HO scale barge

Leo’s been kind enough to send us some more pics on his stunning HO layout layout, and how he made his HO scale barge too.

If you missed the last post, it’s here.

“Over head pictures:

HO scale barge

HO scale

HO scale barge, made from 1x4x6″ pine wood, angled, sanded and painted. On top I found whatever to enhance to make it look like a drilling barge, coal barge, auto transport or hauling pipe barge. Very simple to make and takes no more than maybe 10 minutes. I made a few of them.

HO scale barge

model railroad port

HO scale barge

Auto dealership:

HO scale model railroad

HO scale barge:

model train parking lot

model train car dealership

model railway cars

model railroad start


making a start model railroad

Table beginning:


Bridge made from venetian blind slat. I judge the scenery I model via looking through a paper towel role, it gives a limited eye view vs an overall view:

model railway bridge

My train float came from a piece of foam found in a tv shipping box. The thought being that modeling materials are available around us for next to nothing cost:

HO scale barge

Thanks for the comments from you and your viewers. I always thought that my layout is not up to par with other modelers thus the comments are so welcome.


A huge thanks to Leo for showing us how he made his HO scale barge, and these extra pics. Stunning stuff.

When it comes to barges, ports and waterfronts, I’m always reminded of two layouts.

One of them is Brian’s (who is also in the Hall of Fame)

Here’s a pic and a link to his post if you want to have a look – his barge and water are so well detailed:

model railroad harbor

And there’s also Kaustav’s barge layout too:

N scale harbor crane

That’s all this time, folks.

Please do keep ’em coming, because it’s getting a bit thin on the ground this end.

And please don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide if you want to get going on your layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

31 Responses to HO scale barge

  1. Cary B says:

    What a pleasure Dave’s video/pictures are. Much enjoyed the trains and scenery.
    Thank you Dave for sharing these treasures and thank you Al for passing along.

    Cary B

  2. Rich B. says:

    Again, very busy, detailed and in good taste. You can often imagine living there on a few of these worlds. Reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode, they ended up on a model railroad on another planet.

    The overall layout photo appears way more manageable and never saw a tiered construction as that before, good idea. Provides full levels instantly almost like my cookie cutter. Don’t think those are done anymore with today’s products.


  3. Raymond Bove says:

    Please don’t get this wrong. I do admire the skills and workmanship that went into this layout but in my eyes this is the epitome of a “can’t see the wood for the trees” layout. It has far too much going on at the same time and the inclusion of so much track in such a space does not contribute to realism. It reminds me of the (Märklin) Xmas layouts that were on display in department store windows when I was a boy and gave the impression that the manufacturer had made every effort to include all its catalogue in one layout.

  4. svet says:

    stunning video ,many thanks

  5. Lynn Taubeneck says:

    Great layout Leo. I grew up around railroads and water/shipping. You have nailed it on the head!!! Love the idea for the Barge(s).

  6. Bruce says:

    I am not a purist like some. I think your layout is awesome. The magic of the trains on a layout is that it returns memories of the past. Hopefully, layouts as yours will inspire others to relive the magic.
    The purists have their ideas of layouts and we know they enjoy all the exact detailing and detail to a scene to bring more real life to their plan.
    I will include that although your plan has several loops to run several trains at once, there is a bit of congestion in the newest one. However, I love it as is.
    Bruce in SC USA

  7. Albert Luppo says:

    Congratulations on a professional eye to detail.

  8. Les Danyluk says:

    As usual Dave does a great trip on this travelogue. Not being from England, “Dave”- please include more area descriptors.

    Thank you Les

  9. David A. Massimi says:

    Where is it written that our train layouts MUST be realistic ? I thought the purpose of a hobby was to relax and enjoy, NOT to be bound by “realism” and prototypical operation !
    I have just started a layout and fully intend to include whatever i want and to exclude everything that doesnt “fit” into my scheme of things, and if the “rivet counters” dont like that, they should look ONLY at their own layouts because its obvious that no layout that belongs to anyone else will ever be good enough.

  10. Gerry says:


    What great shots and sounds from the old steam age. Thanks for taking the time and sharing.

  11. dave says:

    Wow so much in a small space every element you wanted got put in a limited area one day I will get my garden rail road built but never seem to find the time to get it all put together .

  12. Art Bearden says:

    Thank you Mr. Dave for your lovely video of your country side of what look like UK area, that was some beautiful trains and country sides.
    Art in Florida

  13. Hugh Glasgow says:

    To all:
    I just wanted to thank everyone who submits photos/videos of their layouts! Fantastic modeling work; well done! Dave’s videos and stills of late had me at times guessing, “Is this actual or a close-up of a layout?” If you take a little time and watch your lighting the details will fool the eye!
    HINT: I believe if you take small photos of your layout and then study the details, dirt, rust, splash of mud, trash etc. it will enhance your layout. All too often layouts look too “clean”. But there again, having fun is what’s it all about!

  14. Pastor Harry C. Wigmore, III says:

    Thank you, Dave, it was awesome!!!! Beautiful country scenery, reminds of the
    the Virginia and West Virginia eastern foothills and mountain area of western Virginia around Winchester Va, Brunswick, MD, and Charles Town, WV.

  15. ANDREW SCHYHOL says:

    Dave”s video, AWESOME, FANTASTIC, BEAUTIFUL, PROFESSIONAL ETC. I think that covers the production, a definite keeper. Also the state of the equipment and operation was amazing. Thank you to you and the railway!

  16. Carl Halgren says:

    I particularly like the idea of viewing your layout through a paper towel roll to give you a limited view. It gives you the opportunity to block out distractions and concentrate on just one scene. You can ask yourself, is it to your liking, whether you are adjusting the overall scene, or counting well-weathered rivets. True, sometimes there are too many tracks in one small area, but with the limitations of space and the desire to run trains, certain details of realism must be adjusted meet your pleasures.

    I like seeing layouts with wide open spaces with hills and trees, and I like seeing houses crowded against heavy industry. It makes me happy that, what ever your pleasure is, you are proud if it and are willing to show it off.

    I have some highly detailed cars (like my blacksmith car with red hot and white hot coals under the roof where it can barely be seen) and I have some “toy” cars from my youth. I try to avoid running junky cars and rivet-counting cars on the same train, but then if I do, by contrast, the quality models really stand out. Each to his own, and each to his pleasure.

    Keep on training, everyone,
    Carl in Kansas

  17. Rod Mackay says:

    It IS a hobby, sure, and of course anyone can do it their own way, I’d just suggest its a common misapprehension that more track must equal more fun. If you ARE interested in how the real railway works (not compulsory, but many of us are) some of the most interesting maneouvres get carried out where track space is limited or there are special issues such as steep grades or light axle load limits.

    To give an example, at Cadoxton, a shunting engine had to be kept at the end of the docks branch to deliver chemical wagons to couple of plants accessed over a weak bridge over a small river – but for this, the main line engine would have been on its own, half the fun. Also, the dock branch has a container terminal, but the only place to put it was small and by a road crossing, so it could only take half a train – more shunting=more fun. And when a scrap terminal was opened it was on a short bit of wharf that the branch ran through, so the scrap train would have to be divided in two and put in the sidings to let the intermodal train past=more fun again! If you just have oodles of track anywhere so your trains can run round and round in circles all day without interfering with each other, you miss all this. Less can be more

  18. Patti says:

    Leo-marvelous job! Remember, our only limitations are our imaginations. Do what makes you happy!
    Dave-Thank you many times over. I always get new ideas from your videos!
    Happy Modeling Everybody,
    Curdsville, VA

  19. Joe Cavilla says:

    Leo, great combination of rail, water and air. Nice job.
    Dave, very enjoyable scenic steam runs.
    Thanks for posting Guys.

  20. david howarth says:

    Thank you all for your Comments re the video I made showing the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Steam Gala ..it was a good day all round ..we enjoyed very much so thought maybe some of you railroaders would appreciate these Live steam Loco`s ……and Leo I think you built . great Layout there …Regards.Dangerous Dave

  21. Keith says:

    Dave that was an awesome video. You put a video on Als web site similar to this one a few years ago and I replied saying I know where I’m going on my next vacation well I did in 2012 and I had a fantastic time. I am a Brit living in Canada and I had never been to Yorkshire , well it opened up my eyes I can tell you. Thanks Dave and you Al . The vids and the web site bring a smile to my face. Both of you please keep it going. All the very best Keith

  22. Jim Sulkosky says:

    Looks nice

  23. Abdul Foladi says:

    Hi, how is going? How to buy one this ?

  24. Robert Brady says:

    WHAT! No guard barriers on that flyover ? They make plastic concrete barriers for us modelers Leo.
    The Critic

  25. Mike Balog says:

    Hello Al, Dave, Leo and ALL…

    Great Layout Leo,.,, Combination of the Big Three in Transportation. Wondering if you could Share with us,, How you Built that Bridge out of a Blind Set? Only thing missing are the Guard Rails between the lanes and the concrete / steel guard rails on the edges of the bridge,,, along with a sidewalk to support those street lights! We have a “Crazy Bridge” like that I believe that connects N.H. with Maine along the coast. Nice Tip on the Barges… especially the RR Transfer Barge. Liked that Over Head Gantry Crane, the white painted one. And the Details are what makes the scenes,, such as the harbor scenes… all the crates, barrels, etc. And For Dangerous Dave,, Always Liked your Actual Steam RR Locomotive Powered train Videos… Reminds me of those old travel log videos. Keep Up the Great Work Guys… an Inspiration for the rest of us. Mike in N.H. U.S.A……HAPPY 4th Of July to all us Yanks Here and Abroad.

  26. welder dave says:

    A lot in a small space hey its your layout !! enjoy ! I love all the scenes it has if you do not have a lot of room for a large base its amazing what can be done ! the waterways are very interesting too so do not see that often .

  27. A great display there Leo, problem is where to start the diorama and railway, you want them to complement each other not domindate.
    You could cut this down by half and not even notice it missing.
    well done, now spend all your time in maintenance

    Wayhne mc

  28. Erick says:

    Wow that is assume great work. I hope mine turns out that good.

  29. Gaspard de Coligny says:

    Left the “hobby’ 20 years ago and apparently we still have to deal with the anti spaghetti naz1s.
    If you want realism you end up with 30m of track and one railroad crossing. Soooo much fracking fun…

  30. Brian Olson says:


  31. Dave H says:

    Hi I am from a time when HO was boss.. HO homesote boards and all the rest. No that I have downsized I probably have room for a 3×5 foot z scale layout. Now I need all your help I am beginning to start a layout but, I am going to read all of your ideas and aim for the middle. Thanks for all your time. I will be reading all your good idea’s.

Leave a Reply

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