John’s train layout

“Al, Here are several pictures of my layout.

It’s built over top of a pool table. The bottom part is fixed with the top on many small castors so it can slide back and forth so I can get under neither to the bus and feeder wires.

My HO gauge layout is 6′ x 10′ and I can roll it in one direction 5′ and I run into a wall, 6 the other way and there is a sliding glass door.

There are two separate tracks, one I call the “red” line is surface mounted and is giving me trouble with shorts.

The other “green” line is elevated 5 to 8 inches and has not been wired or ballast yet.

The “green” line will have a passenger train which will stop at a train station to let passengers on and off.

The “red” line will be a freight line and will stop at a gravel building for a load of gravel. I have built out of sight in the gravel building a small motor with a remote control to move a gate back and forth to release a load of gravel stored in the building to a freight car below.

The layout called “Johnstown” will have a business section and a residential section.


HO scale

John's train layout HO scale

train layout

JOhn's train layout HO Scale

Now on to Stan – here’s why I’m always banging on about the print out scenery. It looks great, and its a lot of fun as well:


With all the help I get from the videos on your site. This is my first scene. I still need a lot to learn . I am happy with how this looks.

Thanks for all you do on the site.

Stan from the Carolinas y’all”

HO scale barn

HO scale barn

It’s wonderful to see the print out scenery on a layout. Stan’s done a cracking job.

And well done to John. I like publishing pics of when folk make a start, because as you know, that’s what it’s all about: starting.

That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming, and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want make your start today.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

8 Responses to John’s train layout

  1. Eric Rayner says:

    John, the only way you could get a short on the configuration shown
    is by not seeing the inside of the far loop (as shown on first pic) is reversed if you connect there without reversing connections it will short out.

  2. Paul Case says:

    John great idea with the rolling layout and I think your wiring job is very neat. I like the use of terminal strips and spade lugs on your track power leads. I followed a similar path in wiring my layout. I believe that the use of suitcase connectors is like looking for trouble in that you can not be assured of a good permanent and easily traceable connection. In fact I solder the small tip of wire that sticks out of the spade connector to the spade piece. Please send us up date photos.

  3. JOHN YOUNGER says:

    As always, the 11th of 12 terminal blocks was where the short was. The barrier Terminal strips (red and black) that connect the screw positions together were touching each other. Now I have to go back and attach each feeder wire and test to make sure there were no other shorts. I need to thank my electrician friend who helped me find the short. My layout does not represent any known location as I have seen with so many other layouts. I am 80 years young and maybe my next layout will represent a train location in Virginia where I grew up. Al you make my day. John

  4. John, nice start. Your shorting problems are most likely happening at one or both of your rail crossings at grade. They would be the only place that I can see where shorts could happen since I don”t see any turnouts on that level.

  5. Allan J Jelinek says:

    Sorry !
    And no disrespect is intended here, but Johnstown sound notoriously like the infamous Jonestown. I might rethink the name. And, please be aware, I really don’t mean any disrespect. I’m only letting you know about something you may have not known about this Infamous place in Giana. Great Layout though.

  6. Excellent work in both instances and great engineering on the pool table idea.

  7. Kenith P. Pearson says:

    per your wiring diagram I like to have a copy… to help with the trouble I am having.

  8. Jim Logue says:

    Looks great! Can’t wait to see some updates. Jim from NJS T-Trak , NJ

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