Model train room ideas – Linda’s

Linda has been in touch with some very good model train room ideas:

“Hi Al,

Have been enjoying all the input from everyone on your site. Great ideas and layouts.

I wanted to send you my first three “Train” projects while figuring out how to start our layout.

First, we had purchased a sign from the Punxsutawney, PA, USA. train depot. This was special for us because my Mom was born and raised in a little town just south of there.

I had an area about 3 ft x 8 ft at the bottom of the stairway in the basement. I dug out a door I saved from an old chicken coup, three old windows and some old reclaimed wood. Then started building my Depot.

I had blown up pictures of mountains and Stellar BlueJay from our Colorado trip, and local squirrels then arranged them behind where the windows and door would go. I then painted around them all to fill in the spaces. What fun building and decorating. Here are some pics.


Model train room ideas

Model train room ideas

Model train room ideas

Model train room ideas:

Model train room ideas

Model railroad theme

Model railroad theme

Model railroad theme

Model railroad theme

“Al–I do a lot of modeling with flex track and use nails to secure the track to the layout.

I reuse the rails for newer layouts but I found by the continual cutting to the new lengths, the small nail holes in the plastic ties are never where I need them.

I don’t have a small enough drill bit to drill new holes but I found a great solution: Straighten a large paper clip, heat one end over a candle, and using a pair of pliers (so you don’t burn your fingers), plunge it into the tie in any location you want.

The hot clip melts a perfect size hole almost immediately with no muss or fuss.



Idaho USA”

“Mr A.

I found if there is something missing on your layout, look at it. Think of your options to what would fit and not be over or under powered. Then research it to see if it would look right. Example make a sketch, put a picture there or something close to it which you’ve laying around. It doesn’t have to be perfect. All you’re doing is getting a visual idea some solid positioning.

Then either build your idea into a reality to fit the location and fill the open and or missing piece-area or get what you feel would be right from your locate hobby store.

Example: the other day saw an article about building your own telephone-utility poles in the Model Railroader magazine. The individual used both house hold an pre made items.

I choose to make mine all from scratch matrrials purchased at local craft store. I ‘m building over 50 poles using his rough deminsions plus 4 open span truss bridges. Glue and all materials were less than $30.00 USD and have a lot left over for who knows what?
Happy railroading


I can’t tell you how much I loved Linda’s model train room ideas – brilliant, just brilliant.

Please do let us know what you think too in the comments below.

Thanks to Terry, Chris and Linda.

I really enjoyed putting this post together for you – hope you liked it.

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.

25 Responses to Model train room ideas – Linda’s

  1. d j howarth says:

    Few good tips there , must say Linda`s is a great way to add realism to windows …very good ..Dangerous Dave

  2. Steve Fetzer says:

    THINKING and LOOKING outside of the box – GFLT

  3. Bruce says:

    Moved from Texas & building new in NW corner of South Carolina. Have a 10 x 60′ area for new layout. Just read this post and spot by Chris on making utility poles. Perhaps he will share more details and maybe a few pics on the build one parts he used.
    Love all the posts. Been into trains a long time. My first was a Lionel set given by Mr. Claus in 1947. Had a windup first.
    Thank you for your site.

  4. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Very clever, well done.

  5. yvon says:

    for holes in your flex, using a heated needle you get a point end to do the stuff

  6. David Dent says:


  7. George Ross says:

    Winter Is Coming More Indoor Railroading Time.

  8. Ray Suckling says:

    Hi Terry,
    You can get a Pin Vice and set of small drills from EBay, ideal for what you want and very cheap. They are used for drilling holes in printed circuit boards, I use one for drilling holes in my sleepers and they work fine.

  9. Tom says:

    Linda’s Depot is awesome! Hall of Fame material right there.

  10. Richard says:

    Wow what a wonderful idea and beautiful sitting area . I will keep this in mind for my new area.

  11. Thomas Murphy says:

    There’s no doubt about it, this post today was mighty interesting. Linda’s photos were prime idea material. Terry’s comments about his reuse of used track has sparked my curiosity about buying used track from ebay. And as I have the need of more power-poles on my layout, I wish Chris would include some pictures of his technique.

  12. Steven Teiger says:

    Thanks Dave for your coach lighting tip. Unfortunately, as opposed to what was stated in the video, he doesn’t post these items overseas, so I had to post them to my mother in the UK!

  13. Wayne says:

    On fixing Flexi-Track, I used a staple gun with the pressure on the spring eased a little, then pinned them latter
    That damned colonial form down under

  14. Ty says:

    A more diverse audience participation would have made your grand stand better,

  15. Cary E Price says:

    Great tips and info, thanks to all!
    Linda, What a great and original idea. Sure you had had great fun putting it together, it looks wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing here. Cary in KY

  16. Linda Howell says:

    Hi Al,
    Thank you for posting my pictures on this wonderful site and for the kind words.
    Thanks to everyone for their encouraging comments as well.

  17. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    I like Linda’s depot setting. A couple years ago I set up an escape room involving the disappearance of Punxsutawney Phil the day before Ground Hog Day, and people had to find Phil before it was too late for him to get his medicine to keep living on. It was so much fun and the room was patterned just as Linda has done here, but not as good as Linda’s room. What a cool grand entrance something like this would be to one’s train room. Thanks Linda for sharing, well done and fun.
    Lots of good tips today too!!

  18. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Terry, Chris and Linda….. great stuff……good tips and loved the depot.

    Thanks Al….. great post

  19. Kirk says:

    Thank you, Linda, for the great memory jog with your beautiful Punxsutawney station nook. My Mom was born in Anita and my Dad in Coolspring, both just a smidge down the road from Punxsy. Your creation captures such a delightful ambiance. Well done indeed!

  20. Robert Brady says:

    Terry Terry Terry, Grab the nail you want to use with pliers heat it up instead put in place and leave it cool there while you do another one. Repeat process and bang away..Easy peasy. Why go through all those changes ?
    The Critic

  21. Robert Brady says:

    Great job Linda But a broader perspective of the photo /depot would have been nice. Also of the surrounding area
    The Critic.

  22. Macbear says:

    Terry’s “hot wire” method of boring holes is interesting. Any user of flexible track may find a need to pin track through non-perforated sleepers. I find new Peco track pins are sharp and can go straight through with the track in situ. If the pin is gripped using long nosed/ splinter forceps pliers near the point and then progressively up the pin there is less chance of it bending. Also good for extracting pins from laid track.

  23. Mike Currier says:

    Linda, If you have a Dremmel drill you can buy a drill bit small enough for your nail holes. These are available at Home Depots, Lowes, Menards, most hardware stores.

  24. Will in NM says:

    Terry, I also make holes in some ties but use a tiny drill bit in my Dremel tool to make the holes where I need them. Atlas True-Track sectional tracks come with holes in the ties and roadbed so it’s easy to pin it to the 2-inch foam substrate that I use on my layouts. I use very thin 2-inch beading pins (315 pins for about $5 at Walmart) which have tiny heads on them. They work prefect for holding both sectional and flex track in place.

    Linda. Beautiful use of that space under the stairs to reproduce the old-time station entrance look and feel. Love the rustic wood paneling and all the decor that captures the essence of an old railroad station.

  25. Erick says:

    Looks good.!!!!!!!

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