HO track plan 8×12

Mike’s been in touch with an update of his HO track plan 8×12.

I do love it when an update gets mailed in. It was a while ago he sent in pics of his layout (his first post is here).

He’s been busy on his scenery, and it looks great!

“Hello Al,

Been working on my layout and I believe I’m almost finished. I added 2 new locomotives and new scenery.

I’ve kept with Bachmann ez track and locomotives.

To answer a few questions,

1. HO scale

2. I added on to the layout so the new layout is 8X12X12-L shaped.

3. I won’t let it be used for a Godzilla movie but my cat got into the room and played CATZILLA… major carnage.

4. Thanks for the tip on the plastic ballasted track. I will weather and use small ballast to cover it up.

Thanks again.


HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8x12

HO track plan 8×12:

model railroad

model train

HO scale

Ho scale model railroad

model train layout

model train layout

model railroad

model railroad






I thought Mike’s layout is wonderfully busy! Course, I’m biased, but the printable buildings look really good too.

I shudder to think how many hours of toil there are in this layout. But worth every minute I’d say.

Next on to Brian:

“Hi Al

Another photo (bottom) of the cotton bud smoke effect out of the smoke stack on my HOn3 K37 locomotive. It is seen here leaving the yard after having taken coal, water and sand.

Top photo titled – Hey, no fishing allowed here,this is HO scale territory. (Motor boat is kit built) I don’t think either of them realize that there is no water yet.

Thanks Al

Best regards


Ho scale boat

HO scale steam engine

That’s all this time folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

Please don’t forget to have a peep at the latest ebay cheat sheet. Still going strong.



PS The Beginner’s guide is here if you’ve decided it’s time to stop dreaming and start doing.

63 Responses to HO track plan 8×12

  1. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Great job, wonderful addition.

  2. James Merritt says:

    Awesome track and love the details, too. Keep up the good work and also keep posting as you update.


  3. I think your layout is awesome! Great job.

  4. eric7 says:

    Wonderful layout and plenty of detail that adds depth to the scene, well done.
    Eric (Leeds)

  5. anthony germagliotti says:

    Wow the layout is awesome.

  6. Geoffrey Hogg says:

    I really like the realistic lighting in the rolling stock, I am just starting a 6mx8m new layout, British modern image with some post WWII stock and steam, so I will post the progress when I get a chance! just taken delivery of 16metres of flex track, so should have plenty of fun, electrics are going to be non-DCC. All the bests to all fellow Railway muddler.

  7. Bob Miller says:

    Outstanding layout and detail!!

  8. Bob Cassidy says:

    WOW, What a great job. Beautiful!

  9. Mike says:

    What ever you do,DO NOT allow your layout be used as a “Godzilla” movie prop ! ! !

  10. Ron Ernst says:

    Terrific scenery…great use of scrubs and weeds.
    I had to scan through the pictures several times in order to observe/absorbe all the details. I’ve also kept with Bachmann’s train, rolling stock and E-Z track products to assure compatibility and so far reliability. RonE

  11. ian impett says:

    great busy American layout well done.

  12. Jeff says:

    Really impressed with the detail… My guess is it is HO. Jeff

  13. Bill Schmidt says:

    I would like to ask Dave how he likes the easy track and what problems if any did he have?

  14. Jerry Suits says:

    Your layout looks great! Very nice and varied scenery! Jerry

  15. Raymond Bove says:

    Hi all,

    What a feat to complete such a busy layout that shows how much care and dedication went into it. But just to be awkward I find the plastic ballasted track a real let-down on a layout of this overall quality. Light weathering and a sprinkle of the finest ballast would help, but then of course, that’s a lot of track!

  16. Mike Pettruzzelli says:

    Very nice….I like the memorable A&P sign….

  17. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Great Job Mike

  18. George Reid says:

    What scale is this

  19. Douglas McKay says:

    What a layout it’s great looking

  20. Lester Larrew says:

    Very nice. I’m glad to see someone else who is using “Bachmann EZ Track” which is what I use.
    Lester (GA, USA)

  21. John Ortis says:

    I liked your lay out . I couldn’t believe that your lay out is only 4x8by6

  22. mike sewell says:

    great looking layout…..I have a lot of amtrak ho gauge engines and cars…big collection ——- I would like to get rid of……the retail dollar amount is 2800.00 …..I would sell for half that …..would you be interested in purchasing the amtrak collection ???

  23. george hartwig says:

    very nice more track plans

  24. Pete Evangel says:

    I love layouts with lots of detail. Some folks think these layouts are packed to full with “stuff”, but if you look around in real life, we have lots of stuff! Bushes come alive when they’re next to other plants. Tracks that have weeds are just like the real ones. I really appreciate the time and effort that Mike has put into this. Sometimes I’ll look with a critical eye to see what missing. There is nothing missing here. Great job.

    Pete-It still sunny on the West Coast.

  25. AWESOMELY Busy layout
    great scenery details
    keep em runnin fellas
    StJohn in Long Beach Calif

  26. Roy says:

    Well Mike, very great layout and a lot of traffic running, a lot of detail as for scenes tried to work out the track plan by photos, well you enjoy while you can as I do most of my time free. Roy

  27. KenS. says:

    I really like the detail of this layout. If you read some of the model railroad publications, you would think it would be a crime to use EZ-track but I use it all the time mainly for ease of use and reliability. I have a small N scale layout and am building a small HO for my grandson, both using this track and haven’t had any problems. I guess one could glue ballast to it to “dress” it up but that would be one’s personal choice. Once again, great layout!

  28. paul Otway says:

    A very nice looking layout.

  29. Bob Miller says:

    Although everything that has been said about your layout has been said, I just want to add that I also think you have done an outstanding job and I think the detail you have put into your layout is great.

  30. Ian Mc Donald says:

    what a great layout plenty to do which is good. the scenery is very real. doesn’t look like there is much more to do but sit back and enjoy, but I am told a layout is never finished. thankyou for sharing.

  31. mike chissler says:

    Thanks to all of you that commented on my layout. To answer a few questions,
    1. HO scale
    2. I added on to the layout so the new layout is 8X12X12-L shaped
    3. I won’t let it be used for a Godzilla movie but my cat got into the room and played CATZILLA…major carnage
    4. Thanks for the tip on the plastic ballasted track. I will weather and use small ballast to cover it up.
    Thanks again.

  32. Richard H Chapple Sr says:

    I agree with Al:
    Wonderful job, and lots of time and effort in this layout. And the paper buildings look great.

  33. Bob says:

    Just wonderful! Such a joy to look at. Yes, it’s well worth every minute put into it! I especially like the A&P Store and the Amtrak sign!

  34. Paul W Evans says:


  35. John Deamer says:

    fantastic layout Mike

  36. Timothy Crump says:

    Beautiful layout!!! I really like the weathering….for me nothing spoils the look of a layout more than brightly colored buildings and surroundings….

  37. kevin says:

    Excellent. …..looks very busy but not gawdy, very pleasing to the eyes. Shows the crafter that built has patience and builds in character to the layout, very well coordinated layout!!!!!!….. Keep up the good work:-):-):-)

  38. Gerry says:

    I love the busy appearance and all of the high quality buildings and scenery. The hours put into this must be staggering. My own layout is 027 and fills 80% of a 24′ by 14′ room and has 10 separate loops of track. I am in my third year of building and just getting started on scenery and decorating. Your layout has given me hope of doing some nice things in spite of all the track I have laid.

  39. Franco428 says:

    Every time I see one of these outstanding works of art I feel elated, because this hobby has another master builder. Great job!

  40. joe di rosa says:

    you can always find something wrong with something, but darn, really great work

  41. Mike Luhouse says:

    I can’t find an appropriate adjective to humbly describe this man’s definitive efforts & successes in the professional realism of his layout. If they only made moving figures of humans. It is so damn real!! Cudo’s Mike for your sharing of a truly spectacular layout.

  42. Icetrains says:

    Really impressive layout after all the hard work.

  43. Gerald Mack says:

    Love it bro great style and creativity!!!

  44. Kenton says:

    Great job!!

  45. JAY T. says:

    beautiful work . a video of trains running would now be the frosting on the cake

  46. James Uhlig says:

    Great Job, Looks Fantastic. 3D work on structures makes them pop.

  47. Neil Feder says:

    Great layout tremendous detail the one item that I would like to of seen is the layout of the track design it is always helpful when your people do close-ups for the detail as well as from a distance thank you

  48. Linda H says:

    You did a great job. Like the details that add so much to a layout. Keep up the good work.

  49. Brad says:

    If you took 3 seconds to check his first post,you would know it’s HO scale

  50. Hemi says:

    Very NICE layout!!!!! looks GREAT! ENJOY it! I wished I had mine to do the same!

  51. Bob Amling says:

    A great job Mike your attention to detail is awesome!
    Bob in Colts Neck Crossing NI

  52. William says:

    It looks really great except near buildings the gravel needs to be finer – use sand or finer material.

  53. Dwight in Toronto says:

    Very well done, and looks like it provides a lot of fun running, which is the main thing.

    Like a few others, I agree that the sectional track is a bit of a detraction … the attempt to simulate a ballasted base falls short, the seams are overly visible, and the factory curve consistency renders the trackwork to appear toy-like. Properly ballasted flextrack with graduated curves, easements and transitions is far more realistic.

    Finally, I’m a bit surprised by several comments praising Bachman running stock. I had horrible experience with several N scale Bachman products in my early years, and have adhered to my vow to never purchase anything from this manufacturer ever again. Perhaps their HO products are more reliable and durable, but the N scale offerings were, in my experience, a waste of money, characterized by cheap motors, poor fit & finish, and poor quality plastic gear trains.

  54. Balint Joe says:

    Stellar layout… love the A&P sign.

  55. Will in NM says:

    Mike, I love all the activity depicted on your fabulous layout! Your creative mix of people, signs and structures is wonderful. Too many layouts are technically well done but lack the feeling of “life” taking place on them. Yours does that in spades!

    The only thing I noticed that’s a bit out of place is the AmTrak sign since AmTrak wasn’t created until quite a few years after the end of steam locomotives in regular freight and passenger service. I guess you could say they are excursion trains to get around the anachronism.

    Also, by expanding the size to 12 x 12 x 8 it looks like some areas of the layout could be vary hard to reach in the event of a derailment or other problem unless you’ve made some lift-out access sections in the middle. Obviously, your cat didn’t have that problem. 🙂

  56. Erick says:

    Great job Well done. I liked it all.

  57. JimSterling says:

    Fantastic! You must be from the East Coast of the USA. I see A&P stores ad the C&O Railroad!

  58. Ken Mabie says:

    Great layout, Mike. Excellent detail. Will make a person want to stare at it for hours. I would be curious to see a track plan. Perhaps you could post that to Alastair. Cheers.

  59. Old Ben says:

    Just Beautiful.. How many hours do you have into building the layout?

  60. Jim Stever says:

    Fantastic layout. It shows the time and effort you have taken to achieve this time piece of craftmanship.

  61. David Schaffner says:

    Nice layout and well organized. Love the buildings and wonder where you got them. Having hard time finding stuff like you have. I too have Bachman ez track and found no problem with it but I did use a lot of ballast and not many buildings, house and such yet. Keep railroading….

  62. David Schaffner says:

    Thought I spotted some three rail Lionel. is THIS A CONVERSION TO HO

  63. Steve Cawood says:

    Is that coaling tower one of yours that you sell? I might like to purchase one.

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