Mike’s stunning layout update

“Good afternoon Al, hope you have a great holiday.

I Shot a video showing each scene in my layout and all my engines.

Santa Fe Freight
Chesapeake & Ohio Passenger
Union Pacific
Amtrak Passenger
Louisville & Nashville

I’ve updated my layout based on feedback from my last post. I added ballast to my e-z track. It looks much better. I added one set of traffic lights, crossing lights and street lights. I’m still not that great with my wiring so I only have the traffic lights operating. I’m also sending some pictures of each engine and some scenery and one more video that I had some fun with.

I want to thank you and your readers for all the tips and suggestion. Now its time to enjoy.





















And this one is the video:

I can’t thank Mike enough for this update – stunning stuff. If I’m not mistaken, I think a lot of the pics in the Beginner’s Guide are from Mike’s layout. And no wonder, they are superb.

Hope you enjoyed Mike’s pics and vids as much as I did!

And if you model in HO or N scale, have a quick look at the ebay cheat sheet. It’s a silly time of year for some great bargains.

That’s all this time, folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.



40 Responses to Mike’s stunning layout update

  1. Bryan Atkins says:

    That’s very cool. I can’t wait to get my basement finished so I can start on my layout. I have n scale and ho scale models to display. Some of my trains are dc and some are dcc. But you’re layout looks great. Congrats to you .
    Bryan Atkins

  2. BILL says:

    great layout i wish i had that much room. i will when i convince my wife that i need the den as well as the spare bedroom .untill then keep up the good work on your project.i really enjoy layouts like yours.
    bill from newark delaware u.s.a.

  3. Max Dosser says:

    Fantastic !!!! The photo’s and video made terrific viewing.
    One small observation though. On the Chesapeake & Ohio the illumination in the coaches would be enhanced by fitting some passengers.
    (This may be like splitting hairs, but congratulations on a magnificent railway.)

  4. Ralph says:

    That looks great Mike, the ballast has made a marvelous layout even better.

  5. Art Borkowski says:

    I really like the overhead passenger bridge. Is there an available product/kit for this stunning structure? Thanks

  6. Dienzel Dennis says:

    I’m an “0” gauge guy but love seeing any thing train related–2 rail, 3 rail, G gauge to N gauge. If it has wheels and runs on a track….I love it. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work. Dienzel

  7. Pete Evangel says:

    Wonderful detailing!!! And you are right, the ballast makes a difference. Well done.

    Pete-Rainy Calif.

  8. Gerry Brown says:

    Hello, wonderful layout… My question is how did you strip your roads? What did you use for road way? Your roads look super nice! Thanks, Gerry

  9. Raymond Appenzeller says:

    Great detailing and effects! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing!.

  10. Randy Blankenship says:

    Great set up, nice classics, great detail👍

  11. Fred says:

    Love the railroad layout. Wow, that is awesome. Especially the crossing signals. So realistic. I love model railroading. You can create many different layouts. Super Job

  12. Ken Merrick says:

    L&N is the greatest and fitting for your outstanding layout. Our collage football stadium was built on the old L&N yard every time the score they blast the train horn how fitting.

  13. Ronald P. says:

    Simply Amazing !!! My dream layout that I can only “imagine” having in my home.
    Excellent work !!!
    Thanks for the post.

  14. gbadcock@yahoo.ca says:

    Wow great layout lots of things going on at once. Hope one day mine turns out half as good. A long way to go yet to get It up to were your layout is. Don’t seem to have time right now and when I get time don’t seem to have the funds to do what I would like to do with It. Anyway thanks for sharing a great layout. It was fun to watch.

  15. Ray says:

    Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  16. Chris says:

    Awesome, I have N Scale and you have given me some look into a rocky hill, I have been looking around and some things just did not look right.
    Thank you

  17. Paul O says:

    Mike, I just loved the thunder storm @ 1:45 of the video!
    Perfect camera angle with the lightning reflecting off the coal tipple.
    Excellent modelling.

    Paul O

  18. Tim Morlok says:

    Mike, nice layout and great video. Just a operating comment from a retired railroader : if those are hazardous loaded tank cars you need one buffer car behind the engine and one ahead of the caboose. Tim

  19. John Deamer says:

    WOW mg Mikew it just gets better well done

  20. Mark Piznik says:

    Beautiful, simply beautiful! Great craftsmanship and eye for detail! NJ Mark

  21. Alan Roberts says:

    Super Mike, so much going on.
    I loved those Santa Fe diesels. As
    a boy, I had a book with one on the cover when I was about 10. Been to the States a few times and done the Rocky Mountaineer I Canada. They stopped building nice looking locos in the 1950’s. They are all so ugly these days. Australia and NewZealand have similar locos and herein the UK they are no better. But maybe its just me!
    Great layout anyway. Alan. UK

  22. Wayne Pursh says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Real eye candy. I am in the process of building structures for my layout and detailing the city area. One year into the project and scenes like this keep me inspired. Congrats, Mike. Thanks.

  23. Voxsacra@outlook.com says:

    Wow, Mike! Fabulous layout with great sounds. How did you produce the thunder and lightning storm? Ultra realistic effects your sound is fantastic. I’m (finally) been given room in my home to build a railroad, and I want an “empire” like yours. Your video has convinced me to go full DCC. Thanks for sharing your layout!


    Jon in Jersey

  24. Nicely layed out Mike
    and lots of great detail…
    keep em runnin fellas
    stjohn in long beach calif

  25. paul Otway says:

    A really neat layout.

    Paul from OZZie

  26. wayne sund says:

    Great looking layout Mike. I’ve only been building my layout for 12 months, just plodding along doing a lot of ‘scratch build’, and some of your scenes have inspired me for some ideas for my layout (HO).

  27. Ian Mc Donald says:

    that is one great layout. so busy with all those train just great to watch, quite a few times I must say. the detail to scenery is superb. not short on finding ideas thanks a lot hope to see more.

  28. Desert Rat PHX AZ Tom says:

    Really amazing I am a 72 yr old beginner it must have cost a fortune. I don`t have pockets that deep, I have been watching this site for a while now and this is the most impressive work I have ever seen. Please keep up the good work. Tom

  29. Gary says:

    His layout is great, love the scenery! One thing though, his layout looks like 1950/60 scene and the modern Train and some lighted signs (Amtrack) does not fit in with town or landscape. But overall GREAT.

  30. Ken Stramel says:

    Very nice. All so real.

  31. Bill Koester says:

    Great photos & video !!!

  32. Austin Wilson says:

    Stunningly beautiful Mike. I highly doubt my layout will ever be that superbly done like yours. I have a very large layout with an even larger rail yard and continue working on it, almost daily now that it is winter time and I am semi retired now. Love my HO scale DCC layout with my mostly CN engines.

  33. Richard Sommery-Gade says:

    Very nice, appreciate the hard work it took.

  34. fred day says:

    my god most of this is so good i can only imagine the time and effort going into the layouts . a question for you all if you all had a $100 or so budget for engines what brand would you recommend and are there any to avoid

  35. ARNIE STEINER says:

    Hi Mike,
    Impressive amount of detailing; looks like a very busy locale. From the looks of the rolling stock and structures on the layout, I take it is free-lance and eclectic: that is, not focusing on a particular era, or railroad and location, but instead integrating it together. Just having fun running trains! Nice job. – Arnie

  36. Larry Johnson says:

    I really enjoyed looking at Mikes layout . It really is a terrific one. Way to go Mike keep up the great show.

  37. JAY T. says:


  38. Ross Johnston says:

    Thanks Mike for sharing.. I love videos as they really describe a person’s layout. Great job! Cheers Rossco Adelaide, Australia

  39. Bob From Towson says:

    HOLY MOLEY MIKE!!!! WOW, I thought my layout was starting to look good but man you have blown me out of the water with yours!!! FANTASTIC !!!!!!

  40. THOMAS says:

    The video was cool but the sound is not real and it is way too loud !
    Thanks for having trains that run !

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