N gauge foam incline

Ken’s been in touch, he’s shared his N gauge foam incline layout:

“Hi Alistair,

I model in N Scale and after an absence of 25 or more years I have retired and have found space in our new home to get new construction underway.

To keep costs down and minimise the carpentry needed, I’ve used Ikea tables which are hollow core (like internal door construction) and foam topping.

Some – like in the main tunnel – is insulation (XPS) foam and the balance is just packing foam. Most of this was liberated from dumpsters at local shopping centres.

I also used Woodland Scenics inclines and risers to make it a bit smoother to get into the mountain and down the other side. All track is Kato. I picked up a lot of this on a visit to Japan in 2018. (A visit to the Kato shop and factory in Tokyo is a must see!)

n gauge foam incline

n gauge foam incline bridge

Coming up for 6 months work now, and I have attached a few progress photos. Some of your kits are sprinkled around the mountain. Others can be seen in bridge abutments and retaining walls.

Lots more to do – so back to the grindstone. The printer is starting to run hot!

n gauge foam incline

n gauge foam incline

N scale track on foam board:

n gauge foam incline

mountains model railroad

making mountains model railroad

station terminal

mountain model railroad

Best reagrds,


There’s quite a lot fo N gauge foam incline pics on the blog now – it’s a popular choice: cheap (or free) and easy to manage.

Now on to Bill:

If you missed it, his first post is here.

“Some more pictures of the never ending railroad.

Bill D”

model railroad street

model railroad factory

model railroad bridge

model train street

model train

model railroad stream

A huge thanks to Bill and to Ken for sharing his N scale track on foam board.

Loved Ken’s mountains – it looks like he’s thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his layout. And that’s what it’s all about.

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.

23 Responses to N gauge foam incline

  1. Mike Iljenhons says:

    Detail after detail.. amazing amount of eye catching detail… The great feeling that you did something extraordinary… the scenes come to life with the people appropriate to the scene. Another terrific detail… some nice ideas to borrow from… Super layout…

    Mike, Florida

  2. NJ Mark says:

    To both fellows: beautiful scenery and great tips! Thanks for sharing. Cheers! NJ Mark

  3. Eric says:

    Bill, the beauty of a never ending railroad is that you never get bored, nice work.
    Ken looking good.
    Eric (Leeds) UK

  4. Robert Brady says:

    Ken; Love the 60’s town seen camera work give the realness of the era.Fishing reminds me of my trout fishing days.Great job.

    Bill; love your water scene and great station scene.Same coaches I use.
    Was very enjoyable this Sunday morning fellas,Thank you guys and especially Al for showing this.

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Bill; Love the 60’s town seen camera work give the realness of the era.Fishing reminds me of my trout fishing days.Great job.

    Ken l; love your water scene and great station scene.Same coaches I use.
    Was very enjoyable this Sunday morning fellas,Thank you guys and especially Al for showing this.
    PS I have to do a water fall!!!

  6. Malcolm Hodgson says:

    Superb work from both of you.

    Mal, North Wales

  7. Hemi says:

    taking a break is always nice at 25 years however I bet its like being new again and that said, you done VERY well making a “come back” NICE N Scale layout man!!!!

    Keep up the GREAT work! The newly built landscaping and scenery looks GREAT!!!!!

    Keep it coming guys! Best Regards, ~Hemi

  8. Ron Jahnig says:

    Fantastic layout.
    Might get me going on mine.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Chuck says:

    Being a garden rail roader, I am amazed @ what people can do with foam & paint! The work is marvelous.

  10. Chuck says:

    Very nice Ken, wonderful attention to detail… please include a track plan, even if it’s a hand drawn one, so we can understand what we’re looking at.

  11. Wm althaus says:

    Really enjoyed see both of your railroads. A lot of thought and effort went into each. Great results! Bill in Virginia

  12. William Swenberg says:

    Bill D. needs to decorate his post up to a foot or so.

  13. fred bessell says:

    your layout is awesome ken.I have to commend you .i know working in n scale can be challening.i madeasuit case layout in n scaleone year for my oldest grandson for christmas.he loved it.,and it came out great,but i do prefer to work in ho scale

  14. Appookta says:

    Bill – amazing! How about covering the round ceiling support with something that’ll fit into the scene? The bottom could be something that’s normally round, and, working up the pipe, paint it to blend in from every direction. I don’t know if there’s any railroad around it, i.e., if the table was built touching it, or if it’s in an open area, but, either way, maybe you can camouflage it so it’s less noticeable.

  15. Rick Hane says:

    Ken, looking good. I am a member of the KVEC model RR club in Sun City. I am also a fellow N’er. Can you tell me more about the Ikea tables? I usually use 80 X 36 hollow core door and then buy Styrofoam for the top. What is the sixe of the table and approx. cost?


  16. Anton Bruce says:

    Never ending? Well, isn’t that part of the fun? It’s never “finished”, ya know..

  17. James says:

    People everywhere in the first grouping of photos…nice and good to see! That important detail seems to be missing from many layouts posted here. I also think that the “magic carpet” soaring through the background sky would be a great conversation piece!

  18. Gopal Daga says:

    Excellent work. It gives beginners, chance to get going. Very simple, but interesting layout. Love it .
    All the best.

  19. Chris Sylvester says:

    Wow!!!! That’s a really great job on your layout !!!!! Great way to use your resources around you to save money.

  20. Brian Rockey says:

    Good work guys, both layouts looking good!
    Best to all!
    Brian, Wokingham, Berks

  21. Bob Cassidy says:

    WOW, Budd RDC cars! Don’t see many of those anymore. Those were big when i was a kid. The B&M had a lot of those. Great job on the whole layout!

  22. Rich B. says:

    May of seen this sometime before. The mountains are really well done, looks as though the ceiling tile version of stacking was used for height and depth. Only thing they are all same color, shade or hue… dark brown. A blend of anything else, I’d try brushing in/on dry chalks, with crevices and all present- shadowings.

    Very easy on the eyeballs, bridges, shrubs, trees well placed and detailed. Not looking over stuffed or like a big junk yard at all. City scene great but maybe not shiny streets unless raining (one of the photos).

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