemplating I hope you consider weathering building and rolling stock. IMHO this would take your project from outstanding to extraordinary. I would love to see a video of the result. Please favor us with more progress fotos in the meantime. Outstanding layout.

    John T.
    Naples FL USA

  10. John says:

    Beautiful layout! Its time to add some people to your layout though.

  11. Jim says:

    Nicely done so far, Jim. Really like the buildings, especially the oil rig and the accompanying features to give it realism.

    Jim AZ

  12. Peter Waring says:

    Hi Al, I loved the attention to detail of Jim’s layout, the scratch built buildings were really impressive. As usual Dave goes from strength to strength, with his rolling road and new loco, what a great little tank, I don’t seem to remember seeing this tank in my days of train spotting in the late 50’s, I will have to do some research. Thanks Peter…

  13. Ian McDonald says:

    great pictures of your layout Jim. truly a nice looking train Dave thanks for sharing the photos and video.

  14. dangerous dave says:

    Thank you all for your comments , the rolling road I think I have found a solution to hold it more steady , I will show in a future video , as for the 14xx Loco , yes I think a Auto car would be the best to go with this , again I shall try and acquire one for the next showing , also hope to have sound on this Loco then …Dangerous Dave

  15. Stephen E Fetzer says:

    Wow… Quality workmanship.

  16. Larry says:

    Jim. Loved your layout. Lots of detail. Is your turntable scratch built? I am looking for ideas to build my own manual/motorized turntable. Any ideas guys on doing this?

  17. Armando Alvarez says:

    Nice layout, but please tell me what are those red things on top of buildings?

  18. Will in NM says:

    Armando Alvarez,
    The red things on top of the buildings, particularly the silver mine, are red water barrels in case of fire. During the late 1800s, they were common before fire engines became more available. You would also see them on wooden bridges and trestles.

    Very neat layout! I like all your scratch-built structures. The silver mine looks so realistic. Only one question: why are passenger cars and a box car coming out of the silver mine transload area? Also, if you’re going for an 1880’s time period, that red truck at the coal bunker is a bit too modern. As others have mentioned, some 1880’s figures would add a bit of humanity to the layout.(Preiser makes a number of sets as well as Model Power and Bachman typical of that time period.) All in all tough, you’ve got a great layout in the works there and I hope you’ll share more photos as it progresses. Thanks for sharing.

    The 14xx is a great addition to your loco fleet. The rolling road looks like a better setup than the test rollers I got from China. They’re mounted on two round shafts about 19-20 inches long with a third, smaller shaft running down the middle to stabilize the assembly. Six pairs of tiny HO spaced rollers are included (I ordered two sets to have enough rollers for my 4-8-8-4 Big Boys.) The problem is that the bars supporting the adjustable wheels are not as strong as they need to be for a heavier HO locomotive. The rolljng road would not suffer from that problem.

  19. Bernard McGee says:

    Hi Dave,
    I have a suggestion that may help stabilise the rolling road setup. What if …. Once you setup the rolling rpad bits in the right place, you superglue a match or similar small piece of wood or plastic from the first ‘bit’ to the second? I would glue the match on the face of the wheel base bit, low down so as npt to interfere woth the wheels.

    This would prevent the bits from moving apart or closer together and would ways be ready for use! Just a thought.

  20. Grant Miles says:

    Jim, Working up a layout set in the 1880’s can be a challenge. You have made a great start. Populating the layout with figures set in cameos will help set a realistic scene. For this time period, it is the horse that did the work, and were numerous. They pulled every type of wagon. I should not forget the ox. Teams of oxen were the heavy lifters of this period. As for rolling stock, most early rr started with a flat car, and got creative. This build will take you into an very interesting and challenging period of railway history as railway lines began to cross the continent.

  21. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great looking layout!!!! Well done!!

  22. Mike Matejka says:

    Good for you Jim — An era not modeled often enough; the shorter wheelbase cars and locos also help condense the scene. I know Roundhouse had some great kits and locomotives over the years.

  23. Erick says:

    Pretty Neat? I like the KD Ranch. I hope mine comes out that good.

  24. Brian Olson says:

    Great as always to see that creativity if alive and well in our hobby!

  25. Stephen Dean says:

    I love the scenery

  26. John Hauser - LINY says:

    You always learn something from Dave. A BIG Thank you! Love the new arrival tank engine. Hatton has been a great source of advice and equipment for me on the US.

    Trains are terrific!
    John – LINY

  27. Brian Olson says:

    Wonderful work on display today. Thank you!

  28. robert dale tiemann says:

    i like it. very nice.

  29. Steve Ruple says:

    Very nice layout and scenery.

  30. Gary M from Long Island says:

    J.D. ……. great looking layout. Great detail and industrial scenes.

  31. MatiSon says:

    Very nice. I can see that the details in your layout matter. I also see that you have put much time and effort to achieve just the right look, and you have succeeded!

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