Model railway layout – Cameron’s

Cameron’s been back in touch with his model railway layout.

And what I love about it most is his ‘common mistake’ as he calls it – but he doesn’t care because he’s having fun and that’s what it’s all about:

Make a start, and have fun.

“Dear Alistair,

This is where I am up to with the layout as of today. It has taken me one whole year to get this far but is still holding my interest.

Fortunately “She who must be obeyed” has now come around and seems to quite like the layout.

This is a good thing as I don’t plan on moving it in any foreseeable future.

It is probably a bit over crowded which I know is a common mistake but I for me the enjoyment largely comes from constructing it and running of trains.

The trees on the layout are the cheep wire and foam ones you buy on Ebay. They tend to be a bit brightly coloured so I have dipped them all in a solution of ‘burnt umber’ acrylic paint and water. I used a few photos of the English country side to help inform how they were placed on the layout.

The backgrounds are painted shelving boards. I found that you don’t need to put too much detail into the backgrounds as long as the colours are accurate. The simple silhouettes of mountains disappearing into the background were quick to paint and tell enough of the story.

Most of the scenery is complete now and I am embarking on the wiring of the points and some building lighting. The next post will be a few weeks off I suspect.

Bye for now,


double loop model railway layout

model railway platform

model railway engine shed

model train platform

model train houses

model railway layout church

model train road crossing

model railway layout street

model railway layout curves with embankment

model railway layout engine shed overhead view

model railway town scene

model railway layout town scene

A huge thank you to Cameron for sharing his model railway layout and tips.

I love seeing the progress of a layout, especially when it’s from a bare bench to a stunning finished piece.

Few of us have the time and talent Cameron does, thankfully there’s this.

Oh – and if you want to see more of Cameron’s layout, you can see much more of it here.

Just have a look at the comments below too. Stunning stuff.



61 Responses to Model railway layout – Cameron’s

  1. Alan Humphrey says:

    Enjoy the website very much, but could we ask contributors to add a track plan of their layouts? This would help strygglers like myself to get some inspiration of what is possible!
    Many thanks

  2. Anthony says:

    Not only is the layout done professionally but the photo shoot is also. This is visual junk food , I enjoy junk food.

  3. Nice layout and scenics you have got there Cameron

  4. Alan Meyer says:

    Cameron, I have but one comment, “Bloody Brilliant”.

  5. Randy Knaub says:

    Great layout. Nicely done. I am going to do a layout with limited budget in a month or so.

    What5 is the curved item hung on chains in the engine service area. Looking at it. Is i6t a tunnel height guage for tall flat car loads?

  6. Steve says:

    Nice job! Shows what can be done in a small space.

  7. Bullfrog Eh says:

    Thanks for the ‘silhouetted backdrop’ idea. You’ve solved my current dilema.

  8. Martin Wood says:

    Cameron you have created a nice model with plenty of detail. I personaly am a tree & scenery specialist & those trees don’t look like the nasty chinese ones from eBay, you have made them look very nice.
    The backdrops look pretty good too, remindes me of an oil painter who used to be on TV called Bob Ross..I am going to revive my painting passion.
    Well done (& I don’t say that to many).

  9. Mike Street says:

    Hi all, very nice layout Cameron and some great tips for us folks on a budget! I agree with Alan Humphrey can all contributors of layout pics include a plan with dimensions if poss. Sometimes from pics alone it’s not possible to work out where tracks go, especially if tunnels etc are involved. Also can I recommend a track planning program, I have no involvement other than as a very satisfied user. It’s not free, but it is certainly not expensive and you can try it for free, with a limit on size saved I think. It is called AnyRail website . It seems to have every type of track make ever made, certainly some I have never heard of. Give it a try, I think you will like it, Cheers Mike Street

  10. John Crook says:

    Well done Cameron. Interesting updates and a great end result. Was it DCC? If so how did you get on with the wiring?

    Regards, John

  11. Chris says:

    great close up photo shoots

  12. PETER BENSON says:

    Looks great well done now enjoy running your trains regards Peter

  13. david says:

    what a layout,well done cameron you must have a gift,to make a layout like that

  14. Glenn Roach says:

    Cameron you have a very good looking layout there. Specs. would be nice it want to share them to give us all an idea of working is a small space. Another thing getting your wife interested, loving it, and getting her to help in the organizing, building of any of the contents on the layout is a very,very, great thing u did and kept her happy.

  15. Robert Lay says:

    I too would like to see the overall track layout plan. BTW – One of the best.

  16. Arnie Steiner says:

    Way to Go, Cameron! Really nice work. Keep it coming.

    Best of luck,

  17. Richard Standing says:

    Alan – there was a track plan in part 1.

    Cameron – well done! (And I don’t think that’s crowded at all)!

  18. Newton says:

    Wow thank you for sharing your journey! A fantastic trip for all of us even the dreamers like myself. Clean, precise and most likey just the way you remember your home town.
    Ps can we get a track and wiring plan please

  19. steve says:


  20. Robert says:

    Hi Cameron your layout looks great. It very much reminds me of my first ‘proper’ layout & one I will never forget. (It’s a bit like the time when your pet hen lays her first egg – you never forget it!)

    Best wishes, enjoy.

  21. paul Otway says:

    It looks really neat

  22. Randolph scott says:

    Fantastic layout, love the detail with the Water and the cafe with the people seated.

    randolph scott

  23. this is a lay out to be very proud of. great job.

  24. Cameron Davies says:

    Dear All,

    Thank you for all your kind comments on the layout. I will continue to provide progress reports over the next few months as I go through the wiring. A couple of you also had some questions for which I have some answers as follows:

    Yard Height Gauge
    The curved hanging beam is indeed a height gauge. Not sure the exact protocols for the placement of these but I have put mine on the exit to the loading area and set the height of it a few millimetres lower than the tunnels. It is a really practical feature which you can use when you are putting new loads on trains.

    Track Layout
    For those who are interested in the layout there is another post on Alistairs website that provides some commentary on the design and a plan of the layout. Alistair’s web site has some really good information on planning layouts. With any luck the link bellow will take you to the previous post.

    Track Wiring
    The layout is wired for DCC. To do this I did a “loop feed” that runs around the perimeter of the board then fed wires off this onto the track every two feet or so.

    I brought the feeder wires up from underneath and soldered them onto the vertical outside face of the track. This was relatively easy and quite cheap but it did get pretty messy so I wouldn’t do it again. I have seen track joiners that have wires already soldered onto them. If I was doing it again I think I would use these. They look like they would be a lot neater.

    Hope this helps,



  25. I like how you worked it all together. I really liked how you populated the diner, with diners at tables.
    BTW; are your inhabitants working on a house in your town? I like the “Woody Wagon” in the gate behind one of your town homes.
    Overall, I really liked how it all comes together. Now you need a freight train; or, at the least, a switch engine, (what you might be calling a “shunter”), to move freight cars around with.

  26. Sheila says:

    Very inspiring layout. I am going to file this for later reference. Is that a water wheel on the building in the bend of the river across from the windmill? Very interesting.

  27. TOM says:


  28. Brian Clauser says:

    I like the restaurant decorated inside!

  29. Lindsay Cockburn says:

    This is an astonishingly brilliant layout. The only possible improvement I can see would be to apply a touch of weathering to some of the buildings and track features. Particularly to the engine shed, water tank, line side structures, walls, tunnel entrance, etc.
    I would be proud to own such a good layout.
    Congratulations on such a brilliant effort.


  30. What a fantastic layout

  31. My favorite aspect is the Porsche 550, but I like the layout too. I don’t usually go for the Brit style of model train layouts, but this one is very comfortable. It makes me want to take a train ride!

  32. john brooks says:

    You have some stuning pic,s of your layout,But i wanted to know how you make your hill,s I am making my layout in the loft but dont know how to get the items i need and what do you use thanks ,john.

  33. The pictures of the layout are just great and the amount of areas of interest within the layout are just lovely ,Well done to date and enjoy the trains running when you can…………Paul

  34. paul (giddykippa) says:

    love the detail in the shop window it almost looks real

  35. Fred says:

    Lots of fun. BTW, some of these pictures (like the multiple lines and switches on a viaduct) might never or seldom show up in real like. Too expensive.

    However, this is not a complaint about the layout, rather a piece of praise. Layouts really can convey the illusion of reality, something difficult to achieve.

  36. James Marek says:

    EXCELLENT WORK! My only suggestion would be to start adding lots of people.

  37. Rod Mackay says:

    Tremendous effort for just a year, Cameron, you can be really proud of that. What’s worrying me, however, is the road access from the goods sidings, which seems to cross the main line unprotected without sight of anything coming round the back of the engine shed. A case for a couple of gates and a nice little ground frame maybe.

  38. Dwight in Toronto says:

    I really liked the last two pics showing the 550 Spyder … my most lusted-after roadster of all time. Very nice job all ‘round; well done mate.

  39. Robert Brady says:

    Great photos great layout now just add people.
    Pics aren’t clickable for enlargement .disappointed about that.
    The Critic

  40. Bill Holt says:

    AWESOME ! Good Job.

  41. Raymond says:

    Love the Porsche in the layout.

  42. William B says:

    Nicely done, Rumpole. Where’s your “Old Bailey?”

  43. Gary M from Long Island says:

    Cameron……love the people sitting in the restaurant in the last picture. Nice touch…….great job on the layout.

  44. Erick says:

    Neat and Kool.!!!!!

  45. William R. DeWalt Jr says:

    I do enjoy your column every morning and I have started a H.O.layout myself and have learned a great deal from these layouts that you show each day.However there is sill a lot for me to learn such as building an elevated H.O. train plains.The book is out of print and I can not find it anywhere.Please help?

  46. Douglas Harley says:

    If the layout is HO,what manufactuor made the Church?
    Nice layout-especially enjoyed the diners.

  47. Kevin McArdle says:

    I think I would like to live in that idyllic town. Beautiful layout, great job. Thanks for sharing.

  48. Gerald Edgar says:

    That store interior was an extra nice touch!

  49. George says:

    Thank you for sharing this work of art. Can you share how you did the side walks and the source for the trees?

  50. Doug Mathers says:

    Really nice layout! I’m jealous. I grew up out side of Toronto Ontario and my grand parents lived in Long Branch two houses down from the main train tracks coming out of Toronto. Your yard height gauge is great addition. There were similar ones I saw but they had chains hanging down to just above the tallest cars. No tunnels anywhere. Grand Dad said it was to keep the bums off the top of the cars. LOL Any ways thank for taking the time to show us your wonderful layout.

  51. Brian Olson says:

    Very nice work, love the detail and the backdrops provide a nice depth of field to your layout. Well done!

  52. Bob Amling says:

    I don’t see crowded. It looks great and real. Well done and great pics too.
    Bob in NJ

  53. Richard Boles says:

    Beautiful layout! The only thing that I noticed was you placed the cars and trucks on the wrong side of the road! lol

  54. Erick says:

    Good workmanship.!!!!!!!

  55. Kevin McArdle says:

    Beautiful layout, well balanced without a lot of clutter, which can be confusing. Well done you. Love the Porsche 550.

  56. Tony Fryer says:

    . . . this introducing Cameron’s work really brings out the compliments in this comments section . . . I scrolled for a few moments just to leave my comment & thought . . . grins . .
    I agree with the suggestions to INCLUDE layout design/plan/map of the tracks . . . I am always curious how some design ideas & layouts compliment the space available – some of us really have a limited area to work with . . . GREAT detailed & aesthetic layout . . . con una sonrisa

  57. Steve Kantor says:

    I’m am a beginner on my first layout and I liked you sidewalks and concrete areas, they looked like stamped concrete but can you tell me what material you made them out of and how you made the lines in them.

  58. Clark says:

    Simply brilliant! I love it – and by the way, I’m not moving my layout, either! She’ll just have to maneuver round it, I guess.

  59. Rocco Maley says:

    These are all great layouts, but do you think we can get the people who make such great layouts to send the size, radius and possibly a track plan to help us amateurs get a handle on how much we can fit into what space that we might have. Thank you.

  60. Tony, Kitty Hawk NC says:

    Cameron- Wonderful work! You are right about the background- looks great. I don’t think your little town center is crowded at all- it looks just right! But like someone else said- it needs a bunch of people shopping to complete the picture. Well done!

  61. Mark T. Pianka says:

    Great looking layout!! well done.

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