More from Dave

“Hi Al,

This article is in response to some of your readers who have been asking about O gauge layouts.

I’ve been working on my O gauge model railroad for a year now and have managed to complete the first phase of a multi-phased layout.

I live in California where basements are just figments of one’s imagination. Since my home is blessed with a large lot, I decided (upon recommendation from my wife) to install the layout inside a 12 ft X 20 ft Tuff Shed.

The bench work is 44-inches off the floor, and elevations are 4 degrees maximum.

The theme is still somewhat undecided, but in addition to a passenger line that runs along the outside, the secondary line will handle mostly freight.

Everything is installed 2 ft away from the building walls. The second phase of track will be assembled in modular form and fastened to the fixed bench work along the walls for easy access, removal and maintenance.

After due consideration, I decided to use MTH Scale Trax because of its low profile and realistic look.

Also, I purchased Rich Battista’s videos on the “Black Diamond Railway” which helped me tremendously. Other than Rich’s layout, I have not seen or read anything with as much detail as his videos on Scale Trax installation.

All MTH trains will operate using the MTH Digital Command System (DCS). I have included a few photos of the two completed main lines. The next phase will include the installation of extensive freight yards and spurs, all of which will be installed on the modules. A lift-up bridge will be installed at some point after the completion of the second phase in front of the door entry way.

There are also plans to install an elevated set of tracks to run my old Lionel and Williams conventional powered trains. This will be a phase three project. Now that I am retired, I have more time to devote to construction. This weekend, my friend Mark and I will install electrical feeders to the currently installed track (about every 6 to 8 feet) and run some tests of the track.

More to follow. I have really enjoyed the many articles sent to you from model railroaders around the world and look forward to reading each one.



“Hi Al , just uploaded this video showing some changes I have made , it also shows laying track and ballasting also adding static grass , could be of some help to some of the modellers.



Latest ‘ebay cheat sheet’ is here.

Big thanks to Dick and Dave.

Please keep ’em coming.



28 Responses to More from Dave

  1. Daryl says:

    Dave, I love what you do. You have the right attitude. Regards Daryl from NZ.

  2. Willie Kerr (Glasgow) says:

    Hi Dave, I’m always impressed by your layout and thanks for all your tips on really how to do everything. You always make it look so easy.
    Thanks again

  3. PETER BENSON says:

    What a great layout loved watching all the busy trains.Have learned some more tips. thank very much and good luck. Peter Norfolk UK.

  4. Thomas Meleck says:

    Dick has a great start. The Mission-style arched station looks terrific. While I love the look of, “Scale Rail”, I only use it for sidings on my own railroad owing to the overly arbitrary nature it displays when trying to connect sections of it together. I run Atlas O on my mainline, which fortunately for me represents pretty closely the large rail of the “mighty” Pennsylvania Railroad pretty closely while also being very easy to connect.

  5. paul starr says:

    Nice to see dave averting for peco track,nice one dave

  6. Paul Johnston says:

    DAVE, I’ll bet that’s not your first time, congrats, for a job well done,

  7. Steve says:

    Hi Dick, I also have a lay out in a tuff shed. Because you are correct I as well live in Ca. what Basement? Mine is about 8 X 13 I am running HO Scale I have about 3 levels on my lay out. It is a work in progress, I like how you have started out. I am about 3 years in the making. This is my first lay out so I am learning a lot as I go, it sure does help in seeing these incredible lay outs for idea’s. I have never posted any photos but maybe I will now. Are there any other people out there that have a lay out in there tuff shed’s? Also how do I go about sending pics?

  8. Ray Noble says:

    I can relate to your need for space and the fact that basements are thin spread. In my area here in Wisconsin, all we have is a crawl space with a cement foundation that sits about 3 1/2 ft high, so we work in a crawling position but have created a 20ft by 6 ft O scale layout with a 10″ elevated dual track layout for my grandson. Awesome hobby and well spent time together. Keep up the good work, you’ll appreciate it later.

  9. You should never apologize for it being to long. These videos seen never to be long enough. I really enjoy watching your videos and just love your scenery.

  10. paul Otway says:

    nice work guys

  11. THOMAS says:


  12. john creasey says:

    two great Videos.
    O scale, how i wish i had gone down this path instead of OO

    Dave, well what more can be said

  13. Tommy says:

    Wonderful Views. Very nice modeling.

  14. Peter Jones says:

    Dick – Great start, looking forward to seeing more as the layout grows.

    Dave – Once more a superb tutorial, you really do inspire, thank you

    Pete the Mackem

  15. Dick says:

    Dear model railroad enthusiasts.
    It inspires me to read your comments regarding my O gauge layout. We all seem to have so much in common (e.g. no basements, Tuff Sheds, desire to build against many odds, O scale vs. OO scale, tight spaces, love of the hobby, and the like).
    We are currently constructing a lift bridge that will include two slightly elevated lines, one ground-level freight-line branch, and some scenery (to be determined).
    The previous bridge worked out well, but I didn’t like the unsightly appearance of the hinges on top of the bridge. [Note: In order to clear entry track, hinges must be the same height or higher than the highest track.]
    The hinges on the new bridge will be lower because the track height will be lower. Also, I plan to employ a hydraulic door opener under the bridge to enable easy opening and preventing the bridge from crashing down in the event the bridge slips away while in the process of opening or closing it.
    If anyone has any ideas they could share about lift bridges, I would greatly appreciate it. I cannot use a Dutch-door type of bridge because it consumes so much space when opening. Other methods such as a motorized bridge lift or drop-down type of bridge have crossed my mind.

    -Dick- (From California)

  16. Ian says:

    great to see the start of a layout lots of planning many cups of tea or coffee some with a dash will enjoy seeing the progress. great video am doing some changes to my track so this will come in very handy to watch again the long shots of your track really puts the how to into perspective.

  17. Mike Mattei says:

    I would like to know what video editing program Dave uses for his vidieos?
    He sure does a nice job of editing.


  18. Andy says:

    Nice one Dave
    Really like the videos keep ’em coming
    How big is your layout?
    Will you ever be satisfied with your layout or is a continual work in progress

  19. Dale F. Amlund says:

    I have a small 4×8 H>O ,,, “GRAND VALLEY” for sail…….

  20. Dave:

    Your workmanship is very good. I like how you manage to keep all in order and you can factually follow your steps as video’d. So far I’ve seen nothing but excellent demonstrations of “How To” and I agree with many that they are NOT TOO long. I suppose you do follow a outline to keep your facts and actions in order. No matter how you do it, your skills are fantastic. Keep the good work coming and thx so much for sharing.

    Harold Jr.

  21. alan says:

    looks very nice

  22. norm sunray says:

    Excellent videos, on how -to as well.
    Notice you pull apart track indiscriminately and pop it together.
    I have trouble with track connections, and my engines frequently stop, so I have to solder them together. So I can’t easily modify my track design as you do.
    I use HO 100 Atlas track. Any comments?

  23. Deon Joubert says:

    How do one clean your tracks after ballasting it ? Why I am asking is because after putting the glue mixture on the ballast, there is some glue on the tracks as wel that needs removing.

  24. John says:

    Dave me n the others r totally convinced you`re a Northern nutter keep doing all those changes to your layout that the rest of us would worship like the Holy Grail! LOL!…..But still your layout is one the best mate and so are your video instructions on doing things!! Keep `em coming mate and hope that knee is getting better after the operation and you can get up those stairs and see your layout again.
    All the best.
    JohnE UK

  25. Jimmy STORRIE says:

    Love the videos Dave Jimmy edinburgh

  26. Peter Macdonald says:

    nice work on the layout, but one day someone will explain to me how 3 rail track Marklin style is “realistic”

  27. George. says:

    Hi I like your layout I’m in Ho Marklin and Vintage Fleischmann. Model Trains is my Passion for Many Years. Enjoy the 2nd of 20/16 Regards George R.S .A.

  28. George. says:

    Hi Nice layout. George. RSA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *