Jim’s model railroad video update..

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

This time he’s sent in a camera train video of his wonderful layout:

“Greetings, Al.

I’m really less than a novice at this but I just wanted to share and contribute to your site.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

And poor old Rick mailed me this:

“Due to exigent circumstances I had to get out of the radio control heli and drone hobby. I chose trains which I had never touched before in 60 years.

I did a ton of reading and studying and came to the conclusion that the Bachmann EZ Command DCC set would be the best entry level for me. All of my reading stated the #1 issue was track install.

Very carefully I did that and both of my locos ran like Swiss watches. I gave myself the set as a Christmas gift. This past Tuesday I was working on scenery while I had the locos running 45 foot laps. All was well in my small railway world.

I took Wednesday off and went back at it Thursday. Started again on scenery, put the first loco on the track, applied power, NOTHING. Neither loco would move.

I could hear the motors running but no go. I tried everything I could think of. Now its Saturday. Same scenario. My locos still won’t run. Cleaned the track. Tightened the underside screws. Nothing. NO GO.

WHAT IS WRONG? What am I doing wrong. Murphy’s Law. Any and all suggestions are welcome.


“Hi Alastair

I have followed your blog for many years and I have a question for you and your bloggers

I have a layout that I keep changing (growing) my issue is I see so many great layout plans. How many times do people change their layout it takes me years to build one?

I have attached my latest loco (n scale) and sea port for interest. Loco is a 8200 found on east pulling coal that pass my way sometimes 3 in a row.

Port is made from paint and varish for water, crush cork for rocks, Boat is 3d printed, building is a mix of card and plastic leftovers.


Sydney Aus”

That’s all this time folks – please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you’re tired of saying, “Some day I’ll day start my layout…”



27 Responses to Jim’s model railroad video update..

  1. Dominic P. DeMonte says:

    what happened to ricks cab control ???.

  2. Dominic P. DeMonte says:

    nice job jim !!!. I to am a beginner .

  3. John says:

    I’m afraid I’ve had the same problem with my Dynamis. It suddenly loses it’s settings (even when the locos have been running without problem) and the loco has to be reprogrammed. Unfortunately mine has now stopped programming so I have had to take it to someone with another system to programme it for me. I am going to buy the NCE Powercab.

  4. NJ Mark says:

    Jim…beautiful train ride and great attention to the scenic detail.

    Steven… I have been working on my layout for over 18 months and am no where near completion. I keep modifying things as I go along. To me that is what’s so satisfying. Will I want to redo something when I’m done? Who knows. No rules except one: have fun.
    Cheers! NJ Mark

  5. Frank Cortese says:

    Rick, I had the same problem. I cleaned the wheels on my loco and that solved the problem. Good luck and enjoy your new hobby.
    Frank, near Disney Orlando

  6. Randy Blankenship says:

    Jim, well done!

  7. Henry van Wyk says:

    Rick, if you can hear the motors running then it means there is a mechanical breakdown inside. I would suggest opening them up, looking for drive shafts that have become disloedged, or gears on axles that have stripped. If it is a Bachman loco and you reside in the USA they are supposed to have a lifetime guarantee, so get in contact with your Bachmann agent.

  8. David V. Corbin says:

    As far as “how often does one change their layout”… I think it depends to a large degree on the relevant importance of various elements of the hobby. For me, it is largely around operations and automation; scenery is secondary. I know (and respect) many who have the opposite view.

  9. Hap Cummings says:

    One of the best I have seen. Wonderful!

  10. Brian Staples says:

    Beautiful layout Jim. Nothing better than to get home from a hard day and see this first thing. My favorite is the crevasse section. Great inspiration. Would love to see more. Good show Jim.

  11. Edward Sargent says:

    Jim, I am amazed you got a loop in that space next to the car, It does not look it but must be N-gauge? What camera are you using, it has very good video quality.

  12. Tom Finto says:

    Some of you may remember the term FAR OUT THAT IS WHAT THIS LAYOUT IS FAR OUT

  13. Richard Scott says:

    I have had a Bachmann EZ DCC controller for 5 years and have had NO trouble with it. It does however need regular voltage feeds to the track at intervals of a few feet or it suffers from some drop in voltage. It is also sensitive to dirty wheels and track. I have found it best to clean all locomotive wheels regularly.

  14. Jim says:

    Great thanks to all for your comments. The inspiration is the Southwest. The scale is HO. The camera is a GoPro cube. And yes it was tight to fit in my garage. Homes here in AZ have no basements nor attics. And retirement homes here rarely have more than two bedrooms. Sooooo. The layout is sort of a dogbone with the center curved toward toward the wall to allow car door access. There are three sections on the layout: a diesel service facility: a small town center and a bed and breakfast/excursion business. Will send more pics down the line.

  15. Cal says:

    Love the rock formations. Very realistic. Great layout in a tight space!!

  16. Al Letting says:

    What scale is this ?

  17. Charles says:

    Most excellent landscaping and use of space!!! It like to see a pic looking down to see your teak plan.

  18. Robert Rolfe says:

    Great gob, love the rock formations and the track work. I have one question.
    How do you keep the dust off it?

  19. Don Ripper says:

    Wonderful Jim. I wonder why they don’t provide a headlight on the camera truck? Although I guess that would mean we’d have to detail the inside of our tunnels…??

  20. Linda says:

    Jim, great job especially the video from train view. Where did you get the camera?
    Linda, PA

  21. Robert Rolfe says:

    Are the motors running, or just humming? I think if they are running then something must be broke, stripped or out of place. However for both to go down at the same time I think it may be in the track, I know nothing about DDC however I do think the track plays a large part. first try one at a time on a different section of track, if still no go then check ALL track connections for Volts and well the old school OHM meter works well for me for testing track. The DDC thing you have may also be a problem, Computer type things are GREAT when they work, however most of people my age have no clue how to fix it when it takes ( well lets say, a left turn) May be old school but I will stick to my very small DC layout. Also I will sign off as Bob NV as there are several other Bobs out there that post things and I am not in their class.
    Bob NV

  22. Rod Mackay says:

    You say you were running the locos round and round while working on scenery, and that you can hear the motors running. Is it possible they’ve picked up something like plaster or adhesive into the geartrains which has had chance to set in the couple of days they were standing idle? Scenics and mechanisms are not happy bedmates, we just recently painted all the pointwork on our club layout and now have a wave of throw, clearance and contact issues to work through.

  23. Keith says:

    Message for the no go problem. I have the same problem with one of my E Z commands but I can still use the sound functions. Have you tried using another controller ,to see if the engines work , my problem was the speed control on the transformer. I now use the Hornby Elite a bit more expensive but well worth it. Good luck. Keith from Kemptville Ontario

  24. Walter says:

    To Jim….

    Your engine needs a headlight to see as it goes thru the tunnel….

    Otherwise, I love the camera angle….looks sooooo real!

    Walter, Long Island, N.Y.

  25. Thomas Murphy says:

    Jim, you have a most interesting video. Thank you for sharing it.
    Regards, Tom (USA)

  26. Michael Day says:

    I think we could use some clarification re : “I could hear the motors running but no go”. It’s hard to believe a motor on each of two locos would run — like two cars in neutral — but neither motor turns the wheels. The suggestion earlier that a drive shaft could be disengaged is a good one — I have a Bachmann co-co (UK Class 57) with two driveshafts — but for it to happen on two locos is hard to believe.

  27. Awesome layout,the big “Yellow House” is too cool,restaurants in the west years ago!! Nice garage!!ha.

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