Model railway hard hat!

Here’s a blast from the past that always raises a smile:

“Hi Al, here is an idea for any odd track and an old hard hat.

This is Hardhat Halt on the H&SE Line. It is going into a local charity model exhibition in Argyll on the West coast of Scotland.


model railroad hardhat

model railraod hardhat

What do you think? Leave a post below. I loved it πŸ™‚

But if you’re looking for a more normal fix of trains and stuff, here’s John’s shelf layout.

Been adding to the ebay cheat sheet too. Have a look.



147 Responses to Model railway hard hat!

  1. Andy Little says:

    LOVE it!!!

  2. Dennis Rice says:

    it looks great

  3. jacob says:

    looks cool. what gauge is it

  4. Gruffalo Grandad says:

    Very clever, now I can see a use for all the old chamber pots people have lying around!

  5. Ol' Puffer says:

    It’s Great….I wish I had your skills for making scenery.

  6. Tom Oliver says:

    Fantastic and realistic use of an otherwise useless article. Looks like you’re ‘using your head’!

  7. Dave says:

    Well done Duncon , very insperasional, something different

  8. Dwayne says:

    An OSHA approved hobby!

  9. John says:

    What a hoot! Terrific! It brings back a memory from the 1950’s of a comedian on the Ed Sullivan show that wore a top hat that had a train running around the brim.

  10. Mark says:

    That’s great

  11. Maverick405 says:

    Great stuff, very imaginative

  12. Andrew says:


  13. Max D says:

    I like it ! I take my hat off to you.

  14. kevin j says:

    have a fellow model railroader friend with a birthday coming up. might give it a try as a present. will make him wear it at the party. should be fun.

  15. Ben says:

    its amazing what you do with a bit of thought!

  16. Brian says:


  17. mile says:

    i love it. very differant and it looks great. well done

  18. Dick says:

    What??? No tunnel running from ear to ear…
    Love it!

  19. Wayne says:

    Great Work and artistry!!!

  20. Brilliant idea and for a good cause as well!!!

  21. David says:

    Great, for some strange reason it reminds me of “Under the Dome”, a novel by Stephen King, published in November 2009. Is there a little city under that hard hat?

  22. greg gaal says:

    Very creative and cever.

  23. greg gaal says:

    Very creative and clever.

  24. Sheila says:

    Very creative! However, if I use my hard hat for such a train, the next time I trim trees I fear I will end up in the hospital! Inspirational!

  25. Tom Stewart says:

    It’s brilliant from simple ideas come the best layouts. It’s definitely the take it anywhere layout even to work on a construction site.

  26. like to have one like it. grand dad would love it two.

  27. Duncan Pohl says:

    That is very different and very effective. Well done!

  28. Al says:

    Wish I was that talinted great idea and hats off to D.

  29. TC says:


    You must have trains on your mind at all times? A
    labor of love. How wonderful!
    Thank you D” for your createtivity … and thank you AL for sharing this with us.

  30. Retired Buck says:

    It great this is geting on the head of R/R and getting heads turn for a good cause

  31. dave says:

    Fantastic job a real thought process in this piece

  32. Channing says:

    My train is im Standandar gage. It comes very large. I need alarge room to set up to run. I have trouble of the connections. It couse to stop all the time. I get tire of it unless , I hve to tie all the connecrions, lot of work. Suggestion?

  33. cyril says:

    If you want to get ahead get a hat, It must be at lease a 6′ 5/8 size,
    it’s great.

  34. Cord says:

    MΓ€rklin Z gauge?

  35. Pops says:

    Oh, man, that’s awesome! Great job.

  36. Richard Klinger says:

    It is a superb way to lay out a setting. Love It…

  37. bigbadbob says:

    a idea for my Β£2 z gage set

  38. Martin says:

    This is a great use for a hard hat. I don’t know how you came up with it but it looks great. You are a good painter.

  39. John Suther says:

    That is one clever idea! Congratulations!

  40. paul Otway says:

    That has to the worlds smallest model railway.

  41. Track7 says:

    Cool man cool

  42. thomas waller says:

    Great!!!!!….. Mind boggles as to what can you do with safety boots?

  43. frank jeffers says:

    Great idea! I’m getting back into layouts.Now I can decorate my Southern Pacific supervisor hardhat.
    Thanks, Frank
    from Oregon,USA

  44. Brian Clauser says:

    It looks like an artist’s work. Great.

  45. Don O'Brien says:

    Very unique and a real eye catcher! Don

  46. Neal says:

    very nicely done

  47. Wayne Wallace says:

    And someone told me that you had to wear a hard hat to run your train.
    This proves differently. Now guys, let us see what we can do with all the baseball/advertising caps we have. My wife is to the point I need to go or the hats? I need a reason to keep them!

  48. Charlie says:


  49. paul says:

    How inspiring, a great layout on such a small area, and so mobile.

  50. alan says:

    Fantastic, wish I was as clever

  51. Austin Wilson says:

    That is beautiful. Well Done.

  52. IVOR HANN says:


  53. David Lawes says:

    Brilliant wish i could get and complete my layout. still in progress

  54. Stuart P says:

    What a brilliant, novel idea, that would look really great in the centre of a dinner table for a group of model enthusiasts. Fantastic

  55. Arnie Steiner says:

    Go Duncan!
    Very creative and extremely well executed. It makes a great conversation piece as a coffee table center-piece. I bet it would sell at arts & crafts, hobby fairs or at vendor tables at model railroading shows.

  56. D. M. Coulthard says:

    At Last!! Someone has found a good use for a hard hat. Excellent idea – love it. Well done.

  57. dan g says:

    Very ingenious!

  58. KEN says:

    That was a great idea. cudos

  59. Colin Travis says:

    Thats great but dont let it go to your head

  60. Isadore says:

    very good, is it n gauge???

  61. bennie walters says:

    Eish! (Wow!!) not just a great idea, also looking very professional

  62. Peter Hein says:

    it just takes a good idea to make it happened…..

  63. Laura Ewald says:

    This is absolutely adorable. What a unique and fun little layout. I will have to remember it, if I ever have the need for an idea for a unique charity item. I imagine such a layout would bring in a lot if it were auctioned off!

  64. Dwight says:

    My wife said,”cool!!!” and me too.

  65. Dennis says:

    can’t do that with my O scale

  66. James says:


  67. kimo says:

    when your good,your good

  68. tim carducci says:

    hey that small train layout is sooo awesome I love it

  69. james says:

    very interesting interesting

  70. Graham stone says:

    I love it you should be proud and I hope the charity is to

  71. Barry says:

    Fantastic. Very very well thought out & good on you mate doing it for charity.
    Respect to you.
    It just shows what you can do even if you havnt got much room.
    All the best

  72. tadheath says:

    This is pretty d*mn cool if I do say so myself!!!!!!!! I love this kind of stuff… the wall stuff. Or in this case off the head stuff!!!!! Keep up the great work everybody I love this site!!!!!!

  73. KEVIN HERON says:

    After spending all my working life in mining and shipbuilding I would have felt proud to wear that at work!! But I would need a long extension cord lol.
    well done mate!!!

  74. Don Kauer says:

    Great job and very creative!!! It’s got to be Z or maybe N , yes ?

  75. John B says:

    Wonderful. Long live inspiration and generosity!

  76. M Parson says:

    Now I’ve seen everything. Great imagination and conversational too!

  77. Ron says:

    I think I’ve been there.

  78. That is amazing. Cudos to the designer for coming up with such an idea.

  79. I guess that if one extrapolates, people with swelled heads have larger layouts! πŸ™‚

  80. michael broderick says:

    great would be good to see in live well done πŸ™‚

  81. Terry jacks says:

    Great little railroad. So cute. Loved it.

  82. Paul says:

    absolute genius

  83. Paul G says:

    If you want to get ahead – get a hat. Great

  84. tony says:

    stunning i hope it raises as many pounds as it does smiles good work duncan all the best for your charit y fundraiser

  85. John Reynolds says:

    Well Done!
    A masterwork of creativity and with flawless execution to boot!

  86. Tom B says:

    Is this the definition of a “Rail Head”?

  87. jim morris says:

    Very creative.

  88. Jim Peters says:

    If You Were To Cut It in Half, It Could Become An Out Door Concert Arena With Stage Inside. Very Much Like The One In Sydney Aus. Ill Get Right On It! Thanks Fo The Idea!

  89. Methuselah says:

    Brilliant! Looks like the scale has to be Z scale, or smaller?
    And I loved Gruffalo Granddad’s suggestion as a use for surplus chamber pots! Not many of those still around, but they do get in the way.

  90. Rick Coder says:

    This idea would also suffice for an astronomical observatory, with a few cuts and a little ingenuity here and there! Actually when I first saw the picture, I thought that was it’s purpose until I saw the track!

  91. Fred Yockey says:

    Very well done…have you thought of running for ‘parliament’, It seems as though both of our countries could do so much better if we each had a few people like you running our countries…Great job.. keep up the great work and thanks for sharing..
    Pryor, Oklahoma

  92. Danny Henderson says:

    Very Cool and imaginative – Imaginations of the Human Brain Rule the World.

  93. Michael says:

    Put the transformer inside the hat and add and on/off button on top of the helmet, and if you want, a variable speed control knob as well. In other words, make it fully self contained. Great Paint/ background. Nice!

  94. Michael C says:

    I have had the same idea in Z scale, nut was unsure of the tight radius and the right locomotive to use. Loco and two flats with minature hard hat loads. Michael C.

  95. Arnold Robert Lee says:

    You’ve got to hand it to him, he’s way aHEAD of the game

  96. Robert Bouskill says:

    Well rounded layout

  97. Lindsay says:

    SKILLS and IMAGINATION rare combo

  98. Denis (N gauge) says:

    If you really want to go to the extreem with your hat model railway try TGauge at 1:450 it would it work well also I believe the track has a good amount of iron in it and the wheels are magnetic so it would stay on the hat.

    Denis (British N)

  99. Charles Reicha says:

    Now I have seen everything. Looks kind of nice. Good woork.

  100. Cameron says:


  101. Cornish Gateway ( jason brooksbank) says:

    it looks AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  102. John Ortis says:

    Very neat idea.

  103. Jimmy says:

    I think that is a really neat way to utilize old hardhats that can’t be used on jobs anymore. Plus it makes for a nice centerpiece on a coffee table and you still get to enjoy a model train set

  104. Al Faulkner says:

    What gauge ?

  105. Carl says:

    WOW!!!! Verycool!!!!! πŸ™‚

  106. Lee Barry, CEO LZPMRR says:

    great. it must be Z scale. If I could send the pictures of my Z scale layout I would and may be Al would post them. But I am comp illerate and do not know how. Hopefully the next time my daughter comes in from Erie,,Pa. she can help me.

  107. Paul Wojtowicz says:

    I love the layout
    It gives me some ideas

  108. Al Faulkner says:

    Look like T Gauge

  109. Jim Richards says:

    Amazing….. so many clever ideas found here. Thanks!

  110. MICHAEL GLASS says:

    Super Coooool.

  111. John D Park says:

    If you have a hard hat that would be the cats whiskers to build. thanks for the show. John

  112. J Dentner says:

    That is the best small (and I do mean small) layout I have ever seen. Just think of the hit you will make with your grandchildren at Christmas time wearing it! Keep more great ideas like that coming.

  113. Kevin McArdle says:

    DC or DCC?

  114. Larry Cowden says:

    Now that was a highly creative and well executed plan and layout! I’ll never look at another hard hat the same way now! Great job!!

  115. I wish every one could be as smart as you D !
    Keep going and you might make giving to charity work a better way to
    support those in need .

  116. Rick D says:

    I think someone has waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands.

  117. Richard Chapple Sr says:

    That is a nice micro layout. This should be entered also with
    Carl passed away but his son has kept this great site going. It features micro sized layouts and is a terrific mind stretcher. This site eliminates any and all excuses for building a model layout.

    Nice work.

  118. Harold says:

    You just blew a hole in my theory “bigger is better”. Congrats! Very imaginative.

  119. matt says:


  120. JACK WINDT says:


  121. David Hannan says:

    Love it! I wish I could think of such things! I have enough trouble keeping going with my full size (OO) layout! Well done!

    Dirty Dave

  122. Nathan Perreira says:

    Love it!

  123. Steve says:

    I’ve heard of water on the brain but this is definitely train on the brain or let the train run round the brain but at least you used your head hats off to you.
    Enough puns .Great piece of work and just proves you don’t need a massive cellar to build a very nice little railway.

  124. Ross Johnston says:

    Great Job!!! I enjoyed seeing a recycled hard hat. Rossco SA

  125. Joe Wrigjt says:

    Now thats different. Has to be Z scale

  126. Brian Lee says:

    Fantastic, ultimate re-cycling.

  127. It’s the first wearable model railroad! Very neat to wear to the next train show.
    Fantastic imagination!

  128. Toomas Pranstibel says:

    Very nice and fun πŸ™‚

  129. bruce betters says:

    really kool! reminds me of the old civic arena in Pittsburgh! also remindes me of an old hallmark ornament I bought my mom for Christmas one year! is it mobile? can you wear it while running?

  130. Donald Abel says:

    I have been a railroader on track construction projects with Union Pacific and to take a hard hat and build a railroad on it incredible.Way to go.

  131. Ross Baker says:

    Amazingly cool!!

  132. Paul says:

    What a great novel idea

  133. Jim P (Lockhart Florida USA) says:

    Looking at the Hard Hat Railroad, I dern near fell off my chair laughing. What a novel way to use a hard hat.

  134. Rube Simon says:

    Amazing! What an inspiration! I might actually get started on something like that!

  135. GT Mills says:

    As a former hard hat wearer, this bears personal significance πŸ˜‰

  136. Floyd L. Newby says:

    I joined your organization because at age 85 uncovered a Super O set that had been stored away for at least 60 years and is in good shape but I don’t know how to connect the remote switches (three wires). I would really like to make everything work before giving the set to my great grandchildren. I have over 150 pieces of track, 9 switches, a dozen or more cars, two trestle sets, three engines, and other miscellaneous items. I’m having a ball except for the switch wiring. If anyone can give me a hand, I would sure appreciate it.

  137. Kevin Ching says:

    Yes it’s a lovely idea well done

  138. CARL ANGDAHL says:

    Love it. My hard hat never looked this good. Just remember not to “tip” your hat.

  139. Ms. Jackie, New Mexico, USA says:

    Love the hard hat!!!!

    Also to Channing & Floyd
    The best place to ask for help in at Al’s forum. Here is a link to the forum:

    OK as a link it may not work BUT it is the address to the forum.
    Try it, you’ll like it!!!!

  140. Ms Heather Logan says:

    Now that is different no dough of it, looks really great, love it.

  141. JC says:

    I love it! Great imagination.
    Carry on!

  142. Joe Monday says:

    Absolutely fantastic. A great piece of model building and scenery design. My HATS off to you, Duncan.

  143. Steve Thompson says:

    John that’s a very nice idea. One could make them and sell them. To tell you the truth I was hoping for a larger lay out. I use ho scale or bigger. But I have built small ones too.

  144. doug says:

    My hat is off to you. Very clever!

  145. Paul says:

    It is original and that deserves an a+ in my book

    Love it

  146. Carl Gianonatti says:

    Great idea kive it!!!!

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