N scale passenger layout

Arnie’s been in touch again with his stunning N scale passenger layout.

A big thanks to everyone who left a comment on his last post with the video:

“Hi Al — Thank you for your support and posting of my video.

I want to thank all the readers/viewers for their positive feedback and support of the proposed video project.

I therefore will continue to brainstorm for the forthcoming video ‘episodes’.

However, an injury to my hand this past weekend required an emergency room visit and suturing of my thumb on my dominant hand. So the wheels of progress on the project will be turning a bit slowly for a few weeks or so.

I’ve attached a photo of my N scale passenger layout track plan (the Susquehanna Valley & Gulf Summit Ry.) as viewers of my videos seem to always want to see it.

If I may, I would like to address a few comments/concerns voiced by several viewers of the new video:

Several viewers felt that some of the popup text was visible for too short a time. I agree and I apologize.

The reason for the limited time was due to the limited duration of the pertinent scenes which the text was referencing.

I didn’t want the text to linger too long and detract from viewing the very brief scene(s) or have the text flow into the next scene

However, as a solution, I may be able to add a text only screen at the onset of the opening valley scene to give some detail about the 4 trains depicted in the N scale passenger layout vid. This same procedure can be used in subsequent videos.

Some viewers thought the music was too loud. I will therefore make further adjustments in forthcoming clips.

The variable music volume approach that I use is intended for effect and/or emphasis of different scenes as the story unfolds; and also dictated by the varying volume of the onboard DCC sound decoders (when present) on different locos and their real or implied distance from the observer/camera.

Lastly, a few of you noticed something on the N scale passenger layout.

I want to thank Norton who noticed that cars on the PRR passenger train were wobbling as the train approached the bridge at the river.

Norton, the problem is not with the track. Instead, the rocking was caused by defective trucks on the combine and first coach cars.

I got new replacement wheel sets but forgot to change them before videoing.

I hope it doesn’t impair the many other clips I’ve already taken of this train.

model train track plan

These pics give a better perspective on the bi-level layout that can be confusing from the track plan. (By the way, photos appearing on the walls of the train room were all taken on the layout and have been published in various model railroading magazines.)

There were also questions about the backgrounds I use. I have about eight photo backdrops that I use extensively for taking photos and videos. Some can be aligned consecutively to create a longer scene.

I use them as portable backdrops wherever needed to give greater depth and realism to the N scale passenger layout scenes. There is one that I put into the enclosed photos as a quick reference in the distance. The backdrops are by Realistic Backgrounds.com.

And I want to thank everyone for the well-wishes for a speedy recovery from my injury. I assure everyone that I am perfectly fine and I am “up and running” though a little awkwardly handling objects.

Again, thanks to you Al for this forum and to everyone for their enthusiastic and helpful commentary.


N scale passenger layout:

n scale passenger layout

n scale passenger layout

model train

n scale passenger layout

A big thanks to Arnie for sharing his N scale passenger layout.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More N scale layouts here if that’s your thing.

model train answers

23 Responses to N scale passenger layout

  1. Mike says:


    I know I have seen it in one of your videos but what company did you use for your backdrop? It looks so real.

  2. George Ross says:

    Thank You For YOUR UPDATE. Continued Success.
    I Enjoyed The Track Layout And Photos.

  3. Jack Quinlan says:

    How would you stretch this layout to a tabletop that is 16 feet by 12 feet?

  4. Mene Zamora says:

    Hi Arnie,
    Thank you for sharing your nice layout I like it, do you have a second layer.
    Hope I can see view your whole layout, thank you and regards


  5. Darrel says:

    Sorry to hear about your neat fatal accident😃, and I for one wish you a speedy recovery, (certain we all do), all the bed and keep up the great wotk

  6. THOMAS MELECK says:

    ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT POST. I wouldn’t worry too much about the volume of the video since folks can pretty easily adjust that volume on their own computers/iPads or whatever to their own tastes. Thank you very much for the plan. It makes the video a lot easier to understand, and it certainly increases our appreciation for all the great work you have done.

  7. Barry Pearlman says:

    Arnie – Concerning the length of the text, I too had the same comment concerning the time it took to read it. I learned a long time ago that the text should remain on the viewing screen for at least twice the time it takes to read it in a normal speaking voice.

    As for your wounded paw, around here it isn’t a successful project unless some blood is drawn! 🙂

    Chesterfield, Missouri, USA (west of the city of St. Louis – by about 10 miles or so)

  8. Lenore Hirsch says:

    Hi Arnie, Sorry to hear about your injury ….. from my own experience [car accident] – Keep it dry, do what the docs say and DO THE REHAB! You have a very complicated layout but with your scenery it does not look like a bowl of spaghetti. Your view blocks are great. I agree with Mike about the backdrop … so very real I felt I could walk into the trees. I like how the 3 ‘lines’ merge with one another, but you can also run them separate. Don’t get discouraged, thumbs take a long time to heal, there is alot going on with them. Lee

  9. john says:

    never got a reply 2 my question.

  10. Neal Marrison says:

    Thanks for sharing your video, Danni. Enjoyed it very much and plan to use your technique on my own layout. Neal

  11. Ken Stramel says:


  12. jim Sulkosky says:

    Great work keep up the good job

  13. I really like his layout. I had a similar Lionel 027 layout (not that complex but similar. I would love to make one just like his in HO.

  14. Gerry says:


    It’s amazing how many critics come out, like cockroaches, when all you were trying to do was delight and entertain people. I enjoyed you video. Job well done my friend…

  15. Ron Roedel says:

    I agree with Gery, but I am surprised no one made the comment that it looks to clean and should be weathered. i for one really don’t care. The layout is superb as it is.
    From Dona Bay in Florida USA

  16. Dan Hulitt says:

    Loved Arnie ‘s video and story line. I have several pictures of Delaware and Hudson engines pulling freight from under the viaduct.

    Danni’s step by step confirms that realistic scenery can begin with simple steps and supplies.

    Mn Dan

  17. GreenWilly says:


  18. Marklin ed says:

    Arnie your videos are wonderful. It seems to me a lot of nit picking on your outstanding work. I have but one area of comment. You rolling stock needs some aging. Sorry to hear about your thumb now is a chance to become ambidextrous.

  19. Erick says:

    Looks great.!!!!!! Would like to see more.

  20. Dear Al, Your postings are priceless!!!…I laugh, I cry, I even snicker !! And it never
    gets old. There is no other in your league ! To the point of this birdcage liner…….
    If Arnie had and used a clone machine about 3’5 Billion times, some guys that
    are living now, would not exsist. I think it is now time for me to get off my
    soapbox. Thanks again and again and again AL for ALL that you do…RJ

  21. Pete from Michigan says:

    Annie, perhaps you could pause the video for a short time when you put up the text with information about each particular engine. I thought the text was very helpful, albeit a bit quick.
    Superb layout. The closeup shots feel almost real.

  22. Arnie Steiner says:

    Hi Al – Been a long while since my last contact with you. Just wanted to thank you for the re-posting of my video “Crossroads of Railroads” and the sharing of the track plan for my layout. While I have a couple of plans for new videos, they are still in the ‘work in progress’ phase with no definitive date for completion. Will share with you and viewers at a later time.

    I recently did a video for Christmas for my 2 1/2 years old grandson who loves my layout. The video is of On30 scale and was created for my dining room table. I would have to get approval from my son and daughter-in-law to share it and then edit out portions as may be needed. The created decals for the steam era locomotive and freight cars which have personalized images, etc.would have to pass their approval before I could release the video.

    Thanks again – Arnie

  23. TJK says:

    Arnie, Your layout, magnificent! You are the producer, camera man, audio technician and craftsman. Nice presentation. TJK

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