“I enjoy your emails very much. Such wonderful layouts and how-to tips have inspired me. Your contributors have given me many ideas.
My first train set was a Lionel O27 0-4-0 steam engine, tender, box car, flat car, crane car and caboose at age 5.
Now retired, a HO starter set for around the Christmas tree rekindled my interest in model railroading. As the layout out grew too large for the living room, I moved the layout to the basement.
The 12’x15’ L shape layout is DC with 8 controls in 4 dual MRC Tech 7 Ampac 780’s, and 32 turnouts with wired controls.
There are crossovers between each of the main tracks, except the cable car and trolley lines.
The cable car line is DC, auto reversing with a station stop at both ends of the line.
The trolley line is DC, auto reversing with a station stop at both ends of the line and a mid Amtrak station stop.
There are 12 sidings. Each track and siding are electrically isolated at each cross over and siding turnout with individual block control. The tracks are numbered starting from 1 on the inside working outward.
Track 1 B&O Chessie System freight, 18” radius curves.
Track 2 Santa Fe freight with Pennsylvania Power &Light Ready Kilowatt coal cars, 18” radius curves.
Track 3 Amtrak that loops by Amtrak Station, 18” and 22” radius curves.
Track 4 Amtrak on incline loop that links lower and upper levels, 22” radius curves.
Track 5 Cable Car and Trolley line 15” and 18” radius curves.
Track 6 Amtrak Acela, with a Pennsylvania RR passenger train on the siding, 22” radius curves.
Track 7 German ICE, with a Thayls TGV on the siding, 26” and 28” radius curves, elevated track.
Track 8 German ICE, Intercity City Express, high speed train, 26” and 28” radius curves, elevated track.
The center area of the layout is a model of my family’s farm and local, small, rural village in Northeast, Pennslyvania.
On the farm, there are models of my home with the green roof and pond, my brother’s stone home with grey roof and horse barn, my parent’s white home, garage and red barn.
In the village, I have modeled a neighbor’s geodesic dome home, A-frame, green apartments, white home, log cabin home and Wesley Chapel Church.
In the back, right area of the layout is Red Rock Mountain, Ricketts Glen State Park and Kitchen Creek Waterfalls. The surrounding track area is symbolic of other distant locations. The nearest operating passenger rail station, Harrisburg, is 100 miles from home.
Have you had a look at the latest ebay cheat sheet yet?.
A huge thanks to Larry. He looks like he’s been having a blast with his layout – and that’s what it’s all about: having fun.
I love the fact that a Christmas layout got him back in to the hobby too. Just goes to show, it doesn’t mattter how you make that start, just make sure you do somehow.
That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if today is the day you start on your layout.
Larry, good morning. This is quite a coincidence, my wife and I were in Eagles Mere, Sullivan County over the weekend for a wedding. You live in a beautiful part of the world, we drove by Ricketts Glen State Park. That name won’t mean anything to most people except for those who have who hiked the trail to see 34 beautiful waterfalls!! I hope you enjoy your trains as much as I do mine. As for operating passenger lines, you are absolutely correct. However in the early 1900s there were several narrow gauge lines leading to the town of Eagles Mere up the mountain that took visitors to the beautiful little village that had I think six Victorian era hotels. You can find where some of the trains lines ran as they are now hiking trails. Best, Jonathan
WOW nice work. I’m interested in the able car/trolley line..where did you get it (manufacturer etc) and how exactly does it work?
Keep up the good work
Great layout, Larry. It is fun to recreate childhood memories on the layout. I’ve done the same thing on mine.
Jack in Pa
Great job on your layout. I’m in the process of finishing up my layout with a mix of passenger trains and freight trains with elevated tracks here and there. I hope my layout runs as good as yours.
Loved the layout,especially the fall foliage on the trees. Then another comment I can share is that the trains seem to be moving too fast. I think if you slow them down, it will be even more impressive. Finally, love the trolley going back and forth. I just happened to see another trolley doing the same thing yesterday.
Very nice, colorful layout! I love the way you run the trains too fast! I do the same thing with my layout.
Larry, terrific job on your layout. How do you get to the inter part of your layout to fix things? I hope you keep sharing all the clever in-genius things you come up with.
Chuck W. Michigan
Your note brought back memories of Eagles Mere and Ricketts Glen, as I spent my college years in Williamsport, going to Lycoming. As to your rail operating speed, those ICE trains move very fast indeed, and the Santa Fe freight seemed proportional. Nice 61 Impala convertible. Me mum had a 62 SS. You have a lot of action packed in there, and now I need to get back to mine.
Nice layout but it’s not Lionel so slow them down a bit. Run really good. Ron Florida
THAT is OLD SCHOOL and brings back GREAT memories from a time past! THANKS for taking me back to my childhood with how you went about your basement layout!
NICE work as well and GREAT choice of how you went about it!!!!!! ~Hemi
Great job Larry- enjoyed the video very much. Hope you’ve got plenty of safeguards in place to protect the pedestrians from those bullet trains- man those things are fast, great fun to watch! Cary in KY
Absolutely Awesome job. I wish I were that creative. But guys like you will help with that. Thank You sir.
I agree that the trains should be fast running, Especially the passenger trains. Beautiful job!
Great layout. How is the crossover between the two loops wired?
Wow…… love all the color and love those high speed trains……
Beautiful. I got my first train at 4 (1953) – a Marklin O guage 040 with 3 passenger cars. Had an HO layout about 1963-1966, and am now just beginning to work on plans for an ON30 in my basement. Hope I can do as nice as you have done with yours. Appreciate the pics of sequential growth stages
Lots of track and too fast trains, Scenery is awful and no thought of
making it look real. Such a waste of a large area. Looks like it was
put together in a hurry.
i can understand the bullet trains running fast but not just this layout witch is very well put together run there trains at a high rate of speed i don’t get it but i run ho scale so maybe it is different with bigger scales
Nice Larry, Good Layout .
Very nice train Layout … and I enjoyed watching your trains run !
Must be fall eh ? add more houses near the church area to make it looked lived in ,more green shrubbery would work to. People we need people strolling around ! Very nice layout .
I think it’s a great layout and you’re obviously enjoying yourself. You are the controller, so carry on running them as fast as you like. It’s great to watch so much movement, and the scenery is just fine, especially the quantity of trees as in many areas in reality. A lot of modellers neglect to include the density of trees as its difficult to blend off the shelf model trees physically together, not withstanding the cost.
I’ve built two layouts, one in N and the OO gauge and wish I had included an end to end auto reversing tram car. Maybe I will do a modification to one of the layouts if I can get it through budget approval – LOL.
Best to all
Brian, Wokingham UK
First I’m so jealous of the space you have, second the Acela & ICE are meant to zoom around- awesome. The layout is very nicely done and has an extensive inventory- 32 turnouts- Wow. Great theme behind it, especially the farm.
I am surprised Big Al let a nay sayer in- When you’re not too bright-keep quiet or open your mouth and remove all doubt. Larry you didnt deserve that remark. Keep at it and let’s see any progress because you’re never done.
Big Al- thanks