Lionel O Gauge

Greg from Florida has been in touch – he’s been having fun with his lionel O gauge layout:

“Hi Al!

I love the pics, tips and videos. I have been watching for years.

It has been a while since I did a YouTube video of my trains. You posted my last one titled, “Dads Trains 2015 Director’s Cut”.

We did that video before we sold the house and moved to our new house.

We moved in 2016 and it took until 2020 to plan and collect the materials to start the new layout.

My wife and Daughter bought me AnyRail to plan the layout on the computer. With the ease of creating plans on the computer I must have done a dozen plans before settling on one.

Just before the lock down of 2020, I had the bench work built in pieces in my garage. I was planning on clearing my office space and installing it on Spring Break. Then I would have the rest of the year to get some trains running. Then lock down came and I built the whole thing in about 4 weeks working 8 and 10 hours a day on it.

The new video journal is in two parts. I have found watching videos that four to five minutes into a video I start skipping forward to the end. So I wanted to keep my videos at around four minutes.

model train layout

track yard

lionel O gauge control panel

lionel o gauge

lionel o gauge town pic

lionel o gauge town pic

lionel o gauge tressel bridge signal boat

train yard

lionel o gauge town pic



lionel trolley

train yard


Part 1 is the build. Part 2 is trains running.

The room is my office and music room. It is 9 x 11. Most of the track is Lionel. The remodeled upper level is Menards track.

The desk is on wheels so I can lay my monitor down and push the desk under the bench work to get to the back corners of the layout.

Everything is on wheels so I can move stuff out from under the bench work when I need to use it and back.

The control center rolls in and out across the entrance to the room.

A lift out for the trains slides under the bench work for storage when not in use.

The empty train boxes are stored in Rubbermaid tubs under the bench work.

This is my second “shelf” layout so I improved several things. I created long spans with 2×4’s to make it easier to store things under the bench work.

I pre-drilled holes in the bench work out in the garage for the wiring to keep the mess down in the house. I ran the bus wire loops around the layout before I installed the top plywood.

I made all the connections from the controls to the bus wires on the back of the rolling control center so I wouldn’t have to lay on my back under the layout.

My son, Alan, and I had such great fun making these videos. I had fun building the layout. My daughter had fun making the brick and rock face for the subway and tunnels. My nine year old granddaughter enjoys adding lego people and running the trains with me.

And isn’t that what this hobby is about?

This video is just having some fun watching the trains with some great music and some fun editing. It was filmed with a cheap version of a gopro knock off.

The video and music editing was done with a free version of Microsoft Movie Maker.

The POV clips were done by mounting a small flashlight to a flat car with some small blocks of wood to mount the camera on top of the flashlight. Then we pushed the flat car in front of the engine.

You will see it worked great except for one time. We left that fail in the video because we laughed so hard when it happened. Ah, the magic of movie making.

I hope my Lionel O gauge gives folks who think they don’t have room for 3 rail trains some good ideas.

I would be honored if you find them post worthy.


Greg from Florida, USA”

A big thanks to Greg for sharing his Lionel O Gauge – we’ve had a run of Lionel trains recently.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own model railroad adventure.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

31 Responses to Lionel O Gauge

  1. robert tiemann says:

    cool layout i like these set ups

  2. Nice job you have made of your music room …far better for the trains

  3. Rich B. says:

    I like this- back to 1953. Completely toyful yet can run some serious trains. Nothing like the brimstone & fire smell when running those Lionel’s. 3-rail, you got used to it and those switches… could of been way larger but who cared? No, didn’t have Lego’s in those days, believe Lincoln logs were popular though…

    Regards, Rich

  4. jay f. smith says:

    Just think what could happen if the room was larger. Great job video and music perfect together ❤️. Also from Fl, have to get started on my o gadget set. Thanks Jay

  5. William Schnell says:

    Love it! Always fun with the O gauge, has always been my favorite. Great music too. Thank you!!

  6. Jim says:

    Great stuff . . . I suspect the short curtains are for sound deadening when the room is used for music?

  7. Jim Donovan says:

    That 2nd video was fun, great job.

  8. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Very nice, Great to see some O gauge layouts like the Lego tower pretty sharp, you should take a look at OGR Forum for O scalers nice tips and photos.

    Good Luck with your layout!

  9. Greg Marples says:

    I’m still smiling 😊, can’t seem to stop! Thanks !

  10. Brian Rockey says:

    Fantastic layout and videos Greg. Loved the music as well John Williams and a big band ‘In the Mood’ – what’s not to like.
    Well done
    Brian, Wokingham UK

  11. Ian says:

    Absolutely fantastic layout. It was a delight to see so may trains running at the same time. Music with the video was great. Regards Ian

  12. TJK says:

    Nice job Greg…….3 railers do not get the accolades deserved.

  13. Marklin ed says:

    Great, great loved the music with the running trains. Looks like your found out what a good time is with your family. Lego adds a new twist.

  14. Erick says:

    Pretty good Workmanship.!!!!!! Keep up the good work.

  15. Jack - Fremont Indiana says:

    I can hear the rumble. WONDERFUL I’m inspired, heading for the lumberyard,

  16. Great set up Greg, it is even better knowing you had help , that is always more enjoyable Lionel was originally offered as family entertainment and it seems you have managed to make that work

  17. Looks Great.

  18. Bill Lamar says:

    There is HO and N gage and Z gage and perhaps others I’ve not heard of but the fun and allure of O gage,especially Lionel, I still find captivating for me. I and my brother were introduced to Lionel when we were quite young 1949-!950 era on Christmas and every Christmas we received new cars and track and another engine. So much enjoyment and entertainment. I still have much of that train equipment and so does he as we split it up many years ago. We’re both in our 70’s now and we still find our youth with these trains in spite of everything that’s going on in this world.

  19. Jim Kennedy says:

    This is awesome. Do the two levels connect at all?

  20. Ron Edwards says:

    Looks like you are having a “fundaful” time with your trains. Really like the underground station with Lego people waiting for their train to arrive.


  21. Tom Hager says:

    wonderful video !
    I have some vintage Lionel ( 1949) not in use !! any interest??

  22. Lionel and Legos, what a combo! With a great score on both accounts. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Doug says:

    Great fun. Thanks

  24. Andrew Aves says:

    Wonderful – Love it
    Andrew in Oz

  25. Lionel, Lego, Lemax…
    There is something about Lionel that brings out the child within.

  26. Jan says:

    I like the Lego touch.
    The prebuilt houses are also very cute.

  27. Richard Stewart says:

    Thanks for sharing ! Very good to put in two voids, always great the build and the results, like the supports for the second level. so many good ides re-watched many times plus went in to train save file ! Greg thanks for sharing.

    Rich, IL.

    Tom Hager, U still have your Lionel stuff.

  28. Larry Mlynek says:

    The Lionel set up is fantastic. You use your space well.

    Going to the train room to start a third level.

  29. JoeS-inME says:

    What a wonderful layout!

  30. ScenicsRme says:

    Brought a big grin to my face, reminded me of wandering through the big toy stores at xmas time in my youth.

  31. Greg says:

    Thanks for all the great comments from everyone. Jim; Yes indeed, the short curtains are sound deadening. Plus there are foam sound panels under the board on the walls, curtains on the doors to the room, and sound panels on the small walls near the doors. Jim Kennedy: No, the two levels don’t connect. There is not enough room for the grade unless I use a helix. But a helix takes up a lot of room.

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