Ken’s American West layout

“Welcome everyone. After following Alastair Lee for about two years now I am at the point where I thought that I wanted to add some pictures of my own as I can always benefit from comments and feedback. Having always had an interest in the American west I wanted to convey a time when steam was starting to replace the old wagons heading west. I entitle the layout Westward Ho! simply because I have not really thought of a more creative name.

Although much of the history comes before, our story begins in the town of hole in the wall noted in the rough cut tunnels that blasted through the rocks in order to allow for the train to come into the town founded around a watering hole that protrudes from a rock. It was at this very hole where the Native Apache Indians used to stop and drink. It is near this watering hole where our settlers first came out of the parched desert to the rock from whence the water flows, or the watering rock as the Indians and the early pioneers referred to the land until the coming of the steam engine.

Just as the Native Americans were pushed west, so too do we find the early pioneers wanting to escape the industrialization era. And so we see them loading up their wagons and moving to . . . where we do not know just where they are moving to but is is anyplace better than hole in the wall where cattle barrens and outlaws have come brought there by the water and the greed of gold believed to be found in the nearby hills and barren wasteland.

Ken”

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I thought Ken’s layout had bags of character – and a nice narrative too.

Please do keep ’em coming. And if you haven’t had a look at the ebay cheat sheet for a while, now’s the time to too. Have a look at what’s there.

That’s all today folks – please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to get going on your layout.

Best

Al

33 Responses to Ken’s American West layout

  1. Bruce says:

    Most unusal and very nicely done.

  2. Jaaques Shellaque says:

    Great, Ken. Thanks for sharing. John Allen (Gore and Daphited RR)
    was a model rr pioneer, who died in the late 70’s. His fabulous layout
    was frequently photographed (he was, himself, an accomplished photographer)
    and had many “how to” publications, which are probably still available. His
    layout was “Western” themed, though not as early as your own. Keep up the
    good work!
    js

  3. Bob Tucker says:

    Love the idea…very nice set up. Thanks for sharing.

  4. david howarth says:

    Nice story Ken and portrayed through your layout …well done

  5. Orv says:

    Nice. Very nice. I am also working on a western setting. I have been working on it for over 2 years and am not near this far. I am still in the trial and error phase. Lots of trials and many errors. I am working in “N” gauge on a 4 X 8 foot table. I really appreciate this site. Lots of ideas. Thank you very much.

  6. Barry Pearlman says:

    Ken –

    Great concept! I live just outside St. Louis, Missouri and St. Louis was a major jumping off point for the westward migration.

    Your town must be very progressive and by the number of stars on the flag flying high, anticipated the growth of the United States.

    Just kidding. 🙂 🙂

    Barry

  7. kenn says:

    I thank you all for the comments. Yes the flag is a little ahead of its time but reminds me of the progression. I hope to post more pictures and further narrative in the future but am also looking for ideas. Like some of you I have had to learn through trial and error. My original design was totally scratched after making a bit of effort. My ideas are expansive but the space and cost of building the dream are limiting. I actually am starting on part two of the project.

    I am wondering how to connect the upper line with the lower line without creating polarity issues which is what happened in the initial design. I want to be able to run both lines simultaneously and be able to interconnect if possible.

  8. what a nice layout
    the detail is superlative and the narrative too
    goood job!!

  9. Chuck Reicha says:

    I think your layout is quite nice. You might want to re-think the flag you have flying. It is a 50 star flag and I don’t think at the time you are portraying there were 50 states in the union.
    Sincerely
    Chuck

  10. paul Otway says:

    i like the old time layout too.

    Paul

  11. Ralph says:

    A great way to use some models that would otherwise not fit in. My Wild west models come out for special excursions and “movie making”. Maybe I need a permanent western “set” on corner of the layout. Thanks for some great ideas.

  12. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great theme, like the township.the building fit right in.

  13. Great job ken,enjoyed looking at your lay out. I think that it’s a great idea.

  14. Fred says:

    Finally, somebody with American Flyer ‘S’ scale; REAL model trains.

  15. colin gibbs says:

    A great idea Ken, I don’t recall seeing a model set this early before. Well done, thank you for sharing.
    Colin

  16. Duncan Galbraith says:

    I love a railway with a history! This is really interesting, I live in the wild west of Scotland, Argyll. Hardly a frontier but a lot of people left here for the Americas in the Highland Clearances. Contrary to popular belief, manywere pleased to get the chance to go and start a new life, often paid for by the Laird who could see the land could not support the people. Thanks, D/

  17. Philip Pisanelli says:

    I cought the flag thing as well. Just for information sake there were 31 states pre civil war say1850, and post civil war say 1870 there were 37. Hope you can modify your flag for the time period you built your layout. It looks very good and I wish I had the time and space to play with different time periods, including the future. Phil

  18. THOMAS says:

    A BEAUTY OF A LAYOUT.

  19. NJ Mark says:

    Beautiful work all round! Interesting scenery with wonderful details makes a great layout. To D.D. it is fitting to end your video with “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Cheers! NJ Mark

  20. Dale W. McSwain says:

    I don’t know your scale. If n-gauge where did you find the stage coach? Dale

  21. Dale W. McSwain says:

    I don’t know your scale. If n-scale where did you find the stage coach?

  22. Cary Price says:

    great western look and with lots of character Ken. Nice job and thanks for sharing. Cary in KY

  23. David Wibbels says:

    I enjoyed the western layout. I am thinking of scene in a corner of the my HO layout that would have a Civil War Re-enactment. I also already have a Navy Air Station that houses old prop aircraft being scrapped.

  24. Cary B says:

    Very nice layout and great storyline. Cary B

  25. Billy Mills says:

    hey out there on the rails:
    I have a TAINPAK model 200 made by Model Rectifer Corp & a SPEEDMASTER Universal Powermaster model 50 made by K F Ind – neither of which work
    I don’t think either manufacturer is in operation currently.
    .
    Cracked ’em open & it looks like the coil in both is very rusty.

    Any chance someone out there has a suggestion for parts or repair.

    Thanks

  26. Bruce says:

    Ken.
    Please show existing layout plan and desired. Will help any contributing thoughts by others.
    One recognized trains as older Flyer, therefore “S” gauge. True.
    A wonderful layout to enjoy.
    Thanks to you & Al
    Bruce in SC USA

  27. David Ryder says:

    Ken –

    Thanks for the wonderful layout and lots of ideas. I’m currently starting design on an HO layout also based in the mid 1800’s American West. My rolling stock carries the Virginia & Truckee name. I’d like to know where you found the stagecoach, freight wagon, Conestoga wagons and the western figures, as I haven’t been able to locate these. Al, you can share my email with Ken.

    Dave in MD USA

  28. Jim Julian says:

    Great western Layout, great job. I’m also using a Western theme. In order for me to use modern day items on my layout such as cars, trucks, American flag, I set up my western town as a “THEME PARK”, having it so that it portrays the western town without it messing with up-to-date modern technology. I’m interested in knowing where you got your stagecoach from. I bought 4 covered wagons from the Dollar General store here in NC. They cost me exactly one dollar came with a driver, horse three Indians and three cowboys as well all for a buck. I’m still looking for a stagecoach however. Thanks Jim NC you have permission to use my email thanks..

  29. Warren Ferguson says:

    Love the layout.
    Regarding the flag, is there a source for buying a flag with the correct number of stars, or can you print out one in correct scale?
    Warren, AL, USA

  30. Bill Holt says:

    Ride’em Cowboy. Good Job !!

  31. David A. Massimi says:

    Forgot to ask about those wagons…am doing layout set in Civil War, so need many wagons….where did you get them ?
    Dave, in NY

  32. Bob C says:

    Looks like the old 4-4-0 has derailed in Redwood. Better get a crew working on that.

  33. jack cheasty says:

    How about photocopying the correct period flag (google images) then reducing it to scale and placing appropriate bends in the paper to give it the proper hanging appearance? You’ll need to paste the reverse side, (copy flipped for mirror image on your copier) back to back with the front. I’d make several copies to cut out, taking the pressure off doing it right in one take …

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