London underground model trains

Rob’s been back in touch, this time with his London underground model trains. Stunning stuff:

“Hi Al,

On a recent trip to London, I was taken by the cables draped along the London Underground Tube. Since I have a tube train now, I have been looking for opportunities to bring it out and use it.

I started to think about how all those cables could be modeled and on the flight home, plenty of time to think, I came up with a plan.

It occurred to me that the Evergreen Models company and their line of styrene plastic shapes in modeling sizes would be perfect.

They have tubing, rods, angles, I-beams, and strips in about any size one might need. I had a good collection of styles already and only needed to buy a few more sizes to get started on my project.

When I started this, I had no technical literature to guide me on sizes or spacing so I just used my eye to gauge the distances involved.

I know now from finding some specifications online that I may be a little larger than the actual scale but I think my version works anyway and certainly gives the impression I wanted to express. If things are too small my hands cannot manage them anyway.

I am including a number of photos I took of the real London Underground cabling along with a few photos while I was building my model.

I plan to build at least one more 14-inch section of the cable hangers before I am done but I ran out of material. Not to worry more is on the way.

model train cables

model train cables

model train cables

model train cables

model railway cable placement

london underground model trains

london underground model trains

london underground model trains

london underground model trains

london underground tube train

A huge big thank you to Rob for sharing his London underground model trains.

I thought Rob’s detailing was absolutely spot on – here’s a couple of pics from his trip that he took:

london underground wall

london underground tube train

london underground wall

Rob’s done a spectacular job. Hope you enjoyed this post as much as me.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you take that all important first step for your own layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Remember, it’s the start that stops most people…



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

40 Responses to London underground model trains

  1. santafedan says:

    I hope you are sane when you finish.

  2. Don says:

    time consuming work, but worth it once done. excellent work.

  3. Brian Messenger says:

    Your model work on the wiring looks fantastic. A detail that most forget or do not want to do. Well done Rob.
    Brian – the HOn3 guy in Knysna RSA 🇿🇦

  4. Ellis James English says:

    fastidious, and miraculous. Two words that stuck in my mind seeing the update. Many times I try to visualize in my mind what I have witnessed, Sky clounds that day, people, fixed objects the detail. “Proof is in the details” you have done it. Thanks for sharing this. When I visited and used the UG, this reminded me of a time not so long ago……..thanks

  5. Greg Marples says:

    The underground certainly left an impression when I visited years ago, but mostly for the ease with which you could zip around the city. Also for some hilarious characters we ran into. Quite interesting for a small town Kansas tourist!

  6. Brian Olson says:

    One word sums it all up. WOW!

  7. Kevin Blake says:

    A Really great job you have made of them that really look realistic.

  8. Robert Brady says:

    Talk about detail tight race between Rob and Dave such patience they have.
    Carry on bloats.
    The Critic

  9. TJK says:

    Intricate work ……. but holy moly…..the real photo (of which you have duplicated with great effort) looks like an accident waiting to happen. Are many workers or trespassers hurt or even killed by electrical hazards in the tube.
    Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (The Jam, English pop band 1978)
    Google and give a listen 😊

  10. JOHN BULLOCK says:

    Looks amazing! Yes to more photos when completed!

  11. george zaky says:

    The only difference between the real pics and your model is the graffiti that is ubiquitous throughout our world. Your patience and fine work is outstanding.
    Big Al
    Amazing stuff from your following.
    Be well.

  12. Jim R says:

    Excellent.. looks very realistic

  13. Kermit Beckmann says:

    Rob, your depiction is absolutely incredible all the way to the graffiti on the wall! I can’t even imagine the amount of hours that you must have invested in this project. You are without a doubt one of the finest modelers I’ve ever seen.

  14. Chris E Mitchell says:

    I think this is one of the most impressive detail work I’ve ever seen. After seeing the photos and from what I remember when I was stationed across the pond. I would love to see more of your layout. Chris

  15. Nigel says:

    As a Londoner born and bred, and travelled on the Underground more years than I care to remember, this work is brilliant. Well done.
    The London Underground has many interesting architectural features and buildings, particularly where the trains come to the surface. If anyone is interested in a fascinating station to model is Stratford.
    Of course, a lot of the really interesting stuff is below ground (obviously) but even so might make an interesting project to give a bird’s-eye view – the Aldgate triangle comes to mind.
    Looking forward to seeing more photos.
    And thanks AL for all your hard work on the site.

  16. Glenn says:

    Nice work!

  17. Robert Gevert says:

    I find what you’ve done to be quite attractive. A great job well done!!!! From a NY city subway rider.

  18. Jerry Treich says:

    As usual, Rob does an incredible job reproducing the real world in miniature!

  19. RICHARD DOUBEK says:

    Rob—Was jus in London last month and rode the tube every day! YOU nailed it!!

  20. Mason Dirickson says:

    What a nice job! Your work really sets the scene apart. Very cleverly done!

  21. Bob Muhme says:

    Awesome work! Are you going to tackle the graffiti next?!
    Bob M from MI

  22. Tony, Kitty Hawk, NC says:

    Great work! I am currently building a diorama of Earl’s Court Station. I will probably steal some of your ideas!

  23. Marklin ed. says:

    Rob, great looking wonderful modeling. One comment looks to clean and to organized, no graffiti on the wall. As I travel to Europe for many years the graffiti has grown in all of the places I visited. Your modeling skill are about the bar.

  24. Norman r Rosen says:

    Very impressive!

  25. Rod Mackay says:

    TJK asked if there weren’t dangers from the electrical systems. I found some stats from a few years ago, about five million journeys a day, no staff or contractor deaths, only a couple of customer deaths through accident (more from illness etc that just occurred while travelling) but about three dozen suicides a year, although newer lines such as Crossrail (aka Elizabeth Line) have platform doors so will reduce this.

  26. Bigbenshay says:

    Just wanted to say Great Work!

  27. robert dale tiemann says:

    very nice. looks like spaghetti, but still very nice. i like it.

  28. Jim AZ says:

    An interesting look for a unique part of highly detailed scenery.

    Jim AZ

  29. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Rob….fabulous work……..creativity is awesome…. I love your videos and your work. Can’t say enough.

  30. Andrew Aves says:

    Great modelling takes time, patience and an eye for detail. Rob, you have this in abundance and it shows in the wonderful results on you layout.
    Andrew in Oz

  31. Glyn Jones says:

    Wow- that is an impressively painstaking piece of modeling Rob. Congratulations on a job well done as always- we’ve come to expect nothing less than the best from you! A superb prototypical undertaking- thanks for inspiring us all. Best, Glyn

  32. Peter L Briggs says:

    Certainly a contender for modelling hall of fame, so much pleasure to so many!
    Rod, can we ask you let Al know where you got those underground trains from? do keep us in the picture as regards your layout growth and development/
    best wishes
    Peter Qld Oz

  33. doug says:

    ROB I do not understand how it works but it is a masterpiece of modeling! You must have amazing patience and nerves of steel!

  34. Chet Karlewicz says:

    Wow, reminds me of the NY Central and New Have lines in the Bronx, the trains run in a trench and the walls have all the electrical pipes just like in your model. Great job I even notice the inner duct you have on the set, excellent

  35. TJK says:

    Thanks to Rod Mackey for his stats on the Tube.
    Very impressive search, thanks. Glad those statistics are complimentary to staff, contractors and public.

  36. TJK says:

    I stand corrected. Thanks to Rod Mackay

  37. Brian Rockey says:

    A wonderful job as always Rob.
    Best to all
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  38. Stephen Gispanski says:

    Hey Al, and everyone else, how are you doing. We have moved to upper Florida and I have all my trains now. O gauge and HO gauge is what I am into, I am designing a table that folds up and also interchanges with other sections of the table. I have one design that might do that, but still on the drawing table. I can’t wait to see the end result or close to the end result because you’ve never done with a train table and everybody knows it. I just wanted to drop a line from the United States across the pond over to you and everybody here. Keep on Truckin keep on building. Talk with you later.

  39. Stephen Gispanski says:

    PS. Love the piping and all the sizes used. Thank you for being here to help us again and the beginners. I have a lot to study because some of my locomotives I have to start a certain way or I will do damage, and that is one thing I do not want to do. It is amazing that you see open lines, cables for that wall and they are not boxed up, cables will deteriorate in the sun faster. Hey that’s London, don’t worry about it. Where I live is in the middle of nowhere, 30 mins north or south before you come into a town that is very country. No moldering stores here or there. Things have change and not enough people in modeling. Any how, keep on trucking and keep your wheels on the track. Spader

  40. Tom says:

    From those of us, in “the colonies* who have been fortunate enough to donate the ” half six ” hours of life to cross the pond a London Tube trip really appreciate Rods patience in recreating one of the worlds most fascinating experiences. Gotta concur: really need that graffiti !!!

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