Model train market

Mike’s been in touch with his model train market:

“Hi Al,

About a year ago, you published some pics and explanation on the start of my layout. A year down the line, I thought you might like an update. I hope you like it enough to publish it.

Before I get into that, though, I would like to remark on how useful your blog is.

I am about to make some rocks for a bit of the layout that I won’t later be able to get to easily – I am trying to lay the majority of the track before doing the scenery where possible – and was considering the best way to do it when I read Eddie’s recent blog about using expanding foam.

This reminded me that when I first started, some 2 years ago, I had some expanding foam & put it aside for just this purpose but had completely forgotten about it! Thanks Eddie.

So onto my layout. Considering the limited amount of time I can spend on it, I am quite happy with the progress I am making.

I have had a train running to test all the track I have laid, using a borrowed ECOS 50200 but now have my own & am starting to programme for real.

As I don’t have the time to edit the video, like some of your contributors such as Dave – I really admire his work & wish he lived nearer me – it is in its raw state but hopefully OK.

I have also attached again the track plan, as I don’t think you included it last time.

On a personal note, I am still fighting the cancer & am reasonably well at the moment, although it has spread a bit & I am having a new course of treatment. I will win!

Anyone else out there with cancer, always keep your chin up & stay positive.


model train market

A close up of one of the stalls

model train market

The Diesel Yard with Coach Washer

OO scale station

Frederick St Station

OO scale garden centre

The Garden Centre & Pumphouse

model train track plan

Track Plan

Thanks for the good work you do.


Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

I’m only human, so I love to hear that the site is helping folk. A huge thanks to Mike for sharing his model train market. I also thought it was an inspirational narrative too, keep up the fight!

That’s all this time, folks. I leave you with the news that the Beginner’s Guide now comes with a paypal option, which some of you have been asking for.

Keep ’em coming.



34 Responses to Model train market

  1. Pete "the Macken" says:

    Hi Mike
    What a fantastic job you are doing already it looks stunning and the hard work is paying off. Love the back drop blends seamlessly to your layout. Keep up the outstanding work and please keep us posted.

  2. James says:

    Great layout and very useful to see the track plan.

    It is encouraging to see all of the updates on progress by correspondents and particularly the diversity of layouts. Writing as someone who, so far, has only got to the dreaming stage it is encouraging to see what can be achieved with all levels of skill, resources and room.

    Best wishes for the cancer treatment


  3. Jan Watters says:

    all the best mate

  4. Rod Mackay says:

    My word, you’re really going for that aren’t you? Many people pack less than that into a house-size basement. I’m sure having a big project, something to get on with, will help too. Best of luck mate and keep up the good work.

  5. Cary B says:

    The layout is coming along great. The photos were awesome as was the video. Keep up the wonderful work. Your positive attitude is an inspiration to many.
    Thank you Al for posting this.

    Cary B

  6. Keith Miller says:

    Wonderful to see your progress and great that you let us see work in progress – in the raw! This is going to be a stunning and exciting layout. The different levels are particularly good. I was wondering how big the room is? You are certainly making good use of it! Best of luck with the cancer treatment. Looking forward to your next instalment.
    Dustyk UK

  7. Don Jennings says:

    I was impressed with the layout picture/sketch. What is the overall room dimensions and the layout space size. A couple of comments about Holly Park 1. Your approach tracks (four of them) there is no cross-over or run arounds on them. I must guess that you operate double ended passenger trains. 2. You have three yard tracks leading to the turntable. That must make getting rolling stock in and out of there very difficult. Change these two items (I think) for a better running railroad. Yours in railroading =DonJ

  8. Warren Ferguson says:

    What a wonderful job you’re doing, Mike! I wish you all the best in Railroading and in your treatment. Warren

  9. Joe Kincaid says:


    Your words of encouragement to we fellow cancer patients, and your obvious enthusiasm for our hobby, are an inspiration to all us fighters. I have vowed that this disease of no boundaries will not define my life or accomplishments, nor will it beat me from achieving my goals for the V&T RR (Virginia and Truckee RR). Cancer robbed me of two precious years with my grandson (my helper who started at 5 and is now 15), but it will not stop me in enjoying every damn minute Preston and I get working on the railroad. We will finish it, and I will get the joy of our accomplishment.
    Your layout looks fantastic. Preston and I really enjoyed seeing your progress, and the video was terrific. We got a kick out out the market, and WOW, what a track plan. Please keep up that great work on the finished (but never really) product.
    We will both win our fight with cancer, every minute we fight back is a minute robbed from that heinous disease. In the end we still win. You have my admiration, my support, and a friend you’ve never met in the Sierra Nevada’s of Nevada. Please stay in touch with the model railroaders good buddy, none other than Al) so we can all enjoy your progress.

  10. David Hannan says:

    What a fantastic achievement so far! The backdrop I really like, especially how it appears seamless with the foreground. Just wondered what computer program you used to do the track plan – very detailed. The flap I presume is for getting out of the room!
    Keep the updates coming no matter how little you get done.

    All the best Mike,

    Dirty Dave

  11. Ken Goldenberg says:

    Mike, what I love about your layout is your bring in vignettes not usually seen. The fruit stand and outdoor markets, the green house nursery.
    Wonderful. Stay positive and prayers to you!

  12. That’s wonderful start to a bigger layout. I wish my basement could accommodate size for the Oscale stuff I got now. I have SCALE and only 10×16′ of space. A 54″ radius for MTH loco that’s big and beautiful. Getting a third diesel. I’m in real-time railroads so the only steam is the #611 N&W …But won’t have it any other way. But like all scales. HO is nice but derailed too much so I went into O. N is cutest (Z is too little for details) I tried On3 but it runs like on HO rails again. I need this code 125 or thicker rails especially on turnouts. But HO technology improved and the Kato trackage keeps trains on turnouts better than stuff I used in 20th century. We now have so many great models and modelers. MR and other magazines testify to this. You’ve joined this group. I love the garden and other uncommon scenes you’ve put in. As a teen, I made an ugly baseball stadium way offscale. The Woodrow Wilson Stadium. Gray with tall fences no one could hit a ball over if real.I have a crude photo of it. Terrible. Okay, I’m done. That’s.msg Mike!

  13. Patrick Talley says:

    Wow Mike. How awesome is your progress. Please do keep us updated…

  14. Brian Messenger says:

    Hi Mike, my sister in law was given 6 months to live when diagnosed with cancer. She has such a positive attitude that 12 years later she is still with us and is even more positive than before. Your model train layout is an excellent way to keep you going and staying positive. Great track plan. Keep it up. Brian H.o.F member.

  15. Chuck Bartunek says:

    Wow,great layout

  16. Tom Durham says:

    Kudos to Mike for his fight and to his ambitious layout. The market and scrapyard sections are well done. Do hope he continues to keep us updated. Best wishes. Tom

  17. Steve Howard says:

    Congrats to Mike on a fantastic layout and a seemingly impossible start on getting there – you’ll be operating soon – I am a little envious as I am just beginning my S Gauge planning. Also, terrific attitude with respect to the cancer – it can be beaten. My wife has dealt with both breast cancer first and then ovarian cancer and has beat both; her oncologist told her that she was cured some time ago (not just in remission but cancer-free!)- like you, she did not give up through the treatments and I am so proud of her. We’ll keep you in our prayers and hope to see more updates from you in the future on both you and your layout!

  18. Bob Miller says:

    Very nice Mike. In fact I think it is outstanding. I have lung cancer and have not been working on my layout for some time. I think now I will off my ,you know what, and get back to my layout. Thanks for the inspiration.

  19. Peter Bayley-Bligh says:

    The market stalls especially look great Mike

  20. David Wibbels says:

    I so glad to hear that your train layout is helping deal with illness. I like the elevated flea market and the different display areas in the layout.

  21. Ross Johnston says:

    Thankyou Mike for sharing your model railway. I think it is great and I can’t wait to see your next video. I liked the layout plan too. Cheers Rossco Adelaide, Australia

  22. Ak Jim says:

    Excellent work! Thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery!

  23. Roy Forbes says:

    That is some layout. All excellent work, well done! You make me feel totally inadequate as although I’m in my 70s and reasonably fit my layout is nowhere near as good.
    You are an inspiration and motivator,

  24. Dionisis says:

    What a great job!!!! I wish you all the best for your treatment and for railroading!!

  25. Bill Holt says:

    AWESOME LAYOUT. Well done !!

  26. Steven Joffe says:

    Great progress Mike! I especially like the market and all of its detail. Please don’t edit your video otherwise you will chop up the Herman’s Hermits song (“I’m Into Something Good”) that is playing in the background.

  27. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Mike……. you have built a great looking layout. Great detail with the scenes that you have created. Keep at it. I love the station and the market places. The video shows the about of work you have put into this project. I like the junk yard. And you are doing it the right way by making sure your track work is A Plus before you do your scenery.

    I am in remission from my cancer. I have Lymphoma (CLL) and I went through 6 months of Chemotherapy. I get checked out every three months but the chemo has left me with some side effects. Hang in there……never give up hope……and even though it is very difficult, try to keep and do you daily routines. Your body will tell you when to rest. My prayers are with all of you modelers who have cancer.

  28. Brian Rockey says:

    Great progress Mike and some nice touches on detailing. Backdrop painting is very, very good.
    Good luck on the health front – keep fighting!
    Brian, Wokingham, UK

  29. DJfromNJ says:

    Hi Mike! I love the way you have “humanized” your layout, introducing real life situations/scenes at every turn. FANTASTIC JOB! Also, you and your artist friend deserve mention for the one-of-a-kind background painting.
    Good luck with your health issue, you have many friends pulling for you

  30. George Zaky says:

    I assume your layout is HO. What an ambitious plan and I hope it is the incentive to keep at it for the next 20 years. Keep up the fight!! Love the themes, everyday items but unusually seen in models-Super.
    Keep up a sense of humor and I hope your wife’s hearing is poor enough not to hear the F bombs as you create.
    Keep us posted and updated.
    I dont know if you guys across the pond watched the Adams Family TV show but I leave you with this.
    ” Of course I crash them. Why else would a grown man play with trains.” Gomez Adams.
    God Bless

  31. Simply beautiful work. Many thanks for posting.

  32. Will in NM says:

    Very nice layout update Mike. I especially liked your video and the very ambitious track plan. That should keep you working on the railroad for many years to come. My mother had breast cancer and lung cancer and beat them both. I wish the same good fortune for you and all the other cancer patients who have written here on this blog. Keep up the good fight!

  33. Erick says:

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

  34. Brian Olson says:

    Colorful to say the least! My wife is a Stage 4 Cancer Survivor, given two years to live. That was over 14 years ago! So keep at it my friend!!

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