Mark downsizes his layout to 10 x 18

“This layout is a downsized after moving its 10 x 18 the old layout was 20 x 18.

You will see a brewery that I made its from Utica, NY started in 1888 and still going strong.

I been in this hobby since my father had 027 lionel and HO Lionel as a child since I can remember.

I have over 60 Post War lionel and MTH , Williams, K-Line and MPC Lionel.

Have over 300 pieces of rolling stock and 8 Passenger Sets.

I use Tubular 027 Track and have Lionel, K-line and Gargrave switchs.

I use a few blocks to park engine and to bring on line. The best part of being a operator is Having a cold beer and watching Trains..



027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

027 lionel

Now on to Marv – although he had a lucky escape, I’ve lost count of the people who have lost locos over their table edge:


Currently dismantling my layout in preparation for a move to smaller quarters, no more 2500 sq ft basement.

When I decided to add a freight yard about 4 years ago, I enlisted the help of my grandsons in building a 3 x 7 foot yard connecting to the mainline.

Whenever I lay new track, I first test it by running a 4 wheel trolley, but in this case forgot to isolate the yard track from the main. So when the trolley reached the yard switch, an engine parked in the engine house left the yard at exactly the same time the trolley approached the yard junction.

Photo below shows the result, but luckily nothing left the table for a several hundred scale foot dive to the concrete below.

Marv Johnson, Kildeer, IL”

“Hi Al.

Continuing on the business card scenes

While recovering from yesterdays 410 mile drive, I decided to build another little scene.

This began as a Loo Roll (TP roll for those in the states) and a bit of card from a soda can box.

I used one of your Print Out kits for the tank and for the roof of the pump house.

A bit of wire from a coat hanger and I think it is done.

Hope you enjoy this..



California, USA”

Now on to the latest from Cassio:

“Hi Alaister.

Counting on your contribution, I’m sending another small video Union Pacific, excursion with passenger cars with GP 7 A/B locomotives, on the Bragança lay out.


PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

That’s all for today folks – please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if today is the day you start on your own layout.



17 Responses to Mark downsizes his layout to 10 x 18

  1. Robert Brady says:

    Mark , didn’t see much down sizing but I would’ve down sized to HO and rid those those 3 rail tracks
    The Critic

  2. Bob Amling says:

    Nice layout! It looks like a lot of fun. Great job on the brewery.
    LOL , every time I see an empty roll I think about what it could become! But you have done it. It looks great!
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing NJ

  3. Scott J says:

    Mark, great layout! I visit Utica on a regular basis as we have family there. We’re in the Finger Lakes, I have an N scale layout of my own. A bit of a reality check, the word “Ale” is not present on the existing Utica Club building. Maybe it was once, but no longer.

  4. George Zaky says:

    Awesome man cave. Thanks for sharing.
    John- nice job
    What a great train ride. Thank you for the video
    Of course thanks to Big Al for his hard work
    To all- be safe
    George from LI, NY

  5. Erick says:

    Kool.!!!! Keep up the good.

  6. Thomas says:

    Cassio, Great UP train. Very smooth track work and detailed scenes.

  7. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Mark…quite a train room……jealous……love the Utica Club.

    Marv…….we have all done that………

    John from California……nice weathering……great model

    Cassio……nice job….great looking layout….nice detail on your structures

  8. Dave Moore, Whitby, ON says:

    Mark, besides the great train layout you have a wonderful train/beer room, well appointed. Jealous!

  9. Dannofive0 says:

    One great setup.

  10. Robert Brady says:

    O yay Cassio Great Video glad to see passenger trains instead of freight. gracias
    The Critic

  11. Mark,
    I model in both HO and On30 (O scale, HO track)
    My uncle was the one who really introduced me to model trains. He was a Lionel collector and had is railroad on the floor of a spare room in his home. There was always a Lionel loop under his Christmas tree as well.
    While I very much enjoy my choices and they are the best for the space that I have had available; there is something about Lionel and its tubular track that draws out the child within, — To the Critic I say this…” We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
    My mother would say this to the seniors she mentored — “Life is too short to take yourself too seriously.”

    John —
    Nee. California

  12. Andrew Aves says:

    Marv – Been there and done that more than once. Please to read that this wreck ended well.
    Andrew in Oz

  13. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Thank all for the positive remarks, for scott j That must be the new Utica Club sign that you have seen, at night changes colors to Red / Green / Blue. The old sign is gone, mine is based on the old sign and it also had Pilsner on the other side, which was a second sign. As for our critic did you fall in a beer vat? LOL God Speed All!

  14. Robert Brady says:

    To Mark T, Laugh out loud 🙂

    The critic

  15. David Schaffner says:

    Love Lionel and like seeing the old three rail track, which brings back memories of my old layout…
    See a little plasticville, the old large transformers and crossings….
    Cool layout and I love the collection of shelf trains…

  16. Bob Binz says:

    Great job on the downsizing. Can you furnish a track plan for the downsizing. Your new size fits an area I have and I am always interested in what people are doing in the size I need.
    Thank you.

  17. All I can say is wow!!! That is a great job on the lay out especially considering its O scale and takes up alot of room but at least you have a nice big basement to step it up. Thanks for sharing Chris

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