HO scale track plan 20 x 20

John’s been in touch with his HO scale track plan 20 x 20.

(his last post is here.)


Thanks for the kind words on the article and pictures you posted.

The comments are gratifying, a few of the commenters asked for the track plan.

I’ve included the track plan that didn’t show up in the post.


John From Baltimore”

HO scale track plan 20 x 20

And now something I’m always banging on about – making a start.

Robert’s doing a fine job because he’s fighting with lack of space too. But that should never be an excuse, as he’s shown:

“Alastair –

I live in a Manhattan apartment where space is at a premium. I have started an N scale layout on a 2-1/2’ x 5’ folding-leg table in our guest room. Here you see it’s earliest stages. I’ve built the table from a modified hollow-core door, attached the legs, and glued down the Kato Unitrack. It’s DCC powered, which simplified the wiring to no end!

Next stage: buildings. I’ll make cardboard templates of the footprints of various building possibilities, and see how they fit.

Stay tuned!


Folding model railroad table

folding model railroad table

model railroad track

“Dear Alistair,

I’m a sort of bystander in the world of model railroading but I have somehow gotten on your mailing list and I really enjoy looking at your email every day with different layouts.

I grew up with my Lionel trains in the ‘60’s but never had a permanent layout. My wife indulges me with a mantelpiece revolving display, and I get out the old Circus Special when my grand daughter visits but I’m one of those “yet to start” types you try to encourage.

But anyway, I was hauling a load of scrap metal from our farm to a salvage yard in Burnt Prairie, Illinois today when I spied the cab of this old locomotive among the mountains of junk at Lewis Scrap Metal.

I thought it might be of interest to your readers to see where old UP 2749 came to rest. I included a photo from the Union Pacific website of the locomotive in 2008- looking a little rough even then.

Keep up the good work-

Griffin, IN USA”

old weathered loco

old weathered loco

weathered locomotive

train mantle

A big thanks to Mike, Robert and to John for sharing his HO scale track plan 20 x 20.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

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.

14 Responses to HO scale track plan 20 x 20

  1. Roger Clark, Michigan USA says:

    Mike, I used to belong to Circus Model Builders. #1689 I’d like to see the circus train rotation. No room currently for a circus on the layout so will settle for a circus train myself. Thanks

  2. Kevin McArdle says:

    Amazing that he found space in a New York apartment for a model railroad. Nobody can have any more excuses why they don’t have space to start their own. Great article, and Happy railroading.

  3. Robert Brady says:

    You answered the question before I asked, SD40-2 They were one of the better models,strength and longevity ,great pics.

  4. Ralph Berry says:


    What a great compact layout. There appear to be plenty of possibilities for interesting operations as well.

    Ralph in Aus

  5. Robert Brady says:

    John sold my N scale to a friend and he did the same with a hollow door.Somehow he managed to incorporate an airport.I’m waiting to see the finished product.I’ll try and upload to site with Alistair’s permission.
    Robert B
    PS meanwhile you can glue some grass on ur layout and alwasys check out Ebay cheat sheet for scenery..

  6. Chuck says:

    Robert, Nice track plan!

  7. Jim says:

    Congrats to Robert’s efforts and getting started. We’ll stay tuned.
    Thanks to Mike for sharing those loco pics and to John for his update.

    Jim AZ

  8. Victor Koyano says:

    We should do like Cuba and restore locomotives instead of leaving junked ones and tossing so much away. Cuba is known for 1950s authorities still driving around but they have old steam and diesel locomotives too. I saw a television program that had restored Fairbanks Morse diesels with rebuilt parts that they created from blueprint copies. They expect to keep those running twenty or more years. BNSF is a nicer railroad because they rebuild some older locomotives and even borrow older ones. I saw GP38s and GP40s on trains today on Virtual Railfan. l think they even own some restored steam like the Southern Pacific 4449 but I’m not sure.

  9. Susan Cannon says:

    It makes me a bit sad to see a great old engine like the 2749 in a scrapyard. It’s good that eventually it will be recycled, but still…. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Peter Theodore says:

    That’s an SD-45. You can tell from the slant of the grills at the end of the engine OK?


  11. Allen Wortman says:


    Great looking track plan.

    Can you provide information on your folding legs & brackets -brand, make and/or model numbers.

    in CA USA

  12. Gerry says:

    Just a quick note/idea for sound deadening on your layout; I have an ‘O’ scale set-up on 5’x9’ ping pong table that I used hardwood floor deadening material on to keep the sound down and not make it so hollow sounding…

  13. Bill McCourt - WF1L says:

    Your picture of your trains on the mantle are just what I have at my house. Since my Lionel Christmas 027 trains went away, I’ve been limited to armchair modeling and historical archeology. I’ve been reading up on and then going into the field and locating remnants of abandoned or ripped out trolley lines. It’s been very intellectually rewarding to actually locate artifacts from my chosen railroads from historical documents. Unfortunately, my chosen railroad is in Illinois and I live in Delaware, so I don’t get to play very often.

  14. Jim C. says:

    You need to start a layout. You don’t know what you are missing. That train is begging to be taken off the mantle and run on a layout. Have fun.

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