HO scale DCC locomotives with sound – Jim’s

Jim’s been in touch with his HO scale DCC locomotives with sound:

“My layout was started in after a long break from railway modeling.

It is entirely 1/87 scale and is all dcc with most locos having sound.

It is based on a area somewhere in Germany around the black forest area, but I like to run french & Austrian trains and also American trains.

I know this is unrealistic but this layout is not a serious prototypical setup.

I have electric, gas turbine,diesel and steam locos and many high speed trains from trix, marklin, fleischmann and roco.

The layout has a 12 foot terminus station Area a small shuttle station, three goods yards and a 27 exit turntable which is all opperated by dcc connected to a esu ecos and a Z12 which work in tandem.

The system has no catenary as this was to not installed early enough when building and was also a extra huge cost so I run all electric loco with there panagraphs I the down position.

The layout is HO scale DCC locomotives with sound and is shaped like a number 9 with the large terminus station branching off.

Thanks jim.”

HO scale turntable

HO scale DCC locomotives with sound

HO scale turntable

HO scale DCC locomotives with sound

HO scale turntable

HO scale DCC locomotives with sound weathered passenger carriage

HO scale DCC locomotives with sound

(If you’re seeing a message saying the video won’t play because of copyright, I’m aware of the problem and I’m looking into it. Apparantly SME stands for Sony Music. Please bear with me)

Latest ebay cheat sheet is here!

A big thanks to Jim for sharing his HO scale DCC locomotives with sound – I loved it.

Now, if you want to model like Jim – and you haven’t got off the starting blocks yet, don’t forget to have a look-see at the guide (or even if you are just after inspiration).

That’s all this time, folks. Please do keep ’em coming because it’s getting a bit thin on the ground this end.



model train answers

98 Responses to HO scale DCC locomotives with sound – Jim’s

  1. Deborah says:

    That layout is really nice and I liked the speed of the train


  2. Dave Maves says:


  3. Absolutely breathtaking! Great job!!!!!!

  4. Bret Chapman says:

    Loved the well interior lit engine, very nice. The working roundtable, excellent. Great layout tour with Eye level point of view. Appreciate the cool hook up scene. and the tunnel horn blasts… nice touch.
    Noticing the German architecture and some German influence in the layout, American names for locale: Fayetteville and the Pennsylvania RR.
    Might I suggest a nice addition would be a ThyssenKrupp metal parts plant addition to the layout. They have plants all over the U.S.
    I used to drive a truck hauling freight and many of their plants had immediate access to rail yards. It seems that would fit right in to the theme.

  5. Brian says:

    Great job Jim. Gave me some new ideas. Thanks

  6. Rod Mackay says:

    I wonder what makes all those chunterring noises, sounds almost like a diesel? I had a trip on the Broadway Limited in September 1980 but wasn’t allowed forward to see the traction that would haul us out of Penn Station (health n safety) and it had been replaced by diesels before I could get a good look at the head end in the morning – would that have been a GG1 by that date, does anyone know? Thanks,

  7. Bill Tincher says:

    Great photography and background music…………….

  8. George Hewitt says:

    An inspiring video of a great layout.

  9. Mike Street says:

    Amazing Jim, but makes me want to give up now after seeing your efforts with that stupendous turntable etc.etc.!! Mike S

  10. Bob Cassidy says:

    Very nice !!!

  11. Christopher says:

    Wow, that was very nice

  12. Paul B. says:

    Very nice. Good photography. Thanks.

  13. DARRYL CRESS says:

    It was with great pleasure watching your layout and how well you capture the rolling stock on video.

  14. DARRYL CRESS says:

    Enjoyed watching

  15. Frederick says:

    nice to see trains a little different from the uk 50’s – 60’s period. There are some nice locos out there in europe, but I have found they tend to be expensive.

  16. Dave Whatley says:

    That is a really great layout that I will shoot for on my layout. You did a good job on your video also, thanks Dave in Savannah,Ga.. USA

  17. Roy Tibbles says:

    Hi Jim, great layout and very good video, like the turn table well they are big over there which counts for amount of engines you have, I don’t have that amount but do have to double or treble up on single track with isolator’s on. Only DC to track not like yours with DCC. Well mine n gauge and had for many years now I can’t see myself changing like yours but get a lot of pleasure being in control. Do like seeing other people layouts so great watching yours. Roy

  18. Bruce says:

    Magnificent layout and stunning video. Shooting most of the footage from ground level added greatly to the realism, as did the prototypical speed of the train. The few overhead shots provided some added perspective of the overall layout. Would love to see a track plan.

    For Rod –
    Your Broadway Limited could have been pulled by a GG1 in 1980. Amtrak was in the process of replacing them with the AEM-7 at that time, but I believe the transition was not completed until ’81 or ’82.

    Bruce in NC, USA

  19. Don Stanley says:

    Excellent layout and video. The back ground music was a lot better than I’ve heard before. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Donald F Wick the yard master) says:

    WOW The music enhanced the scene and added drama. Catenary wasn’t neccesary in this production. Great impact with all the scencs edited together. Good to see US and European railroads blended together.
    Great job.
    Don Wick West Bend, WIsconsin U S A

  21. Robert Mocko says:

    Thanks for sharing and a big”Thank You” to Jim for showing such an incredible layout.

  22. james stewart taylor says:

    That is sensational.True dedication to model railwaying.

  23. Douglas Humphrey says:

    A good quality video, spoilt by the poor choice of music, never seen locos like these and I wonder whether the GG1 is supposed to be electric or diesel? Sounded like a diesel, but with pantographs I thought it would be electric.

  24. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Outstanding layout,especially the turn table,you are to be congratulated on your workmanship.

  25. Phil Saruk says:

    Incredible Layout! Train Speed Very Real! The only thing I see would be some weathering on the Trains, Cars, and accessories like the fork lift etc. I’ve never seen one that clean! lol! I think this is one of the finest layouts I’ve seen! You and “Dave” must be “Cousins!”

  26. Roland Burch says:

    Excellent video and great layout.

    The music was perfect for the video.

    Thank you

  27. christine says:

    Very cool. Just needs weathering, and the layout is to flat.

  28. Judith says:

    Fantastic layout!! Very dedicated layout thanks for sharing.

  29. Pete Evangel says:

    You say it’s not prototypical. Who cares! This is an outstanding layout. It shows what came forth from your brain to working model. I loved it!!! Speed on engine was perfect. Buildings, lights, roadbeds all great. We can see you have spent quite a large amount of cash, but more importantly, TIME! Might ask what are the overall dimensions of this entire set up? Very impressive
    Pete-San Jose, CA.

  30. Wally Christina says:

    Outstanding layout! It took a lot of work for sure! I really enjoyed it.

  31. Joe says:

    This is such a grand video, I’ve watched it 6 times…Wonderful use of backgrounds, and you have in fact, detailed the detail…Please post some more.



  33. Nathan Perreira says:

    Enjoyed watching your video your editing and camera angles was perfect. I have an engine just like that it gave me a new appreciation for it. Had a nice chuckle seen the guy standing by the forklift wondering what he was up to.
    Thanks for sharing. Nathan

  34. Jim Saccento says:

    Great video.

    Is that music from South Pacific?

  35. William says:

    Looks more real than a real one !!! Congrats.

  36. Ian McDonald says:

    great video nice to watch the train in action would love to see more .

  37. Ray says:

    I don’t what was better the layout or the video. The layout is so life-like some the video could of made a really great screen saver. AWESOME!

  38. andre cournoyer says:

    great job, love the layout..

  39. Chuck Friedlein says:

    Great looking layout for the space it appears you have for it. As a Pennsy nut and juice freak (born and raised in Philadelphia when these and the last of steam were still running strong) it was nice to see a GG1 running.

    I loved the music, though to comment on a previous post, I don’t think it was from South Pacific, but not 100% sure. Perhaps you could enlighten us all by supplying the title and group/orchestra that played the music. I’d like to try to get a copy of whatever CD/album it came from.

  40. paul Otway says:

    I like the electric loco.

  41. Russ says:

    Hello Alastair,
    I love Pennsy GG1’s, Union Pacific freight cars, and CB&Q reefers. I also love looking at English and European-style model railroads. But an electric GG1 with it’s pantographs down pulling a American freight train on an non-overhead wire european-style layout with #4 switches and euro-buildings and rolling stock in the video is just not lifelike or believable. Thanks, but no thanks.

  42. brian says:

    absolutely incredible thank you

  43. Edward says:

    nice layout…love the slow speeds!

  44. Ray Thomas says:


  45. Ross Johnston says:

    Great layout!! I would like to see more video of you layout to guage its size/dimensions and to look at your main station. Thanks for sharing! Rossco Adelaide, Australia

  46. Jim says:

    Thanks to Dave and Al for linking this video (with music) to this great Web site.
    Thanks for all the comments .
    I made a mistake in the Information the layout was started in April 2010 and is my first attempt at a layout for decades. .a lot has changed so I had to learn about dcc and modeling in general.
    The layout still needs a lot of weathering in many areas inc track.
    The size is about of the layout is about 15 ft s/q with a terminus section of 15 ft by 3ft.
    Not sure if the music is from south Pacific film in the video.
    I did do another identical vid without music too.

    Many thanks to all you great modelers….jim

  47. Robyn Ganzer says:

    Jim just remember it is your layout and you can run whatever you like and if you have any complaints just show them the door and close it on the way out.
    Regards RobbieG from Australia.

  48. Richard says:

    That is really amazing & authentic!!

  49. Joe Lewis says:

    Great layout, liked the start at the turn table to the full run

  50. Doug Hagler says:

    I wish I photos of this I will do my best to describe the layout I saw over 20 years ago it was built on 3/4 inch plywood sheet that was 4 feet by 8 feet and on the bottom a 1/4 inch sheet of plywood that was hinged to access the elect. wiring it would fold up on a frame of 2x 8 it had a Ho scale layout in great detail when it was folded up it look like a large painting of a steam engine on it . even the legs to support it would fold up as the picture frame way cool !

  51. Doug Hagler says:

    these layouts are great , Thanks

  52. jim says:

    Update info.
    For people who like the music track it is:
    Kinobe – Slip Into Something More Comfortable

    For comments about mixed unrealistic locos and stock and no over head wires etc, you are correct it is unrealistic and not prototypical but this is a fun system and many friends and family work this layout including the younger generation so no wires on this layout………………..and anything go’s…its all about the fun….lol…

    Many thank’s again for all of the comments.


  53. David says:

    Great layout. Great video. I like the ground level shots. I’m not a fan of the music at all. It’s a DCC layout with sound. No need for music. Just listen to the train sounds.

  54. ian impett says:

    GREAT, Great video & WHAT a layout ALL those AMERICAN BEAST OF ENGINES, Lived there as a kid in the 1940’s. Amazing!!!!

  55. Bill Fitzpatrick says:

    Jim , that is a great layout! Always remember, They are YOUR choo-choos and you can run them ANY way that YOU desire!!! Let the rivet counters be damned!

  56. kevin meek says:


    as noted above your train may have left New York pulled by a GG1, but it would have been replaced by diesels at Harrisburg, Pennslyvania to continue to Chicago.

  57. Chuck Friedlein says:

    Model railroading is supposed to be fun. Regardless of how anyone else defines “fun”, it comes down to what is fun for you. My interests are the PRR because I was born and grew up in the Philadelphia area, but also British and German prototypes because I lived in each of the countries during my time in the military.
    Thanks for the info on the music–now I need go find a copy.
    Keep up the great work on the layout.

  58. Curtis says:

    Great vid, Beautiful layout! KIller Tunes 🙂 Peace

  59. Jim says:

    Thanks again for all the comments. …I salute all modelers world wide. ….jim

  60. Geoff von Wollenberg says:

    Great video and music. Really sweet layout and train speeds. Jealous. Would’ve to know where the turntable is from. Thanks for a great show. I was lucky enough to have ride. On a GG1 in the 50s. An exciting time as a kid.
    Alastair-the strange locomotive video in your last post was awesome! ( I’m a little behind) Thanks!

  61. Don says:

    One of the best layouts I’ve ever seen! Great job! But it sure takes money to built something like that! It would be interesting to see how much money he has tied up in this setup?

  62. Jim says:

    Nice. Your efforts, enthusiasm and results which you enjoy are the only things that matter. This is a fun hobby so who cares what the railroad detectives think. You have a great looking layout. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  63. Gerry says:

    Very nice! I especially liked the videography…what program did you use?

  64. Cary E Price says:

    Hey Jim, great layout and what a soothing video, the music sets the tone for a relaxing ride. Especially liked the shot from the turn table. Thanks for sharing, Cary in KY

  65. Phil Knerr says:

    JIM, Love your layout. No, it will not please rivet counters, but I am one who has always subscribed to the notion that IT IS YOUR WORLD….therefore, prototype is what you make of it. This allows you to enjoy both European, US and any other mixture that interests you.. Your video was fun and a treat to watch. Thanks for sharing a great looking and smooth running layout….it is inspiring to the rest of us!!! Phil in Michigan

  66. Wow!

    What is the total square footage of this fantastic layout?

  67. matt says:

    all of you hobbyists are great.

  68. Theodore W Nagel says:


  69. Don Stine says:

    WOW. A beautiful job. Let the critics go build there own. Great Layou, Great operation, and Great Video… more, MORE!
    Don in the Mojavi.

  70. Brian Rockey says:

    Fantastic video and modelling.
    The music, adding a rather atmospheric touch to the opening – I liked it. Lovely smooth slow running onto and off the turntable.
    Great stuff!
    Brian, Wokingham UK

  71. Hi Rod that noise you are hearing are the cooling fans that cool the electric motors inside a GGI plus you are hearing the Electric traction motors.
    A great layout Jim many thanks for the video

  72. george zaky says:

    Beyond awesome!
    I was in a really nice place, admiring your work, appreciative of your video, thankful that you shared, and even more happy that your imagination was shared when some dud said it wasnt real. I do not understand dud spuds that have to say something especially when creativity is so apparent and I am sure they could not do what you did.

    To all creative, imaginative, artistic, and positive modelers- Go forth with vigor!!! Dud spuds would cringe if they saw my layout. It is Mad magazine with trains.
    Be well and safe
    George from LI, NY

  73. Keith Miller says:

    Oh dear – I seem to be missing something great! Instead of your video I got a message saying it’s blocked in this country on copyright grounds. Has anyone else in the UK had this message?

  74. I also gotvthe same message as Keith, so have not been able to view it

  75. Stephen White says:

    Sydney same as Keith Miller UK above ….”your country has blocked SME content” etc.
    I don’t know what this is but can someone fix it please??

    Steve W

  76. Rod Mackay says:

    Thank you very much to Kevin and Richard for the gen on GG1s, much appreciated. 🙂

  77. Mark Geraghty says:

    Video blocked in UK

  78. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Just for the record, the video was blocked/unplayable for me here in Toronto, Canada.

  79. Mike Balog says:

    Hi Al:
    Just to let you know. That Video was Blocked here in the USA due to SME Copyright Infringements.. Can you supply another video for us across the Pond so we can see this layout? Thanks.. Mike in N.H. USA.

  80. Ruben Simon says:

    How did George from LI, NY view it when it’s blocked in the US and many other countries? Maybe he can give us a clue to a way to watch it – George?

  81. Fred Driver says:

    Video blocked in Australia too. I believe it may be because of the music everyone is raving about.

  82. JR Grau says:

    Everything looked great with the exception of the GG1 moving with the pantograph’s down. The GG1 is a totally 💯% Electric drive. There were a total of 139 units built exclusively for the PR&R, all electric. I still love your layout and the work you’ve put into it. After moving to a lot smaller house I keep saying one of these days I’ll put my stuff back up but who knows.

  83. Walt says:

    Amazing turn table that’s for sure!
    Thanks for sharing!

  84. Ron says:

    Please, what was the music??

  85. TJK says:

    Great Vid! Music and editing were terrific.

  86. Mr. Ron from So Mississippi says:

    I too have crossed the railroad/railway boundary by combining American and Foreign trains on the same layout. I thought I was the only one. I have a GG1 on a Markin track layout with an American background. In fact, where I live (Vancleave, Mississippi), There are no trains within 20 miles of where I live. The town in which I live have all the local businesses named after family members. Even the street names are family names. That makes my layout all mine to do as I please. I have to find a place for my dog’s name. I am also the self appointed mayor of my town.

  87. Herbert Sussman says:

    I had no problem playing the video with the music, here in North Carolina, USA. Jim, a wonderful video of a very well done layoit. Thanks for sharing!

  88. Rob says:

    Great job on YOUR World. Amazing that some folks have to spout off their inane comments about this and that! Personally I would prefer no music or very light music as I would rather hear the sounds of DCC in action. I’ve come to even cut the viewing short without the real sounds… Anyway great job on your domain and to hell with the naysayers I say!

  89. Roger K says:

    Great layout, and I love the GG1…

  90. SHELDON says:

    Job very well done. I especially like seeing trains running at realistic speeds….

  91. Harper Goldwire says:

    The locomotive drew power from the 11,000 volt AC current transmitted in overhead electrical lines and developed 4620 horsepower, easily allowing speeds of 100 mph. After more than 50 years of operations, the last of the 139 GG1s built were retired in 1983, with 16 remaining in museums today.

  92. Arthur Joseph Romano says:

    When I was growing up in New Jersey driving down US 1 in Edison you would see the GG1’s cruising from Philly to NY on straight sections of track that were miles long. These things would cruise like heck and you’d hear the sparking in damp and cold weather. Very cool to bring back that memory.

  93. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. i love all the trains. the work shows. thanks.

  94. Steve Ruple says:

    Awesome layout Jim and great sound. I liked the video, it was great.

  95. Allan Clarke says:

    Wow I have never seen a layout like yours, young Jim, you should be very proud indeed, I have seen a lot of Al’s showings, but never as well as your efforts.
    My layout is dismal in comparison, and never have I seen a more realistic speed of engine You are magnificent in joining the layout to your other talents of photography. Please show us more.
    old Al from down under.

  96. Dave Karper says:

    I agree with those who say the G Motor sounds like a diesel. I’m sure the manufacture never heard an electric locomotive. They were so quiet, you couldn’t hear them until they were on top of you. All the ones I ran, were louder in the cab than they were trackside. P.S. Hi Chuck Friedlein. Mr. Lee, if Chuck Feiedlein asks for my Email address, please give it to him. Thank you.

  97. GEORGE ROSS says:

    WHAT IS THE Sony Music USED IN HO scale DCC locomotives with sound – Jim’s?

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