Suspended ceiling layout – Joe’s

Joe’s been in touch with his suspended ceiling layout:

“Hi Al,

I’m a retired police officer from nj and got back into ho trains this past feb, when i had to quit golfing due to two leg surgeries.

It’s been over 50 years since a had a layout and when a saw dcc i knew it was time to do it again.

My layout is in my garage 6 ft by 12 ft attached to cables and a 1500 lb. winch. the table top is pressed plywood and 2x6s and 2×4 framing.

Here’s pix of the buildings, some manufactured plastic but most i built using balsa wood and pix from online.


HO scale farm

model train tunnel

model train waterfall

model tran station

Suspended ceiling layout:

HO scale model train



suspended ceiling layout parking lot

suspended ceiling layout

suspended ceiling layout printable building



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here

Now on to Ian’s suspended ceiling layout.

Last time I posted pics of Ian’s suspended layout (It’s here if you missed it).

Since then, Ian has kindly sent in some pics, and Joe has also got in touch with his suspended layout too.


Ray asked how I suspended the layout I hope these photos will show how it is achieved.



suspended ceiling layout

suspended ceiling layout

suspended ceiling layout

suspended ceiling layout

I think the first suspended layout on the site was Paco’s, which was quite some time ago now.

I also came across these tips while looking for it, which I thought were worth another visit. And these too.

That’s all this time folks.

A big thanks to Joe and Ian for sharing their suspended ceiling layouts – there are quite a few of them on the blog now.

Please do keep ’em coming, because it’s getting very thin on the ground again this end.

And if Joe or Ian have inspired you, 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.

24 Responses to Suspended ceiling layout – Joe’s

  1. arthur waterhouse says:

    Way to go, looks real good, love the houses. sorry about your knees. look up!!!!!!!
    (joke) see ya.

  2. d j howarth says:

    Well done Joe …never too late to start in this Hobby …better than golf anyway ?? …great idea with the lifting layout …Dangerous Dave

  3. smitty says:

    it look real good. I have a layout . I like your building, I am a vender also

  4. David Hannan says:

    Brilliant way of storing your layout! Well done! Mine is manual and HEAVY!

  5. Bryan Taylor says:

    Well done joe and thank you for your service. It is deeply appreciated

  6. Tommy says:

    Joe has done a terrific job building that layout, and the many details make it all the better

  7. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great layout and an ideal way of storing the layout.

  8. Cary B says:

    those two suspended layouts are awesome ideas, thanks for sharing


  9. wow wotta great idea
    when you have limited space you make do
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  10. Caroline George says:

    Really useful and fun too, thanks

  11. Frank Snyder says:

    Joe I live just outside Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I would really enjoy coming over to see your layout and how you hooked it up. I have limited space in my apartment and have talked to my wife about having a layout that I could raise and lower as needed. She wants me to get rid of my layout to make room for my granddaughter in the bedroom. Your layout is awesome and would work for me too. Also only someone from this area can appreciate the WAWA! I would like you to at lease get in touch and at least explain more details in an email.
    Sincerely, Frank

  12. Pamela Poe says:

    Pretty cool! Some really great ideas. Love the farm, one of my favorite scenes for model railroading. Great job Joe!

  13. todd micu says:

    pretty cool!

  14. john pistorino says:

    Hi Joe I see the Village of Pinecrest sign. I also live there with a layout on my second floor of American flyer. I have to get busy to catch up with you

  15. Chet Karlewicz says:

    Awesome detail Joe, I just after 50 years laid a double track around my Christmas tree in Ocean City MD.
    I got into it and after my grandkids come to visit I am going to figure out were I will build a permanent layout. I just retired from NYC and this little project bought so much joy.

  16. Bill D. says:

    Great idea there!Keep on with it.I have a problem here and I really hope that someone knows about this.I have been trying to get a hold of a book that is outdated and out of print.This book has the plans on how to construct an elevated H.O.train platform.Please help?Thank you all.Bill D.from Indiana.

  17. Russell Jones says:

    I’m interested in what technique you used for the waterfall

  18. Steve C says:

    Great layout Joe….really cleaver…model railroading will
    keep us young and looking forward to the next “idea” for the layout…thank you for your service to our Nation and oh yea, WAWA beats Sheetz hands down…
    (Grew up in Philly and now live in Western PA..Go Eagles!

  19. Anton Bruce says:


    Sorry about the leg – that must be a royal pain. But the layout? Wow – that looks GREAT!!! Some darned good work there!!!

  20. John Britt says:

    I am always amazed at the ways people have to have a layout . Where there is a will there is a way! keep the ideas coming.

  21. Welder dave says:

    The idea for using a metal soup can for a quonset hut on your farm was brilliant! Could use a bigger number 10 ones on my G gauge for military base buildings or as we had many in Texas for welding and truck repair shops in the oilfield service they were fireproof being no wood used in their construction.

  22. Erick says:

    Good job.!!!! I just hope mine turn that good.

  23. richard rudolph says:

    Looks like Joe has a fun place to play. Love it.

  24. Brian Olson says:

    A reminder there are no obstacles to this hobby if you really want to get into it.

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