N scale tunnel – Martin’s

Martin’s been back in touch with his N scale tunnel build:

“Hi Al,

Remember me? the step by step tunnel you posted years ago?

Not been making any scenic models for quite a while but I have recently been asked to make an N scale corner mountain with waterfall.

It has a branch line running behind and a double track tunnel to a fiddle yard.

As I said a while since I made any so it was a challenge to me.

Still not finished yet as the waterfall hasn’t yet been added or the back wall of the cutting to do.

Anyway I thought you may like to see some pictures of the step by step progress? I am proud of the top where I have tried to copy natures grass colours.


making tunnel model railway

making tunnel entrance model railway

making mountain tunnel from foam model railway

making mountain tunnel model railway N scale

N scale mountain foam paint base

N scale mountain adding green

N scale mountain tunnel adding green

model railway tunnel N scale

A big thanks to Martin for his N scale tunnel pics – how could we forget Martin?

He’s the one who gave us this stunning tunnel ‘how to’ (have a look at all the comments).

Next, a gentle nudge – have you had a look at the forum yet?

You’d really make someone’s day if you can answer a question – there’s a few of them stacking up now.

Now on to Jeff.

He did something I’m very fond of – he made a start.

He made a start and no doubt he’ll just keep going.

That’s all you’ve got to do: make a start and then tinker away at your own pace.

I could be wrong, but that’s where all the fun is. The fun is in the doing, not the finished article – that’s why layouts are never finished.

Why would you stop the fun?

Anyway, back to Jeff:

““Here are some pictures of my layout.

As you can see I don’t have a lot of space to work with, but I made the best out of what I have.


model railroad track bed

model railroad polystrene incline

model railroad track layout incline

n scale tunnel track plan

A big thanks to Jeff and Martin.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

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

model train answers

26 Responses to N scale tunnel – Martin’s

  1. Brilliant, just BRILLIANT!!!!
    Norman UK

  2. Ed Ireland says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. I want to climb it and put a flag at the top!

  3. Ken says:

    you have an artistic eye with your building of tunnels,and capturing just the right amount of greenery on the mountain sides.

  4. Doc Jackson says:

    Absolutely stunning. Built to perfection. Keep up the good work.

  5. John says:

    A true work of art Martin and it shows!

    JohnE UK

  6. paul Otway says:

    What a nice tunnel, all you need is trees and bushes.


  7. Wayne Sund says:

    Well done Martin. At this moment I am building another hill scene with another tunnel on the left side of my layout. I have completed one on the right hand side using shop bought portals of cut stone, this time building timber ones for the new tunnel.

  8. Richard A Sommery-Gade says:

    Great work on the grass and moss, nice blend with the “rock”.

  9. Neal Fowler says:


  10. Jim says:

    Really great details!

  11. Jim says:

    Really great

  12. Erick says:

    Looks great.!!!!! I hope mine comes out that good.

  13. ScenicsRme says:

    One of my pet peeves is this type “mountains” on a layout is the pimple on the butt of the earth look. Real mountains don’t, except in rare occasions, just pop up out of flat ground, and then are not big enough to tunnel thru. A railroad would go around a feature like that since tunneling is very expensive. Try adding hills and valleys building up to any mountains with cuts and bridges flattening the roadbed route. adds more visual interest.
    Second is a question as to the purpose of the tunnel liner inside the mountain? Just makes it very difficult to reach any stalled or derailed cars or clean the track with such tight quarters, not enough room to even get a hand in there. Hollow out the majority of the inside as you build the layers using a hot wire cutter or whatever you use to cut the outside shape.The mountain doesn’t need to be more than an inch or two thick shell. After assembly paint the inside flat black. Putting a switched LED lamp or two inside will make maintenance much easier when needed.

  14. Welder dave says:

    I know of and visited a mountain and climbed it that pops out of land flat as a board . It’s call Ayer’s rock One day when I get the time my garden railroad will be like that . one of the company’s my trucks hauls for has crushed brick that’s very fine that will give the perfect color as the Northern Territory of Australia I think about 6 tons will cover the whole area very nicely .

  15. Wayne watts says:

    I have to agree with ScenicsRme, if your building a layout that you would like to look as real as possible. Those of us that try to do that seem to forget that most model railroad people are doing it for the FUN of watching the trains do their thing. The scenery is jest icing on the cimamon roll.

  16. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Outstanding job!

  17. mike tate says:

    I like what you did, That gave me a lot of good ideas. NICE WORK, KUDO’S

  18. Ernie says:

    Jeff, where can I find the Styrofoam gravitated track risers ??? I need to know ! Love your track plan.

  19. Rich B. says:

    Tunnel work rates with the best. Right texture, coloring and ground cover works without trees even. Just one small detail…

    Instead of the track running through a monumentous landscape with no other way to go but bore through… the tunnel follows the track around the layout perimeter, track came first and then the tunnel traversing over it? Easy fix to rebuild up rather than lengthwise some more. No, not the attention point of this railroad but well done so far and sky’s the limit.


  20. Stephen Hill says:

    Great tutorial on the N scale tunnel build . Extremely realistic texture and sculpting and truly stunning finished product . Looks real enough to me . I appreciate the many varying approaches that every modeler brings to this hobby. I’d mostly like to see the critic’s displays . They are always so quick to point out flaws or items that “ would never exist on a real train “. It’s a model railroad display , appreciate the great effort and lengths that go into a person’s work , it’s a simple mind that looses its imagination .
    I own two “ real “ mountains in north GeorgiaUSA, yes rocks crop up out of flat areas and suddenly seemingly out of nowhere there is a mountain . Like the old guy sang ..” first there is a mountain , then there isn’t , then there is” .

  21. TJK says:

    Remember guys, it is a hobby…….everyone wants a tunnel and bridge…
    The modeler does not have to have to replicate the geographical contour of the earth…..he wanted a tunnel…….

  22. Stephen Hill says:

    Exactly , it’s a hobby with many different people with different ideas , goals , skills, resources , time and money .
    What influenced me as a young boy wasn’t the tunnels or scenery or how real it looked , or didn’t . It was the train , all the other stuff came along the way and grows and develops. At the end of the day it’s one’s own work and imagination on display . As declared , many of you face challenges , physical or otherwise , but all of us are just having fun and enjoying something we hold dear .
    I’ve never understood the hard line critiquing .

  23. Steve Gilbert says:

    Wonderful construction!

  24. Steve Ruple says:

    Martin, awesome work on your mountain scenery looks great.
    Jeff, nice layout you have done for a limited space.

  25. Eric Dawson says:

    I like what he’s done. Gives me ideas for my O Gauge Layout. Great Job.

  26. robert dale tiemann says:

    really nice, i always like new mountain and terrain ideas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *